Posts Tagged ‘learning’

#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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DO LESS

“DO LESS” is the mantra I say over and over to myself lately.

I don’t know about your life, but every single last second will fill up in my life if I let it.  I find myself running here and there and being pulled in all kinds of different directions.

Dr Erica Peabody - DO LESS - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

In Moshi, Tanzania relaxing

Also when all the minutes of life are filled up, the days and weeks and months fly by!  In fact, it is hard to believe we are working on the second half of June already when it feels like January was yesterday!

Since my training and trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, I have had a lot to accomplish.  I always have a lot going on during my weeks of serving the community at my office Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic.  But on top of that, I had so many weekends where I needed to travel for work conventions and the other weekends filled with other plans, fun plans, but plans nonetheless.  It turned out I was only home 3 weekends out of 3 full months.

Once June rolled around and I was working to plan my month ahead, I decided this was going to be the month to do less.  Do less traveling.  Do less roaming around this area.  Make less plans.  Do less with my downtime.  And now that we are over half way through this month, I am glad I made that an actual goal.

I have spent a few full days sitting at the lake.  I have spent many evenings just relaxing and reading and writing at home.  I have opted for longer walks and bike rides from my home rather than making it up to the gym.  I have ran less since my foot is still healing from my climb in March (subject of the next blog).  I have eaten more meals at home and stayed in to just sit and listen to music.  I have successfully done less.

I was considering getting on a plane this coming weekend because I have some new really important people born into the world in the last week but have decided against it.  I have had invites to head up north that I have turned down.  I did take advantage of one day road trip last week that really filled my soul so I haven’t been totally and completely grounded to Fenton, but in that day we did less than what would have been my norm in the past.

Dr Erica Peabody - DO LESS - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Traverse City

Enjoying the beauty in Traverse City

Since summer break from school is in full force, I have asked many of my patients at the Cafe “What are your summer plans?  Any trips coming up?”   Many of them have said “Nope, we are mostly just going to be home.”  When they respond like that, I almost have a small sigh of relief for them as the school year is so busy that it truly is a time to do less.  Especially since the fall sports season pretty much cuts the last month of summer right out, that is just a few weeks away.

My Tuesday mornings used to be spent going up to the gym and taking a step aerobics class and now I am sitting and writing instead.  When I say DO LESS, I do not mean with your body or with mine and will follow up this writing slot with a bike ride to get my daily movement.  But following that I will sit meditation, if even for just 5 minutes.

Do less.  This doesn’t mean do less with your family or do less with your body, it means do less with your time and be more present.  Be closer to home, closer to the ones you love and closer to yourself.

I am a doer.  I go and go and go and go and go…non-stop…for years.  It has been so eye-opening to have a true goal to do less.  For many reasons I reevaluated what are the most important things to me and saved my extra time to spend doing those things with specific people and cut the rest out.

After writing and sharing all of that, I want to encourage you to look around your life and find an area or maybe a couple areas that you can do less.  I find when I am doing less, I am being more…more centered, more grounded, more peaceful, more rested…less of a human doing and more of a human being, and that makes me really happy.

 

 

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LACE CURTAINS

I moved into my home over 4 years ago.  If you have even been to my home or driven by, you may have noticed the lace curtains in the window at the front of the house (although more than likely you have not, they are unremarkable).  I am not a fan of lace curtains.

I have a very different style to my home and my practice that doesn’t really fit with lace curtains.

So let me explain…this particular lace-covered window is above my 2-car garage.  There is an unfinished bonus room above my garage currently being used for storage.  It has 2 nice sized windows, one at the front by the driveway and one towards the back that faces house.  The one on the driveway side is the one with the lace curtains, nothing on the other.

For the first few years I lived there, I hadn’t give those lace curtains a lot of attention.  I would see them Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Lace Curtainswhen I pulled in and out of my garage, however aside from that, they are not on my mind at all.  They are just sort-of there.

