do less

FIVE LAYERS OF NOTHING

I have found an entire five layers of nothing.

What on Earth does that mean????

I AM OVER IT!!!!!!

I am over talking about this boot and I am REALLY OVER wearing it!  I am being restricted in my life but I also realize that the patience I have had and the grace I have afforded myself through this process has been the reason I am making any progress at all.

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Five Layers of Nothing - Dr Erica Peabody

I have always been an athlete and directly involved in the fitness industry through my late teens and all the way through my 20s.  These are the years when habits form and I have formed a strong habit of working out on a regular basis.

Prior to June of this year, I would have some sort of movement or exercise as part of my day,  every single day.  Intensity varied of course, some days it would be as simple as a 20-30 minute walk while others I would attend a 60 minute step class or a 75 minute hot vinyasa yoga class.

I live an active lifestyle, yes that is so true…but now I have realized something else.

In March 2017 is when I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.  I trained hard leading up to that and of course the 8 days of climbing was the most grueling physical activity I have done in my life up to this point.

When I returned home I continued with my “normal” workouts but also jumped in on a 6 week yoga challenge at Bent Yoga.  The challenge was to do 32 classes in 42 days and started at the end of April through beginning of June.  As I did that and earned my free t-shirt, I was noticing an increase in pain over those weeks and so I decided that I would scale way back on my workouts.

Scaling back meant taking a month break from the hot vinyasa classes at the yoga studio, no step class and no running.  This felt like I was “doing nothing” as compared to what I had been doing for decades.

By the end of June, my hopes were to be able to start to train to run the Crim 10 mile road race that I have run every year for the past 12 years.  By the end of June, there was no way to start running as it was getting difficult to even walk which resulted in me putting an end to my regular walks.  Having to take that out of my regular days it really felt like I was “doing nothing”.

I was still going to the gym and mindfully walking around and lifting weights, core work and my boyfriend and I were still riding bikes (since that was not weight-bearing).  Although x-ray and MRI showed nothing was wrong, all of that got to be too much and I had to cut out bikes and all yoga and that really, really felt like I was “doing nothing”.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Second Strap - Dr Erica Peabody

Then it got to the point that weights had to go, gym time had to end completely because I was too tempted to do too much if I went to the gym.  If I did go to the gym, I would simply alternate going from the cold plunge to the hot tub and back to the cold plunge.  This was really the end, this time I was really “doing nothing”.

Just when I thought I was “doing nothing”, I would still be racing around my office all day long but then get home and want to spend my off-time shopping and getting other things done.  Then Mike put his foot down, raised his hand at me and said “Babe, just sit there.  Let me get your shoes for you.  What do you need upstairs?  Where is it and let me climb the stairs for you.  When you have time off of work, just chill and relax.”

This was the very end of “doing nothing”.  This was truly nothing.

Just when I thought I was “doing nothing” back in June, layers and layers of “doing nothing” showed up after it.  As I have chatted about this, I will sit back and laugh at how twisted and skewed my brain is surrounding physical activity.  I have laughed at just how ridiculous the standards I have kept for myself have been.

When I tell people this they ask me “How do you survive and keep your sanity while you are ‘doing nothing’?

Three words:  Meditation, gratitude lists and journaling.

When my major release of stress usually happens through physical activity, I had to find a good combination of some things I could commit to in order to keep my sanity.  All three of the above have been part of my wellness routine regularly over the past years however daily commitment to all three has been key.

So maybe that was part of the Universe’s plan during this “boot camp” of sorts.  I have found a lot of time to cultivate inner peace through this process and I actually feel really good.  Of course I am also itching to start walking and get back in the yoga studio regularly, however having these things in my regular day to day, allows me to be patient with this healing process.

Working all the way down through the five layers of nothing has been like peeling through the layers of an onion and although it has been difficult to sit still, I have learned so much.  More than anything I have found a real appreciation of the difference between the time to do lots of things and the time to truly do nothing.  …and Universe, if you are listening, may I pretty please with sugar on top get back to at least my regular daily walks now if I promise to keep them around 15-20 minutes??

