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ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton MichiganFrom the beginning of our time spent together, the one thing that I told Mike is that I didn’t want normal engagement photos taken.  I didn’t want to take time out of our busy schedule to prepare our wardrobe and have an “engagement photo” session.

Some people have asked “What?  What did you want then?”

Right from the start I had asked Mike to “just be sure there is a photographer standing by close for when the engagement happens and we can have some candid photos taken on the spot.”

Of course for a woman, this makes a lot of sense.  For a man, this can be a difficult situation to maneuver.  Poor Mike got stuck in the middle of it…and though there was a photographer right there for the actual engagement, the photos are not what I was thinking, not because of the photographer though, he was great.  For many other reasons…let me explain.

You see, the proposal was a total surprise.  I did know he was going to ask me to marry him but I didn’t know when or where or how.

I remember along the way we had been talking that he was going to go in and get his haircut just prior to the engagement…but WHAT ABOUT MY HAIR!?!?!?!   My hair appointment was schedule for 4 days after the day he proposed.

I asked him to be sure that when he is going to do it that I at least know enough to wear an outfit that I would want photos taken in.  To make a super long story short, it happened at a western themed winter party.  Not ideal as western wear is not my normal. Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Now mind you, Mike and I get dressed up every single week and go out on a date night.  We make a deliberate effort to change out of our ordinary work or day clothes and get a little bit fancy and go out for the evening for dinner and dancing. Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

I don’t know (as I shrug my shoulders) maybe one of those nights would have been a good option???Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

Our lives are filled with work, personal and family obligations and it isn’t the easiest thing to carve time out for a photo shoot and I was a little bit annoyed that it had to happen this way…that is until I got the pictures back.  Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Dr Erica Peabody

The day was fun-filled touring all around Frankenmuth, Michigan, hugging and kissing and getting our pictures taken.  We have a second home right downtown Frankenmuth and we have many sweet little place that we scoped out for great backdrop to our hugs and kisses.

I will be quiet for now and let you scroll through some of the other engagement photos…Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton MichiganChiropractor Fenton Michigan - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

 

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UNKNOWN

Today I found the unknown staring me in the face.

The unknown is intimidating, very, very intimidating.

As most of you read in my last blog post, I GOT ENGAGED!!!!  I am absolutely OVER THE MOON EXCITED, blessed and honored that this man has asked me to be his wife.

…and I have a GORGEOUS RING!!!Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Unknown - Dr Erica Peabody

Newly engaged, it is hard to turn my eyes away from the ring.  I had the chance to pick it out in the beginning of December but to actually wear it is a whole new experience.

As many of you know, I was married at 19 for 7 years.  At one point someone said to me “Oh, you have had your ‘starter marriage’.”   “STARTER MARRIAGE”???????  Um, sure???  I am not a fan of that concept, I understand the idea of a “starter home” by not a “starter marriage”.

Since then I have dated for 14 years and had some long term relationships, however even during all that time, the voice in my head would chime in and say “How do people actually get to the place of committing to marriage anyway?”  I couldn’t make sense of it at the time.  Now In retrospect, it is simple to see that internal voice was just making sure I would eventually find the right one and I get it now.

I look down at this ring and it says “commitment” to me in the most beautiful way.  But staring right back at me is this huge UNKNOWN.

There are so many unknowns…things that have been on my radar but also things that I/we  haven’t thought through completely.

It is scary to look down and know that I have literally committed to the unknown with Mike.   The longer I linger in thoughts of the unknown, the more nauseated I get.  It’s pure worry and I am sure there may be some place in your life that you can relate to that feeling.

When I snap out of that I think to myself “This unknown is WITH MIKE, my Mike.”

“We’ll figure it out” has rolled off our tongues so much to each other throughout our courtship.  It is accompanied by this incredible I’ve-got-your-back energy, confidence, respect and honor and is followed by actually figuring things out together.

It is the most beautiful thing I have ever been involved in, the most innocent and precious connection.

We have not had a simple and easy road so far.  We have been together for just over nine months but we have already scaled some walls and traversed some valleys that stood in our way.  Something that is working in our favor is our age.  I think when I was involved in my marriage at such an early age, as was Mike was as well, it is difficult to know who you are and what you want life to really look like.  Also there is so much growth and evolution that happens through the 20s, it is simple to get set up in relationship patterns that will not go the distance.

