Epigenetics

Huh? Epigenetics, what’s that even mean!

That was my exact thought when I first heard the word epigenetic in my Functional Nutrition courses. I was literally mind blown to learn that Epigenetics is the study of how our behaviors, environment and life choices can alter the way our genes work. Maybe read that line again! Yes you can alter your genes with your thoughts and with what you choose to put at the end of your fork! While epigenetics are reversible and can’t change your DNA sequence, they can change how your body reads the DNA sequence. A little scientific I know, but I’ll try to put it in terms that helped me understand it better.

Our genes only have 5% to do with determing our risk of developing a particular disease. That means 95% has to do with our behaviors, environments and lifestyle choices. That doesn’t mean that if you do develop a disease it’s 95% your fault. A lot of people cannot control their environment. It does mean that we can greatly influence our genes with what we choose to put in our mouths and our outlook on life. So when I hear people say things like, “My whole family is obese so I am obese,” doesn’t fly. Or my mother and grandfather died of heart disease so I probably will too. Here’s the thing….if you know you have these traits in your family, whether that be heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimers, ADHD, MS, Parkinson’s, the list goes on and on, then you actually have the upper hand. You know you can alter your genes with the your life choices. Epigenetics can turn a gene on or off. If you have heart disease in your family, you can choose to exercise, eat well, live as stress free as possible and keep your waist line down. By choosing this way of life, you can alter that gene in a positive way. If you choose to ignore the fact that your family has a history of diabetes, and you eat a highly processed diet, a lot of sugar and carbohydrates, live a stressful life, then your epigenetic will be influenced in a negative way and you may very likely turn that gene on.

Epigenetics and Pregnancy

One of the most awesome things a mom to be can do for her unborn child is change their behavior before they become pregnant. You see a mother’s food choices, such as eating a healthy diet, avoiding too much sugar, and living as stress free as possible can actually change the unborn Childs epigenetics. Your baby doesn’t have a choice is in this, it’s up to you to impact it’s genes in a positive or negative way. These changes to your babies epigenetic can impact the child for decades and may make your child more likely to get certain diseases.

Epigenetics and Aging

I have been literally so excited to learn that aging doesn’t have to be a terrible thing. We’ve been conditioned to believe that menopause for women and aging in general for men and women is awful. We’ve been told menopause is terrible and all the symptoms that go with it are just the way it is. Men have been conditioned to believe that as they age they’ll lose some of their libido, their bellies will just naturally get bigger, and our mental prowess will begin to decline. But it’s totally not true! We can absolutely impact aging with our behaviors, life choices, and amount of stress we allow in our lives. I’ve personally experienced how changing my diet and lifestyle habits has impacted my moods. How choosing the right foods and supplements has changed peri-menopause symptoms. Of course, it’s not all fun, and I’ve had a few symptoms that were challenging, but it’s definitely not the normal symptoms that I’ve been conditioned to believe were going to happen!

Ultimately, it’s up to you. You play the most crucial part in how your life plays out. I’d love to help you with getting on the right track! If you’re interested in working one on one with me to learn the best choices for your particular health and mental needs, let me know by setting up an appointment below. Health isn’t black and white and neither should your healthcare be. Everyone has different needs and conventional medicine doesn’t address those, but I will!

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

Sincerely,

Amy Lopez, FNC

To set up an appointment with me click the link below:

https://calendly.com/grounded-inthe-present/the-powerful-fork-client-intake?month=2021-10

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

I AM

“I am the way, the truth, the life.” Know who said that? Correct, his name was Jesus. He also said, “All things I do and greater things you will also do.” You see, Jesus is the personification of pure consciousness. I Am, is the way, the truth, the life.

I AM more than the person

If you only know yourself as the person: the mother, the wife, the daughter, the school teacher, the nurse, the doctor, the girlfriend, the sister, etc. then you are disillusioned. What happens when you are no longer the mother? Your child passes, or they simply grow up and don’t need you in the same way? What happens if your spouse passes or leaves you? What happens when your parents pass away and you are no longer the daughter? What happens when you lose your job and are no longer the Dr., teacher, nurse? What should happen is a grieving period but you are never lost. Because who you are, your true essence isn’t tied to any of those things. You are still you, you are still present. Your true essence is The I AM. All these other titles emerge from that. You are pure consciousness. Only when you know your essence identity can you fulfill your true purpose.

The caterpillar doesn’t become a butterfly, it already is the butterfly. The butterfly emerges from the caterpillar.

