Archive for March, 2013

LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE

I cried when I read this.  This spoke to me in a huge way and is a small lesson to help teach you to listen to your inner voice:

Hi Erica,     I’m going to call and make an appointment for both an adjustment and massage.  I could wait and tell you all this when I see you but sometimes it seems easier to put my thoughts in writing rather than to just tell it, plus you are a busy person and I don’t want to take a lot of your time.  (Although I’ve been known to write books instead of messages, which could take a lot of time anyway.  LOL!)   

      I keep trying to think of how I got so far off track!  It’s just these little slips that happen without thinking it will be permanent – like family coming and just not taking time to take care of self.  It’s preparing food that they like (and I like) even though it is not at all healthy.  Pretty soon, a slip becomes a slide, doesn’t it?  So that’s part of what happened last summer.Fenton Chiropractor Begin Again

      But then, I decided that the yoga schedule was too hard for me to work out so I joined a local gym, not intending to never go back to yoga.  However, I got convinced that working with a trainer would be a helpful thing so I paid huge bucks for that for several months, which meant I couldn’t afford to go to yoga, to the chiropractor, to a massage therapist, etc., etc.  The trainer also believes in eating vegan, but is strict on high protein and low, low carbs, which I tried hard to do but couldn’t stick to it.  So I started doing high protein/low carbs eating meat, cheese, eggs, etc.  

     Then, the knee that you had been adjusting got worse and worse and I went to a surgeon who said I had a torn meniscus and he did surgery.  He also said I have a significant amount of arthritis in my knee and probably in the other one.  That was back in September and I’m still in pain, still stiff and am now doing physical therapy trying to get some strength and flexibility back. 
     I eventually could not afford the trainer anymore and began so slide off the diet and because my knee hurt so much I also quit going to the gym for the most part.  Then I started eating whatever I wanted and gained some of the weight I had lost back. 
     So, there I was, sitting in my recliner, hurting all over, swollen up in my joints, feeling tight in my muscles, feeling dead in my stomach and OLD, OLD, OLD!!!!   And I started praying about it and asking God to help me.  And I began remembering how I felt when I fed my body the healthy foods – fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts – all the things that are good (I was basically off fruits and whole grains on the low carb diet).  And I remembered how limber I was, doing yoga, and chiropractic, and how great it was to have you support and encourage the yoga and the healthy diet and how easy and wonderful it was to get massages. 
     I think in the midst of all the voices that have swayed me one way and then another, I finally heard God’s voice – and my voice – saying “you know what is best for you!  you remember what works, what is gentle, what is peaceful, what is healthy.  
     Sunday night I could hardly walk, hardly climb the stairs, barely even turn over in bed, I hurt so bad.  Monday morning wasn’t much better and that is when I decided to make a change NOW!  The yoga schedule will be the priority and my work schedule will be worked around it. 
     I will be going to PT for a while, but I want to come back to Cafe of Life and get back on the journey to health and wholeness.  I have to stop allowing myself to get pulled off the journey and to stay focused!
    I will be calling this afternoon and trying to get in next week.  But I just wanted to tell you where I am in all this.  I never intended on stopping my treatment there.  It just little by little, day by day, time went by and pretty soon, I almost forgot. 
     As the yoga instructor says  “BEGIN AGAIN.”  I went back, by the way, on Monday evening.  There was so much I could not do with my stiff knee but I did a lot and I felt more limber and not as tight and did not have as much pain Tuesday morning.  The yoga instructor reminded me “Be gentle with yourself, but be persistent.”  Good advise for someone who gives up rather easily, isn’t it? 
     I miss you and your gentle smile.  I will be glad to see you and hope you haven’t given up entirely on me!  I’m hoping to get this right this time.
Have a blessed Easter.  I will see you next week, I hope.

MY RESPONSE:

Thank you so much for that email.  I really appreciate you giving me all the details in your update because all of that stuff is important for me to know.

 Life is a game of slipping and checking and BEGINNING AGAIN is always an option. 

 I never give up on anyone.  Instead, I hold a space for healing for people whether you are at the Café of LIFE or on a journey that takes you from here.  Either way, you will always be welcome here no matter how long it has been since your last visit.  I realize that life takes twists and turns as mine does exactly the same.  Healing comes from within and it is best to find something on the inside to anchor to so you can stay consistent, which sounds like you may have found that.  Being gentle and persistent is how we progress, but take bite size pieces so you keep yourself having small successes that lead to bigger ones and then celebrate those.  

There is a lot of “should’s” that can fall on us during a day and make us feel like we are failing in one area or another.  Just do your best every single day and know that is all anyone can ever ask. 

And give yourself a break, drink your water, find time to stroll and enjoy your days, make good food and exercise choices and believe in your body’s ability to heal.  Your thoughts are powerful so make sure to use them in your favor. 

