A New Angle

Approaching life from a new angle

 

So today I wanted to talk about our angle on life and ways that it hinders/helps us in our every day life.

You can’t keep approaching life from the same angle if you’re looking for a different outcome…” -Amy Lopez-

We’ve all seen photographers that get the most gorgeous captures by simply taking the photo from a different angle.  They seem to know that if they just change the smallest thing, perhaps bending down on one knee, moving behind a tree, getting up on a ledge, etc. makes the difference between a humdrum photo and one that captures the heart and mind of the viewer.  So how can we implement this same strategy into our every day life?

What’s your morning angle….

I’ve found that my thoughts first thing in the morning tend to lay the ground work for the day. If I wake up with an angle (feeling) on life that is tired, uninterested, or depressing, that tends to be my pattern for the entire day.  I think we can compare angle to feelings and not our emotional state.  You see if my emotional state is generally joyful and peaceful but I have occasional feelings of depression, unhappiness, just a general un-interest in life that is okay, it’s normal, everyone has these feelings occasionally, everyone has experienced this angle on life.  But if our emotional state is balanced then we learn to move past those feelings, (change our angle.)

So how do we change our angle….

I wish I could say it’s as easy as the photographer getting down on one knee or moving to a spot with better lighting, but unfortunately it takes a little more work.  To change your angle (feelings) you’ll need to ask yourself a few things:  Why am I feeling this way? What has happened or caused me to have this angle on life today? Examine it, be quiet with your thoughts, then tell yourself what you need to say to change this angle.

   Here’s an example of my own:  I woke up two days ago feeling just distraught.  I had been on such a high for the past week, things had been almost perfect with my relationships, work was going awesome, I was eating great, etc.  But this morning I just couldn’t shake it, I felt like a black cloud was over me.  I barely spoke to anyone, except for simple yes, no, maybe answers.  I didn’t read, I didn’t do yoga, I basically scrolled through social media for hours, mindless.  I tried to play it off and smile throughout the whole day, but several people noticed and questioned what was wrong.  By noon, I had had enough of myself.  I sat in a quiet place on my back porch and said, “Amy, what is it?  Why has your angle on life changed so drastically today?”  When I pondered this question I realized, number one, It was actually the time in my cycle where my emotions always run high.  So I forgave myself for not remembering that, and just moving past it.  Number two, I realized that a conversation the previous day with a lawyer about a business venture had gone very badly for me.  Instead of accepting it, I had let it change my feelings on life, I let it move me to a new angle that was too dark, the picture was not going to turn out.  You’d be surprised on how just realizing what is causing you to feel a certain way can open you up to how you can change your angle.  I decided that my life was still the same beautiful life I had the day before, that I had simply let one little thing ruin my morning.  I accepted that there was nothing I could do to change the way things turned out with the lawyer, I let my ego go on that one, haha.  And I sat and told myself how many things I was blessed with (changed my angle.)  

I think when you come to the realization that your angle (feelings) are fleeting and you can change them so easily, it makes life much more pleasant.  Keep your emotional state separate from your feelings, they aren’t the same thing.  As long as I am seeking a joyful peaceful, kind life, than an occasional feeling of anything other than that is simply that, an occasional feeling.

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

Love & Peace

Amy

Find me on social media:  Facebook @lilbitsofme22 and also @coffeepoetryandalilbitofme

Twitter:  @amylo_5

Instagram: @lilbitsofme22 and amylo_05 and @coffee_poetry_lilbitofme

 

 

 

 

Pursuing Happiness

My pursuit of Happiness

I’ve been reading self help books lately, most with the word “Happiness” in their title.  I’ve had this nagging unhappiness most of my life.  Even when I was happy, I’ve never felt a genuine sense of well being.  So I set out on this journey about a year ago to pursue happiness, and wow, my journey has taken me through more dark valleys than I ever imagined.  I thought surely by seeking new ways to be happy I would be happy.  What I found however was a plethora of advice that just didn’t add up for me.

Professors of Happiness

There are so many happiness guru’s out there today, and while I’m thankful for them sharing their experiences of how they found happiness, I discovered it’s a very personal journey.  There is no one program, no one self help book, no one counselor that can give you all the answers.  Somewhere amongst all of these, you’ll have to figure out your own way and what works for you.  So I”m not here to tell you the “right way” or the “only way” or the “perfect way” I”m just here to tell you what’s helping me to find more happiness in my everyday life in hopes that you may take a few ideas from me, add them in with your own ideas and it will equal out to be a better life for you.

