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THE VALUE OF A DOLLAR

I learned the value of a dollar from a very young age.  I come from a hard working family and not a whole lot was just given to us once we had earning potential.

That earning potential started around age 12 with babysitting and by age 14 I was working in our family orchard store.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Value of a Dollar - Dr Erica Peabody

During high school I worked locally at the grocery store and nights were spent babysitting.  In fact, just last week I ran into one of the kids I babysat one summer that helped me earn money enough to pay for half of my 1977 Buick LaSabre ( <<–OH YEAH!!!)  , my first car.

I think it goes without saying that the money we earn through our own blood, sweat and tears makes us appreciate what we buy with it even more.  The work we do adds massive value to the earnings.

This post is not about earning money…I want to talk about the VALUE OF A DOLLAR…but even more than that, I want to talk about the VALUE OF A LOCAL DOLLAR.

I was leaving my office, Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic, last night and I was struck by one of the coolest concepts that I have to take a moment and share the details.

I see many local business owners and one was leaving my office at the very end of the night, he was my last patient.  This particular guy owns a painting company and does a lot of work for a local restaurant.  I also frequent that restaurant as well as have hired this guy to do some work around my building.

So as he was leaving my office last night, I stopped dead in my tracks with this thought…

I am leaving my office and heading to a restaurant for dinner.  I sit down and eat great food and pay for it as well as the service there at that establishment.  That restaurant needs painting done and so that restaurant takes some of those same dollars and pays this painter to come into their space and do his work for a fair money exchange.  Now because this particular painter is so busy and has been for years, he has some regular work to be done on his spine to keep him in tip top shape so that he can keep doing what he is doing for a long time.  He comes to my office regularly for chiropractic care and spends some of those dollars he earned painting that restaurant.  Then I take some of those dollars he spends on his chiropractic care and I pay my staff for helping me run my office.  My staff all live locally (actually born and raised in this area) and go to have incredible food and spend some of their wage at that same restaurant.  I am a big fan of that restaurant and so I go back and spend those dollars there as well…and the cycle continues.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Value of a Dollar - Dr Erica Peabody

Now I use plastic for most transactions in my life, it is just easier to track that way.  But let’s say I use single dollar bills to do all of this, and let’s say that the restaurant and that painter do as well.  In all actuality, one single dollar could literally travel that loop for years and years to come.  Of course some of those dollars need to go elsewhere to keep lights on and supplies stocked and such, but WOW!!!  WHAT A CONCEPT!!!

The power and value of a dollar means something to all of us.  But I want to challenge you to take a closer look into this concept and just how POWERFUL your LOCAL DOLLARS spent really are.  Maybe these people are your neighbors.  Maybe they are the owners of your favorite restaurant or hair salon or bike shop or other service location.

This isn’t a rant about where and with whom you spend your money.  Not at all.  I just wanted to shine the light on how money is energy and the dollar bill isn’t created or destroyed, it is like energy and just changes hands and gets a LOT OF THINGS done!!!  When that energy is invested back into the local businesses, it becomes true power for this community.

Fenton is very “small business friendly” and even more so as the years go by.  I currently live right downtown and as I walk by the stores and business, I realize my friends own and run those places, real friends and really good people.  Fenton is a really cool place to be and in saying all of that, I want to say THANK YOU!!!!  to the community for having me and my office as part of it all.  As you are going through your days to come, think about the value in a dollar and just how much value we can all contribute to this energy circle right here in this beautiful town.

 

 

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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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SERVING OTHERS

The concept of “serving others” lives at the core of my being.

I remember 2 years into private practice at Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic I called my mom and said “So I wake up, eat, go to work, come home and eat lunch, go back to work, exercise, home for dinner and then to bed to get up and do it all over again.  Is this all there is?”Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Serving Others - Dr Erica Peabody

I had jobs along the way however being a chiropractor was my first true career and I opened my own practice right out of school.  I busted my behind (and still do) to get this thing up and running and 2 years into it I made a realization that this is what I would be spending my years doing and it blew my mind to think that was all there is.

