This fourth installment for Parkinson’s Awareness Month 2022 focuses on awareness of your recovery. That’s right, being aware of what you are doing, how you are doing it, and why you are doing it in relationship to your recovery.
How much of your life are you “going through the motions” without a present awareness of what you are doing, how you are doing it, or why you are doing it? Doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® can fall into that category. Fear of some unknown future can fall into that category. Eating an entire bag of chips while watching TV can fall into that category.
To get the most out of your Parkinson’s recovery using the Recipe, pay attention and become aware of what you are doing, how you are doing it, and why you are doing it. Look inside yourself and become aware!
I have received a number of inquiries regarding whether or not I did any “regular” exercises or aerobic exercises along with the Recipe Qigong exercises. Here is my response:
No additional physical or aerobic exercises. Two reasons for this: 1. I could not do them even if I wanted to. I could not even take my daily evening walk around the neighborhood with Sally. I was too stiff, too sore, and I lacked energy. 2. As a result of 1., I adopted a less-is-more philosophy.
(This quoted material is excerpted from a previous post when I had Parkinson’s): “Less is more. When I push myself to the limits of my mobility, I tire easily, freeze more, hunch over, and experience terrible balance issues. I made the decision to move slower than my Parkinson’s permits. The results have been very good. When I walk slower, do not try to forcibly swing my arms, and concentrate on my steps, I can stand straighter and with better balance. When I walk up the stairs, instead of going every other step where I had to use a lot of upper body strength to help pull me up the stairs, I now step up and then bring the other foot to the same step. The energy to do this is minimal compared to the workout I had been going through to get up the stairs, plus, my hand rests on the railing for balance; no upper body assistance is needed to walk up the stairs.”
If you feel like you want to do or need to do other physical exercise or aerobic exercise, please do what you feel is good for you. Just a note on this: Qigong builds internal energy and stimulates the lymph system to cleanse toxins, and it does not use much external energy; hence, more energy stays inside to strengthen and heal the body. Vigorous physical exercise also builds internal energy and cleanses toxins, but one loses a fair amount of internal energy as a result of performing vigorous physical exercise. It is why the Medical Qigong in the Recipe heals slowly from deep within and why it requires faith that something good is going on inside.
And this faith is the first step in recovery. First heal the soul (faith that you will recover and worthiness feelings about yourself), and the mind (no fear or worries that you will not recover and no self-judgment or self-criticism) and the body (physical recovery) will follow.
Which brings me back around to today’s post…being aware of your recovery.
Body. Awareness of what you are doing: Medical Qigong exercises. Awareness of how you are doing it: Slowly moving, bending, stretching, massaging, squeezing, breathing, chanting, sitting, standing, and sometimes “Standing” with no movement at all. Awareness of why you are doing it: Healing your organs, strengthening your organs, allowing your organs to function better to cleanse toxins from your body, improving your breathing, improving your flexibility, improving your balance, preparing your body for full recovery. Look inside yourself and become aware of your physical recovery.
Mind. Awareness of what you are doing: Sitting and counting your breath from 1 to 10 and starting over again at 1. Awareness of how you are doing it: Exhaling first, and then inhaling, 1. Exhaling first, and then inhaling 2. All the way to 10, and then back to 1. Awareness of why you are doing it: Calmness of mind, clearing your thoughts, getting rid of mind chatter, taking the steps to get out of Adrenaline Mode. Normally, you inhale first, and then exhale. Normally, you keep counting to see how many of something you have accomplished. To exhale first, and then inhale requires an awareness of how you are breathing. Stopping at 10 and going back to 1 requires an awareness of how you are counting. When you are concentrating intently on how you are breathing and how you are counting those breaths, everything else goes away. Your mind quiets, and you become aware of calmness. Look inside yourself and become aware of how good it feels to have a quiet and calm mind.
Soul. Awareness of what you are doing: Having faith in your recovery. Awareness of how you are doing it: Having faith in yourself in deciding you will recover, having faith in the Recipe and taking action by doing the Recipe, having faith in your Higher Power to assist you by devouring your fears and doubts and to assist you in finding love and peace and joy and happiness and gratitude in your life. Awareness of why you are doing it: To bring balance to your life, to become fully recovered in your life and your Parkinson’s, and to be alive with no fear of life. Look inside yourself and become aware of how strong your faith is, and how powerful love and peace and joy and happiness and gratitude are, in overcoming fear and worry and anger and frustration and stress.
