Fighting Parkinson’s, and awareness of our balance, part 3

Parkinson’s knocks us off balance physically, mentally, and spiritually. Last week in “Fighting Parkinson’s, and awareness of our balance” and “Fighting Parkinson’s, and awareness of our balance, part 2,” I focused on physical and mental balance, including making certain our feet are pointing straight forward when we walk and making certain we work on less self-consciousness. Today, our focus is the issue of spiritual balance.

How to heal our soul. Faith.

This is a difficult subject because everybody has a different idea of faith and different beliefs in a Higher Power, or God, or the Divine, or the Greater Consciousness, or the Greater Cosmos, etc. And some do not believe there is anything out there to connect to in order to get assistance with our recovery. With people from nearly 80 countries reading this blog on a regular basis, I want to make certain I am clear about one thing regarding spiritual balance…everybody is included in this opportunity for Parkinson’s recovery…EVERYBODY! Parkinson’s does not differentiate on whom it unleashes its wrath, and I do not differentiate on who can recover…nobody is excluded from embracing the path to recovery, grabbing on to your faith, arming yourself with the Recipe for Recovery, and going to battle.

If you are feeling alone, talk to your Higher Power, talk to a family member or friend, read the comments posted by your fellow travelers, send me an email, howard@fightingparkinsonsdrugfree.com. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

How does faith fit in? First, we need to look at how we fit into Parkinson’s.

Physically, you are off balance. You move slowly and cautiously, often looking down instead of forward. What does that do? It puts your body in a posture that makes it virtually impossible to walk balanced. Your neck is bent, your spine is bent, the fluid in your semicircular canals is moved, and your visual frame of reference (important for balance) is your legs or the floor, and you acquire what is often referred to as a Parkinson’s gait. Mentally, you then become off balance because you are afraid of falling or freezing, and you are afraid of the future with Parkinson’s. This is right where Parkinson’s wants you…not living in the moment, but instead living in the past (getting Parkinson’s) and being fearful of the future (life with long-term Parkinson’s). Spiritually, you give up hope that you ever will get better. At that point Parkinson’s is winning.

Essentially, when you stare at your legs and feel unbalanced, you are looking at the past. When you feel unbalanced, you fear the future (walker, wheelchair, etc.). How can you move forward in life in a balanced manner if you are staring backwards and it makes you fearful of where you are going? Hope. But hope is not enough. You have to KNOW. You have to know in your heart of hearts and your soul of souls that you will get better. That’s how faith fits in!

I knew I would get better. I knew it as fact. I did not know when, but I knew I would get better. I got my body ready, I got my mind ready, but spiritually, I was still looking outside myself. I had the order incorrect (first, heal the soul, and the mind and body will follow). Ultimately, to heal my soul, I had to go to the scariest place of all and look inside. It is where fear lurks behind every corner. And, it is where faith trumps fear!

I meditated and prayed and looked inside myself for answers rather than outside myself. Through meditating and praying and praising and giving gratitude to my Higher Power, I began to heal my soul. And then I felt it. That spark inside of me, that old friend who used to help me when I had to reach down deep inside when occasionally faced with life’s most difficult events, it was still there. And I nurtured that spark, my Inner Divine, and connected with my Higher Power.

In the end, that connection brought me into the moment…no looking back…no looking forward…just being. And a sensation came upon me that I can only describe like this: I was in the moment and I was not afraid. My old-Howard-perception-of-who-I-was kept fading away and my new-Howard-however-that-ends-up-me was appearing…and deep inside me I realized however it came out it was okay…I was not afraid…and I let go and let it happen.

Faith is easy when life is easy. Faith is not easy with Parkinson’s. Faith got me through. Please keep faith in yourself, in your Higher Power, and in your recovery path with the Recipe for Recovery.

Faith will help your regain your life’s balance.

Aren’t you worth it?

All my best,

Howard

Please Note: On a previous post, “Fighting Parkinson’s, and it’s time to heal the world,” I explained what we are doing moving toward a clinical study of the Recipe for Recovery. I have received an outstanding response from people pledging to send their neurological records, and I already have received neurological records from people in 6 different countries. Yes, we do have the power to heal the world, and I am grateful for all of you.

 

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11 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and awareness of our balance, part 3

  1. Marie says:

    Thanks so much, Howard, for these posts on awareness of our balance.
    I found it easier to work on the physical level in the early days of following the Recipe for Recovery since that fit well with my very strong work ethic, and personal identification as an ultra-achiever. To be in the moment, though….that was far harder for me. “Tuning out fear on the heart radio” was one of the best tools for me, since it required that I notice that I was running a fear monologue, and then that I shift away from it. I remember how surprising it was for me to actually feel my heart in my chest when I did that.
    In the beginning, I did not have Faith to draw on. It was not accessible to me. Willingness got me through, just willingness to go ahead earnestly even without Faith, and to “act as if”. Acting as if I had Faith, I followed the Recipe to the best of my ability day to day, setting aside fear.
    Maybe the word Faith was hard for me, but I did understand that healing would come from the inside.
    From the starting place of “there is no reason NOT to do this” , I repeated “I have the power to heal myself” . Quickly I discovered there is every reason to do this. Faith budded, swelled, and bloomed, given just a little space and light and encouragement.
    Then I was no longer “acting as if” but really there, in Faith and Gratitude, at the source of my healing.
    My love and best wishes to each person in this Community as you travel to your own healing.
    And to you, Howard, my deepest gratitude always!

