The following is a list of books, web sites and videos that have been invaluable to me on my journey to recover from the symptoms of a neurotransmitter imbalance [Parkinson’s Disease]:
The single most important step in restoring my body’s neurotransmitters to their proper function in order to recover from the symptoms of Parkinson’s is to get my body out of the perpetual fight or flight mode it is in. To do this, means getting my mind [particularly my subconscious mind] out of the chronic state of believing that my life is in danger. And the single most important thing I can do to accomplish this is to put myself in a perpetual state of happiness. This means reprogramming [retraining] my mind and the way I think. I had been developing this theory over the past several months and my recent conversation with Parkinson’s recoverer Bianca Molle coupled with several labyrinth insights cemented my belief. Continue reading
The mandolin is like a miniature guitar [sort of like a ukulele] and I learned how to play it a few years ago, but stopped playing it last year due to the loss of dexterity in my left hand. I was having a hard time fretting the strings and so I was producing a somewhat muffled sound. I was finding it frustrating!
“The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
My journey with Parkinson’s took a dramatic turn on March 27 of this year and hit rock bottom on April 4, when I started experiencing panic attacks. That’s when I discovered that fear is at the root of PD. If you’d like, you can read more about this in an earlier blog I wrote.
I’ve spoken about happiness in a number of blogs including a recent post about detoxification. If you’re attempting to overcome an illness, happiness is essential for healing. As Lissa Rankin explains in a TEDTalk video, lifestyle (aka happiness) is as important to healing as is diet and exercise. Unhappiness, conversely, creates stress and stress weakens the immune system, acidifies the body and creates inflammation. It is no coincidence that I developed Parkinson’s during the unhappiest and most stressful period of my life, particularly as it relates to my job and my marriage.
In order for the body to return to homeostasis (in order for it to heal itself of any health condition or imbalance), the body must be in a slightly alkaline state and the immune system must be functioning normally. In order for these two things to happen, you need to do five things:
If we were aware of five things, I think it would change our experience. These five things could bring us lifelong happiness and good health. I call these the 5 Essentials and they are:
- To have an awareness of the truths of our existence…the truths of who we really are and why we’re really here on the planet…that we are actually divine spiritual beings having a human ‘experience.’ What is more, we live in oneness with all that is and that there is a purpose to our existence and that purpose is to simply experience, without judgment, everything there is to experience…pleasant and unpleasant.
- To know that the most important thing for each of us each day of our lives, is how we feel about ourselves…that we feel lovable, worthy, good enough and empowered. That we know in our hearts that we are a good person, no better, no worse than any other being.
- To heal our emotional pain and to know that this is an essential aspect of the human experience. This means talking about what upsets us, forgiving those we need to forgive and saying ‘I’m sorry’ to those we need to apologize to.
- To eat and drink healthy…in order to attain optimum health we need to eat foods that strengthen our immune systems and alkaline our bodies.
- Live in the present moment … when you live in the present moment, you cannot be tortured by incessant negative thoughts. You cannot be haunted by the past or frightened by the future.
I believe in my heart that understanding and incorporating these 5 Essentials into our daily lives will bring us peace of mind, joyful living and love. They will bring us happiness and good health.
Wishing you an awesomely abundant day!
A year ago, we launched a new program at our martial arts club called Let’s Feel Good About Ourselves. This is our one year anniversary, and again this month we are celebrating Feeling Good About Yourself .
Have you ever noticed how much focus we put on things that we don’t want? We don’t want cancer or heart disease, but we keep talking about them. We don’t want bullying or domestic violence, but we keep talking about them.
There is a belief, which is discussed in the movie, The Secret, that what you focus your attention on is what you create, even if it’s something you don’t want. For example, if you focus your attention on getting out of debt, rather than creating wealth, you tend to create more debt. The universe hears the word, debt, so it gives you more debt.
The same applies to cancer, heart disease, bullying, domestic violence and other forms of suffering. The more we focus our attention on these things, the more of it we’re going to create. Have you noticed that despite all the attention we give to cancer and bullying, they’re not going away? In fact, they’re getting worse.
What is more, our current efforts to eradicate the things we don’t want are fractured. We have one group fighting breast cancer, another fighting ovarian cancer, another fighting prostate cancer, another fighting bullying another fighting sexual assault and so on and so on. And each of these self interest groups is working independently to raise awareness and funds for research, early detection and treatment.
What we want to do at Georgina Family Martial Arts is bring all of our efforts together to create a unified focus on something positive.
Of course, this doesn’t mean we ignore the things that are causing suffering because clearly we have to deal with them. Nor does it mean we want to diminish the efforts of all the people who are working hard to eliminate cancer and bullying and the like. We’re just suggesting a different approach, one that puts all of our focus on what we want, rather than what we don’t want.
The fundamental premise of Let’s Feel Good About Ourselves, is the belief that the most important thing for our health and happiness is how we feel about ourselves. What is more, if we all felt good about ourselves all the things we want to eliminate likely wouldn’t exist. When people feel good about themselves, they don’t mistreat others, therefore, bullying, abuse, domestic violence and all forms of conflict likely wouldn’t exist. They also eat healthy, therefore, obesity, heart disease, cancer and other forms of disease likely wouldn’t exist. They also don’t try to numb their pain with drugs and alcohol, therefore, addictions likely wouldn’t exist. They also don’t commit crimes, therefore, crime, government corruption and corporate greed likely wouldn’t exist. They live in the present moment, therefore, worry and stress and stress related illness likely wouldn’t exist. They want abundance for all, therefore poverty likely wouldn’t exist. They are good stewards of the environment, therefore, pollution and over-development likely wouldn’t exist.
We believe that if everyone felt good about themselves, we would live with love, compassion and acceptance, and therefore, suffering likely wouldn’t exist.