When I say that, I am not ignorant to the fact that many are married with children and running families and doing the same thing, however, our lives are truly filled quite full with time spent at work.

My very next thought was…”THANK GOD I am in a profession serving others.”

Service is my highest heart calling and my life has revolved around that for over 12 years in private practice and a few years beyond that during my internship at school.

It was dinnertime our second day on Mt. Kilimanjaro, we sat down and one of the first comments I heard was “Man, I really wish there was a chiropractor here.”

When I am out and about in my personal life, I do not always offer up front that I am a chiropractor and since it hadn’t some up in conversation yet, not many in that particular crowd knew I was.  …well until that very moment anyway.

Day 2 of the trek I still felt yucky, sore, tired and out of it.  That is not a place to “serve others” from since my own tank was on empty but it was now sitting in the back of my mind.

I could probably adjust this entire group.

It would do every single person some good in making the trek a success.

It only takes my hands.

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This thought sat in the back of my mind the following day as we made our way to the next campsite.  As we hiked along that next day, or porters would pass us on the trail.  As they cruised by us, they all carried about 30 pounds of stuff on top of their heads and I know one carried 30 pounds of my own stuff.  This is their job and many had been doing it for years.

From a chiropractor’s eyes, it is so clear to see just how much stress has been placed on their spines and it dawned on me that I should spend any extra energy I have serving them.  The 31 women on this trek live good lives and have access to all the care they need at home.  This is not to discount their need in that moment but many of our team of porters and guides had never heard of chiropractic and had no concept of what a chiropractic adjustment could do…much less how beneficial it would be to their spines, nervous systems, health and well-being and multiply that by the fact they carry so much weight on their heads on a regular basis.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Serving Others - Dr Erica Peabody

Our day 3 hike was long and tough.  I stopped part way down the trail and adjusted Kelly (my patient/friend that invited me on this trip in the first place) and that led to a couple staff members lining up to get checked. That led to me offering my services to all staff and  I opened up a make-shift office outside of the dinner tent, which pretty much just consisted of a chair that the staff could sit in so I could check and adjust their spines.

Many stood back and watched, but some jumped right in with full trust.  By serving them, my own energy lifted.  This is a usual thing that happens, even at my office here in town.  By helping others, I am helped.  By helping others to heal, I am healed.  By helping others to increase the energy inside their bodies, my energy increases.  It is the COOLEST thing about this work I do.  Serving others helps me.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Serving Others - Dr Erica Peabody

It also fills my heart and nothing is more satisfying than what happened the very next day.  I was stopped and standing on the side of the trail.  One of the guides, that was really reluctant to sit down in my chair the evening before but decided he would in the end, walked up to me and sort of whispered “That ‘thing’ you did to me yesterday, I have been so calm ever since.  Do you think you could do that again before you leave?”

Then the following day he stops me as says “That ‘thing’…do you think you could teach me how to do that so I could help my team?”

“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.”  -Marianne Williamson

There is serious power in those adjustments, every chiropractic adjustment is powerful and I often wish you all could feel what I feel in my hands.  Being able to release healing energy inside of the body to allow people to be stronger, healthier and adapt to the internal and external stresses in their lives better, I would argue it is one of the greatest things in life.

Serving others truly is one of the greatest things in life.

I am blessed and lucky to be spending my days waking up, eating, going to work at the Cafe, coming home and eating lunch, going back to work, exercising, then home for dinner and then to bed to get up and do it all over again the next day serving others.

 

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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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THANKS I ALWAYS DO

Running errands around town almost always lands me in Target and honestly there is no telling who I am going to run into in there considering this small town.  The phrase “THANKS I ALWAYS DO!” really impacted my trip around that store today and I want to share a little bit about it.

My Aunt Kathleen lived about a mile from my family growing up.  She was always a loud and boisterous energy during any family gathering.  She used to invite my cousins and I for regular sleepovers and we always looked forward to that time at Aunt Kathleen’s house.  She was a riot!

So today when I was walking into Target I ran into Aunt Kathleen immediately right at the front door.  I have never seen her out and about in the community and she is only around town for half the year.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Thanks I Always Do

She greeted me in her usual way that always makes me feel cared for and loved.  Of course she is not ever shy about sharing how she feels and a simple walking away from Aunt Kathy in the store today warranted “Love you sweetheart”.

You all know how Target shopping goes, well mostly turns into browsing, and Aunt Kathy’s path and mine crossed on a few occasions.  While I was within earshot of her, someone would say to her “Have a nice day!” and without one
second hesitation, she would reply “THANKS I ALWAYS DO!”  (I am using caps here because earshot of Aunt Kathy is quite a large radius, I am just saying’).

Then in another area of the store I hear “Have a good day!” and Aunt Kathy’s immediate “THANKS I ALWAYS DO!”.  And our timing for getting out of the store coincided and we ended up at the registers just a few feet apart from each other.  The cashier said “Thanks Ma’am, I hope you have a good day!”.  “THANKS I ALWAYS DO!”

It is quite obvious that this is Aunt Kathleen’s genuine energy for each day because there is absolutely no hesitation in that response.  It is immediate as it is obviously her tone she has taken over and over and over for years and years.  And now as I share this, I am hearing that this has truly been her mantra forever.

And in saying all of that, Aunt Kathy has been dealt some difficult cards in life.  In fact, about a year ago she arrived at a party and did not have this level of energy and we were all a bit concerned.

When I was getting in my car with my bag of my items I accumulated while browsing around the store (I am not sure how they do it but go in for one thing and walk out with 3 bags of stuff that you “may” need sometime soon), I realized the profound impact her energy had on that store today.  In addition to that, it effected the people in her path and, I’m even more amazed to know she wakes up and walks around with that tone on a regular basis.

Not everyday of our lives are going to be “good” days or Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Thanks I Always Do“nice” days however that is ultimately a choice we get to make.  I have some patients at my office, Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic, that have been coming for years and years.  I ask them “How is your day?”  Their answer “Not bad.”

Realizing this “Not bad” answer is very different that “Good.”  ,,,and very, very different than “Always good.”  Even when “bad” things are happening in life, we still wake up on the top side of the grass and that is a GOOD DAY all by itself!!!

Let’s consider what would happen if you expected to have a good day and chose to have a good day.  What kind of effect would that have on your family?  How would that rub off on the people around you?  Now what would happen if that was multiplied by even just five of the seven days this week and multiplied out over the next year?  And what if only one friend or family member caught on, liked the idea and started to expect good days too?  Multiply that by our community in this little town of Fenton, MI or out to our state, our country, or even out to the world.  Think of how many good days we could get out of that and think about the ripple effects out into all of life!  That is a big deal.

So the next time someone says “Have a nice day!” to you, maybe you will think back to that morning when you made the decision to have a good day before getting up and out of bed, and you can reply something like “THANKS I ALWAYS DO!”  Thank you Aunt Kathleen.

 

 

 

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BAREFOOT AND FREE

I had an incredible weekend!  It was just about as much fun as one could possibly pack into the minutes of one single weekend and a good portion of it I spent at the Barefoot and Free Yoga Festival.

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Barefoot and Free Yoga

Pack up yoga mat and hike to the “unknown”

We live, work and play among some real superheros and it is hard to know who those superheros are until something like this weekend is pulled together through the vision of one woman.  Of course, there will always be so many people behind the scenes that do not get enough recognition, however, it takes one person to have the vision to start with…and that person is the one who ultimately takes the initial step forward.

Proud Lake Recreation Area is a super amazing place just south of Milford, Michigan.  I had never been there before and although I had signed up for the yoga festival just because of the idea of it…quite frankly I had no idea what I was getting into.

