Appreciating Life As It Is, Living Well with MS

Barbara M Fleming
Appreciating Life As It Is is the tale of a journey facing the trials and triumphs of life with the best effort possible at any given moment. The years leading up to this point in the story were devoted to finding a way to live life that made sense to this seeker. The resulting book is a practical application of the profound wisdom of one way to live fully, appreciating every aspect as it happens. Not every life has the added difficulty of Multiple Sclerosis in its progressive form, but everyone faces good times and not so good times. MS has no known cause or cure or course of development or remission, it is as unpredictable as life itself, which is why Mrs. Fleming seems to focus on this shared element of living life as it occurs. MS is simply one example of the difficulties everyone faces. The book describes how uncertainty affects different individuals, provides resources for further study of this particular disease and moves on to become more personal by sharing actual experiences as she came to grips with what having MS meant on a daily basis. Learning to live with this uncertainty was much easier in her view, having spent time practicing the common sense and compassion based wisdom tradition of Dzogchen.. The practice of how to live well regardless of circumstances takes center stage. It is not what the individual faces in life, but how they choose to experience, process, and respond to challenges with choices coming from awareness and discernment, wisdom and compassion rather than habit, that can make a difference. Learning how to live well is the key to this tale. The path of Dzogchen is one example of a good choice for how to live fully present. "It is the best one - for me," as Mrs. Fleming says. She makes it clear that it is not necessarily the only one.