The intention of our ‘Let’s Feel Good About Ourselves’ program is threefold:
First, to bring awareness to what it means … it means that you feel lovable, worthy, good enough and empowered … it means that you have a positive self image.
Second, to bring awareness to how we create it … by how parents raise their children, by how we behave and by how we react to our experiences.
Third, to bring awareness to the implications of feeling good about yourself, both for ourselves and for society as a whole.
Each month we will have a different theme … this month the theme is simply Feeling Good About Yourself Awareness Month … and we invite you to celebrate it with us. Here’s what you can do:
- Read the articles relating to feeling good about yourself. If you’re a parent, we urge you to read ‘Raising Children to Feel Good About Themselves.’
- Read a self help or spiritual book.
- Make an extra special effort this month (and every month) to be kind to people and to be honest, generous, helpful and patient.
- Make it your intention this month to express gratitude every day for all the goodness in your life.
- Eat healthy.
- Do the things you love to do … spend time with your family.
If you like what we’re doing, tell your friends about it. The more people who are focused on feeling good about themselves the more positive energy we create.
If you have a story you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection … Buddha.
Suffering is a choice. One can be in pain but not suffer. Unknown.
I love teaching karate. It brings me enormous joy and satisfaction and I am tremendously grateful every night for every student who chooses to attend karate class.
I receive constant feedback from students and parents about how much they enjoy karate and how much they appreciate my instruction. What could be better?
What I enjoy most, I think, is the opportunity to affect people’s lives in a positive way, by helping students master techniques, while developing confidence, respect and a healthy self image. It gives me an enormous sense of satisfaction.
Every once in a while though a parent will tell me about something that happened with their child that blows me away and really reaffirms my love of teaching. The following is one such story:
From Laura…Sam’s mother:
Thought you’d get a kick out this…Sam and Jaden are practically family, and on the weekend they were “playing” and Jaden hurt Sam. Sam retaliated and hit Jaden on the head trying to get back at him. After some time out with me, Sam went over to Jaden and apologized. I watched them from a distance and saw Sam say sorry. Jaden said that it was ok, then they both did the peace over war hand gesture and bowed to each other! (something they learned at karate) Pretty darn cute!!! Made me smile! I love Karate!!!! Laura
And I love karate too. Especially teaching it!
What makes this story so special is that Sam and Jaden are only 4 & 5 years old, respectively. Now how wonderful is that?
I have said many times that I have the best job in the world. I am incredibly grateful that I get paid to do what I love. Speaking which, a student asked me recently if I would rather work at a job that I didn’t enjoy, but paid me lots of money, or work at a job I love and make a lot less money. I told him that given that I had already experienced both scenarios, the answer was easy. I would so much rather work at a job I love, even if it meant making a lot less money, because you can always adjust your lifestyle. As long as you spend less money than you make, you will always get ahead.
I feel very blessed and my wish would be that everyone someday gets to feel the way I do. It’s awesome!!!
Have an awesome day!!
Jim Carrey starred in a movie a few years ago entitled, Me, Myself & Irene. Carrey plays a state trooper with a split personality assigned to escort Irene, an alleged hit and run driver.
Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation, feeling like you’ve got a split personality, embroiled in an internal conversation: “Well that was stupid.” “But I was doing the best I could.” “Hey you two, pipe down will ya, I’m trying to get some peace of mind here.” Yikes!
I did recently. You see, I had cancer…a mild form of skin cancer…and while I’m happy to say that it’s gone now, hopefully, never to return, I have some pretty strong opinions about the disease…and most other diseases for that matter.
The conversation I had went something like this:
Me: “I can’t believe it.”
Myself: “Can’t believe what?”
Me: “All the people who continue to die from cancer.”
Myself: “Why is this so unbelievable?”
Me: “Look at all the money that gets raised every year for cancer research. You’d think they would have found a cure by now.”
Myself: “That’s true, although there are millions of people around the world whose livelihood depends on the existence of cancer, especially the people who run drug companies.”
Cancer: “I have a purpose.”
Me: “Hmmm. I’m not sure what to make of all this?”
Myself: “Yes, I’m not surprised. Billions of dollars have been spent on cancer research in the 50 years and yet every year millions of people are newly diagnosed and almost one out of every two people diagnosed, dies from it.”
Me: “But we’ve got Cancer Society months and cancer awareness months.”
Myself: “And yet people continue to die.”
Cancer: “I have a purpose.”
Me: “But why aren’t they working? Maybe we’re missing something.”
Myself: “Do ya think?”
Cancer: “I have a purpose.”
Me: “What are you saying?”
Myself: “Everything happens for a reason.”
Me: “You mean cancer has a reason, or the fact that we haven’t found a cure?”
Me: “You mean God wants to punish us?”
Myself: “Nope. Contrary to popular belief, God doesn’t judge, condemn or punish.”
Me: “Then what?”
Myself: “I don’t think we’re meant to find ‘a cure.'”
Me: “Are you serious?”
Me: “But why wouldn’t we want to find a cure?”
Myself: “Because, if we did, we wouldn’t change the way we live.”
Me: “You mean we wouldn’t stop eating unhealthy foods, polluting our environment and mistreating one another?”
Myself: “Yep. And we likely would never bother to take the time to understand the role our immune system plays in the state of our health.”
Cancer: “You’re gettin’ it.”
Me: “And I guess we’d never figure out the role unresolved emotional pain plays in the development of disease.”
Myself: “Or the role feeling good about yourself plays in preventing disease.”
Me: “I guess the existence of cancer causes us to ask questions.”
Myself: “Like why are we really here.”
Me: “Isn’t that to learn the truth of who we really are?”
Cancer: “Now you understand my purpose!”
Have an awesome day!