I pulled in, parked my car and took a walk to the festival site.  It was an absolutely ideal location allowing for yoga classes to be held in a few different areas on the grounds.  There were vendors, big tents that would hold yoga classes, a bunkhouse for those that wanted to stay, areas for tents, food vendors and so much amazing positive energy, it could not have been in a more perfect place!

Us yoga peeps, even though we are supposed to be super flexible (not only in class but in life in general), sometimes get stuck with wanting to only take our “favorite” instructor(s) and become actually quite rigid with our regular yoga routine.  For me, my time is precious and I am always wanting to maximize my time spent in any yoga class and so I have my favorites and stick with them.

The great thing about the festival setting is that there are options and you are exposed to some other really

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Barefoot and Free Yoga

The reflection is the view while laying on my yoga mat

exceptional instructors…and because this festival was so close to home, those instructors are easily accessible to me, well if you consider “easy” to be within about 45 minutes.

When I am at my usual yoga class(es) during the week, I am usually running in there last minute and heading out immediately following closing postures.  Life is busy, busy, busy!  The flow of this festival and the timing of classes

gave us some real time to spend with these like-minded people.  There were a few people I see regularly at class but I actually had some time to ask them about themselves and their lives outside of the studio.  We shared time, space, laughter and snacks together.  We had time for conversation between sweating our behinds off.  We had a few moments to jump in the river together.  I have stronger, tighter connections because of the weekend.

And then I should mention what it means to the body and mind to do that much yoga in a condensed timeframe.  I took six, 75 minute vinyasa classes in 90-100 degree temperatures.  I took an inversion workshop, a slow burn class and attended a lecture.  This all happened in a matter of 48 hours starting at 7pm on Friday and finishing Sunday at the same time.   That much yoga for me would usually be over a 2 week period and so putting myself into that many different postures, that much intensity, that much breath work, that much laughing and that much dancing, shifts a person at their core.  Barefoot and Free has such

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Barefoot and Free Yoga

Grateful for the fresh water of the Huron River

divine timing as I am in one of the most stressful weeks of my life in a long time.  In the midst of playing a mean hand of “52 Pick-Up” with my life, I find peace.  Peace is my center and I am craving more time on my mat like I have never felt before, such a strong draw for that level of intense movement and shifting.

I have shared about my experience over the past day and so many have asked “How do I get involved?”  “How did you find out about that?” and “When is the next one?”  I can say this for certain, DO NOT MISS next year!  It is a simple 30 minutes from my home and if you are around the southeast Michigan area, probably within an hour from yours too…very central location to many.

I seriously had no idea what I was getting into.  This is yet another time that I simply said YES and made it happen.  Leading into the weekend I was asked, “Are you meeting a bunch of friends there at the festival?  Do you know many people going?”  No I did not know many people going, but I knew by the time I left, with the nature of yoga and the woods and the connection with Mother Earth, I would have new friends by Sunday.  Plus I am not sure I love anything more than being BAREFOOT AND FREE!!!!!

 

Thank you to that teeny tiny superhero, Beth James, for creating a place for all of us to play…and be barefoot…and FREE!!!

 

 

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PUMPING GAS

I pulled up to a pump the other day to put gas in my car and it was impossible not to notice the TV that was blaring the news station and telling me about all the stuff going on in the world.  It dawned on me that more and more gas pumps are coming equipped with TVs so that you don’t have to just “stand there”, you can catch up on the world events while pumping gas.

It really struck me on that particular morning.  Many of you know that I do not have TV at home.  I have a TV and I have capability to stream movies through Amazon Prime but that’s it.  It is only turned on about once every 2 months to watch a movie, if even that.  TV is just not something that I participate with at all.  Because of this, I am super sensitive to them when they are on.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Pumping Gas

So as I am standing there getting the doom and gloom of the world right at the gas pump, I begin to think how did this all come about?  How did the demand for TV to be right at the gas pump happen?  Someone thought of that idea, invented a TV that could be installed at the gas pump, marketed to the gas stations and the gas stations bought into it.