My Ideas + Your Ideas = Happiness for you

What causes Unhappiness

One thing I needed to discover before I could find happiness was what exactly was causing my unhappiness.  It seemed that there were very few times even when I felt very happy that I was genuinely happy.  While I discovered many reasons that I won’t go into now, one of the things I found was that I had an overwhelming sense of never being quite good enough. There are many reasons why I’ve always had this nagging feeling, but I’m focusing on the present and in the present my feeling of not feeling good enough was caused solely from myself.  I would see my adult children struggling and think, “I must have done something wrong raising them.”  I went an entire year without speaking to one of my sisters and felt an enormous guilt about not being a good enough sibling.  My business would go through a hard month and I’d blame myself for not being a good enough owner/coach/manager.  I would gain a few pounds and feel not good enough to take pictures with my kids or just of myself.  I think this feeling of never being quite good enough, no matter how good I really was, took away my happiness. In a book I read by Chris Prentiss titled “Zen and the Art of Happiness” he explained that what causes stress, anxiety and often depression are our thoughts.  These emotions are caused because we think that an event in the future isn’t going to turn out well.  Someone’s going to hurt us, we’re going to fail, we’re going to be embarrassed or ashamed or even hurt someone else. This worrying about the future takes away our happiness, causes sleepless nights, causes illness, causes us to live empty lives. I learned that my worries of not being good enough were senseless worries. I am good enough, I am good enough because I do my best, and that’s all I can do, the rest I have to let go, because I choose to live in this moment. I can’t go back and change the way I raised my children, I can’t take away the year I didn’t speak to my sister, I can’t totally control the fact that people enroll and un-enroll in my business, it’s just life.  I can only control my thoughts right now at this moment. You see a pattern here? My feelings of unworthiness all stemmed from thinking about the past…

So….have I found Happiness

While I haven’t perfected the art of happiness, and I’m not sure I ever will, I can tell you that my life is changing for the better.  At this time last month, probably even last week, I wouldn’t have written this blog because I’d worry that it wouldn’t be good enough, that someone would criticize me, that it wouldn’t make sense, etc. etc. This morning when I woke up, I had this on my mind.  My intuition was telling me to share my experience with this subject and that is how I’m choosing to live, in the present moment.  When I start to feel anxious I immediately realize it’s because I’m thinking about something later today or tomorrow or next week or next year, and I turn my thoughts instead to what needs to be done right now.  I truly believe if that is our focus then we don’t need to worry about the future because we’re preparing for the best future in this moment.

Find your Happy

The best advice I can give you to get you on the right path to finding happiness is to take some time to figure out why you’re unhappy. I don’t want you to dwell on it too long, because if you start going back to your childhood and things that happened years and years ago you can wind up stuck in a muck that’s hard to dig out of.  But instead, ask yourself, “Why am I unhappy today, why am I stressed, anxious, not feeling good enough, today?” Then go from there.  I think you’ll find that your thoughts are not on the present, but they’re on the past or the future.  Try today in just the little things to acknowledge what makes you smile, what warms your heart and what makes you happy. I woke up this morning alone, the sun was shining, I got to have my coffee in silence, I got to spend two hours writing with no one asking me for anything, it made me happy. After I finish this blog I have to get to work on some accounting for my business, but I chose to not think or stress about that while I was writing this, because I knew it would cause me anxiety.  Practice staying present today, then practice it again tomorrow and the next day until it becomes a habit.  There are going to be times of stress and anxiety and unhappiness, it’s inevitable, but when those moments come, handle them for what they are: The way you react to the stressors, the anxiety, the feelings of unhappiness or unworthiness make all the difference.  When I have those feelings of not being good enough, and I do still have them, I just pause for a moment, remind myself that I’m good enough right now, I’m the doing the best I can right now, and that’s got to be good enough, cause it’s all I’ve got, that’s all we’ve all got, Right Now….

Peace & love & happiness to you

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

Amy

A little poem I wrote about getting thru nights of anxiety and over thinking.  I’m getting better and better at this and I hope you will as well.

sun 2

Count the Sunrises…..

“Life goes by so fast, have you ever counted the sunrises that have passed?” -Amy-

Sometimes I complain because I don’t feel like I ever get enough sleep, but this morning I was so grateful that I’m an early riser.  I really hate to miss a sunrise, especially one like this morning.

I’m one that is very nostalgic,  always thinking about my favorite moments, things that remind me of those moments, smells, sights, tastes, etc.  So I do tend to count the days, weeks, months that it’s been since an important event has happened.  I miss that moment, I think about it, and I try to think of it fondly, not in a sad way, and then, I usually feel better about it.

I hope you take this weekend to remember some of the most fond memories you have, but most importantly to make some new memories that years from now, you’ll think back on and remember with love.

Peace & love

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

 

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….

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…

 

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

 

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…..

