affirmations

Shyt, Shower, Shave

The man in my bed waking up next to me this morning AKA My Port Drinker AKA my husband, let out a big sigh as he rolled over to turn off his alarm.

And then I sighed.

I sighed because he sighed.

I don't like it when he sighs.

It's like a trigger that goes off inside me when I hear a hint of a grumble from him.

"What?" I said.

"Gotta go to work."

Yup.

Waking up and breathing is work.

Arising from a night's sleep, and then all the bombardment of thoughts in your head - that's a lotta work too.

A few weeks ago, we bought a new car.

Actually, it's not new at all.

It's a really old car.

But new for us.

And it works fine.

Part of the risk of buying a used car is that you don't actually know how well it runs.

Until you drive it a couple days, and then discover that it has enough problems that causes it not to pass its MOT.

(insert eye-rolling emoji here)

So, after a whole lotta car drama (long story), it's been in the car garage for the last 72 hours.

I am without a car.

I know. 

I'm spoiled.

But that's not the point here.

Not having a car when you are very used to and dependent on having one in this corner of the world in Southwest Nappy-Valley London (is that what they call it in this region?), forces you to step off the hamster wheel and start engaging your brain differently.

When we're on that hamster wheel, like goes like this:

Open eyes.

Wake up.

What's the first thing you think about?

You gotta pee.

Toilet!

While on the toilet, mums are probably hearing their kids yelling and screaming, and your body starts groaning and twitching because your mind is racing more and more with all the things that you have to do that day.

What's next?

Your brain thinks, "Shower."

"Food."

"Kids need food."

"What's today?"

"Kids need to get dressed. Did I wash their uniform yesterday?"

Kiss hubby goodbye.

"Oh god, what time is it?"

"School drop-off."

And your brain just goes 'round and 'round the hamster wheel.

Day in, day out.

But wait - what happens when your car breaks down?

Something pushes you off that hamster wheel.

You actually have to engage your brain differently and make other plans.

Change your thoughts, change your actions, change your brain.


Take your morning route for example.

Just changing your journey causes you to think differently. 

You’re off the hamster wheel because you went a different way to work. 

Think about it - you see different people, make changes in your scenery, and shift your point of view.

You’re not on zombie auto-pilot, which is how most people look every day doing the same thing over and over again.

So even though I’ve been without a car these last couple days and it’s a bit annoying, I’m actually noticing new things about my daily routine.

New refreshing thoughts have popped in my mind.

I even went to eat at a lovely cafe and I sat there to people watch for a few minutes. 

That was fun!

So, give it a go - activate your brain to create new connections, new synapses, and more growth.

It keeps your brain younger and lets your body experience new surges of hormones, emotions, and thoughts.

If you haven’t been adjusted for a while, make that a change in your routine!

A chiropractic adjustment is good for your brain and body in so many ways!

See you soon!

— Dr MaryAnne

The attitude of a 12-year-old

In the parenting world, I'm in what you could call the 'Sweet Spot'.

No nappies.

No more breastfeeding.

No more naps.

They can feed themselves.

They're all in school.

The Sweet Spot.

But, it's not gonna last for long.

My eldest is 12.

And there are more and more moments that reveal themselves to tell me that I'm slowly (not slow enough) coming out of that Sweet Spot.

Teenage attitude has peaked its head out.

And it hits you like, "WHAT WAS THAT?"

And then you go into this denial.

"Oh no no no," you're thinking.

That wasn't really attitude. That was an 'accident'.

But then it happens again.

And again.

Three months of this attitude that pops up more and more makes you, 

FORCES YOU

to get a grip and realise that the hormones have taken control.

Am I doomed?

Am I no longer in that Sweet Spot?

Those hormones are just crazy.

Not only does my daughter talk smack,

she knows how to negotiate, argue a good point, challenge my logic, and persist until I say yes.

I admit, she's good.

(She didn't get those skills from me. My husband's the negotiator. Among other things.)

The other thing about hormones is that I've noticed how much her body is changing.

