I begin this posting reclining on a bench at Blackie’s Pasture, overlooking the tranquil Richardson Bay in Tiburon, California. It has taken me about four years of fitful starts and stops to arrive here.
Prior to my healing, even as a person with Parkinson’s, I was able to walk level paths like this one. Then, as the healing progressed, so did the leg and foot pain and swelling. Both the summer of 2011 and 2012 were spent in an orthopedic boot. Each time I was released from the boot I attempted to resume walking exercises much too quickly, thus creating setbacks.
That wonderful chi wisdom is finally penetrating to the level at which I live my daily life, and I am having all kinds of realizations, most of which demand I lower the standards of near perfection I set for myself for most of my life. Which is why it is ok for me to interrupt today’s walk with some resting and foot elevation. I selected this trail for both its beauty and its offering of friendly benches, scattered strategically along the way. Today I celebrate that I am able to walk a short distance in each direction, with a brief rest in the middle. I do not need to be the fastest or hardest-working person on the trail. Thinking this way is a new-found development of my recovery. My take-away message for the reader here is that there is so much work to do. Physical recovery is only the beginning.
Through the insights brought about by my new appreciation of the body/mind/spirit connection, I am reminded of the cliche about how practicing the same behavior over and over and expecting a different result is insanity. It is mandatory to examine my behavior prior to recovery to discover, or better yet, to uncover, how I contributed to my own stress levels. Perfectionism will do it every time. People-pleasing is, of course, another no-no, unless, more than half the time, that person is me. Oddly enough, by relaxing my standards, I seem to challenge myself more- because I give myself permission to fail without the “mea culpa.”
My previous unhealthy ways of thinking not only demanded perfection, but perfection in all I attempted, be it a new recipe or learning a new computer skill. Yes, I can generally communicate with ease, but my grandchildren learned quickly not to ask Nonna for help with the non-verbal skills, like jigsaw puzzles. I was always able to be flexible for my students and their varied abilities in different areas, but I extended no such compassion to myself. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” Thank you, Albert Einstein- this fish has just jumped back into the pond!
Four years into recovery from Parkinson’s Disease, with meditation and qigong as my faithful companions, I am beginning to heal the rest of my life. Feelin’ good!!
Please be sure to click on the link below where you are invited to a Healing Holiday in Hawaii with myself and my friend and accomplished healer, Judith Kahealani Lynne, along with local teachers and practitioners. Save the dates January 19th-26th. For further info you may contact Judith at info@HarmonicHealing.com, or 808 987 8099 or 503 858 3004. Of course, you are also welcome to contact me.