Archive for October, 2012

MUSIC IS MAGIC

Music is magic.  Music has a way of facilitating us in opening up certain areas of our being that are closed off.  It lifts us up.  It has a way of letting light in through the dark cracks and crevices that haven’t seen any light lately.  Music helps us move, shift and break free.  When the vibrational resonance matches up, it can help us grow and evolve.  It has instantaneous effects as well as can start long-term ripples that can reverberate for years.  Music takes us back, it moves us forward and can help us to stay in the present.  The “remember whens…” and the “what ifs…” and the idea of “be here now…”.  It is all of that and so much more.  Music is magic.

“These are the days
These are days you’ll remember
Never before and never since, I promise
Will the whole world be warm as this
And as you feel it,
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you
Are touched by something
That will grow and bloom in you

These are days that you’ll remember
When May is rushing over you
With desire to be part of the miracles
You see in every hour
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you are touched
By something that will grow and bloom in you

These are days
These are the days you might fill
With laughter until you break
These days you might feel
A shaft of light
Make its way across your face
And when you do
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
See the signs and know their meaning
It’s true
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
Hear the signs and know they’re speaking
To you, to you”

I heard this song done acoustic by Natalie Merchant (10,000 Maniacs) last night while driving home from yoga.  Powerful.  Peaceful.  Hopeful.  Beautiful.  In an instant, my heart cracked wide open…and so I wanted to share some magic.

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DETROIT HALF MARATHON SUCCESS

When the alarm goes off at 3:30am on Sunday morning for me to get ready, drive down to Detroit and run 13.1 miles, I lay there in my bed and wonder whose idea this was anyway?

To have a half-marathon in the plans to run at the middle to end of fall is always a good idea in theory but as the day approaches, and especially the morning of, I really question my sanity in signing up for yet another one.  I get really anxious and very nervous as the clock ticks away and the race approaches.  In fact, all last week with the issues I have had with my foot lately, I was telling people that this race felt almost like a final exam.  There is no pass/fail when it comes to running but for whatever reason I was putting a lot of pressure on myself.

The alarm goes off, I lay and try to figure out what I am supposed to be doing, it hits me that I have a race to run and up I go, out of bed and on my way.  The second challenging thing about a race is to figure out what is the best thing to eat at that time in the morning, my choice this time around is a cereal bar, a Lara bar and a huge bottle of water.  I make sure Choco has time for his business and jump in my Jeep and head down to Detroit.

I have a plan ahead of time about where I am going to park and it works out well.  I am there over an hour ahead of time but it is helpful to not have the stress of a time crunch at the last minute.  I decide to spend a few minutes to sit and visualize the race.  From my seat, I can see the huge flags in front of the Ren Cen blowing in the wind and a bit of a chill every time someone comes in the front door.  Although I am not looking forward to the cold, I have experienced much colder mornings with rain for this particular race.

After a few minutes I decide it is best to make my way to the starting line.  It is a bit of a jog to get to the start but soon realize the perfection of it as my core begins to warm.  From the Ren Cen, it is left on Jefferson, right on Washington and a left onto Fort St where there are 20,000 other runners and their support people, it is a massive sea of people and the energy is absolutely unbelievable!

I walk right up to my corral, enter and move forward to the start and off I go.  Many people do these kinds of races with another person or a group of people, or at least have a support person waiting in the wings at the event.  Not me.  I have chosen to do these races regardless of whoever else may or may not want to do it with me.  This time I realized how anonymous I was in this huge crowd and that is a pretty neat feeling.  Even though I am anonymous, I feel like all of these 20,000 runners are my friends, mostly because they love what I love and they are about to do what I am about to do.  It is a community that one can feel part of and be anonymous at the same time.

My bib is pinned to the front of my shirt with this crazy “20222” number that I am so excited about and my name written in big letters underneath it.  In this huge community of people, you can be anonymous and also have people saying things like “Good job Erica”, “Keep it going Erica” and “You can do it Erica” along the entire course because your name is written right there.

