yoga

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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#YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Type 2

This morning I was reminded about Type 2 fun.

Have you heard of Type 1 and Type 2 kind of fun?

So here is the deal.  Type 1 fun is something you do that is super fun to be doing.  It is fun, brings a lot of joy, usually a lot of laughter and lots of good feelings.  An example would be going to a carnival where there are lots of peopleChiropractor Fenton Michigan - Type 2 - Dr Erica Peabody Headstand having lots of fun, smiles around every corner, giggles and laughter and rides and treats and good feelings.  It is very clear that you are having fun as well as anyone with you is also clearly having fun.

Type 2 kind of fun is something totally and completely different than that, yet still considered fun.  Type 2 fun is work, usually really hard work.  It is grinding away at a goal or mission for the sake of the accomplishment.  During the activity, there is usually a lot less of what people would consider actual fun.  It can be treacherous, hard, miserable, painful, all kinds of unpleasant experiences can happen during Type 2 kind of fun.  Exercise is often Type 2 fun.

The yoga classes that I attend are Type 2 kind of fun. Often it is not fun during the process.  It is treacherous, hard, moments of absolute misery, pain and very very unpleasant.  One of my instructors thinks you should “do something every single day that makes you nauseated because it’s so hard” and that “every yoga class should be a near death experience,” and he doesn’t back down However, big rewards happen because of attending class that drives us to come back for more and more and more.

“That was awful.  I hate this place.  I’ll be back tomorrow.” -a common thought in a yogi’s mind after finishing a class.

If you have been following this blog or my journey in life, I would give you one wild guess as to the most intense Type 2 kind of fun I have had recently, or actually ever.

The trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro was Type 2 kind of fun.  Training was Type 2 fun.  Moments of connecting with the rest of the group and going through our days were quite pleasant but the overall trip was so freakin’ intense!

I remember the first day, we all stopped and were taking a little snack and “bathroom” break about 4 hours in and I was standing with a group of about 5 women.  One asked “how are you?”  The response of the first one she asked was “I’m doing well.  I’m making it.”  It was asked again and a real similar response to the first.

Then that “how are you?” question got directed at me.

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Type 2 - Dr Erica PeabodyMy answer, “I am absolutely miserable.  My right shoulder feels like there is a knife stabbing into it and it is progressively getting worse.  My feet are the most painful I can ever remember them being and I am hot and sweaty and sticky.  NONE OF THIS IS OKAY AND I AM NOT GOING TO PRETEND IT IS!”…and then I started crying.

Of course this was only 4 hours into the first day so I wasn’t going to sob in front of these women I just met but I was an absolute wreck inside.

I had no idea that I would come to a moment similar to that on each one of the next 7 days.  This was not fun.  In fact there were moments during the trip that I thought to myself “if I am off of work right now, I would much prefer to be doing a fraction of the amount of work I am currently doing.  I work so hard all year I could use these next few days and just chill out, why am I even here????”

Commitment to this trip for myself and all of you following the journey kept me in high enough spirits to get through these daily meltdowns.

The good thing about Type 2 fun is it has HUGE PAY-OFFS and I mean HUGE!!!  …the real trick is that the fun shows up between 2-4 weeks after the fact BUT then that lasts for a lifetime.  Type 1 fun is fun in the moment, but aside from a few incredible memories made within a lifetime, Type 1 fun, although super duper fun, is short-lived.

WHOA Travel, the adventure company that I traveled with for the Kilimanjaro trip, just sumitted their next group on the Solstice last week.  I watched their progress through facebook and Instagram and had a chance to relive it a little bit.  In fact, I felt nervous for them as though I was trekking that whole path again.

Many have asked me if I have a desire to go back and do it again.  Remember what I just said, Type 2 fun shows up a few weeks later…and lasts a LIFETIME!!!  If the stars align and something like that trek shows up in my life again, I am the type that will figure out a way to say “yes” if I can.  However more than anything else, I am hoping stars are aligning for me in other big ways in my life at this point as I pursue both Type 1 and Type 2 fun.

