vacation

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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DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON

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

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

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

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

Me (Dr Erica Peabody) Ready for Summit Night

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me (Dr Erica Peabody) Finishing Kilimanjaro Trek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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LIVING FULLY

To me, living fully is the most important concept in running my daily life.

If I get an invite somewhere, I take it.

If I get an opportunity to do something, I say yes and make it happen.

If I have an idea, I try it on and see if I can make it work.

To live fully is to take every opportunity to say “yes” and explore life!

When we got orders to go to Anchorage, Alaska, the decision was literally made on a “why not?” philosophy.  Why would we go?  Why not!  I have to tell you it was one of the most incredible experiences that has shaped my entire life from that point forward.  Going back to revisit was amazing.

Humans get involved in analysis paralysis, stuck in our thoughts and in our heads.  We think too much and it stunts our movement forward.  I want to challenge you when the next opportunity presents itself, see if you can answer it with a “YES!” instead of thinking too much (of course as long as it is safe and reasonable).  Take the opportunities that help us live fully.  We only get once chance to live this life.  Let me know how it goes!

 

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I AM NOT CRAZY

I know what you are thinking, “what is she up to now?!?!”  I have to write this post and just globally announce that I AM NOT CRAZY!!!!

I am selling my house.  Yes, I have been so grateful and blessed to call a cozy place on a beautiful lake south of town “home” for the past 3.5 years.  SO. VERY. VERY. VERY. GRATEFUL.

As I was headed out the door for a run 3.5 years ago, my mom called me to ask if I would ever consider living on the lake (they live on the other side of said lake).  The very first thing that came out of my mouth is “that would be great if I had somebody to do that with.”

I pondered that thought for my entire run and it became very apparent that very thought was an incredibly limited belief about myself and my situation.  I called her right back and said “YES!!!”…and the rest is history.Fenton Chiropractor Lake 2

So fast forward 3.5 years later, with a for sale sign out in front of my house, and everyone is calling me CRAZY!!!  “You have got to be CRAZY to move off the lake!”  “Are you nuts, you live in a beautiful home!”  “I heard a rumor your home is for sale, are you out of your mind?”

All of you know that owning a home is a lot of work.  Adding the word “lake” in front of that word “home”, adds a lot more work on top of that.  I am not one to shy away from work and I have a lot of maintenance things hired out to keep my life simpler.

My biggest challenge is that everything on the lake weights 60-80lbs or more and there are so many routine things that I cannot do at all because things are so CRAZY heavy.  I am just one single gal and I truly have to call people over to help me on so many occasions.

Everyone will say “Oh, but that is simple for you…you have 3 brothers to help you with all that stuff.”  Well there is some truth to that and they step up every single time they can, however, they have their own lives and families and it is tough sometimes to coordinate schedules to make things happen.

I absolutely love the lake I am on and I practically grew up here though we didn’t have a house right on the water.  However, like I mentioned above, my Mom and step-dad are on the other side of the lake and in the summer, my brothers and their families hang out there almost every weekend.  Therefore, I am rarely at my house at all.  I would much prefer being with everyone else and playing with the kids as they learn about their world, about the water and how to swim.  We spend hours and hours chatting, playing, listening to music and the squeals of the children, and making and sharing food together.  That is what I want to spend my time doing and the greatest part of this is that I do not have to give any of that up.  My family will live in the house they are in for many, many, many more years to come.

I have a beautiful pontoon boat that I keep at my house.  It is a running joke on the lake, and some think I AM CRAZY that it never leaves my dock.  I took it out a total of 3 times last summer and 4 the summer before that.  If my family is out on my parents boat, why would I undo my boat and be separated from them?  Trust me, I AM NOT CRAZY!

I have a family home and I do not have a family.  I AM NOT CRAZY for making this decision, I am just one single gal and that is too much house for me anymore.

It is true that I will miss my view and my garage.  I am down-sizing and moving into town really close to my practice.  I AM NOT CRAZY, I have plans to eventually live on another lake down the road sometime.  For now, this is the next right move for me.Fenton Chiropractor Lake

It seems backwards and so strange when I tell others of this move.  I always feel like I have to justify the fact that I AM NOT CRAZY and then I go into my long list of reasons that I am choosing what I am.

I will absolutely miss this house.  If you know me at all, you know I have put some blood, sweat and tears into creating a home here.  Homes that are loved show you they are loved, that is apparent to anyone who walks in my front door.

