WOW! Marie is one year symptom free. How inspiring is that! Last year in the middle of my November to Remember, No Excuses November, 30-day challenge 2011, a comment was posted on the blog that Marie would not be accepting the 30-day challenge because she was fully recovered. Now, here we are, one year later from my November 11, 2011 post entitled, “Fighting Parkinson’s, and Marie is symptom free.” For the last year, Marie has continued posting comments to inspire and encourage all of us.
I will begin with Marie’s comment announcing her recovery, and then I have compiled her inspirational and encouraging comments over the last year to assist all of you in your recoveries.
From my November 11, 2011 post with what Marie had to say a year ago:
November 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm
I accepted an internal 30-day challenge from myself when I discovered
fightingparkinsonsdrugfree almost a year ago. And that was just the beginning. I made a promise to myself that I would do whatever was necessary and change my life in whatever ways would support recovery, if it was really possible to have my condition improve rather than degenerate. As Howard so often says, ” What did I have to lose?” I trusted Howard as my guide, and the bearer of good news that penetrated the bleakness of my fear and despair . I put my faith in my power to heal myself. The Recipe for Recovery was my lifeline. AND it is why I can happily and gratefully report to you today that the reason I am not accepting this challenge now is that I am symptom free! YES! Symptom Free!!!
Cheering you all on as you courageously overcome the disease. I am a happy example of the success of the Recipe for Recovery.
With love to you all~ Marie
Below are the posted comments of what Marie has had to say since her recovery:
November 19, 2011 at 10:35 pm
I’ve just read both of the latest posts, and all of the comments. How exciting to feel all the faith, courage and support being shared here. We are a lucky bunch! It is wonderful to read the comments and see the shifts in awareness and the victories over the disease. I never took any meds and am in awe of each of you who is defying that medical model and choosing to take yourself off the drugs and fight Parkinson’s.
You are so brave, and from what I read in your posts, it is working. You are getting better.
Because it is such a powerful component in my own recovery, I offer this :
Fully acknowledge yourself and give yourself credit for what you are doing. Love yourself for how truly brave you are
and how dedicated you are to healing yourself. Thank yourself for this precious gift you are giving yourself. Sit in that feeling and give your brain a lovely dopamine bath.
Our gracious guide, Howard, always tells us that we are doing it for ourselves, and still, I think we tend to praise everyone else for the inspiration they are providing.
Be grateful to yourself, too, for having that opening that let the inspiration move you.
For me, this has been a good tool, and I hope it may be useful. I found it very hard to do ,at first. Kind of embarrassing. And actually, it is even a little hard to write about
“What? She sits around loving herself????”
I’ll tell you, I do, every chance I get.
The gratitude I feel for my recovery is immense. Thank you’s flow in all directions…to Howard, to each of you for creating this community, to the internet which allowed me to find the website, to Chinese masters for creating those Qigong exercises, to Janice Walton-Hadlock (pdrecovery.org) for her research and for making it available to all of us for free, for all the parts and pieces that make up the Recipe for Recovery, to Dr Sha, to Qigong Empowerment…it goes on and on…all the tools I was given…all the support I found…
And along the way, I did learn to unabashedly thank myself for taking up the tools.
I do have the power to heal myself. So do you. We are so fortunate.
Sending love to each of you, Marie
With love to each of you
December 12, 2011 at 11:43 am
Very interesting about the neck. I have also been doing exercises for my neck for many
years. In my work, when I am concentrating sometimes I hunch forward, and my neck becomes tired, then tight to the point of pain if I do not take care by releasing that tension.
For those experiencing neck tension, I offer these two exercises which were given to me by my qigong teacher:
Like a Turtle
Push chin forward
Gently and slowly move chin in horizontal circle
Like a Swan
Push chin forward
Move chin down then back towards the chest then up then forward, making a verticle circle Like a ferris wheel
Each of these can be done standing or sitting. Strt w 4 repititions ,gradually build to 8.
When I started these, I heard a lot of crunching. Very loud crunching. If you try these, be sure to keep the movements very slow and gentle.
