Let’s talk Diverticulitis

What is Diverticulitis

Let’s start at the beginning. Diverticulitis isn’t something sexy or fun to discuss, but unfortunately, thanks to our SAD (standard American diet) 30% of people ages 50-59 and 70-80% over age 60 will be told they have diverticulosis. I suspect that 30% to be much higher than reported.

So what is diverticulosis? Diverticulosis is a small pouch similar to a bulging wall that are present in the digestive tract and are usually discovered during a routine colonoscopy. There are no symptoms unless they become inflamed.

Diverticulitis is what occurs when one or more of these pouches becomes inflamed or infected. 5% of people with diverticulosis will get diverticulitis.

My own health battle with Diverticulitis

Back in March of 2015 I was watching a movie in bed when my left side and lower abdomen, right around my pelvis bone started to really hurt. Within 30 minutes I was throwing up from the pain, but since I had always struggled with what I thought were gall bladder issues, I chalked it up to just something I had eaten. After an hour I had turned pale and grayish colored and could not stop throwing up nor could I get off the toilet though nothing was coming out. It was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve had 5 children. My husband finally talked me into going to the ER. When I arrived they agreed at first, it must be my gall bladder, and I distinctly remember being made to feel guilty for eating something that must have been bad for it. I was given morphine and blood was drawn. When they came back with my blood count they knew there was a problem. I was told they would need to do exploratory surgery, that it was most likely an ulcer that had ruptured and that the scar would be very small down towards my pelvis. I was wisked off in a matter of minutes, extremely scared and extremely unaware of what was about to happen.

Unknown to me, they came out a few minutes later and had to get permission from my husband for what they were about to do. I had over a foot of my intestines removed due to diverticulitis rupture and they were going to need to do a colostomy. I woke up with a tube down my nose, 58 staples from just under my breast bone down to my pelvis, and a colostomy bag. I was just 45 years old.

I remember hearing my mom and husband saying, “She’s going to be devastated.” I had no idea what had happened to me. I was extremely sick and had almost died. When I was finally awake enough to realize it, she was right, I was completely devastated. How could this have happened? I was young, in shape, and had never even heard the word diverticulitis before. I was in the hospital for 10 days. The surgeon told me if all healed well, we could reverse the colostomy bag after 6 months.

It was the worst summer of my life. If you don’t know what a colostomy bag is, it is basically taking the place of your colon and rectum. If you have gas, you hear it loud and clear because it’s coming out of the bag on your stomach instead of down below. If you have to go number 2, it’s right there filling up a bag hooked to your stomach. Want to have sex, there it is, right there on your stomach. So I went into deep depression. I wanted no help, I wanted no one to see this thing, and I had a huge scar on my stomach that just added to the humiliation I was feeling. Looking back now, I think the humiliation came more from no one, and I mean no one, talking to me about what had happened. What had caused this diverticulitis and why had it ruptured and almost killed me.

We did the reversal of the bag in Sept. of that same year. Another 5 days in the hospital. Another incision where the bag was removed, and they had to open up the same scar and do another 60 staples this time. I had also had a lot of pain in my tail bone area and when they did the surgery they discovered one of the staples had adhered to my skin thus the tugging I kept feeling. They also decided during this surgery to go ahead and remove my gall bladder.

Again, I was never talked to about what had caused any of this. When I asked the surgeon if there was anything I needed to be careful of he said, “Some people say not to eat nuts and seeds.” That’s it? Don’t eat nuts and seeds?! Funny thing is, another attending physican said the opposite, “You really don’t need to worry about what you eat. Nuts and seeds are fine.” When I asked at my follow up visit another Dr. said it was highly unusual for someone my age to have this happen. He asked if I knew I had diverticulitis, because had I known it could have been treated with antibiotics and over the counter meds. No, I had no idea that I had diverticulitis. I had been telling my primary care physician for years that I had stomach pain all the time. No matter what I ate. It was all related to my gall bladder she had told me. I was never offered a colonoscopy or ultra sound.