I remember moving out of my last chiropractic office location and into the location where the Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic lives today.  When I left that location, it had been a chiropractic office spot for over 50 years.  I didn’t buy the office from someone, it just so happened they were moving their practice out when I was moving my practice in.  When the final day came in that space, it was incredibly emotional for me.  It just so happened to be the spot my brothers and I would go to see our chiropractor while growing up.  As a child I ran through those halls I was now serving in.  I also knew that we would be able to offer such a superior experience with so much more space and a better fit in our new building and that is exactly what has happened.

This feels a lot like that move.  It will probably be even more emotional because it has been a sanctuary for me, a refuge at the end of my day and a nest to settle into at night.

In retrospect, maybe it would have been great if I had somebody to live in this lake house with  Maybe that would have made it simpler and easier, or at least I could have had built-in help for carrying heavy things.  (On a side note, I would allow all of you to call me CRAZY if I married someone just so I would have help carrying things).  But I also know and fully trust that it is the next right move for me and it is going to lighten the load, free up my time and allow life to be so much fuller and richer in my new spot, right in town, right by my practice.  That will become my sanctuary, refuge and nest to settle into at night.

Ultimately I did choose to live here and though the seed was planted by someone else, I let it grow and become my current reality, which truly is beautiful and I am so blessed.

I also have found that when life gets a little uncomfortable, that is when the magic really happens.

Yes, I am in tears, this is incredibly uncomfortable.  It is so much simpler to stay in a place than to move  It is so much more comfortable to not make waves and shake up my life and have to pack everything up and unpack a home of boxes on the other end.  But I hope you can hear in my words that I am stunted here in this most beautiful place I call home right now and it would serve me better to let go and move forward.  It is also well thought-out and I rest peaceful knowing that, though it looks like a strange move from the outside, I AM NOT CRAZY!!!!  Rather, I am just doing my best to live my fullest life possible and I HOPE YOU ARE TOO!!!!   …and as a side note, there is a really great, very loved home for sale on Runyan Lake if you are in the market.

 

 

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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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GET BUSY ENJOYING LIFE

As the seasons tick by and we head into this beautiful Michigan fall, I want to remind you that we all need to get busy enjoying life.  It is going so fast!!

I recently came across this powerful writing and I wanted to share it with you as it seems to fit the mood perfectly.

 

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER

 by IRMA BOMBECK (on her death bed from a terminal illness)

” I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.Fenton Chiropractor Life Life Over

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light the fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later.  Now go get washed up for dinner.”  There would have been more “I love you’s.”  More “I’m sorry’s.”

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it…live it and never give it back.  Stop sweating the small stuff.

Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what.

Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

Let’s think about what God HAS blessed us with.  And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally.  I hope you all have a blessed day.”

 

There are some fun things, some simple things and some things to really think about in that list above.  What an awesome time to bring to our awareness to how sweet and simple life really is.

With such a beautiful week, it is easy to want to get outside and enjoy the days.  Even when it is cold, gray and yucky out, we can still find a little bit of sweetness inside of each day.  Let’s all get busy enjoying life!

 

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A HUG

Never underestimate the power of a hug.  I get my fair share of hugs but I want to share about one that recently shifted my entire life.

Some of you may be thinking…”Oh, she finally met Mr. Right!”.  Not so fast.

As I stated in some of my recent posts, I spent the end of 2013 in Costa Rica with some great friends.  4 years ago, this same group of friends and I vacationed in the same exact location.  We all had a strong desire to go back since the day we left there in 2009.  So, we made that happen.

We wanted to return to that spot for a number of reasons; the location was absolutely beautiful, our time there was peaceful, we were off the grid and we felt well taken care of.  That “taken care of” feeling is so necessary for humans, we all have a strong desire to be looked after, tended to and assisted.

Fenton Chiropractor hug

My friends and I shared a little bit of anxiety going back after 4 years wondering if it would be as good as we remembered.  It was, it is and we had a blast!

One of the things you will notice when you travel to Costa Rica is the exceptional service.  Tourism is a large industry in that country and it is nice to feel a sense of pride coming from those who serve you.  The locals work long, hard hours but they have beaming smiles and are some of the friendliest people I have been around.

Staying at one location for the entire week allows us to really get to know some of the servers, the ones at the restaurant in particular, and some of them remembered us from our initial trip 4 years ago.

They take time to get to know a little about their guests and, in turn, we get a chance to learn about them.  We learn about their personal lives, their families, their homes and some of their life experiences.

As we were having lunch and winding down our visit on our final day there, our table was being waited on by a man named Christian.  He happened to one of the servers that remembered us from our previous visit and so we caught up about his family and kids during the week.

