Archive for January, 2014

A HUG

Never underestimate the power of a hug.  I get my fair share of hugs but I want to share about one that recently shifted my entire life.

Some of you may be thinking…”Oh, she finally met Mr. Right!”.  Not so fast.

As I stated in some of my recent posts, I spent the end of 2013 in Costa Rica with some great friends.  4 years ago, this same group of friends and I vacationed in the same exact location.  We all had a strong desire to go back since the day we left there in 2009.  So, we made that happen.

We wanted to return to that spot for a number of reasons; the location was absolutely beautiful, our time there was peaceful, we were off the grid and we felt well taken care of.  That “taken care of” feeling is so necessary for humans, we all have a strong desire to be looked after, tended to and assisted.

Fenton Chiropractor hug

My friends and I shared a little bit of anxiety going back after 4 years wondering if it would be as good as we remembered.  It was, it is and we had a blast!

One of the things you will notice when you travel to Costa Rica is the exceptional service.  Tourism is a large industry in that country and it is nice to feel a sense of pride coming from those who serve you.  The locals work long, hard hours but they have beaming smiles and are some of the friendliest people I have been around.

Staying at one location for the entire week allows us to really get to know some of the servers, the ones at the restaurant in particular, and some of them remembered us from our initial trip 4 years ago.

They take time to get to know a little about their guests and, in turn, we get a chance to learn about them.  We learn about their personal lives, their families, their homes and some of their life experiences.

As we were having lunch and winding down our visit on our final day there, our table was being waited on by a man named Christian.  He happened to one of the servers that remembered us from our previous visit and so we caught up about his family and kids during the week.

We finished one final delicious meal at the restaurant and got up to pay our bills.  As we were hanging out and waiting for the credit cards to process, the hugs begin.  I hug a few of the group and then I get a chance to give Christian a hug.  He is a bigger guy with a really powerful hug, he kind of engulfs you…and he holds on.  Its longer than a cordial hug and I can energetically feel a deep meaning.  Not anything like he has an attraction for me, but just the deepest, purest heart felt gratitude for another human being.

The experience was two-fold;  first, it was a most beautiful, sincere expression of connection and gratitude, and second, it was unexpected in that moment because it was coming from someone who waiting on our table.

It was profound.  It shocked my heart space and I had to choke back my tears.

A hug, an embrace, a gesture in a moment with another human being,..you just do not know how far reaching it can go.  Add a smile, a high five or even simply making eye contact to the list of ways to acknowledge another human being for their presence.

Let’s not forget the health benefits of hugging; lowering stress, balancing out the nerve system, boost self-esteem among so many others.

I posted on my Facebook timeline about a “hug that shocked me into tears”.  There were many people writing me behind the scenes about how excited they were that I “met someone” and hoped it stemmed into an amazing relationship.  I regret to disappoint, however it was completely platonic, a simple gesture between 2 human beings, from a married man, with children at home, who lives in Costa Rica…so I am still looking.

BJ Palmer said it best with his quote, “We never know how far reaching something we think, say or do today may effect the lives of millions tomorrow.”  Step out there.  Give someone a hug.  Hang on a little longer.  If you see someone who isn’t smiling…give them one of yours.  Be the change…we only get one chance in this life.

 

 

 

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MESSAGE FROM YOUR CHIROPRACTOR

I have many people connect with me over email, facebook, text message, all kinds of media, all day long.  Some of them come to the Cafe of LIFE for chiropractic care and some go other places.  Some people have been connecting with me for years about coming in for care but have not been in yet.  Some people write me from other cities and states and ask me for advice.  This next message stems from something I wrote to someone who I do not get to adjust in my own practice…but I was moved in my heart by the struggle they posted on facebook.  She lives a distance from me and doesn’t get to see me in my practice, but this is a message from your chiropractor.  Fenton Chiropractor Adjustment

 

“I see you are struggling with so much pain.

Let me say this, when you are in the middle of it and it is the first time you have ever experience pain like that before, it feels like your life is doomed. It is hard to see to the other side of any of it. It creates so much additional stress to the already stressful lives we lead. When you are then unable to pick up your children, and unable to workout, it makes it exponentially worse. It is so tough to deal with the day to day.

