Who Am I Now?

nested head images

As I teach and meet people soon after they have had a stroke, I see so many grappling with the question “Who am I now?”   It’s not an easy question.   So much has changed in so short a period of time.  But it’s question worth asking.

“Who am I now?” could be a question of religious beliefs and those beliefs can and do have powerful effects in life challenging experiences.   That’s not the question I mean.  What I mean is the question that asks how we have shaped our lives and how we will shape our lives from here. Continue reading

Persistence, Not Pressure

Persistence is very important in stroke recovery.   To support our recoveries, we have to be motivated, really want to recover and work hard consistently over the long term.   Our brains and bodies must know that recovery matters to us and that we will continue to pay attention to helping ourselves.  Setting goals, making schedules, making commitments to ourselves and keeping them – all of this makes a big difference.

Persistence is not the same thing as pressure, however.  Continue reading

Coming Home

house in heart

In a talk she gave called on lovingkindness Tara Brach, a wonderful teacher in Washington, DC, quoted a bumper sticker she had seen.   She said, “If I lived in my heart, I’d be home right now.”  I like this bumper sticker very much.

I keep thinking about this quote, asking myself,  “Where am I at home?”  Continue reading

Hope and Expectations

morning mountains in mist

Many times when I give a talk to clinicians I am asked the heartfelt question, “What do I tell patients and family members?  I don’t want to give them ‘false hope.’” These clinicians care about us.  They don’t want to add to our suffering. They want to encourage us and often they truly don’t know what to say.

Is there such a thing as “false hope?”  I don’t think so.   Continue reading