Over the past couple years, I have noticed them as the last thing I see when I leave and the first thing when I pull back into my driveway.  They are pretty, harmless and unremarkable.

But they are not me.  Not at all.

For the past 2 years, I have tried to figure out what window coverings I should replace those with.  What color should I put there?  Should it have some sort of texture?  Should it give you a hint to textures and colors used in the house?  Should they just be plain white like the siding on that part of the house?  Should they be loud and obnoxious?  Should they be long or short?  I am not a designer, but I have a feel that I always go for with my home and work spaces and these silly curtains had raised a lot of questions.

It is also one of those things that I need to be able to feel out, one of those things that I needed to try out a couple different colors and textures to know for sure.  But who really wants to go to the store and buy a few different options and drive in and out of the driveway until I got it right???  Not me!

In the past 6 weeks I have started to do some research.  There are a lot of homes with that same bonus room/window set-up above the garage (and maybe now that I mention it, you will notice it yourself).  My research consisted of driving around and seeing what other people have done with said window.

My private research has shown that most leave that window uncovered.  It isn’t a room that you would need to block the world out of.  It also is a place that there is not enough light on a regular basis to make out anything but silhouettes of what is being stored, which is no big deal.

So I didn’t want to completely commit to uncovered windows after being covered for so many years, so I went up there and pulled the curtains all the way to the side so that they appeared uncovered from the outside.  And I have now been driving in and out of my garage and have a huge smile on my face because of how many years I have pondered this silly decision.

It is funny to me because this entire time I had always wanted to just replace the covering and change the look of it all and had never once, prior to just 6 weeks ago, ever even considered that idea.

I think it is funny how the mind works like that sometimes…it wants to replace every little thing in life instead of just getting rid of it altogether.  I have noticed this lately in my life as I am getting more minimalist (Mom, I never said I am a true minimalist, just better with less) with the things I have in my home all the way down to my wardrobe and shoes.  I do not have to replace stuff with more stuff, and so many times it just feels better to dump it than to add more.

I am super grateful for this new perspective.  I am also really grateful to have made a final decision and allowing full sunlight in that bonus room.  It is the silliest place to learn a life lesson, I had no idea I could learn so much from those lace curtains.

 

 

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PIANO

I am just finishing up my first handful of piano lessons and I have this aching feeling in my brain.  Literally my brain hurts.

You know when you start a new workout program and the next day you get that “I just started a new workout” soreness…well that is exactly what it feels like.

I started an online course with a super phenomenal guy that is absolutely rocking a “CHARGED” life and one of the things he mentioned is to set some time aside to learn something new.  When he said the phrase “learn something new” he meant REALLY learn something new and start firing some brain cells that have been sleeping for a whileFenton Chiropractor Piano

I grew up with a piano in my home.  It was a used piano from somewhere in the family and it ended up in our living room.  I have always had a knack for playing music off sound and would spend some time on it trying to figure things out.  To my mother’s dismay, I learned what the notes were called and proceeded to sharpie them in black lettering on the beautiful ivory keys…well how else was I supposed to get better at this????

I would never sit down and spend hours, but I did enjoy sitting from time to time and seeing what I could come up with.  There is something so intriguing about those black and while keys and how such beautiful sounds come out of them.

In middle school, we were required to participate in choir or band…it was one or the other and I chose band.  I played the saxophone, I was rather good (if I don’t say so myself) sat “first chair” for most of my time, and besides really enjoying making music, I also learned to read music.

Once horses and high school came around, musical instruments went to the wayside…well besides picking up a random recorder and belting out “Doe a Deer” from time to time.

My music hiatus came to an end during my time at University of Alaska, where I took one semester of piano class in conjunction with getting my bachelor’s degree.  This class started with the basics and worked into playing with 2 hands, chords, melodies and all the rest of the stuff that came with it.  My mind was bogged down with chemistry, physics and biology and that was a really nice right-brained thing to do to spice things up.  I enjoyed it however I didn’t continue to play regularly and so I lost most of my skills to play and read.

