As we are preparing for our Fall vegetable garden, it occurred to me that fighting Parkinson’s is a lot like cultivating our gardens. To begin, we plant the seeds in the soil and we water them. We water the soil where we planted the seeds every day with the faith that all of the things happening under the soil are happening the way they are supposed to happen. And we do this watering day after day after day with absolutely no sign of progress on the surface. Sounds a lot like Parkinson’s recovery, doesn’t it? If you have started the Recipe for Recovery, then you know exactly what I mean.
I am going to digress for a moment. Let’s talk about weeds. Weeds are like Parkinson’s disease. They grow under the surface and build strong root systems. We do not need to water them or care for them or fertilize them…in fact, it seems the more we ignore our garden, the happier the weeds are to invade the garden. And, every now and again we see a weed and think, “I really don’t feel like dealing with that weed today.” Then another weed pops up, and another and another and another. And suddenly we think, “Oh, no! Now I have to deal with these weeds taking over my garden.”
Initially, we just want to cut them at surface level because then our garden looks pretty again. However, by cutting the weeds at the surface and thinking, “Oh, I have a pretty garden, and I am happy those weeds are gone,” we are fooling ourselves. We have not solved the weed problem…we actually have enhanced it. While the weeds are “out of sight, out of mind” they are growing more roots under the soil, and when they break the surface, they are bigger and stronger than before.
And what are they doing below the surface? They are overtaking the seeds and root systems of our garden. If we let this go on long enough, our garden is overcome by weeds, and our vegetable plants will not grow because they have been strangled by the weeds. We heal our garden by digging up and pulling out the weeds at their roots from deep under the soil, and we nurture our vegetable seeds into plants into blossoms into vegetables.
We heal ourselves from Parkinson’s in the same manner, with the same determination, the same patience, the same faith, and the same nurturing. Parkinson’s recovery starts from deep within…it is where the disease, like the weeds, festered and grew undetected (and later ignored for a while), and it is deep within us where it has spread and negatively impacted our organs. If we take medications, it is like cutting off the weeds at the surface…we may look better on the outside, but the disease is continuing to grow and spread inside us.
So, where do we go from here? Start pulling the weeds and nurturing the seeds, or, in Parkinson’s terms, get on your path to recovery. The Qigong in the Recipe for Recovery is a thorough process for eradicating the disease from deep inside, like pulling out the weeds from their roots. The Recipe’s Qigong, meditations/affirmations/prayers, and chanting, along with our hope and faith provide the love and patience and nurturing to allow our bodies to heal and recover.
When my children were young, they were disappointed the day after we planted the seeds because they would run outside with the excited expectation of seeing vegetable plants…all they saw was moist soil from the day before. Obviously, as adults, we all know that their expectations were unreasonable because a seed will not grow into a plant and produce vegetables overnight. It is the same for Parkinson’s recovery.
However, what my children did learn is that if we went outside every day with no expectation of seeing plants that day, but instead, with the understanding and faith that if we watered the spots and continued to pull the weeds that occasionally poked their heads out of the soil, that eventually we would see vegetable plants break through the soil. And then, we needed to continue to have love and patience and faith as we nurtured the plants and secured them to stakes and watched them blossom, and ultimately see them provide us with vegetables.
This took weeks and months, not days. This is Parkinson’s recovery. You are the garden. Go and look in the mirror at the garden you are today, and then envision the garden you want to be.
Now, take the Recipe for Recovery and start cultivating your garden…you need to give yourself the same love and patience and hope and faith that you would give the seeds in the garden outside, and you need to nurture yourself on the path to recovery. Aren’t you worth it?
All my best,