Needless to say, I felt puzzled, I felt overwhelmed, and my life had changed drastically. I have been a gymnastics coach and owner for years and now I found myself unable to do my job. The two back to back incisions, one going laterally and one horizontally, had a done a number on my abdominal muscles and I could no lift the way that I once had. I was also still having stomach trouble.

Two years later, I had just finished lunch with my mother when I had terrible stomach pain. I turned white as a ghost, it felt exactly the same as before. After trying to calm it for 3 or 4 hours I was finally forced to go back to the ER. Because of my history, they immediately did a CT Scan with contrast and discovered I had a small bowel obstruction and would need immediate surgery. Turns out, adhesions from the first two surgeries had formed a knot around my small intestine. I was assured this was a “fluke” and was nothing to worry about as it would most likely never happen again. Another 5 days in the hospital, and you guessed it, the exact same incision with 50 some staples in the exact same part of my stomach. All the work on my abs over the past two years was thrown out the window.

Three years later I was having so much pain, but this time on my right side that my surgeon finally agreed to do an ultrasound with contrast. It turned out this time, I had an ovarian cyst that was 10cm in size. I was scheduled for surgery. To be on the safe side, the gynecologist performing the ovarian cyst surgery wanted to have my gastro surgeon there in case she ran into scar tissue. Sure enough, the adhesions from my previous surgeries had grabbed a hold of a layer of my stomach lining called the, Serosa, and pulled it over to one side. The cyst was taken care of, but the adhesion removal was quite painful. It was done laparoscopically this time, so instead of one big scar I now had 5 more little scars. My stomach at this point looks similar to something from Dr. Jekly and Mr. Hyde. And now, my biggest fear is adhesions, as they have caused the last two surgeries. I have been told there is nothing I can do about them, and you can’t see them under MRI or CT Scans, so it’s nothing we can even continue to check for.

It’s been a little over a year now, and so far so good, but I am in constant awareness of anything with my insides, I don’t think it’s a worry that will ever go away. I know my story was an Acute case and a situation that doesn’t happen too often, but it can happen, especially if we don’t know the reasoning. The reason I’ve gone into such depth with my story is because it’s what has driven me into Functional Nutrition. You see, I was never given any direction. Never told what possibly caused this. Never told that I should change my eating habits or lifestyle. Instead I felt that this was something just wrong with me, something I had done or created that caused it. I was literally disfigured and it was all preventable…..

Through my studies in Functional Nutrition I discovered the role that our diets play in diverticulitis, and in fact, in every aspect of our bodies and brains. I never knew that eating a diet high in sugar, processed foods, soda, etc. was destroying my gut and at the same time making me feel depressed and fatigued. I didn’t know that by not eating enough fiber I was wreaking havoc on my intestines and colon. I didn’t know that taking Advil and ibuprofen was just adding to the inflammation in my body. And sadly even after all the surgeries, no one discussed any of these things with me.

I recently drove my 70 year old mother to her colonoscopy where she was told she had a little diverticulitis but that it was nothing for her to worry about, “everyone at her age has it.” I asked, because now I know better, “Is there any special diet she should follow or things she should change?” And of course the answer from her surgeon was, “Nope. Totally normal, nothing to worry about.” The same thing happened this year with my own husband, who is 60. “Colon looks great. He does have a small area of diverticulosis.” I asked, again, because now I know, “Anything we can do to prevent it from getting worse?” And again, the same answer, “Nope, totally normal, nothing to worry about.”

Here’s the thing…..It’s not normal, and it is something to think about. I say think, instead of worry because it turns out that stress does in fact have a lot to do with our gut, which I’ll also call our microbiome. You see, by making just a few small changes to our diet and lifestyle we could save ourselves from devastating health consequences. But, as I’ve discovered first hand, you’ll need to be looking outside of conventional medicine for help.