Mostly for the good, but sometimes it's not fun for her.

And I can blame some of it from all the screen/mobile/device usage:

She's been complaining about spinal pain and headaches more frequently.

Before these changes started, I can't even remember her complaining about those things before.

And since her body has entered into that inevitable phase of puberty, she's come to me saying,

"Mom, can you give me an adjustment. My head is hurting a little."

And this week over half-term, she's had a different schedule, doing different things and activities including a lot of travel, and she's been complaining about feeling discomfort in her back.

And tonight I gave her her 3rd adjustment.

Each time she has laid down on the adjusting bench, I've noticed how her body is going through a big growth spurt.

There's so much development going on.

And I can see some things that are new and different too.

So, like I do for everyone else I adjust, I ask things.

This week I asked my daughter, "Are you excited or nervous about going back to school next week?"

Predictably, she answered, "What? Uhhhh, nope. Um I don't know."

She didn't know.

She's not aware enough.

Also, she's a little stubborn about sharing her feelings or insecurities with me.

But that's another issue I'm working on.

Teenagers go through incredible changes, and it's very important to help support their bodies go through them as best as possible.

The wonderful thing about my daughter's changes is that she's aware enough to know that she needs an adjustment.

There are some weeks where I don't adjust her at all.

And then like this past week, she gets three.

Sometimes our children need those boosts.

We as parents, especially as mums, know when our babies are not at 100%.

It's like the light in their eyes is dimmed.

Or they smell different.

Or, they sound differently when they talk to us.

We know.

That's when they need an adjustment the most.

Keeping their nervous systems and bodies in alignment and balance is so helpful in allowing them grow into their fullest potential.

To help them continually be their best.

So, if you sense that your child is going through a growth spurt, or some big change, or for any reason, bring them in for an adjustment.

One adjustment for a child goes a looong way.

See you at your next adjustment!

— Dr MaryAnne

 

I'm moving!

Don't worry!

I'm only relocating 5 minutes away.

It's time to make a change.

Last week I announced that I was going to share some news.

Now I'm ready to tell you all!

It took me a few months to simmer with the idea, and once I made the decision, I knew it was the right thing to do.

I'm moving my practice back into my house.

In Streatham Hill.

Overall, this move is better for me.

The main reason is because I'm a mum.

And children don't stay little very long.

Time flies.

And my priority in life - the most important thing to me - is my family.

So, moving my practice back into my house is the best thing for me now so I can juggle my family life, and my practice life.

Ultimately, I know it's what will allow me to serve you better.

So, my new address for my practice is:

2 Wavertree Rd, SW2 3SW

My first day adjusting at the new address, my house, will be on Tuesday 30th January.

So, in two weeks when you come to your adjustment don't come to 44 Lancaster!

I'll be sending out texts to people to make sure there's no mistake. 

I wouldn't want you to come to Lancaster and I'm not there! 

That would stress you and me out.

I don't want that to happen.

Parking is not as easy since it's just near the Streatham Hill high street. 

But, if there isn't a car in front of my driveway, feel free to park right in front. No problem!

If you have any questions, please hit reply and let me know!

I'm looking forward to seeing all of you at my new practice location!

In the meantime, see you later on this week for your next adjustment.

— Dr MaryAnne
 

I want to understand more

You know that question kids like to answer, 

If you were to have one superhero power, what would it be?

Well, my super power would be to know exactly how people think, their beliefs, their values, and how they make their life choices. This kind of thing fascinates me. I'm always trying to figure out someone's thought process. 

This day and age, there are a lot of things to have an opinion about. There are so many things to keep us busy. There's really no reason for any of us to be bored. At the same time, with everything that's out there, there are so many different choices and lifestyles, we find so many people in so many 'camps'.

Liberal or Conservative?

Vegan or Paleo?

Masculine or Feminine?

Natural or Synthetic?

Fast food or Organic?

Running or Yoga?

Breastmilk or Formula?

Chiropractic or Medicine?