 

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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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TUESDAY MORNING

TUESDAY MORNING “COULD-DO” LIST:

  • Work out
  • Prepare food for the week
  • Read
  • BlogChiropractor Fenton Michigan Morning
  • Work on my book
  • Run errands for my personal life and the practice
  • Grocery shop
  • Practice piano
  • Rest
  • Laundry
  • Organize my home
  • Online courses
  • Marketing 
  • Breakfast with my mom
  • Visit my nieces and nephews
  • Snowboard
  • Yoga
  • Walk and catch up with friends

Many people have asked me what I am going to do with my Tuesday mornings since I will not be adjusting and serving my patients at the Cafe of LIFE.  The above is a list of normal things that I fall behind on during my regular week.  I have not had the balance I need to sustain my lifestyle and all the things that I need to make happen every single week.  I have been tired and if I really own up to what is happening for me, I am slowing down a little bit.  I can own that.  It truly is what’s happening.

6 months ago I began to have this hunch that life was getting out of balance.  I could feel it in my body and mind that it was a challenge to keep my energy levels up all week long.  I scoured my weekly activities trying to figure out what would be the very best, for both myself and the Cafe of LIFE, way to balance the week.  All of the hours at the Cafe of LIFE are busy and I wouldn’t want it any other way.  I then realized that Tuesday morning is really the only chance to take away from the Cafe without effecting anything happening there.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Tuesday Morning

It has been a challenging decision to actually step up and scratch those hours off our weekly schedule.  It has been a lot of internal turmoil.  Then, one day, I just decided I have to take a step forward into that new idea and present it to the practice.  I was concerned that there would be a lot of disappointment.

What I found is that there is a lot of support in this decision.  So many of you have stepped up and let me know how proud you are of me to take what time I need to keep it all balanced.  “It’s truly a win-win because you get more “you-time” on a weekly basis and we will get you and your service for many, many more years to come.”

That is truly a win-win.

So I have just set my alarm for tomorrow morning at 8:30 and instead of getting up and showering and proceeding on with my morning preparation rituals to get ready to serve my patients at 10, I am going to put on workout clothes and go and take a step class at my favorite gym.  Then I am going to come home and work on laundry and continuing education credits.  Then I am going to do some food preparation for the week and then shower and be so ready to serve you at 3pm.

Tuesday morning is going to take on a whole other feeling and purpose for me.  But because Tuesday morning will be redirected, Monday will be even more productive knowing I have a chance to catch up with myself on Tuesday morning.  Then Wednesday will roll around and I will have far more energy to get up and rock the morning out at the Cafe of LIFE at our usual 7:30am.  All of this with hopes that when I leave the office after a busy Thursday, I will have energy enough to go to the gym, bike or meet up with some friends.

My creative energy turns up high at night and so even though I do not have to work in the morning, I do need to finish this, shut the brain down and get in a good rhythm with my Monday nights so I can maximize the potential of Tuesday morning.

Good night!  See you tomorrow at 3pm!

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10 YEARS TODAY

It is “Throw Back Thursday” and exactly 10 years today that I graduated from Chiropractic College. From the time I started college to finishing with my doctorate was also 10 years.

It is very clear that decades go on in the blink of an eye and it truly is important to take each day lightly and have fun. I have had so many incredible experiences and memories, and have learned so much in this past decade.

In the last 10 year:

I graduated from Chiropractic College with these great guys and loaded up my things and moved home to Fenton, MI.

I moved in with my parents, moved into an apartment, bought a condo and bought a home.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Graduation 12 18 04

I started a practice, Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic at 110 Trealout Dr, moved my practice to 114 W. Caroline Street (where Crust is currently) and we found permanent digs in 2010 at 521 N. Leroy St.

I have celebrated the marriage of my mother to my step dad, and 2 of my brothers to 2 very beautiful women.

I have welcomed 4 nieces and 3 nephews, and watched my brothers become fathers.

I have been to countless birthday parties, holiday parties and spent hundreds of hours at the lake with my family.

I have had 5 extraordinary women help me run my practice…Thank you Lauren, Rachel, Vickie, Angie and Alyssa.