A deeper sense of purpose

We can all align ourselves with the deeper purpose of the universe. It’s not a religion, it’s a realization. When you learn to stay present in each moment, it’s the most freeing feeling. I like to think of my, I Am, as a beautiful mystical figure that sits in the center of my chest, my soul. This is where it watches all that is going on around me and in me. I see the thoughts and I let them go. I watch conflicts arise and can choose my reactions from a place of consciousness instead of reacting unconsciously. I watch the wife emerge from me as I take care of my husband and home. I smile as the mother emerges and sends my grown children funny or inspirational messages. I delight as the coach emerges from me and teaches others around me. But I don’t attach myself to these things. I know at some point they will all be gone. And I know that what will remain is me, I am.

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

Sincerely,

Amy

If you’d like to read more inspirational quotes that help inspire you to live a more present life, my book, “Present Ground” is on sale this month. You can find it by clicking on the above tab or worldwide on Amazon!

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/

A Pause in Normality….

A New Normal

As I reflected on all that’s been going on I started to realize that Covid-19, as awful as it is, has also brought some much needed light to a lot of things that were already happening. We’ve just been too busy or blind, or whatever you want to call it to see it before now.

I do not want, in any way, to minimize how awful this virus is, but I do want to bring a positive light to this pandemic, as this truly is an opportunity to change the way we move forward from here. What will it look like as states start to “re-open?” Will we continue down the road we’ve been on, or will we look at what’s not working and do our best to make a change?

Today as I was scrolling through social media I came upon a post that said something to this effect: “If I see one more person talking about how they’re growing a garden, or making their own baby food or making their own dog food or learning to cook or sew, etc. I’m going to delete them.”  It occurred to me that there is a battle of sorts between who wants to get back to their “normal lives” and those, like myself, who realize, that “normal” was not working, and we are seeking a “new normal.”

What is Normal

This virus has brought to light the control that the government has over us all.  They have mandated that we cannot leave our homes unless it is for “essential” things.  The thing is, who are they to decide what is essential?  I can tell you that going to fast food restaurants is not essential for me.  But you know what is….. yoga class for my mental and physical well being.  Being able to see my Physical Therapist, since I had surgery just 3 months ago.  Talking one on one with my therapist. All these things weren’t even of any value to My President.  This was a real eye opener for me.

Back in October of 2019 my grandfather passed away and I have been in deep contemplation over the process ever since.  Long before this virus we were already tossing our grandparents and parents into nursing homes or assisted living homes because we are too busy to take care of them or because we simply cannot stand the process of aging and want to hide it away as much as we can.  Now with Covid-19 it is shedding light on how dire the situation actually is.  We have locked the elderly away even further, allowing no visitors.  The caretakers are wearing masks and gloves and there is little to no interaction with the patients.  Mind you, like my grandmother, some are paying 5,000 a month to live like this.  I have asked myself at what point do I decide it’s “safe enough” to go and visit her or try to bring her home with me.  And I wonder what price we are putting on death? My grandmother is 88 years old and when I asked her about it, she said she would give anything for a visit from family.  Someone to just watch TV or read or play a game with her.  She would rather us bring Covid-19 to her, which would most likely kill her. Because as she stated, “The life I”m living is worse than death.”

Another thing Covid-19 has brought to light is this whole social distancing thing.  Are you kidding? We’ve already been social distancing.  How many times do you see families out in public, each on their cell phones? How many parents are having to work 60-80 hours a week and not spending any time with their own children? Social distancing isn’t new, but it is definitely something I don’t want to see increased as part of a “new normal.”

Covid-19 has brought more light on “sanitizing” as well.  For years scientists have been saying that in order to fight off viruses we need to be introduced to a certain amount of bacteria.  Yet for years we’ve been saturating our lives with sanitizers.  Kids no longer play outside without rubbing on hand sanitizer, let alone play with one another.  Our immune systems can only function by interacting with all life and if we never allow any bacteria to be introduced into our life we can’t fight viruses off.  My fear is that we’ll continue to build on this and the new normal will be wearing masks anytime we leave our homes, only furthering our inability to introduce good/bad bacteria to our bodies.

If you think that “normal” was working and that things have been improving for our planet I’d like you do to some research. The obesity rate in the U.S. has risen from 35.7 in 2010 to a whopping 42.4% in 2019.  Suicide has increased 35%  and is now the 10th leading cause of death….10th!!  1 in 6 Americans are now prescribed some type of anti-depressant medication.  Over 11 million children live in “food insecure” homes. 60,000 families with children are homeless on any given night in the U.S. This isn’t a normal we should be proud of, this is a normal we should be leaving behind.

