In ten years, most of the cells that make up your body today will have died and been replaced by new ones. So, your body will be totally new!
Well…not completely true!
Red blood cells live for about four months.
White blood cells live on average more than a year.
Skin cells live about two or three weeks.
Colon cells die off after about four days.
Sperm cells have a life span of about three days
However, most of the cells in your body do die and are replaced with new cells every ten years or so.
However, here’s the catch!
Brain cells typically last an entire lifetime!
And if our brains cannot be totally new, how can we change to become who we want to be.
Allow me to introduce you to Harvard-trained neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor!
Jill was very left-brained, so she placed a great deal of emphasis on her analytical functions such as her ability to speak and to understand numbers or letters. So to Jill, most was information and logic and feelings and emotions were of little consequence in her scientific world.
However, in 1996, when Dr. Taylor was 39, she had a massive stroke.
Where? You guessed it; on the left side of her brain!
So Jill lost her basic analytical functions like speaking and understanding numbers and letters. She could not even recognize her own mother. She also had to witness her own brain shutting down.
All she had left was the right side of her brain…the one with feelings!
Dr. Taylor compares her stroke to being like an infant again.
Her subsequent eight-year recovery influenced her work as a scientist and speaker. It is the subject of her 2006 book My Stroke of Insight, A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.
She also gave the first TED talk that was the first to go viral on the Internet, after which her book became a NY Times bestseller and was published in 30 languages.
So what did Jill learn? That the right side of her brain containing her feelings and compassions was as equally important as the left.
Today, she says, she is a new person, one who “can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere” on command and be “one with all that is.”
God created the two sides of our brain for a wonderful reason. The left side gives us context, ego, time and logic and the right side gives us creativity and emotions and empathy.
And both are equally needed in our lives!
An application to take with you next week.
Every ten years or so, most of the cells in our body (perhaps 75 trillion – the scientific community has not come up with an exact number) are replaced by brand new cells, including some in our brain, as Jill Bolte Taylor discovered.
So think of this, dear reader. (And I love to reflect on this many times a day, which is the reason I point it out in my writings to frequently.)
When did our old life end? One second ago.
And when did our new life begin? One second ago.
Now do the math; sixty seconds per minutes, sixty minutes per hour, 24 hours per day. In one twenty four period, we have 86,400 new opportunities for a new life, and a new us, every single day.
As Jill discovered, all you have to do is take them.
Now…the left side of your brain can contain some pretty negative beliefs and it is these beliefs that can bring about some pretty negative feelings on the right side of your brain.
It took Jill eight years to discover this.
“As the child of divorced parents and a mentally ill brother, I was angry,” she said. Now when she feels anger rising, she trumps it with a thought of a person or activity that brings her pleasure. No meditation necessary, she says, just the belief that the left brain can be tamed.
We may not be able to directly control our feelings, but we can strongly influence them, by first questioning where they are coming from, and then trumping them with positive ones.
It is a choice which all of us can make…86,400 times a day.
Steven Campbell is the author of “Making Your Mind Magnificent.” His seminar “Taming Your Mind, Unleashing Your Life” is now available on line at stevenrcampbell.teachable.com. For more information, call Steven Campbell at 707-480-5507.