Fighting Parkinson’s, and doing what you can do

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been discussing with people in coaching sessions about a renewed focus. My experience with Parkinson’s was that as my body was ready to be recovered, it was equally important for my mind and spirit to allow the recovery. I needed to release my mind from thinking about what I could not do anymore, and I needed to open my heart to get the dopamine flowing so my pre-Parkinson’s movement could return. I have told people to do what they can do, give thanks and gratitude for the ability to do those things, and to not dwell on what they cannot do.

Some of you are having difficulty envisioning your recovery because you are looking at your current physical state and reviewing your mental list of all the things you cannot do as a result of your Parkinson’s. If you maintain that state of mind, even with healing yourself from deep inside, your mind will not release your body to move and your heart will not open to allow your dopamine to flow to support your movement — your self-fulfilling prophecy becomes “what you cannot do.”

You need to change your focus.

You need to do all of the things that you physically can do, and in each moment of doing, give thanks and gratitude for the ability to do those things. You will be surprised when you release your mind and open your heart how many things on the “what you cannot do” list become things you find yourself doing without even thinking about them. A calm mind with and attitude of gratitude goes a long way in your recovery.

At the conclusion of this discussion on a coaching Skype yesterday, the person told me she was going to send me a video of an individual who embodied the concept of doing what you can do and not looking at what you think you cannot do. I am so inspired, I feel compelled to share it with you:

Please take some inspiration from Richie Parker. Do the things you can do and give thanks and gratitude for the ability to do them. And, do not dwell on your list of what you cannot do. It only serves to interfere with your recovery.

You can DO this.

You are worth it!!!

All my best,



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27 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and doing what you can do

  1. Angela DiNardo says:

    Coming at the right time and moment. You betcha, we can do it . Better yet . We can be it for we are it!

    Thank you’s galore..

  2. Sally says:

    Amazing video!
    Thank you Howard for your constant support.

  3. deirdre says:

    thank you for sharing this fantastic video! Inspirational!

  4. judy says:

    Remarkable!….Inspiring and humbling….

  5. Beverly Bowers says:

    Quite timely and inspirational as always!

  6. Monica McIntyre says:

    Thank goodness for your site Howard ! I’ve been relaxing my desires to just be happy with what I can do but when I saw Ritchies video it put more meaning to it. I posted your thoughts that went along with the video on my blog. Hope you don’t mind. On a side note I just saw my neurologist after one full year and she wrote down in her summary that patient is doing very well and symptoms have improved. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw it in writing. Even though, she still wanted to add some more meds so she said we don’t want to get behind and have to play catch up. I took this to mean she was telling me I’d get worse. It doesn’t bug me because that’s probably what she’s experienced. Anyway, keep up the inspirations. I love them.

    • Teri says:

      Congratulations! So glad to hear that you are improving! It’s inspiring to us all!

      • Marie says:

        “Symptoms have improved”…just what the medical establishment believes does not happen! Congratulations, Monica!!!! Also congratulations on your great attitude towards the neurologist. Accepting that she can have her interpretation of things based on her own experience is as positive way for you to allow her to have her view without letting that disempower you. after all, her experience up to now has not included you.
        She will be the one who will be falling off her chair as you continue to improve to full recovery!!!

  7. Teri says:

    This came at the perfect time to change my perspective. Thank you so much!

  8. Laurie Diaz says:

    What an inspiration! Thank you so much! Laurie

  9. Melanie says:

    Thanks Howard, I needed that so badly as you well know! I know we’ve talked recently about focusing on the wrong thing but the video clip about Richie really brought it home. I’ve worked for the past 30 years with people with disabilities as a Rehabilitation Counselor and I encountered all types of situations and limitations and though I had to focus on the individuals strengths in order to help them, I never related it to my own situation! Thanks again for bringing it home!

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  11. meredith says:

    Howard – That is a truly amazing, inspirational video, and also comes for me at an important juncture. Thanks so much for being out there for all us when we need a little “boost”

  12. Bhavna shah says:

    Howard, this is awesome. thanks .

  13. Pat in FL says:

    As a person thinks in his heart, so is he. That’s why it is so important to take every thought captive. Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (from Philippians 4:8)
    The battle for the mind is so important, and must be fought daily. I am grateful to you, Howard, for this beautiful exhortation and inspirational video. I think you did a particularly good job of explaining the connection between our thoughts and our bodies’ recovery. I believe the mind is where I am fighting the fiercest part of my battle.

  14. Jon Patch says:

    Wonderful reminder, Howard. I feel gratitude today for many things. Here’s something I wrote on the subject:

  15. Marie says:

    “Do the things you can do and give thanks and gratitude for the ability to do them.”
    The strength of Richie’s spirit and how that, rather than disability, has shaped his life is a beautiful example.
    Using what I learned on this website to heal myself from Parkinson’s has been one of the most wondrous and empowering experiences of my life. I have learned so much about living a healthy balanced life and I continue to learn and to be inspired.
    Thanks for posting this, Howard, and thanks to the person who introduced you to this video which you have shared with us.

  16. Christine says:

    Beautiful video! Thanks Jon for sharing your poem.

  17. Kay Disbrow says:


  18. joseph mceleavy says:

    I sat here with tears running down my face, loving Mister Richie Parker for the inspiration to minimize my symptoms and accept my ability to do everything I can do! I thought it significant that his name reflects an attitude of abundance and a more grateful state of mind. I am a Richer Parkie for having been made aware of him. When I signed up for coaching, “Fridays with Howard”, I knew I was going to get well sooner because of it. And I will…
    Thanks again Howard.

  19. Bev says:

    There’s a lot of progress being made toward recovery in our community this week! Yay! I wonder if Ritchie and his parents have any clue what inspirations they ALL are!!


  20. Thank you so much! Lili

  21. Dipti says:

    Simply awesome. An attitude that we could all benefit from. I know it is making a big difference to me. Thanks Bhai again for your continuing support and inspiration.

  22. Pingback: Fighting Parkinson’s, and taking control of your life | Fighting Parkinson's Drug Free

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