Be aware of your recovery. Be your recovery in all that you do.
Be aware of your recovery! And smile.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
Recently I watched a video clip that l came across on FB about Arnold Schwarzeneggers weight training days! What he had to say about training, don’t just do it, think with your mind for results! Thinking of you all with love and blessings! Great message thank you Howard 😏😏😏😏
Absolutely beautiful message Howard thank you !
Love, Joy Peace and Recovery to all
Good morning fellow warriors. Happy Friday . A good message on mind, body and soul, Mr Howard. In doing the Parkinson’s recovery recipe, full concentration is indeed required in doing the recipe well. Anything you want to do in life and achieve the full results you have to faith and trust. May God help us and keep us strong in our belief towards full recovery. Stay blessed 🙏🏼
Thank you Howard for giving us HOPE amidst the gloom.
Thank you so much Howard!!!!
Overall a fairly comprehensive overview of the recipe. Thank you very much, Howard. I needed this!
Thank you so much Howard. Less is more is beautiful! Great awareness. Faith. Hope. Love it!
Thank you Howard for your wise words and encouragement which provide hope and nourish our faith. Much love to you and fellow warriors.
It’s true that the Recipe can feel like a drill after nearly three years, while my awareness has tended to be on the pain and difficulty rather than the technique and purpose. So, this week’s message is a good reminder to keep trying to do the exercises mindfully, to get the most out of them.
I think noticing is an important part of the process; otherwise, as Howard says, it’s just going through the motions.
Active engagement becomes harder as time goes by because, inevitably, disillusionment sets in. As I’ve said before on this blog, I yo-yo like mad. Just yesterday, I was thinking, well, I’m either too far gone for recovery or I’m on the last stretch, because when symptoms like stiffness, fatigue and general incapacity become extreme, I tend to think they presage a major change for good or ill. I’ve been using Howard’s mantra ‘OK’ and telling myself, ‘OK, this must be what needs to happen or it wouldn’t be happening’.
I had a medication review this week with a clinical pharmacist and explained to her why I didn’t want to increase my medication. I told her I was following a recovery regimen, expecting her to be dismissive, but she was surprisingly receptive and said it was good to take back control. The point of sharing this is that despite the inner gloom I’m prone to, I realise when I’m talking aloud to a third party, I feel passionate about what I’m doing and ready to defend it from anticipated criticism, so I must have more faith than I imagine.
I hope I don’t sound too body-centric. God knows, my soul is in torment half the time but it is also the finer part of me and I hope it will lead me back to a state of happiness, with or without Parkinson’s.
I suffer a bit from this yo-yo myself
It reminds me a bit of counting meditation.
If you get distracted just return to one and keep on.
This is a success, quitting is the only failure.
So we really can’t lose if we just regroup and keep on!
With much love and Highest regards, Chris
Thanks. That’s a good way of looking at it: that ‘doing’ counts as success. ‘Doing’ recovery and ‘being’ recovery seem to be equally important.
It helps to remember that Howard has already been on the journey and got to where we aspire to be.
Healing is real!
Beautiful Howard! Thank you!
Thank you again dear Howard for your very inspiring advice!!
Hi Howard, I missed this post on Friday, my tremors are out to play at the moment so when that happens I am hitting buttons I should not be hitting and screens appear and sometimes I chance upon a new facility that I didn’t know I had which I call “a score” 😊 so I am guessing that I hit select all and a group of emails ended up in junk, which is where I found you today. 😁
Yes, yes, yes I agree so much with this blog. Awareness is key. Whatever we give our attention too, magnifies, good or bad. It has scientifically been proven, that a watched kettle Does take longer to boil, based on the frame of mind of the person who is watching the kettle. I have truly embraced this years mantra of “every day is a good day “ and the results of that awareness is I don’t dread getting out of bed every day like I used too. I have lightened up on myself and laugh at myself more. When crazy negative thoughts come into my mind, I now chat back to my mind, saying things like “ REALLY? where in God’s name, did you think that thought from ?., no thanks, I will let that one go to the keeper “. In awareness we are listening to the mind as an observer, which is empowering as we have a choice to decide if it is coming from our mind or our soul. Thanks Howard, you were worth me jumping in the junk to find you. Lol.