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#YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY

As a compliment to my calling as a chiropractor, I am yogi and have been for decades now.  If you are in the yoga community, you know that there are online yoga challenges happening all the time, all over the world.  I finally decided to join one called “#yogaeverydamnday”.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

The point of this challenge is have yoga as part of “every damn day” no matter what.  It doesn’t mean to strike a pose and take a picture (although to some people it does).  Yoga is a way to mindfulness…or is it mindfulness is a way to yoga?  To me, they are one and the same.  To me, it also means to move the body in some mindful way to bring our awareness and existence back to the present moment.

Every day I would find a bit of time, some days was a little and some days was a lot, to do some form of yoga and then share a bit about that day.  (It is all on Instagram @drericapeabody)
Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

I have been a yogi for over 20 years.  In a past life, I taught yoga for years inside of a gym setting (have I told you that in said “past life” I was a group fitness instructor?).  I also took Yoga Teacher Training with Ethos Yoga about 4 years ago.  I didn’t take the teacher training curriculum in order to teach yoga in my current life, it was more about bringing even further awareness into my own personal practice, I don’t have the ability to commit to more in my regular week at the current moment.  Who knows, maybe someday.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

You also probably know about the walking boot I am currently wearing that I discussed in one of the “Sitting on the Sidelines” blog posts.  My physical yoga practice has taken a back seat to my healing and I haven’t been able to attend many classes since June.  Following my summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in March I was fine while taking a yoga class, but after class my foot would start screaming and I decided was not doing it any favors to continue so I took a break.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

September rolled around and one of the people I follow on Instagram, Rachel Brathen aka “Yoga Girl”, decided to do her “Yoga Every Damn Day” challenge for 30 days.  I needed a little shift for myself and decided I would join.

After decades of yoga, I like to attend very specific hot, intense and sweaty classes with specific instructors.  I am reminded of the irony of having rigid guidelines of classes and instructors as I practice more and more yoga…seems it should be the other way around.  Honestly, if I am going to be in class, I want to spend my time exactly how I want to practice and I have my favorite instructors all over the region, just depends on the day and time for which one I would attend.

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

I also love yoga for the community aspect of it.  Doing yoga with other people has a very different feel than practicing solo, or at least in my mind.

I am currently limited in my range of motion as well as the ability to get into different postures.  But inside of the the 30 day challenge framework I just mentioned, I learned so much.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

During the month I did make it to a couple classes, having to modify almost every posture…I learned new modifications.

Some days I felt like I am all the way back to square one with my practice, a beautiful reminder of all the progress i have made.

The only way in and out of the postures is through breath and where in my life can I take some deep breathes?

As the 30 days progressed, I relished going back to the basics and cherished the strength I have built in my core.

My movements were slow and very deliberate.  Where else in my life can I be slower and more deliberate?

I had to change many of the transitions in and out of postures.  Are there other paths in my life I can or should alter?Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

As I look around in life, I see so many ways yoga has opened my eyes and offered me different perspective on life outside of the yoga studio.  That is the whole point of yoga and is one of the most powerful parts of having a regular practice.

Of course there is also the part about being flexible so as life comes at me, I can bend instead of breaking.

Thank you #yogaeverydammnday challenge, i have learned more in the past 30 days about myself and my life and how to alter and modify things and be ok with doing less than I am used to.  In the end, I am so very very grateful that my body even allows me to move around like this at all…and I am (fingers crossed) can announce that I am on my way (although slow) back to a BOOT FREE LIFE!!!!

 

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THE SIDELINES

I am not a sit on the sidelines” kind of gal.

I am in it.  I am in the game.  I am in the adventure.  I am playing full out.  I am making things happen in whatever way I can.

This coming weekend…I will be sitting on the sidelines.

