My good friend and myeloma lifestyle columnist, Danny Parker, has written a timely piece to help us kick off the new year:
The Gift of Kindness
All of us with myeloma face a difficult challenge– one that threatens our very life. We suffer a lot, endure treatments, face worry and have to watch those around us suffer as well. And yet, I want to tell you of a great gift we all have available and within reach– the gift of kindness.
Regardless of your situation, of your duress or suffering, it is possible to nurture kindness for yourself and others. Nothing feels better than that. “The best way to cheer yourself up,” Mark Twain keenly observed, “is to cheer somebody else up.”
That effort to help yourself and others, no matter the situation, is the gift of kindness. Regardless of your spiritual tradition, it ties you in deeply into your spiritual life.
The gift of kindness is defined by our relationships in our life.
What is your relationship with your body?
I’ve also written a series of columns for Pat over the last year about how important it is to obtain some exercise, regardless of how modest, within our condition. But ever more important than that is our relationship with our body.
All too often, I think, with myeloma we come to think of our body as a mistake, a problem, a difficulty. Yes, there is a difficulty with our body, but this body is the vehicle that enables us to be here on this wonderful green, verdant planet. And what more wonderful way to celebrate our presence than by walking on the ground, or being outside to breath in the fresh air or just to sun ourselves outside under the beautiful sky.
What is your relationship with food?
I spent more than a year in a series of columns here describing how important choices within our diet may be a help in our effort to extend our lives. Still, enjoyment of food is most important of all. Remember, that we not only eat to help fight the cancer, we also eat to nourish our body and cultivate appreciation for our life.
I believe a simple grace–shared or silent–before a meal will help to bring appreciation and joy to meals. This is the blessing I use, but find whatever seems appropriate and sincere for you and yours.
“We give thanks for this food,
the work of many people,
the offering of other forms of life.
May it nourish us body, mind and spirit
May all of those around us be happy and healthy”
Put a hold on TV, radio, the internet and telephone. At least once a day, make mealtime special.
Chew slowly and completely, paying attention to tongue and taste. Give attention to each morsel you put in your mouth. Life is feeding life.
Consider your good fortune to be here today. Savor. Enjoy each bite.
I want to pause here to give us all an opportunity to contemplate things. Tomorrow, Danny wraps up his column by asking, “What is your relationship with others?” I think you may be surprised by his answer–and yours.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat