life lessons

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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NATURE CALLS

Nature calls.

No, really, it truly did call but probably not in the way that you are used to hearing that phrase.Dr Erica Peabody - Nature Calls - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

Since my climb last year, I have spent almost no time out in the woods.  I had a severe calf/foot injury that locked me into that boot for 6 months.

Of course I have had to keep my body moving and so I found some routines inside the walls of my gym that I could do and still keep my body moving and built a lot of strength at the same time.

I got used to those routines and got comfortable and since the environment was controlled, I stuck with it which really worked out well for me.

What I didn’t realize inside of that time is that I hadn’t been able to get outside and walk, hike, bike or just stroll through the woods…and I also didn’t realize how much I missed it.

Two weekends ago, as I wrote in the previous blog post, I ran a 5K on a trail in the snow.  It was a test for my foot which responded well.  This past weekend I thought I would test it again and I went snowboarding on Saturday.  If you have followed me through the years, snowboarding is one of my greatest joys.  My foot managed snowboarding well too.

Sunday, Mike and I decided to go out snowshoeing along the Arcadia Bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan.  Through these two adventures, snowboarding and snowshoeing, it hit my core that I hadn’t hardly spent any time outside in almost a year.  It also reminded me just how much power and peace I find from being out in nature.  Being in the woods and in fresh air is an absolute MUST for me.Dr Erica Peabody - Nature Calls - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Tri to Finish

As I am cruising the trails on snowshoes, I am taking in the fresh air, the scenery and the trees around me.  With snow falling and getting stuck in my eyelashes, I feel that peace and I begin to remember just how much that serves my soul.  WOW I have missed that!!!

Fortunately for us, we have had loads of snow back at home and so Monday night I went out after dark and put my snowshoes on again and wandered out around my old stomping grounds by the light of my headlamp.

I am so grateful for the reminder that was offered to me last weekend.  And since I have manage more and more outdoor activities as my foot heals, I am opting to spend less time in the gym and more time in the fresh air.  I am grateful for all the lessons I learned during “boot camp” and I am also really excited to be getting back to my normal life.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Nature Calls - Dr Erica Peabody Best Chiropractor

I am a nature girl.  I love the outdoors.  I relax on walks in the woods, mountain biking, snowboarding and hiking.  I need that in my life.  In fact, I think all humans need a regular dose of nature in order to maintain health and peace.

We all have a tendency to stay focused at the task at hand and taking care of the needs of those around us and we unintentionally veer away from grounding and centering forces like getting out and exploring the Earth.

Have you noticed a place in life where you recharge your batteries?  Is there a spot outside that you like to visit?  An outside activity that you enjoy for re-centering life?  Share with me your favorite things when nature calls!!

 

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RUNNING AGAIN

I am beyond excited to be running again!

I completed my first 5K over this past weekend.

5K may not seem like anything to write home about (blog about) however it is a really big deal.

If you have been reading right along with my shares, you know I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in March of last year.  It was an incredible experience (CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO LOG OF THE TREK) and landed me shortly thereafter in an immobilization walking boot.  I lived in that boot for 6 months. Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Running Again - Dr Erica Peabody

I haven’t told you this yet but many many people, after seeing me hobble around in the boot for months, ask me “Well was it worth it?”

HECK TO THE YES IT WAS WORTH IT!!!  There is no question about that.

I learned some incredible lessons while in that boot and the most important has been patience.

I am a chiropractor at Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic in downtown Fenton, Michigan.  Being a chiropractor is one of my most favorite roles in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Being an integral part of people’s healthcare team is amazing and fun and rewarding.  I help people that are striving to get back to health, as well as, those that want to be and stay healthy.  Chiropractic care is for just about everyone!

Those that visit me in serious acute pain often have this dreaded feeling of “life is always going to be this hard and painful.”  I don’t know why but humans are hard-wired to think “worst case scenario” and think that whatever is going on will always be going on.  It comes out of fear and frustration and it is warranted AND in a short time are feeling better.

