Inspiration…

I had a challenge today to write on the subject of “Inspiration.”  As I pondered what to write about, thoughts kept coming back to me about my son.

Perhaps because I had him so young, we are very close.  Him, being my first child, I had to grow up quickly, and always strove to be an inspiration to him, but almost 30 years later, I’m realizing he’s been my inspiration all along.

I’ve watched my little boy go through his life, graduating from College, confused about his future plans.  I’ve watched him struggle with a drug and alcohol addiction, that changed him from a sweet loving child to a mixed up, disillusioned man.  I’ve seen him struggle with love and loss, winning and losing.  But the thing that most strikes me about him is how he’s managed to dig himself out of the pit of addiction and totally change his life around.

There was a time a few years back when we were talking and he was really struggling with some life issues, he asked me, “Mom, how will I ever get over this?”  I remember the pain I felt in my heart, because I knew the answer to the question but wasn’t sure it would be good for him to hear it, but I spoke to him honestly.  “You will never fully get over any of it.  But with time, you’ll come to appreciate the strong person you are because you just fucking got through it.”  It was the best way I could put it to him.  I knew the answer, I’ve been through it myself, there’s just some things in life that you honestly don’t ever get over.  You may do good for awhile, a few weeks, maybe even years, but it’s always there, and it will raise its painful head again and again throughout your lifetime.  But each time you fight through it, you’ll become stronger, you’ll see that though it feels like it’s killing you, you’re still alive, you’re still living.

It’s funny that now he’s my inspiration.  He’s turned his life around, become a teacher, an avid rock climber, a lover of nature and adventure.  He’s seen me struggle through my life, depression, smoking addiction, exercise addiction, love, loss, winning and losing.  And recently when we were in Oregon, I wondered how I was going to make it through my situation, how I would ever be able to get over things, and he said to me, “Mom, you’re never going to, but you’re fucking strong, and you’re going to keep living.”  And he’s absolutely right.

I know the parents are supposed to be the inspiration to the kids, helping them see how life should be lived, being good examples.  But honestly, my son, has been my inspiration.  He’s helped me want to continue living, to keep trying, when all I wanted to do was stop.  He’s helped me see, there’s always a way, there’s always a new path, there’s always a new journey a new adventure to take.

Look for inspiration in your life today, there’s something….you may have to dig a little deep for it, but you’ll find it.  There’s always a reason to keep living, and more importantly a reason to want to.

Peace & love

Cause I’m not there yet, but perhaps, Soon Enuff….

Reflections….

Using apps to change your reflection

I’m as guilty as the next person, I’ve used them, lots of times, it’s hard not to.  Those apps that remove every line, every blemish, every scar….but to what extent do we become someone we’re not?  We can’t be 20, we can’t just never get crows feet, or laugh lines, we age, we all do, why has it become a trend to hide it?

I’ve lived life, and it shows.  Why am I reluctant to let that be known?  I’m in my very late 40’s haha, why am I hesitant to admit that or to let it be known?

Here’s why….the social media society that we now live in is a “perfect world.”  I dare say there are probably less than 50%, much less, of people who are real…everyone and everything is photo shopped.  I think that’s ok, occasionally, but the problem is, who are we in person?  You don’t get to carry around an app that changes you.  And why would you want to?  Of course there are always imperfections we wish we didn’t have, but everyone has them…To be honest, I think it’s what makes us unique and beautiful.  When I see a photo on IG for instance, and it’s obvious it hasn’t been touched up, or at least not too much,  I find I’m always thinking, “She’s so cute, her little nose is turned up, or her eyes have beautiful lines cause her smile is so big, but she’s so cute.”  And the reason I think this is cause it’s really her, and she is cute, she is beautiful.  When I look at a photo of someone that is obviously photo shopped, all I think is, “Wow, that lady is really beautiful, but she’s hiding it, cause she thinks she’s not beautiful enough.”