Looking forward to seeing you…

Erica

Health & Happiness,

Dr. Erica Peabody

Every time I re-read this, the tears well up because I know there are so many people that have slipped and are struggling.  Bless this particular person who shared her words so eloquently and is allowing me to tell her story.

Do you have a little voice in your head that guides you when you are lost?  Does it talk to you in a positive way or negative way?  Do you listen to your inner voice?  It may be the most powerful guidance system you have for your life.  There is so much technology, so many opinions, so many things trying to influence and steer you in this direction or that direction.  Take some time to be quiet and listen to that inner voice…it is always right.  Once you start to listen, and if you find yourself way off course…just BEGIN AGAIN.

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THE WALL

What came to mind when you saw the name of this blog post, “The Wall”?  A WALL of your room?  Pink Floyd?  The Great WALL of China?  The WALL endurance runners hit?  The Vietnam Veterans Memorial WALL?  The Berlin WALL?  Hitting a WALL in a relationship?  Do you WALL off your heart to protect it from the world?  Do you put up a WALL and block out new ideas?  Maybe an idea is off the WALL?

There are many places in life where we may encounter a WALL, in fact if you look around you right now, I would bet there may be a WALL (or 4) somewhere close to you.

After my trip to Belize, I have an entirely new concept of a WALL.  The island of Long Caye, where I spent my week, is situated about 100 yards from a tectonic plate.  Tectonic plates are location on the Earth where there is large-scale shifts in the surface of the land.  Many plates are underwater and create drop-offs, or cliffs, in the ocean floor.

At this particular location there is a 3,000 foot WALL (or cliff) due to the tectonic plate activity.  There is a diving camp, Off the Wall Dive Center, that shares the island with Slickrock Adventures (the group I was with), and though I do not SCUBA due to my heart condition, there is world class diving within just a 5 minute boat ride from the island along this WALL.  During the week, the dive center staff would come over and share information about their dive trips and offer us a chance to dive if certified.  Hearing about “THE WALL” all week, I was beyond intrigued to have a chance to check it out.

On Thursday, I finally got my chance.

During lunch, our trip leader offered a “swim snorkel” trip around the island to those who consider themselves “good swimmers”.  We were signing up for roughly a 2 hour swim experience so it was not a small commitment when you said “ok” to this option for the afternoon.

We got in the water around 2pm, swim suit, rash guard, neoprene shirt for warmth since we would be in the water for an extended period, booties, sun screen, snorkel and fins.  The beginning of the journey took us over huge swells and through rough water as we freed ourselves from the protection of the island.  I had my face down in the water most of the time watching the fan corral at the bottom as it swayed to the rhythm of the waves and current…absolutely beautiful.

We got through the rough water and things began to soften up on the surface as the ocean floor opened up to an expansive stretch of sand flats.  The view was breathtaking and reminded me of the most beautiful snowy mountainside with slopes of fresh powder.  The sand flats were sprinkled with sand dollars as we swam over from about 40 feet above.  I did a little bit of free diving however there was so much beauty from the surface that it wasn’t really necessary to take a closer look.

As we continued on our swim there was a drastic change in the ocean floor from sand, to corral for about 10 yards, to the deepest, darkest navy blue abyss.  With the beautiful colors, the textures of all the corrals, wildlife present and the deep blue nothing that goes on forever…it was hands down, the most magnificent thing I have ever seen in my life.

Something happens to me when I put my head into the water to swim; in the ocean, lake or even in the pool.  There is a silence that is so peaceful and comforting underwater.  When I arrived on the island a few days before, we immediately went on our first adventure.  I put my mask and snorkel on and stuck my head underwater and instantly went into a trance.  Our snorkel trips were always guided by a staff member. During the first trip, there were many moments when I was wandering off from the group, unknowingly until I raised my head up and could hear them calling to me from a distance.  The beauty was breathtaking and I was in my own little world.

In the shallow water I was awe-struck…so swimming above this cliff was real treat.  The experience was so overwhelming that I was brought to tears and had to take a moment with my head above water to re-gain composure.  The rest of the group of 5 continued to swim along as usual.

I am not sure why such strong emotions came up for me.  It could have been because the week was so amazing, my heart was so open and I was able to play and be free like a child.  It could have been because of the physical energy of the Earth at that location takes a major shift and quite possibly I could feel that in some way at that moment.  It could have been the sheer beautiful of the scene in front of me.  I could have been so many things…it was one of those moments that I had such pure, raw gratitude for my amazing life that my body’s expression was tears.  Whatever it was that bubbled up for me in that moment, there really are not words that can express it fully. What I am certain about is that was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life and it will forever expand my concept of what a “WALL” is for me.

I face many WALLS as I journey through my life…because I push myself physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally on a regular basis to find my limits, to find where my WALLS are.  From time to time, the WALLS that I hit seem insurmountable and may be an indication that I need to back up and reconsider my course.  Sometimes a WALL gives me good reason to turn around.  Sometimes its presence inspires me to find a way to get up and over it.  Sometimes it means that I need to figure out the first step to disassembling it…and other times I just need to sit back and enjoy the view as I soar high above it.