I have a lot of those times of thinking “life will always be this way.”  My thoughts went there as I was approaching 4 and 5 months in that boot.  I finally got to a place where I fully accepted that if I was going to have to wear that boot for the rest of my life, I would be alright with it.  It would shift a lot of my hopes and dreams for what I want to do physically with the remainder of my years but if that was how it was going to be, may as well not fight it.

In my mind I succumbed to the idea of not being able to walk around my neighborhood comfortably again.  Maybe I would never snowboard again.  Maybe I will never run again.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Running Again - Dr Erica Peabody

That is sad.  It is still sad looking back on those feeling and just how real and raw they were.  This “boot camp” was not a couple week thing, this went on for MONTHS!!!

For the holidays, I went away to the beach for a week with Mike and great friends.  I decided I would walk the beach barefoot and build some strength and mobility in my foot.  I did that.  It still hurt but I was alright with that.

When the New Year rolled around and I still had the pain, I decided I would stop remaining in limbo and I would get back to my weekly step aerobics class at Genesys Athletic Club and begin to run.  If I jarred the foot enough, it would move past this nagging injury and maybe I would end up in surgery or something, but at least I wouldn’t be in limbo.  I decided I would break it or fix it but I was going to start really using it again.

The first step class was January 2nd.  I was going.  Even if I didn’t use any risers underneath my step, I was going to go, make deliberate movements in class and have some fun again.  WOW!!!  SO MUCH PAIN that afternoon.  Maybe that was not a good idea???

But the next day it was better, I returned to my usual workouts…and the day after that was even better.

My next test…what if I start running on it?  I did 1/4 mile.  That HURT!!!  But it was better the next day.  I did 1/2 mile and that was painful…but it was even better the next day.  On and on with step and running over a few weeks time until I built my distance back up to complete a 5K this past weekend.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Running Again - Dr Erica Peabody

I was nervous to start that race.  I was nervous to even drive up to the venue.  “What if I cannot make the 5K happen?”  “What if I stress it on the snow and ice covered trail and I set myself backwards again?”

Then I remember my plan of pushing it to the point it either breaks or fixes and I settled into the idea.

The drive took almost 2 hours and I had waves of ideas back and forth between this is a great decision and this is a bad decision.  I have a bit of PTSD after being in that much pain for that long.

Then I remember looking back over some of the “boot camp” time and realizing how devastated I was to think I would never run again and here I was going to be able to at least try and I got choked up in tears of gratitude to just be that far started to fall.

Mike was there.  He has a race management company as a side business called TRI To Finish.  Their company was hosting the run and honestly I am always stronger and more confident with that kind of cheering squad!!  

I did it.  I ran the entire 5K on uneven snow/ice covered trail.  I will never be setting records with my paces and I will never ever make it on a podium but I won in my mind.  It wasn’t a battle against my foot, it was more a battle for feeling whole again, feeling capable again.  That medal means more to me than most of my long distance medals I hang in the lobby of my office.

That medal symbolizes healing, patience, support, gratitude and persistence and the fact that I am so happy to be running again.

 

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THE PROPOSAL

Everyone loves love and I have shared this video with so many people, PLUS, there were about 150 people there to witness it anyway…I wanted to share the proposal.Chiropractor Fenton Michiagn - The Proposal - Dr Erica Peabody

If you are wondering what I am talking about, check a few posts prior to this one.  🙂

Let me set the scene…

I grew up on an apple orchard just south of town called Peabody Orchards.  It is no longer a functioning apple orchard and hasn’t been for quite some time.

My family still owns a good portion of it and along with the property came a rusty old crane-like piece of equipment.  My brother is an adventurer and he and a buddy of his had an idea if they erected some telephone poles, braced by the crane, wrapped them in chicken wire and put a sprinkler system at the top, they could farm ice and then climb it.  This is currently a fully functioning business called Peabody Ice Climbing, sort of like a rock climbing gym only for ice climbers.

