Last week I attended the 14th Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics + Aesthetics, this year’s topic is Rethinking Consciousness and the Mind. 

In coaching profession and as a meditator and mindfulness practitioner, I’ve always been fascinated by neuroscience findings and curious to apply in the field of organizational development. I’d like to note down some insights from various brilliant minds in this conference.

The first talk was given by Dr JILL BOLTE TAYLOR, she was a Harvard neuroscience researcher when she had a stroke in her left brain hemisphere, I got to know her from her book <My Stroke of Insight>. In this conference, she presented her research on 4 characteristics of our brain that help me to bring clarity in our behavioral tendencies. 

 For over half a century we have been trained to believe that our right brain hemisphere is our emotional brain, while our left brain houses our rational thinking. Neuroscience shows, however, that this is not the case. Instead, our emotional limbic tissue is evenly divided between our two hemispheres.

Consequently, each of our cerebral hemisphere has both an emotional module of cells, and a thinking module of cells. 

 In her new book <Whole Brain Living>, Dr Taylor said, everything we think, feel, or do is completely dependent upon brain cells to perform that function. Since each of the Four Characters stems from specific groups of cells that feel unique inside of our body, they each display specific skill sets, feel predictable emotions, or think distinctive thoughts. 

 These Four Characters make up who we are: 

  • Character 1, Left Thinking – me the individual, rational thinking
  • Character 2, Left Emotion – emotions from the past to future, protecting us based on past experiences
  • Character 3, Right Emotion – experience of the present moment, expansive and creative
  • Character 4, Right Thinking – gratitude, awe of life

 The more familiar we become with each of our four characters in ourselves and others, the more power we gain over our thoughts, feelings, relationships, and lives. Indeed, we discover that we have the power to choose who and how we want to be in every moment. And when our Four Characters work in balance one with another as a whole brain, we gain a radical new road map to deep inner peace.

 “The evolution of humanity is an ongoing process, and we have the power to consciously direct our development as a part of that evolution. We have two beautiful cerebral hemispheres, each of which processes information in its own unique way, and I believe that bringing them together into whole brain living is our road map to both our own deep, inner peace and peace in the world.”

 Most people don’t realize that we have ‘two beautiful cerebral hemispheres,’ as Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor put it above. Or maybe we just don’t take the weird idea seriously that we have two distinct brains. Our four characters are often unaware of each other.

 This is where a Brain Huddle comes in. By recognizing, appreciating, inquiring, and navigating the four characters we can mitigate the dominance of one character and help all to work together for our inner peace, healthier relationships with others who exhibit character dysfunction, and healthier lifestyles too.

 

Resources

TED talk on my stroke of insight

Book <My Stroke of Insight>

Book <Whole Brain Living>