A highlight from Toni Bernhard - Handling the Mix of Joys and Sorrows in Life



On a trip to paris with her husband actually. She was diagnosed with an acute viral infection and has never recovered. She lives with pain and fatigue every day. And assad had to retire as a law professor. Uc davis. Tony studied buddhism before she became ill but has taken a much deeper dive since her life. Took this unexpected turn. Her book share her story and are compilations of the wisdom and tools that have helped her cope with the physical and emotional challenges. She continues to face. I actually found her to be uplifting graceful honest and wise as she shared how she's navigated and accepted her life journey for better and for worse you'll hear how illness can be a metaphor for life. And how we can all handle the mix of joys and sorrows that we inevitably face. Here's tony tony. I am so happy to have you on untangled today. Thank you so much for being with us. Oh i'm really glad to be here patricia. Thanks i want to start with. What inspired you to write this book. This very important book about how to be sick. How we handle being sick in life in two thousand and one. My husband and i took a trip to paris. We live in california. This was a big deal for and the second day there. I got sick with a bad viral infection of all things. Which is what's on our minds today with cova nineteen. I got this viral infection and i never recovered from it. So it's been over nineteen years. We think that it compromise blaming system in some way so that it reads me as sick and of course back in two thousand and ten. I did all the round specialists and actually spent about ten years working on it. Trying to figure out a diagnosis. Some what we can do. And at the time i was teaching at uc davis at the law school. And i had to leave. I was bed bound. So i took a semester off and then realized i just couldn't go back so i had been a practicing buddhist for ten years when i got sick and i had a very disciplined meditation. Practice twice a day for forty five minutes. Each time and other people will recognize when they've had a life changing event to traumatic. Event doesn't necessarily have to be getting sick. That sometimes the very things in your life that have been helpful to you. You just put them aside and so. I put down all of the teachings of the buddha that had been so helpful to me for ten years because my focus was completely on what was wrong with me physically and i was filled with self blame that i couldn't get well when you get sick. You're supposed to get well. And i thought i felt as if nobody understood and everyone was saying. Well why isn't she getting and a fell into depression. And then one day it says if i almost i think of it as the bhuttos teachings having been waiting in the wings for me to rediscover and i actually took my computer. My laptop pulled it over on the bed and opened a word document and wrote how to be sick. Which is the name of the book. That's how it got that crazy name. Because some people say what he ever. But a lotta people tell me they bought it because of the crazy title but i never wanted to discard that because of how it came about i opened it. I had to be sick. And i actually saw. That's a nice idea. But i'm too sick to twenty but gradually i started writing using a lot of the buddha's insights into the human condition. For example the fact that illness is part of the human condition. It can happen to any wanted any age. It wasn't my fault. And instead of blaming myself i let south compassion and in my life again. Another one of buddhism isn't alone teaching compassion. But it is a very big part of buddhist practice and i really thought i was preparing this for myself but i shared it with a couple people. I've met online. Who were chronically. Ill and they said this is a book so i turned it into a book. I thought i would have to self publish it but wisdom publications of one of their authors read the manuscript and said i'm going to show this to my editor and wisdom really liked it and now i've britain four books. It's so unique. I feel like people don't gravitate towards a book like this unless they're sick or they know someone who's sick but there is so much wisdom for people who are feeling anything any time. I do wanna go through what you call the challenges in your small companion guide. But i wanna understand so you got sick. Nineteen years ago. And one of the things. I was blown away by. Was that feeling of going to. I think you had nine or ten different diagnoses from doctors and no one understood. The illness and i think people are so frustrated with the healthcare system. Right now but i wanna know. What was it like to deal with that. The doctors and you mentioned in the book. This is so interesting each doctor would feel like they've got the solution. And then you'd get really excited and they wouldn't have the solution and then you'd be really disappointed and so i just can't even imagine going up and down on that journey and then never wanted to give up but not wanting to participate. It must be so hard. It is really hard. I have a wonderful. Gp and what he knew to do was to refer me because to every specialist he could think of. I mean i saw two infectious disease. Doctors and endocrinologist listen cardiologists and neurologist. Could go on ramadan and alternative. Medicine may be five acupuncturists and herbalists. And every time. I would get my hopes up because some of the doctors would say well. We'll order these tests and then we'll know what's wrong and i'll fix you right. I'll fix you. Yeah the tests would come back. Nothing showed up on blood. Work earned m are is he d- scans and they would say. Go back to your primary care physician and so what. I called this in the book. The hot potato treatment where you keep throwing it to the next person. And what i've discovered it's been ten years since that first book came out and it has a worldwide distribution and i get emails from people all over the world. I had an email from a pharmacist in iraq. I mean it's really amazing and we've had a lot of similar experiences and let me also say that the endocrinologist i saw said i'm not sure that i can find out what's going on but i'll do my best and i appreciated her so much because she was honest with me. She didn't say i'm gonna fix you. And she ordered a lot of tests and didn't come back with anything and was really honest with me and one thing that when i started to put the buddhist teachings to use again

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