Brain Talk

Taylor on the Brain

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Your brain is your greatest resource—use it by design to help you achieve health, happiness, and success!

—Arlene R. Taylor PhD

For most of my life I've kept the frontal right part of my brain to myself, under raps, actually. I even had a name for that part of me, "Cornelia Frizzel." Unless I was alone, I desperately tried to keep control of that wild, crazy part of me, so called.

While appearing very sweet, compliant, and chatty on the outside, I was creating entire worlds inside my mind. Retreat cabins and tree houses in the densest parts of my imaginary forest. Deserted islands where I danced on the sand and swam in the sea. On one island I had animals, birds, and often a fine steed at my side. When bored, especially in school, I often visited these places by switching from one cerebral mode to another. (I didn't know that at the time.) I was the quintessential daydreamer. (I did know that.)

As a child I had no fear. In fact, I had to learn there was a healthy fear. Every dare that came along I took whether it was swimming across rivers (I could have easily been swept downstream), swinging by my feet from the second story of a house, or diving off cliffs into the river. Playing chicken by throwing knives between our feet was a great sport for me until I was in sixth grade. Up until junior high I fought the school bullies whenever my friends were picked on. I felt compelled to protect them. Why didn't I think I could ask for help?

As a teenager I drove my folks' car like a maniac whenever I was alone, often driving at speeds of up to 120 mph while dreaming of being a famous race car driver. I was honored with awards like, "Most Inspirational Girl of the Year", "Sweetheart Ball Queen", " Girls League President", "Miss Congeniality", "Jr. Princess", and "Good Citizen Award." At the same time, however, I was dying inside. I'd presented an image I couldn't sustain, couldn't live up to, or so I thought—and developed an eating disorder.

When I got married at age nineteen I boxed up the frontal right lobe of my cerebrum and mainly utilized skills from the basil modes. I remained the kind nurturer and martyr who maintained a job, house, cars, and yard while trying to stay in harmony with everyone around me. (An impossible task for anyone!)

For years I thought I had a multiple personality. No one knew about Cornelia Frizzel. When the flaming frontal right mode surfaced in public, it had to be punished. Although what I did was primarily subconscious, I referred to Cornelia as, "out of control". So, I denied myself food, a coat, or rest, and often had to do a "good deed" in compensation. Now I see that the very part I tried to suppress is innately my Creator's best for "Kori." I believe without "Cornelia Frizzel" and the internal, mental worlds I created my recovery from anorexia nervosa would have been close to impossible.

I no longer refer to the extremely extroverted part of my personality as "Cornelia Frizzel." I do still war with how vocal and extroverted my frontal right self is. Tears well up regularly because I still don't know where this part of me belongs in our culture. Skills from the basil right and left modes are acceptable in the world for a female. I know I can utilize each of these parts. I've had years of practice honing those skills! I also recognize the importance of accepting, honoring, incubating and utilizing the skills in my creative, imaginative frontal right.

In her eye-opening and empowering brain seminar (The Brain & Innate Giftedness), Dr. Taylor shares a story about an eagle that never learned to fly because it grew up with the chickens. Maybe we could rename those of us who "flew the coop". We could call ourselves "bumble eagles"! I choose to learn how to fly! Join me in defying the laws that say, "You can' chicken!" Come back with a resounding, "Oh yes, I can. I'm a bumble eagle and learning new flying skills every day!"

I'm halfway through my forties. My glass is now more than half full. I look forward to filling myself to the brim and then, as only a flaming frontal right would do, burst into heaven!

Note: Terms such as the "frontal right mode" and "the basal modes" are terms that Dr. Benziger (creator of the BTSA or Benziger Thinking Styles Assessment) applies to specific portions of the cerebrum or thinking brain. Composed of eight lobes, the cerebrum is divided by a longitudinal fissure into the left and right hemispheres (see illustration below). Other fissures (the central sulcus) further divide each hemisphere. These natural fissures create four divisions of crebral brain tissue. PET scan studies have shown that the brain may expend significantly less energy when working from an individual's area of preference. The difference may be as great as pennies on the dollar.



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