With love and best wishes, Marie
January 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm
Yeah, Laurie! Yeah, steady hands! That is a wonderful moment when after proceeding on faith suddenly there is positive change . It is working! We believe it is working even before we get that proof , but that moment when the “progressive degenerative disease” reverses is truly a joyful one. Good for you!
February 10, 2012 at 12:25 am
Thank you so much,
Howard for these reflections on the tortoise and the hare. I especially love where you say that like the tortoise pulling in six things, his head, tail and legs, we pull in six things, our five senses and our chattering mind. That made me laugh! Now I will have the image of my tortoise-self when I meditate. Really that is such a delightful idea.
From here in the happy place across the finish line, I have no wish to return to the hare life. I have learned so much. It was the hare who got sick, and though I still have some hare qualities, in practicing the Recipe for Recovery , like you say, Howard, each step was its own victory….its own tortoise victory. And for me those steps are still a victory when I do them today, celebrating my life. The Recipe for Recovery introduced me to Qigong, to JinShin Jitsu, and to meditating as a practice that I actually embraced for the first time in my life with commitment. When I made my pledge to follow the Recipe for Recovery, It was one of the few truly solemn vows of my Life. Deep in my being, I vowed to change, to really change, and to allow the steps I was taking to bring me to another way of approaching my life. Though I have not thought of it in these terms til tonight, it is true to say I decided to stop running my life as the scattered hare race it had a become, and to proceed as a tortoise. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh
February 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm
I am very excited by the news you share about the blockages that are releasing. That is fantastic news. I certainly enjoy and appreciate reading what you post here, and I am sure that many others feel the same. Each of us, with our personal experiences, are creating this wonderful community. Please do not worry that you are taking too much space! Look how
Your experience has touched others who are also experiencing more tremors. It can be such a help to realize that even when the outward appearances may not seem like healing, actually the Tortoise is still moving forward!
February 14, 2012 at 10:56 am
Dear Howard and Recovery Community,
It is my honor and joy to continue as an active member of this community. I may not check in as often as I used to, when I looked every day, but I feel such gratitude for the Recipe for Recovery , and to you, personally, my dear friend Howard, for sharing the Recipe for Recovery and inspiring me to recover. I will continue participating and cheering as more brave tortoises cross the finish line. Among the gifts I have been given in this lifetime, and they are many, the Recipe for Recovery is among the most beautiful. It is so powerful. My whole life changed. I come back to the website because I want to be part of this community, and the changing view of what Parkinson’s is. It is so exciting to be part of this.
I love you all! Happy Valentines Day.
February 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm
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!
February 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm
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.
March 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm
Happy Blog Anniversity! Two years!
Thanks you so much, Howard, for your inspiring example and your generosity in sharing your experience with all of us. I appreciate Linda’s words about understanding true healing. The Recipe for Recovery and your support provided what I needed to recover from my Parkinson’s symptoms while opening whole new areas of life for me. Symptom-free, my Qigong and meditation practices and what I have learned along this path so far are helping me to become healthier and more “wholesome” overall. I would not have embraced the important changes in my life without a huge motivation. On each level…Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, and physical….. Still learning, still growing.
…..and definitely worth it!!
Looking forward to many more anniversaries
Celebrated with a growing community
Love and best wishes, Marie
May 1, 2012 at 2:24 am
Hello Howard and friends,
Thank you, Howard, for this inspiring post. You provide so much wisdom. Your posts were so important to me as I made the journey to recovery, always coming at just the right moment with just the message I needed. You continue to light the way with brilliant posts like this one! I love checking in to read your words.
Sometimes, like tonight, the words touch me so much as they remind me of what it was like when I was just starting to follow the Recipe for Recovery and dealing with my own fears, so I would like to share a few thoughts with those who are in that struggle.
If the medical model had not been so hideously bleak and so profoundly disheartening and depressing, if that medical model had offered even a glimmer of actual recovery…..
Maybe I would not have thrown my heart and soul into the Recipe for Recovery. But as it was, Howard pointed me toward the only open door, the only alternative offered, the only hopeful path. For me, the only choice.
