It’s snowing. If I noted this in late December, my voice would lilt out ‘snowing,’ like birdsong. The words might even be prefaced by a “Look” or an “Ooh.” Evergreens dusted in white embody the postcard view of holiday time in New England. Were it mid-January, ‘snowing’ would come out as a question. How many inches? Will school be closed? Can we go sledding? A warm weather fan, I admit I shift my stance a bit and suit-up. Nothing quite matches playing in fresh, puffy snow. Come March, the weight of ‘snowing’ is as wet and heavy as a clump sliding off the roof. No more white stuff. I’m done with shoveling. Uncle. From one standpoint, it’s simply cold precipitation. From another, when will spring arrive? Yoga suggests we not only welcome the differing viewpoints, we step back and notice them for what they are: viewpoints. Rather than get caught […]
During class one morning, a woman asked if I could define yoga in one word. I considered the array of descriptions, musings and translations. After a deep breath, I answered, “Awareness.” The word-nerd in me smiled at the perfect match I’d made: Awareness. It’s recognizing the moment for what it is. It’s focusing on how we move. It’s aligning mind and body. I was so satisfied with my response that I shared it with other classes, interspersing Awareness tidbits between poses. “Bring attention to the moment,” and “Witness each bend and reach,” plus “Notice the ‘aha’ moments.” So much we can do with awareness! Early one day, my phone chirped its appointment-reminder tone. I checked it, checked the time and rushed to find footwear and brush my teeth. I didn’t remember making an 8:00 a.m. doctor appointment for that day, but that’s what had blinked at me from my screen. […]
TO DO: _√__ Register for the World Parkinson Coalition’s (WPC) 2016 Congress in Portland, Oregon. _√__ Get Sir Thomas a spiffy new vest for the occasion. ____ Blog about the Parky for the WPC. Check. Check. Hmmmm. When I first heard about Parky, my really? radar triggered. But, I’m a blogger for the WPC, I need to hone in on the really! qualities of this 10-inch, floppy plush toy, not the fact that it looks like the dog’s favorite chewie. A stuffed raccoon (really?), Parky is the WPC’s mascot for their upcoming Congress, the Parkinson’s conference of conferences. The organizers invite everyone affected by Parkinson’s disease (PD) from everywhere around the world to a summit of shared stories, current findings, breaking news, latest treatments, song and dance and so […]
I click the Like icon routinely on friend’s Facebook posts or their comments on mine. It’s a rare moment, however, when my internal Like button gets pressed and that immediate, undeniably warm sensation whooshes in and says, Yes. Good. Life is better because that person is here living it, too. In yoga, our awareness opens us, teaches us to step back from our egos and witness the Like in all. Well, I’m not there, yet. Maybe after the election. In the meantime, there are people such as Meg Bernard. I haven’t met her, have never spoken with her, don’t know where she lives. Still, she has a message and such likeability worth sharing. Almost makes me want to staple her name to a stick and stand on the street corner urging you to read Meg’s blog (click to read her blog) and cast your ballot for more people like her.
I live with a teenager. When he speaks, a one-word grunt is typically accompanied by a shrug. On the rare occasion that a full sentence streams out aloud, it’s riddled with middle-school speak. A combination of texting abbreviations and lingo known only to eighth graders streams out with a tone that emits coolness. The word-nerd in me isn’t satisfied with the coolness factor of the delivery and tries but often cannot parse the meaning. Since there is no Teenage Awareness Month and April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, I offer the meaning behind a few PD catch phrases. “I have Parkinson’s, but it doesn’t have me.” “Parkinson’s: Fight back.” “Parkinson’s is a word, not a sentence.” Each seems an upbeat summary of what it takes to live well while living with the disease. I’ve used them. But on closer inspection, they’re much like the language of my son with more meaning […]
Ever notice a baby when another baby enters the room? There’s an instant look of recognition, a ‘Hey, I know you` connection. For some, the grin is hard to contain, others stare for a while first. Either way, they’re drawn to each other. This happens to me when I meet someone living with Parkinson’s, whether a new student in my yoga class, a chance encounter at a café or amidst many at a conference. Like babies, regardless of how caring and understanding our caretakers are, in that instant, we know that the only other one in the room who gets babyhood (or PDhood) is the baby. The camaraderie of the Parkinson’s community has provided me with resources from book reviews to diet tips, made me laugh, introduced me to people whose paths I’d not have crossed otherwise, given me cause to reach out in support when a bad day got […]
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