Since I am over 8 years into my chiropractic practice now and, though I spend a lot of time reading books, attending seminars and continuing my education, I just had this feeling that my brain wanted another challenge to take me out of my usual and customary day.  Then Mr. Burchard made a suggestion to “learn something new” and I called the local music studio the next week.

My teacher, Lisa Bayer, is amazing and wonderful and patient and very talented.  I always feel like I need to have an excuse for why I am not grasping things as well as maybe I feel like I should, but she just looks at me and says “from one perfectionist to another, give yourself a break.”

So I try to “give myself a break”.  That is not easy for me to do and then she sits down in the seat and plays the most beautiful rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beetles and all I can think is “If I am progressing this slowly, I wonder how many years it is going to take me to play something like that.”  Then I turn around and look myself in the face and say “ERICA, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!!!!”

I am excited.  I am excited to be able to sit down and read and play beautiful music, but I am also excited to just walk in the front door of the music studio and give it my best shot for the day.  It is humbling, it truly is and so good on so many levels.

When I leave there after an hour and I feel like I am leaving the gym because my brain has had such a good workout…I innately know it is a good thing.  I can feel areas and groups of neurons that are being dusted off, waking up, and getting re-oxygenated.

It is challenging to make those beautiful black and white keys sound like anything that resembles music however I love learning and the piano is fitting that bill right now.  And before too long, I will post a video on here of me preforming my most beautiful rendition of “Here Comes The Sun”, you can mark my words.  Have you learned anything new lately?  Tell me a bit about what you are currently working on.

 

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LIFE MOVES ON

This past weekend I felt very blessed to reconnect with some good friends of mine after years of being apart.  As many of you know, I got married when I was 19 years old.  I know, I know…what on Earth was I thinking, right?   I sometimes laugh when people tell me they get the impression that I have my life together.  All I have to say to that is you should have seen me when I was 19!!!  The difference between then and now is that at 19 I didn’t have anything figured out and I thought I did, and now I still don’t have anything figured out and I know and have accepted that its possible I never will.  Life is an amazing teacher and the more we live, the more we learn, or at least I can only speak for myself.

On Saturday I got to spend some time with my ex-husband’s family.  He, and they, were part of my life for 10 years.  He was not there this weekend but his sister, whom I was pretty close with, was home visiting family.  She called ahead of time to let me know her, her husband and their NEW BABY were going to be in the area and that it would be great to share a meal.  It worked out that we met at my ex-in-law’s (I really do not like that phrase) home and sat around the table with her parents and ate lunch. 

It was a wonderful couple of hours as there was so much to catch up on.  Being in someone’s life for that long, really gets one intertwined in all of the family’s life happenings.  We caught up about family, extended family, life events, work, dreams for the future, and of course I got to meet her new baby.  The time spent was wonderful, priceless and I feel so blessed.  These people were a very big part of my life from the time I was 17 to the end of my 20s.  Those are some impressionable years and in each their own way, they helped shape me to be the person I am today.  I am forever grateful for their love, support, genrosity, compassion, reliability, entertainment, fun, teaching and connection.  They are all near and dear friends of mine though our lives don’t allow for the “near” part of that equation much anymore.   

My divorce was very amicable and after being best friends for almost 10 years, we had promised to keep in touch as LIFE MOVES ON.  That has gone to the wayside as he is busy with work, a new family and a new baby of his own and my life is busy as well.  I am forever grateful for all the adventures we had and all that we taught each other and learned together.  I am forever grateful to his family and feel blessed to reconnect from time to time.  

LIFE DOES MOVE ON.  I still do not have anything figured out though I feel blessed to have these and other angels come and guide me though parts of my own personal journey.  My heart overflows with gratitude.  Thank you…you all know who you are. 

 

 

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