Big love to all warriors
Hi Val, enjoyed your honesty as always, and your wit in adversity. 😁
Hi Rick, why all the sad faces, you always do happy 😃
Hi Sakina, I love the way you bless us all in your posts every week . 😇
I found you in my blessings inbox this morning.
Your antics with the buttons and your sassy self-talk made me smile, which is always a good way to start the day, especially when my yo-yo is scraping the ground.
I find if I try to talk over my conjoined twin, Parkinson, I just get more negative backchat. My best coping/distraction technique is to immerse myself in the telly (I’ll probably watch the last episode of Killing Eve for the THIRD time. LOL).
I’ve checked out Rick’s emojis and they look more quizzical than sad to me. Rick???
Anyway, thanks for explaining the ‘watched kettle’ theory: I know now why I always get a hard-boiled egg. 😁
Have another good week of good days. And as my Irish friend, Kitty would say: ‘Keep pressing and guessing!’
Hi Val what a lovely email to receive, thank you my friend. Nice to be referred to as a blessing 😇.
Now I too checked out Rick’s emoji on my iPad.
( I literally have to use a hand held magnifying glass to read anything on my iPhone, which is great fun with tremors, wondering which is going to get cracked the glass or the phone lol)
I digress. (What’s new 😀) I feel if Rick’s emoji could speak they would be saying “ yeah whatever “ lol. Which made me laugh as he had said “ Great post thank you Howard “ then four faces implying “yeah whatever” . We both know that Rick doesn’t have a negative bone in his body,he was probably rushing to get ready for the weekend on his boat and hit the wrong emoji. He will be delighted that we got a bit of fun out of it. 😁
Have a good week yourself amigo xx
Bless you Howard for posting our nonsense chats. xx
Hi Val , always great to hear from you xxxx 😀😀😀😀😀 I‘m very impressed with your trip to church Easter. You will be riding your bike to church soon
Rick she will have to jog instead. Remember she gave her fancy bike to the stranger in the park. He will dine out for life on that story how the generous lady in the park gifted it to him just because he admired it. 😇 and Val wonders why we all love her. 😊 xx
Hi Karen , I always mean to do the happy smiling face but my fingers to my iPhone are a bit big lol 😊😀😀😀
Good morning.. You are welcome Karen .. 🙏🏼😍
Good morning Howard and fellow warriors, I know I have already commented on this post ,but I’ve been rereading this post every morning I printed out the body/mind/soul summary and really taking it to heart i have to tell you it’s powerful stuff. My walk in the park has been a lot calmer, smoother and more joyful, my walk has improved, my medicine has been lasting longer, and I’m feeling on top of the world!
Joy to the world !!!!
Hooray hooray hooray! Margaret I am delighted to read your post. Fabulous news, thank you for sharing your progress. It is wonderful and inspiring for all our warriors when we read such good news. You Rock my friend.xx
Sounds like you’ve given awareness a good road test and it works. I can feel your excitement and wanted to celebrate with you.
All the best
Hello fellow warriors:
I paid Howard yesterday and am waiting to be scheduled for the orientation and coaching that will follow.
Also writing a book which I expect to publish before the end of this year about Parkinson’s Disease and my own revived interest in a Wholistic approach to therapy.
Haven’t been this excited since my 8 and 9 year old buddies and I found an abandoned tree fort in a large Douglas fir tree in the woods behind the family home near Chehalis. Washington.
We hid a box of graham crackers and a crystal set radio there and it was the coolest thing that I had ever done at that point in my life.
A few weeks later the family took our first of several family Christmas vacations to Disneyland, which redefined cool for me. A few days later, back in Chehalis I revisited the tree house and arrived just in time to witness a Blue Jay flying away with the last Graham cracker. Cool had been redefined for him as well.
Life continues to redefine cool for me on an almost daily basis.
You guys are it for me now.
I can feel the magic !!