I am not saying that is a bad thing, its truly BRILLIANT!!!

For some reason as humans, we cannot just stand there and pump gas and think?  That makes me nervous.  I have quite a few little ones in my life through my family and my practice, Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic, and I am noticing that it is harder and harder for them to be still and not stimulated by technology, TV or something of that nature.

I remember growing up with “I’m bored” coming from my mouth from time to time.  However “I’m bored” just was something to say when I didn’t feel like using my imagination and finding/creating something to do.

I am curious if kids are getting much of a chance to develop their imagination anymore.  Life is so filled with someone else’s creation, someone else’s imagination, projected on a screen and I am certain this is taking away from developing their own.  Imagination is like a muscle and needs to be worked.

We used to take family road trips out west, hours and hours and hours in the car with four kids.  We didn’t have movie players and gaming systems, we had the radio and our imagination and maybe some crayons and coloring books.  That was it.  Now it seems some people drive to the grocery store and need to have movies on in the car.  I am, by no means, saying this is wrong because there are many good reasons for this.  However, what if we just look out the windows, look around, maybe play “I spy” or something and start to engage the imaginative and observation parts of the mind…especially for the little ones but adults too!

Let’s take a moment and glance back through this past week.  I am curious to know if there has been any time set aside to be able to just think.  Taking some deliberate time to just think is a way we can asses our direction in life.  It is a way to reflect back and see what patterns are happening in life and, if expanded out over the next multiple years in life, where that may take us.

A few years back, when my grandmother was still alive, she would see her grandchildren on their phones constantly and directly ask “When do you kids take any time to just think?’

Many of the new patients coming into the office these days check the box “anxiety” as one of their symptoms.  I believe some of this is from the high speed pace of life and filling every single moment of each day with technology.  Though I do not have TV, I am equally as guilty as the rest with wanting to fill quiet spaces with technology.  I have set deliberate time aside to be “screen-free” and am changing my morning routine to delay my first screen interaction.

I am, in no way, saying anything is good or bad.  I am, in no way, nay-saying on kids and TV.  What I am asking is maybe we take a closer look at the AMOUNT of time spend in front of a screen.  And though it is difficult because the gas pump TVs are SO LOUD, maybe take those 3 minutes to pump your gas to think about your life, your family or your significant other.  If you are on a undesirable trajectory in life, I am not sure those 3 minutes pumping gas will give you enough insight to realize it, but awareness is the beginning of anything.

It amazed me how much I learned from pumping gas that day.  Just something to think about since we only get one chance!!!

 

 

 

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THIS IS WHAT I SEE

So this is what I see…

Many people left the state for spring break.  Many people went down south to the sun, sand and beaches and had a blast.  All the stresses of ordinary life fall away while out of their normal environment.

I have seen many of these people back in my office, Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic, this week.  They say things like: “My low back pain was fine while I was gone but just a couple days before returning home, it started to flare up again.”  “I did a 28 hour drive to Florida and back and I was fine, but now that I am back that sciatic pain is back.”  “We had a great time, we were swimming and walking on the beach and my shoulder really relaxed.  Now that I am home and running around all over for normal life, that shoulder is driving me crazy.”Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - This is what I see - life

One of the reasons we LOVE vacation is because we get a break from the grind of the day to day, we get to let go and maybe smile a little bit more, connect with the people that are important and fill our days with conversation and laughter.  We become light and live that light and actually enjoy the lightness of being.

I want to know who made the rule that regular life cannot be like that.  I have a bone to pick with whomever said we cannot enjoy the lightness of our being while running kids around, taking care of our homes, going to work and whomever is spreading the idea that we shouldn’t smile through the good, bad and the ugly during the mundane-ness of life?

We can…and we should.

If life becomes that enjoyable while we are away from it all, maybe we could be doing a little better job at enjoying it while we are in the thick of it.

I have used this phrase quite a bit over the past week or so…”Life just really isn’t that serious.”

