Why is a Daily Meditation Practice Beneficial?

Why is a Daily Meditation Practice Beneficial?

Why is a Daily Meditation Practice Beneficial?

Have you wanted to quiet all chatter in your mind? But you are not sure how? Meditation is an excellent method.

I know what you are thinking—I suck at meditating! However, I am here to tell you; you don’t, and you can do it. It is all about giving yourself the freedom to do so.

Minds wander. It is their job to think about what is for dinner or whether the dogs need to go out.

In fact, during mediation, when your mind goes off on a tangent, take notice of it. Then gentle acknowledge the thought. But then bring your mind back to your breath and into the present moment.

By doing this, it means you are doing the meditation right. You became aware and brought your mind back to the present moment where you want it.

You have the authority to take control of your mind. Yes, I will repeat it—you have dominion over what you think.

Your mind or ego is here to protect you—not control you. Meditation helps to train your mind to relax.

Guided Meditation

If you are new to meditation, I suggest using guided mediation. Guided mediation uses imagery and sound to help your mind focus. It gives the ego something to do so your thoughts can quiet.

There are thousands of apps in the Apple store for guided meditation and even free YouTube videos on it. Also you do not have to spend a great deal of time on it either. Ten or fifteen minutes a day is all you need to start. If that is too much, do five minutes but be consistent.

Consistency is the key. Likewise with any new practice, if you do not exercise the muscle, it will not grow. Meditation is a practice that needs to be exercised to grow. The results are endless.

Benefits of Meditation

  1. You will have lower stress, anxiety, depression.
  2. You will have improved focus.
  3. You reduce the mind chatter.
  4. You will feel calmer throughout your day.
  5. You sleep better.
  6. You connect to your higher-self or subconscious easier.
  7. You will feel more energized.

What are some of your results from meditating? I’d love to hear from you.

A Free Gift for You!

As a gift, I am offering a free 10-minute guided meditation with this blog—Clearing the Messiness from Your Mind. It will help you get started with a mediation practice if you do not already have one.

Using this mediation on a regular basis, you can apply the principles throughout your day to clear the negative self-talk or messiness cluttering your mind. By doing so, you remove the clutter more quickly and can focus on the task before you.

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The Magic of Kidney Swaps

The Magic of Kidney Swaps

Kidney Swap

At a recent speaking event, an audience member mentioned she decided to be a donor for a friend, but unfortunately, she wasn’t a match. I asked her if she had considered a paired kidney exchange, also known as a “Kidney Swap.” Sadly, she had never heard of it.

A kidney swap occurs when one donor is incompatible with their recipient but is compatible with another and vice versa.

When someone is on dialysis and needs a life-saving kidney they wait on one of two things—for a person to die who’s an organ donor, which could take years, or a living donor to donate a kidney selflessly. But, more than not, the angel willing to give may be incompatible because of blood type or proteins in the donor’s blood that could cause a rejection in the recipient. And, that’s where the magic of a computer algorithm’s come in.



The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network created a Kidney Paired Donation program that matches donor/recipient pairs through computer algorithms. These programs find the best medical matches based on those who sign up.

In 2015, one of the largest kidney swap chains was completed at the UW hospital in Madison, WI, through the National Kidney Registry’s paired kidney exchange program. The chain included 68 people—34 donors, and 34 recipients.

I’m always amazed by what smart people together with technology can do!

Meet Beth Badour

Beth has Polycystic Kidney Disease, or PKD, or PKD, and to look at her, you could never tell she lives with 2% kidney function. She’s active and full of spunk but attends dialysis three times a week for four hours each time. As a result, she’s on disability but is otherwise healthy.

Beth needs a kidney angel to help her. She’s had several people display interest in donating, but for one reason or another was not a match. But, with the kidney swap program, she has hope.

If you’re interested in getting tested, call Atrium Health Transplant Clinic at 704-355-6649 to speak with a transplant coordinator. Or, contact Beth directly at 704-996-5414.

If you’re not a match, make sure to mention interest in the Paired Kidney Exchange program. You could help save many lives with one selfless gesture.

Here’s to all the Kidney Angels!

Also, if you’d like to help Beth find her Kidney Angel, please consider donating to her Go Fund Me page. The money raised helps to pay for her kidney transplant. 


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Proper Kidney Care: How Can You Prevent Kidney Failure?

Proper Kidney Care: How Can You Prevent Kidney Failure?

Proper Kidney Care: How Can You Prevent Kidney Failure?

Many people forget that their kidneys are essential for a healthy lifestyle because they filter waste from your blood. That’s why proper kidney care is an important measure to avoid kidney disease and kidney failure.

Kidney failure can be fatal unless caught quickly with proper medical attention. What can you do to help prevent kidney failure? You have the opportunity to protect yourself by knowing the facts of proper kidney care.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms vary, depending on what is causing your kidney problems. Acute (or sudden) symptoms include decreased urine output. Other warning signs can involve fluid retention (bloating of the body), often of the lower limbs. If you notice swelling in your legs, ankles or feet, it is something to bring up with your doctor immediately.


A direct blow to the kidneys can often lead to kidney failure. Along with physical trauma, blockage of the ureters can prevent waste from leaving your body through your urine.

