Living with an illness is a constant reminder that every day is precious and full of meaning. Signs and opportunities present themselves, if you stay aware to recognize these opportunities.
Here’s a recent example about a small gesture that made a big difference in someone’s life, as well as my my own.
A doctor friend in Ohio had asked us to teach him reiki. We don’t normally drive a few hundred miles across the country to teach one person reiki , but this was an experiment that we needed to try.
When first arriving into town, we checked into our hotel and found a place for a late dinner. The restaurant, a college bar and pizza hangout, was lively and rocking. Our waitress was very friendly, hard working, personable young lady.
When the bill came, and it was time to pay, I felt compelled to reward her for her service and her hard work. I paid the bill at the table and slipped out to the parking lot to get back to our hotel around the corner. Just as we were about to get into our vehicle, we saw our waitress darting out of the restaurant, bolting towards our car. She had a huge smile and was beaming from ear to ear.
Quickly, the young lady, began to tear up as she told us of how her rent money had been stolen from a break in to her car. She said that her rent was due and that the tip that we had left her was going to make a difference. You could see it in her face how appreciative she was. For what I thought was just a kindly gesture and recognition of someone doing a great job, meant so much more to her.
What we perceive as one thing can be very different to someone else. I didn’t set out to make an impact on another, but I did. I received so much more from her story than I could have imagined.
Something that seemed so small at the time touched another and left a impact that I would have never expected. I feel so lucky to have had this experience.
I hope you too will try this experiment in rewarding and acknowledging those people who you encounter either with a kind word, an act, a smile, a gift, or a gesture. It is so important to recognize those around us and show our gratitude.
My many thanks to my friends at the Parkinson Voice Project in Richardson, Texas for this generous review of our second book!
Book Review by LOUD Crowd® Member Carol Brandle
TITLE: Dealing and Healing with Parkinson’s Disease and Other Health Conditions: A Workbook
for Body, Mind, and Spirit
BY: Angela and Karl Robb
Having a workbook to accompany the best-selling Parkinson’s book, A Soft Voice in a Noisy
World, provides an excellent wellness tool for individuals or group discussion. Questions in the
workbook are closely paired with chapters in the book. Additionally, some questions shine light
on new ideas, such as complementary therapies like Reiki, massage, acupuncture, and
Karl Robb brings the same positive attitude, hope, and strength to this workbook as to his
book, A Soft a Voice in a Noisy World. Exercises which reduce stress and reaffirm strength can be
done as individuals or in communication groups, such as The LOUD Crowd® groups at Parkinson
Voice Project. A caregiver or partner might use the questions to strike up meaningful
conversation with the affected person, whether Parkinson’s is the health concern, or some other
health conditions. Either format will help you balance the connection between mind, body, and
It’s apparent that Angela and Robb write from a wealth of experience as they direct
questions to sensitive issues, such as “What are you willing to do to help yourself?” and creating
a timeline to improve communication with a health care provider. Angela was honored in 2015
as a White House Champion of Change in Parkinson’s Disease. She and Karl also author an award winning
Angela and I have been fans, friends, and Board members of the Parkinson Voice Project for several years. We encourage anyone unfamiliar with this organization to learn about the wonderful work that they do.
I have just returned from a working vacation in the mountains of North Carolina. The experience proved to be nothing short of amazing, as I saw an improvement in almost all my symptoms! Strength, stamina, balance, gait, sleep, cognition, and productivity were all improved and recognizably noticeable.
Nature has a healing property. Just to be surrounded by the abundance of flowering, fluttering, and stirring plants and creatures can reunite you with your connection with the planet. In this modern world, we begin to lose that connection with earth and sky, only to focus on flat screens, texts, and our on-screen accounts.
Once leaving the bucolic beauty of the lush green forest and coming back to city life, I find myself wondering if this is my healthiest decision. Returning to the sights and sounds of nature re-invigorated me–I found it to be a struggle to return to civilization, albeit, at this time, a necessity. Don’t forget to garden it, walk in it, swim in it, or just be in it–don’t lose your connection to Nature.
A comfortable routine is not always a bad habit.
Cats love it! The only real problem with routines is when you sacrifice an opportunity to maintain the routine. If the cycle that you are in is working for you, then by all means keep it, and don’t let go, but if the routine has gone stale or you see a need for correction, it might be time for a new tack.
Never lose the curiosity and desire to learn more about everything! Science, art, music, history, and the world around us can feed our quest for knowledge and understanding as we continue to learn.
Try picking up a new talent or improving upon an old one. If you enjoyed playing an instrument, performing magic, shuffling and dealing cards, juggling, whistling, telling a joke, then think hard on what would bring you the greatest joy to add to your abilities, and explore it.
As we age, keeping focus becomes more of a challenge. Work on maintaining focus with brain games, puzzles, reading, and even video games.
Singing and keeping conversation are good for voice and concentration.
Challenging yourself and enjoying yourself at the same time, is very satisfying.
Music keeps me inspired, active, and makes my day so much more enjoyable.
I love to-do lists and marking off my completions–it just feels good!
Fear happens to all of us–when we can reduce our fear and anxiety, everything seems to get better.
Giving back and focusing less on ourselves can result in helping everyone involved.
Being bad can be fun–sometimes eating something that makes you smile, turning off the phone for a few hours, or having a late-night ice cream party can reignite the kid in us that we forget sometimes.
If you are an animal lover, dog or cat person, intuitive, or just simply aware, these observations may not be as eye-opening as some of my epiphanies, but here are some of the observations, realized from living with Lily:
1. In her eyes, if I’m having a less good day, all she wants to do is be with me and make my day better.
2. Parkinson’s symptoms don’t disturb her. She loves me for who I am and what I am. I am part of her pack, no matter what.
3. When times are stressful or anxious, Lily is waiting in the wings with her ball or stuffed toy, to make me laugh or break the mood with a game of catch or fetch.
4. She reminds me not to take myself so seriously.
5. She reminds me that you can say an awful lot with just your eyes. Words are not always necessary to get your message across.