On January 1st, I announced 2022 as the year of good days. Today we wind down the first month of 2022 by taking the good days theme and being grateful.
When I had Parkinson’s, being grateful for my life helped me to see that every day was a good day. The last section of my book, Fighting Parkinson’s…and Winning, is entitled:
“And then I found gratitude, which helped me finish my full recovery.”
Here is an excerpt from that section to assist you in seeing that with gratitude practice, you too can see every day as a good day:
I started giving gratitude for my life. I realized what a gift it was to be alive. “Thank you God for another day of being alive, even in a Parkinson’s body. There is so much I can do with my soul inside a human body. I am grateful.”
And with that beginning to each day, I began working on spiritually bringing my life back into balance.
Each time I gave gratitude, it was an internal announcement that I was worthy and deserving of good things in life and that the good things in life could and would last. Why? Because I was worthy and deserving and abundantly grateful for them. I know this sounds like circular reasoning. It is circular reasoning. But, it worked!!!
The more grateful I became for my life and everything in it, the more accepting I became of everything in my life. “Okay” was my new way of living. For the first time in my life, I was completely accepting of my life as it was rolling out in front of me.
In my recovery, to help me keep a positive attitude, and because I knew it was true, I looked at everything that was happening with me physically as “necessary for my recovery.” I started taking that attitude into my daily life.
By accepting that whatever was happening in my life was necessary in my life journey, I was able to reduce stress and anxiety, reduce anger and frustration, reduce worry and fear. Instead of being afraid of life, I explored it, one small shuffle at a time, just like the tortoise from the children’s story, “The Tortoise and the Hare.”
There are things I could learn from the tortoise every day. In proceeding forward like the tortoise, slow and steady, I tended to see many beautiful things in life that I used to just walk by without noticing. This brought so much joy into my life that it opened my heart and my dopamine flow as I was working on my recovery.
It occurred to me that when I was moving like the tortoise, slowly and steadily, I also had more time to notice all of the subtle unpleasant changes that were happening to my body. However, my faith was strong so I did not worry about the unpleasant changes that were occurring.
Since my Parkinson’s body had limited energy, I had to trust it to know where I needed the healing the most. Some days that meant I walked a little slower, some days it meant I had more tremors, and some days it means I had a big headache.
Here is the new look at acceptance I decided to undertake:
“Okay. Apparently, I am supposed to be walking slower, because if I wasn’t supposed to be walking slower, I would not be walking slower.”
“Okay. Apparently, I am supposed to be tremoring more, because if I wasn’t supposed to be tremoring more, I would not be tremoring more.”
“Okay. Apparently, I am supposed to have a big headache, because if I wasn’t supposed to have a big headache, I would not have one.”
The power of “Okay. Apparently…” is representative of true acceptance of what the Universe was offering me. It defeated emotional stress, anger, frustration, resentment, and fear.
Instead of looking at something and getting upset, I would just say, “Okay. Apparently, that was supposed to happen” or “Okay. Apparently, I wasn’t supposed to be doing that.” The more I could look at unpleasant Parkinson’s circumstances and say, “Okay. Apparently…” the more calm I became and less angry and fearful I became as I continued my recovery.
The one thing I knew I needed to keep constant in my recovery was doing the physical, mental, and spiritual parts of the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery every day.
As you can see, giving gratitude every day, and accepting that what was happening in my day was necessary in my life and my recovery, assisted me in seeing every day as a good day. It helped bring me back into balance and it helped me finish my recovery.
For the last 11.5 years Since my full recovery, I have continued living this way. I give gratitude every day for another day as a spiritual being having a human existence, I accept life as it rolls out in front of me, and I see every day as a good day. And I smile…a lot!
You can do this, too! I know you can!!
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
Working on that acceptance everyday. Thank you Howard for caring.
Howard, this is excellent advice for anyone struggling with any challenge in life. And it is excellent advice for me, a person with Parkinson’s, in dealing not only with my PD but with other challenges I am facing in this moment. Very nicely and succinctly put. Thank you.
Just a little tale to hopfually raise a smile. I was talking to my nurse at a check up and she told me about her Grandmother who she was close to who had PD. The Grandmother was very positive and when she tremmored she spilt her tea, so she just filled her pot half full.
Well last night, I brought two coffees in full without spilling either and thinking of the Grandmother. I was grateful and pleased with myself. I went back and brought the chocolate biscuits. I sat down and held my cup in my right hand because my tremmor is predominantly in my left, and proceeded to dunk my bicky when my tremmor had a right good go and I paddled coffee all over my lap. So much for planning and the small pleasures in life and for being with myself. Ha ha happy fool, feeling good today. I hope you have a good one too, happy dunking.
Thanks for giving us a chuckle, Graham.
Hi Val, just checking in to see if you are okay. Not like you to have little to say, no more than myself lol.
I hope if you are feeling a bit low, that the paper boy leaves the paper in the letter box so you don’t have to bend and swear just till your back to your witty self my friend. 😊xx
That’s just given me another chuckle as I imagine other people thinking, only seven words from Val H this week, what a blessing – and then Karen chips in!
I’m OK, thanks Karen.
When I read Howard’s blog this week, I WAS going to write about how waiting for recovery was like waiting for my state pension age. I fell in the category of those originally due to retire at 60 who suddenly had an extra six years slapped on their sentence by the UK government. I’m not making a political statement; the point of this is that, although I groaned at the thought of toiling on until 66, I knew that my pension entitlement would eventually come and it WILL come next year (unless I die first).