We have both been there and have learned a lot along the way.  The lessons have been interesting and some so painful it was often difficult to see any light.  Neither of us fantasize about how easy marriage will be, but we do remain hopeful that things can remain simple.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Unknown - Dr Erica Peabody

What I have learned through 14 years of dating is that core values are the most important key to finding a partner.  Deep core values NEED to line up.  I have dated enough to know a little bit about connection and what questions to ask right from the start.  When I was younger, it was difficult to ask the heavy hitting questions and that landed me in relationships that couldn’t endure he long haul.

So Mike and I had a lot of hard discussions right up front and vetted out some of the serious topics to be sure we lined up.  Of course there will always be that work to do.

The other thing that has really built our foundation we bring up absolutely anything and everything that is on our minds, no matter what it is.  Because of this we have been able to get to the roots of our personal challenges and have the hard talks about life and what we are looking for.

He is my safe place, my home and has been from the very beginning.

Together we will walk hand in hand into the unknown.  From the outside this may look and sound like a match made in heaven with all rainbows and butterflies and unicorns.  There are many obstacles, I will reveal more as time goes by, big obstacles that we have overcome already and some yet to be uncovered.

Jumping off the cliff into the unknown seems do-able with Mike.  Father Time will be the great determiner and until then I will embrace the work, lean into the discomfort, have faith and put one foot in front of the other.

As I am writing this, I am curious to know more about you.  I am curious if you have found yourself staring into the face of the unknown as well as maybe a hint or two about how you stepped in anyway.  How did you do that?  What did you bank on?  Where was your courage sourced from?  I think we can learn a lot from each other’s experiences.  Leave your comments for me…

 

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MY TRIBE

As many of you know, I usually spend the holidays with my tribe.

This tribe consists of long time friends that I met during chiropractic college (and a couple since).  Many of them have traveled most years together, other parts of my tribe were not able to go and a few have yet to join us.  Whoever shows up for the holiday trip is always the perfect blend.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - My Tribe - Dr Erica Peabody

We always meet somewhere warm and spend a week together.  The week is filled with laughter and silliness and play…but also some serious talks about the past year and projection and goal-setting for the year ahead.

The greatest thing about my tribe is we have known each other for so many years and have been out in the field doing similar work for that long that we see the world through the same lens and they all get me.

Speaking of being out in the field, we have all been so career-focused that there haven’t been any children on this regular holiday tribe trip until this year.

One couple has grown children and they were with us but we also have beautiful 6 month old twins in the tribe now.

Taking twins across the boarder and to the beach is no easy task and prior discussions sounded a little like this “Just get them there and then there will be 11 adults to 2 babies and we will help all week long.”  I am so glad they did.

Much of the tribe lives in close proximity to each other in Denver and get to spend a little more regular time together however being this far away, I don’t get that kind of regular time with any of them.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - My Tribe - Dr Erica Peabody

Although the babies added a lot to the dynamics of the group, it was delightful as we all learn to transition into the “with children” phase of our lives.

We shared great conversation over meals, while sitting around the pools and during walks on the beach.  These are the people that light my flame and keep it stoked.  We have a text message thread that goes on and on daily for years however having true face to face time fills my soul.

I do not have a tribe like that in Fenton.  By the end of the week together, I feel so recharged and ready to take on the New Year.  I always head back home rejuvenated but I am also a little sad when I land in Detroit and drive home knowing just how far away they all are.  I miss them terribly and in a small way I dread coming home.  I have a great life here but have always felt a little lonely following a week with my tribe.

This time was a little different.  My boyfriend Mike was able to make it down for the week and of course we traveled home together.  He is my ideal match I feel fortunate that he blends so well into my group of friends.  Our connection fills my life so full on a daily basis and has ever since the day we met 9 months ago.

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - My Tribe - Dr Erica Peabody

So this time around, instead of having to head home alone and readjust to Fenton and life apart from my tribe, I got to come home with him and together have put some action steps in place towards our goals we set for this year already!!

Although I have lived in pure gratitude for my incredible life for a long time now, I have always said that “Life is sweeter when shared.”  I am finding so much truth to that with a connection like this.

My tribe is part of my lifeline.  Our text message thread has continued on just as silly with bouts of seriousness as before.  I laugh all day long with these people that are thousands of miles away and am grateful for technology helping us easily stay connected.  I love them all so much and miss the babies and am sad I don’t get to watch them grow up in person.