I hope I have done this WALL some justice describing it to you through the written word.  If not, I have an even better idea…plan a trip to go and witness it for yourself!  We only get one chance at this life…do not let your “WALLS” hold you back!

 

 

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BEAUTIFUL BELIZE

I am just getting home from one of the greatest vacations I have ever taken…to beautiful Belize.  I want to share a little bit about the week with you so you can have an idea about the experience.  There are a few specific blog posts that I will add after this one with more details.

The week started out with a 2:30AM wake-up at my home in order to make a 6:00AM flight in Detroit.  Travel from Michigan to Belize is quite simple with just 2 short flights and I was there just after noon Central Time.

It is always dramatic to leave the snow here in Michigan and just 6 short hours later be somewhere tropical.  I am amazed at air travel every time I do it.  It is absolutely astounding how far you can get in such a short amount of time.

The first night was spent at a hotel in Belize City.  Since I have been home, many people have asked me if I would recommend Belize for a vacation.  I cannot honestly say whether I would or not.  If you are going to the country of Belize, and if Belize City is a true representation of what the country is like (and I do not know if it is or not), I would maybe choose a different destination.  If you are going to do something like the trip I was on (and I also have no idea if the trip really represents Belize), then ABSOLUTELY!!!

On Saturday morning we ate an early breakfast and we all piled onto the “Batfish” which is Slickrock’s vessel for transporting us to the island we will spend the week on.  It was a relatively easy (you will see why I say “relative” later in this post) 3.5 hour boat trip.

80 degree weather, sun shining, head sticking out through one of the hatches in the roof of the boat, wind blowing, great people, teal water, completely unplugged, and a week long vacation still ahead of me – this is the final 30 minutes of the ride before we pulled up to Long Caye, the small island we would spend our week on.  I will forever have that image and moment etched into my mind.  It was one of those “tears of gratitude” moments in my life…which I seem to experience more and more of all the time.

I cannot do the week any justice by describing the details of it all but the days went something like this…wake up, teach a yoga class, swim, breakfast, rest, take a sea kayak to a snorkel site, snorkel, kayak back to the island, lunch, kite board lesson, kayak surf session, rum punch and appetizers, jump on handlebars of a bike and ride to other side of island to watch the sunset, change out of bathing suit to dry clothes for dinner, eat fabulous food with lots of green habanero hot sauce, have great conversation, adjust the staff members or other people on the trip, listen to an informative and entertaining lecture given by our tour director, a warm breeze on the walk back to the cabana, and falling asleep to the surf just down from the cabana which is more like a lean-to and doesn’t even necessitate 4 full walls.  Wake up the next day and repeat.

The staff was absolutely amazing and little did we know, they were tracking an intense storm heading our direction all week.  Even though the storm was getting pretty crazy, they didn’t relay that information to us until it was absolutely necessary, allowing us to stay unplugged from society.

A few of us ended up leaving the island a day early due to the impending storm and what it may do to our travel plans and the necessity to be home for work on Monday.  The initial report was “a storm is going to hit tomorrow around 11.  Please have your luggage ready and at the boat dock by 9.”  At breakfast the next morning it changed to “eat quick, go get your bags packed, have them ready at 8, wear your foul weather gear, grab a life jacket, put it on and zip it up.”  Ummm…ok.

The next hour and a half was spent bracing myself against the side of the boat and the

hull, with my back to the seas so that my hood would keep me dry, however mostly just so that I didn’t have the visual as the boat was rolling up and over swells bigger than it (this picture is taken as things eased up a lot).  To say it was intense, is more than an understatement.  Good news is that I lived to tell the tale and laughed though most of it because I just couldn’t believe it was happening in real life!

The crew of the boat, the staff and all that were involved really made the situation the best it
could have possibly been.  In fact, when I look at all areas of my life, I realize that the experience itself is largely impacted more by who I am with, rather than where I am at.

I wasn’t ready to kiss the ground when we finally docked the boat…but I can see why people use that phrase.

Slickrock Adventures runs a top notch production down there in Belize.  Not only did they give us the option to get off the island early if we needed to, they also provided us a tour of Lamanai Mayan Ruins the next day as part of our week and an amazing tour guide to share the story of the Ruins.


The flight home was a breeze on Sunday, I have recently learned to actually sleep on the plane and so I felt rested, rejuvenated and ready to take on my week back at Cafe of LIFE, my chiropractic office.

I live an amazingly blessed life and I feel fortunate to be able to take trips to places like beautiful Belize.  I love my reality and am usually looking forward to returning to it, however, leaving Long Caye to come home, I have to say I thought about how amazing it would be to be able to call that everyday life.  We only get one chance in this lifetime.  Make sure you are where you want to be, doing what you want to do, or at least take breaks from your reality to have some awesome experiences.  Life is really, really, really good.

 

 

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