Fighting Parkinson’s, and heading toward recovery

If you are doing the Recipe for Recovery, you are heading toward recovery. Know it. When others look at your external symptoms and think you are getting worse and cannot keep it to themselves, you have to know you are heading toward recovery, and you have to politely ignore them. That is called self-preservation on your path toward recovery, and it is a critical component of this recovery. You can do it!

If you are still uncertain about why you are having your symptoms, this would be a good time to go re-read Fighting Parkinson’s, and dissecting the disease, part 1 of 4. Your symptoms are something going on inside of you. That is all. They are only on a path toward degeneration if you help them go on that path. That is all.

There are three ways to help your symptoms along the path to degeneration:
1. Do nothing. Doing nothing is still doing something. We all were doing nothing when we degenerated to the point where we went to see a neurologist.
2. Taking medications and doing nothing else. This is what your neurologist means when when he or she tells you that Parkinson’s is a progressively degenerative disease for which there is no cure, and here are some medications that will not cure you.
3. Taking Parkinson’s-specific supplements, powders and formulas and doing nothing else. This is what your naturopath means when when he or she tells you that Parkinson’s is a progressively degenerative disease for which there is no cure, and here are some Parkinson’s-specific supplements, powders and formulas that will not cure you.

Here’s the hard part. To get off of the path toward degeneration and on to the path toward recovery, you have to do something more than the three above-listed things. The Recipe for Recovery provides a whole lot of something to get you on the path toward recovery and keep you there all the way to achieving your recovery.

So, what is in your way…the flying monkeys. A couple of weeks ago on a coaching Skype, it was mentioned to me that in Fighting Parkinson’s, and the wisdom of Glenda, I did not say anything about the flying monkeys. Initially I laughed, but yesterday I mentioned to her that she was correct, and I had failed to mention a key point.

The scariest part of the Wizard of Oz for me as a youngster was not the Wicked Witch of the West…it was the flying monkeys. It did not matter what the other characters were doing, at any given moment, the flying monkeys could swoop down and wreak havoc. For me, they perpetuated an edge-of-my-seat anxiety throughout the movie. They were unpredictable and uncontrollable…just like our “monkey minds.”

The Buddha described the human mind as having the equivalent of a bunch of drunken monkeys clamoring out of control, with fear being the loudest, most continuously forceful monkey in the bunch. You all know this monkey. This is the monkey who looks at your symptoms and says, “Come on, what are you doing with this Qigong and chanting and meditating and praying…weren’t you paying attention…there is nothing you can do about Parkinson’s…what’s this Recipe for Recovery…who is this Howard guy…face the facts, you are heading toward the walker and the wheelchair.” That is nothing more than the loudest drunken monkey screaming fear into your head.

So, now comes your choice. Do you listen to the drunken monkey and run right into fears hands, or do you have faith and quiet the monkey and continue on your path toward recovery? This “monkey mind” is what Socrates is talking about in Dan Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior when he tells a young Dan, “Sometimes you have to lose your mind before you come to your senses.”

It is time to lose your mind and come to your senses; that is, lose your monkey mind. You need to break the habit of fear. That’s right, the habit of fear. The habit that any time a symptom changes in a way you do not understand, you think you are getting worse and then you fear the worst. That’s the habit of following the marching orders of a drunken monkey in your head. Come to your senses and create a better, more useful habit in your recovery.

How to quiet the monkey mind:
I am recovering.
I am doing Medical Qigong. I am recovering.
I am chanting. I am recovering.
I am Standing. I am recovering.
I am eating healthier foods. I am recovering.
I am doing Jin Shin Jyutsu. I am recovering.
I am doing near hand/far hand. I am recovering.
I am replacing negative habit thinking with positive habit thinking. I am recovering.
I am meditating. I am recovering.
I am praying. I am recovering.
I have nothing to be afraid of because I am on my path toward recovery doing the Recipe for Recovery, the same Recipe for Recovery that three people already have used to recover. They did it and I am doing it. I am recovering.

For my mother, in the end, after two decades of heavy dosages of Parkinson’s medications and doing nothing else, she lost her mind…and it was not her monkey mind…it was her cognitive mind. There was no opportunity to come to her senses, and all the fears were realized…immobility, frozen face, wheelchair, dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s. You see, that is what I was afraid of…the known path. Nobody should have to be that way with this disease, not her, and not you.

So, please lose your monkey mind and your fears that are raging in your head, and please come to your senses while you still have your senses to come to. You have the Recipe for Recovery at your fingertips…do not let it slip away. It took me to full recovery. It took Marie to full recovery. It took Pratima to full recovery. It can take you to full recovery. Do not let your monkey mind tell you otherwise.

You can do this.

You are worth it!

All my best,

Howard

 

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4 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and heading toward recovery

  1. Christine says:

    Thank you. More than one monkey has been running my show for the last week as my tremor and gait have become worse. I am ignoring them and keeping on thanks to you!

  2. Howard says:

    Hi Christine,
    You are welcome. I am so happy to see you persevering through this recovery. Many of us struggle with the monkeys in our heads. They can be relentless, but also, they can be quieted, and you ignoring them has quieted them down…and you have quieted down the fear that often comes with changes to our symptoms. Thank you for sharing your triumph with the rest of us.
    With gratitude and blessings,
    Howard

  3. Anne says:

    The Recipe is not an easy one, that’s for sure. Delayed gratification is never easy. But we who are recovering have the wonderful example of Howard and the others who have gone before us on the path. We know it works; we have them as proof! I am so amazed and awestruck that you stuck with it as long as you did, Howard…and so grateful.

    When I am having a difficult day following the Recipe I think of my mom, who suffered with PD for 23 years. Her last years were extremely difficult; a day of doing the Recipe is like a walk in the park in comparison. The choice for me comes down to this: do I want to follow the Recipe (which is not always easy for me,) now and eventually be symptom-free, or not do the Recipe now and be completely debilitated later? How wonderful to even have this choice! My mom sure didn’t.

    Thanks for the pep talk, Howard! You rock!

    • Howard says:

      You are welcome, Anne.

      We come from a similar place with our moms. Thank you for sharing your story of recovery with us. You rock, too! And we are inspired!

      Blessings and gratitude to you, Anne,
      Howard

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