To have this incredible man alongside me as all the days progress wins over all of that.  He is my tribe, but more than that, he is my safe space, my recharging station and my true home.  I tell him daily how grateful I am he is in my life but once more here (because he always reads) Thanks Babe.  🙂

 

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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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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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SAILING THE SCENE 2016

My good friends that I often travel with and I spend a bit of time during our holiday travel together to set intentions for the New Year and come up with a rhyming theme. We finalized this year with intentions of “Sailing the Scene 2016″.
I am not sure why we feel it so important to rhyme the theme as that limits options for words used, however we always seem to be up for the challenge and come out on top year after year!!!Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Sailing 2
We had been just a couple days on the boat, and watched the sail boat take a Universal Force, the wind, and set sails appropriate to make it to the desired destination, and we absolutely knew right then and there that the word “sailing” had to be part of our theme. Life throws us all kinds of twists, turns and unexpected weather and gusts that throw a curve ball into our original plan regularly, or at least it does for me. It also can appear that every move and turn we make we are heading into the wind. Such is life!
What sailing taught all of us is that we need to use whatever external forces that seem to be working against us, and if we just change the configuration of our sails, change the angles or the heights, we can figure out a way to use that external force in our favor.

Whether we realize it our not, we have all set up “the scene” that surrounds us.  Consciously or unconsciously, we have chosen the people we surround ourselves with, the work we do, the home we live in, the car we drive, the thoughts that run through our heads, as well as all other circumstances that make up our scene.  Look around you…at some point that person, place or thing seemed like a good idea (or maybe was just the lesser of two evil choices).  So here we are in the environment we created.  That is the “the scene” we are talking about.

Now, take another look around you and ask yourself this question, “What am I resisting in my scene and how am I resisting it?”  Is it a job you don’t like?  Is it a relationship that doesn’t flow?  Is it a body that you are not particularly fond of?  Is it a home environment that is filled with chaos?  What is it?  What is around you that you have resistance to?  And maybe you don’t have any of those things, although most of us could name one or two…or twenty.

“Sailing the Scene” means to take a different and more graceful perspective or make a slight change in your course.  Instead of feeling “stuck” in a situation, a relationship, a job, a body where it always feels like you are working with a 30 naught Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Sailing 1
headwind, what if you took a different angle. To turn 180 and head downwind would be one solution but life doesn’t often allow us to take a 180 degree turn and head the other direction.  Usually we could more easily “tack” or head in a slightly different angle into the wind.  This allows the sails to catch the wind a little bit differently and use it to the advantage in getting to the desired destination.  And when we make just a slight angle change to our normal day to day, 2-3 days leads to 2-3 weeks and then on to 2-3 months or years and we have real potential of making a desirable change in our lives and creating a more likable scene.

“Tacking” also is a way of taking the Universal Force of the wind and let it help you get to the desired destination.  It is a way to work with it instead of fighting against it and allowing it to really work for you.

“Sailing the Scene 2016” is all about taking all of life and all of every day and starting to adjust our view, our perspective and/or our course in order to get life to be a little more cooperative, or really maybe we are the ones being more flexible and cooperative with life.  Either way, sailing is one of the most peaceful experiences and I am looking for more of that this year.  Cheers to 2016!!!

 

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TOUR OF THE SAILBOAT

Many of you know that I spent 10 days over the holidays on vacation on a sailboat, Yacht Emily Morgan. It was an incredible experience with amazing friends and even more amazing hosts and I will be writing a few blog posts about the week but I wanted to start with a tour of the sailboat so you have an idea, a foundation, from where I will be writing my posts from. I want to give you the visual of the entire scene and experience. Enjoy this clip!!!

 

 

Without a tour of the sailboat, your mind may try to make visions to fill in details of the what was happening.  I would prefer you have more of a complete view of the ship and the scene as we go along here.  Stay tuned for so much more!!!

 

 

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THE TIME WE HAVE

This short clip is talking about the time we have and is represented in jellybeans.  It is a brilliant picture representation of our life.

Watch until the end…profound, profound message about what if today was the only day, what would you do?