The spectators of this great sport of running are amazing people.  They are dressed in goose down, hats, gloves and boots carrying bells, signs, horns and other noise makers and for hours they sit there and cheer on the runners, people they know and mostly people they don’t know.  The funniest sign I have seen so far in my years of running was just coming out of the tunnel and returning to the United States this time around and it read “WORST PARADE EVER!”  Those of you that know me and my literal humor, could guess that I almost buckled over in laughter…that is funny stuff!

Mile 11 came around and I remember checking in with my body and all of its many sore parts…absolutely sore everywhere, no question.  My pacer on my cyclemeter app on my iPhone was telling me that I was at 11 miles, running 9.40 minutes per mile and that I had 2.1 miles to go.  2.1 miles to go meant that in just about 20 minutes of continuous running I will be done and so I picked up my pace.  I wanted to be finished as soon as I possibly could so better to just suck it up and pound out those last 2 miles than to drag it out any longer.

There is a moment in every long run that I am grateful beyond anything words can explain that my body is capable and allows me to do this.  It is at that moment that life is so grand and I feel absolutely unstoppable.  It is such an incredible feeling and is the “runner’s high” that everyone talks about.  This happens to me around 8ish miles or so and continues to the end of the race.

The last turn down Fort St is something that sticks in my mind and is what gets me coming back to run these streets year after year. The finish line is in sight, there are thousands of people lining the sides of the street, little kids sticking out their hands for runners to give them a high five (and you better believe I take every high five I can get along the way) and cheers of celebration during the last few blocks like nothing you have ever experienced.  In that moment I let my imagination run wild and pretend they are all cheering for me…and then crossing of the finish line, the ever so familiar beep as your chip time is recorded capped off with a beautiful medal that someone hangs around your neck…it is in a dream state that I finish each race.

It is a huge accomplishment to work towards all year and when I get my A+ on my final exam, though 3:30am is early, by a little bit after 9 I have burned over 1,500 calories, shared in that kind of energy…nothing feels better.  Only one thing would make it even better…if more of you will join me next year!  Do you have a half-marathon on your bucket list?  Check that item off by running with me next year!  I am serious…we only get one chance to live this life!  Let’s make it happen!

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WHERE IS THE KALE?!?!?!


I walked into a local grocery establishment last night in search of two things…kale and organic lemons.  I have been disappointed in this grocery establishment for quite a while now but every time I really need something, I think to myself “well maybe it has changed and it is better now”.  No such luck.

I walked in the front door and right into their shrinking produce section.  It is pretty much the only section I go to in a grocery store since I do my best to eat as much live food as possible, mainly consisting of fruits and vegetables, and when

I say vegetables, I mean HEAVY, DARK GREEN vegetables.  It sounds absolutely silly, I know, but it seems they have shrunk down the produce section to make more room for the “Value” section which includes loads of canned and boxed junk that you can get for a really cheap price and take home to feed to your family.  There is something seriously wrong with this equation.

In a country plagued with illness, sickness and disease, there should be a expanding produce section, not a shrinking produce section.  The subset of the produce section “the organic produce” section is also shrinking in proportion to the overall diminish-ment of the section.  It is sad and it upsets me.  As I wander though this section, and the entire store for that matter, I find myself shaking my head in disappointment.  It is unbelievable that a community like Fenton, that seems to be growing and prospering, cannot get better food than this.

Have you ever heard that “you should only shop the perimeter of the grocery store”?  Do you know why?  The perimeter is the area where fresh food is located…hence the need for refrigeration and such.  Check in with yourself and see how many aisles you go down on a regular basis?  Pasta, rice and beans are located in the aisles that make up the middle of the store however not much else going on in that area that has much nutritional value, but it all has one INCREDIBLE shelf-life and much larger profit margins for the stores.  You can be sure that this area is filled with artificial colors, artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and some of the “food” stuff isn’t even food at all!!!

It is really scary…it scares the crap out of me!

So my original reason for entering the grocery was in search of kale since it is one of the most nutrient-dense greens and I really wanted a green smoothie for dinner.  I would prefer organic but I would have gone with any kale that was fresh, because I have accepted the fact that living in Fenton is a limitation at times and organic is unfortunately luck of the draw.  I walk up to the shelf where it is supposed to be and it is empty.  I can feel my physiology shift to massive disappointment instantaneously.  Then I had a thought, “Maybe, just maybe, earlier in the day this shelf was overstocked with so much beautiful kale that everyone that walked by just had to stop and grab some to take it home with them to make green smoothies for dinner for their families.  I just got there too late in the day to get some”.

