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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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SURRENDER

Many things have crossed my mind over the past 3 months, many, many, many life lessons learned and one of the greatest has been SURRENDER.

In the 10 days that we were on Mt. Kilimanjaro and and traveling to and from Africa, I counted somewhere around a total of 24 hours of sleep.   Once I was on the mountain, I averaged around 3 hours of sleep per night.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Surrender - Mt Kilimanjaro Dr Erica Peabody

The dayss would look like this:

  • The team would come to each tent and wake us up at 6:30am.
  • We would make it to breakfast at  7 and on the trail around 8.
  • We would hike for 3-4 hours and stop for lunch.  We would hike another 3-4 hours to the next camp so our days were around 6-8 hours of total hiking time.
  • We would get settled in and they would call us for dinner around 6:30-7pm.
  • We would get our briefing for the following day, turn our water bladders for our camelbaks in and head back to our tents around 8-8:30.

At this point we were free to go to sleep and that would have been AWESOME if I would have been able to.  There is this thing called “high altitude insomnia”.  It happens because the heart is beating faster than usual, like it does for exercise, because there is less oxygen.  My my mind thought my body was still working out and it is very hard to sleep with my body in that mode.

My usual is I would finally find sleep around 11ish and sleep for about 3 hours and then be up for the rest of the night.  This happened every single night.  I would lay there frustrated because I knew every minute I wasn’t sleeping was also a minute my body wasn’t truly resting and recuperating from the intense day before and not really able to prepare for the next intense day ahead.

When the team would come by the tent at 6:30am to wake us up again, I would be so beside myself with frustration.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Surrender Hike - Dr Erica Peabody Mt Kilimanjaro

I would get my stuff packed up anyway.  I would strap my boots on and get my backpack ready, grab my water and be ready for breakfast no matter what.  In the back of my mind I would think to myself, “maybe later tonight I will be able to finally sleep”.

The thing is, I felt miserable inside in those moments.  But there are 30 other women maybe feeling just the same or having some other experience just as miserable.  It didn’t do me any good to complain to anyone.  I would get in this mode of I need to do what needs to be done right now, which was strap my boots on and prepare for the day ahead.  Even though it would have felt good to at least express my stress and frustration to the staff, that didn’t matter either because the trail heads in one direction, it isn’t an “out and back”.  We start on one trail and continue to another one for the descent.  Forward momentum is vital.

It didn’t matter how much I slept that night, or the night before, or the previous 6 nights.  It didn’t matter how sore I was, how foggy my head was, nothing mattered but forward momentum and so I knew I better get started.

Endurance, the whole “put your big girl panties on and step forward“ness of this trip was such a powerful lesson in surrender.  I had many logical reasons to resist what was happening and most people in that position would have similar self-talk going on about the whole scenario.  But pure surrender, strapping on my boots and getting after the task at hand for that day was my only option.  There was no turning around, no turning back and only one way to move.  FORWARD!

When I equate this to things in my life back home, I see how this lesson has served me so well in the past few months.  I have a different view on life.  I have spent a lot of my years paddling upstream.  I have spent so much Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Surrender Hikers - Dr Erica Peabody Mt. Kilimanjarotime and effort pushing against the current going in the other direction.  The past three months I have spent more time setting down my oars, surrendering and allowing myself to be pushed in the direction that life is trying to naturally take me anyway.

I have always had high and lofty goals for my life and I always will.  Though I have goals and the “WHAT” I want to accomplish figured out, I don’t have to be so wrapped up in trying to control the “HOW” it all happens.  I set some really powerful intentions at the beginning of April this year and life has unfolded more beautifully than I could have ever imagined.  I am in shock and awe sometimes knowing that the most powerful move I can make is keep surrendering my own plan for the bigger plan of the Universe.

Maybe surrender in your mind means “to give up”, “to give in” an “to stop progress”.  To me, it means to “let go and let God”.  It also means to set the goals you want to achieve but surrender to the process of how it all unfolds.  Our thoughts about how we want things to be or how we want them to look is usually a limited view of what is really possible.  I have been taught this lesson over and over and over.

My action of surrender in the mornings on Mt. Kilimanjaro was the moment I strapped my boots on.  From that point I would stand up from the tent, put my arms through the straps of my backpack, embrace the unknown for the day ahead (have no idea exactly what the day would hold, which direction we were going or how long it would take) and start stepping one foot in front of the other.

“Surrender isn’t about being passive, it is about being open.”  -Danielle LaPorte

For 8 solid days, this strategy worked and I realized it would work for my life when I got home as well “Have a goal and a destination ahead, surrender to the process of the steps in getting there.”  Yet another humbling life lesson and a huge THANK YOU to KILIMANJARO!!!

