LWT 024: Allan Flood – Living With An Open Heart & MS

Allan Flood is from Oregon and has lived with MS for some thirty-five years. Now retired, in theory, he continues to work with the La Pine Community Health Center, as a grant writer.

When Allan speaks you can’t miss his gentle nature; he exudes calmness. The kind of calm you might experience when you sit under a tree on a bright sunny day. 

The Old Days

Allan’s previous work has far-reaching ripples. He worked as an addiction counselor, human responsibility trainer, life coach, back in the ’70s before it was a ’thing’. He worked alongside trainers such as (late) Dr. Roger Mills and Dr. George Pransky, to name just two. In 1978 he first encountered the work of Sydney Banks and learned about The Three Principles, an understanding about life-based on mind, thought and consciousness. Much to his surprise, Allan tells us he experienced something profound during that meeting. As he listened to Syd talk, Allan felt as though his heart opened for the first time. He admits, however, it wasn’t because Syd was a polished speaker but instead it was a feeling of authenticity that radiated when he spoke. 

 

Impact

The impact of his encounter led Allan and a host of other trainers to embrace the simple and yet profound understanding known as The Three Principles, which continues to have a worldwide influence. For Allan, its most memorable effect was the peaceful state of mind that it generated.

Some years later, in 1986, Allan was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a demyelinating disease that plays havoc with nerve cells. Clearly, the development of this condition was a life-changing experience. Initially, Allan felt very fearful and struggled with uncertainty. He looked for physical healing but what he really longed for was spiritual healing – to just be okay no matter what his happening to his body.

MS can affect people in different ways, but the one common thread is its unpredictability. Stress is known to be a precursor as it was for Allan when he first developed the condition. To cope with his diagnosis, and the uncertainty shrouding his life; he found himself taking comfort in the words of Syd Banks, and listening to audio cassettes of his talks again and again.

Rabbit Holes

Allan is the first to admit that it’s easy to fall into the pits of he likes to call rabbit-hole thinking. The – what if’s, what now, what’s next, this line of questioning will send you there; it’s bound to happen. Allan had lots of such questions …what does mean if I can’t ski anymore, or am I going to lose my balance? He quickly realized there is no figuring it out.

What does it all mean? 

This is the 64 thousand dollar question (a reference to a now dated US TV show) that all of us who experience a debilitating condition struggle with from time to time.

Staying in the moment, being present with those around him, and being aware of his ability to form thought, reminds Allan that beauty is there to be enjoyed. He still falls into ‘rabbit-hole thinking’, but acceptance of his life with MS now means that he spends much less time struggling with the what if’s.

Perfect Misfortune

Allan has a book that beautifully speaks to spiritual healing based on his journey with what he terms ‘a perfect misfortune’.

Video of Allan Flood

 

 

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Living Well Today
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When it comes to living with health challenges, much learning is accomplished through experience, and sharing that experience is of great value to others. Join Living Well coach, Susan Wheeler-Hall and listen to interviews and insights aimed to inspire and ignite living well no matter what is going on in your life.

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