I have had 7 of the greatest massage therapists on my team…Thank you Rachel, Teri, Kelli, Rachael, Toni, Kel Leigh and Nicole.

I have traveled a lot and have some fun stamps on my passport.

I have participated in a Chiropractic Service Trip <<–YouTube picture book (Peru August 2014).

I have run a marathon, Chicago in 2006, many half-marathons, Crim 10 milers and other races.

I have finished 4 triathlons.

I have been to hundreds of yoga classes, maybe close to a thousand.

I took yoga teacher training and doula training.

I have been in love, been loved and fallen out of love.

I have done a FLASH MOB, jumped out of an AIRPLANE and taken a ride in a helicopter.

I have had health challenges, sports injuries and have more faith in the body’s ability to heal than ever before.

I have attended births, I adjusted women before labor, during labor and immediately after birthing their babies.

I have checked and adjusted too many babies to count, more kids than I can imagine, and I can’t even fathom how many adults.

I have adjusted people minutes after birth and hours prior to death, and those who have just lost someone important.

I have laughed more in the last 10 years than ever before in my life.

I have had more fun than ever before in my life.

I have cried so many tears of joy and sorrow.

I have never loved life so much as I do at this point right now.

I have made so many great friends, lost a few and learned so much from connections with others.

I have learned to embrace the moment, be present to the day and squeeze as much juice out of life as I possibly can.

I am so grateful, so very very grateful to be of service to a community that has given me so much.

I am so freakin’ grateful for my support system of people near and far and grateful to have people in my life that help me keep my flame lit.

I had no idea when that picture above was taken at my graduation that all of this stuff would have happened.

It has been quite a ride, I look forward to seeing what the next 10 years will bring.

10 years today. Truly unbelievable it has been 10.

 

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A TINY HOME

I have a very tiny home that I go to about 4 days a week.  It is about 2 feet by 6 feet and is easy to transport and move from place to place.  This tiny home is my yoga mat.

As I enter the yoga room, I always find myself gravitating to the same location on the floor.  In one yoga studio is is one particular location, in another studio it is another spot and the third is still quite a different spot.  There is a feel to the location in the room and is all very much part of my process.

I usually arrive early, sometimes 30 minutes early, because I want to be in that same spot.  It may be a location where just a class or 2 before, I found myself staring at a ceiling tile and bursting out laughing.  It may be a spot that just the day before, I left a huge puddle of tears on the floor.  It may be a place that a week prior I had such an awesome flow and was really linked in to whomever was practicing next to me…either way there is a reason, and I cannot always put my finger on the why of my choice in locations.fenton chiropractor yoga room

When I arrive at the perfect place for my tiny home, I line my mat up perfectly parallel to the planks of the wood floor, fold my hand towel in half and put it near the top of my mat and find the ideal un-kick-able spot for my water bottle.

As I am laying on my mat waiting for class to start, I spend a little time observing others as they walk in to find their “spot” to set up their tiny home for the next 60-75 minutes of their lives.  It is interesting the process they go through.

Some walk in confidently, drop their mat, roll it out, set up their water, climb on and lay down to meditate.

Others set up their tiny home, lay down, get back up and move to the opposite side of the room with a “something about the mojo of that spot isn’t quite right” tone to their walk.

Still others will stand by the door and survey the scene to decide their plot before making a move and others will stand and have a discussion with their friends about perfect location for their tiny homes.

There is such a magic to all the happenings.  People arrive at different times for different reasons but one by one we all stake our claim to a 2 feet by 6 feet plot of wood floor to set up our tiny home and by the time class is about to start…it is all in perfect order.

The floor of the yoga room is covered in brightly colored mats of all shades, big towels, little towels, water bottles of all shapes, sizes and colors, and beautiful bodies of all shapes, sizes and colors that have found a “tiny home”.

The dance begins.  The music fills the room.  The sweat pours onto the mats.  There is reckless abandonment during the flow…a vulnerability that you would only find if you were inside your own home and no one was watching.  The bodies turn and twist into all kinds of shapes and forms and the energy is indescribable.