If my fear had not been so huge I might not have had the will power to embark on this journey and follow it through. So thanks, fear: You left me no other choice. I was fortunate to really understand that fear might push me into action, but fear could not travel this path with me; fear would block my way. I stopped doing some of the things that I knew fed my fear. I stopped keeping my detailed journal records of disease symptoms and stopped reading about Parkinson’s on the internet, except Howard’s blog and The Parkinson’s Recovery Project which were both exciting antidotes to fear, and I turned my attention to my cultivating my power to heal myself.
I followed the Recipe with a deep commitment to and belief in my healing. When fear arose, as it did, of course, I tried to tune it out, knowing it was a digression I could not afford. The adrenaline/dopamine information really made sense to me, and fit so well. I tried to turn on the dopamine faucet and move on, out of the dank domain of fear into a happier, more wholesome place. For me, focusing on heartfelt gratitude was one of the best ways to sidestep fear. Once I had a some inner space, I would tune into my power to heal myself as Howard had done. It was the only choice I had. I trusted Howard and thought, “If he has recovered from Parkinson’s, so can I. I know I can. I will………and I am ” That was tremendously empowering.
I have the Power to heal myself. I no longer have any symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
If Howard could do it, I knew I could do it, too. I have the Power to heal myself. If I could do it….you can too. You have the Power to heal yourself. You have the Recipe for Recovery. Don’t let fear stop you. Find your way over, under, around or through…but don’t let fear block your way.
With love and best wishes for your recovery,
May 22, 2012 at 6:05 pm
Pratima! What great news! Congratulations! I also cried with happiness reading your story. It is so beautiful. Bhavna and Bhavesh, congratulations to you too, for helping your mother with your loving care and laughter to reach this joyful recovery . I am overflowing with happiness for all of you, and also for what your success means to this community. Another Recovery! YES!!!
Pratima, besides what you have done for yourself with your faith in and your commitment to the Recipe for Recovery, you are providing such inspiration to those who are working towards their recovery. Thank you.
We are all celebrating with you!
With love, Marie
May 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm
Dear Howard, When I encountered you and the Recipe for Recovery, I got to have that precious moment of joy and clarity, and know that I was seeing my Well Being.
I am so grateful for that moment. And grateful to you for lighting the way and for sharing this amazing gift with me and with all of us.
Over the weekend I was away from the computer, so I just now am catching up, and have already read the next post on Pratima’s recovery! WOW!! Congratulations to you for that too, Howard. Each of heals ourself, but without you, I don’t know that we would have found the way. You have certainly made it easier by giving us the Recipe and your inspiration.
And since I missed the chance to wish Sally HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the 18th, I add my best wishes for a wonderful year. Happy Birthday, Sally!
August 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm
Dear Howard, WOW!! Having been away for awhile, I just read parts 1-4 of this remarkable discourse. The clarity and simplicity are wonderful, and a real gift to those who are following the Recipe for Recovery or are considering it.
Of course I recognized my old Parkinson’s self in a lot of what you said, especially in Part 3 about the layering of anger when things did not go your way. When my good fortune led me to your posts for the first time, it was shocking to me to take an honest look at myself and recognize how angry, critical, and even bitter I had become, even though I did a pretty good job of hiding it, definitely from other people, and also from myself. Looking back, I think my ego was attached to Parkinson’s partly because I had been doing so much caring for other people who were sick and/or dying… driving myself, exhausting myself…that I was saying “What about me? Look, I am sick too!” The disease gave me an excuse for putting myself first. How sad that I had let myself get to the point where I needed an excuse.
And how great not to be there now!
How great to have taken the time, given myself the precious gift of committing myself to the Recipe for Recovery. And to have recovered fully. How grateful I am, Howard, that you shared this with me, and go on inspiring others to heal.
Since I am cured, I also do not do the Recipe for Recovery anymore, though I did it fully and faithfully during recovery. I still get angry at times, but since I don’t have the stored load of toxicity in my body, it suffices to just acknowledge the feeling and ask my liver to let it go. Cultivating my dopamine stores, which I learned here, feels so good and helps me stay balanced in every part of my life. Likewise, I still do Qigong and meditation, both of which which I was introduced to through the Recipe for Recovery; they are part of enhancing my life.