Your reflection is not imperfection

Here’s my morning poem:

Have you ever looked in the mirror at your own reflection, seeing only your flaws, no beauty, just imperfection.  Searching for the latest app to take care of each blemish, but look again, what do you see after your finished?  You are still you, no app can change that, at least not so far…so adjust you’re focal point, don’t be fake, be the beautiful person that you truly are…

–Amy Lopez–

I hope starting today we can all learn to be more authentic…we are all beautiful and unique in our own way, stop being afraid to be who you are.

Look for great lighting, not an app to cover up the real you 🙂

Peace & Love

Cause I’m not there yet, but perhaps, Soon Enuff….

Find me on FB @lilbitsofme22 Instagram @lilbitsofme22 Pinterest @lilbitsofme22 or Twitter @amylo_5

Make March Memories……

Hard to believe it’s March….

Seems when we want time to stand still, it really flies by.

Spring is my 2nd favorite time of year, first is fall.  I think both seasons have such beautiful color and that is what my heart yearns for….a world of color, and less blah:)

The days here have been rainy and dreary making me feel a little tired and a little depressed.  I’ve done my best to fight through it.  Yesterday, I took a walk down my road and came upon the most beautiful little field of Daffodils.  It’s been so chilly that I was beyond surprised they had already bloomed, but there they were beautiful in all their glory:)

I hope this month brings lots of color to your days, you may have to go out and find it for yourself, but you can find it.  Start something today that’s good for yourself, perhaps a yoga class, exercise class, or just start a better healthy diet for yourself.

Make March a month of great memories:)

Love & Peace

Cause I’m not there yet, but perhaps, Soon Enuff…

 

When you can do nothing…what can you do

You’ve heard the saying, “Acceptance is a small quiet room…” I often wondered the meaning, and I’m sure many people interpret it differently, but for me it means this: Sometimes you put up a good fight, you do your best, and all of your efforts, just won’t matter.  Sometimes there is nothing more you can do, but accept that this particular person, or situation, or group, etc. is just going to let you down.  And when you finally realize that, and you finally accept it, it feels like you’re standing in a small room that’s quiet and for the moment, you’re all alone.

My poem this morning:  I’ve been through a lot of changes but the one thing that’s remained constant:  People will let you down.  You learn to accept it, and I can laugh when I say it, but the truth is so sad, that even my laugh has a frown….-Amy-

So what can you do?  Honestly, when you can do nothing, you can only do what you can.  You move on, you go about your way.  You try to forgive the person, situation, group, whatever it may be.  Not for them, but for yourself.  Because holding onto resentment, anger, hatred, it only ends up hurting you.  Truth be told, whatever it was that you let you down, probably isn’t even remotely worried about it, hell, they may not even know or care.  So for your own sake, you forgive.  All we can do is the best we can. I’m not saying you won’t be sad or that you won’t carry a little of the pain in your soul forever, because I’m sure you will, I know I have.  But it gets better over time.

You learn to smile, even if your smile wears a slight frown, you still smile.  Life’s about doing the best we can for ourselves and by doing that, we are doing what’s ultimately best for everyone else.  It’s about making choices, it’s about having to make a few sacrifices along the way, give and take, take and give.  But life is good, and the sooner we can accept that we can’t control every situation, we can’t make everyone do the right thing, the more peace you’ll have in your life, I truly believe that.

Love & Peace

Cause I’m not there, but perhaps, Soon Enuff….

When darkness settles in…..

So just gonna be super vulnerable and honest here, cause my writing is as much therapy for myself, as it is also, the hope that I’m providing for you.  Yesterday, I really struggled.  It went from 75 degrees and sunny to rainy, gloomy and low 40’s. I had people let me down that I was really counting on, I had a loved one yell at me, and I do mean yell, for no apparent reason.  I was kind to several people through text and email, and I was shown not one ounce of kindness.  I felt let down, I was tired, and frankly, I was more depressed than I have been in quite awhile.  I couldn’t even make myself work out.  So I did the only thing I could do, I went to bed.  I slept until the middle of the afternoon, woke up and did some writing, and went back to bed.  I didn’t eat all day, oh except, a few chocolate chips, which helped in making me feel even worse about myself 🙂

