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

 

 

 

 

Are you your own worst enemy….

Have you ever really thought about how you speak to yourself?

Are you praising yourself, giving yourself a pat on the back, loving yourself, looking in the mirror and being proud of who you see?

Or, like most of us, are you condemning yourself. Telling yourself that you’re not good enough, pretty enough, young enough, talented enough. Are you looking in the mirror and pointing out to yourself all your flaws and how you wish you looked better?

We don’t realize it, but we hurt ourselves far more than anyone else can ever hurt us. We don’t realize that what we say to ourselves, what we think about ourselves, that’s the most that anyone else can ever think about us.  Though it’s true another person may be saying to you, “You look beautiful today…” In your heart, if you don’t believe it, because you have said too many times to yourself, “I’m disgusting, I wish I were more pretty,” than you won’t even hear when a person gives you a compliment, you’ve already condemned yourself.

The energy that comes from within you is what others receive from you.  If you are negative towards yourself, people sense that, and it makes them negative about you.  Conversely, if you have positive energy, and you really love yourself, others will love you and want to be around you because your energy is so positive and people, especially in these times, crave positive energy.

I have come to realize one thing about myself….I need to sincerely work on this.  I am a very positive and uplifting person…but only for other people.  I have started really listening to what I say to myself, and it’s not pleasant.  I’m never happy enough with how I look.  My writing is never quite good enough, my house never clean enough, and on and on….I think I’ve become very good at putting out a “false positive energy.” I can seem like a very nice positive person, but on the inside I’m not feeling it.

So if you are struggling like me, let’s start today to really listen to ourselves.  And when you catch yourself saying something negative to yourself, stop for a moment, change your attitude and you will eventually change your behavior.  I don’t think this will be any small feet.  I think we’ve trained our brains from childhood to think the way we do, maybe we were raised with over bearing parents, maybe a love in our life, hurt us so deeply that we began to self-doubt ourselves.  But whatever it is that started this awful trend in ourselves, I know one thing for sure, we can break the cycle.

So: Do you ever realize the way you speak to yourself?  Maybe you ought to listen….

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….

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…

 

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…..

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