I think it’s awesome some of the things that have been done to help the world right now.  Celebrities coming out with very cool challenges to raise money for Covid-19 relief, government getting a few grants and unemployment out there, (though it is far too little help in my opinion.) But the thing is the majority of these problems were here before Covid-19. Children going hungry, homelessness, our elderly, farming in America, the fast food industry, global crisis, etc. These things were there before, they just aren’t talked about.  We don’t see a daily briefing on all these things, therefore we tend to remain blind to them.  I hope that this pandemic has opened your eyes as it has mine, and that we can move forward and keep the efforts to help heal the earth and each other going and not just stop and become complacent once again after the “all clear alarm” has been sound.

A New Normal

It’s very difficult to wade through these muddy waters.  We don’t really know who or what to believe.  But I implore you, before we all just get “back to normal” let’s take this pause in normality to make new decisions.  We don’t have to remain stuck in old beliefs. This is a time we need to broaden our thinking, seek out answers, find a more sustainable life for ourselves, our families and our communities.

I would love to see your new ideas: Your gardens, your recipes for healthy eating, your exercise routines, your ideas for a better way of life. Your ideas on how to help your own families your own communities.  It’s impossible to save the whole world.  When you look at it on that big of a scope it’s too hard to even fathom.  However, if you start with yourself, your own home, your own kids, your own pets, your own health, your own community or neighborhood, that’s where we can all make a difference.  And once we each start to make a difference, that’s when we create a new and better world.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my grand children or great grand children to wonder what a hand shake meant or what a hug felt like.  I want us all to be healthy, healthy enough to fight off these diseases that are undoubtedly going to continue to come.  And that all starts at home. If the fast food industry is your kitchen, please, please, look at your own health, especially what you’re feeding your body and then help others learn what you are learning.  How else can we show compassion for each other?  How else can we help each other become better?

Peace & love

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

Amy

I am a Certified Master Life Coach with specialities in Happiness Therapy and Psychological Abuse Recovery.

I am a published author.  My poetry book, “Soon Enuff” can be found worldwide on Amazon.

Subscribe to my blog to receive updates via email @amereelynne45@gmail.com

**A Personal Normal Note

My family has taken this time to learn how to build three raised gardens.  We will be able to grow enough vegetables to sustain us through the summer and probably through most of the winter.  We are learning to cook healthy vegan meals, that make us feel so much better.  We are learning about what types of foods can heal us without prescription medication.  It’s important for us to look into the nursing home situation a lot more in depth.  It has become important for us to look into the kids that are going hungry in our area and see what we can do about it.  These are the types of things I want to move forward with as part of my new normal.  Not because it will make my life immediately better or that I’ll see a profound change, but because for us, this is what’s important. I am not trying to “toot my own horn,” I’m sharing with you because I want you to share with me.

 

Mindful Living

Becoming Mindful of your thoughts

Seems the more we can’t control something, the more we realize it’s really out of our hands, the more we think about it.

Tips for a mindful practice

I find that it helps during these times if I sit quietly and just ask myself what is really true.  Sometimes it helps if I picture myself as a third person, looking in from the outside at the situation. And most of the time, well, really, all the time, the thoughts that are running through my head simply aren’t accurate or true.

Try to stay present, be mindful of what you’re thinking. Cause the truth is, if it’s out of your hands, then it shouldn’t be weighing so heavily on your mind. Let it go, come on, you can do it….

Peace & Love,

Amy

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

I am a published author of, “Soon Enuff,” available and on sale this week worldwide on Amazon.

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

You may reach me via email @ amereelynne45@gmail.com

Please like and subscribe to my blog to receive updates, thanks guys!! 🙂

 

Be All In

How to be all in

Let me start with my own story….so I’ve been working quite awhile on getting out of my own head.  Trying to stop living in my thoughts, in my stories, and just trying to stay present and deal with the truth in every moment.

I’ve been healing from a recent surgery and pretty frustrated frankly with my surgeon and not getting the answers that I’ve been looking for.  So I made an appointment with my general Dr. hoping to get some clarity.  I’ve known I’ve gained some weight after the operation, which has been upsetting because I eat a pretty healthy vegetarian diet but haven’t been able to exercise like for six weeks, however, I hadn’t actually weighed myself.  Upon getting to the Dr. office I stepped on the scale to discover I’ve gained 22 pounds in six weeks since surgery. The Dr. discussed the possibility of what inflammation was doing to my body, some possible kidney issues, etc. but honestly I didn’t hear much of what she was saying.  You see, I immediately went into my head and started hearing the voices from years and years past talking about beautiful bodies, slim figures, etc.  I heard voices and felt past pain from arguments about my weight, hurtful comments about not being in good enough shape or sexually attractive.  All of it, and when I say all of it, I’m talking 20-30 years of stories all dealing with weight issues came rushing in and I immediately took it to heart.  My unhappiness was heavy on my chest.