Let me explain…

Wait!  Before I explain, I do not want sympathy but I will take some positive vibes if you have some to spare:)Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Sidelines - Dr Erica Peabody

By now, you all know that I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro back in March of this year.  I had a successful summit, flew home the next day, had one day to rest and then I was back at Cafe of LIFE, my chiropractic practice, being the chiropractor that I always am.

Two weeks later one of my favorite yoga studios, Bent Yoga, started a 6 week yoga challenge.  In those 6 weeks the challenge was to complete 32 yoga classes in 42 days.  “Piece of cake” said my internal voice and I signed right up.

I also workout every single day in some way and I have had a regular step aerobics class that I have attended for years every single week at my favorite gym, Genesys Athletic Club.

I also have done a couple cleanses which included two long walks (8-9 miles) as part of the protocol in the past few months.

Every single one of the activities I feel fine during, but soreness has followed ever since my climb.  Then I would do something again, and I am fine but maybe a little more sore the next time.  …more sore…and more sore…and more sore.

The beginning of June I decided to scale way back on the intensity of all of my workouts and simply just walk and lift weights.  I would feel good for a while and -> so I would want to increase again -> and I would get set back again.

I always heal.  No problem for my body, I always heal.  Until now…

The end of July I got some x-rays taken of my foot and ankle to rule out stress fracture.  Bones are fine.  “It is ligament damage and if you do not rest, you are heading for surgery.”  WHAT?!?!?!  “Oh and here is a boot you will wear for 6 weeks and we will see how you are at the end of those 6 weeks.”

Um…boot?  I cannot adjust and serve my patients IN A BOOT!!!Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Sidelines - Dr Erica Peabody

Most of you have no idea any of this is going on.  When you come to my office, the focus is on YOUR HEALING, not mine.  The focus is on YOU, not me.  We are serving YOU and YOUR FAMILIES, not me.  This is our way.  I truly cannot wear my boot to the office.  I tried adjusting one of my chiropractors and I got stuck and had to have him push me back up to my feet.  No bueno, that is not going to work.

So instead I slowly and mindfully walk through the office and take care of patients.  And when I am doing that, I am pain free.  Then after work and whenever I am not there, I am in my boot.

When I really slowed down back in June, I told my man that “if I slow down, maybe I will heal and still be able to run the Crim 10 mile road race.”  

This Crim is this coming weekend.

I will be on the sidelines.

Sometimes I can find the blessing in it all and sometimes I am crushed over not being able to run those 10 miles.

The Crim rolls around every year.  It is one of the greatest days that Flint has all year.  The energy is high, spirits are high, music is blasting through the streets and there are thousands of people accomplishing big goals that day.  It is a FUN day and really fun to be part of it all.

I have ran the Crim for the past 12 years and when the end of August comes, it is just part of what happens and in the back of my mind it is sort of a way that I prove to myself that “I still have it”.  It is a head game for me.  I have been told that some people think that I don’t have any of those “head games” going on for me…but WE ALL DO!!!  Every last one of us is playing a game with those internal voices EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I attended an incredible event this past weekend which brought my awareness to a whole new level surrounding this subject.  For the past two months, I have been in so much pain that even when I simply see a runner, I view it as a horror film in the back of my mind “That would be so painful”.  When I see high heels I also view that with so much distress.  I realize that “if thoughts are things” and they are, that these thoughts have inhibited my healing process as well.  We head in the direction our thoughts go and so I may as well spend my time getting excited for when I can get back to running and wearing heels (not that I wear heels a lot but I do like having options, ya know).

I am sure I will shed some tears from the sidelines this weekend.

I am sure I will laugh and be entertained from the sidelines.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Sidelines - Dr Erica Peabody

I will actually get to see the head of the pack finish the race (let’s be honest, I never see them ever for my entire race at my pace).

I will hang with everyone else’s families and friends as they cheer on their runners from the sidelines.

I will cheer the loudest for my man from the sidelines.

I will cheer all my patients on and yell real loud from the sidelines.