 

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Surrender - Dr Erica Peabody

 

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60 EXTRA HANDS

Most of you know that I grew up with 3 brothers. If I could possibly explain to you my childhood in 3 simple words, I would call it “three against one”. Always…and I was on the losing side of that scenario.

I am not used to being around women for extended periods of time.  Of course I have a lot of incredible women in my life, I have personal time with them in doses.  The thought of spending and entire 8 days together with 30 other Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - 60 Extra Hands - Dr Erica Peabodywomen was an intimidating factor of my trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.  However, in retrospect, those 30 women changed my life forever for the good.

I would say probably around a third of the women on this trip had children at home.  Women, in general, are naturally helpful and the “mom” energy of the crowd ran strong and deep.  If ANYONE, and i mean ANYONE, needed ANYTHING, someone was stepping up to help out, assist others and offer additional supplies.  And when I use the word “someone” I am actually talking about 3-5 “someones” because the generosity of this particular group of women was palpable.

We were in this trek together.  And when I look out at the broader picture of life, we are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.  

I am not one to ask for assistance, I have been able to accomplish a lot in my life on my own.  When I am exposed to 8 solid days of really intense activity with such an incredible group of women willing to literally give you the shirt off their backs, it changed me.  The consistency of having those 60 extra hands willing to share, give and serve me in the time of need with anything they have to spare…I am forever grateful.  I learned from them it is okay to ask for help as I stand shoulder to shoulder with such willing souls to offer help.  Of course the culmination of this I wrote about already (click here–>>) “Don’t Die With Your Daypack On”.  Such a POWERFUL lesson!!!

I returned to my normal life back in Fenton with a different perspective about asking for assistance.

I know that my willingness to accept help from others has also taken me to a different place as well.  I have some amazing friends, a couple specifically I am referring to, that stand shoulder to shoulder with me as I progress through my days.  When I ask for help or need assistance with something, their consistent support has continued to help me evolve to a new version of myself.

“If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”  -African Proverb

The picture I have added to the post is not a picture I took, however it is a really good representation of how I view this helpful world now.  To have 60 extra hands ready to assist in making this life and world a little bit easier for me, what a gift.  I love you Kili Dadas!!  Thank you for everything!!!

 

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DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON

“DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON!”  they said.

These words stuck in my head from our briefing after dinner on summit night.

Every evening after dinner, they would come into the mess tent, do our medical examinations and share with us how they thought we were all doing and what will happen the next day, or later that night in this case.

Dr Erica Peabody - Don't Die With Your Daypack - Chiropractor Cafe of LIFE Fenton

Me (Dr Erica Peabody) Ready for Summit Night

We had 12 guides with our group for our normal day to day and about 50 support staff.  The porters were the ones that carried all of our gear, food water and tents and such.  Everyday they would pass us on the trail and get to camp ahead of us and have everything set up for us for when we finished our days.

The intensity of summit night required the assistance of our normal 12 guides along with 18 additional porters in order to have one to one support for the final hike to the very top.  Having this one to one support for the final summit is the reason this particular company has such high summit success rates.

I woke up nauseated and although I ate a tiny bit of food, I really couldn’t manage to stomach much at 15,000 ft and almost no sleep.  So the climb begins at 1am.  We line up in our hiking line and start to make our way up the trail.  It was the most beautiful night with bright stars in the big African sky.

As we begin to hike, the phrase “DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON” came back in my mind.  What exactly where they talking about?  I feel absolutely fine.   Were they really serious when they said that?  I am surprised they made such a point to make sure that was clear and that if we needed to hand over the load on our backs to a porter, we could easily do that.  “I won’t need to do that, I feel super strong.”

An hour goes by and I had already overheated once and had to strip my outer expedition-weight goose down jacket off.  The guide warned me to keep it close because I would want it back sooner rather than later.  As I thought about it all, it is close to zero degrees and I should not be overheating at this point.  Then I got the chills.  Then I got goosebumps from head to toe.  Then I got hot again and then the chills.  What on Earth was my body doing???  It felt as though my body was confused and couldn’t regulate my temperatures.

I felt my stomach start to gurgle (which will be an entirely separate blog post) and just after the first hour I realized I was not going to be able to do this summit with the current situation I had going on.  I tried and tried and tried to remain calm and keep pressing on.  I tried so hard to the point I got blurred vision and lost all my strength.  Unfortunately for me my camelbak water hose froze and I no longer had easy access to hydration.