I really mean it when I say that but I don’t mean that it is all rainbows and butterflies either.  It just means that your rate of making it through your days so far is 100% and, until you are at the end, I bet that rate stays right up there at 100%;)  If you ask me, we are all doing a heck of a good job and that is pretty freaking amazing!!

So let’s think about it.  We get up in the morning and of course that part is really important.  But what happens if you burn breakfast, run out of eggs and spill your bowl of fruit right down the front of your favorite white shirt as soon as you leave the house.  I bet you will find something else for breakfast and make a joke of your outfit to those who ask and go on with your day.  I bet you will gracefully figure out all parts of your day and in the end make it out with flying colors!

There can be trauma and drama along the way and I am in no way trying to minimize that, some really bad stuff happens to good people.  However when we take a look at the bigger picture, most of it isn’t that big of a deal and isn’t worth much additional energy.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - This is what I see - love life

And during the days that we do not get to spend on the sandy beaches in the sunshine, what about creating that feeling of being on sandy beaches and out in the sunshine?  I do not mean by creating a literal beach in your life, I mean by finding things to regularly do that bring you to the feelings you feel when you are there, things that make you feel more connected to nature and the Universe, things that connect you more to your community and activities and people that bring you joy.

What about finding more laughter, even if it means taking on a joke-telling hobby?  What if you woke up tomorrow and you set an intention of finding out what everyone’s favorite joke is?  What if you started just telling the joke “why did the chicken cross the road?”  Making other people laugh, will make you laugh.  That is just one idea of how to lighten the day.  One lighter day leads to 2 lighter days which leads to weeks and months and years of a lighter life.

When life is light, the contrast of vacation will not be quite as much and the settling in of daily life will take on an easier and more graceful feeling.  A lighter life leads to a healthier mind, less stress, more joy and in the long run, greater health!!!

As a chiropractor, I see all kinds of ailments, aches and pains and usually they are stemmed from something happening somewhere along the lines in life; physical stresses, mental/emotional stresses and chemical stresses.  When we realize that the low back tension, the sciatic pain and the shoulder pain and stiffness are, not always but largely, exacerbated from the heaviness of our thoughts and  stress and the anticipation of our normal life, we can really start to let some of the stuff go.  Monday will be Monday. Tuesday will be Tuesday.  Wednesday will be Wednesday…and so on.  They have no real meaning until we place a meaning on them.  If we wish them all away in hopes the weekend will get here sooner or vacation will get her sooner, or summer break will get here sooner…WE ARE MISSING OUT ON LIFE!!!

Let’s lighten the days.  It starts in our minds and in our hearts.  Let go of the pattern of dreading the mundane, that has become a bad habit.  Let go and laugh more with your children, cut some slack to the car that just cut you off in traffic and be grateful for every single sunrise and every single sunset you get to experience.

Life is really not all that serious…this is what I see.

 

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WHAT SHOULD I EAT?

“Hey Doc!!!  What should I eat???”  I have gotten this question so many times over the past few weeks at the Cafe of LIFE that I wanted to answer it in a much bigger way and really put some information out there for you.Fenton Chiropractor - What Should I Eat - Sweet Potato

There are so many concepts of this food is good, and that food is bad, and that and that is bad, and this is good.  Where does one even start????????  And you might be thinking and asking that same question and maybe you have been asking these questions for a long time now.

Should I eat meat or be a vegetarian?
What about being a vegan?  What about red meat?  And eggs or just egg whites?
How about that gluten stuff?
What about corn?  And soy?  And sugar?  Should I have dairy?