The classes I attend are taught with such incredible intensity that it sometimes takes everything I have to keep breathing just to make it through the next movement.  When I am physically working that hard, there is no time to play with other thoughts in my mind and it is a 60-75 minute moving meditation.  The only goal ever set out by the instructor is to “keep breathing and stay on your mat”, in other words…”stay in your tiny home”.

At the end, everyone lays down on their backs and melts into the floor.  All the hard work, the physical, mental and emotional garbage has a chance to settle out and be absorbed by the floor of the tiny homes we have set up for ourselves.

When all is said and done, we all roll up our tiny homes and head out into the world.  It is the feeling that has filled the body at that very moment that gets us all to come back time and time again for years.

Our tiny homes find their usual spot in the back seat or trunk of our vehicles waiting for the next 2 feet by 6 feet plot of wood floor in another yoga room to stake claim of next time the chance arises.

The tiny home that I go to on a regular basis, though exposed to the elements of the room and surrounded by people within inches, is a profound place of peace for me.  I hope you have a place like that for yourself somewhere in your life as well.  Namaste.

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AM I REALLY LIVING?

I physically connect with a few hundred different people per week through service at my chiropractic office Cafe of LIFE, my book club, the gym, the yoga studio and other things that I am involved in.  A large portion of those people are connected with me through Facebook as well and I make a conscious effort to share my life experiences along the way through that medium.  I get a lot of feedback and people say things like “Wow! You are all over the map!”, or “You are so free and do so many things!” or “You are always doing something fun.” or…well you get the picture.  I absolutely live a blessed life and am always trying to be involved in rich, rewarding experiences.  But am I REALLY living?

You may ask yourself, “what exactly does she mean ‘REALLY living’?”Fenton chiropractor where the magic happens

I was reading a book about 3 weeks ago which presented this new-to-me concept of what it means to REALLY LIFE life.  To REALLY LIVE life, I need to find myself stepping outside my comfort zone so that I can expand my ideas, concepts and limitations so that I may continue to grow and evolve.

I spend a lot of time by myself and I love going on adventures and make it a point to look at most experiences as great adventures…but lately I am asking myself, how adventurous am I really?

I have a lot of free time and sometimes I will see an event posted somewhere that I think will be really fun to attend, I have the time free and I really want to go…but I hold back because I don’t want to be the one to show up alone.  “What will people think if I am there by myself?”  “What if all the seats are in pairs and I am sitting there with an empty seat next to me?”  “What if everyone is talking in groups and no one wants to strike up a conversation with me and so I awkwardly stand off to the side alone?”  “If only I could find a friend to go with me and I will be comfortable.”

I also come across events happening in places I have never been and I am held back from going by thoughts like “How am I going to be able to navigate traffic and parking?”  “What if I have the wrong shoes and end up having to walk a long distance?” “What if I don’t want to participate once I arrive?”  “What if it is a really bad experience?”

If I only participate in events that I know exactly what is happening when I get there and who will be in attendance…am I REALLY living?  If all the details are already known, and everything plays out as anticipated, how am I going to grow, expand and evolve from that experience?

When I heard this idea, just 3 weeks ago, that maybe I was not REALLY living, I vowed to myself that if something came up that I really wanted to do, and I couldn’t find anyone else who could or would want to go, then I will still go anyway. I will show up alone, to unknown places, and unknown people and get involved in activities that I do not know all the details ahead of time just to see what will happen and how it will pan out.  Why not?  I have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain!

So I have started…I began with a new yoga studio that I had heard about and have wanted to try for some time now…and ended up having the most intense and amazing yoga experience of my life thus far.  While I was at that class, I was inspired to attend a class at the same location just a couple days later that turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of live music and yoga I have been involved in thus far.  So now that I have had such great reward from stepping outside my usual and customary routine in life, I am inspired to do so much more…and I can tell this is going to snowball since I have only lived in this new thinking pattern for 3 weeks…which is a really great thing and gets me even more jazzed up about life than I already was so WATCH OUT WORLD!!!!

