Fighting Parkinson’s, and having a strong foundation

Over the last week, quite a few times I have been faced with somebody saying, “I am not sure I am doing enough of the Recipe.” As I responded to each person, I referenced a previous post. Today, I will reference it as a reminder for all of you as well.

Doing. Taking action to lay a strong foundation in your recovery is what it takes. In Not Always So, Suzuki states, “To be completely concentrated on what you do, that is simplicity. And the beauty of practice is that it can be extended endlessly. You cannot say our way is quite easy or that it is very difficult. It is not difficult at all. Everyone can do it, but to continue it is rather difficult. Don’t you think so?”

Applying Suzuki’s wisdom to the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®, it looks like this: “To be completely concentrated on what you do, that is simplicity. And the beauty of practice is that it can be extended endlessly. You cannot say that the Recipe is quite easy or that it is very difficult. It is not difficult at all. Everyone can do it, but to continue it is rather difficult. Don’t you think so?”

Doing. Taking action to lay a strong foundation in your recovery is what it takes.

Even if you do not have the time or energy to do the entire Recipe each day, do some of the Recipe each day with gratitude for what you can do and without self-judgment or self-criticism for not doing all of it. This will help you lay a strong foundation. Here is an example:

A single sheet of copy paper is seemingly weightless with very little form or substance. If each day you put one single sheet of copy paper on top of the sheet from the day before, in 500 days, you have a ream of paper with a weight of 5 pounds. In 5,000 days, you have a case of ten reams of paper with a weight of 50 pounds.

But wait, how did you get from a flimsy sheet of copy paper to a case of paper weighing 50 pounds? Doing! Taking action each day by doing something as simple as putting one more flimsy sheet of paper on top of the piece of paper from the day before. The hard part is placing the sheet of paper on top of the one from the day before. The hard part is doing this every day with faith that in the end you will have your 50 pound case of copy paper.

Looking at the Recipe, do what you can to lay your strong foundation, and do it every day. Here is a simple suggestion:
The soul: Gratitude. Action. Write down three things for which you are grateful. Do this every day.
The mind. Calm the mind. Action. Sit zazen (or meditation of choice) for at least 5 minutes. Do this every day.
The body. Physical part of the Recipe. Action. Do at least one of the physical parts of the Recipe in its entirety or for at least five minutes. Do this every day.

If you can do more than this, then do it. If this is all you can do, then do it. Whatever part or parts of the Recipe you are doing, taking action to lay your strong foundation means doing it every day.

I have been asked in the past, “Did you really do the Recipe every day?” My response has been simple and consistent, “I don’t know about your Parkinson’s, but my Parkinson’s did not take a day off, so I did not take a day off.” However, I also stopped doing the physical part of the Recipe the day of my full recovery and have not done it since. The mind and soul parts became part of how I live my life.

What are you doing, right here, right now? How about taking action and laying a strong foundation for your recovery!

You are worth it!!!

All my best,

Howard

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8 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and having a strong foundation

  1. Lohren Christie says:

    Your comments relieved some stress for me because I tend to beat myself up for not doing all of the exercises! There is that critical parent voice in my head! I will bless it and let it go. Thanks Howard for the reminder – you are on my gratitude list.

    Love and blessings to everyone.

    Lohren

    • Howard says:

      Hi Lohren,

      Thank you for your comment and kind words. I feel that you hit the nail on the head of one of the biggest things that makes this recovery difficult:

      “There is that critical parent voice in my head!” As you say, “bless it and let it go.”

      Please know that our self-judgments and self-criticisms are somebody else’s words that we repeat against ourselves. They are not our judgments and criticisms, so we can put them down and walk away.

      Love and blessings,
      Howard

  2. Jan - UK says:

    I’m quite new to the “Recipe” and am lucky that I have the freedom to factor it in to my daily routine .. the wisdom in the book has helped me not to be too despairing when I get more shakes after a session .. i am beginning to see them as escaping “liver wind” and the jealous breath of PD trying to set of my adrenaline mind. Faith , really deep true faith, is more elusive .. so day by day I will knock on heavens door until I get asked to step inside . To be PD free must be like heaven .. now that’s some incentive to do the “Recipe” . Health, love and laughter .. Jan in the UK

  3. Rita Detweiler says:

    Thank you, Howard, for this reminder. Your example of doing the Recipe for 2 1/2 hours every day, if I remember that correctly, is really inspiring and can also lead one to be discouraged if they are not doing that much.

    We know that building a habit is only comes by doing it every day. I’m making that a goal with my daily walk. If I miss it in the morning, I commit to doing it in the evening. My goal is never to miss a day. Even five minutes is better than missing it completely.

    A friend’s husband had some very bad falls when he was younger, and he was a large man. The doctor gave him some exercises to prevent them, and according to my friend, he never missed them. She said that no matter how late it was at night, he would do them, and as a result he didn’t experience any falls after that. I always remember that when I am tempted to skip something I consider important :).

    Here’s to all of us – keep on keeping on until the goal is achieved!

  4. Tery and Werni Brun says:

    The steady going on which is the difficult part! You as the best example won, so let‘s start👍Your reminder and great support full of wisdom we appreciate very much! It seems so simple but to do it every day is hard work!Thanks for your patient, love and kindness, dear Howard!

  5. Johnny Woodruff says:

    We must persist. The syndrome we are fighting, as Howard said, never takes a day off.

    Pressing on with the Recipe and the Road to Recovery – best wishes to all.

  6. Chris Meyer says:

    Howard,

    Thanks for showing how easy it is to get started and how important it is not to get wrapped up in self criticism. I particularly liked the part about zazen and gratitude practice that I can use to extend the recipe throughout the day.

    With great appreciation,

    Chris

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