I have received a few inquiries about prayer/meditation/positive affirmation. Specifically, I have been asked to explain how prayer and my attitude toward prayer assisted with my recovery.
I view prayer more as praise and gratitude. I have spent years waking up early and using the quiet time for spiritual growth. I give praise and gratitude to God and do not ask for anything. Many people with whom I have spoken over the years view prayer as that time in life when they sit down and ask God for whatever it is they need at that time. My beliefs are faith based, I give praise and gratitude with an unshakable faith that if I proceed through life that way, then I can accept what happens because it is supposed to happen even if I cannot quite understand it at the time. And then I do my best to take responsibility for what comes next based upon what has occurred.
Parkinson’s shakes one’s foundation, and it is faith that got me through. Every day that I did my exercises and energy work and chanting and acupressure, it was with the faith that I would get better some time in the future. This faith was very important because it kept me on the path to healing my physical body and organs from deep within even though I rarely noticed much physical progress.
At one point, a friend pointed out that fear and negative thoughts are a constant battle with the disease. Although I had a very positive attitude that some day I would recover, fighting the disease mentally and spiritual was a daily war. My friend pointed out that God was in a much better position to handle my fears and negative thoughts and that I needed to give them away so I could stay focused on my recovery.
I meditated on this and adopted the following prayer for when I felt negative thoughts or fears coming into the forefront of my thoughts: “Dear God, I have this fear and I do not have time for it to bring me down. I need to stay focused on positive thoughts. You are in a much better position than me to deal with negative thoughts and fears, so I am giving you this negative thought and fear and thank you for taking care of it for me.” The first day I did this, it must have been 100 times I repeated this phrase. After four or five days, the negative thoughts and fears diminished, and then they went away.
I tell you often to repeat, “I have the power to heal myself.” Part of this is the understanding that “myself” is not an island unattached to God and nature and humanity. It takes a firmly rooted core of faith to do the same process every day for months and see little or no improvement of the disease. But the body needs to be healing so the prayers and meditations and affirmations become one with the body…soul, mind, body healing.
The medical profession says that with Parkinson’s, dopamine is depleted in one’s brain and the basal ganglia controlling movement are 60-80% dead. Having lived in a Parkinson’s body and thought with a Parkinson’s mind, and held my firm faith with a Parkinson’s soul, I can tell you they are incorrect. It is why after nearly 200 years, they are no closer to a cure than when they started. Parkinson’s is an electrical problem and they are trying to fix it with chemicals. The dopamine is there, but the flow is interrupted. Adrenaline has taken over, which ultimately leads to dopamine taking a back seat. Just like anything else, after years of operating in adrenaline mode, the dopamine just turns off the faucet. I tell you this because prayer opens it up.
Prayer may not be the correct word, but I believe you will understand with this explanation. After about 8 months of fighting the disease and healing from deep within, I read about the possible adrenaline/dopamine relationship to Parkinson’s. Here is what I did. I would pray/meditate like this: “Hello Adrenaline. Thank you for all of the years you have run my body. Without you in charge, I would not have survived. However, all of life’s stresses that required you do be in charge are gone, and you can take a break and you do not need to run my whole body anymore. Hello Dopamine. It has been a long time. Thank you for all of those years you stayed closed and allowed Adrenaline to run my body. I appreciate that you understood it was for survival. Now that those stresses are gone, I need you to flow again. The thing is, I do not know how much Adrenaline needs to shut down and how much Dopamine needs to flow to achieve the correct mix. The two of you need to figure this out with God, and I am going to meditate on something else so I do not get in the way.”
Within a couple of weeks, my symptoms started melting away. I could feel Dopamine coming out of my brain like a fountain spraying. Near the end, I added the following one night before going to bed: “Dear God, I surrender my ego to you. I surrender my attachment to my Parkinson’s Disease to you. I am not afraid anymore. I no longer fear Parkinson’s. I no longer fear the scorn I may face by being cured from a disease the experts say there is no cure. I no longer fear the people who may say I was misdiagnosed or that I faked having the disease. I am surrendering my ego to you, that part of me that felt I needed to remain attached to Parkinson’s because the experts say once you have Parkinson’s you always have Parkinson’s. I am forgetting about my old self (Parkinson’s) and stepping into my new self (No Parkinson’s).” I awoke the following morning with my remaining symptoms gone.
That was June 12, 2010, and I remain symptom free today.
REMINDER: On March 9, 2011 at 6:00PM EST (GMT -5) on Parkinson’s Blog Talk Radio, I will be interviewed for 90 minutes regarding my Parkinson’s philosophy and Parkinson’s recovery, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/parkinsons-recovery/2011/03/09/help-for-persons-currently-experiencing-the-symptoms-of-parkinsons-disease. I hope you will tune in.
All my best,