We finished one final delicious meal at the restaurant and got up to pay our bills.  As we were hanging out and waiting for the credit cards to process, the hugs begin.  I hug a few of the group and then I get a chance to give Christian a hug.  He is a bigger guy with a really powerful hug, he kind of engulfs you…and he holds on.  Its longer than a cordial hug and I can energetically feel a deep meaning.  Not anything like he has an attraction for me, but just the deepest, purest heart felt gratitude for another human being.

The experience was two-fold;  first, it was a most beautiful, sincere expression of connection and gratitude, and second, it was unexpected in that moment because it was coming from someone who waiting on our table.

It was profound.  It shocked my heart space and I had to choke back my tears.

A hug, an embrace, a gesture in a moment with another human being,..you just do not know how far reaching it can go.  Add a smile, a high five or even simply making eye contact to the list of ways to acknowledge another human being for their presence.

Let’s not forget the health benefits of hugging; lowering stress, balancing out the nerve system, boost self-esteem among so many others.

I posted on my Facebook timeline about a “hug that shocked me into tears”.  There were many people writing me behind the scenes about how excited they were that I “met someone” and hoped it stemmed into an amazing relationship.  I regret to disappoint, however it was completely platonic, a simple gesture between 2 human beings, from a married man, with children at home, who lives in Costa Rica…so I am still looking.

BJ Palmer said it best with his quote, “We never know how far reaching something we think, say or do today may effect the lives of millions tomorrow.”  Step out there.  Give someone a hug.  Hang on a little longer.  If you see someone who isn’t smiling…give them one of yours.  Be the change…we only get one chance in this life.

 

 

 

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DETOUR

Just when life seems like it is heading in one direction, something happens and we are off on a detour.

I absolutely love to travel…love, love, love to see new places.  I love having a change of scenery and switching things up on a regular basis.  I love taking the detour…that is as long as I have time for said detour.

I was sitting on a bench in a parking lot with some friends last weekend while we waited for our planes to pull up on the other side of a chain link fence…and as I describe this, I pulled a picture off the internet below so that you can get the visual.Detour Fenton Chiropractor

The scene…two 20 foot long park benches back to back underneath a rickety metal awning, a small white portable podium with “Sansa” and “Nature Air” written on the front, a chain link fence with a ragged gate that wouldn’t hold up against any kind of force, a small refrigerator with a padlock on it labeled “Snack Bar” and on the other side of the fence are a couple 12 seater planes.

When we pull into the parking lot, it resembles more of a bus station than an airport.  The funniest thing is when you walk up to the small white podium, they ask you which airline you are flying with and then depending on which, one of 2 men step up to the podium to assist.

The luggage is tagged and the kind man hands me a laminated “Sansa” brochure that he calls my “boarding pass” and I am prepared to get on the plane.

As I am waiting, I realize that my luggage is still sitting off to the side of the runway and doesn’t appear to be heading with the rest of the group to the luggage compartment in the belly of the plane.  The kind man then mentions to me that “Your bag no fit on plane due to balance.  I send to your home.”

Ideally it is not good to ever travel separate from my luggage, but if you are telling me you are going to have it delivered directly to my doorstep, then it will be alright to let my ocean-scented, sand-filled bag of beach clothes show up to my home instead of being checked onto my plane.

So I jump on my plane and am off while my luggage is taking a detour.

In San Jose I reconnect with my friends for dinner and a little more time together as my flight will be departing at 2am.DSC03499

A few hours later, I arrive to the airport only to I discover said flight is now delayed to 3am.  The woman at the Spirit Airlines desk checks me through to Detroit and hands me 2 boarding passes, one for now and one for my connecting flight in Fort Lauderdale.

I arrive in Lauderdale realizing I have limited time to get though customs and make my connection.  At this particular moment I am grateful to be traveling separate from my large suitcase which I would have to wait for and recheck after customs…this expedites my transition onto America soil and I have potential to make up some time.

I sprint through the airport and make it to my gate with a few minutes to spare.  I walk up to the Spirit Airlines counter and the woman takes one look at my boarding pass, tells me I do not have a seat on that flight…AND THEN proceeds to board 4 “stand-by” passengers onto the flight while I am standing right there.

You know the level of disappointment when you order the most delicious food at a restaurant that you have been craving since the last time you were there 3 months ago…and when you get right down to the last bite, your best friend reaches their fork over and takes that last morsel of goodness?  That is what it felt like in that moment, MULTIPLIED BY 1,000!!!!

“Ma’am we have you booked on tomorrow’s flight out”.

“Are you going to compensate me for hotel stay for the night?”

“Well no.”

Hearing this news after being up for 28 straight hours, did not go over well.  Having her board 4 “stand-by” passengers while I stood right in front of her also didn’t go over well…MULTIPLIED BY 1,000!!!