    Marie

  2. Ainsley says:

    Howard and Marie
    Thanks so much for your postings and sharing of your experiences in your recoveries.
    From time to time I experience a spark of recovery, then it seems to get overtaken by my returning to my default mode of running the fear thoughts / adrenaline as I experience the symptoms.
    Reading what you have to say gives me a boost to keep on working on recovery which I can see needs to come from within.

    Warm regards
    Ainsley

  3. Kathy says:

    Thank you, Howard and Marie, for the insights into how you reached into the depths of your souls to find that little spark of faith and nurture it into a flame. It is very hard to calm my senses enough to really begin to look inside as fear seems to be the gatekeeper hindering entrance. The passwords are, “Peace, be still.” You are both such an inspiration!

    Blessings,
    Kathy

  4. Howard says:

    Hi Marie, Ainsley, and Kathy,

    You are welcome.
    Marie, we all are grateful for your continuing inspiration. Your recovery shines through brightly.
    Ainsley, as you are able to slow down your Adrenaline-driven physical life a little, it will ease your Adrenaline-driven mind and slow down the race to fear. They are your symptoms…they are not your life. Give away your fear and focus on positive emotions for Dopamine release.
    Kathy, give away your fear and you give away the gatekeeper. You then will be at the unguarded entrance. Use your passwords and find your way.

    With gratitude, blessings, and love,
    Howard

  5. Marie says:

    Hello Ainsley and Kathy,
    I appreciate your comments, and you are very welcome.
    Something that may be helpful: there is fascinating information available now on the plasticity of our brains, and how they change. “default mode” is not a metaphor, but a neurological reality. The neural pathways of our habits are truly the default mode. What is encouraging though is how readily the mind will form new pathways. Somewhere along the way, I read that just 15 or 20 seconds of really holding a positive feeling and positive thought will start to form new pathways. I love that! The approach I took with my own dear brain was to go for those little intervals. 15 seconds of really savoring something I was eating, or of taking in the beauty of the landscape or the sunset. 15 seconds of saying right now the sun feels good on my shoulders. 15 seconds of appreciating how sweet my dogs are. On difficult days I would default to the gratitude exercises of Janice Walton-Hadlock. She said that gratitude was a good source of dopamine, and for those who could not come up with anything to be grateful for, she suggested being grateful when you crossed the street that you had not been run over by a truck! There is always something that we can be grateful for.
    I did not so much dismantle fear in my life as counter act it with the tiny tidbits of positive, dopamine- producing thought coupled with feeling. It really did get easier. Easier to recognize and tune out fear. Easier to find things to deeply enjoy, and to pause in that feeling for a few seconds. There is a lot of power in those small moments.
    I’d Reinforce them by then being grateful to myself and congratulating myself that for those seconds, I did it. And then I’d feel good about that! “Every tiny step is a victory, and the new healthy neural pathways are forming. YAY!…. Hello, Dopamine.”
    From the first day I discovered one of Howard’s videos on youTube and then found his blog, the wondrous good fortune of developing Parkinson’s at a time when there is all this new and positive information available to me, and Howard to guide and inspire me, became a well of Gratitude that I continue to drink from. thank you Howard. thank you so much.

  6. bailey says:

    Thank you Howard and Marie! I got a dopa-rush just reading your posts!

  7. Jeff says:

    Marie, Thank you so much for expanding on your healing journey. Overcoming fear when you have a constant arm and hand tremor is a battle to say the least. Starting with 15 second non-adrenaline victories is encouraging. Please continue to comment on areas you think may help along the way.

    Thanks again,
    Jeff

    • Marie says:

      Hi Jeff,
      You’re welcome! I am very happy to read that the 15 seconds idea resonates with you and hopes it works for you too, as a way of opening up the dopamine faucet. Give it all you’ve got for those seconds, turning all your attention and your emotional energy towards feeling really good. Please let us know how it goes for you. And I’ll continue to add comments.

  8. Ainsley says:

    Howard
    Such good feedback, thankyou Howard.
    I’ve been working on ‘less is more’ with my exercise. Taking the biking slower and enjoying the experience more, similarly with walking.
    I’ve been tuning out the fear by filling the space with listening to classical music through headphones. I’ve noticed some positive results, especially improved balance.

    Marie
    I love your 15 second idea and your examples of how you put it into practise. Thanks so much for sharing this. So often I know the theory of things, but its the experiencing
    of it that makes the shift and produces the results. I’ll be working on this from now on and will keep you posted on my progress.

    Best wishes to all
    Ainsley

  9. Howard says:

    To all of you posting comments here, you are welcome…I am excited to be able to assist in your Parkinson’s recovery journeys and I am grateful for Marie’s heart-warming insight and sharing. Also, I would like to express gratitude to all of you, and those who I speak to and Skype with and meet and email, and those who I haven’t even heard from but who are on this journey with the rest of us; you are doing the hard work, and I am grateful for your perseverance in reaching deep down inside and finding what you need to find to keep you on your path toward recovery. You inspire me! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Blessings,
    Howard

  10. Pingback: Fighting Parkinson’s, and your survival guide for your recovery journey | Fighting Parkinson's Drug Free

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