I intend to take each part of the Recipe, physical, mental, and spiritual, and explain why it is in the Recipe and what it is doing for you in your recovery, deeply drilling down to the how and why it is helping you recover from Parkinson’s. Today is the thirteenth part: reconnecting with the soul and opening the heart for dopamine flow.
For those of you new to the blog, when I say “the Recipe,” I am talking about the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®. Click here to review the full version of the Recipe.
I began my recovery journey with faith in my full recovery. I considered this to be the beginning of healing my soul, which really was a reconnecting with my soul, or the essence of my being; reconnecting, that is, with the essence of who I was before I started making changes to the essence of my being. I feel we are born with a purity and innocence that we adjust and change and lose somewhere in life, and it is the return to that beginning, the re-connection with that beginning, that re-purifies us and helps up re-connect with our soul. Parkinson’s is toxic, and it is the Recipe’s re-purification of the body, re-purification of the mind, and re-connection with the purity of the soul that purifies us entirely…and then there is no Parkinson’s…it only can reside in a toxic environment…it has to leave. And we are liberated!
Your body is an accumulation of food and drink, etc. over the course of your life. Your body has Parkinson’s symptoms. You are not that body. Your body is an accumulation of thoughts and ideas and emotions and fears, etc. over the course of your life. Your mind has Parkinson’s negative emotions and fears. You are not that mind. Your soul, the essence of who you are, remains pure. However, as a result of being so focused in life on what is going on with your body and with your mind, you make adjustments to the pure and innocent essence of your beginning, and your soul gets buried deep inside you.
But It is there, and always has been with you. And It remains pure and untouched by Parkinson’s. So, whatever is your belief system, the Recipe healing of the soul can work for you. It does not matter if you believe in a soul or essence. It does not matter if you believe in a Higher Power or God, or Greater Consciousness or that we are just here in this world — there is something inside every one of you — that something deep inside that when you have faced insurmountable odds in life, you have reached down deep inside and felt that something, and you have defied all logic, and accomplished whatever it was that nobody thought was possible.
Trust. You trusted in yourself. And you had faith that you would do whatever needed to get done. And you dug down deep and found whatever It was inside you to give you the ability to reach the end.
It is that spark inside you. That spark you used to go to when you needed a boost of energy or a smile on your face in hard times or that sense that there was a greater purpose in why you are here. Some people call that spark soul; some call It essence; some call It a part of God or the Higher Power or the Divine; some call It part of the Greater Consciousness; some call It an electrical charge. It does not matter what you call It, It is there, and you need to re-connect to It and know It will help you in your recovery. It is the basis of faith.
In the previous two posts, I wrote about calming the mind. Two important components of calming the mind, acceptance and getting out of the fear-based Adrenaline-mode mind, have a basis in faith.
Faith and Acceptance. Here is a level of acceptance that requires a strong amount of faith in the importance of your existence: “I accept that everything that has happened in my life right up until now has had to happen exactly how it happened for me to be where I am right now.” Say this with me: “I accept that everything that has happened in my life right up until now has had to happen exactly how it happened for me to be where I am right now.”
What makes each and every one of you special is not your achievements or degrees or performance. What makes you special is that you exist. You exist as a human being. Let that soak in. Okay, now say it, “I am special just in the fact that I exist.”
So, everything that has happened in your life right up until this moment was part of your existence. If you extract judgment of yourself from your mind, then you can accept that everything in the past had a purpose whether you understand it or like it…it is in the past…just accept that it had to happen exactly how it happened and you never have to look back and judge yourself again. This is an important part of freeing your mind and liberating your life.
The past is exactly that: THE PAST! Let it go and you let go of self-judgment, self-criticism, self-loathing over what should have, would have, could have been.
Say this again with me: “I accept that everything that has happened in my life right up until now has had to happen exactly how it happened for me to be where I am right now.”
To assist you with achieving this level of acceptance, think of someone or something that exists right now for which you are grateful. If there are things in the past that you do not wish to accept had to happen exactly how they happened, how do you know that the changing of one thing to negate those things would not have had the result of setting off a course of action that the “someone or something for which you are grateful” ceases to exist in your life right now.
Accept the past without judgment of yourself. If you woke up each day without a memory of the past, you would be prepared to accept the day as it rolled out in front of you. There would be no judgment of “now” compared to “the past” because the past would cease to exist. There would be no “my symptoms seem worse today than yesterday.” There would be no “I should have done it this way instead of that way.” There would be no self-judgment, self-criticism, self-loathing over what should have, would have, could have been because the past would not exist.
