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“How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers” is a book written by Toni Bernhard, published in 2010. The book offers guidance, insights, and practical strategies for individuals who are chronically ill and their caregivers. It draws from Buddhist teachings and mindfulness practices to help readers navigate the challenges of living with chronic illness. Here is a summary of key themes and concepts in “How to Be Sick”:

  1. Acceptance and Mindfulness: The book emphasizes the importance of acceptance in dealing with chronic illness. It encourages readers to cultivate mindfulness and develop a compassionate and non-judgmental attitude toward their condition, allowing them to find peace and contentment despite the challenges they face.
  2. Letting Go of Resistance: Bernhard highlights the negative impact of resisting or fighting against the reality of chronic illness. She encourages readers to let go of resistance and find ways to work with their limitations and circumstances, adapting to their new reality with grace and resilience.
  3. Finding Joy and Meaning: The book explores the possibility of finding joy and meaning in life, even when faced with chronic illness. It encourages readers to focus on the present moment, cultivate gratitude, and engage in activities that bring them happiness and a sense of purpose.
  4. Self-Compassion and Kindness: Bernhard emphasizes the importance of self-compassion and self-care for individuals with chronic illness. She offers practical suggestions for self-compassion practices, such as being gentle with oneself, practicing self-acceptance, and nurturing oneself emotionally and physically.
  5. Communication and Support: The book provides guidance on communicating with healthcare providers, family, and friends about one’s illness, needs, and limitations. It offers insights on how to seek and accept support from others, fostering understanding and empathy in relationships.
  6. Managing Energy and Activities: Bernhard explores strategies for managing limited energy levels and prioritizing activities. She offers advice on pacing oneself, setting realistic expectations, and making choices that align with one’s well-being.
  7. Dealing with Grief and Loss: The book acknowledges the grief and loss that can accompany chronic illness. It provides guidance on navigating these emotions and finding ways to process and integrate them into one’s life.
  8. Cultivating Mindfulness in Daily Life: Bernhard emphasizes the importance of mindfulness in daily life, offering practical techniques to integrate mindfulness into daily routines and activities. She explores the benefits of mindful breathing, meditation, and other mindfulness practices.
how to be sick

“How to Be Sick” provides a compassionate and practical guide for individuals living with chronic pain, offering insights, strategies, and Buddhist-inspired wisdom to navigate the physical, emotional, and psychological challenges of their journey. It encourages readers to find acceptance, cultivate mindfulness, and discover inner peace and well-being amidst the difficulties of chronic illness.

mind body temple

Mind-Body Temple: A Self-Directed Approach to Managing Chronic Pain and Elevating your life

This book is designed to take you through a journey of healing for managing your chronic pain and elevating your life. 

It starts with some information about chronic pain and an overview of different conditions that cause chronic pain. This is followed by describing the impact of chronic pain on life, and how to manage it through elevating your life force with healthy living skills and mental wellbeing practices.

Buy Mind-Body Temple: A Self-Directed Approach to Managing Chronic Pain and Elevating your life by Dr. Kevin Rod on Amazon

Developing your Mind-Body Temple through elevating your health and life will pave your way to your goals. Organizing your mind is organizing your life. Working on your physical state will change your state in life. Identifying obstacles between you and your goals, and learning ways to negotiate them, brings you closer to reaching your goals.

There are many Mind-Body skills and disciplines that can help you on this journey. Multiple factors can play significant role in leading you closer to (or farther from) your goals, everything from what you eat, to how active you are, to your perspective in life, to how you prioritize your time on short-term goals, to the quality of your sleep, to your relationships and your social network.

Your Mind-Body Temple can safely take you to the goals of your life. Your purpose in life can be fulfilled through this path. The results are satisfaction and a sense of fulfilment in life – the mother of all success and happiness.

Mind-Body Temple

My goal is to assist you on this journey. My hope is that this information will help you to reach your goal in life and fulfil your purpose. I hope you will never feel alone and join many others on this journey of healing to support and empower each other.

The information on this book is based on scientific evidence, my 32 years’ experience in medical practice, materials gathered by my team for patient education at our clinic, as well as lessons I have learned from my own journey of healing. I have tried to provide reliable references that are accessible by patients at each section.

I trust the skills you will learn on this journey will not only help you with your current medical condition, but these will also stay with you for the rest of your life as you face other life challenges. I hope you find this journey helpful. If only one life is saved or one suffering is ended, all our collective efforts are warranted.

What I loved most about Mind-Body Temple was the author’s caring approach which shone through in his writing. There is so much misinformation regarding chronic pain that it is often dismissed as a mental condition. The sufferer then feels the damaging effects of this mindset when they are either ignored or gaslighted by their health care provider. Dr. Kevin Rod used his experience with chronic pain to develop a holistic, gentle, and compassionate plan.

Stephanie Elizabeth has written a full review of this book here.