This is why I decided to become a Functional Nutrition Coach. It’s so important to me that people understand they don’t have to get sick. You don’t have to wait until you have a disease to then try and find a drug to help you. You don’t have to be a statistic due to our SAD diet. It can all be prevented by some life style changes and by what you put at the end of your fork.

My program is called, “The Powerful Fork,” and if you’d like help learning how to become more healthy, happy, and have not just a longer lifespan but a greater health span, I’d love to help you. Just click the link below and I’ll be in touch 🙂

https://view.flodesk.com/pages/61658fbf9a36b29c176a3a45

Sincerely, Amy, FNC

Cause we’re not there yet, but perhaps, together, we’ll get there Soon Enuff.

You Choose

Your Choices

Did you know you can halt the disease process by learning to control your thoughts, or should I say by not allowing your thoughts to control you.

When you allow your thoughts to linger in the past, your brain doesn’t recognize that it’s the past, it thinks it’s right now and affects every part of your body. It sends messages through the vagus nerve to your gut and that gets your stomach all upset and in knots, causing all sorts of gut trouble, including inflammation. An inflamed gut wreaks havoc. You know that feel good hormone, Seratonin, well, guess what, that comes from your gut, and an inflamed gut blocks the production of serotonin.

The by product of your choices

Now that your thoughts have gotten you all upset the ball is in motion. Now your thoughts are sending messages to your brain that it is stressed and your body starts producing cortisol because it wants to rescue you from this stress. And remember your gut is lowering the production of serotonin already. This release of cortisol causes you to crave sugary, salty foods, which, if you give in, cause you to feel even worse. This can be a vicious cycle, especially if your thoughts are in control of you day in and day out. It can really impact your health regardless of how well you may be trying to eat.

“Only you choose, every day, every hour, how your life will play out. You have more control over developing disease than the genes you were born with. Choose well.” Dr. Mary Hyman

So what to do…..

What I practice doing when thoughts of a past trauma start to creep in is sit with the thoughts from the place of a third party. Reminding myself that I am no longer experiencing the trauma, the trauma has passed. I don’t necessarily try to ignore it, instead I try to love myself through it. Deep breathing has drastically helped me. I find that I can free my mind of most thoughts by concentrating on my breath. Inhaling through my nose to a count of 4, holding that breath for a count of 2, then sighing it deeply out of my mouth to a count of 6. I only practice this for a few moments, then I get up and move. I have found that moving, whether that is doing yoga, going for a walk, a run, a bike ride, or simply walking around in my yard just looking at nature brings me back to the present moment.

Stay Present

I’d be misleading you if I didn’t also tell you that you need to practice staying present. Any time I feel my thoughts starting to take over, you know, that rambling voice in my head gets on a roll, I bring myself back to a state of aware presence. Reminding myself that I am here in this space, wherever it is, right now. Reminding myself that I am the observer of my thoughts, my thoughts are not who I am. Usually bringing some silence, even if it’s noisy around me, helps me focus on the present moment.

Cause you know what, we may not be there yet, but perhaps together, we’ll get there Soon Enuff.

The Powerful Fork

Amy Lopez, FNC

Thinking Backwards

“It’s something that I thought I’d never say, but today,

I think I’m going to think backwards.” –Amy Lopez–

A backwards day

When I wake up in the morning I always enjoy a few minutes of silence while looking out the window, or if the weather is nice, I sit outside, getting some much needed morning light on my face. I am very present and try not to let my thoughts about all the things I need to get done today take over my mind. But recently I thought I’d experiment with something new.

Instead of thinking about what I needed to get done first, I thought about how I want to feel when I climb back into my comfy bed tonight at the end of the day. I want to feel satisfied and happy with all the choices I make today. I want to feel at peace and worry free. And then I went backwards.