There's just so much out there. The lists goes on and on. And everybody's got an opinion about it.

I wanna know where and how and why people get their opinions and beliefs. Are people able to explore the 'other' side objectively? Can people hear other ideas and thoughts? Why are we so resistant to change? Why do people get so offended?

Recently I posted a question on my Facebook page about getting adjusted regularly. It became a threadhole of different opinions about why some people don't get chiropractic adjustments.

How do people not get regular chiropractic adjustments?

My motivation for the question was to understand and know what other people do if they've never gotten an adjustment. I suppose I could have elaborated on the question to help people understand where I was coming from. 

I've been getting adjusted since I was about 11-years-old. So, for the most part, I don't know what it's like NOT getting adjusted. It's been a part of my lifestyle for all this time, and it works for me. When I asked the question, I genuinely wanted to know what people do to stay healthy and feel good. I also wanted to know about those people who did indeed get adjusted in the past, but didn't continue. There were many views.

For the people who didn't continue, their answer was simple and understanding. They didn't have a good experience and never went to another one.

End of.

Most people answered that it's all about being able to afford regular chiropractic care.

Some of my colleagues out there didn't buy that answer. 

I agree.

Saying that you can't afford the regular chiropractic adjustments is baloney to me.

Please, stay with me. Lemme explain.

A large majority of people who come in to see me do so because they are in pain. 

They hurt.

They want to know why.

But the bottom line is, they want the pain to go away.

I tell people time and time again that pain is not the problem. The problem is the problem. But human beings don't automatically think of it that way. People feel pain, react, and then do something to make the pain go away.

But the 'something' is usually a drug or a massage, or they think it's because they slept wrong and eventually, the pain will go away on its own.

When someone comes in to see me, they expect me to 'fix' it and make the pain go away.

It doesn't work that way.

But, for argument's sake, let's go with this.

Most of the time, a series of chiropractic adjustments is very effective in 'making the pain go away'. 

Yes, that initial series is a certain amount of money.

But, once the pain goes away, assuming you're not going to do anything stupid like eat crap food every day, drink loads every day, stay up all night, and treat your body like it's a punching bag, you can actually improve your health and state of discomfort greatly by just making a few changes gradually.

(Just because you get older every year, doesn't mean that your health is supposed to get worse and worse.)

Once the pain goes away, it's MUCH easier to keep the pain away doing good things for your body and mind than to deal with damage control of severe debilitating pain.

Consider that part of that good routine includes regular chiropractic adjustments twice a month. 

And if money is an issue, an adjustment once a month is way better than nothing.

So, if good health is of high value to you in your life, is spending £30-£40 per month impossible?

I'm also talking to those people who come to me initially because of pain, and then they don't come back until the pain comes back. At first thought, when they didn't come back for their regular monthly adjustments (when I told them it's important for their bodies to continue to stay strong and well), I assumed they didn't like me anymore. I took it personally. 

But then when they called me a few months later and said, "I'm in agony. Please can I get adjusted?" That makes me realize that there's something else running the show.

In this case, it's not about the money, because when the pain comes back, it's usually worse than before, and the amount of adjustments needed exceeds the number of months in between the first and next time they visit my practice. So they end up paying more money. 

My view is, if people really knew how powerful just one adjustment is, they'd take time, energy, and their money to continue getting adjusted on a regular basis.

But, I also do recognise that this goes back to my original curiosity. Some people just don't agree with me. They don't think that chiropractic care is important. I understand that. I'm not expecting everyone to agree with me. That's the beauty in conversation.

What I understood from that thread on my Facebook page, people think that chiropractic is, at best, pain relief, and at worst, very dangerous.

It's an ongoing conversation I  have with people. And as the internet doesn't fail, one can find just about anything to support or refute anything we love.

So, what is it really about? 

The bottom line for me is that all I want to do is help people. I know how amazing chiropractic is, and how it can transform someone's life. I've seen it happen over and over again. My mission is to tell people and teach people more and more about chiropractic. 