Life is short why not live…but live healthy!

Hope this weekend finds you well!

Here is my Saturday morning poem:

I hope that you will find me, there along the shore talking to the waves.  I’ve marked the spot where I’ll return each morning to think about the day….If you could just find a way. -Amy-

Yesterday I arrived in Rhode Island for a short weekend visit with my daughter.  It’s a beautiful part of the earth, and I’m so glad I’ve been blessed to get to visit this area.

I went to bed not feeling well and woke early this morning, after not sleeping much through the night, and wondered why I may be feeling this way.  Often, when traveling and getting busy I lose track of exactly what I’m putting into my body. And I’m definitely paying the price for not eating well yesterday.

After doing some restorative yoga this morning, just to get my mind right and hopefully my body as well, I feel much better and ready to face our fun day.

I hope, that like me, you’ll be more aware today, as we can’t control everything around us but we can control what we put into our mouths.

I love this Mindful poem by Anna

“My awareness settled comfortably in the seat of the present moment open to the symphony of life…”

Life is short, why not live!!

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

 

 

Perfect is an Illusion….

Good Morning, Hope you make this Thursday beautiful….

My morning poem:  Exercise, it’s not an obsession, I hope you haven’t been given that impression.  Just finding a better way of living, of balancing this life, all while continuing breathing.  You have to do it for yourself, don’t chase perfection, because I’ve come to the conclusion that “perfect” it doesn’t exist, it’s just an illusion.

Far from perfect as you can see, knees not up high enough, head down to low…but you know what, this shit is hard and it took me almost a month of practicing this everyday just to do finally hold a side crow. I’ll keep working until I get it better, but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.

You have to strive everyday for a healthier way of life.  It’s hard, we’re under a lot of stress to balance family, work, exercise, sex, basically to just find balance in this life, all while continuing to inhale and exhale.

I’m a real beginner at Yoga, but in the short amount of time I’ve been practicing it, I feel better.  Yes, it’s very hard, but hey, so is life.  All we can do is the best we can do, everyday striving to do a little better.

The breathing techniques and just being mindful of each feeling my body has, the temperature change, realizing how tense my body actually is, and then how great it feels to release that tension, even if only for a short while, it’s well worth the sore muscles you may feel the next day.

I challenge you all to simply give it a try, if I didn’t believe it worked make a healthier mind, body, and soul, I would never suggest it, I would have tried it and said, “forget this, it sucks.”  But I truly love this way of living and I’m hopeful that you’ll find benefit in it as well.

Peace & love

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

Love or Lust, or is it?

Good morning, hope you take this Tuesday and make it beautiful…

So here’s my morning poem, and also my thoughts on the matter of Love or Lust…

“Why do they say, “you’re in lust, not love?” Why is it fantasy and dreaming versus reality and life?  I’m not sure about the type of love others are in, or their opinions on the subject, but I can tell you that the one I long for, the person I crave the most, the one I fantasize about during the day and dream about at night, the one I lust after, is also the one I love.  Why would you ever settle for anyone that doesn’t make you feel all of the above?”

Ever really thought about it?  Why does love tend to get boring after years?  Why do we start to take the ones we love for granted, not look at them with the same lust in our eyes as when we first met?  I believe it’s because we get in a rut.  Often on the part of both partners, we get complacent.  We stop worrying so much about how we look for them.  When we first met, we would dress up, make sure hair and make up looked good, probably worked out to be in tip top shape for them.  We had sex all the time, cause it was exciting and new.  And then, we let the days turn into years, life gets complacent, we think everything’s fine, we stop trying to impress the ones we love.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we have to impress at all times, I’m just saying if you want to keep some spice in your love life, remember what it was like when you first met.  Dress up and do your hair and make up, especially on occasion.  Buy a sexy nighty, buy some candles, reserve a hotel. Why not keep life fun and keep love interesting and romantic, sexy and you know what, those fantasies you have? Make them a reality….

I know life can get tough, things get in the way, we’re tired, overworked, stressed.  If you still have young kids I know you’re frazzled, sometimes the last thing you want at night is someone else grabbing at you, ha. Believe, me I was there at one stage in my life.  But from experience, looking back now, I wish someone would have told me how important it is to keep the sex life alive in your love life.  Sometimes you just need to breath, relax, let your partner know you’re tired, but that you do want to be with them, let them take the reigns, and let yourself be mindful of just the moment your in.  Don’t think about the day or what you have to do tomorrow, just think about how it feels to be being loved at that moment, your body needs it, your mind needs it, and believe me your partner needs it as well.  I honestly believe our sex lives are just as important as eating right and exercising, it’s all part of a healthy well rounded life.

Love & peace!

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