Let me know what you think about the time we have, the time I have, the time you have.  It is all so very short.  I have been attending an online course and realizing actions steps need to be taken TODAY!!!  Get out there and make it the kind of day you want!  The kind of life you want!!!  We only get one chance…

 

 

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THE MOTH

“I will be on that stage someday” I said to my friend, Ameena, when as we were leaving The Circus Bar in Ann Arbor after “The Moth” StorySlam live event for the first time in early 2014. Ameena sent out a mass Facebook message earlier that day to my Book Club to see if anyone wanted to attend a “story-telling” event in Ann Arbor with her. I had been in the process of studying “The Art of Storytelling” for the past couple years and when I saw it was a live storytelling event, I jumped on the chance to attend.

I do my best to reply “yes” to any invite (within reason) that is thrown my way. I enjoy opening my eyes and mind to new things and ideas, and I tend to get involved in rich, rewarding experiences that start by simply replying “yes”.

Some of you may know of, or already listen to “The Moth”, but let me set the scene.
The Ann Arbor venue holds just over 300 people and all walks of life attend these events. The night consists of 10 volunteer storytellers from the audience. The stories need to be 5 minutes long, true, based on the theme set for the evening, and notes are not allowed. There are 3 sets of judges that are chosen from the audience and there is a Chiropractor Fenton Michigan The Moth 2“winner” that advances on to a larger venue and then on to the “Moth Ball“, a huge event in New York City. While people are telling stories, a warning whistle blows at 5 minutes. Once 6 minutes has passed, another longer whistle blows and points can be deducted due to time. There is an awesome host or hostess that MC’s the evening and weaves their own stories in and around the storytellers as well as sharing “micro-stories” that the audience members have written out.
Throughout the evening, the stories are being recorded; both video recorded as well as audio and “The Moth” shares these stories on NPR, Michigan Public Radio and their podcast that is broadcasted everywhere.

The event happens monthly and I only missed a couple in the past year. I have also been listening to the podcast regularly and look forward to every new episode. Humans are so interesting and everyone has a story to tell. Because I have been on the hunt for rich, rewarding experiences in my life, I have some really cool, fun, awesome and interesting stories, a few of them brewing for the opportunity to match up with a theme at one of these events.

The StorySlam in December happened just before the holidays and while I was in Ann Arbor that night, it came to my attention that the theme for January would be “cold”. PERFECT!!! One of my stories finally matches up!!! That night I committed to getting myself up on that stage in January.

So I began to rehearse my story. I rehearsed it over and over and over, probably about 30 times to my empty house over the month. There was not a lot of feedback when I performed my story to my empty couches,  but it allowed me the chance to get details figured out and hone in my words.
The event was on a Tuesday and was drawing near. As the days ticked by, I became more and more nervous. I do well in front of crowds once I get up there, but the time leading up to it can be absolutely overwhelming with nausea from nerves.

Monday that week, I am going through my regular day at Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic and when I would have a moment to think about getting on stage the next day, I would make myself sick. Monday night I could hardly sleep. Tuesday I woke up a little tired and my day was busy as usual.  It didn’t help that these nervous feelings were taking over my body. I was getting myself so worked up about it I reached out to a friend.  His reply, “If you get there tonight and you feel like doing it, then do it. If not, then who cares!”

Right.

I realized in that moment that it was my perfectionist nature that was creating the stress and if I just let it go and decided to be my imperfect self, I could settle some nerves and step into a powerful place of vulnerability.
I also knew I didn’t have a choice in the matter that evening…this was my evening to make it happen and to live more fully, I just couldn’t let this chance pass me by.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan The Moth
I practiced my story 4 more times on my ride down to Ann Arbor. I walked into the place, signed the rights away on my story and took my seat. A friend had gotten food for me and a little liquid courage which always helps.
The stories started and as they would randomly draw names from the bag, the nerves were so overwhelming, I didn’t know if I was going to implode or explode and decided the only possible way to make it through would be to use my breath to calm me down. I also put a piece of gum in my mouth just so I could stimulate my parasympathetic, relaxation response.

After the first 2 storytellers went, my name was called. I threw the gum out of my mouth, may or may not have said a swear word and up I went.

“YOLO is a trending term. Everyone has been using the concept of “You Only Live Once” that it has been reduced down to these 4 letters.  It was 1994, I was 17 years old and I was in love…”

I knew my story was a crowd-pleaser and I knew they would get a kick out of it. I was surprised it was actually easier to tell the story onstage than at home.  When I practiced on my own, I didn’t have the response of 300+ people laughing and cheering the story on. Onstage, I could feel all that presence and was also able to remain calm and mindful enough to make my words clear, rhythmical and tell a really good story.