Please realize that pain is an incredible teacher. It tells us to slow down, stop or take a new path. It grabs our attention for a reason.

In saying that, the body is an incredible healer, much more powerful than anyone has every allowed you to believe. It can heal from almost anything. Truly it can and I see it every single day and bare witness to some super incredible stuff.

Right now, your body is in a splinting/protection mode so you don’t make it worse. It is stopping you in your tracks to slow you down for a reason. Let it do that. 

Remember to breathe.  Breathe deeply and often. Drink water and go for a walk. See your chiropractor, do your physical therapy exercises you were given and know you will recover.

Society has taught us that things should happen instantly. Healing doesn’t happen instantaneously on the subjective level but is happening.  It is always happening and getting chiropractic care helps to maximize its potential to do that.

Breathe. Drink water. Get adjusted and walk. This too shall pass. Place some faith in your body’s incredible ability to heal. If you witnessed as much healing as I do on a regular basis, that would be easier for you to believe. Because you don’t get to see that, I am doing my best to express it in written word.

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Take it however you feel is right for you. Be well. Erica.”

This message rolled right off my fingertips in a couple of minutes and when I went back and read it, I thought everyone might benefit to hear this message.  I truly, truly, and in every sense of the word, bare witness to MIRACLES, the body’s incredible innate ability to heal itself every single day I step foot into my office.

Old, young, infants, big, little, pregnant, disabled, happy, sad, all kinds of physical ailments, birth trauma, car accidents, injured from over-prescribed medications, vaccine injuries, people wanting to heal, people that feel well and want to stay that way, massive falls from many story buildings, broken bones, physical abuse, sports injuries, veterans…you name it, I have seen most of it in my 9 years of private practice.  I have seen some really cool stuff that the body is capable of doing.  We need to give it the right tools that allow it to do its greatest work.  It takes time…nothing in this life doesn’t take time.  We need patience.  We need a good, healthy lifestyle.  We need water.  We need movement.  We need rest.  We need chiropractic care.

I just wanted to share with all of you a message from your chiropractor.

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DETOUR

Just when life seems like it is heading in one direction, something happens and we are off on a detour.

I absolutely love to travel…love, love, love to see new places.  I love having a change of scenery and switching things up on a regular basis.  I love taking the detour…that is as long as I have time for said detour.

I was sitting on a bench in a parking lot with some friends last weekend while we waited for our planes to pull up on the other side of a chain link fence…and as I describe this, I pulled a picture off the internet below so that you can get the visual.Detour Fenton Chiropractor

The scene…two 20 foot long park benches back to back underneath a rickety metal awning, a small white portable podium with “Sansa” and “Nature Air” written on the front, a chain link fence with a ragged gate that wouldn’t hold up against any kind of force, a small refrigerator with a padlock on it labeled “Snack Bar” and on the other side of the fence are a couple 12 seater planes.

When we pull into the parking lot, it resembles more of a bus station than an airport.  The funniest thing is when you walk up to the small white podium, they ask you which airline you are flying with and then depending on which, one of 2 men step up to the podium to assist.

The luggage is tagged and the kind man hands me a laminated “Sansa” brochure that he calls my “boarding pass” and I am prepared to get on the plane.

As I am waiting, I realize that my luggage is still sitting off to the side of the runway and doesn’t appear to be heading with the rest of the group to the luggage compartment in the belly of the plane.  The kind man then mentions to me that “Your bag no fit on plane due to balance.  I send to your home.”

Ideally it is not good to ever travel separate from my luggage, but if you are telling me you are going to have it delivered directly to my doorstep, then it will be alright to let my ocean-scented, sand-filled bag of beach clothes show up to my home instead of being checked onto my plane.

So I jump on my plane and am off while my luggage is taking a detour.

In San Jose I reconnect with my friends for dinner and a little more time together as my flight will be departing at 2am.DSC03499

A few hours later, I arrive to the airport only to I discover said flight is now delayed to 3am.  The woman at the Spirit Airlines desk checks me through to Detroit and hands me 2 boarding passes, one for now and one for my connecting flight in Fort Lauderdale.