So this morning when I woke up, I actually felt better, a little more energetic, and good thoughts, like, “I am not having another day like that…”  It lasted for a few hours, and then I felt the darkness settling in on me again.  So I sat down and looked through my gallery of pictures, which usually helps me feel better, and I wrote this poem:

I hope in the middle of an ordinary day, you’ll be blessed with some things you didn’t see coming your way.  Perhaps kindness shown by another human being.  I hope that you see mountains and streams, or so many other beautiful things.  I hope today your mind will be filled with wonder, the way it used to be when you were younger….–Amy—

And well, I still feel a little gloomy, but it helped, I got up washed my face, got my workout clothes on and did Yoga.  I know exercise isn’t a cure all, but I’m telling you, it really helped me.  I think sweating and getting your heart pumping, stretching your body, opening up your chest to expand your heart, being mindful of your breathing, well, it just makes you feel alive. And that’s exactly what I needed after a day of not feeling alive at all.

Like a lot of others I struggle with depression, and usually I can fight through it, it’s been months since I’ve had a day like yesterday, but I’m real, it happens, and sometimes I don’t defeat it, and that’s what happened yesterday, I gave in to it.  Today, I will not, I will fight like a champion, and even if there’s a dark cloud over me, I’ll look for my own sunshine, and I hope that you’ll find your own as well.

Peace & Love

Cause I’m not there yet, the battle is for sure real, but perhaps, Soon Enuff…..

 

Create your own beauty….

I find that I am fascinated by what’s inside things: hearts, minds, flowers…. and how beautiful the inside of things are if we simply look a little deeper, it’s not always what we see at first glance.

I bought a little bouquet of flowers last weekend, they haven’t bloomed yet, and yes, they’re beautiful, but when they aren’t fully opened up they just look like long tubes.  But yesterday, I was feeling a bit down, so I tried to come up with some things around me that are beautiful, and when I peeked inside this tube of a flower with my macro lens and snapped a shot,  I couldn’t believe how beautiful it truly was, it just wasn’t ready to show the world yet.

My Poem: Some days just hurt, you may try to smile, but nothing seems to work.  I’ve had many of those days, and I’ve found the key, is in looking around you and creating your own beauty…-Amy-

I found that taking this picture, editing it, spending time just looking at it, and then writing about how I felt about it, was therapeutic for me.  I felt better, I smiled, I was happy at the beauty I found right inside my own house, I just hadn’t been looking hard enough.

I hope today if you are feeling blue, or just need some sunshine in your life, look around you, see that beautiful things are truly everywhere.  And if you honestly can’t find something, go outside, pick a flower, watch a snowflake, watch the rain as it puddles up, or go to the store and buy your own flower or plant, create your own beauty, and watch how beautiful you become to yourself and to those around you.

Kindness matters and so do you:)

Peace & love

Cause I’m not there yet, but perhaps, Soon Enuff…..

 

Don’t let the gray get in your way….

 

 

Happy Weekend!!

So I was really planning all week long to head out for a long hike this weekend, perhaps scout out a waterfall or two.  However, it was raining when I went to bed last night, and of course, this morning it is gray and gloomy, cold, and actually a chance of snow for tomorrow.  Feeling a little down, as I’m indoors much of the week.

However, I got to thinking about ways to make even gray beautiful, and I thought to myself, “add some color…” So I literally got out a coloring book, yes, the adult ones, that I’ve always thought a little strange…After getting a page finished, I actually felt better, my mood had lifted, and I started to think of more things I could do to bring color to my gray weekend.

I decided I would focus on making some new goals for myself.  I work out a lot but over the winter months, actually since October or so, I’ve put on a little weight, and just haven’t been feeling particularly comfortable with my body, so I sat down and wrote out where I’d like to be in say, 30 days.  I have a big trip planned and I really want to feel good in my own skin.  So I planned out a new healthy eating strategy and workout goals, and I’m giving myself my own 30 day challenge.  BTW: I’d love for any of you to join me if you’re in the same boat.  If you’re interested in that, shoot me an email:)  I also set up a private group for only 40 and older men and women who want to set some goals and motivate each other for the next 30 days.  I love meeting and making new friends, especially ones that are as like minded as me, and I also love to see people reach their goals and share in their journey along the way.