I am looking forward to more great adventures and trust me, when they present themselves…I am jumping because I AM REALLY LIVING THIS LIFE!!!!  Do you have a recent story that helps you relate to the idea of REALLY living life?  I would love if you would share and be an inspiration for me and others to keep stepping outside our comfort zone, since that is where life happens.  We only get one chance…

 

 

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LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE

I cried when I read this.  This spoke to me in a huge way and is a small lesson to help teach you to listen to your inner voice:

Hi Erica,     I’m going to call and make an appointment for both an adjustment and massage.  I could wait and tell you all this when I see you but sometimes it seems easier to put my thoughts in writing rather than to just tell it, plus you are a busy person and I don’t want to take a lot of your time.  (Although I’ve been known to write books instead of messages, which could take a lot of time anyway.  LOL!)   

      I keep trying to think of how I got so far off track!  It’s just these little slips that happen without thinking it will be permanent – like family coming and just not taking time to take care of self.  It’s preparing food that they like (and I like) even though it is not at all healthy.  Pretty soon, a slip becomes a slide, doesn’t it?  So that’s part of what happened last summer.Fenton Chiropractor Begin Again

      But then, I decided that the yoga schedule was too hard for me to work out so I joined a local gym, not intending to never go back to yoga.  However, I got convinced that working with a trainer would be a helpful thing so I paid huge bucks for that for several months, which meant I couldn’t afford to go to yoga, to the chiropractor, to a massage therapist, etc., etc.  The trainer also believes in eating vegan, but is strict on high protein and low, low carbs, which I tried hard to do but couldn’t stick to it.  So I started doing high protein/low carbs eating meat, cheese, eggs, etc.  

     Then, the knee that you had been adjusting got worse and worse and I went to a surgeon who said I had a torn meniscus and he did surgery.  He also said I have a significant amount of arthritis in my knee and probably in the other one.  That was back in September and I’m still in pain, still stiff and am now doing physical therapy trying to get some strength and flexibility back. 
     I eventually could not afford the trainer anymore and began so slide off the diet and because my knee hurt so much I also quit going to the gym for the most part.  Then I started eating whatever I wanted and gained some of the weight I had lost back. 
     So, there I was, sitting in my recliner, hurting all over, swollen up in my joints, feeling tight in my muscles, feeling dead in my stomach and OLD, OLD, OLD!!!!   And I started praying about it and asking God to help me.  And I began remembering how I felt when I fed my body the healthy foods – fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts – all the things that are good (I was basically off fruits and whole grains on the low carb diet).  And I remembered how limber I was, doing yoga, and chiropractic, and how great it was to have you support and encourage the yoga and the healthy diet and how easy and wonderful it was to get massages. 
     I think in the midst of all the voices that have swayed me one way and then another, I finally heard God’s voice – and my voice – saying “you know what is best for you!  you remember what works, what is gentle, what is peaceful, what is healthy.  
     Sunday night I could hardly walk, hardly climb the stairs, barely even turn over in bed, I hurt so bad.  Monday morning wasn’t much better and that is when I decided to make a change NOW!  The yoga schedule will be the priority and my work schedule will be worked around it. 
     I will be going to PT for a while, but I want to come back to Cafe of Life and get back on the journey to health and wholeness.  I have to stop allowing myself to get pulled off the journey and to stay focused!
    I will be calling this afternoon and trying to get in next week.  But I just wanted to tell you where I am in all this.  I never intended on stopping my treatment there.  It just little by little, day by day, time went by and pretty soon, I almost forgot. 
     As the yoga instructor says  “BEGIN AGAIN.”  I went back, by the way, on Monday evening.  There was so much I could not do with my stiff knee but I did a lot and I felt more limber and not as tight and did not have as much pain Tuesday morning.  The yoga instructor reminded me “Be gentle with yourself, but be persistent.”  Good advise for someone who gives up rather easily, isn’t it? 
     I miss you and your gentle smile.  I will be glad to see you and hope you haven’t given up entirely on me!  I’m hoping to get this right this time.
Have a blessed Easter.  I will see you next week, I hope.

MY RESPONSE:

Thank you so much for that email.  I really appreciate you giving me all the details in your update because all of that stuff is important for me to know.

 Life is a game of slipping and checking and BEGINNING AGAIN is always an option. 

