Fighting Parkinson’s, and giving gratitude…to yourself

In my first post of the year last week, I announced 2020 as the year of gratitude. I spoke about giving gratitude to Parkinson’s as a way to open your heart, quiet your mind, and release fear. Gratitude helps your dopamine flow. Today, I want to discuss another type of gratitude. It is gratitude to yourself for all that you do for you.

Most of the time when you are giving gratitude or making gratitude lists, gratitude is being given for the wonderful things in life, for the people who you are happy are in your life, for the people who assist you in your life, for the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the oceans, etc. There are many people and things for which to be grateful.

Last week, I turned it on its head and said that to quiet your mind in the face of changing symptoms why not give gratitude to your Parkinson’s for providing you the opportunity to make all of the positive changes you have made in your life.

Today, I am going to shake it up a little more. How about giving gratitude to the hard working, courageous, beautiful soul missing from your gratitude practice and gratitude list: you. How about giving gratitude to you for all that you do for you.

Here is how giving gratitude to yourself for all that you do for you can be a very powerful tool in your Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® arsenal against Parkinson’s.

Your tremor increases.
Your mind says, “You are getting worse, always getting worse, you need to be afraid of the future.”
Your heart says, “I am grateful to myself for putting in the hard work of the Recipe. I am creating more energy and the result is temporarily having increased tremors. This is a sign of my recovery. I am grateful.”

You are feeling stiff.
Your mind says, “You are getting worse, always getting worse, you need to be afraid of the future.”
Your heart says, “I am grateful to myself for doing the Recipe and providing my body the tools and materials to heal itself. As the healing proceeds forward, I will have occasional times when I am feeling more stiff. This is a sign of my recovery. I am grateful.”

You are feeling critical of yourself.
Your mind says, “You cannot have a recovery because no matter how hard you try, your best is not good enough.”
Your heart says, “I am grateful to myself for doing the Recipe and gaining the understanding that my best is my best, and it is good enough. I am grateful that I sit zazen or perform other meditation to calm my mind. I am providing my mind the tools and materials to calm down and accept that I am doing my best, that “my best” will change from day to day, and that I am okay with what is occurring. I am grateful for the opportunity to calm my mind and learn that my best is, in fact, good enough. This is a sign of my recovery. I am grateful.”

You are not loving yourself.
Your mind says, “It is wrong to love yourself, plus you cannot be forgiven for whatever you think you did incorrectly in life.”
Your heart says, “I am grateful to myself for doing the Recipe and learning to love and accept myself unconditionally. The Recipe is providing my spirit the tools and materials to assist me in seeing myself for the radiant soul that I am. I feel love, joy, and acceptance, and these open my dopamine faucet so my dopamine can flow at full capacity. This is a sign of my recovery. I am grateful.”

These are suggestions for all of you. Please use them as a guide to assist you in expressing gratitude to your yourself. I know this gratitude practice works. In case you have any doubts about it working, here is an excerpt from a comment posted by Marie 10 days after her full recovery:

“Because it is such a powerful component in my own recovery, I offer this:
Fully acknowledge yourself and give yourself credit for what you are doing. Love yourself for how truly brave you are and how dedicated you are to healing yourself. Thank yourself for this precious gift you are giving yourself. Sit in that feeling and give your brain a lovely dopamine bath.

Our gracious guide, Howard, always tells us that we are doing it for ourselves, and still, I think we tend to praise everyone else for the inspiration they are providing. Be grateful to yourself, too, for having that opening that let the inspiration move you.

For me, this has been a good tool, and I hope it may be useful. I found it very hard to do, at first. Kind of embarrassing. And actually, it is even a little hard to write about now.
“What? She sits around loving herself????”
I’ll tell you, I do, every chance I get.”

Thank you, my dear friend, Marie, for continuing to inspire us even now, eight years after you cured yourself from Parkinson’s. I am grateful!

Okay everybody, now it is up to you. Gather a big feeling of gratitude and give it to yourself.

I know you can do this.

You are worth it!!!

All my best,


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9 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and giving gratitude…to yourself

  1. Chris Meyer says:

    I had the pleasure of seeing the Dalai Lama in Minneapolis a few years ago where someone asked him, “How can you be so happy and joyful all the time given the hardships you’ve seen?” He immediately replied, “There is no viable alternative!” Or as Howard has put it, “There’s no plan B…”

    This helps me get over the “embarrassment” of loving and being grateful for myself. After all – there REALLY IS NO viable alternative. So I just go with it…

    Gleefully sliding down the slippery slope of self-love in Wisconsin,


  2. Jean says:

    Yes! Such a great reminder Howard. Thank you for reminding me to thank myself more often. Thank you to me for being so brave and never giving up :-)

  3. Sharon says:

    Thank you, Howard and Marie! This is definitely something I need to work on.
    It is much easier to thank others but I understand how important it is to thank myself, now too.

    Thank you so much!
    Sharon in North Carolina

  4. Petra says:

    Years ago when I had a terrible time, I only wrote about the negative things, problems. etc. Now I write about being grateful for the things and it gives a shift in my experiences. Thank you Howard for opening our hearts to life by being grateful. Thank you.

  5. Pat Romero says:

    This blog came at the right time for me. I was feeling harried and put upon because I just got one more thing to do yesterday…I have to do big and loud to improve my voice and movement. I like doing it; it’s just that it’s is one more thing to do in my busy life. I can feel grateful for having the gumption to do it besides the recipe and improving myself for me and others who have to listen to me and try to hear me, especially my poor husband who is hard of hearing anyway. So, I’m grateful to me for doing what needs to be done–including and never forgetting the recipe. Thanks, Howard, for once more rescuing me from a dilemma.

  6. Jan - UK says:

    Thank you Howard for your continued faith and guidance – you are like a wise shepherd leading his flock to safety – we have so much to be grateful for – I have found comfort in the two “b’s” – belief and behaviour – and gratitude is a key element to always keep in mind, Jan UK

  7. Dianna Suggs says:

    When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 18 years ago, I called myself “Defective Dianna.” I felt shame at having allowed myself to get this disease. I was after all your typical granola head, fitness crazed child of the 70’s. Through years of self reflection, counseling, and meditation I learned to love self. I often prayed,”God help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is.”
    Thank you Howard for reminding us to give gratitude to self. Also thank you for your book. For years I stated that I was recovering from Parkinson’s. I just didn’t know how to get there. Then one day surfing Amazon for something totally unrelated to Parkinson’s, your book popped up. I ordered it immediately. I had been asking Divine Mind to show me a way to recover. I have total faith your book divinely found me. I bow and bow in gratitude to God, Howard and Myself. Thank you. Best Regards, Dianna

  8. Anne says:

    Fantastic blog and of course it feels like you have read my mind. I spent my morning gratitude practice on me today. Lots of grateful tears. I can imagine reassuring my baby self that she has always done her best while also noticing that I don’t need to rely on approval from others anymore.

    • Jean says:

      Hi Anne, I love the idea of a daily gratitude practice. Do you have regular routine that you follow during your practice time? My attention to this subject is a little random and could do with some structure! Thank you, Jean

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