The best book for finding peace inside of our beautiful brain

Who am I?

I am a trained neuroscientist. I was teaching and performing research at Harvard Medical School when a blood vessel exploded in the left half of my brain. On the morning of this rare form of stroke I became vegetative, an infant in a woman's body in that I could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of my life. It took eight years for me to completely rebuild the left half of my brain. During this experience, I gained true insight into the difference between our left and right cerebral hemispheres.

I wrote...

Book cover of Whole Brain Living: The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters That Drive Our Life

What is my book about?

At an anatomical level, we have two emotional and two thinking modules of cells - one in each hemisphere. Each of these different groups of cells results in not only very specific skill sets but comparable personalities. While rebuilding my left emotional and left thinking cellular networks, I learned that we have the power to choose moment by moment which of these Four Characters we want to embody and let lead our lives.

We can use the tool I call the BRAIN Huddle to create a conversation between the different parts of our brain, thus allowing us to choose who and how we want to be. We have the power to step out of the emotionally reactive parts of our brain, giving us the ability to live our life on purpose.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World

Why did I love this book?

This book is a magnificent collection of what research has taught us about our left and right brains over the last 70 years. It is a fascinating account of what we know and how our brain has shaped the condition of our world. 

By Iain McGilchrist,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Master and His Emissary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A pioneering exploration of the differences between the brain's right and left hemispheres and their effects on society, history, and culture-"one of the few contemporary works deserving classic status" (Nicholas Shakespeare, The Times, London)

"Persuasively argues that our society is suffering from the consequences of an over-dominant left hemisphere losing touch with its natural regulative 'master' the right. Brilliant and disturbing."-Salley Vickers, a Guardian Best Book of the Year

"I know of no better exposition of the current state of functional brain neuroscience."-W. F. Bynum, TLS

Why is the brain divided? The difference between right and left hemispheres has been…

Book cover of Of Two Minds: The Revolutionary Science Of Dual-Brain Psychology

Why did I love this book?

This is a fascinating exploration into the consciousnesses and personality differences between our left and right hemispheres through the lens of our potential for psycho-pathology. Dr. Schiffer is a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School and shares with us innovative ideas about how to unravel the complexity of our psyche. 

By Fredric Schiffer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Of Two Minds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Most people experience themselves as two-sided: one side seems mature and stable, the other emotional and impulsive. This text illustrates how the interaction of these two minds actually determines psychological nature and ultimately the emotional problems or progress experienced in life.

Book cover of Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual: Trauma-Informed Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, Ptsd & Substance Abuse

Why did I love this book?

This therapeutic technique is designed as an evidence-based treatment program that trains the reader how they have the ability to not only recognize the different parts of their brain but how they have the ability to embody those different aspects of their character. This program is designed to help people heal their injured parts so they can live a healthier life. 

By Frank G. Anderson, Martha Sweezy, Richard D. Schwartz

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) provides a revolutionary treatment plan for PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders and more.

Using a non-pathologizing, accelerated approach -- rooted in neuroscience -- IFS applies inner resources and self-compassion for healing emotional wounding at its core. This new manual offers straight-forward explanations and illustrates a wide variety of applications. Easy to read and highly practical.

- Step-by-step techniques
- Annotated case examples
- Unique meditations
- Downloadable exercises, worksheets

IFS is Evidence-Based

Thirty years ago, IFS creator Richard Schwartz, PhD, listened to his clients describing the behaviors and fears of their most extreme…

Miss Rumphius

By Barbara Cooney,

Book cover of Miss Rumphius

Why did I love this book?

This is my favorite children’s book of all time. Miss Alice Rumphius is taught by her loving grandfather that there are 3 things she must do with her life: She must travel the world, live in a place by the sea, and finally do something to make the world a more beautiful place. This book teaches children that a life well lived is a life that contributes something beautiful to humanity and this is something we can choose to prioritize in our lives. 

By Barbara Cooney,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Miss Rumphius as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alice made a promise to make the world a more beautiful place, then a seed of an idea is planted and blossoms into a beautiful plan.  This beloved classic and celebration of nature—written by a beloved Caldecott winner—is lovelier than ever!

Barbara Cooney's story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady,…

Book cover of A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "a Course in Miracles"

Why did I love this book?

This is a beautiful and inspiring book that helps us find our way into the right thinking part of our brain that is focused on our ability to love one another. I truly believe that our number one job in life is to love one another and we each have that capacity if we choose to make it a priority. This book is designed to help us find our way back into the consciousness of the best part of ourselves which is to love. 

By Marianne Williamson,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Return to Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Back by popular demand -- and newly updated by the author -- the mega-bestselling spiritual guide in which Marianne Williamson shares her reflections on A Course in Miracles and her insights on the application of love in the search for inner peace.

Williamson reveals how we each can become a miracle worker by accepting God and by the expression of love in our daily lives. Whether psychic pain is in the area of relationships, career, or health, she shows us how love is a potent force, the key to inner peace, and how by practicing love we can make our…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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