I will stand proudly in my boot, excited for the coming years and returning to running, from the sidelines.

I have already learned so many lessons from the sidelines these past couple months and I will report back to you what that day teaches me from the sidelines.

I will cheer for this life and my incredible body that has chosen a successful summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro instead of finishing the Crim this year.

I will sit in massive gratitude to just BE ALIVE while I sit on the sidelines.

And now that I am finishing up this piece of writing, maybe I will actually enjoy the sidelines.

The best part is, I do not have to sit on the sidelines of the dance floor at the after party, so meet me there for a jig!!!

Best wishes for an incredible 10 miles this coming Saturday and wave to me if you see me on the sidelines!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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THIS IS 40

It is almost 3 months into my 40th year and I find my inner voice saying “this is 40” in the back of my head at least a few times per week lately.

I spent a week in Florida over the 4th of July.  My travel was hooked to a International Chiropractic Pediatric Association seminar the weekend of July 8-9 but I went down to get a change of scenery the Tuesday prior.  I have not mastered the art of “stay-cation” where I just stay home instead of going to work.  I take 2 weeks off per year, Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - This is 40- Dr Erica Peabodyone at the holidays and one at the 4th of July however I have to leave town to not go into work.  It is not possible for me, YET anyway, to just hang out at home and take time off from work.  The guilt rules my days and getting on a plane and being away makes it peaceful for me so I am able to relax and let go of the office for a bit.

My most favorite way to start my days on vacation is to put on a swim suit and a cover-up and walk the beach for 1-2 hours.  It is a peaceful time of day and the walking helps the energy and thoughts surface organically.  In fact, the friends that I often vacation with, began to start asking me what the “song of the day” is because, inevitably, a song would surface in the morning time.  There is always a song in my mind however when it is quiet, it gets really loud.

While in Florida last week, my morning routine changed.  I still walked the beach but I had to have socks and shoes on.  My left foot is still not right from my trek to Mt. Kilimanjaro.  If you saw me in my day to day, I am fine and my foot is fine.  As soon as I start moving forward deliberately walking, it yells at me.  My walk is now a stroll and socks and shoes don’t look cool with bathing suit and swim cover so I wore workout clothes.  Which is fine.  So I am out there the first morning walking, strolling, on the beach for 45 minutes to start my day.  I look down and am in socks and shoes and avoiding the waves as they come to shore, instead of barefoot and walking in the water and my inner voice pipes up “This is 40”.

That bums me out.  I realize I just have to let my body rest and my foot will recover but it has really slowed me down.

In these moments, I know the very best thing to do is to start reviewing my current gratitude list to override that little pesky voice inside of my head.

“I have an incredibly strong and healthy body, stronger and healthier than every before.  This is 40.”Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - This is 40 - Dr Erica Peabody

“I have an amazing chiropractic practice that has been amazing all these 12.5 years it has been open but it is a new level of awesome as I have progressed as a doctor and servant to my community.  This is 40.”

“I have outstanding relationships with my brothers and their families and can bring the wisdom I have gained over the years to help guide the littles in my family and offer unconditional love in their lives.  This is 40.”

“I have learned so many great, hard, wonderful, nasty, eye-opening lessons in life and love.  This is 40.”

“I am grateful to share regular time with my amazing Mom as we have grown to be such allies in life.  This is 40.”

“I have found an incredible supportive loving relationship and I am grateful for all the lessons in love up to this point.  This is 40.”

“I have come to a point in my life that I realize 100% of what I focus on heads my way so I better keep it positive and fruitful.  This is 40.”

“I realize the days, weeks, months and years go by so quickly and have learned to squeeze the juice out of every single day.  This is 40.”

“I am more and more grateful for all the little moments during the days that make my heart warm; from serving my patients, to stopping along my morning stroll to take in the beauty of a neighbor’s yard, to the simple hugs from loved ones, to laying down in my bed earlier at night in order to get proper rest to keep my body strong and healthy. This is 40.”

