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Once upon a time, I just needed a "job". I had no idea I was stepping onto a path that would not only support me and my family financially, but would be an anchor in the way I live my life. It didn't take too long to "get it", to realize I was hooked for life on chiropractic. I mean "hooked" in best sense; that I have been forever changed and that as a lifestyle, chiropractic calls me to potential, to expression, to the restoration of integrity and facilitates my powerful work in the world. Thank you, chiropractic, for giving me so much more than a job...I've been given a way of Living.
Bringing ADIO (Above, Down, Inside, Out) Home
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.
If you had a magic wand, what would you change about the relationships you have in your practice? Would the staff relationships get some edits? Patient relationships? If you could trust that they are currently the right relationships, in the right state, in the right time for your optimal growth and expression, would you perceive them a bit differently?
I’ve found it quite beautiful that over the years, the “right” relationships present to reflect the lessons I need help with and offer reflection for my refinement, my choosing and more even, my level of participation.
One memory that sticks out is a staff training when the emphasis was focusing on “loving the patients right where they are”. My content was wrapped around the many different spaces that patients present themselves in our offices. Sometimes they’re primed, ready to hear our chiropractic story, ready for the invite to participate, but that isn’t always the case, right? Too often, they have an agenda that is a bit varied from ours, yes?
I wonder how open we are to allowing them the space to be where they are and what they experience while with us…do they feel accepted, supported, and loved? Do they want more? A handful of people buy care based on numbers and facts, most buy based on how they “feel” and I promise you, it’s not just how their back feels. Even the ones who buy based on numbers and facts, there is a perceived “insurance” of how they’ll feel later, lending a feeling of wisdom, safety and responsibility now.
Emotion is contagious ~ how do YOU feel in practice? How does your staff feel? When I have patience for the space my patients and co-workers are in, I can posture myself with a reflection of love, support, intention, and great purpose. For me, I’m grateful, honored, and excited to be a part of a most amazing profession…one that IS changing the world...and has especially shaped mine.
Have you seen the news clips and read the articles about Health Coaches being on the rise? Haven't we seen this coming and positioned ourselves to meet that need? Or have we? It's in our scripts, yes? Our intention is to facilitate the innate expression of health. In our offices, along with the adjustment, we educate, inspire, and move a patient to their desired state of health...right? Having been in conversations with chiropractic patients, chiropractic doctors, chiropractic companies, and chiropractic staff, I know that we do a lot of the talking with beautiful intention and great hope of our message finding the right landing page. When it doesn't, we move to the next one, hoping they're ready to listen. Since completing a Coaching Certification program, I better understand how great the opportunities are that we have in chiropractic everyday and better see where we fall short.
What if we take a pause and before we use our scripts, metaphors, images and colorful experiences, we ask more and really tune in to learn about the landing page in front of us? Before we move on because "they weren't ready", we see where they are and what they are really looking for and begin to explore, in a coaching model, how they might get what they want. In a coaching model, the patient is the expert of their expression of health. In a Doctor - Patient model, you are the expert. Which is the more empowering? Which will fuel commitment and pull them to a vision that only they can express?
As we know, health and healing is an INNATE, inside job. The decision to toward health no different. I encourage us to explore the models, the methods we use and give thought to how they support the patients decision making process being one that is attached to THEIR values, what matters to them. Maybe increased health is to be around to see their grandchildren. Maybe it's to experience more energy in their relationships. Like so many of us in this AMAZING profession, maybe they simply desire to serve more.
As the medical profession begins to look to health coaches, consider if you're meeting that role or would consider hiring someone on your team to fill that growing demand. For me, it is important that as the health coaching profession continues to grow, so does this (chiropractic) integral and imperative piece of optimal function for our species.
Chiropractic is more than spoke on the wheel of optimal expression. Without it, that wheel fails to exists. Chiropractic is a critical piece of healing our world, thank you for the commitment you have to serve more.
As I've begun a coaching business (in addition to continuing my work in the practice) since my last post, I'm realizing the increased need for intention and balance to be present in our responses to the varying demands and dynamics of running a business and / or organization. I hope the forms I'm working on now will ask the right questions so that you'll be able to see more clearly the intention behind your choices and recognize when the variable shift requiring edit to your "policy". There is such beautiful power in bringing present moment thought to the Highest and right response in the moment rather than just "by the book". My staff recently said "I know that the script I'd normally use for this phone call would still serve the purpose, but I wonder if I should also address this issue or is it best not mentioned?" By the book would've been still powerful, still effective and even still relationship building YET she has been given the awareness that there is wiggle room, room for detour, room for more and an allowance for HER authentic interpretation that lent to an EVEN MORE powerful experience for the patient.
My call then would not to simply to get busy getting clear about intention and the details of implementation, being accountable to the policy / procedure, but to also GROW the potentials, seeing the room for an even deeper root into the relationship you play in the optimal expression of potential. Create the framework, but allow it to be that, allow the authentic expression of each person involved to contribute, certainly not to be restricted by it.
(image of trellis and plants)
New forms and questions coming soon to a book that I know you're getting excited about...I sure am.