I have moved past the disease, left it behind. I will never move past my gratitude, a treasure I hold in my heart.
Thank you, Howard, for your generosity to me and everyone else who benefits from this Website. The story of your opening your heart to other people and their suffering and really taking an interest in them is so beautiful.
You are a remarkable person!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I love you so much!! Marie
August 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm
When I was suffering, Howard taught me to say “okay” to my symptoms and my situation. Parkinson’s is in my past, but what I learned on the road to recovery is still part of my life every day, and for that I am so grateful. Even beyond Parkinson’s, there is still much benefit to be gained from the wisdom of the Recipe for Recovery . There are still so many occasions when I need to say “okay”, and move on from there.
September 17, 2012 at 11:45 pm
ah, Howard, you always put everything so beautifully. “Slowing down and navigating life more carefully”….that says so much. These changes are so small and so HUGE at the same time. Part of the miracle of it all. It is a small thing to stop in the day and say”right now, right this minute, I feel so good!” or “Look at that! It is so amazing! I am grateful to be alive to see this” Sometimes I think of my healing as a series of those moments of remembering to appreciate my life. Those moments fed and continue to feed, my soul (and my brain). For me slowing down and navigating my life more carefully means a lot of pausing for gratitude. The good and the lovely were always there, but I was in such a hurry that I rarely took the time to really take them in. It was one of the many valuable lessons I found in the Recipe for Recovery. Now I am taking my time.
And Approaching my anniversary of being symptom free!
Thank you so much, Howard, and to all of you in this wonderful community…..
Break your egg! Marie
October 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm
Howard! You absolutely ROCK! What you say is so true! My life now is so much richer. No way I’d go back to life before I developed the symptoms that let me know, undeniably, that something was really wrong. Like Angela, (and most everyone else following this, I suspect) I would not have taken the time…given myself the time…and made the commitment to change my life on such dramatic ways unless something shook me to the core. “Wake up!”, it said “there is work to be done! Deep, important work.” It was more important than anything else I was doing, and through the most amazing grace, you were there, Howard, showing me a path that I could follow. And follow I did…all the way to Recovery and a truer life. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
My love and best wishes to you and to everyone in this healing community, Marie
October 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm
Savouring the small achievements along the slow and study path is the way I made it to recovery. Like you, I found the Recipe for Recovey to be an exciting healing journey. Even though I recovered fully, the things I learned are part of my daily life today. still meditating and doing Qigong, happily. And most of all, taking the time to really feel the precious moments like the one you describe, when you can hoola hoop again! Good for you!!!!! Best wishes on your slow and steady journey.
October 31, 2012 at 10:17 pm
I remember last year when Howard issued the November 30 day challenge and I realized that I did not need to do it…..all my symptoms had gone! And they have not returned. I am happier, healthier, more balanced now than I was before I started the Recipe for Recovery, and know that the changes I made to rid myself of my symptoms gave me so much more than that! One of the biggest changes is that the free-floating anger I used to feel is gone. I am not continuously on the verge of losing my temper like I used to be and I think that is mainly because I do not allow myself to remain in stress mode for long stretches. And on the occasions when I do feel angry, now I am so aware of it. I apologize to my liver and ask it to let the feeling go, and not to be damaged by it.
So much of what seemed ” out there” to me when I first began the Recipe for Recovery, like having little chats with my brain and my organs, is now part of my everyday life, and I am so much the better for it. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by committing to yourself and accepting Howard’s challenge and offer of support. It worked for Howard, it worked for Pratima, it worked for me….and it CAN work for you. I have faith that it will. Hope to see you here in Recoveryville soon.
So, my friend, Marie, here we are a year later, and here you are, still such an active part of our recovery community with this last comment posted just over a week ago. I want everybody to know that I never have asked you to post a single comment since your recovery, but instead, that you have continued to give of yourself from your heart. I am grateful for you, Marie. With blessings, gratitude, and love, Howard.
CONGRATULATIONS, MARIE!!! ONE YEAR SYMPTOM FREE FULL RECOVERY FROM PARKINSON’S!!!
Who’s next? What are you waiting for?
You are worth it!!!
All my best,