“It is obvious who ‘real’ friends are, who is in my tribe, and to invest in those relationships.  This is 40.”

“I realize how fast I got to 40 and I will spend the next 40 years trying to slow life down and smile even more.  This is 40”

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Trivial things like having to wear socks and shoes while walking the beach can really take us, well me for sure, out of my game.  I know and trust the tools I have worked to develop in my life that can change that feeling of being bummed and it all begins with GRATITUDE.  This life is not perfect.  These days have their own inherent challenges.  Life lessons come at us in all shapes and sizes.

But be grateful. Search for that silver lining.  For me, even though I had to wear socks and shoes to support my feet while I walked on the beach every morning and every evening, I am grateful I CAN walk and I am grateful to have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and realize it is just a reminder of my journey…for now.  This is 40 and I LOVE being 40!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Type 2

This morning I was reminded about Type 2 fun.

Have you heard of Type 1 and Type 2 kind of fun?

So here is the deal.  Type 1 fun is something you do that is super fun to be doing.  It is fun, brings a lot of joy, usually a lot of laughter and lots of good feelings.  An example would be going to a carnival where there are lots of peopleChiropractor Fenton Michigan - Type 2 - Dr Erica Peabody Headstand having lots of fun, smiles around every corner, giggles and laughter and rides and treats and good feelings.  It is very clear that you are having fun as well as anyone with you is also clearly having fun.

Type 2 kind of fun is something totally and completely different than that, yet still considered fun.  Type 2 fun is work, usually really hard work.  It is grinding away at a goal or mission for the sake of the accomplishment.  During the activity, there is usually a lot less of what people would consider actual fun.  It can be treacherous, hard, miserable, painful, all kinds of unpleasant experiences can happen during Type 2 kind of fun.  Exercise is often Type 2 fun.

The yoga classes that I attend are Type 2 kind of fun. Often it is not fun during the process.  It is treacherous, hard, moments of absolute misery, pain and very very unpleasant.  One of my instructors thinks you should “do something every single day that makes you nauseated because it’s so hard” and that “every yoga class should be a near death experience,” and he doesn’t back down However, big rewards happen because of attending class that drives us to come back for more and more and more.

“That was awful.  I hate this place.  I’ll be back tomorrow.” -a common thought in a yogi’s mind after finishing a class.

If you have been following this blog or my journey in life, I would give you one wild guess as to the most intense Type 2 kind of fun I have had recently, or actually ever.

The trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro was Type 2 kind of fun.  Training was Type 2 fun.  Moments of connecting with the rest of the group and going through our days were quite pleasant but the overall trip was so freakin’ intense!

I remember the first day, we all stopped and were taking a little snack and “bathroom” break about 4 hours in and I was standing with a group of about 5 women.  One asked “how are you?”  The response of the first one she asked was “I’m doing well.  I’m making it.”  It was asked again and a real similar response to the first.

Then that “how are you?” question got directed at me.

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Type 2 - Dr Erica PeabodyMy answer, “I am absolutely miserable.  My right shoulder feels like there is a knife stabbing into it and it is progressively getting worse.  My feet are the most painful I can ever remember them being and I am hot and sweaty and sticky.  NONE OF THIS IS OKAY AND I AM NOT GOING TO PRETEND IT IS!”…and then I started crying.

Of course this was only 4 hours into the first day so I wasn’t going to sob in front of these women I just met but I was an absolute wreck inside.

I had no idea that I would come to a moment similar to that on each one of the next 7 days.  This was not fun.  In fact there were moments during the trip that I thought to myself “if I am off of work right now, I would much prefer to be doing a fraction of the amount of work I am currently doing.  I work so hard all year I could use these next few days and just chill out, why am I even here????”

Commitment to this trip for myself and all of you following the journey kept me in high enough spirits to get through these daily meltdowns.