Every winter for the past 10 years or so, Peabody Ice Climbing has been hosting people from all over the region for regular ice climbing and even some competitions.  For his loyal customers, my brother throws a huge party called Ice Fest and it is a riot every single year.  Through the years he has gotten bigger and bigger sponsors to help support his efforts and the party.

It takes a lot of people to get the party started and keep it going.  AChiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Proposal - Dr Erica Peabodys a family member, I always show up to enjoy the celebration but also help in any way I can.

Little did I know the plan was on me this year, and everyone there was in on it…

At the end of the day the ice climbing portion shuts down and it is time for dancing and a little bit of cheer.  The after party goes to the wee hours of the night and, although tiring, is super duper fun.

It kicks off with a raffle for gear donated by the sponsors.  I always help with the raffle to be sure everyone get their stuff and all the gear gets into the right hands.

This year was no different…until Mike grabbed the microphone and proceeded to tell our story.  It went like this (be sure to watch until the end).  It starts with me kneeling down near the floor figuring out the raffle items:

YouTube Preview Image

So there you have it!

Everyone loves love and through this relationship I have realized that everyone relives their own little love story out along the stories I share.  Since there were so many people there to witness it anyway and it was recorded on numerous phones, I thought I would share the proposal with you all.

 

 

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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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I’VE BEEN MEANING TO TELL YOU

I’ve been meaning to tell you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - I've been meaning to tell you - Dr Erica Peabody

Wait!!!  It is past the middle of January, isn’t it too late to say that?  Yes, you are probably right however I do hope your New Year is off to a great start!!!

I am writing to let you know that I spent all the money I was going to use to send out holiday greeting cards.  I went to order them but when I ran the numbers of how many thousands of cards we would have to send out here at Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic as well as my personal life and how many hours it would take to personalize all of that, I decided to do something different.

Over the past 13 years, Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic has grown and served so many people in and around this area that our address list consists of thousands of people.  Back in the early days when the Cafe was in its infancy, it was pretty simple to order 500 cards and take the time to sign them all, address the envelopes and send them out.

After a few years, and our office filled up, I realized how much time that was taking from my staff and myself as well as just how much money was spent to make all that happen.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love receiving Christmas cards and and holiday greetings and love to see how your families are growing.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for including us in your Christmas card list!  In fact, we have kept all of those beautiful cards with your gorgeous families here at the office and have wallpapered the back side of a door here atChiropractor Fenton Michigan - I've Been Meaning to Tell You - Dr Erica Peabody

the Cafe.  Want to see it?   —>>>

I decided about 5 years ago, since it was a substantial amount of money to make that all happen and I also know that there are many people going without food in our area, more than we even know, I would donate all that money to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.

The Food Bank can take $1 and get six meals out of it.  I don’t know what kind of food they can get their hands on but it has to be better than no food at all, especially during this time of year.

If one single dollar provides SIX MEALS to those in need, with the money we donated we provided THOUSANDS OF MEALS.  That makes us feel good about what happened to your Christmas greetings this year and for the past few years…someone is eating your Christmas card.

I realize that sending Christmas cards and greetings is an important part of the year to many people.  In fact, I am certain in the coming years I will get back to sending personal holiday cards again with a regular update as life progresses.  In the meantime, I will be supporting places that support our community and make the world a better place.  I think feeding people instead of sending cards was a great choice for us as I know our money was spread far and wide.

I trust the year is off to a great start and I’ve been meaning to tell you all that I am thinking about you, Merry Christmas and Happy 2018!!  May this be your best year yet!!!  …and something to think about for the future, maybe you will send some money to them as well knowing how much need there is and how far your dollar can go.

 

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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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FIVE LAYERS OF NOTHING

I have found an entire five layers of nothing.

What on Earth does that mean????