I arrive in Lauderdale realizing I have limited time to get though customs and make my connection.  At this particular moment I am grateful to be traveling separate from my large suitcase which I would have to wait for and recheck after customs…this expedites my transition onto America soil and I have potential to make up some time.

I sprint through the airport and make it to my gate with a few minutes to spare.  I walk up to the Spirit Airlines counter and the woman takes one look at my boarding pass, tells me I do not have a seat on that flight…AND THEN proceeds to board 4 “stand-by” passengers onto the flight while I am standing right there.

You know the level of disappointment when you order the most delicious food at a restaurant that you have been craving since the last time you were there 3 months ago…and when you get right down to the last bite, your best friend reaches their fork over and takes that last morsel of goodness?  That is what it felt like in that moment, MULTIPLIED BY 1,000!!!!

“Ma’am we have you booked on tomorrow’s flight out”.

“Are you going to compensate me for hotel stay for the night?”

“Well no.”

Hearing this news after being up for 28 straight hours, did not go over well.  Having her board 4 “stand-by” passengers while I stood right in front of her also didn’t go over well…MULTIPLIED BY 1,000!!!

This time, not so gracefully, I detour…

I find a cab and take a ride up to Lauderdale by the Sea and check-in to a hotel.  Serious false advertising and I make quick of a lesson that I should check a room out before checking-in.photo-13

So I detour…

I find a nice Sheraton about 20 minutes away that has rooms available and get checked-in.  As I am heading up to my room, I spot a cool little bar inside the hotel that has windows into water tanks of some sort.  It is eye-catching and then I read “Mermaid Show 6:30 Friday and Saturday Evenings”.  Today is Saturday, WHAT LUCK!!!  My original plan to nap for the next 6 hour will have a small detour in the middle to the Mermaid show.

I arrive early and pull up a seat next to an incredible couple that had just gotten off one of the cruise ships.  We talk about our vacations and then we detour into some really amazing conversation about life and living, things you usually discuss with long time friends.  Because my luggage was on a detour, my plan was to wear the clothes I had on my back until I got home…whenever that may be.  By the end of a 4 hour conversation with this couple, they pay for my meal and she offers me clean clothes.

As I lay down in my bed to sleep fast, I travel through my memory of the events of that day.  Every possible thing that could go wrong with travel, did.  It was truly challenging.  In the end, I was so grateful for the opportunity to see my very first Mermaid Show and spend time with these magnificent people.

My flight in the morning turns out to be simple.  It is an entire day later however I buckle into my seat, we take off on time, we land on time and off I go…easy since I don’t have to stop and collect my luggage (which finally showed up to a local airport a week later…enough material for its own blog post).

On my drive home from the airport, I take a detour to Whole Foods…because I am hungry and I need food in my house when I get home.  In retrospect, I am grateful I made that stop as the streets filled with close to 2 feet of snow over the next 24 hours.

This trip seems to go on and on and on and there is one final detour…my best friend of almost 20 years opened her dream yoga studio, Bent Yoga, in Brighton on that very day.  It required that I truck through all the snow to give her a congratulatory hug, but it was all absolutely perfect timing.

Sometimes we are presented with a huge bright orange sign in front of our face that says “DETOUR” but often the sign is a faint whisper, a small calling in our heart.  If we can have a little bit of trust in the fact that there is a much larger plan, we can listen to those signs and settle in gracefully.

I am grateful for that trip, I am grateful for that time and I am grateful for the people that I met along the way.  I am one that seeks out adventure and enjoys taking the long way home.  Though that was a little too much detouring for my likings, I am grateful to have had that experience if for no other reason than it seems there isn’t a possible way for a day of travel to get more complicated than that.

In the midst of it all, the moments of sweetness serve as a reminder to do my best to be a little more accepting of life when it takes its next detour.

 

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RIDING WAVES

I wrapped up 2013 on vacation with great friends in Costa Rica.  As some of you know, Costa Rica has become a popular surfing destination and there are opportunities for riding waves all over.