This time, not so gracefully, I detour…

I find a cab and take a ride up to Lauderdale by the Sea and check-in to a hotel.  Serious false advertising and I make quick of a lesson that I should check a room out before checking-in.photo-13

So I detour…

I find a nice Sheraton about 20 minutes away that has rooms available and get checked-in.  As I am heading up to my room, I spot a cool little bar inside the hotel that has windows into water tanks of some sort.  It is eye-catching and then I read “Mermaid Show 6:30 Friday and Saturday Evenings”.  Today is Saturday, WHAT LUCK!!!  My original plan to nap for the next 6 hour will have a small detour in the middle to the Mermaid show.

I arrive early and pull up a seat next to an incredible couple that had just gotten off one of the cruise ships.  We talk about our vacations and then we detour into some really amazing conversation about life and living, things you usually discuss with long time friends.  Because my luggage was on a detour, my plan was to wear the clothes I had on my back until I got home…whenever that may be.  By the end of a 4 hour conversation with this couple, they pay for my meal and she offers me clean clothes.

As I lay down in my bed to sleep fast, I travel through my memory of the events of that day.  Every possible thing that could go wrong with travel, did.  It was truly challenging.  In the end, I was so grateful for the opportunity to see my very first Mermaid Show and spend time with these magnificent people.

My flight in the morning turns out to be simple.  It is an entire day later however I buckle into my seat, we take off on time, we land on time and off I go…easy since I don’t have to stop and collect my luggage (which finally showed up to a local airport a week later…enough material for its own blog post).

On my drive home from the airport, I take a detour to Whole Foods…because I am hungry and I need food in my house when I get home.  In retrospect, I am grateful I made that stop as the streets filled with close to 2 feet of snow over the next 24 hours.

This trip seems to go on and on and on and there is one final detour…my best friend of almost 20 years opened her dream yoga studio, Bent Yoga, in Brighton on that very day.  It required that I truck through all the snow to give her a congratulatory hug, but it was all absolutely perfect timing.

Sometimes we are presented with a huge bright orange sign in front of our face that says “DETOUR” but often the sign is a faint whisper, a small calling in our heart.  If we can have a little bit of trust in the fact that there is a much larger plan, we can listen to those signs and settle in gracefully.

I am grateful for that trip, I am grateful for that time and I am grateful for the people that I met along the way.  I am one that seeks out adventure and enjoys taking the long way home.  Though that was a little too much detouring for my likings, I am grateful to have had that experience if for no other reason than it seems there isn’t a possible way for a day of travel to get more complicated than that.

In the midst of it all, the moments of sweetness serve as a reminder to do my best to be a little more accepting of life when it takes its next detour.

 

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BEAUTIFUL BELIZE

I am just getting home from one of the greatest vacations I have ever taken…to beautiful Belize.  I want to share a little bit about the week with you so you can have an idea about the experience.  There are a few specific blog posts that I will add after this one with more details.

The week started out with a 2:30AM wake-up at my home in order to make a 6:00AM flight in Detroit.  Travel from Michigan to Belize is quite simple with just 2 short flights and I was there just after noon Central Time.

It is always dramatic to leave the snow here in Michigan and just 6 short hours later be somewhere tropical.  I am amazed at air travel every time I do it.  It is absolutely astounding how far you can get in such a short amount of time.

The first night was spent at a hotel in Belize City.  Since I have been home, many people have asked me if I would recommend Belize for a vacation.  I cannot honestly say whether I would or not.  If you are going to the country of Belize, and if Belize City is a true representation of what the country is like (and I do not know if it is or not), I would maybe choose a different destination.  If you are going to do something like the trip I was on (and I also have no idea if the trip really represents Belize), then ABSOLUTELY!!!

On Saturday morning we ate an early breakfast and we all piled onto the “Batfish” which is Slickrock’s vessel for transporting us to the island we will spend the week on.  It was a relatively easy (you will see why I say “relative” later in this post) 3.5 hour boat trip.

80 degree weather, sun shining, head sticking out through one of the hatches in the roof of the boat, wind blowing, great people, teal water, completely unplugged, and a week long vacation still ahead of me – this is the final 30 minutes of the ride before we pulled up to Long Caye, the small island we would spend our week on.  I will forever have that image and moment etched into my mind.  It was one of those “tears of gratitude” moments in my life…which I seem to experience more and more of all the time.

