For all who receive my blog, my apologies for falling off the blog planet for so long…I’m back! Thought I’d jump back in with this article I wrote a few days ago about my mentor and friend Jim Sigafoose who passed away recently. He was among the most influential chiropractors in our history and most assuredly among the most influential people in my life. The article was written for chiropractors but I think you’ll get the idea in case you don’t happen to match that description…
We just returned from Sig’s Celebration of Life. What a fabulous tribute! My blessings and thanks to Patsy and the whole Sigafoose clan for not only creating the event in the midst of their grief and this undoubtedly hectic period of their lives, but also for being such incredible models of strength and grace. It was wonderful to see so many old friends (even if many of you chose to comment on my gray-ness) and to reconnect with so many amazing warriors from the Gathering, Parker, DE and the mission trips with whom I’ve shared my heart and so many beautiful memories.
The Celebration brought up a whole spectrum of feelings and thoughts, many of which had already been scurrying through my heart and mind this whole past month. Most of them are deeply personal, but I did want to express some of them with y’all. Here goes…
Sig was my spiritual and chiropractic mentor, as he was for many of you. For about 12 years he was also my close friend, my traveling and drinking buddy (mostly coffee, but there were also some memorable tequila episodes…), and, I suppose one could say, my left-hand man (since I was his right-hand man at the Gathering and in the Systems). Because of that, I can confirm that his deepest and truest desire was for all of us to live and serve abundantly, to become maximum expressions of Innate, to become maximum expressions of Love.
This (finally) brings me to the point. Without question, Sig had amazing gifts. His capacity to love, his wisdom, his sense of humor, his dedication to the principle and to us, his non-attachment to things that don’t really make any difference, his tireless energy; I and many of you have worked to emulate some of these qualities. I just want to remind us that his message was pretty simple and pretty consistent over the many years that we heard it, and it’s time for us to embody it and to live it from the inside out, now that he’s no longer around to provide it for us from the outside in.
Our current situation reminds me of Jesus and the disciples. For 3 years Jesus modeled and taught a simple message, but the disciples never fully “got it” until after Jesus’ death, when the “holy Spirit” descended upon them and finished the job that Jesus started. That’s when they finally “shook the dust off their sandals” and reached their potential. Sig modeled and taught his simple message for 48 years. Can we now finally “get it?” Can we let Innate finish the job Sig started? Can we see Sig not so much as the exception but more as an example of what is possible for all of us? Can we find the things we loved and admired about him within ourselves? Can we bring those things out as boldly and beautifully as he did? It seems time we found out.
In almost every conceivable way, Sig was no different from you and me. He was human and he had his issues. There were a few occasions when Hillary and I threatened to lock him in a closet and force him to listen to his own tapes! But perhaps the greatest difference between him and us is that he didn’t let those issues get in the way. From the time many years ago when a guy came into his office trying to sell him an ultrasound machine and Sig, just to get rid of the guy, said, “I don’t have time for that, I’m seeing 80 people a day”, he held a crystal clear vision and spent the majority of his time focused on it. He put his attention more on what he wanted than on what he didn’t want. He put his energy into unfolding his vision and expressing his gifts rather than into all the reasons why he couldn’t or didn’t deserve to. He spent the majority of his moments on the Red Road of life, not wondering how he was going to get there.
Speaking of the Red Road, at the Celebration this past weekend, we were all given a small poster of his picture with the words, “I’ll see you on the Red Road of life”, which was essentially how he ended many of his talks. I think it’s important to mention that he usually didn’t say that precisely; he more often said, “If we are to meet again, it will be on the red road of life, because that’s where I’ll be.” For Native Americans, the Red Road (the loving, abundant, peaceful, spiritual road, as opposed to the Black Road of lack, limitation, greed and ego) wasn’t someplace they walked after they died, it was a place in their consciousness that they could access in each moment. Walking the Red Road was a conscious intention to live according to the ways of the Creator. Sig was reminding us that in each moment, we walked on either the Red Road or the Black through our thoughts, our attention, and our choices.
Every time I choose to get quiet, go within and focus on what is eternal and true, I walk the Red Road. Every time I choose love over fear, faith over appearances, or abundance over lack; every time I choose Spirit over ego, I walk the Red Road. And every time I do, I see Sig. I hear him. I feel him. I am with him on the Red Road, and I experience him just as powerfully as I did when I was in his bodily presence.
It is extremely difficult to envision my life, chiropractic and the world without Sigafoose in them. And, while we’re grieving over this great loss, let’s take what we’ve gained through his immense impact and walk the Red Road in more and more of our moments. I’ll see you there! I love you all.