Fighting Parkinson’s, and finding gratitude through adversity

As I have written many times, gratitude was a critical feature in my recovery. So, when fellow warrior W’Ren the Artist told me he was making a movie about gratitude and asked if I would participate, I joyful and gratefully said yes.

W’Ren the Artist is one of our fellow warriors, and you probably have seen comments on the blog from him from time to time. I am honored to present to all of you his inspiring movie, “The Gift of Adversity.”

Thank you W’Ren. You have inspired all of us. I am grateful for your willingness to allow me to present your movie on the blog.

I hope the rest of you are as inspired as me.

You can do this!

You are worth it!!!

All my best,


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19 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and finding gratitude through adversity

  1. Rick says:

    I’m very grateful for this website and all my friends fighting for the same course and sharing your experiences and I thank you all and especially Howard for making this all possible . Goodness me I don’t no what I would have done , possibly died my hair yellow and smoked the happy stuff lol 😆
    Your so reliable and consistent Howard a fantastic quality. Still on my bike and going strong
    10 months 14 days . Love to everyone 😊😊😊😊😊

  2. Marie says:

    Wow, W’ren! Wonderful! Thank you so much. This is so beautifully made, thoughtful, and inspiring. I am so grateful that you put this together and offered it to us. It is very powerful, very moving. You were able to gather such a diverse and remarkable group to share their stories. Thank you, and I also thank them for their openness and their bravery. It is an important message.
    Thank you for including other people’s reflections on how you have changed, too: More open, more accessible and kinder to yourself. You have really made adversity a gift and with this film will hopefully help others understand that path is open to them as well. Truly inspiring. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    And Howard, you gave me a delightful new phrase as a Reminder for myself: “I AM the cake!” I really like that!

  3. Lala says:

    Really wonderful to see this.
    It softens me inside and reminds me: it’s not a punishment, but a purifying.
    My life changed from running around to seek fulfillment. I chased every other persons life looking how I should find it. At this point I was never present with myself, and I had thoughts about how to live life as a daughter, a wife, or a mum. All rules from the worldview I thought it should be. I pushed myself and others to the edge.

    Trusting life as an innerworld leading you to unknown places.

    Thanks Howard


  4. Linda says:

    Another bravo, this time to W’Ren. This film is so powerful and inspiring, and I love how each person’s inner light shines through. Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

  5. W’Ren says:

    Thanks for the wonderful responses everyone. I’m glad it has touched your heart as I did for us to remind us of the purpose of this difficult journey.

    On the other side of this we will be so fortified in a resilience and powerful to serve the greater good like Howard is doing. Thank you Howard for being you-Perfectly baked a cake

  6. Val H says:

    Dear W’Ren, thank you for this manifestation of artistry and spirituality. Your film appeared to me as real bounty when I looked towards Howard’s blog today to deliver something specific to alter a negative mindset occasioned by having my Covid booster jab on Wednesday and feeling completely wiped out next day with flu-like symptoms Although I was over it by today, I felt upset because every time I have been ill in my life I have got better, except from Parkinson’s.
    Your film helped me to reset my attitude with its reminder that suffering is a universal experience and it’s how we receive it that matters. For me, it has theological implications because I believe that, unwanted as it is, suffering serves a higher purpose and in some strange way is a mark of privilege.
    I was hooked from the beginning with the opening quote about how growth can be mistaken for destruction. My personal battle feels like a process of being utterly broken by God in order to be redeemed. Believe me, I haven’t been compliant in the process. But whenever I have expressed gratitude sincerely in my heart, I feel like I have just said a prayer.
    The mundane definition of ‘gratitude’ as being appreciative of something belies a far more hallowed interpretation as literally being in a state of grace.
    For me, gratitude is repentance from unacceptance. I like myself better when I am grateful. As ‘Trevor’ says in your film, his grateful self is humble, respectful, loving and kind. I feel something like that myself – that when I’m grateful, I open a door to divinity.
    The contributors to your film are awesome. They express themselves in ways that people do when they are lifted out of everyday-speak by an event like 9/11 which uncovers individuals’ capacity for profound self-reflection and deeply empathetic identification with the collective oneness. It was notable also how you were perceived as someone easier to connect with from how you experienced Parkinson’s. It’s a lesson that exposing our vulnerability is an opportunity to engage on a more intimate level.
    I put gratitude into action today by going to the nature park to say thank you to the tree I can see from my lounge window which is delighting me with its red and gold colour change.
    Between nature and your powerful exploration of finding gratitude through adversity, you have fed my soul.
    Bless you, W’Ren. Bless you, Howard.