I cannot do the week any justice by describing the details of it all but the days went something like this…wake up, teach a yoga class, swim, breakfast, rest, take a sea kayak to a snorkel site, snorkel, kayak back to the island, lunch, kite board lesson, kayak surf session, rum punch and appetizers, jump on handlebars of a bike and ride to other side of island to watch the sunset, change out of bathing suit to dry clothes for dinner, eat fabulous food with lots of green habanero hot sauce, have great conversation, adjust the staff members or other people on the trip, listen to an informative and entertaining lecture given by our tour director, a warm breeze on the walk back to the cabana, and falling asleep to the surf just down from the cabana which is more like a lean-to and doesn’t even necessitate 4 full walls.  Wake up the next day and repeat.

The staff was absolutely amazing and little did we know, they were tracking an intense storm heading our direction all week.  Even though the storm was getting pretty crazy, they didn’t relay that information to us until it was absolutely necessary, allowing us to stay unplugged from society.

A few of us ended up leaving the island a day early due to the impending storm and what it may do to our travel plans and the necessity to be home for work on Monday.  The initial report was “a storm is going to hit tomorrow around 11.  Please have your luggage ready and at the boat dock by 9.”  At breakfast the next morning it changed to “eat quick, go get your bags packed, have them ready at 8, wear your foul weather gear, grab a life jacket, put it on and zip it up.”  Ummm…ok.

The next hour and a half was spent bracing myself against the side of the boat and the

hull, with my back to the seas so that my hood would keep me dry, however mostly just so that I didn’t have the visual as the boat was rolling up and over swells bigger than it (this picture is taken as things eased up a lot).  To say it was intense, is more than an understatement.  Good news is that I lived to tell the tale and laughed though most of it because I just couldn’t believe it was happening in real life!

The crew of the boat, the staff and all that were involved really made the situation the best it
could have possibly been.  In fact, when I look at all areas of my life, I realize that the experience itself is largely impacted more by who I am with, rather than where I am at.

I wasn’t ready to kiss the ground when we finally docked the boat…but I can see why people use that phrase.

Slickrock Adventures runs a top notch production down there in Belize.  Not only did they give us the option to get off the island early if we needed to, they also provided us a tour of Lamanai Mayan Ruins the next day as part of our week and an amazing tour guide to share the story of the Ruins.


The flight home was a breeze on Sunday, I have recently learned to actually sleep on the plane and so I felt rested, rejuvenated and ready to take on my week back at Cafe of LIFE, my chiropractic office.

I live an amazingly blessed life and I feel fortunate to be able to take trips to places like beautiful Belize.  I love my reality and am usually looking forward to returning to it, however, leaving Long Caye to come home, I have to say I thought about how amazing it would be to be able to call that everyday life.  We only get one chance in this lifetime.  Make sure you are where you want to be, doing what you want to do, or at least take breaks from your reality to have some awesome experiences.  Life is really, really, really good.

 

 

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DONDE ESTA LA PLAYA??

Most of you know that I spent Thanksgiving in Costa Rica…and many of you are waiting to see some pictures. I am waiting to get some pictures from a friend, however until then, I do have a few to post. The trip itself was amazing! It was 10 full days of great friends, new friends, laughter, great conversation, beaches, a beautiful bride, her handsome groom, great chiropractic adjustments, loads of walking, dancing, a few drinks, great Costa Rican food, lots of monkeys, a few sloths, live salsa music, down time, play time, jellyfish stings, monkey bites (yes, the father of the bride got bit by a white-face monkey), surfing, exercising, boat rides, zip-line canopy tours, great accommodations, amazing service, time for journaling and reading, sun-bathing, swimming in the ocean, kayaking, reconnection, silent contemplation, sleeping, music, shopping, delicious fruit, rain, humidity, crazy frizzy hair, girl-time and sunsets. I am trying to think of all the things I did with my time off and that pretty much sums it up.
Some things that were absent: a set schedule, time commitments, a cell phone, text messages and emails continually following me around, bills, layered clothing, goose down, boots, socks, driving, car that needed gas, laundry (although it was piling up), not many hair products (they didn’t do any good anyways), and negativity was absent as well.
I find it very easy, once I make it on time to the plane, to settle in and get out of my everyday mode. I am grateful for the ability to leave it all behind, however that is made possible largely because I know that my practice is taken care of by my amazing staff and anything that could potentially come up in my personal life, my family would step in and help out. I am grateful for my life and all those that are in it. I am very grateful to be able to step away and have the ability to have amazing experiences with some really awesome people.
I am not one that obsesses about sunsets…it’s not that I don’t love a beautiful sunset, I just don’t necessarily go and seek them out. That all changed while I was there and I am sure you can see the reason for that…absolutely beautiful!!! The area we were in was very hilly, or maybe more like cliffs. The views were absolutely spectacular and these are a few from the bungalow I stayed in and the beach we played at.
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