For me, it's not an argument or debate. It's about purpose and my passion of what I do. I love people. I see greatness in people. Chiropractic is my vehicle in facilitating a person to finding the extraordinary in themselves.

Those obstacles of people's opinions and understanding of chiropractic will always be in front of me, but, I just keep going.

I'll keep helping people through chiropractic.

— Dr MaryAnne

 

 

 

Sometimes you just gotta boogie down, baby

Yesterday's email was all good and heartfelt.

Actually, I felt a little vulnerable there, to be totally honest with you.

A lot of my friends commented on my blog post about being broody by saying,

"Go for it. Have another baby!"

No way.

Anyway, that wasn't the point of the message.

I want to put more energy into my family.

My fun and crazy kids.

My husband.

And all the stress, joy, chaos, and spontaneity about it all!

Time to embrace it more!

I know that in about 30 years I'll be exhaling in joy, so proud and happy that I took this time to be fully present with my brood.

I know it'll all be worth it.

When I first became a mother 11.5 years ago, I had a really hard time going through the change from being such a career-driven woman, in New York City, always thinking about me, me, me, into being a new mother and experiencing such a new reality with a tiny human being.

It was hard.

And really uncomfortable.

I didn't like it.

But I knew in my heart this is what I wanted to do.

Now, I'm overwhelmed with the same drive, the same motivation to make some changes.

Change.

Some very physical and concrete: a huge house renovation, which will require us to move out temporarily so the builders can get in there and get it done.

We'll be living in a small flat during this time.

The five of us.

What could go wrong?

Five very big and loud people who like to demand space and their presence to be known.

I find myself stepping into a familiar feeling of discomfort.

I'm really uncomfortable.

And I'm not liking it.

Thoughts of doubt are creeping in. 

Thinking of the unknown.

How am I going to get through this?

The feeling of instability is very scary.

It's like a huge stretch and I don't think I can bend anymore.

Still, I'm standing my ground, remembering my purpose, my love for my kids, and how this time will bring me to a new place of freedom and joy in my life because I know it's what I want.

And that's the key. 

I WANT so many things in life, and sometimes to get there, to be that person, well, it takes a little instability and stretching along the way.

So I stick to what I know works best for me.

Eating well.

Sleeping well.

Exercising regularly.

Getting adjusted every week.

Creating my structure and sticking to it.

Choosing to do things that make me happy, and not feel guilty about it.

And, for me, it also doesn't hurt to have a nice glass of red wine every now and then.

Today, I've spent a big chunk of time doing things for my practice (like writing this to you guys).

Admin.

Organising notes.

And in between my thoughts I've been pausing to blast some good tunes, get up, and dance for 10 minutes just to get the blood to flow.

It feels good.

Gotta keep following my heart and passion. Stay on the path!

See you soon at your next adjustment!

Stay on YOUR path!

— Dr MaryAnne




 

I am broody

Many friends of mine tell me that I should have a fourth.

Baby, that is.

Another one?

Nope.

I'm done.

In fact, when I was preggers with my third child (who just turned six, by the way), I had a very direct and concrete feeling that I did NOT want to have another.

I was crystal clear DONE at three.

BUT.

There's an ongoing problem.

In my line of work, seeing many newborns regularly, holding them, adjusting them - it really messes with my head. 

And heart.

And my ovaries.

But again, when I think about having another newborn, I quickly snap out of it (most of the time) and land back on the ground.

Reality.

This really tested me though over the summer holidays.

I took a lot of time off to be with my family, driving out to France, frolicking on the beach and ocean in the Atlantic, drinking lots of wine, and eating lots of cheese and French baguettes. 

What more could a girl want?

Yum.

Anyway, my last trip wasn't REALLY a holiday. Well, it was, but the main purpose was to help my sister.

I was her birth partner.

For those of you who have had a baby, you know that the last couple weeks of pregnancy, especially if you have a two-year-old running around, it's so exhausting. 

Just take my word for it.

