Adaptability

The Importance of Adaptability

Adaptability can best be described as remaining open to change, able to accept the unknown, freedom from learned responses.

Did you know meeting change with resilience instead of bitterness can actually extend your life?  The world is harsh, however, if you can learn to bend a little instead of being stiff and breaking, if you can learn to enjoy and be happy with whatever comes, it changes your whole biology.  Because you see our psychology actually dictates our biology.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do I respond creatively to change?

Am I free from anxiety?

Do I continually create?

Do I continue to learn new things?

Responding creatively to change is when something out of the ordinary comes up, you can look at it and think of positive ways to make it work out.  You don’t freak out and panic, but you embrace it with the attitude of, “Great, something new, how can we make this work to our advantage.”

Free from anxiety.  Anxiety is a psychological response that causes your biology to change.  When you send your body into panic mode all kinds of things start happening.  Your heart rate increases, your blood pressure goes up, causing stress on the heart often leading to coronary events if not treated.  Anxiety can suppress your immune system, cause all kinds of digestive disorders, it can also lead to depression and dementia. All things which make us age.

Continuing to create.  What is it you love?  Are you a writer, if so continue to write.  Artist, fishing, hiking, climbing, you get it.  Stop listening to the learned responses such as, “I’m getting older, I probably shouldn’t hike that far,” or “Climbing is too dangerous for a person my age,” or “No one wants to read something an older person is writing,” or “I can’t bounce back like I used to,” and instead you just keep living, guess what, you keep living.

Have you ever seen 80 year olds still out hiking?  I have! A couple summers ago we were hiking a 2,000 foot incline in only 2 miles at Crater Lake.  It was very difficult for me despite the fact I’d been hiking for several years.  Much to my surprise a very elderly couple blew past me.  When I got to the top they smiled and we started a conversation.  I asked how old they were, the wife was 79 and the husband 83!  Do you think they listened to the voices saying, “You probably should stop doing that you’re too old?”  Absolutely not!  They had been avid explorers their whole lives and just never thought to slow down, and guess what, their bodies never gave them a reason to, because their psychology controlled their biology.

Continuing to learn new things can be easy as reading new books, taking a different route, playing games, traveling to new places, learning about the weather where your kids live.  The idea here is you never stop using your brain.  You don’t sit sedentary in front of your TV mindlessly watching the same things day in and day out.  By learning new things you allow the brain to compensate for natural tissue loss.  Learning new things stimulates the neurons in the brain which form new neuron pathways and allows electrical impulses to travel faster.

Can you learn to Adapt

“Perhaps you need to learn to let go of the notion

that things could have been different..

they weren’t.”

–Amy Lopez–

I, like many others have suffered with anxiety.  I used to really panic when my plan didn’t work out.  When faced with the prospect of a new change, I would typically revert back to the comfort of just staying complacent.  Change is scary, especially when it’s not expected.  The loss of a job, a spouse leaving, a loved one dying, a flood, a hurricane, tornado, etc.  These things all happen.  But how can we learn to adapt instead of stress?

A little stress is obviously natural in any of the above circumstances.  It’s when the stress doesn’t go away that we’re in trouble.

Things I’ve found that have relieved my anxiety and allowed me to live a happier healthier life are:  meditation, exercise, a healthy diet, sleep, and therapy.

When you take a little time to sit quietly with yourself you can go over things that are happening and how you’ll handle them, before they happen.  You know you’re about to face an ugly day at the lawyers office, or you have to clean up after a natural disaster, etc.  When you breath deeply especially sighing out the negativity you’ll find it’s much easier to face.  You know you have to face it, why not face it the best way possible.  Go in with a smile, let’s get this done, how can we make something positive out of it.

Daily exercise has been proven to relieve stress, it relieves tension, improves sleep and elevates your mood and self esteem.  Combine this with eating a healthy diet, stay away from unnatural foods, and you’ll improve not only your physical body but your mental one as well.

I’m one of those people that struggles to get 8-9 hours of sleep.  However, I wake up feeling refreshed and energetic with around 7.  I do rest during the day, usually napping for about 20-30 minutes.  I have found that when I eat lighter at night, usually I don’t eat past 4:00 unless it’s a handful of nuts or a little fruit, I sleep much better.  If you struggle with sleep, try black out curtains, ear plugs, or an app that plays sleepy time noise such as the ocean waves or water trickling.  Getting adequate sleep re-charges your brain, improving your focus, concentration and mood.  Getting adequate sleep alone can reduce stress and anxiety.  If you still struggle, seek help from a therapist.

I’m a Certified Life Coach and as a Life Coach I can tell you that talking to someone about your stress and anxiety can literally save your life.  I have a great Coach that has helped me figure out ways to change my life to make it less stressful, and also just laughed with me through some very tough situations.  If you need someone to talk to seek out a therapist or life coach or even just a sister, brother, friend that will understand and hold your confidence.

You know aging is a natural process, but it literally takes the organs around 103 years to start breaking down naturally.  That means that everything else isn’t natural.  Try to remember that the oldest and healthiest living people say these three words a lot: Happy, Satisfied and Enjoyable.  Because our psychology dictates our biology.

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

You can find me on FB @lilbitsofme22  IG @lilbitsofme22 Twitter @amylo_5

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Reinvent Yourself

What does reinvent mean

Whether you’re in your late 20’s or 70’s, it’s never too late to be what you really want to be, to do what you’ve always wanted to do.  To reinvent yourself is to really get in touch with what you’re longing for; A new profession, to become a parent, to buy a house, to move to a different country, to quit your current job to teach yoga, to be a traveling you tube hiker. Whatever your dreams are, if you want to reinvent yourself, Monday is the perfect day to start.

