Jimmy Stewart’s Institute of Healing


When your life collides with a brick wall what do you do then? Before the following date, September 28/2008 my life and career were perfect; with three books laid out for publishing, music flowing out of me without effort. I had waited a lifetime for these blissful roots at the intersection between midlife and moving on into the golden years. I had prepared for this time to express all that was left in me to give to the world. A stroke changed all that.

In the following blog, The Institute of Healing, is a journal of my recovery. Within the pages of this blog I’ll discuss  varying subjects. At times I will invite some special healers to share their ideas and experience  with us. Welcome to The Institute of Healing.

All of us who play music, multitask naturally. This means handling one or more tasks simultaneously. A good analogy for this is, playing in a band. The music performer needs to be aware of the other players and listen         to them as he performs. If we are classical musicians we must look at the music and follow the conductor simultaneously. When performing in the recording studio we have to have all our antennas out listening authentically,            reading music, capturing a feel, and listening to what we are performing. These tasks all take a tremendous amount of mental energy. This energy comes from the brain. Or even a particular hemisphere of the brain. Not everyone can do it. By understanding how the brain works, we can control the process of creating music, healing, or doing  any task with excellence. Now let’s get to know your brain. I call this process, using the information highway.

This means you are able to draw on the strengths of both the right and left hemispheres of your brain, depending upon a given situation. When you need to explain a complicated process to someone or plan a detailed vacation,the left hemisphere of your brain, which is responsible for your ability to solve problems logically, might kick in.

But if you were critiquing an art opening or coming up with an original way to file papers, the right side of your brain, which is responsible for noticing subtle details in things, might take over. While many people have clearly dominant left- or right- brained tendencies, you are able to draw on skills from both hemispheres of your brain. This rare combination makes you a very creative and flexible thinker.

Brain Exercises You Can Do Right Now
If you feel uncomfortable and awkward don’t worry, your brain is learning a new skill!

Try neural building and strengthening exercises with everyday movements:
Use your opposite hand to brush your teeth, dial the phone or operate the TV remote. This is an exercise that can strengthen neural connections and even create new ones. Switch the hand you are using to control the computer mouse. Use the hand you normally do NOT use.

What do you notice? Is it harder to be precise and accurate with your motions?

Engage Your Brain
It is important to challenge your brain to learn new and novel tasks, especially processes that you’ve never done before. Examples include square dancing, chess, tai chi, yoga, or sculpture. It helps develop agility and hand-brain coordination (like controlling the computer mouse with your opposite hand).

Travel stimulates your brain
Travel is another good way to stimulate your brain. It worked for our ancestors, the early Homo sapiens. Their nomadic lifestyle provided a tremendous stimulation for their brains that led to the development of superior tools and survival skills. In comparison, the now-extinct Neanderthal was a species that for thousands of years apparently did not venture too far from their homes. (Maybe they were simply content with their lives – in contrast to the seldom-satisfied sapiens). Early humans gained a crucial evolutionary edge from the flexibility and innovation required by their strategic lifestyle, which also led to a more diverse diet that allowed their brains to rapidly evolve.

Combine two senses
Listen to music and smell flowers. Listen to the rain and tap your fingers. Watch clouds and play with modeling clay at the same time.

Break routines
Go to work on a new route. Eat with your opposite hand. Shop at new grocery store.

Consider your brain a muscle, and find opportunities to flex it
Read, read, read and do crossword puzzles. Play Scrabble. Start a new hobby or learn to speak a foreign language. Anything that stimulates the brain to think. Also watch less television, because your brain goes into neutral.

The more we think, the better our brains function – regardless of age. The nervous system possesses not just a ‘morning’ of plasticity, but an ‘afternoon’, and an ‘evening’ as well.

We begin with a nerve cell, which starts in the embryo as just a sort of sphere. It sends its first branch out to overcome ignorance. As it reaches out, it gathers knowledge and it becomes creative. Then we become a little more idealistic, generous, and altruistic; but it is our six-sided dendrites, a short branched extension of a nerve cell, along which impulses received from other cells at synapses are transmitted to the cell body which gives us wisdom.


left!                right!

The left hemisphere of the brain is the office. The right hemisphere of the brain is a party.

Knowledge is empowerment!

Your physically challenged friend,

Jimmy Stewart

One Response to “Jimmy Stewart’s Institute of Healing”

  1. thor 08/26/2014 at 4:05 am Permalink

    Just curious, are you getting this post?

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