So I was there to help out my sister at the end of her pregnancy while we waited for her to go into labour.

And just as I predicated, she went into labour in the middle of my stay with her. 

Very convenient.

And she went into labour at a very sensible hour right after we all woke up in the morning.

Labour was quick, easy-peasy, and she gave birth to healthy hefty baby boy.

Then I finally got to hold him.

After all that time waiting!

And then the broodiness kicked in.

Oh boy.

He was so delicious to hold and snuggle with. 

Newborns are magical.

One of the most common things we think about when holding a brand new baby, just a couple hours old, is trying to comprehend that this baby was JUST inside another human being living and growing.

That never ceases to amaze me.

And these newborns hold so much purity and potential inside of them.  

That's what they smell like!

I had about nine more days with my sister to help her with her new baby, and I really savoured every minute with them.

(Her husband threatened to kidnap me because I was such a huge help in keeping the baby from crying.)

As the days went by being around my sister's family that went from three to four, I also missed my crazy gang back home.

My kids are much older than my sister's and it's like a whole other stage that I'm in with them.

Yet, it's bittersweet.

Each time I held my sister's baby (or played with her two-year-old), a new feeling came over me stronger and stronger, realising something.

It's the concept that we parents get told by our elders all the time:

"They grow too fast."

Of course, conceptually, it's easy to understand.

And I see it before my eyes with my own children.

But it never hit me the way it did while being away from my kids for over two weeks.

I knew that each day my children were growing and changing, just like all kids, and I was missing those moments.

I wasn't there to do all the things that I normally take for granted.

As mothers, we feel like we're running on a hamster wheel just pushing along trying to keep everyone happy, managing schedules, dinner, laundry, friends, our partners, our relationships.

And it goes on and on, every day.

Being away from my children for 16 days, AND being with my sister's family gave me the opportunity to see things from a completely different perspective. One that made me feel nostalgic knowing what my sister was going through with two children and adapting to everything, as well as another perspective making me see how every single minute of our babies' lives are opportunities to make them feel loved, appreciated, and secure.

When I came home last week, I was able to hug my kids with that new perspective, cherishing so much more how grateful I am that I have them, and that they are who they are, happy and healthy.

NOW I get the concept fully in a renewed way, so much so that I've taken more time to be with them, rather than constantly try to find some of my own free time.

One day I'll be 85, and I definitely don't want to find myself sitting there alone, in my favourite comfortable chair feeling regret about my children, wishing that I had spent more time with them.

I'll never get these days back.

Even now my memory is skittish, not remembering certain moments of my children's lives. Those little detailed things I did like how I potty trained my daughter, or when did they first sleep through the night.

Now I know that I don't want to miss anything.

My eyes have opened.

Which is why I've changed my time and schedule in my practice to fewer hours in order to put my family fully as a priority.

(Don't worry, I'm still adjusting and I can't wait to adjust you all!)

I know at times when the kids are driving me crazy I'll think, "What was I thinking?" I'll want to get away and escape.

But, the difference is that I'll realise that this moment, right now, I get to hug my children more and anytime I want when I spend more time with them.

And when I'm 85, I'll think back and say to myself, "It was alllll worth it."

(Be sure to keep checking my schedule to book yourself in for your next adjustment.)

— Dr MaryAnne

A lil' sumthin sumthin

I used to live in Queens, New York when I was little.

That was about forty years ago (holy moley, that sounds like ages ago).

I remember once, when I was about 7 years old, being with my friend playing at our school playground, and some boys were bothering us.

You could say they were being bullies, but at the time, I just thought they were trouble makers.
 
They wouldn't stop calling us names, annoying us, and trying to be tough.

Then, they started chasing us.

I remember feeling scared, not knowing what I did to make them do this, and were they intending on hurting us?

I hated that feeling of fear.

I remember at one point I was running, trying to get away, feeling terrified, and then suddenly, something came over me.