I AM OVER IT!!!!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three words:  Meditation, gratitude lists and journaling.

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

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

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

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THE SECOND STRAP

He always reaches for the second strap.

It doesn’t matter how many hundreds of times I have put this walking boot on, he reaches for that second strap to help out.

Most of you know I have been in a walking boot since early August.  This has been an overuse injury do to my climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro back in March.  Actually it didn’t happen on the mountain, it was when I got home and never took the proper time to rest that the injury happened.  And beyond that I have been dealing with plantar fasciitis off and on for the past 4 years in my left foot.  It was simply the perfect storm of events.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Second Strap - Dr Erica Peabody

The trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro was life changing and amazing however since Kilimanjaro it has been the best seven months of my life and all due to meeting one heck of an incredible man.

He has been such a light in my life and I will be sharing our incredible life adventures as we go but I wanted to introduce you all to Mike.

He is the most kind, gentle, generous, hilarious and loving man I have ever been around and I feel lucky to even be able to hang out with someone like him on a regular basis and even luckier to be loved and supported by him.

The other day as I was leaving to head back into work after my lunch, he was there grabbing the boot and helping me.  Of course I am the only one that knows exactly when I am putting it on and taking it off but as soon as I grab and velcro or un-velcro the first strap, he always grabs the second strap.  I got choked up “Even after all this time, how do you just keep doing that and helping me?”

Last week must have marked 500 (not exaggerating) times or so that I have taken this boot off and put it back on.  If he is with me, he jumps up from any place and is instantly up in my business and helping me get this thing back on and he is always fast enough to grab the second strap.  There are 5 total and by the time he has his hands on the second strap he is fixing the rest of them up for me to go out and take on the world.  Every.  Single.  Time.

We have worked and camped and traveled and danced and played since I have had this boot on.  He is always always always making sure it is handled.

There is an air pump on the boot that pumps air around the liner and softens the hard rough corners of the boot.  He knows it takes 8 pumps to pump it up to a comfortable level and that when I stand up it needs 2 more pumps of air for it to be solid.  He counts out loud as he does it.  It comforts me.

I have never ever known a man so willing to help me in my life.  He is there for the fun times but also there, right by my side for the mundane-ness of life…like taking this boot off and putting it back on.  The extent of his help is endless, I am just using this simple task as illustration.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Second Strap - Dr Erica Peabody

I would be a liar if I said this has all been easy for me but honestly, to accept help in my life isn’t easy to begin with and it has taken this long to really be alright with leaning on him.  His continual willingness to grab that second strap has been eye-opening, as well as mind-boggling.  For the 40 years of my life so far, I have never had so much help, love and support.

Does it sound strange to say that I believe the Universe sent me such a crazy injury that needed so much tending to and sent him at the same time just so I could truly have a shift in my being and allow him to infiltrate my life?  Does it sound crazy that this boot has been like a “boot camp” of sorts to break me down, break all the guards down and teach me to allow someone, him, in?

A friend said to me the other day “I sympathize with your foot thing as I dealt with something similar for 6 months.  It took me getting to a place in my mind that if this is how it was going to be for the rest of my life, if this pain is permanent and I have to deal with this limitation for life, I accept that as my reality…and then I started healing.”

That hit me like a ton of bricks mostly because I have learned to accept it into my life with the condition that it is just for the time being assuming it will heal and feel better.  But taking the idea up a level to the concept that if I have to live in this boot for the rest of my life and be alright with that has really allowed a huge emotional release for me and I can feel the healing happen…on many levels.

…because if I get to have his help with this (which I am finally healing so I will be back to normal in the next few weeks so I won’t need help with it for a lifetime BUT there are ALWAYS other obstacles) life for the rest of my life, I open my arms and heart fully and accept it.

After all of these months and never wavering ever even once, I know he will always be by my side ready to grab that second strap and help me move forward.  I am forever grateful for his love.

 

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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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