In Suzuki’s Not Always So, in a section entitled, “Caring for the Soil,” a passage struck me a particularly important for Parkinson’s recovery: “Usually we are not interested in the nothingness of the ground. Our tendency is to be interested in something that is growing in the garden, not in the bare soil itself. But if you want to have a good harvest, the most important thing is to make the soil rich and to cultivate it well.”
Following Suzuki’s theme, think about this:
The conventional method of treating Parkinson’s is to minimize the symptoms, all the while proceeding under the premise that the cause is not known. The “interest” is in what appears to be growing in the garden; cultivating the soil is of no concern.
In Parkinson’s recovery, our method is to treat the causes. In doing so, we must cultivate the soil. And, how do we do that? The Recipe for Recovery makes the soil rich and cultivates it, or, in non-garden terms, the Recipe for Recovery lays the groundwork for Parkinson’s recovery, and then sets forth the path to recovery.
Since the Florida hurricanes (4 of them) in 2004, we have seen very little rain. Our vegetable garden and herb garden have suffered. About six months ago, Sally mentioned that our best opportunity for better herbs and vegetables this year would be to prepare the soil. I looked at her like you look at me when I tell you that you may do the Qigong exercises for a while and see no results….
So, we broke up the hard soil in the gardens, mixed in some organic soil rich in nutrients, covered them with a tarp, and covered the tarp with mulch. Sounds like as much fun as doing 10 sets of Medical Qigong for Liver. And, it has the same apparent outcome — you are tired and can’t really tell if you have accomplished anything because you cannot see the soil cultivating under the tarp or your liver healing deep within.
But something tells you this is working even though you cannot see it happening…you can smell scents you hadn’t noticed in a while; your bowels are flowing regularly, even though you hadn’t realized there was a problem; you have a little more energy; your medications are working better and/or longer. If you are paying attention, you will know that something is happening deep inside you, and it is good — really, really good — you are beginning to feel the effects of your fertilized seed of recovery.
In the garden, it may take weeks or months of nurturing the seed under the ground before it breaks the surface. But you marked the spot and you watered it every day or so, and you had faith that somewhere beneath the top soil your seed was going to grow into a plant. Imagine that…faith that something you could not see and could not feel, and in some ways did not understand, was getting nurtured and fertilized, and was eventually going to break the surface and grow into a plant.
This is the faith you need in yourself and in the process of which you have embarked. Faith that something you cannot see and may not feel, and in some ways do not understand, is getting nurtured and cleansed and strengthened, and will eventually break the surface and grow into recovery. I know you can do it. You need to know you can do it!
If we hadn’t cultivated our soil and nurtured the seeds, we probably wouldn’t be eating tomatoes from our backyard and Sally wouldn’t be using half a dozen herbs from our backyard in her cooking. If I hadn’t cultivated my recovery day after day after day for nine months, I wouldn’t be entering this post eleven days prior to being one year symptom free from Parkinson’s.
So, the next time you are uncertain about doing the Qigong exercises, think about all of the love you give that little seed you place in the ground, and give that kind of love to yourself…you are worth it!
All my best,