That’s how I’ve wanted my recovery to be: with an end date. I thought if only I knew exactly when I would recover, I could keep up the Recipe for six years or however long, because the outcome was guaranteed. How stupid is that? I had to give up working anyway at 61 and go on the sick because of Parkinson’s, which is a lesson in being careful what you wish for. What a joy it would be to be healthy and still working – especially as I had got myself qualified to take up a new career, which I was already practising successfully on placement.
Anyway, when I read Graham’s little tale about spilling coffee into his lap, I decided to just enjoy the moment and be grateful for all that’s good and laughter-inducing in my life.
I must be recovering, anyway, because something really good happened to me recently: I was dragging wearily behind the walker on my way back from Tesco’s when, out of nowhere, came a burst of energy; my legs straightened up and I started RUNNING as if I was about to take off. I was giddy with excitement and loving the feeling of the chill air brushing my face. I can tell you, if I’d encountered Rick THAT day, I’d have gone whizzing past his mountain bike on my walker!
I’ve just watched the video from the link that Jeannie posted, about the singer facing terminal cancer, who told America’s Got Talent judges: ‘You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.’ Absolutely right. Shames me and underlines what Howard says.
So, yeah, I am grateful for the paper plopping through my door and I’m grateful to YOU for giving a damn. Thank you! 😊
Hi Val, FANTASTIC news about your race with your Zimmer frame lol. Didn’t Howard have a similar experience with a shopping trolley, just a few weeks before his FULL recovery. I am joyous for you. I laughed at the thought of you passing Rick on his mountain bike, a candid camera moment haha.
Have a good week friend. 😊 Karen xx
Hey Val, you’re only a young chick, I’m 66 in June, but I’m very fortunate I don’t look it! I’m planning to live to 85 God willing without PD. If I can, you can too (go girl) 👧 xxx
I’ve been to the picture gallery – I agree you don’t look your age. It must be all that sunshine and sea air. Paleface here isn’t so gorgeous but, fortunately, face masks have done the job of levelling up in the looks department. LOL. Keep moving and winning – you’re a big inspiration to me.
I have a saying which I have used a lot: Every day is Xmas and the off day’s are Boxing Day! Thanks Howard. I must teach myself to be more grateful which I sure I am! Still going strong doing the full recipe! Just finished riding to the boat and back with my 9 year old daughter following me on her scooter, dad slow down, lol! Thinking of you all fighting the fight, love to all 😊😊😊😊
Howard I intend to make the 2nd month of the new year as the beginning of “Okay. Apparently, etc,” with gratitude. How wonderful you find yourself smiling most of the time. May we all reach that point as we recover. Love and blessings to all.
Yesterday was a day without obligations and my head came at ease/rest, so did my body!
Without feelings of fighting to get what I want, results in no cramp in the head.
Thank you Howard for the inspiration and positivity.. I also wake up each day and thank the Almighty lord for the blessings..
I have so much to be grateful for. This body, this mind, this life and the guidance to follow my heart and buy your book. Gratitude has been a huge companion on this very challenging journey and the reminder of your process is a huge gift as well. This post has perfect timing.
Thanks Howard. Still ploughing on despite symptoms. Every day is a good healing day. My love to all.
I love the thought of tying gratitude back to self worth – That “this” or “that” that I am grateful for wouldn’t be happening if I am not worthwhile. Or essentially, that which I am grateful for, is a demonstration of my worth . . .
Streaming of blessings wrapped with love and gratitude to you Howard and to all of you guys!!!! We are Already healed resonating in the frequency of gratitude and being aware of that!!!!
Hi Howard, I have to say that I am seeing such a huge difference in myself since starting each day with “ Today is going to be a good day” so thank you for that little powerful gem. I do love the “ okay, apparently this is how it is supposed to be “ attitude. 🥰
Wow so many new warriors posting, really good to read and get to know some new personalities. To the not so new….Rick you are a legend cycling all the way to your boat and back. Love the image of your daughter shouting to you to slow down. Ray good to see your post. Always keeping a close eye on my fellow Irishman. 😉 so I notice when you’re missing.. Dianna I am with you in starting this new 2nd month (2 days time)with the “ okay apparently “ attitude. 😊
Big love to all warriors old and new, not forgetting our smiley coach. 😘
Karen xx 💕
Thank you for the uplifting blog. It put things in perspective for me. See the attached “You tube” video, if you would like. It is a song about everything being Okay.
Hello Jeannie, that was a beautiful Okay video, which brought tears to my eyes!
Thanks for sharing.
God bless us all.
Thank you for your comment, I teared up myself listening to it.’
A beautiful song and very humbling, thank you for sharing.
Hi Jeannie, stunning song, beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing.
What a wonderful, moving video! Thank you very much!
I am very grateful that I have you Howard as my coach, thank you.
I am grateful to have the support of this community because I learn a lot from your
comments and so I don’t feel alone in my struggle.
May everyone take a turn for the better in the “year of the tiger.”
Love to all,
Another great write up on gratitude.
We have to be grateful for everything that is happening to us whether it is good or otherwise in our journey to recovery.
Thank you Howard!
I had a wonderfully good 31 days in January! I am full of gratitude so I have no room in my heart for any negativity! Finally, your teachings and guidance for the last two years are fitting me like a second skin! I am grateful!