I’ve been really into yoga for about  6 weeks now, as well as many other forms of exercise, as I don’t like to get bored, so I mix it up a lot.  But I’m telling you I can feel such a difference with the yoga.  My joints aren’t as achy, I’m so much more flexible, even in this short amount of time, and I just feel better mentally.  I think the mindfulness of a little meditation along with really being aware of your body in the yoga poses has really helped me, and I think if you give it a try it will help you as well. I’m not one of those “serious yogi’s”, that’s why I don’t think I could ever participate in a class at a studio.  I tend to laugh too much, swear a little too much and I’m a little too competitive, I don’t like when I can’t do a pose correctly, hahah.  But I do really enjoy doing it in my own home, and it’s so much cheaper 🙂

So this weekend, don’t let the gray get in your way of having fun, add some color to your weekend, set some goals, focus on yourself and your family, play games, make some healthy new recipes and ya know what?  Color, and when you color, color outside the lines…..

Love & Peace

Cause I’m not there yet, but perhaps, Soon Enuff

 

Less Anxiety & Fear….

Good morning, Happy Thursday, can’t believe another week has almost passed us by, make today count, you won’t get it back.

My morning poem:  Been having some real confusion on the direction my life needs to take right now, can’t seem to make a decision that will please everyone.  So I went to the ocean, to let my body unwind a bit, to just let my thoughts come undone.  Just for awhile I thought nothing but about the very moment I was in.  The sounds, the smells, the beauty, the way the mist felt on my skin.  And later when I returned, my problems were still here, but I’m facing them with less anxiety, and most importantly, with less fear… – Amy –

I know not everyone can just take a stroll down the road and be at a beautiful beach or a waterfall or in the mountains. But everyone can step outside, whether you live in a major city, suburb, or way out in the middle of nowhere, millions of miles away in Egypt.  Today if you’re struggling with decisions, or just life in general, take a moment or two, step outside, think of what’s beautiful, anything at all.  Maybe you see a beautiful tree, flower, puppy, ocean, mountain, or waterfall.  Or maybe all you can see is people busy bustling around with their stressed out lives.  Even that can be a blessing, think about how you don’t want that for your life, and then do your best to make it all slow down.  Breath deeply, in through your nose, big exhale through your mouth, be mindful for just a few moments, and then go back in, take on your day, see if it helps just a bit.

I know a lot of our health issues today, especially in America, are stress related.  We think we have to have our shit together at all times, that we have to know exactly what our plan is, where our life is headed and how we’re going to get there.  We need perfect lovers, spouses, children, we need to be perfect ourselves.  And it’s all a lie.  I can highly bet that the majority of us are in the same boat.  We don’t know what the hell we’re really doing, we’re just doing it.

Life shouldn’t be this difficult, there should be hard work, yes, but if we aren’t enjoying life, then why were given it in the first place?  Find some joy today, put away thoughts of perfection, we’re all a little fucked up and that’s ok.  I have a real issue with this, and I’m doing my best to find a way to deal with it.  Ocean therapy is a big one for me, but any type of nature brings me peace and healing.

I hope you find a little peace today and I hope it brings a little healing to your life.

I love this poem titled “Peace” by J.W. Von Goethe

“There is only silence

on the mountain tops

Among the tips of the trees

You perceive barely a breath

Even the birds in the forest

Keep still and are silent

Wait then

Just a little while longer

and you too

will find peace at last.”

Cause I”m not there yet, but perhaps, Soon Enuff……

 

Be your own Valentine….

 

Happy Wednesday, I hope you do something for yourself to make today beautiful!

My morning poem:  A holiday celebrating love can be the loneliest time, especially when you have no Valentine…-Amy-

So listen, I know there are a lot of people out there that won’t have anyone to say Happy Valentines Day to.  Maybe you won’t receive chocolates or flowers, or even a sweet text, but please, don’t let it ruin your day.  After all, today is also just Wednesday, and there are a lot of things you can do to make it beautiful.

