Archive for May, 2011

SUMMER IS HERE

What a beautiful long weekend!!! It really feels like summer now. For some reason Mother Nature feels that the people from Michigan can handle going from 50s right to 80s and 90s. For those of us that live in this amazing state…if it means we get to see the sun, WE WILL TAKE IT!!! There is a certain feeling that comes along with summer. I think it may have to do with the shedding of all the layers we have to wear during the winter in order to keep warm. Once summer comes, even something as simple as being able to wear flip flops is so freeing.

We are incredibly blessed with all the water and lakes that surround us. In this great little town alone, we probably have 8 or 9. Life on the lake is really nice. I am fortunate that my parents live on the lake just south of town and on the weekends, my brothers and their families gather and we hang out and play all day. We usually gather with food and music and spend the entire day chatting, catching some rays and watching my niece, Charlie, learn about the water, sand and navigating the deck. It is a lot of fun and has become my most favorite thing to do. Yesterday was wonderfully hot, the lake was incredibly busy, and the water was amazingly refreshing. Everything wrapped up around 7 or so and everyone headed home to get some final rest before the week begins again. I headed down a couple doors to a small gathering that was happening, chatted for a few minutes and helped them clean up… And that is when it happened…I had my first bite of watermelon. I don’t know anything that says “welcome to summer” more than biting into fresh watermelon. It’s summertime. Get out there and enjoy yourself!
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"OH MY ALLERGIES…"

We have had a TON of rain lately and of course everything that comes back to life in spring is doing so in a VERY BIG WAY!!! Which is making the world so lush and beautiful…and bringing on allergy and “hay fever” symptoms. Many times each day I have people coming in to get their spines checked and talking about how miserable “allergy season” is. I have discussed this topic in the past however I always like to re-visit things when they are brought to my attention so frequently.

First off, YES “allergy season” sucks!!! It is hard to get through the day and have to deal with congestion, stuffy foggy head, headaches, nasal drainage, itchy eyes and scratchy throats. It is a total drag because usually you still have to deal with whatever you had planned for the day. So why does the body do this anyways? Let’s take a look.

This “hay fever”/allergy thing generally happens 2 times per year, spring and fall, though for some, it happens with every season change. Our sinuses are always filtering and responding to what is entering our bodies when we breathe in and out. It is a lot of work for them to do this with every single breath, however our body is very intelligent and has set things up this way for a reason. The air we breathe is filled with all kinds of particles from our environment and winter air and the summer air are very different. Winter outside air is usually quite clear because most things are dormant however our bodies have to deal with heated buildings and things trapped inside. In the spring, things start coming back to life and our sinuses are dealing with completely different particles and have to change. Then fall comes around and things die off and our sinuses have to change again to deal with filtering different particles…and the cycle continues. When our sinuses go through that change in season they have to slough off the old sinus cells and mucous linings and replace with new and different hence, nasal swelling and drainage, congestion, etc.

If you moved to a different country and your started eating a completely different diet, the linings of your digestive tract will initially be a little upset and then will gradually make a shift to accommodate this new diet. Same thing happens with the sinuses.

“OK doc, so what can I do about this? I am miserable!”

Ahhhh, great question! First off, boost your immune system by eating well, getting some exercise and lots of rest, drinking lots of water and steer clear of caffeine, sugar, and alcohol and stress management. Get on a good multi-vitamin and make sure you are getting enough omega fatty acids from flax seed, flax oil or fish oil. Try adding vitamin C and getting out in the sunshine to get your vitamin D. Our nerve system controls how our body reacts to the environment so coming in for chiropractic care helps a lot. In fact, some people have a noticeably easier time breathing immediately following an adjustment.

So realize the body is doing its best with what its got to work with. Let’s focus on getting a few more pieces balanced and start to enjoy springtime!!! …life is too short not to.

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A GREAT WEEKEND

It was a GREAT weekend, I mean really great. It was the most perfectly balanced weekend that I can remember in a long time. It started with a coaching meeting and getting my hair done on Friday morning. The evening marked the last class of Yoga Teacher Training with concluded with 108 sun salutations to a live bongo band. Awesome! And maybe you are not familiar with what a sun salutation is so let me breifly describe it. It follows the length of about 5-6 breaths and includes 11 postures, standing, foward fold, top of a plank then bottom, up dog, down dog and back to the top of the mat. Multiply that by 108 = A LOT of work. Good work though. Saturday morning began with the Le Leche League doing their cloth diaper sale in the front yard of the Cafe of LIFE. It was great because I came and helped set up and didn’t have to stay and work. So I chose to head up north. There is a bike ride called Zoo-De-Mack(http://www.zoo-de-mack.com/) that happens once a year and I have gone up and participated for 7 years. This year I didn’t get to do the ride but I went up for the celebration anyways. Mackinaw Island is such a cool place. There is so much to do and see there, I really enjoy it. The evening was filled with friends and dancing and everyone was in such great spirits. I woke early on Sunday and made it home to finish the weekend hanging out with my family and having dinner on the lake.

This is the frist weekend where I actually felt like I was able to catch up with myself. Seems life is so full anymore that I feel I fall behind a little with myself. Great to relax and have some fun and catch up. This morning I woke up loving the fact that it is Monday. Monday mornings are so full of potential. Some people really dread Mondays however I feel like there are so many possibilities for the week when I am staring at the ceiling waking up on Monday mornings. In that same moment, I am so grateful that I play a part in choosing to make the week a good one or not. May as well do our best to make all of our weeks great…we only get one chance.