Yeah, that’s it.

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CONSCIOUS FOOTING

Five days from now I will be running the Detroit Half Marathon for the fourth time.  I like to set my summer running schedule/goals to include a half marathon in the fall.  It seems to be a really good way to keep things going and keep my body moving.  My summer also included, completely unplanned, dropping a full jar of almond butter on my foot (that put a huge knot in the tendon to my big toe) and a cold yoga class that my foot moved too far, too fast.

If you would have asked me just 2 days ago whether I would be running next weekend, it was still up in the air.  I have been dealing with strained foot joints and discomfort.  The pain came to a head this past week and even walking has been a challenge, but for some reason, running still felt good.  I think it has to do with the foot moving differently, seems easier.

I took the past week off of running and have been biking and swimming a lot and trying to put as little stress on my feet as possible.  It is amazing how much we take our feet for granted until one isn’t living up to its full potential.  This morning was the determining factor for whether it was going to be possible to complete the race on Sunday.

I showed up to the gym a little earlier than I usually do because I wanted to have a little extra time to evaluate the situation with my bum foot.  I was a little nervous because my half marathon was in jeopardy…it was not a cheap race to register for and I really, really want the participation medal.  So I tied up my shoes and took off on the indoor track…and it felt good.  I was actually surprised how good it felt to move it like that and it wasn’t putting much stress on it at all.

During the 3 miles that I ran, I was hyper-aware of what was happening with my foot and very conscious of my footing.  I realize the importance of watching my every step and making sure it is the best way I can put my foot down before doing so.  It was meditative to be that present but it felt good and still feels good.  I spend my days at Cafe of LIFE educating people on how important it is to listen to their bodies and I choose to walk my talk and do the same.  If my foot started screaming during my run this morning, I was going to throw in the towel.  More than that, I am watching out for my snowboarding season ahead of me and having a bum foot is not going to work out in snowboard boots out on the slopes!

So I ran, it felt really good, my foot will continue to heal, I will run this weekend and then I will give it a long, much needed rest.  I spent the entire workout time being really conscious and I was reminded when I returned to the locker room how important it is to be conscious in all of our actions during the day.  I walked in and there was a group of women and a staff member huddled together because one of them cannot find their locker.  The gym I go to has a HUGE locker room and you pick whatever locker you want to use that day and throw your stuff in…and you do it the next day and the next day and it has potentially of all looking the same and runnin together.  I hope she was able to eventually find where she had her stuff, that could really throw a wrench in your day.

Conscious footing, conscious thoughts, conscious actions, conscious choices…we really need to stay on top of it all because our subconscious may want to run a totally different program and will step up and do so without our even realizing it.  I challenge you to take a few extra seconds during your day to be a little more conscious and aware of what you are doing…I guarantee it will save time in the long run!

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CATCHING THE SUNRISE

7am my alarm goes off.  I hit snooze and and take 1 minute to check my email while my brain wakes up.  I have laid my workout clothes out so I can literally just step into them when I stand up.  The night before, I have packed my bag with work clothes for the day.  I attempt to wrangle my hair into some sort of presentable fashion, throw on my shoes and a warmer layer and head downstairs.  I steer clear of caffeine as I get tons of energy from eating real food (fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc).  I usually cut up an apple, throw some raw almonds and a Lara bar in a container, grab my water and put it all in my Jeep.  I run back inside to make sure the dog gets a chance to do his business, get him some food and water and head out the door.  I jump into my car, put it in reverse and back out of my garage, closing the garage door behind me.  This entire process takes roughly 8 minutes…and I have become very aware that if it happens any other way, it’s not happening at all.  It sounds strict and regimented but how many excuses do you have for not going to the gym in the morning?  I have them too.