If you have followed me at all, you also know that I am an avid snowboarder and one of my happiest places is strapped to my snowboard in Colorado.

While in Costa Rica, my Colorado friends and I took quite a few opportunities to surf.  The ocean is really warm in that area so it is simple to throw a rash guard on, grab a board and paddle out.

I have done quite a bit of surfing over the years in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Belize, California and New Jersey.  One of my greatest challenges of surfing is getting the board and myself safely out past the break.  It is a game of finesse, timing and strength.  When one is a little on the tall and lanky side and riding a 9 foot board, it can be quite challenging as sets roll in.  photo-11

The particular beach that we surf at in this spot in Costa Rica, the water is soft, the waves are gentle and there is a beautiful rhythm to the ebb and flow.  It also makes getting out past the break just a little bit easier.

While I am out waiting for the next wave, I am thinking about all the snow that is piling up at home.  Though I am grateful beyond what words can describe to be sitting on that board in that moment, I also have a moment I am considering how much I am excited about getting on my snowboard when I get home.

The two sports are similar in some ways.  They way you stand on the board is the same, though snowboarding you are strapped in.  There is a meditative sense to both sports…in other words, you need to be present and in the moment or you can quickly find yourself in trouble.  There is a sense of working with nature, snowboarding-snow conditions, surfing-the powerful ocean.

My dearest love for snowboarding stems from many reasons that I will not go into due to the length of the list.  One of the key reasons I love it is because I get a chance to explore a mountain.   There is a chance to check out this run over here, that run over there, this restaurant for breakfast, that one for lunch, this group of Aspen trees, that group of pine trees, this trail, that chairlift.  You get the idea.

Surfing is different.  It is paddle out, catch a wave, come back to where you started, paddle out, catch a wave, end up back where you started, paddle out, catch a wave…and it goes on.  There isn’t necessarily an area of water you are covering and not one area of that water is ever the same.

…but for me I realize how much it is about internal exploration.  It looks a little like this…This water is so beautiful.  The view from my board is amazing.  Its really awesome I have some good friends joining me.  I see a set in the distance.  I wonder if I am in the right spot. I can see that wave building.  Is it going to be big enough to ride?  Will it break right or left?  it it going to be too big for me?  Oh $#1t, here it comes!  I am in the right spot? I need to turn around and paddle. Where is all that anxiety coming from?  Will I catch this one?  Will I get rocked by it?…and honestly, none of this internal dialogue and analysis is helpful.

The only thing that is helpful is learning which wave to catch and then letting go. photo-12

When mental resistance and fear come up and the mind shifts to and through all of that diologue, it is very difficult to go with the flow of the wave.  If you have the skill set, then paddle when you know you should paddle, pop-up when you know you are on it and then simple ENJOY THE RIDE!!!

It is such a beautiful dance with such a powerful force.  There is not one thing you can do to change the wave you are on.  The only thing in that moment is to turn the mind off, get to that feeling place, relax, let go and trust.  It is more of an internal exploration experience with a sense of adventure, thrill and flow.

Usually surf sessions last an hour to a few hours.  This gives time to rest and regroup inside and find more and more peace, grace and flow.

When you snowboard, you have a little bit of say in what the snow is going to do underneath your board.  When surfing, you have absolutely no say in what the ocean is going to do.

Surfing is about life and life is about riding the waves.  We have a choice what wave choose to get on, we do not have a choice about where that wave is going.  We have the ability to turn or get off that wave…but if we learn to trust ourselves, we transition into the flow of the powerful Universe gracefully.

(The following link is not my video but it is taken at the surf spot we spent most of our time so you can get a feel of the waves)

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I am grateful for my life and the opportunities to explore and go on many adventures.  After this past visit to Costa Rica, the ebb and flow of life is forefront in my consciousness.  There is an ebb and flow to the days, the nights, work, family, friends, driving, eating…absolutely all of it.  The troughs make the peaks sweeter.  The peaks make traveling back down to the troughs exhilarating.  The most important part of all is finding internal peace so that wether at the top or the bottom while riding your waves, you remain graceful.

Peace to you as you start 2014.

 

 

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