The good thing about Type 2 fun is it has HUGE PAY-OFFS and I mean HUGE!!!  …the real trick is that the fun shows up between 2-4 weeks after the fact BUT then that lasts for a lifetime.  Type 1 fun is fun in the moment, but aside from a few incredible memories made within a lifetime, Type 1 fun, although super duper fun, is short-lived.

WHOA Travel, the adventure company that I traveled with for the Kilimanjaro trip, just sumitted their next group on the Solstice last week.  I watched their progress through facebook and Instagram and had a chance to relive it a little bit.  In fact, I felt nervous for them as though I was trekking that whole path again.

Many have asked me if I have a desire to go back and do it again.  Remember what I just said, Type 2 fun shows up a few weeks later…and lasts a LIFETIME!!!  If the stars align and something like that trek shows up in my life again, I am the type that will figure out a way to say “yes” if I can.  However more than anything else, I am hoping stars are aligning for me in other big ways in my life at this point as I pursue both Type 1 and Type 2 fun.

 

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DO LESS

“DO LESS” is the mantra I say over and over to myself lately.

I don’t know about your life, but every single last second will fill up in my life if I let it.  I find myself running here and there and being pulled in all kinds of different directions.

Dr Erica Peabody - DO LESS - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

In Moshi, Tanzania relaxing

Also when all the minutes of life are filled up, the days and weeks and months fly by!  In fact, it is hard to believe we are working on the second half of June already when it feels like January was yesterday!

Since my training and trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, I have had a lot to accomplish.  I always have a lot going on during my weeks of serving the community at my office Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic.  But on top of that, I had so many weekends where I needed to travel for work conventions and the other weekends filled with other plans, fun plans, but plans nonetheless.  It turned out I was only home 3 weekends out of 3 full months.

Once June rolled around and I was working to plan my month ahead, I decided this was going to be the month to do less.  Do less traveling.  Do less roaming around this area.  Make less plans.  Do less with my downtime.  And now that we are over half way through this month, I am glad I made that an actual goal.

I have spent a few full days sitting at the lake.  I have spent many evenings just relaxing and reading and writing at home.  I have opted for longer walks and bike rides from my home rather than making it up to the gym.  I have ran less since my foot is still healing from my climb in March (subject of the next blog).  I have eaten more meals at home and stayed in to just sit and listen to music.  I have successfully done less.

I was considering getting on a plane this coming weekend because I have some new really important people born into the world in the last week but have decided against it.  I have had invites to head up north that I have turned down.  I did take advantage of one day road trip last week that really filled my soul so I haven’t been totally and completely grounded to Fenton, but in that day we did less than what would have been my norm in the past.

Dr Erica Peabody - DO LESS - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Traverse City

Enjoying the beauty in Traverse City

Since summer break from school is in full force, I have asked many of my patients at the Cafe “What are your summer plans?  Any trips coming up?”   Many of them have said “Nope, we are mostly just going to be home.”  When they respond like that, I almost have a small sigh of relief for them as the school year is so busy that it truly is a time to do less.  Especially since the fall sports season pretty much cuts the last month of summer right out, that is just a few weeks away.

My Tuesday mornings used to be spent going up to the gym and taking a step aerobics class and now I am sitting and writing instead.  When I say DO LESS, I do not mean with your body or with mine and will follow up this writing slot with a bike ride to get my daily movement.  But following that I will sit meditation, if even for just 5 minutes.

Do less.  This doesn’t mean do less with your family or do less with your body, it means do less with your time and be more present.  Be closer to home, closer to the ones you love and closer to yourself.

I am a doer.  I go and go and go and go and go…non-stop…for years.  It has been so eye-opening to have a true goal to do less.  For many reasons I reevaluated what are the most important things to me and saved my extra time to spend doing those things with specific people and cut the rest out.

After writing and sharing all of that, I want to encourage you to look around your life and find an area or maybe a couple areas that you can do less.  I find when I am doing less, I am being more…more centered, more grounded, more peaceful, more rested…less of a human doing and more of a human being, and that makes me really happy.

 

 

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