Acceptance that the past had to happen exactly how it happened closes the door to the past and puts you a step closer to being in the moment. This level of acceptance requires a large amount of faith. This is the faith that says, “I am special just in my existence. Everything has happened just as it needed to happen in my life journey.”
Faith and Fear. Acceptance closes the door to the past. Letting go of fear closes the imaginary future.
Here is a quote from the movie After Earth: “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story and that day mine changed.”
In yesterday’s post, I wrote about the Adrenaline-mode mind. It is fear based, fear driven, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear…and FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real). Or, as stated in the quote above, fear “is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist.”
So, how do you get rid of fear? Here is what I did (from the Recipe):
“Fear and negative thoughts are a constant battle with the disease. Although I had a very positive attitude that some day I would recover, fighting the disease mentally and spiritual was a daily war. I learned that God was in a much better position to handle my fears and negative thoughts and that I needed to give them away so I could stay focused on my recovery.
I meditated on this and adopted the following prayer for when I felt negative thoughts or fears coming into the forefront of my thoughts: “Dear God, I have this fear and I do not have time for it to bring me down. I need to stay focused on positive thoughts. You are in a much better position than me to deal with negative thoughts and fears, so I am giving you this negative thought and fear and thank you for taking care of it for me.” The first day I did this, it must have been 100 times I repeated this phrase. After four or five days, the negative thoughts and fears diminished, and then they went away.”
Click here for another way of ridding yourself of fear.
Faith says, “I have nothing to fear in this life. Fear is a creation of my mind…losing my mind and coming to my senses loses my fear…it existed only in my mind. My heart feels faith.”
Faith and Acceptance. Close the door to the past.
Faith and Fear. Close the door to the future.
Faith and Joy. Living your life in the present moment from your heart.
Faith and Joy. Opening my heart for cultivating positive emotions was the key to opening my dopamine faucet and finishing my recovery. Here is how I did it.
I realized that in my wanting to be liked and loved and accepted by others, I had been achieving my “happiness” in the form of feedback from accomplishments. This self-perpetuated into the adrenaline driven behavior that helped me get Parkinson’s — always thinking of the next scenario, or juggling act, to keep the “I can do anything to keep other people happy so they will give me positive feedback and keep me happy” balls in the air. Quite frankly, I had to admit to myself how lost I was in who I was anymore. And, I had to know why did I not like me?
I would like to say because of Parkinson’s, but that is not accurate. I did not like me before Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s only gave me a new excuse. I needed to get to the root of the problem, so I decided to explore the things in life that gave me a feeling that I did not deserve, or was not worthy, of good things happening to me, including Parkinson’s recovery. Essentially, I looked back at my life to see if there were times when things were said or done that made me feel bad about myself.
I do not know much about the subconscious, but it was my understanding that if I felt bad about myself and left those feelings unresolved, they could grow over time into a subconscious feeling of being undeserving or unworthy of my final recovery. I found some times where things were said and the net result was that I did not feel good about myself, and I worked them through and gave them finality. I did feel better about myself after having accomplished this. (More on this in the next two days).
With this potential blockage out of the way, I was open to the realization that we all are connected at some level and the best way I could start to open my heart and cultivate from the inside the positive emotions of happiness and joy and compassion and gratitude was to share these with other people. However, this was much different than the “doing things for others so they would give me feedback so I could be happy” scenario that helped me get Parkinson’s…this was very much different.
This came from the realization that there was a substantial likelihood that every person I came in contact with was suffering at some level…physically, mentally, and/or spiritually. I sensed that if I could assist people in feeling a little better about their own level of suffering, my suffering would become less because it would open my heart and my dopamine would flow better. It would bring me closer to God and closer to re-connecting with the It inside me. So, I did what many of us do not want to do — I found a place with people and talked to them…really talked to them…introduced myself with a big smile and sincerely asked them how they were doing. And, people were responsive, and my heart opened from the absolute joy of helping other human beings feel a little better about their situations in life.
They knew they were not alone because this stranger actually seemed genuinely concerned with how they were doing and was compassionate over their situation. It was amazing. I started easy — talking to the cashiers and baggers at the grocery store. But it made me feel so good to see the smiles light up on people’s faces, I started talking to anybody I could. Yes, some people looked at me with questioning eyes and walked the other way, but most people warmed up to the idea of having a chat.