  7. Helen G says:

    Thank you W’ren and all the wonderful people in this film. It so helps to hear how others have faced and accepted and grow in kindness and soul awareness. for life. I am learning so much every day and I want to be fully accepting of my self and rest in the feeling of peace and love and gratitude. I am being given every day so much care and kindness. I want to slow down in myself that comes with accepting myself and situation embracing my life and God/ great spirit’s unconditional love and kindness. Thank you Howard, W’ren, and all the people I come across everyday and creatures and the nature on this beautiful planet. Thank you thank you thank you

  8. Sally H. says:

    W’Ren, God bless you and your wife for this wonderful message!! It was so powerful to watch. I am grateful that you didn’t just interview people with PD. Suffering is suffering no matter what caused it. The timing is interesting because I spent last week studying thankfulness and gratitude. I actually had to look up the meaning because I wanted to know the difference. Then here came your video! The most challenging thing for me is my tremor and being embarrassed when out with friends or family. I felt like it told everyone I really don’t have it all together. Before the tremor, I could hide my true feelings and convince others I had it all together. No wonder I got PD! When the tremor presented itself in public, I became very anxious, which of course only made it worse. It became so intense that I began to stay home to avoid the whole thing all together. My poor husband! There is a scripture about being anxious for nothing but being thankful for everything. When I have put that scripture to work before PD, I found that thankfulness and anxiety couldn’t co exist. Only one could be at work in me, I had to choose which one. Your video reminded me of this scripture! So I decided to embrace my tremor. I have now named it Grateful. Now every time it starts in, it will remind me to be grateful. It will trigger a positive response, instead of a negative one and I will BECOME GRATEFUL! So now, Grateful goes with me everywhere I go. I will let you know how it works…. God bless you! God bless Howard and Sally! Glory be to God!

    • W’Ren says:

      I call this experience Kevin because it is not mine but rather a persistent teacher reminding me of this profound awakening.

      I too have felt embarrassed about being in public but that is changing with persistence as being isolated has caused more harm than necessary.

      I find that the more I expand the less Kevin has a negative impact on my life

  9. Tery and Werni says:

    Thank you W’Ren for your great effort to show us this unique and inspiring film together with this group who joined it. Fantastic, we are grateful to be part of this, as we can learn a lot of your hard work!! A wonderful film, thanks!
    Also a big thank to Howard who is supporting us endlessly, we are very grateful for this too.

  10. Rabindar says:

    Thank you W’Ren and Howard for sharing this Fantastic video, The Gift of Adversity, and finding gratitude through adversity. I learnt alot from this video on acceptance, being kind, compassionate, and forgiving. God Bless All

  11. Karen in Ireland says:

    W’ren thank you for sharing a piece of your soul with all of us. I say this as I believe when we tap into our creativity, we are allowing our soul to express itself. The fact that you have created this awesome film in a Parkinson’s body is so inspiring to me, not to mention impressive.. 😊. You totally achieved your intention in touching our hearts and reminding each one of us, that there is a purpose to this journey.
    I was amazed by the amount of walking you can do as if I remember correctly from previous posts that you are not taking meds. Although I am allergic to levodopa, I am taking some meds and I would only make it around that circle once at a stretch and even then I would need to be holding someone’s hand. 😁 Truly impressive.
    Thank you W’ren for your gift, and thank you to all your friends for sharing their inspirational stories and their vulnerabilities. God in motion.
    Speaking of which, I can’t forget a big shout out and thank you to our coach and his ever smiling face. You both Rock!
    Big Love
    Karen xx 💕

  12. Ola says:

    Thank you W’ren and Howard! Very humbling and heart healing experience watching your creation! You help me to know just how powerful a shift in consciousness can be, I can change my life and Parkinson’s by changing my thoughts-what a miracle!

    Gratitude for me is a feeling that is created when I am aware of what I am receiving. I may have been receiving it all along, but it is only when I become aware of what I have that I experience a sense of thankfulness and my heart is open wide enough to allow life to enter me, move me, transform me! When my heart is full of gratitude and joy I cannot be unhappy and negative at the same time!

    It was hard for me to be receptive to life before Parkinson’s when I was going hundred miles an hour, so thank you Mr. P for slowing me down and thank you Howard for showing me how! I am a perfectly baked cake!

    Love to All Perfectly Baked Cakes!!!

  13. Graham says:

    Thank you Howard and W’Ren. That was very interesting. I struggle with grateful for my PD. My primary thoughts about my PD are interesting, fascinating even! I am grateful for the hope and strength I gain from knowing you are there and that I am not alone in this experience. I am not taking medication, I have lots of emotion – my initial emotion upon diagnosis was that I had let my wife down, closely followed by fear for my own outcome. Now I am interested to find out what will happen to me. I would like to write, paint, yoga, ride my motorcycle and unicycle to slack-line and enjoy peoples company.
    The diversity and extremes of experience of the people on the film are incredible. What extremes humans can experience and still grow through is incredible and great – very inspirational. I hope you can all one day walk past my garden, smell the flowers and fresh air, take tea, chat and feel peace and love. In the meantime, I think I have a lot to learn and a long way still to go and for that I am very grateful.

  14. Kevin says:

    Thank you W’Ren and Howard. What a powerful message. There are so many helpful points.

  15. Lynn M says:

    Thank you W’Ren for an absolutely outstanding video. To me, the labyrinth epitomizes the journey and we need to keep on walking.

  16. Maree from Melbourne says:

    Thanks W’Ren for posting such an inspiring video. It is wonderful to hear such uplifting comments. Your words helped me through some of the darker days, when my symptoms were particularly prevalent. Maree from Melbourne.

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