When I wrote “Fighting Parkinson’s, and your experience in the moment,” I did not anticipate a part 2. However, after talking with people this past week, and responding to a number of email inquiries about how to “get in the correct mind-set to be able to accept what is going on in the moment,” the word “okay” kept popping up. You know, my “okay” attitude of accepting what is happening in the moment, and then doing something about it. How do you live in the experience of the moment with no fear? Accept the reality of the situation, and then take action. The acceptance and the “doing” leave no room for fear.
“Okay!” When you can look at your Parkinson’s and say, “okay,” your Parkinson’s really sees “okay” as a four-letter word. “Okay” is so powerful in this recovery, it makes your Parkinson’s afraid of you. Think about how liberating that is…your Parkinson’s afraid of you.
“Okay” is the word I have come to use to denote acceptance followed by dealing with the issue and working toward a solution. There is a certain emotional detachment that comes with “okay,” but that type of clear-headed emotional detachment is what we need to beat this disease. However, I have to admit that it was Sally who first used the “okay” strategy when we realized I had Parkinson’s.
When I first realized I had Parkinson’s and Sally and I discussed it and then cried together, she settled down and said, “Okay, we need to put a plan together and figure out what we are going to do about this.” Looking back, I know this was the most loving thing she could have done because I had to put my “poor me” away and start to work on a solution. As I went through my recovery, I learned that “okay” meant acceptance. Remember, please, that acceptance does not mean acquiescence.
For me, “okay” came to mean, “I accept the situation as it is, right here, right now. What is my solution? What am I going to do about it, right here, right now?”
I have tremors all the time…”okay.”
My legs hurt…”okay.”
My back hurts…”okay.”
I am constipated…”okay.”
I have to hold on to the railing when walking up the stairs…”okay.”
I can’t get my utensil to my mouth…”okay.”
(I think you get the point)
Each “okay” meant this: “‘Okay,’ this is what is happening right here, right now, what am I going to do about it.” As you can see, this is quite different from, “My legs hurt, this means my Parkinson’s is worsening, soon I won’t be able to walk without a walker, soon after that I will be in a wheelchair.” “Okay” is a call to action. It identifies an issue and works toward a solution. The other response is emotions. It is fear and worry and anger about the future. It causes paralysis of the spirit, which causes paralysis of the mind, which causes paralysis of the body. This is the one situation where our fear of the walker and wheelchair, and doing nothing about, will provide us the paralysis we need to end up with the walker and wheelchair…we will get what we fear. Why not say, “okay,” and then do something to provide a solution to the problem.
What if we could say, “I have Parkinson’s and this is my Parkinson’s body…’okay.’” Accepting our Parkinson’s and our Parkinson’s bodies, with all of our newly discovered physical limitations and pains is part of the process of recovery. After Sally said let’s put a plan together, I read the book, What your doctor may NOT tell you about Parkinson’s Disease, by Dr. Jill Marjama-Lyons. It covered the medication and alternative approaches to dealing with the disease.
The thing is, I did not want to “deal” with the disease and I did not want to “maintain” the best possible life with the disease. Simply put, I did not want to have the disease, which is something we all have been told is impossible. However, recovering from Parkinson’s without medications was the only alternative for me. Faced with what I felt was the only alternative for me, I got on the path toward recovery and I never got off.
From what I had learned in Dr. Marjama-Lyons’ book, it seemed to me that Parkinson’s sufferers had been medicated for such a long time that experiencing the disease from a non-medicated body would be the way for me to best understand what was going on. I decided that if I experienced Parkinson’s as it was with no medications and no supplements and no pain killers, then I would understand Parkinson’s as it was…raw and unaltered…from inside a Parkinson’s body, and that would provide me the best opportunity to solve it and recover.
We need a lot of faith to take an “okay” attitude toward our Parkinson’s. It is the type of faith that says, “I know I will recover and I am getting on my path and I am not getting off until I recover.”
You are so much more than your Parkinson’s symptoms! Do not live your Parkinson’s symptoms. Nothing good comes from that. Live your life. Do not just be alive, but actually live your life and find joy in your heart!
Find compassion and happiness and love and peace and contentment and gratitude in your heart. Find forgiveness in your heart…for others…and for yourself. You did not do anything wrong to get Parkinson’s, so forgive yourself! That’s right, open your heart and find the forgiveness you need to realize that Parkinson’s is providing you the opportunity to heal yourself — your soul and your mind and your body.
Seize the opportunity to recover!
So, you have Parkinson’s…”okay!” What are you going to do about it, right here, right now? Why not say, “okay,” grab onto the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery™, get on your path to recovery, and stay on your path to recovery until you fully recover.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
Note: My next workshop is six days away on March 9th in Victoria BC, Canada. For more information and registration, go to my Workshops Page. Looking forward to seeing you there!
A call to action….to live life….and even Better than before. What a strong message. And timely, as always
Okay, Howard…. okay, okay…. okay already!….. kidding aside, I can always use another reminder…. consistency, commitment and inner trust (faith) are key for me…. Really looking forward to seeing you in Victoria!
we love you howard- okay
This ‘Okay as a call to action’ feels deeply powerful. It seems to me that what you are saying is:
1) Surrender to whatever happens. So restful. Completely stress-free. Creates great spaciousness.
2) Out of that spaciousness grace arises. Luminous peace of complete acceptance. Free from any judgments.
3) Out of that non-judging acceptance, that luminous emptiness, wisdom arises and we are intuitively drawn to our next healing action.
Thank you, Howard, for your great gifts of kindness and insight, bringing such light.
YES, YES, YES. For me, learning to say “Okay,” gave me the ability to experience the moment as you say, Howard. “Okay” gave me a space to be exactly where I was, and be solid enough in that spot to move on from there. “Okay” was digging my heals in and getting my balance, preparing to take the first step towards getting to work and moving forward…even sometimes moving backward….from that solid place.
Before then, I was in a frantic state…like a balloon zigzagging randomly around in space as the air goes out of it
Your words and your example are such a gift to us all, Howard!
Howard……Thanks for always being there for us with wonderful food for thought and a shot in the arm to press forward and never give up!
Thank you once again Howard. I love you n what you say to keep us inspired and on track ok I keep on a new day every day to live
Oh, how instructive your words are, Howard, when I focus in on the words that jump off the page to me. Thank you!
You say: Accept, but do not acquiesce. “Okay” is followed by action!
Identify the issue and work on the solution.
I have been responding with emotion these past few days, and yes, the result is fear, worry and paralysis (of the spirit, mind and body)!
I do get what I fear.
You tell me to say, “I have Parkinson’s and this is my Parkinson’s body…’okay.’”
and this attitude is part of the process of recovery.
You say nothing good comes from living my Parkinson’s symptoms. Amen to that!
I believe it is true that Parkinson’s is providing me the opportunity to heal myself — my soul, mind and body. And so I must seize the opportunity to recover!
Thus, I have condensed your message to the parts I wish to remember well.
And thank you to Marie for giving me: ““Okay” was digging my heals in and getting my balance, preparing to take the first step towards getting to work and moving forward…even sometimes moving backward….from that solid place. Before then, I was in a frantic state…like a balloon zigzagging randomly around in space as the air goes out of it”
What a great word picture of how I feel sometimes – off balance and like a leaky balloon being let go. I am now digging my heels in (again) and getting my balance.
Okay! Today is the next step towards my recovery.
Thank you all, each and every one of you. Your insights are profound, and I am certain many people will be inspired by your comments. All of us appreciate you taking the time out of your Parkinson’s recoveries and your lives to share your stories and provide hope for the world.
With gratitude and love,
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