Author Archives: Dr. C

Letting Go Is Not ‘Forever Gone’

“Letting go” is a constant theme with Parkinson’s disease. What used to be easy is now challenging. Gone are my days of hiking for miles or spending hours in the gardens digging, hauling, lifting. Those times when 24 hours of project immersion got me through complex problem-solving and four college…

A Scientific Model of Sanctuary Helps Me to Overcome Resistance

Each time I seek sanctuary, I face resistance. But fortunately, I’ve found a model of sanctuary that helps me to overcome that resistance. The other day, I watched a lecture by cognitive neuroscientist Indre Viskontas, which was part of the video series “Brain Myths Exploded.” She spoke about the…

Stress Can Result in Resisting Sanctuary

BOOM! Abruptly out of bed, I’m disoriented by flashing lights reflecting on the bedroom walls. I sit on the edge of the bed and look out onto what should be morning sun, bringing to life the cheery reds of bee balm against a backdrop of white birches. Instead, the sky…

Embracing the Beauty and Serenity of My Sanctuary

Sunlight bounces its way through the swaying birches, projecting a shadow picture show on the lawn and garden shed. A light wind causes the fluttering leaves to sing in unison like waves on the shore. A family of hummingbirds — we have given all of them names now — take…

The Role of Sanctuary in Life with Parkinson’s

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” wrote Henry David Thoreau while sitting on the edge of Walden Pond. We live in a post-9/11 world where income disparity threatens the pillars of well-being in democratic nations. Kings of the oligarchy are viewed as pallbearers to the…

Our Idea of Fun Is Sharing Moments Together

“Fun” is an F-word that doesn’t have a strong history in our home. My partner and I are from the “nose to the grindstone, make it happen, pursue the American dream” generation. Oh, and we try to live up to the adage “Become the change you wish to see in…

Explaining, Not Complaining: A New Approach to Pain

Pain visits me all the time now. There are multiple days when high pain levels make me nauseated. I am sick and tired of having to say how sick and tired I feel. I’m experimenting with a new approach: responding to the pain in a dispassionate way, making observations, and…

Caressed by Calmness: An Extended Well-being Moment

Wow! That was intense. I was just sitting in the “pause between” with no expectation beyond a quiet mind, allowing the moment to bloom. Suddenly, the moment transformed into this encompassing sense of being caressed by calmness. Even more surprising, the calm stayed with me for part of the day,…

With Parkinson’s, a Suntan Just Isn’t Worth It

Betty slapped George hard. There was no response, so she dialed 911. Parkinson’s disease (PD) had forced George into early retirement. He loved basking in the sun, diving into a good book, and working on his tan on their deck. Betty was in the kitchen when she saw him slumped over…