 I never give up on anyone.  Instead, I hold a space for healing for people whether you are at the Café of LIFE or on a journey that takes you from here.  Either way, you will always be welcome here no matter how long it has been since your last visit.  I realize that life takes twists and turns as mine does exactly the same.  Healing comes from within and it is best to find something on the inside to anchor to so you can stay consistent, which sounds like you may have found that.  Being gentle and persistent is how we progress, but take bite size pieces so you keep yourself having small successes that lead to bigger ones and then celebrate those.  

There is a lot of “should’s” that can fall on us during a day and make us feel like we are failing in one area or another.  Just do your best every single day and know that is all anyone can ever ask. 

And give yourself a break, drink your water, find time to stroll and enjoy your days, make good food and exercise choices and believe in your body’s ability to heal.  Your thoughts are powerful so make sure to use them in your favor. 

Looking forward to seeing you…

Erica

Health & Happiness,

Dr. Erica Peabody

Every time I re-read this, the tears well up because I know there are so many people that have slipped and are struggling.  Bless this particular person who shared her words so eloquently and is allowing me to tell her story.

Do you have a little voice in your head that guides you when you are lost?  Does it talk to you in a positive way or negative way?  Do you listen to your inner voice?  It may be the most powerful guidance system you have for your life.  There is so much technology, so many opinions, so many things trying to influence and steer you in this direction or that direction.  Take some time to be quiet and listen to that inner voice…it is always right.  Once you start to listen, and if you find yourself way off course…just BEGIN AGAIN.

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WRITER’S BLOCK

I got it…bad!  I made a HUGE shift in the style and format of my blog and my mind has been trying to process it ever since.  Change is the only thing constant in this lifetime, however it is amazing how much of a challenge it is at times. I am excited about this new blog and I hope you enjoy it as well!

I have made some really big life changes in this past month also and I have needed a little extra time and space to process all of that.  All good things, really good things, but nonetheless it has been a huge shift.

Standup Paddleboarding at sunset

It almost feels like if my life was a deck of cards and I threw it all up in the air…the processing sometimes feels like I am picking up each card one by one, and placing them in a orderly pile again.

I have learned a lot about myself in this time.  I have a strong awareness that I am a “practical” person when it comes to life and especially when it comes to buying things.  I buy things that are useful and necessary, or something that I can use in a couple different areas of my life, or something that I can use now but will fit my life for a long time in the future, or something that I can use and someone else could get some use out of it as well, or something that just makese sense.  It would be fun, and I know you would get a kick out of it, if there was a way to record my internal dialogue when I am in the process of making a purchase.

I remember back when I was just over a year into practice and I was out shopping.  I came across a sweater that I absolutely loved and I really wanted to buy it.  Being a student for so many years, the thought of buying a sweater that costs over $70 (or any article of clothing besides a winter jacket) was not even in question.  I saw the sweater, I tried it on, it was (and still is) beatufiul and I knew I would get good use out of it.  It took me 5 phone calls to girlfriends and a call to my mother in order for me to rationalize and justify the purchase.  So if that was what happened on the outside, just imagine the internal dialogue, I torture myself at times when it comes to making almost all purchases.

What I realize in the midst of the interal dialogue termoil is that it takes some fun out of it, being practical all the time takes some fun out of life.  Then add to that the fact that the weeks, months and years are slipping by life going WAY TOO FAST!!!

So my goal is to have more fun.  Do more things that make me smile and laugh and not take things so seriously.  I will be playing my music loudly and singing and dancing in my car…and at home with Choco (my chocolate lab)…on a regular basis.  If you see me, JOIN ME!  I will hang out with people that inspire me and look for groups of people to be around that make me laugh.  I will spend more time seeing the world through the eyes of litlte ones…my neices and nephew and all the rest of the kids in my practice and in my life.  I will spend more time around the water, at the yoga studio, in my kayak, in my running shoes, in my swimming goggles, on my paddleboard, with my family and with my friends, and in front of the computer blogging…because that is what I love to do!

What things to you love to do?  Life is so, so short…and we only get one chance.

 

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