gratitude

FOUNDATION

If you are following me on this journey, you know that I am currently building a house. In fact, this week they are finishing with the foundation.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Foundation - Dr Erica Peabody This house project is about 1 year delayed but it is a tricky lot and there has been a lot of time spent on putting in the foundation. The house is set back into a hill and so the foundation has to be done in pieces and locked together.
The house project has been going on for quite a while and the one right next door finished just about a month ago. Of course because that one is ahead of us, it puts a bit of pressure from outsiders that are wondering why they aren’t finished at the same time. What they don’t realize is that the neighbors had their house plans in the works even before I had dreamed of purchasing my lot. Their efforts began much before mine did, but sitting side by side, onlookers forgot about that part.
I am fascinated by demolition as well as construction and I am the homeowner that sits on the sidelines, literally on the sidelines, and watches as much of the process as possible in person. I have a very talented builder working on my house and have been sitting right by his side since the very first line was drawn.
I feel very lucky to be part of the process but also even luckier to be privy to the very beginnings and all pieces along the way.
Currently it is difficult to not spend every extra minute out there watching what they are doing on a day to day basis.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Foundation - Dr Erica Peabody It started with excavation and then on to footings. Footings started with just boards for forms and then the cement was poured. At this point it felt like something was actually happening.
The next was forms for the foundation. Watching the crew work so hard and putting together this steel puzzle that would eventually be the foundation of my home, absolutely fascinating. I have an incredible team hired to do the foundation and to watch as they all worked together to make this thing happen was really interesting.
Then the pump truck pulls in and they start filling the forms with cement. I sat there and watched from the neighbor’s stairs as this puzzle soon became my basement.
It has been a beautifully sunshiny fall here in Michigan and that day was no exception. It was in the low 60s and the sun was shining on my face as I sat and watched them do this process.
I have been in awe of this entire building process but to actually watch something like this come together, I called my builder and said “It must be so gratifying to watch lines on paper become something!”
Not everyone will get a chance to put a mark on the Earth.
Not everyone who does get a chance to build will be able to watch the process every step of the way.
In that moment, I realized how strongly I was fighting back tears of

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Foundation - Dr Erica Peabody

gratitude. I had to have the events of my life to line up exactly the way they did in order to be able to have this chance. During this long and drawn out process, I had no idea if it was going to actually happen and, truthfully some of the process has been very very difficult and some of it actually quite painful.
The nay-sayers will always be there. The ones that want to give opinions on what to do and how to do it will always be waiting in the wings to chime in. I have heard “Do this.” “Don’t do that.” “Have you considered this?” “If I were you, I wouldn’t do that.”
Yup, you know what? We got this covered. There is a reason, well many many reason, why I am chosen the particular builder I am working with. In the midst of all of this I am confident he has it handled as he has shown me over and over and over.
In a moment, those tears of gratitude busted through the surface and I was balling.
Of course I am sure this looked so bizarre to the crew of guys that a woman would sit on the sidelines and ball her eyes out. It was a combination of tears along with laughter as it must have been a pretty bizarre energy coming through from me (I caught some of this in my instagram story:  follow me @drericapeabody)
So I am in this. I have been in this but I am truly in this in a way that I can feel it from head to toe. I have created this beautiful home in my mind for years now. It is amazing to see the beginnings of its foundation, a foundation that has so much strength it is palpable.
This also rolls over to the fact that I am currently building a strong foundation for my life in other ways. Using the visual of the powerful foundation that is built for my home as a vision for my future, I have confidence it will be able to withstand the many tests that come with time.

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#YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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THE SIDELINES

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

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

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

Let me explain…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Crim is this coming weekend.

I will be on the sidelines.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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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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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STUNNED

Absolutely stunned.

I cannot believe what just happened.

I am pretty sure most of you know that the high altitude training I did leading up to my trek up MT KILIMANJARO was done at a gym that is set up in the packing plant of the orchard where I was born and raised.

My brother set this gym up last fall and I remember my first time training out there and how cool it was that I was working out in a room we used to store apples in when I was growing up.  It was our family’s livelihood.