I do not have all the answers.  I am not a nutritionist.  I do however have A LOT of years of trial and error of my own, worked with patients and have done a TON of research, seminars and have been learning and learning and learning as I go. Fenton Chiropractor - What Should I Eat - Cucumber
Here are a few tips on how to determine what to eat:

EAT FOODS WITH ONE INGREDIENT:  This is what my diet consists of and most of it is vegetables.  What do I mean when I say ONE ingredient?  Well when you look at a cucumber for instance, it is just a cucumber.  I doesn’t have any additives, it hasn’t been processed and is just the thing that grew from the ground.  Chicken and fish are just that, chicken and fish, just one simple ingredient, and baked or broiled, delicious.  Sweet potato is just one ingredient.  Lettuce, tomato, rice, oats, apple, orange…you get the picture.  Cracker, for instance, is usually some sort of flour mixed with something else and baked and they added salt and probably high fructose corn syrup and all other kinds of things.  So when you sit down at the table to eat your meal, how many Chiropractor Fenton - What Should I Eat - Broccoliingredients are in the stuff on your plate?  Eat more WHOLE FOODS, more items that are just the food itself, just ONE ingredient.

EAT LOTS OF PLANTS:  Each time we look down at our plate and are about to eat a meal, I suggest more than half of your plate should be plants or the product of plants and is considered a PLANT BASED DIET.  I am not recommending a vegan or vegetarian diet, although I do have my own good and bad experiences, that is completely up to you.   You can decide if meat is right for you and which meats you choose to eat.  When choosing meats, clean, organic, grass fed animals is what you want to choose.  How do they grow and what do they eat when given their natural environment. So many of the meats have been mass produced at overcrowded farms.  Not good.  And if you are eating the meats, skip the sauces and figure out some herbs that you can use for flavor.  When I say I recommend is a PLANT BASED DIET, that just means load your plate up with the vegetables and then a clean protein.  In other words, consume lots of live things that grew from the ground.Fenton Chiropractor - What Should We Eat - Brown Rice

PROTEIN, FAT and FIBER:  One of my mentors has done away with the idea of PROTEIN, FAT and CARBOHYDRATES and has replaced the last part of that with FIBER.  This goes back to getting our actual carbs from FIBER, mainly vegetables and some fruits.  When we have the word “carbohydrate” on the back of a package and we know we need a certain amount of carbohydrate per day, we will give ourselves an excuse to eat some food that is not beneficial to us. This doesn’t mean that we can get our carb allowance for the day from some sort of processed food and call it the same as eating a sweet potato, oats or brown rice, it doesn’t work like that.  Fiber keeps our digestive system clear and moving, keeps our blood sugar regulated and it should be the key ingredient when you go to choose your carbohydrates for the day.  Let’s think about replacing the word “carbohydrate” with “FIBER” and make our choices be a lot more vegetables and a whole lot healthier.What Should I Eat - Salmon

EAT HEALTHY FATS:  In this culture we have gotten to a point that we are primarily driven by sugars.  Our body is breaking down sugars as an energy source and we really need to revert back to breaking down fats.  If the body is constantly able to just use sugars and carbohydrates as energy source, we don’t get to the powerful energy source which is fat.  When the body switches back over and starts burning fats for energy, it will start to burn more body fat and melt that right off the body as well.  Fenton Chiropractor - What Should I Eat - Water
How do we go about switching our bodies from sugar burners over to fat burners?  Start adding super healthy fats into your diet when you need a little energy boost and at the same time
limit your sugar and carb intake. Some ideas for healthy fats are avocado, coconut and coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, whole eggs, fatty fish like salmon, fish oil or flax seed oil supplement or a little bit of dark chocolate.

DRINK MORE WATER:  Water, water, water, water, water, water, water, water, water, water, water.  Period.

In the end, our diet doesn’t need to be and probably should’t be exciting.  Food is for nourishment and what I have noticed over the years, for myself and my patients, is that the cleaner and simpler it is, the more nourishing it is and the better the body feels.

The question, “What should I eat?”, I hear it a lot.  There is no “one size fits all” recipe for life.  In sharing this, I hope the simplicity helps a bit and helps you realize that the choices we make today effect us right away…but the long term cumulative effects of good choices really adds to our overall quality of life now and especially down the road.  The name of this blog is “We Only Get One Chance” and we may as well treat our body in a way that our one time around is the healthiest it can possibly be.

 

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