Backwise Planning

I’ll give you an example of what I like to call “backwise planning.” Around 10:00pm I slip into my comfy pj’s and do a little night time yoga. A nice stretch for my hips and back. At 9:00pm I turn my phone to “Do Not Disturb” and stay off social media and email. At 8:30 I cozy up on the couch and watch a program on tv. At 8:00 I start to dim the lights around the house. At 7:30 as soon as I get home from work, I wash my face and have a nice cup of decaffeinated bedtime chai. Between 3-7pm while I’m at work I have so much fun with the kids at the gym. I react to the parents coming into my facility with gratitude and am present with each person speaking to me. Between 10am and 2pm I enjoy my day. A nice workout to get my cardio up then yoga to calm down and relax. I eat good and choose only the foods that I know are going to be healthy for me. All my interactions are conscious ones. I don’t open my mouth without thinking first. Between 8am-10am I enjoy my morning coffee/tea and reading/writing. I do a short meditation and some breathwork. I sit outside for at least 10 minutes, weather permitting, if not I look out the window at the beautiful morning I’ve been given.

You see, if you have a goal in mind, it makes it much easier to stay in that mindset all day. Basically, you are present in each moment. When things start to get stressful with your kids or at your job, think about your goal of feeling at peace and then make your reactions conscious ones. That’s ultimately the only way to go to bed at night happy and satisfied with the choices you made, with the reactions you had to outside circumstances. It’s the only way to peace.

I recently read a book and highly recommend it, “Active Hope,” by Joanna Macey & Chris Johnstone. In one section Joanna talks about thinking about what your preferred future looks like in say, 30 years. Then starting there in the future and working backwards to help you see how to get there. And it made me wonder why this same concept wouldn’t work daily, and well, it does work! I hope this idea helps you too!

If you’d like more ideas on how to live a more present life, check out my course “10 Days to a More Present You.” It’s available by clicking the tab Course Library.

Cause I’m not there yet, but perhaps together, we’ll get there Soon Enuff…

Amy

If you’re interested, here is the link to the book, Active Hope. https://www.activehope.info/

Taming the Smug Bug

 Smug High

I was recently confronted with an issue that made me feel so much emotion, from sadness to extreme anger. And it got me wondering why this thing was bothering me so much.  Why was I constantly thinking about it, discussing it with others, over thinking at night, etc.  I know from my studies that typically when something that someone else does is really bothering you it’s because you most likely have some underlying issue that may or may not have to do with the issue at hand. So I dug a little deeper…

I think society, myself included has been on a Smug High. Most of the time, I don’t believe it’s intentional.  I think often we get so excited about something and maybe even experience such great joy from it or even physical or mental transformation that we just want to share it with everyone.  However, when that excitement turns into a feeling of, “I’m better or my way is better or healthier or more spiritual,” it becomes a problem.  That is when we become smug.

Types of Smug

There are so many different types of smugness: Spiritual Smugness, Political Smugness, Dietary Smugness, Aesthetic Smugness, and I’m sure many more that I’m not even thinking about.

The most recent incident that brought this whole idea to me was the tragedy of Kolby Bryant and the horrible helicopter accident that claimed the lives of so many families.  Being a huge basketball fan I’ve followed Kolby as millions of others have throughout his whole career.  He was never my favorite, after all, I loved Michael Jordan, and I mean loved him, and Kolby stating he would be greater than him immediately made me have a love hate relationship for him.  However, he was fun to watch, on the court and off.  Did he have trouble, of course he did.  I think most famous extremely wealthy athletes do. Matter of fact, most all humans do, and I am certainly no exception.

Moments after making a post on Facebook of Kolby and one of my favorite quotes of his, a friend also posted something about his death.  However, his post was very offensive to me, and struck a chord that made me both angry and sad.  His post to me was “Politically Smug.” He stated that he wished the general public cared about our democracy being destroyed, our planet being destroyed, etc. as much as they did about an over paid entertainer dying. That statement was a bit one sided and offensive, however, that’s not what really bothered me.  Further down as people started to comment it got uglier and uglier.  At first I felt bad for my friend.  I knew what he was trying to say, and it wasn’t that I didn’t agree with him, but he had used perhaps the wrong wording. However,  further comments went on to slam Kobe, mentioning a case that was never brought to court, mentioning he was never a team player, etc. I now know longer felt bad for my friend. He got entangled in the comments of others, and not only agreed to them but made some even uglier statements himself, and the uglier it got, I realized I wanted no part of it and unfriended this person.