Dr Erica Peabody - Don't Die With Your Daypack - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

Me (Dr Erica Peabody) Finishing Kilimanjaro Trek

I fell to the ground.  I needed a break and I needed help…and THIS is exactly what they meant when they said “DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON!”  I understand now.  Sometimes that extra 10-15 pounds, although comfortable and distributed evenly on my back, was just going to be too much, and for me, it was.

Now let’s back up a minute and discuss this concept.  I am not one to ask for help from others.  Of course in my office, I cannot do that alone and have hired help.  But life in general is manageable and when I focus my mind and efforts on something, I almost always can be able to come out on top.  I rarely ask for help, I guess maybe I was raised that way.

There was absolutely no way I could have gone on from that point which is common in those circumstances, hence them having one to one support for that part of the trek.

The greatest thing happened when I fell down.  I was in tears and yelled “I NEED HELP!!!!”  The next thing I heard was “Erica we got you covered.  As I lay on the ground, those from the group that hiked past me put out their hands for a high-five and I heard things like “Erica you are my hero.”  

I realized in that moment that I wasn’t a hero because I was so strong and powerful, I was a hero in that person’s eyes because I recognized that I needed help and asked for it.

Sometimes our admitting defeat is where we really grow into the person we are supposed to be.  Admitting defeat and receiving the help we need is a sign of vulnerability and inside vulnerability is where true power lies.

Turns out that not only did I need my assigned porter to carry my pack, the final 50 steps to the summit, I needed him more than ever.  When it got to the very end of the climb, I would take 2 steps and lean over so my chest would lay on the top of my trekking poles and take a few breathes.  Then another 2 steps and lean over my poles.  You guys, there is a reason NOTHING LIVES THAT HIGH!!!  It was so void of oxygen I didn’t know how I was going to do it.  My porter took my left arm and put it up over his shoulders.  He then took my trekking pole and he took the final 50 steps as the left side of my body (picture the 3 legged race during field day in elementary school).

Even as I write this right now, I get goosebumps from head to toe as I re-live the intensity of that scenario (again, sorry Mom).

“DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON!!”  I get it now and I am so glad that my subconscious took good note of that when it was said that night.

 

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NOTHING

“Nothing” is my answer.

I was at a family party last Saturday night.  Of course at this age, everyone wants to know how my dating life is and of course, most also know that I am working on building a house, so they are asking about my house.

I walk in the door and greet my cousin (who is sort of in the same boat as I am in life) and her and I discuss much deeper topics and catch up for a few moments.

The next corner I turn, I run into another cousin and the question is “What’s going on with your dating life?’

I respond, “Nothing.”

“Oh really?  Ok.  Well then tell me what progress you have made with your house?”Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody - Nothing

“Nothing”  And honestly at this point in time I don’t really feel like talking about it if that is all I am to this person.  So I cut that conversation quickly and turn the next corner of the house and run into an aunt, “What’s happening with your dating life?  What’s going on with your house?”

“Nothing.  Nothing.”

“No really, what is happening?”

“No really, nothing.”

I turn the conversation around on them and ask some questions about life but it was almost like I had sort of put the kibosh on the connection by answering my truth, which is “nothing”.

I turned yet another corner and a family friend started the same conversation with me all over again.  And then of course is the ever so cliche comment of “How is someone like you still single?” which I constantly hear from every corner of my life.

“Who knows.  Good question.” …and I really mean that.

So here is the deal, people, I am FAR MORE than who I am dating and where I am living!  In fact, I believe the contrast on that particular evening was so strong because I spent the entire day leading up to that party at a most incredible and enlightening seminar on “Developmental Neurobiology” and although I couldn’t necessarily convey all of the information I learned that day in that seminar, I could have shared some.  I am also working on a full Pediatric Chiropractic Certification which is far above and beyond the normal chiropractic degree and is a 2 year post-graduate program put on by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association that I am incredibly passionate about.

I also have started taking an intense kettlebell class that is changing my entire physical makeup and spending my time at some of the coolest yoga classes.  I also have done a ton of reading and lots of writing, hung out with some great friends and am planning or just went on a trip most of the time.

I also am a pretty awesome Aunt E and I could share lots of stories about my amazing nieces and nephews and the time we have spent together.

But to these people, I am defined by who I date and where I am living.  And quite frankly, since NOTHING is going on with either of those, to them, maybe I am nothing. ..and that is ok by me.

Maybe these people, as we all do from time to time, are looking for some juice somewhere in life that they can share out in the world somehow and in someway.  I don’t really get it.