So I usually have Sirius XM Coffee House on the radio that slowly eases me into the day.  I drive down my road, head on US-23 north and I am off.  On the highway, the speed of my Jeep picks up as well as the pace of life.  I get off just a few exits from where I got on, take a right and it is the most magnificent part of the morning…the SUNRISE!!!  I am new to this working-out-in-the-morning thing (I don’t go into work until 10am so it just makes good sense, however it took me 7 solid years to figure it out)…so I am new to meeting the sunrise on a regular basis.  I began my working-out-in-the-morning adventure at the end of spring and its as already light by my 7am alarm.  Because I would prefer to be outside for workouts (when it is warm enough outside that is where you will find me) it has only been about 3 weeks since I started back at the gym and hence driving this route.

After that right turn, my path to the gym takes me directly towards the sunrise for half a mile, a jaunt north for 1 mile and then about 5 miles into the sunrise…it has become a really special part of the day.  It seems as though I have only gone to the gym on mornings without rain.  There has always been a few clouds in the sky, but I am grateful for those clouds because it gives shape, texture and dimension to this beautiful canvas spread out in front of me.  I love the first sun rays for their reddish-pinkish tones.  It illuminates the sky in a very soft and friendly way.  In the past few weeks the trees that line my route are also beautiful as they approach peak color season.  And as you can see from the picture, whatever is happening in the sky, is also reflected off the hood of my Jeep.

The other beautiful part of this time of the morning is knowing that there is an entire day ahead and though I have to fit within parameters with time, scheduling and obligations (like work), I get to choose what kind of day I want to have.  I get to pick the message I want to send to the world that day.  I get to choose who I am going to hang out with, what I am going to eat, how I am going to approach people and what kind of attitude I am going to meet the day with.  Imagine being greeted by a beautiful sunrise that seems to be inviting me to have a great day, then going to move my body (which includes swimming and you all know how I feel about swimming I LOVE SWIMMING ) getting ready for work interacting with other people and heading in to serve “The Exceptional Chiropractic Experience” at the Cafe of LIFE.  I will argue with you until I am blue in the face…life doesn’t get better than that.

I am blessed beyond measure and if you are reading this, I count you as one of my blessings.  I am grateful for everything that is this life and it brings me so much joy to share with people.  I hear from so many of my readers in private messages over email, Facebook, text message and in person…however I want to encourage you to take one simple action step here…I want to know how you start your days?  How do you ensure you are off on the best foot to maximize the potential of your day?  How do you begin?  Share in the comments below…you never know how far reaching your words will travel.  Maybe you will inspire others with your morning ritual.  Or maybe you are like me and really enjoy catching the sunrise.

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I TRUST

I TRUST that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

I TRUST that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.

The Universe has a really big plan for me and I will ride the waves, anything other than going with that flow could potentially inhibit the BIGNESS of that plan.

I watch as the plan unfolds in front of me and though I may have an opinion about how it is happening, I TRUST that it is perfect for the time.

From an outside view life may seem chaotic, however, all processes and events are in perfect order.

Although difficult to see the end result, it is good to have direction and know that life may shift along the way…and I TRUST that shift.

I am guided by the little voice inside, usually a whisper but sometime much louder.

I TRUST that I meet people along the way that facilitate my journey.

People stick around for a reason, a season or a lifetime…I can have my own opinion about which one they fit into, but ultimately I TRUST the bigger plan.

Life is amazing and needs to be lived as such…there is some real juice to be squeezed from the mundane-ness and routine of the day to day.

I have a strong conviction about the perfection of the profession that has chosen me as I find so much joy in my day to day…serving others.

I TRUST my family and friends have my best interest in mind.

I TRUST my body and Innate Intelligence to do the perfect thing according to the environment I create within.

I feel safe, protected and supported.

I live in gratitude.

I TRUST LIFE!!

 

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WHY I AM A DOCTOR OF CHIROPRACTIC

Because I honor the inborn potential of everyone to be truly healthy.

Because I desire to help the newborn, the aged, and those without hope.

Because I choose to care for the patient with the dis-ease, not the disease.

Because I know doctors do not heal, only the body can heal itself.

Because I wish to assist rather than intrude; to free rather than control.

Because I seek to correct the cause, not its effect.

Because I have been called to serve others.

Because I want to make a difference.

Because everyday I get to witness miracles……….

 

Because I know it is right!!

 

 

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