With Valentine's day so near, we're weaving Love into our office environment, conversations, phone work, and renewing the heart we have for this great profession and our patients. Keeping things fresh doesn't have to be a hard and tedious set of tasks. Adding these pages (worksheet style pages inserted into the manual with step by step, who, what, how, materials, dates, etc) into your calendar will help make sure you're not caught behind schedule maximizing opportunity to tickle the patients experiences with new and lighthearted play that will keep the relationships fresh and fun.
I remember Dr. Riekeman referencing being dipped or we'll get fleas...well, I was dipped tonight. Thanks to Sharon Gorman and the team she brings together at her FOCUS groups, I had another opportunity to be exposed to this amazing profession at Life U tonight.
After the needed Thanksgiving break to slow our pace, knit in with our families, feast and rest in gratitude, this was a lovely way to bring in December!
A gift, you know...this profession you work in. It's an honor, isn't it? The truth of who we are, of the potential in each of us, to WORK WITH THAT, to bear witness to it and EVEN call it out, support and facilitate it's EXPRESSION...what an amazing honor. As staff today, a patient looked at me, teary eyed, and said "Lisa, you give me hope." Did I adjust her? NOPE...I'm staff, not a DC. Did I love her? Meet her in the present space of where she is? I looked at her, the her that I KNOW is IN her, put my hand on her leg, connected with that Woman and said "I believe in your potential". The procedures, the scripts, all the how to manuals in the world cannot replace the present connect to integrity and the expression of Love. THAT is where your experience is, where theirs is. YOU, doctor, LOVE. Some of you love the philosophy, some love adjusting, others love the telling the story, helping people, and I doubt anyone loves the insurance realm of the practice...what do you love? I'll spend some time creating some fun worksheets to determine what in the office you love, what you do with enthusiasm, and what you do because it "needs to be done".
For the "needs to be done" portion, there isn't joy, but there can absolutely be acceptance and behind that acceptance, sitting quietly, waits joy...as you make Peace with "what needs to be done". In the worksheets, some for staff, some for doctors, I ask you not only the specifics of what it is you don't like about it, but WHY it needs to be done. Is it for a HIPPA rule? A wise move to CYA for your malpractice protection? Bill paying? Staff issues? What if "what needs to be done" is firing someone...or maybe hiring someone? We're back to WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?
After being with some passionate folks tonight, I can tell you with absolute certainty, again, that the why behind my work is support, express, experience, and empower the chiropractic profession. Doctors, staff, and patients...all are critical members of the larger whole. I believe the integrity within that whole will begin to bring the restoration to humanity. Your work MATTERS. WHAT you do, what you say, what you believe about what you do and what you say MATTERS.
For years I hear docs tell each other and tell students "tell the story". Do you think they mean DD and Harvey's story? (btw, does your staff know the history?) Do you think they mean how you got into chiropractic? Maybe they mean a snippet of a lay lecture, bone on nerves, reduced communication to the life force and intelligence of the body? I contend that you tell your story largely by LIVING IT. BE the chiropractic story. In your day to day moments, BE in integrity, BE connected to YOUR Innate, follow your Leader, trust the wisdom that comes through that divine design on your life. When you become the story, you are telling it 24/7, you are bringing truth and restoration to your part of the world.
For those of you who are following along with the book as it's periodically shared "here", please understand that days pass with many thoughts scribbled on grocery receipts, experiences that I jotted down, amplifying the Truths and I hope to convey...then its' creating opportunity to actually sit and type. In this particular season, when the rare, quiet moments present, I often prioritize baking, decorating for the fall seasons, creating gifts or meals for new mommies...and the expression of "this" sits, waiting for the next wave, the next contraction, the next nudge...and we sit in one now w/ tiny scaps of paper spread in front of me, hopeful to connect some dots and create expression of intention.
Before moving forward to designing the expression of intention, i believe it will serve us well to make Peace with our present practices. Before outlining procedures and the scripts that go with them, designing the flow charts, etc, can you allow a submission and freedom to be with Peace in your present practice? Our connecting to our present is the opportunity to connect with Innate guidance. If we're avoiding the present representation and experience a willingness to clean it up, looking too far ahead with our plans; the potential of the manifestation will lessen...we'll continue to come back to "what is", likely frustrated that there isn't change.
Too, the Present connect to our designs will more effectively support our serving the Highest expression of the Innate potential in the authentic practice. IF the connect is rooted in a design of "our own making", to say one that we create without present moment Innate guidance (or someone creates FOR us), then we'll likely build it heavier on serving "want" (or ego) rather than restoration, integrity and see it rooted in the philosophy of chiropractic.
More often than I care to admit, I've found myself with the desire to scrap the current model, just start over...and there are times when that's exactly what should happen, BUT truth be told, my experience has found great value in continuing to refine and edit the present space. You remember that saying "where you go, you'll be there?" Truth. If I've a mess, if I've a design that no longer fits then it is time to evaluate and refine what I'm doing. If I'm not with Peace, if I'm resisting the rather than embracing the present state, then I can't adequately evaluate it, adapt it, and redesign it. Making Peace with our present practices will connect us to the potentials. Connecting to the potentials, will bring about their expressions.
Want to know when "it's time" to birth this baby?
The intention of this blog is to share and disseminate the content of my book, Creating Your Authentic Chiropractic Experience. The book, in it's final publication, will serve as a tool and template to design and write a unique and authentic office manual. Please feel welcome to follow along as the book content pours out, contribute as you feel led, and be comfortable to make requests for particular content.