I think my thoughts were saying, "This-is-crazy-I-don't-like-this-I-feel-so-scared-and-threathened-make-this-situation-stop-what-can-I-do"

And I just stopped running.

Then I turned around, held my arm and hand out signalling for them to stop.

They just stopped in their tracks.

I just stood my ground, breathing out of breath from all the running, and said something like,

"Listen, why are you chasing us? Wouldn't it be better if we all got along, worked something out? We can be friends. I think we could be friends."

You know what?

Just like that, the kids shrugged their shoulders, and just like that said, "OK."

I remember thinking, "Whoa, I did not expect THAT outcome."

In fact, I had no idea what would happen.

My adrenalin was pumping and flooding my body, I probably would have been able to pick up a car.

My fear had turned into action. 

Action to create solutions.

To connect with people.

Find that lil' sumthin sumthin.

It was like a snap and the boys switched from attackers to our friends.

I called my other friend who was way down the street by then, and we all just worked something out.

I think I've always had the natural sense of, "This person is nice. He has love and greatness in him too."

Even at the age of seven.

That's how I've always been.

I always see the greatness in people.

Love is there.

In all humans.

That's how I approach everyone. 

Or at least, that's how I want to be.

Somehow, innately and intuitively, when I was a little girl I accessed that desire to connect with people and speak into their side of love and greatness.

I'm happy I never lost that.

That's what I bring into my practice every day with everyone, all the time.

That's why I love adjusting people.

I love it.

Greatness and love.

To me, it's awesomeness.

— Dr MaryAnne

 

My kids speaks this strange alien language that I don't understand

As someone who was raised in America, I've always been amazed at how easy it is to travel to a completely different country within a couple hours from London.

Plane or train.

Doesn't matter.

It's very cool.

A two-hour train ride in America, and you're still in the same State (most of the time). 

I can't believe more Londoners don't take advantage of living so close to Paris!

It's so great to be able to hop on a fast train, and then BAM, you're in frogland.

Oui! Oui!

C'est magnifique!

Anyway, on the very crowded train, I met this very sweet young mother with her toddler daughter.

I couldn't help but offer my assistance because there was a jumble of seats with a big family of overgrown loud teenagers, and I could tell that this mother just wanted a comfortable seat with her little girl.

So I managed to talk the other people into rearranging their seating plan, and the young mother was able to sit next with us in the quattro seating (with the table in the middle).

Much better outcome.

She was very grateful.

It was simple to do. 

Little effort.

Big payout.

Stressless journey with children.

(Is that really possible?)

We had a lovely ride into Paris.

My kids played with the little girl, and everyone was happy.

I was probably the happiest because my eldest kept on talking in the strangest accent. I think she picked it up on YouTube. She contorts her face and has this annoying rhythm, tone, and intonation. 

Very strange.

So I basically ignored her. I had to. Instead, I focused on having a nice conversation with the young mother sitting next to me.

She asked me if I work and what I do.

Sure enough she became very interested when I told her that my special interest is with babies' and children's spinal health.

Most people have no clue what chiropractic paediatrics is.

"What does it mean for a child to go have a chiropractic check-up?"

I explained to her how important it is for all newborns to have their spines check shortly after birth.

Doesn't a paediatrician check the baby's heart, breathing, ears, genitals, etc?

How about one of the most important organs in the body?

The brain and the spine - the central nervous system?

This mother was totally fascinated.

"Yes, that makes sense!"

She even explained to me that her baby was born with forceps because she was twisted in a strange position stuck in the birth canal.

(Do you know how often I hear mothers say this?)

Listen, I love what I do. And if I can speak to one mother a day to show them how important it is to have her child's spine checked, then I feel that I've helped make a positive change in that child's (and mother's) life.

Because a healthy child is what we all want.

Healthy children lead to a happier world for the future.

Do you get it?

Good.

Now, I'm off to go eat some delicious French food.

Au revoir et a bientot!

See you next week for your adjustment!

(Don't forget to book in your £25 massage! Only ten days left at this price.)

— Dr MaryAnne