Parkinson’s is a symptom that life has gotten out of balance, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Many people are consumed with “why did I get this?” and “how bad will my future be?” When you are consumed with looking backwards with self-judgment and self-criticism, and you are consumed with looking forward in fear, you completely lose sight of the only thing that is real…this moment.
Parkinson’s…the symptom reflecting a life out of balance. Physically, you are off balance. You move slowly and cautiously, often looking down instead of forward. What does that do? It puts your body in a posture that makes it virtually impossible to walk balanced. Your neck is bent, your spine is bent, the fluid in your semicircular canals is moved, and your visual frame of reference (important for balance) is your legs or the floor, and you acquire what is often referred to as a Parkinson’s gait.
Mentally, you then become off balance because you are afraid of falling or freezing, and you are afraid of the future with Parkinson’s. This is right where Parkinson’s wants you…not living in the moment, but instead living in the past with self-judgment and self-criticism (getting Parkinson’s) and being fearful of the future (life with long-term Parkinson’s).
Spiritually, you give up hope that you ever will get better. At that point Parkinson’s is winning.
Essentially, when you stare at your legs and feel unbalanced, you are looking at the past. When you feel unbalanced, you fear the future. How can you move forward in life in a balanced manner if you are staring backwards and it makes you fearful of where you are going? Faith. And what goes hand-in-hand with faith? Acceptance and surrender in the moment.
You are walking along and suddenly you freeze. The only thing happening, actually happening in that moment, is that you are standing there frozen. That’s it.
Let’s look at what people have reported to me happens when they freeze.
1. Why did this happen?
2. What did I do wrong in life to deserve this?
3. I think people are staring at me?
4. My Parkinson’s must be getting worse.
5. I am never going to be able to move from this spot.
6. How soon will I need a walker?
7. How soon will I be in a wheelchair?
8. I cannot see myself ever getting better.
Okay! This is the short list, but I would imagine you get the point.
Now, let’s examine what really is happening here.
You freeze. This is what is happening in the moment.
1. Why did this happen? This your mind looking backwards towards the past.
2. What did I do wrong in life to deserve this? This your mind looking backwards towards the past.
3. I think people are staring at me? This your mind assuming what people are thinking.
4. My Parkinson’s must be getting worse. This your mind telling you somebody else’s gloom and doom story.
5. I am never going to be able to move from this spot. This your mind looking at the future with fear.
6. How soon will I need a walker? This your mind looking at the future with fear.
7. How soon will I be in a wheelchair? This your mind looking at the future with fear.
8. I cannot see myself ever getting better. This your mind looking at the future with fear and putting a load of toxicity on your soul…enough toxicity to make you start to lose faith.
Okay! As you can see, the only thing actually happening in that moment is that you froze. All the rest comes from your mind, and it takes you out of the moment. Now let’s see what a healthy dose of acceptance and surrender in the moment can do for you.
You freeze. Response: “I am frozen. Okay, what am I going to do about this?”
1. Receive a few deep breaths to relax. This keeps you in the moment.
2. Tell yourself, “I was walking fine right before I froze, so I will be okay.” This keeps you in the moment.
3. Tell your legs, “Legs, I know that you know how to walk, so let’s just take a step. Thank you.” This keeps you in the moment.
4. Tell yourself, “I am doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®, so I know I am getting better.” This keeps you in the moment.
5. Tell yourself, “I am recovery, so this is just something that is necessary for my recovery.” This keeps you in the moment.
6. Tell yourself, “It does not matter why I have Parkinson’s. I know I am getting better.” This keeps you in the moment.
7. Tell yourself, “It does not matter why I am frozen. I know I will be walking again soon.” This keeps you in the moment.
8. Tell yourself, “Nobody owes me an explanation why this is happening. I know I am getting better.” This keeps you in the moment.
This type of acceptance and surrender keeps you in the moment. It makes the announcement, “If something is happening in my life, I accept that it is there, and if I do not like it, I will put together a solution. Nobody owes me an explanation as to why it is there, so I will face life and deal with it as it roles out in front of me.”
Having this approach gives you control of your mind and lands your safely in your heart and soul.
In the freezing scenario above, look at what is really happening:
1. You are walking along fine. At that point, your mind is not in the past with self-judgment and self-criticism (how did I get Parkinson’s) and it is not in the future with fear (life with long-term Parkinson’s).
2. Intervening factor: You freeze.
3. You mind jumps in with gloom and doom or your heart and soul jump in with acceptance and surrender.
4. That’s it. It becomes a choice to go to the past and future in your mind or to stay in the moment in your heart and soul.
When your mind jumps in with gloom and doom, it takes you into the past and scares you about the future; you stay frozen with fear. When your heart and soul jump in with acceptance and surrender, your faith flows, and so does your walking; you just ease into the next next step and off you go like nothing happened.