Are you in

I tried desperately to bring my attention back to my Dr. and to discuss possible reasons for what I was going through, both physically and mentally.  As I left her office and walked down to the lab I started crying.  And as I sat in the chair, I started asking myself, what was going on, what was I feeling.  My stomach was hurting, my heart was aching, and then I thought, “Ok, so what’s really going on, outside the story, what’s really the truth here?” And you know, as soon, as I got my mind quiet and left the story spinning, I realized the truth was I had come to get some answers. My health has been on a roller coaster.  There’s nothing I’m doing that’s causing this weight gain. No one has said anything hateful to me or been unpleasant at all.  I’m actually proud of myself for the way I’ve dealt with this blow to my health.  I just need answers, I need to be my own advocate, I need to deal with what’s happening right now.

Is it easy to be in the moment

No, it wasn’t easy and it didn’t come naturally.  In fact, the remainder of the day I had to repeatedly bring myself back.  “Stop, stop, stop with the stories.” I literally had to tell myself this over and over throughout the day.  But every time I did, I felt relief.  I was still not happy with my situation, but I was living it, I was doing something about it. There was no need to make myself unhappy by adding in all the past stories around weight.  I didn’t need that, I needed to deal with the present.

You see unhappiness isn’t caused by emotions. Unhappiness is emotions plus an unhappy story.  So when you remove the unhappy story you are left with just the emotions and the emotions are ok, you can handle them.  If you need to cry, cry.  If you need to shout, shout.  But hold your head high, walk through that hell like the devil himself invited you.  Once you get to the other side, you’ll feel a relief like no other.

So I”m still in search of answers, I’m being my own advocate, and I’m doing it right now, in this moment, today.  I’m not telling myself stories, I’m living in truth.  I have found that I wasn’t as unhappy as I thought I was. You can’t really be unhappy without an unhappy story.

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

Peace & love

Amy

I am a published author and Master Life Coach with certifications in Happiness Therapy and Mental Abuse.  If you’d like to set an appointment with me, I’d love to talk.  Reach me @ amereelynne45@gmail.com

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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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Searching for Peace

Where has your peace gone

You know today the world is ever so busy.  Rushing around all day, sitting in traffic, checking emails, checking social media, dealing with kids, employees, spouses, lovers, friends, it can all be overwhelming at times.

Is it any wonder we don’t feel much peace in our lives?  Psychology Today calls it Hurry Sickness. By definition, hurry sickness is “a behavior pattern characterized by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency.”

Saying no to giving your peace away

So how do we cure “Hurry Sickness?” You can start by prioritizing things in your life.  What is really important for me to do today.  Don’t forget to add some “Me Time” to your list.  Start working on time management.  Maybe you need to wake up a few minutes early to enjoy a little quiet time with your coffee, a good book, writing in a journal, exercising. Leave for work a bit early to avoid traffic. Start saying no, stop giving so many pieces of yourself away.  Maybe you say no to baking cookies for the bake sale because it means you have to stay up an hour later and get an hour less sleep. That’s detrimental to your health, don’t do it.  Start letting others help you.  Ask your spouse, family, friends, lovers to help support you a little more.  If you don’t let others know what you need, they can’t read your mind, they’ll just keep taking the pieces of you that you’re giving.

Find your Peace once more

One thing I like to do on the weekends, or whatever day I have free during the week, is to get outside.  If I can get away on a short road trip to do some photography, or go on a hike, even better.  But even if it’s just to my own front porch, I will sit outside and just watch the birds, listen to them singing.  Notice the world around me and how beautiful it is.  Remind myself how lucky I am to be here in this moment of peace out in nature.  Take some deep breaths, do a little meditating, talk positive about myself to myself.  You see positivity in any situation can make things more peaceful.  So next time you catch yourself taking on more then you should or you start to feel overwhelmed and stressed, stop, just stop for a few seconds.  Re-evaluate what you’re doing in the moment and then make some decisions.  If you don’t start finding ways to be at peace, the “Hurry Sickness” can literally kill you.  Take back your life, stop giving so many pieces of yourself away, and find your peace once more.

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

Peace & Love,

Amy

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

I am a Certifed Life Coach with specialities in surviving Psychological Abuse and Happiness Therapy, as well as a Certified Relationship Facilitator.  You may email me amereelynne45@gmail.com

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