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DUCKS GONE MAD

This morning I pulled into the parking lot at the Cafe of LIFE to a very disturbing sight. There were 4 male ducks surrounding a dead female duck at the back corner of the building. There were feathers everywhere and fresh blood on her neck. The four male ducks moved away from the female as I approached and it seemed as though they were the culprit. For the next hour, these 4 male ducks squawked and screamed at all windows of the Cafe, from the front to the back, they paced around the building. In fact, as I sit here right now, they are all still swimming under the tree in the river right behind the building. They get out, beat each other up a bit, get back in the river and start it all over again. It is rather disturbing actually. I do not want to have “killer ducks” at the Cafe of LIFE!!!

OK, so I realize that i am being a little dramatic, however I have such a respect for all things that are alive that it was just so disturbing. I also know that during mating season, things can get a little hectic around the duck relationships and maybe this behavior is completely normal, I don’t know. I guess bottom line is I am grateful that humans don’t treat each other that way…or at least for the most part. I think we all could use a little sunshine and warm temps. Maybe that will help them cool their jets a little bit.
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MOTHER’S DAY

I had a wonderful weekend enjoying time outside and soaking in the sun and I always enjoy celebrating Mother’s Day. I am very fortunate to live so close to so much family, and my mom is included in that. I have a wonderful relationship with my Mom and she and I are very close. Moms are moms and life happens which can sometimes create an awful lot of baggage in a parent/child relationship. I am very fortunate and get to spend a lot of time with my Mom. I consider her one of my closest friend and tend to discuss most aspects of my life with her. There are quite a few people that are curious of her and my relationship and most people make the assumption that we have been this close my whole life. I grew up with three brothers and was pretty much carted around with them, doing everything that they were doing and not getting much room to be an individual and almost never getting individual one on one time with my Mom. I never really learned the value of good quality female relationships until I went away for school many years down the road. Then came the invention of Internet and email. I was living in Alaska at the time my Mom first got email. We began to email each other 2-3 times per week and I really felt like I was able to get to know her, and thus get to know myself at a deeper level. This progressed for a few more years and our relationship really began to flourish to the point that I she became one of my very best friends. I moved back home in 2004 and lived under the same roof with her for two years. She is amazing, brilliant, straight-forward, talented, level-headed, caring, loving, balanced and really happy. I admire her and all the trials she has had in life and how that has shaped her to really be grounded in who she is. Though she is not “raising” us anymore, because of the mutual love and respect that the my brothers and I have for her, we are able to go to her when things come up and allow her to guide us when we need guidance. It really is a beautiful thing. For Mother’s Day this year, she spent the entire day working and wasn’t going to be home until 8PM. In my mind, she still deserves recognition, as every Mom does, on that special day. We made a small desert celebration happen last night to surprise her, and we did just that. Without my Mom, there wouldn’t be a Me and without a Mom like I have, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thank you Mom!!! …today and always!
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A NEW PERSPECTIVE

I taught my very first yoga class this past Saturday. It was called a “feedback session” which means all the teacher trainees were invited as well as anyone else I wanted to invite. The concept is I teach an hour long slow flow class and the teacher trainees stay after and give me feedback. It was a wonderful process in spite of all the nervous energy that takes over the body when one undertakes something like that and I learned a couple interesting lessons from it.

First, I have been practicing yoga in the room I taught in for over 4 years now. To me, this room is sacred and when you are in it, the rules are you need to obey “noble silence” which means shut your mouth and stay out of other people’s business. There is rarely even whispers going on in that room except for if someone is trying to make room for someone else’s mat. My routine when I go to take classes is to go in, set up my mat, go to the back, change my clothes (I am almost always coming from work), do some talking in the tea room and when I am done and ready to be quiet, I go in and find my place on my mat and prepare to be present. So in the beginning of the class that I taught, none of my regular routine was happening and it kind of threw me off. There were 8 or 9 people in the class and getting them to lay down on their mat by a simple verbal cue was pretty easy. After working with breath for a few minutes it was time to start the class. I was almost paralyzed by the idea that I had to talk for the next 60 minutes in a room where everyone else was quiet and I had always been silent in for the past 4 years of my life. My lesson…I am a “rule-follower” almost to a fault. It was so funny to see the panic inside of me as I faced this 60 minutes of talking. But I did it and as the minutes slipped past, it became more and more comfortable.

Second, I am a vinyasa student and I was having to teach a slow flow class. The vinyasa classes that I am used to are a little, and sometimes a lot, faster pace than slow flow and some of the moves take a little, and sometimes a lot, more effort to transition in to and hold. I thought I was making a flow that would be great for the level of students I was working with. Apparently it was a little, or a lot, too hard! For 9 years of my life, I was an aerobics instructor and I taught so many types of classes, and even yoga, in a gym setting. During these classes, I was able to gage the participants by their body language and energy. One of the goals of yoga is to build up the capability of peacefully handling incredibly intense moments, both on the mat and out in real life. As my yoga class is progressing, all the participants were peacefully moving through the postures in what appeared grace and ease and to me, didn’t seem like they were working very hard….I had forgotten that is part of the whole point of yoga. So after class, some of the attendees were like “Were you trying to kill us?!?!?!” When I look back, it is a really obvious thing and I chuckle at my naivety. The lesson here is in yoga, or even as we walk down the street or around the grocery store, we have no idea what is going on inside of each person that we pass. One of the biggest lessons of yoga is to have compassion for others and extend loving kindness to all people in our lives. Since we have no idea what is going on inside other people, what better way to look at the world than from a place of loving kindness…we only get one chance.

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