I had a friend record it for me and was able to watch myself on stage and I am proud of what I did.
I didn’t win “The Moth” StorySlam that night but it was a huge win in my life. It was something I wanted to do for over a year and decided to bust through any barriers, physical and mental, and make it happen.

Through the years, I have decided I am not going to be sitting on the sidelines of life and letting experiences pass me by. I often get private messages on Facebook and through email asking me “do you have a terminal diagnosis? Are you dying or why are you making all this stuff happen? What is driving you? What is your motivation?” It is simple…we only live once and my plan is to squeeze as much juice out of my days, weeks, months and years as I possibly can.

That Tuesday night is only the beginning of my time onstage at “The Moth”. I am not sure it will be easier the next time I do it. What I do know is that I did it, I went to battle with the perfectionist that lives inside of me and won, I found some strength sharing my story standing in vulnerability, I survived and made it out the other side more fully alive, That is what life is all about.

 

 

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SISTER

As many of you know, I grew up with 3 brothers. Can you guess how many days were 3 against 1? All of them and what I would have given to have a sister.
This past holiday season, I spent 11 days with really close friends in the sunshine on the beach. We have traveled quite a bit together over the years. None of us have any kids, so life is simple right now, and while it is, we will travel.
We have had many different accommodations through the years, however, this is the first year we have had a rental house that we all stayed under one roof. At the last minute, a girlfriend of ours joined us.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Sister The original plan was I would have my own bedroom but now that she was coming, we would be sharing.
Vacation is meant for relaxation and recharging and I have to admit, the idea of sharing a room wasn’t ideal. I have a sleeping issue and unless I have just the right bed, and just the right pillows, and just the right temperature, and just the right amount of noise, I have a challenge getting to sleep. So adding another person for 10 nights seemed overwhelming and not relaxing.
This girlfriend of mine, Allie, I have known for almost 15 years. We have been friends since the moment I met her and have navigated many of life’s ups and downs together. We truly go WAY back!!
The first night, I slept like a baby. It was almost as if I had a guardian angel with me. Truly that is what my sweet friend Allie has become. She is an amazing chiropractor and a powerful woman, however she is so much more than that. She is a healer, an intuitive and she lives to serve and nurture others. We had 6 chiropractors under one roof and she was the one most of us wanted to be adjusted by. We shared in the adjusting duties but she was busy all week checking and adjusting all of us.
As a group of 6, we would spend our days running and playing and dancing and singing and surfing and eating and making movies and clowning around. We would talk about deep topics and superficial topics, topics that effect our day to day as well as those that effect our entire lives.
Then we would all finish our days and head to our respective resting places. Allie and I would shut the door to the outside world and usually pull out our phones. We would chat for a bit and fill in some blanks and share funny things that came through email or Facebook. Then we would turn out the lights and sometimes those conversations would continue.
Remember those sleep-overs as kids when the conversation would head into the after-dark times? That is exactly what it was and we would stay up late.
It was like sharing a room with sister that I never had and I cherish that time with her.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Sister 2
In my normal day to day, I spend a lot of time in solitude. I have a busy chiropractic office, Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic, and I see a lot of people on a daily basis. I also spend a lot of time out and about amongst people. When I come home, it is just me. I like it that way. I like that when I leave my house in the morning, I know it will be in the same condition when I return in the evening because I am the only one creating the space.
But there are times when it is truly lonely and the responsibility of creating energy that is happening in my house my solo responsibility as I am the only one creating the space.
I realized when I returned home a couple days ago that I miss her tremendously. I miss all my friends, my tribe, but I miss my sister. Sometimes it takes the contrast in life to realize what one truly values. The contrast of the cold helps to appreciate the hot; the contrast of dark helps to appreciate the light, and the contrast of alone-ness helps to appreciate good company.
I know she, and so many other friends, are just a phone call, email or text message away. I have some good friends that are just a short car ride from my home. I love the life and space that I create on my own, and at the same time, I have shifted a little bit and am looking forward to spending more regular time in good company.  I realize the juice of life can be squeezed out of the days as a solo mission, but is so much sweeter when shared.

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

Thank you for all your time and energy this past week my sweet sister Allie. Much, much, much love!!

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