Steps to reinvention

First of all let’s clear out all the emotional clutter.  Anytime someone wants to make a change you should expect to be met with conflict, either from yourself or from outside sources.  You need to sit quietly with yourself, usually over a nice hot cup of coffee or tea and clear out your mind.  Focus on the good, the good you’re already accomplishing and the even better things the new, reinvented you can do.  When your mind starts to play games with you or outside sources start to make you feel doubt, meet it head on.  Remind yourself who you are, how strong you are, remind yourself of what you really want.  It’s okay to have doubts, but don’t let them stop you, you’ll need to be strong mentally to get through reinvention.

Secondly, start changing up your routine.  Whatever it is you’re wanting to reinvent yourself into, better eating, more working out, more writing, waking up earlier to look through the houses for sale, property in another country, etc.  Researching is going to be your number one go to.  Don’t just assume that you know it all.  If you want to move to another country because you think it’s peaceful and beautiful, do your research and then research some more.  Talk to people that have lived there, make plans to go and visit, possibly for a little longer then a regular vacation.  If you’re wanting to be in better shape and think you know the perfect diet or workout plan because it worked for so and so, do your research, know you’re body type, know what foods do and don’t agree with you.  Look into many different options, as there is no “one thing fits all.”

Thirdly, set some goals. I’m talking about learning or process goals, not performance, outcome goals.  For instance : In two weeks I’m going to learn about the seasons in Costa Rica.  In one month I’m going to learn about the process my body needs to go through to lose ten pounds.  In one week I’m going to really see if I can live on half my income, if I can lessen my grocery bill by 50% and in one month I’m going to look over the process of reducing my debt to see if it’s a possibility to quit my current high paying job for the new job, which is more outdoors, less time in the office, but half the pay job.

Last, and I think this may be the most important one, start imagining yourself as your new reinvented self.  What things you’ll experience, how you’ll look, how you’ll feel.  Start to visualize yourself with that new baby, new house, new job, quitting your job, no job, new body image from the working out and eating well.  I think you’ll find, this alone, will keep you motivated towards your end game.

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

Amy

Find me on Facebook @lilbitsofme22 or Instagram @lilbitsofme22 or Pinterest @lilbitsofme22 or @coffee_poetry_lilbitofme

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Life Changes

How to make a change

Wondering how to begin changing your life for the better? Less stress, less worry, more peace in your heart and soul.  It all starts with your morning….

Be mindful of how you spend your mornings. 

What you read or write, who you spend it with, 

this all produces energy, and only you

choose what type of energy you send out…

–Amy Lopez–

 

The necessary changes

How I spend my mornings, my space, whether inside or out, is of course going to be different then yours.  The point is though, when you wake up in the morning, it’s the most important time of the day to frame your mind with positive and energetic thoughts.

I like to wake up early because I really treasure spending my mornings alone.  I either make my coffee and sit outside on my porch or I sit inside in my comfy recliner.  I usually sit in thought (meditation) for a few moments, just clearing my mind, thinking of nothing at all.  When thoughts creep in of my busy day ahead, I try to push them away telling myself, “Plenty of time for that later.”  Then I usually do some writing, well, a lot of writing.  Then I put my pen down and pick up a book.

What I read in the morning is different then what I read later in the day.  My morning books are usually “self help” or books on Yoga.  Currently I’m reading, “Ageless Body Timeless Mind,” by Deepok Chopra and “Light on Yoga,” by B.K.S. Iyengar.  I believe what I fill my mind with early in the morning should be positivity.  Things to help de-stress and de-clutter.  Things that help me deal with anxiety, etc.

When I say I get up early, I mean early….I’m usually up a little before the sunrise.  I know this isn’t ideal for everyone, and of course I’m not promoting not getting enough sleep because I know how very important that is.  But for me personally, I need about two hours of morning alone time. I find that when I don’t get that, I tend to get more anxious and stressed, even when it isn’t really warranted, it’s just me.

Does the morning routine really make a change

I’ve had this morning routine for about two years and I can’t tell you the impact it’s had on my life.

Before, when I got up, rushed to make my coffee, immediately started my workout or started working, I was very “wound up.” By that I mean, tense, stressed and anxious.  I have suffered with anxiety attacks for about ten years, and I’ve found that rushing my morning only adds to the anxiety.

Since I’ve started being very mindful, and I suppose some would say, “selfish” morning routine I’ve been a much calmer person.  I don’t have near as many anxiety attacks because in my morning routine I practice breathing exercises to help me deal with stress, so that when it starts coming on, I’m prepared to deal with it instead of panicking.

I’m a much happier and easy going person.  I find that spending time alone in the morning has helped me realize what’s most important in life, the things I need to concentrate on and the things I need to let go of.  The things I can change and control, and the things I have no control of.  It’s helped me be more aware of how I speak to others, because I’ve learned to sit with myself in silence and speak kindly to myself.

If you don’t spend any quiet and alone time, how can you ever answer so many of life’s toughest questions?  If you’re in a constant rush to do something or be somewhere, is it any wonder that your health is declining? That your aging beyond your years?

Take it slower, even if you only have a few minutes.  Wake up a little earlier, even if it’s only fifteen minutes.  Stop rushing your morning.  See how you feel and let me know how it’s going in comment 🙂

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

My book, “Soon Enuff” is now available worldwide on Amazon or the link on my IG @lilbitsofme22 or on FB @lilbitsofme22

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

 

 

 

 

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