My first poem: Embracing Adversity

December 9, 2013

Embrace Adversity.
You’ve got to.
What else can you do?
Give up?
Not Try?
Not an option.

Adversity in every life.
Rich or poor.
Smart or dumb.
Black or white.
Christian or Muslim.
Celebrity or average Joe.

Illness or injury.
Of yourself or loved one.
Death of someone close to you.
End of a relationship or divorce.
Loss or unwelcome change of job.
Financial hardship.

For me, Parkinson’s.
Young Onset at 41.
Hand tremor.
Blank face.
Illegible handwriting.
Unmistakable diagnosis.

Not “my” Parkinson’s.
Just Parkinson’s.
It is what it is.
Not me.
Still the same person.
Not my identity.

Feel the emotions.
No repressing allowed.
Will come out other ways.
Count on it.
Life is emotions.
Good and bad.

Denial and Disbelief.
Shock and Anger.
Anxiety and Fear.
Isolation and Depression.
Why? Why me?
No answers.

Get over it.
Just Get Over It.
Work through your emotions.
Whatever works for you.
So long as no one is hurt.
Especially you.

For the best.
Not “for a reason.”
Figure out how.
Think hard.
Remove your blinders.
Put on your rose-colored glasses.

Need a plan to take care of me.
Continually access.
What works for you?
Daily actions.
Goal: maintain quality of life.
How about improve instead?

Eat healthy food.
Stay up-to-date.
Stay active
With enough rest.
Positive perspective.

Walk, jog, spin.
Lift, box, swing.
Meditate, therapy, medicate.
Tai chi, zumba, hot yoga.
Acupuncture, holistic treatments.
Whatever works.

Do what you can.
All anyone can ask.
Do something daily.
Make it a habit.
Day off now and then.
Exception, not the rule.

Outside your comfort zone.
Only way to transform.
Baby steps.
One day at a time.
Feel good about it.

Your quality of life.
For your care partner.
For your family.
For yourself.
Cause you only get one life.

Attitude is key.
If you want nothing.
You have everything.
Silver lining in every cloud.
Glass is always full.
Decide Success

To reinvent myself.
To finally write that book.
To live in new places.
To volunteer.
To help other’s succeed.

My silver lining.
More time to enjoy life.
Feel healthier than ever.
Destine to teach others.
Love my care partner.
Travel and meet awesome people.

Life has purpose.
What is my purpose?
Inspire people in pain.
Instill hope where none exists.
Bring humor and tears.
Lead by example.

Help others find their purpose.
Leave a legacy.
Make a difference.
Become a better human being.
More compassion and empathy.
Faith, Forgiveness, Infinite love.

Embrace Adversity.
Not accept, but actually embrace.
Easy to say, hard to do.
Defines you as a person.
You have the power.
Use that power.

Embrace Parkinson’s.
Muhammad Ali
Michael J. Fox
Davis Phinney
Why not you?
Embrace Adversity.

Embrace Life-changing events.
Embrace your new life.
Embrace the positives.
Embrace Every Day.
Embrace Life.
Yes, Embrace Adversity.


“After two years of not being able to hear speakers in person , I was thrilled to have John Bauman as a speaker at our “ Living Well With Parkinson’s’ Gala!. Not only was John engaging and inspiring to get to know off stage , on stage he truly drove home the theme of empowerment to our audience and left our growing community of attendees with several “ aha “ moments and desire to hear more. He spoke from personal experience as a Parkinson’s patient ,inspiring the audiences motivation to truly wish to make a difference and uniting us all in our humanity. Attendees after listening to John , felt inspired to make a difference in the world and do their part to create change for those living with Parkinson’s. My only regret was not being able to spend more time with John and I look forward to having him speak again to our audience.”

Naomi Wong WPP Program Manager

John’s message of hope, inspiration and laughter was ideal for anyone living with PD. He was extremely flexible and a delight to work with.

Leisha Phipps, MSW Program Director - Dallas Area Parkinson Society

We all felt inspired and enjoyed listening to your presentation. Even though we are not living with Parkinson’s, we felt boost of motivation to continue helping those who are living with this disease. I am motivated to make more personal phone calls to people living with PD and asking how they are doing. Sometimes that “extra” bit of kindness truly makes a difference to someone. I am also motivated to research program ideas and partner with other organizations that may have similar values.

I learned that life is unexpected and that you cannot control it. What matters is your attitude!

-Great way to end the day, brave man, thank you very much!

-Good, excellent, great, outstanding speaker, very moving!

-Inspirational who just “gets it”

-Positive thinker and very funny!

-Honest speaker but also humorous!

Parkinson’s Society of Southwest Ontario, Canada, Symposium Keynote Presentation

“whatever hand life deals you, whatever life changing adversity you have to endure, you still have some control over it.” “You don’t have to just to live well,” he advises,” but live an Amazing Life.” The formula he proposes: Faith in yourself, discipline, determination, desire, intensity, and inner strength.


Yes, you touched every person at our conference, who will in turn change and impact so many others. The feedback from our participants was overwhelmingly positive. You are the only speaker to ever receive a standing ovation. Thank you for taking time to share, motivate and inspire. We are blessed to know you.


I will be honest. During the first 10 minutes of your presentation, I started reading work related material on my laptop. For surely, I had watched your You-Tube and seen your videos and knew what to expect. Surely, as a therapist I had studied this disease, the pathological components, the psychological components, the treatment alternatives……..Surely, I understand it.

Not so much. You caught my attention and I was enthralled. You were able to couple the impairments you experience with the emotions felt. You walked us through your life with the disease through “your eyes”. A perspective that a therapist/nurse rarely has the chance to hear. We get so busy telling patients how to deal with x, y and z, but our eyes are blurred by the science of it all most of the time.

You did it through truth, Through your humor, humility and determination to tell your story. One that most deservedly needs to be shared.

I will advocate to have you share your story. I appreciate your determination, diligence and dedication.