Sleep deprivation is a common aspect of living with the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, whether you take medication, or not. The good news is that the body’s natural tendency is to shut down the fight-flight response prior to sleep in order to ensure a restful sleep. So we just need to do what we can to support this.
Worry! In my experience, it is the most challenging issue we face in living with, managing and overcoming the symptoms of PD … and many other conditions, I suspect!
Apathy and depression are also conditions faced by many and it’s quite possible, if not probable, that worry plays a role here, as well.
Loving compassion! Two words we seem to be hearing a lot lately! Given what is going on in the planet, we could certainly use loving compassion!
Loving compassion is a popular form of meditation. It is essentially about having empathy towards suffering and the desire to do something about it.
In a recent conversation, Mari and I agreed that the state of our bodies is largely a reflection of the quality of our thoughts. Yes, nutrition plays a role, as does chemical toxicity, exercise, stretching, relaxation and correcting physical trauma, but more than anything else, it’s our thoughts that determine whether our bodies are going to be in a stressed [fight or flight] state or a relaxed state, and thus, in good health or not.
If you have been following my blog, you will likely know my belief is this neurological condition we’re experiencing, in fact any challenge we are facing, is meant to guide us to an understanding of our true nature and purpose! It has spiritual meaning!
It is meant for us to learn that we are more than just physical beings here to amass and consume. We are not just the physical bodies we inhabit, nor are we our thoughts and beliefs, or the emotions we feel. We are actually spiritual beings having a human experience, living in oneness with the universal-energetic-intelligence [God]. We are the conscious observers of our body, thoughts, feelings and experiences. This is Eckhart Tolle’s primary message!
But how do we live spiritually given the daily challenges we face? How do we live spiritually when we are in a state of anxiety, trembling, shuffle walking, trying to maintain our balance, struggling to perform simple tasks like tying up our shoes or getting out of a chair, or experiencing constipation? It’s not easy!
To begin, I remind myself every day that what I am experiencing has purpose. Not only is it meant to guide us to spiritual awakening, it is also meant to guide us away from fear, to divine love! To reinforce this, each day I recite my spiritual version of the 23rd Psalm as well as my divine love mantra [see below].
Next, I do my best to live in the present moment. This is another one of Eckhart’s key messages. It is okay to reflect on the past, but we don’t live in it. Similarly, it is okay to plan for the future, but we don’t live in it. We only ever live in the present moment. It’s all there is. I do my best to place my attention on whatever I am doing. I also focus on my breath or simply look around and observe.
Whenever the present moment is unpleasant I do my best to accept the circumstances and remind myself that it is only temporary. It will pass!
I spend time in nature! I love the serenity and I can sense the healing energy! There is nothing quite like the joy of walking through the forest or sitting by the lake!
I talk to the universal-energetic-intelligence. I carry on a conversation just like I would as if I was talking to you. I give thanks. I make observations. It is a great way to connect with the divine!
I live lovingly! I am kind, compassionate, generous, grateful and forgiving! My mantra is, we could change the world simply by being kind to one another!
I practice Qigong. Qigong is about cultivating chi [energy]. It is a very spiritual practice!
I pray as an expression of gratitude!
I yell hallelujah! As I discussed in my last post, this too is a great way to connect with the divine!
I believe in my heart living spiritually is a big, essential step towards recovering my health! At the very least, it helps me to manage my day-to-day challenges in a more loving manner!
23rd Psalm [spiritual version]:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Spirit makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. Spirit restores my soul and leads me down a path of spiritual awakening for my highest good. Spirit helps me to feel good about myself. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of impermanence I shall fear no darkness, for thou art with me. Your love and compassion comfort me. You help me to understand, accept and let go of my past, and in the process, you help me to forgive. You also help me to live in the present moment. My life is filled with abundance. Surely peace love joy abundance and bliss will be with me all the rest of my days. And I will dwell in spiritual consciousness forever! Hallelujah!
Divine love mantra:
The universal-energetic-intelligence, which is pure love, wishes to expand itself. It wishes to expand love in the universe, through experience. Through my experience and the experience of every other entity in the universe. We are the vessels for the expression and expansion of love. And the best thing I can do to contribute to this expansion is to fully surrender to the will and wisdom of the universal-energetic-intelligence; live in love by being kind, compassionate, generous, forgiving and grateful; acknowledge my true essence which is divine love; and live in the present moment. And I can do this, because I live in spiritual consciousness and I choose to celebrate life. I choose to honour and enjoy the journey and embrace the adventure. I am so grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to participate in the flow-of-life and contribute to the expansion of divine love! Hallelujah!
I recently read Howard Shifke’s, Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery. Shifke, as you may know, is an American lawyer who fully recovered from Parkinson’s in 2010 after being diagnosed in 2009.
The last four months has been a remarkable journey of ebbs and flows, fearful moments and spiritual insights, culminating in a renewed focus on acceptance, surrender, gratitude, forgiveness and love!
Touchwood, but I feel very fortunate that I sleep well! Most nights I sleep straight through, 7 to 8 hours!
I have been wrestling with the issue of deserving for my entire life. There have been so many occasions when a joyful experience was followed very closely by a painful one! When I was 12 years old, my most exciting athletic accomplishment was followed shortly thereafter by my most painful one. When I was 16 years old, I had the best year of my life in hockey. The following year was my worst. When I was 20, I enjoyed the best baseball game of my life. I got kicked out of the next game in the first inning!
I have had a number of inquiries lately on how to minimize trembling. Let me begin by saying, trembling is not the most challenging symptom for me. Loss of balance, freezing, loss of dexterity in my hands, shuffle walking and constipation are far more challenging.