So I decided that I would sit down next to an interesting friend of the family and chat about running a ski resort, which is what he does, and I learned a LOT!!!  Then I moved on to a couple I haven’t seen in a while but really enjoy to chat about the year just gone by and the year ahead; plans, experiences, travels, fun, laughs, work…all those kinds of things.  I have decided that one or two good conversations in an evening like that is worth way more than trying to get around to everyone and stay as the “single homeless girl” (exaggerated description but you get the idea).

In saying all of that, I am also not really all that skilled in small talk to begin with.  It is not my strong suit as many of you already know.  That is definitely one of my faults but I’m alright with that.  I also realize and am so very grateful that I get to live the blessed life that I do, this is not talking negative about any of that.

Someone said to me the other day, “You know, you have a lot of dating experiences that you should share a little bit about sometime…and I thought to myself that maybe I will.  Stay tuned for maybe some stories over the next phase of this blog as hopefully my “nothing” will start to transpire into an incredible SOMETHING!!!  …or at least that is my hope, on many fronts, but house and relationships in specific. l.

 

 

 

 

 

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GRATITUDE PROJECT

It is the month of THANKSGIVING!!!  The best holiday of them all in my opinion.  We have a GRATITUDE PROJECT going on in our office for the final months of the year.

“What we think about and thank about, we bring about.”

The world proves to us over and over again that what WE FOCUS ON, EXPANDS!!!  So let us get back to focusing on GRATITUDE and what we are grateful for.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Gratitude

Our lives are blessed in so many ways.  Seriously so, so, so many ways.

I want to challenge you to sit for 5 minutes, set a timer even, and think about all the different things you are grateful for.  Make a list in your mind.  Can’t fill 5 minutes of time?  Look harder, you are not paying close enough attention.

I am so very grateful for my office Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic and the ability to serve this community!  I could not imagine my life any other way than spending my days doing what I love.

I also LOVE LOVE LOVE to fill this space with GRATITUDE!!!!!!!!

GRATITUDE PROJECT:

Each day you walk into the Cafe of LIFE, you will make sure to stop by our GRATITUDE STATION.  There are leaf cut-outs ready for you.  Write one thing you are grateful and tape it to our tree on our window.  It becomes the biggest and most beautiful gratitude tree in just a few short weeks, and we just keep going.  It is simple and super fun and such an awesome way to build GRATITUDE ENERGY!!!

And if you are not a patient here at the Cafe of LIFE, feel free to swing by and just fill out a leaf and join our mission.  The more GRATITUDE, the BETTER!!!!

In saying all of that, I want to take a moment to extend my GRATITUDE to you, my readers, family, friends and patients, for being part of my life.  My life and heart are filled up because of YOU!!!  Thank you.

 

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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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I SAID YES

Quite often I receive emails that sound like this “I see you are on an adventure out on a boat in the Lake Michigan.  How did you get involved in that?”  My simple answer, “I said yes.”

When I get invited somewhere, I figure out if it is at all possible to say yes and if it is, I do.

When I was 10 years old, I said yes and was given my first horse.

I said yes and ended up moving across the country for school when I was 19 years old.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - I said Yes

I said yes and moved up to Anchorage, Alaska for an awesome 3 year adventure.

I said yes (to myself and my abilities) and opened my own chiropractic practice Cafe of LIFE that thrives still today.

I have said yes and ended up away from my family for the holidays but with great friends and that has led to some awesome trips over the years.

I said yes and purchased a condo, a building and a home.

I said yes and have a second business that has been running and successful for years.

I have said yes and got on planes to not one, but 5 different first dates over the years.

I said yes and ended up in some really incredible relationships (though none have gone the distance…just yet anyway).

I said yes and found myself jumping out of a plane.

I said yes and signed up for and ran the Chicago Marathon.

I said yes and ended up having some of the greatest times of my life.

And just last weekend I said yes and ended up on a boat along the shore of Chicago to watch the America’s Cup Qualifying Race.

I am sharing all of this because as I am sitting on a boat in the water and under the sunshine and with a beautiful view of the city of Chicago last weekend, I was so grateful.  I have had many experiences and in that moment, I am proud of myself for having the courage to just say yes and get out there and live life.

In the past, I have also gotten email messages inquiring whether I had some sort of terminal diagnosis and why I was making so many different things happen all the time?  “The tragedy in life is not death…but what we let die inside while we live.”

Brush fear aside, step up and have the courage to say YES to your life!  I promise you will find great adventures along the way and open up to really living!!!!

Next time I see you, I want to hear from you that “I said yes and…” and then tell me all about your adventure.

 

 

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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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