Here are a few things I’m going to practice today to make my day better:  Send my kids cute messages, because I want them to know that not just today, but everyday I love them, they’re my forever Valentines.  Buy flowers for myself, to put on my stand in front of where I do my yoga practice, this is where I also placed rocks that I brought back from the beach, just to bring good memories and make me feel more relaxed. Take a hot bath, sprinkle some lavender in the water and just soak in it.  It’s rare that I take the time, I’m usually jumping in feeling rushed to hurry in and out of the shower, so this will be really nice.  Just basically loving myself.

I know it’s kind of cliche these days, everyone seems to be into “self-love.”  I think self-love is great, do I think you should only care about yourself, and not put other’s feelings into prospective, and sometimes put them above your own feelings, absolutely not.  There are a lot of times we have to sacrifice a bit of ourselves to make someone else happy.  At least I do, because making others happy is often what makes me the happiest.

So today, whether you have a Valentine or not, show yourself some extra love, be mindful of how much you have been blessed with, and honestly, you may not at this moment have a “love of your life,” but believe me, you are loved, and you need to remember that today and everyday….

Also….as a side note: who needs chocolate anyways? go workout, it’s healthier for that heart that everyone will be posting pictures of 😉

So here’s my message to you: Happy Wednesday, Happy Valentine’s Day, make today beautiful cause you are beautiful my friend!

Peace & love

Cause I’m not there yet, but perhaps, Soon Enuff…..

Light in the dark…

Good morning, hope your Tuesday is beautiful!

My morning poem: She placed the picture by her bed, she knew there would be some dark times ahead.  It was majestic and made her focus on the light when she was sleepless, on those very dark nights.  Meditating on the sound of the waves made her body calm.  She had always known the ocean, was where she belonged….-Amy-

Spent a long weekend in Rhode Island with my daughter.  This picture was a flight I took my drone on, it came back with some amazing videos and photos.  I’ve always loved nature, but the ocean, has always seemed the place that made my heart feel renewed.  I’ve visited all different places with beautiful oceans from Florida to Washington State to Oregon, to Rhode Island, and all are equally beautiful and majestic.  This was, however, the most beautiful lighthouse I have seen and also one of the oldest.  It was the 3rd light house built on the Atlantic Ocean way back in the 1700’s.  I felt so much history and though a little spooky, it was so calming to know that this beacon of light had probably saved thousands of lives.

Have you ever placed your favorite pictures by your bed, or just in your bedroom?  I have several.  A few of my favorite sunsets, flowers, and now this one of this lighthouse.  I used to think that mediating was quite odd, and to be honest, I can barely get my mind to “be still” for a few seconds, let alone several minutes.  Since beginning Yoga though, I’ve really been focusing on just being mindful, which has helped me calm my mind and let it just be still, even for a few minutes.

I’m a really light sleeper, and honestly don’t sleep too well most nights, but I’ve started practicing placing my most calming pictures closest to my bed.  On those nights I wake up restless, or sad, or my mind is just going a thousand miles a minute, I reign my focus in on one of those pictures, and I replay how I felt at the moment I took the pictures, or on how the picture itself makes me feel.  I remember the excitement of flying the drone and just listening to the crashing of the waves, and it makes me feel happy to be alive and to have had the chance to be there.  I focus on one of my favorite sunset pictures from Washington State on the ocean and it makes me remember how happy I was at that moment, and how absolutely beautiful it was and it calms me.  Sometimes I focus on a few of my favorite purple flower pictures, I think about the smell and of how beautiful the world is if we truly just look to find the beauty in it.

I hope maybe this practice will give you some good ideas if you struggle with resting like I do.  It really has helped me, and just the practice of being mindful alone has changed my life for the better.

I hope your Tuesday is truly beautiful, and hey, run to CVS, print off some $0.39 pictures, put them in some lovely frames, it’s cheap and one of the best therapies I’ve found….

Peace & love

Cause I’m not there, but perhaps, Soon Enuff…