I have provided one scenario here to give an example of how to use acceptance and surrender to stay in the moment. This process can be used throughout your recovery. Plus, if you are giving gratitude when the good tings are happening in life, your dopamine will flow better and your symptoms will not bother you as much.
Acceptance, surrender, and being in the moment takes practice. It is not the way most of you have been taught, and the looking back to the past and looking forward to the future in fear has become a habit. You are worth taking the time to replace the old habit with your new, healthy habit of acceptance, surrender, and being in the moment.
I know you can do this!
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
Very timely Howard! I’ve been getting stuck with thinking thinking and more thinking. So much so that my life’s purpose seems to be all about fighting the condition. I became aware this morning that I have to surrender and let go otherwise I’m going around in circles!
I suppose our brains are wired to search for the “why” of everything that happens to us, especially unpleasant things, so we can “find the root of the problem” in case it is something we are unconsciously doing that is bringing it on. The brain thinks if we figure out why something happened, we can avoid causing ourselves unpleasantness in the future. That’s just how the human brain works, through thousands of years of developmental history. It’s wired for survival in the now. Sometimes its survival mode ends up damaging our capacity to relax and unfold into the future. One suggestion: when you freeze, sink and stabilize, even if someone is there to hold onto, think of sinking into your center and stabilizing yourself. Then, move what you CAN. Your eyes. Your shoulders. Feel how your breathe moves the inside of your body. Let it move you more and more and imagine the breathe is so warm it is melting any rigidness anywhere in your body.
Nice description Singingway!
Very timely. Just good, practical, unconventional solutions.
Great Post! I woke up this morning feeling loose and quick, my wife called me “Speedy Gonzalez.” I’ve been having more stiffness and slowness, the only thing I did different this morning was my nerves were calm and I wasn’t thinking about it. You’re spot on Howard, thank you!!!
Hi Howard, great post and as Waseema said very timely. I have to say meds are giving me more side effects than help. After my afternoon nap I do The Recipe. I call it God’s time of my day as meds aren’t involved. I’m challenged BUT in acceptance and patient mode and it’s starting to become the most productive part of my day. I also use “okay” a lot. 🙂 Big Love to All.
As the book title says, “Be Here Now.”
Very helpful in avoiding attitude traps.
Thank you, Howard.
Cualquier pensamiento o sentimiento negativo desincroniza el sistema de energía de la acupuntura del cuerpo, que es más sensible que el sistema nervioso central y mucho más rápido que el sistema nervioso simpático autónomo.
El sistema de energía de la acupuntura del cuerpo, a través de los doce meridianos principales del cuerpo, responde instantáneamente a todo lo que es negativo. provocando debilidad muscular, dilatacion de las pupilas y otros sintomas. La debilidad muscular y la dilatación de la pupila representan la desincronización de los hemisferios cerebrales y un debilitamiento instantáneo del campo de energía del cuerpo. También indica algo que es perjudicial para la vida.
Any negative thought or feeling desynchronizes the body’s acupuncture energy system, which is more sensitive than the central nervous system and much faster than the autonomic sympathetic nervous system.
The body’s acupuncture energy system, through the twelve major meridians of the body, instantly responds to everything that is negative. Causing muscle weakness, dilation of the pupils and other symptoms. Muscular weakness and dilation of the pupil represent the desynchronization of the cerebral hemispheres and an instantaneous weakening of the energy field of the body. It also indicates something that is harmful to life.
I agree “Acceptance, surrender, and being in the moment takes practice.” I’m having more and more wonderful moments.
My wife said this dis-ease has changed me for the good and I agree. I’m a much better person.
I actually love me, about 80% of the time, use to be 0 %.
Richest blessings to all
Hi Howard being frozen is being fearful. Fear is an enemy, but GOD said do not be afraid for I AM with you. Much grateful to you Howard.
Thank you Howard. I let go of the past and enjoy the moment! Xx
Thank you Howard. Very helpful. Sometimes the simplest answers are sufficient to bring about change. Don’t look down but on the path ahead!!!
Love and blessings
Thank you Howard for reminding us that present moment is only real moment there is.
Thank you Howard for a wonderful example… we all face this every moment… I trust you and trust this life… here I go… acceptance and surrender consciously in each moment… 😊😊
I find that when I freeze, which is often, if I can relax enough to lift my sternum, bring my shoulders down, and rock from side to side, I can take off. This generally takes less than 10 seconds.
Howard, you are right that fear is the big enemy. Trust and faith, surrender and acceptance — thank you for repeating this to us over and over. And for giving us a realistic hope.
Wonderful lovely helpful post.. I see the same idea can be applied to all symptoms. Thank you xxx
Thank you, Howard! This message is timely and most needed!
Hugs and healing to all.
I find if I freeze I transfer my weight to one foot and step forward or to the side with the other. Works every time.
Love Veronica 🌱🌺
My wife posed a profound question to me this morning – “If you had your life to live over again and had to experience all the bad stuff along with the good stuff, would you do it”