I also remember training day after training day how grateful I was to have that access to that gym and the concept of being able to train at 8,000-12,000 ft above sea level right here in Fenton, Michigan.

Dr Erica Peabody - Stunned - High Altitude Training Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

high altitude training in Fenton, Michgan

Kelly, my mountain sister and training/trek/tent partner, and I would meet out there a few times per week.  We would text each other during the day and share our nerves and how we were feeling and then we would get together regularly and talk each other down from the anxiety during our workouts.  This happened over and over and over, week after week.

We also met each other out there 2-3 nights per week to spend the night at high altitude (which is really where the magic in high altitude training comes from, endurance at the altitude which is what is happening while spending hours sleeping there).

The training days were pretty brutal yet gratifying, but the slumber parties were more like mild torture…for me anyway.  I would sleep for about 5-6 hours and then I would wake up and not be able to get back to sleep.  When you sleep at altitude it is as though the body is working out all night long, and for me it was very difficult to rest.  Couple that with the fact that my comfortable bed in my precious tiny home is roughly 3 miles away and here I am sleeping on a cot in my sleeping bag.

I remember one morning after a difficult night at the gym, I called Kelly in tears that “I am going to fail the sleeping portion of the trek, I just know it!”  (funny thing is I DID FAIL that part if you had a chance to watch my short documentary video log<<—click link to watch.  Ugh life is such a self-fulfilling prophecy, isn’t it?)

Hours and hours and day after day I spent there prepping my body to handle the 19,341 feet summit that is MT KILIMANJARO and because I don’t have a current need to suffer excessively, I sort of boycotted trips back to that gym since I got home a month ago.

Today is a beautiful sunshiny day in Michigan and my brothers and I spend a lot of time out at the orchard when the days are like this.  I was there all afternoon.  I was more focused on the sun, getting a heavy dose of vitamin D, playing with my nieces and nephews, Jeeping and hanging out today that I didn’t go inside.

At the end of the afternoon, I gathered my things and sat down in my vehicle to drive away and then my subconscious chimed in and said “just go and walk in the gym.”

And so I did.

Do you remember the smell of your grandmother’s house when you were little?  I remember the soap smell she had and anytime in my entire life, when I smell that, I warp right back to being a child and all the memories of being in her home (which I always had a great time there with my cousins).

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - stunned - high altitude sleep training chiropractor Fenton Michigan

high altitude sleep training

The gym has a smell.  It is a distinct “PEABODY HIGH ALTITUDE” gym smell.  It is sort of a rubbery, apple storage, air compressor air kind of smell.  Ok, maybe it really doesn’t have proper descriptor words to tell you about it.

Anyway I walked in, the gym is at 8,917 feet today and I instantly choked up and then burst into tears.  In fact, I cannot stop crying as I write this.

It isn’t a sad cry, it is a “HOLY CRAP!!!  Because of this place, all the training, all the conversations and all the hard work and shitty sleeps, I MADE IT TO THE TOP OF MT KILIMANJARO!!!”

All the planning and plotting and scheming that Kelly, my brother and I did in and around training for the trip GOT ME TO THE TOP!!!  

But then the other layer kicked in…because I was born and raised right here and am part of this incredible family, I MADE IT TO THE TOP.  Because my family had a vision a few generations ago for this orchard life and this land and building that they built, I MADE IT TO THE TOP.  Because my brother is such a crazy out-of-the-box thinker I MADE IT TO THE TOP.  And because I am a Peabody, I MADE IT TO THE TOP.  

Every single day on the mountain I had my brother’s gear on, something of his that I would be proud just to have and I would gather strength knowing that he was rooting for me.  That would then extend my thoughts to the family, the orchard and my many blessings of having Peabody blood and the perseverance that runs far and deep through those bloodlines.

So I sit and think, “could I have made it to the top if I didn’t have that gym to train and sleep and learn the deep meaning of embracing the suffering?”  Yeah, I may have been able to, probably would have found success regardless, however I will never know for sure.

What I am certain of, I am stunned and shocked that a gym could choke me up like it did…and I am blessed to be a Peabody because as a family, we always MAKE IT TO THE TOP!!!

 

 

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