It was my realization that we all are connected in this life, but that we spend so much time disconnecting ourselves from the other people. In re-connecting with other people and helping them feel a little better about their lives, I began to re-connect with my soul, the essence of who I was, and it felt great! And my dopamine began to flow. One day when I wasn’t paying attention, I walked down the stairs and back up without holding on for the first time in 8 months. On another day, I was pushing a shopping cart and it felt like it suddenly got turbo-charged and we flew down the aisle — I had not walked like that in 8 months.
These things were one-time events, but they were real and they signified the blessings of a full recovery on the way. So I kept up with the full Recipe, and on June 9, 2010, I had a large change for the good in my symptoms, and I was excited. A couple of days later, I was staring at what I had written on my blog about my recent partial symptoms relief, and I noticed that I had written this: “I am not out of the woods with fighting Parkinson’s. It will be a life-long battle, but I am making progress. On a sliding scale, I am on the plus side, beyond the 50% mark, between Parkinson’s and not-Parkinson’s.”
And then it hit me…in staring at these words, I asked myself, “Where is the guy who knows he will be fully recovering from Parkinson’s? How is he now the guy describing his Parkinson’s as a life-long battle?” And it came to me — many people had been so negative and so disbelieving of my fighting Parkinson’s without medications, that I had fallen back into my old “safe-place” habit when faced with potential disapproval…I had become willing to keep Parkinson’s to my detriment just to make other people happy because if they were already negative toward me just with what I was doing in my treatment, how would they act toward me when I fully recovered.
And in that realization, I knew what I had to do. Put me first in my recovery and not care what other people thought, what they would say, whether they would like me or love me or accept me…it would not matter because I would be the happiest guy in the world, from the inside, because I no longer would have Parkinson’s Disease. I announced it to Sally at breakfast on June 11, 2010, like this: First I told her I know what I need to do to complete my recovery and what I was about to tell her might sound like the most selfish thing ever to come out of my mouth, but it was not selfish, and then I said, “There is no person on this planet worth me continuing to have Parkinson’s Disease just to make them happy.”
That night, when Sally came to do the Governing Vessel Acupressure as she had every night for nine months, I told her things were okay and it would not be necessary. If you scroll down to the bottom of the Recipe, you will find the following, which was done at the end of my usual meditations and prayers before going to sleep on June 11, 2010:
“Near the end, I added the following one night before going to bed: “Dear God, I surrender my ego to you. I surrender my attachment to my Parkinson’s Disease to you. I am not afraid anymore. I no longer fear Parkinson’s. I no longer fear the scorn I may face by being cured from a disease the experts say there is no cure. I no longer fear the people who may say I was misdiagnosed or that I faked having the disease. I am surrendering my ego to you, that part of me that felt I needed to remain attached to Parkinson’s because the experts say once you have Parkinson’s you always have Parkinson’s. I am forgetting about my old self (Parkinson’s) and stepping into my new self (No Parkinson’s).” I awoke the following morning with my remaining symptoms gone.”
That was four and one-half years ago. I have not been doing the Recipe, and I remain symptom free. I am cured. It was in my moment of realization at the end that I was able to connect my soul, my essence, my inner spark, to God, the Higher Power, the Universe, the Greater Consciousness, the healing electricity flowing around us and through us, and feel that I was a part of everything just as I was when my soul and my heart and my essence first were inside me. And my old-self Parkinson’s was no longer there…just I remained…symptom free, fully recovered, cured.
The Recipe helps you reconnect with the soul and open your dopamine faucet for full dopamine flow and finalization of full recovery because in order to even embark on this journey, at some level, you have to believe in yourself, you have to believe in “I have the power to heal myself.” And where did that belief come from? Your soul…your essence…that old-reliable spark deep inside you that helped you believe in yourself in the past to do the things others thought could not be accomplished…I do not care what you call It, but whether you have recognized It or not until now, the only way you could have jumped into this Recipe with both feet in the face of what others say is impossible was to have re-connected with It, that something deep inside you that said, “Yes, I can do this. I will recover!”
And you have not let go of It. Now, it is time for you to explore within yourself what may be holding you back from your full recovery. If you do not feel like you are deserving or worthy of this recovery, then you need to explore why, and get it resolved. The next two posts will assist you with this part of the journey.
It starts with faith, and It ends with faith. Faith is a choice, and it is the choice that leads you on your path with the Recipe toward your recovery from Parkinson’s.
Faith and Acceptance. Close the door to the past.
Faith and Fear. Close the door to the future.
Faith and Joy. Living your life in the present moment from your heart.
You are worth it!!!
I will be back soon.
All my best,