I was actually outraged that anyone on this planet would be attacking the character of someone that just died tragically along with his daughter and other families.  But the more I talked about it and the angrier I became, I started to wonder why this was bothering me so much.  Although I was friends with this person online, I didn’t know him personally, so why would I even care?  And as I dug deeper I found that I too had recently been “Politically Smug.”

I had become so outraged over the Impeachment Trials, and the whole process, I was so upset about our country, that we had a President that was embarrassing, a womanizer, a big bully, that I had even stated, “I literally cannot be friends with anyone that supports Trump.” Now while I myself truly believe that this man cannot stay in power, and I truly believe he’s a terrible person, I also understand that this is my belief.  I can obviously still be friends with others that don’t share my beliefs.  I’m not sure I would ever be comfortable discussing it with someone that I knew supported Trump, because I do not support him, but I shouldn’t allow myself to be so Politically Smug that I think my opinion is the only one that matters.

Once you find yourself becoming offensive/defensive or pushing your beliefs onto others, or bashing one thing to make your point about another thing, you’ve got the bug.

Smug Bug

I think it’s so easy to get excited about something, for instance, I recently switched from vegetarian to vegan.  I’ve seen such health benefits for myself and my family: cholesterol and blood glucose lowered, more energy, weight loss, etc. that of course I want to shout it from the rooftops.  And I think that is great, and it’s an awesome thing to share our life experiences with others, but once it becomes, “Vegan is the only way,” then you’ve run into the Smug Bug.

There are so many examples of becoming smug that the list could go on and on but I think we’ve got the general idea.

Avoiding the Smug Bug

So how do we avoid it? How do we make sure we don’t become Smug? It’s a very difficult thing.  As humans we all have an ego, and I battle with mine daily. I think the more we “get into” whatever it is we’re into: politics, eating healthy, spirituality, the more we think our belief is right and the harder it is to let anyone else have their own opinion. What we don’t realize is that we are never finished.  We are never finished learning, there’s always something new, we’ve never “Arrived,” and if we can remember that, it is easier to squash our own ego just a bit and let others have the opportunity to have their own beliefs and opinions without taking offense to them and without having to become defensive about our own.

Peace & love to you all today,

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

Amy

I am a published author of the book, Soon Enuff. It’s available worldwide on Amazon.

I am a Certified Life Coach with specialities in Mental Abuse and Happiness Life.

You may reach me via email amereelynne45@gmail.com

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Struggles of an Empath

An Empaths struggle is real

On one shoulder sits the empath and on the other the bitch and I’m torn between walking away and trying harder.

As an empath it’s really a struggle to know when I’ve done enough. I give too many chances, love to hard, show too much kindness. Sometimes it literally feels like it’s draining my soul.

Apathy or Empathy

So when is enough enough? When is it time to be a little more apathetic and a little less empathetic? You know I use the term bitch as the opposite of empath but it’s not being a bitch to remove yourself from someone or a situation that is draining you.

empath

Sometimes it’s necessary to your mental health, to your own well being to just get the fuck away from someone that is draining you spiritually and mentally. There’s no reason to feel guilty about it.

There’s no doubt you’ve given it all you could. You’ve probably loved too hard, shown too much kindness, and given everything you have to give, and you know what, for some that will never be Enuff.  That’s when you know, come on, you’ve probably always known, it’s time to exit their lives and to keep a strong distance. Do it for yourself, cause you should love yourself as much as you keep loving everyone else.

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

Peace & love,

Amy

 

I am a published author of the book, Soon Enuff. Available on Amazon.

I’m also a Certified Life Coach with specialties in surviving Psychological Abuse and Happiness Therapy.

You may email me at amereelynne45@gmail.com

I’d appreciate your follow, like and subscribing to my blog for updates and alerts on new posts.

 

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…..