When I’m asked to share about the bridges that brought me to my convictions and passions about the chiropractic lifestyle, I can only point to my personal story and the many pieces that knit together what has become my life’s work.
Having been raised by a mother who found her passion for midwifery during the years of my childhood I remember most, I learned to trust my body. Her courage and passion took us hundreds of miles from “home” to study and earn her CPM. As a single mom whose social network became her classmates, her children (myself and younger brother) tagged along to her “grown up gatherings” where birth videos were the centerpiece, shared and discussed. In the same way I heard men talk about sports, with great interest and energy, I heard my mother and her friends talk about birth. Birth, our bodies, and the design of our bodies was always portrayed as “normal” and right.
Mom met and married a fine young man who would later go on to become the chiropractor I have worked with for more than 25 years now. Then an early teen, moved from my friends again, I rebelled, I married YOUNG and pregnant. As hard as that chapter of my life was, the foundation of strength was poured by her incredible courage to follow passion, her trust in a design, and her participation with both.
Delivering my first baby at 15 years old in a hospital hundreds of miles from my mother, the nurse said “honey, don’t you want something?” and I thought she was offering me an iced tea. Drugs were not even on my radar. I had seen birth. I knew it was hard. I knew it took more than I could imagine. I knew I would be challenged and changed. Drugs dulled things…I knew that too. High school wasn’t that far away and I saw drugs, their effects, and I knew that, for me, there was no place for drugs in birth. I knew, for me, there existed an innate design that I could participate with. I believed that there was an expression of who I was created to be and birthing my baby was part of it. Very soon after, I knew that the birth experience would become an anchor for me to hold on to when I wondered about “design” and “ability” to mother and raise my children. Pregnancy, labor, and birth all hold powerful metaphors for raising our babies into adults.
Fast forward a few years and we find my step-dad in chiropractic school and me accepting a position as chiropractic assistant in what would become his practice and my career, our shared profession. He graduated full of passion, full of trust in design…a familiar, a family thing I thought…but it’s more than that, isn’t it? It is.
Hungry to build a practice, partnering with my mother who was now delivering babies while also raising their children, I was invited to help change the world. I’ve often been quoted to say that I became a “seminar junkie”. I went to all the seminars with my doctor and even found docs to going to other ones, inviting myself to join them too. It’s more than a familiar and family thing. There is a passion in everyone. There is a design. Period.
At those seminars, speakers (the greats and not so greats) all poured out their passion (leadership, pediatrics, vitalism, chiropractic principles, and much more), their purpose and their life force from a stage while the people in the audience soaked it up to take “home” and pour to the people we serve. While there was always a nugget that refined our intention, there was a thread that was always woven into the fabric of who I was becoming; love them. I learned to “love them” where they are, how they are. “Them” is people; my people, your people, all people, including myself.
It is called from the inner most places and as a mom, it’s familiar, it’s by design. Loving them isn’t a procedure or a script. I wonder how you’d describe “loving them”. I am interested to hear where you “get that”. I have to believe it’s an “inside job”. Yes? In my early years being exposed to the chiropractic profession, “Above, Down, Inside, Out” was the platform for all the other experiences to be laid on.
ADIO essentially captures the philosophy that stands firm in the belief that when it comes to health and healing, our source, our life force, comes from Above, flows Down, indwells inside, innervates, breaths life to our bodies, and flows out with our words, actions, expression and experiences. We are invited to participate and reflect Life. It’s inside us.
Dr. BJ Palmer, popularly known as the developer of chiropractic, is quoted as saying “We chiropractors work with the subtle substance of the soul. We release the imprisoned impulse, the tiny rivulet of force that emanates from the mind and flows over the nerves to the cells, and stirs them into life. We deal with the magic power that transforms common food into living, loving, thinking clay; that robes the earth with beauty, and hues and scents the flowers with the glory of the air… and yet you ask ‘Can Chiropractic cure appendicitis or the flu?’ Have you more faith in a knife or a spoonful of medicine than in the power that animates the living world?”
I speak with conviction and deep certainty when I say to moms that there is a subtle substance of the soul that shines from their eyes when they connect to their children. There is a “magic power” that turns common food to nourish the heart, creating a space, a nest of safety, support, and of familiar and family, leading to a foundation of trust in a passion and a design. You are made right. When we have less interference, interruption, and irritation, there is nothing I know more beautiful that to see that “rightness” expressed as Life potential.
Come again, right? Interference, interruption, and irritation is part of our culture; it lives in our homes…and we brought it there. It comes into our days in all shapes and sizes: fears both little and small, toxic thought, emotion, and environment, distorted truths and principles, subuxations, chemicals that mimic our hormones, EMFs, pesticides, and pollutants of all kinds, the list could go on and on and on.
As a chiropractic family, structurally speaking, our spines are checked, our nervous system increasingly free to process, release, express and experience Life as it presents to us. As a consumer, we choose what buy, who we are financially supporting, and what level of “clean living” we’re ready to commit to today. In a world of modern conveniences, many that increase our time to connect to our passions, we risk distortion that interferes and are challenged to balance what and why we use them. We are called to mindfully weigh our choices, tuning into the “power that animates the living world”. Bring it home. Love them well.
As a mother of 5, living this as a lifestyle has radically impacted not only our family, but the small piece of the world we inhabit. Beyond the chiropractic practice and the expected representation of the lifestyle, there are also ripples into our community that bring recognition, appreciation, and inspiration for others to look more mindfully at their choices. As in healing our bodies, say from the flu or a broken bone, time and process are to be honored. As in birth, innate design is to be trusted. Our daily choices are no different. Each moment is a chance to align ourselves to ADIO. I believe we are created to live well, experiencing passion and trust. For me, for mine, that means honoring our Above, receiving Life coming Down into us, residing Inside us, and expressing Out from us. I choose to participate in this capacity with immense gratitude for the many who share this path, making it more familiar, safe, and known. Together we are “normalizing” ADIO living and bringing it home.