Various medical conditions along with the improper use of medications can also lead to severe kidney issues. Always consult your doctor about your prescribed medications before taking them.

Some conditions/diseases that can cause kidney failure include:

  • Lupus,
  • Scleroderma,
  • High Cholesterol,
  • Diabetes,
  • Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, and
  • Rhabdomyolysis.

Unless you have inherited polycystic kidney disease or another genetic-based medical problem, there are things you can do to prevent kidney failure and kidney disease.

Kidney care is more important than you think! Be proactive while keeping in mind that kidney diseases do not always have symptoms. Talk to your medical provider about checking for signs and symptoms.

Source: The Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/kidney-failure/symptoms-causes/syc-20369048


Kidney care starts with what you put into your body. Unless you have inherited kidney disease or severe medical complications, you can protect your kidneys.  Here are some dietary tips:

  • Salt intake should be kept to less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, daily. Cook with other spices to liven up your meal while lowering your sodium!
  • As I’m sure you know, eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies is essential. Interesting to note, even frozen vegetables can be good for you. If they were flash frozen, they often have higher levels of the nutrients that your body needs.
  • Limit the alcohol intake.
  • Instead of frying your foods, baking or boiling is a healthier alternative.
  • Skip the gravy and limit the sugar intake. Less than 10% of your daily diet should be from sugars. Unless you are brave enough to cut all sugar out!
  • Eat whole grains such as whole wheat bread and brown rice.
  • 2% Milk is a better option than whole milk. You could also give milk alternatives a try.
  • Read the labels on what you purchase. Foods can be deceiving with their “all natural,” “reduced sodium” or “gluten-free” labels. Check the details on the back and remember to look at the “per serving” notation. Many will trick you with the numbers if you miss how many servings are in the package! Read those details for the best kidney care.


We all hear it daily…a healthy body needs to be in motion. You should aim to partake in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. Get in the habit of daily exercise routines such as power walking, riding your bike, playing tennis or swimming. If your doctor says your weight is high and is causing other health issues, this is the time to get to the gym or even consider working out at home.

Work at a desk? Get up every hour and move around, or better yet, see if you can get a standing desk. Anything you can do to drop weight and pump more blood will help.

In Conclusion

Kidney care matters to your overall health. Many of us worry about our hearts while some worry about their livers. The truth is, all of our organs need attention and care. They work together, and when it comes to the kidneys, there are things you can do to keep them healthy. Start today, because every day matters!

Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


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What Is It Like Living With One Kidney?

What Is It Like Living With One Kidney?

What is it like living with one kidney?

I’ve been asked many times what it’s like living with one kidney? And, have I experienced any side-effects from donating a kidney? My answers—amazing and no!

On July 7, 2011, I donated a kidney to complete stranger—David Ensley after hearing God’s Voice tell me I was his perfect match. Crazy, I know but David and I were 1-in-20 million perfect match.

Living with one kidney hasn’t been any different than living with two. Physically, I can’t tell the difference except I now limit anti-inflammatories. Offering complete disclosure though it has caused some minor aggravations nothing I haven’t been able to handle.

Although life has continued as usual at the same time it hasn’t. On a physical level, I am healthy. I work, eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of rest.

But, it’s my spiritual life that’s been anything but ordinary!

As I mentioned, I decided to donate because I heard a Voice tell me I would be the one to give to David. At that time in my life, I felt lost and needed direction. So, I started meditating and journaling. I asked God to use me as a blessing. However, I had no idea the impact that request would have on my life.

Why did I decide to donate?

I believe living kidney donation is a calling—whether it’s donating to a family member, child, or a complete stranger. It’s an inner nudging that won’t go away no matter how hard you will it.

When I first heard David’s story I had no idea living organ donation was possible. But, I couldn’t stop thinking about him until I acted on the words I heard that night in the kitchen— “Amy that person will be you!”

My family and friends thought I was crazy and honestly, many times I felt the same way. But, my soul was convicted, and I couldn’t turn back.

Caution—saving the life of another human being is a miracle that not only alters their life but yours as well.

So, how has my life been affected?

First, my connection to God, the Source of all beings, has grown. I more clearly hear things I’m called to do like writing a book detailing my donation experience—Daring to Believe (available on Amazon). When I was researching the idea of kidney donation, I couldn’t find many books on the subject, and those I did see were boring and clinical.

Then a few years after the surgery, I wrote a memoir. In it, I detail the authentic experiences I had with hearing God’s Voice to donate; my feelings about completing the donor application; telling my family about my decision to donate and their reactions; and the actual surgery itself including a few “inconveniences” I encountered afterward.

Daring to Believe is a resource for those who are considering kidney donation and what to expect living with one kidney. It’s also for ordinary people who want to feel inspired to be extraordinary.

After the kidney donation, I felt compelled to become active in my community. About 5-years ago joined the NC Advisory Board of the National Kidney Foundation. We raise money to help educate communities about kidney disease and offer screenings to provide early detection for those at risk.

I also co-chair the Annual Kidney Gala and have just recently joined the NKF Big Ask/Big Give Program—teaching people in need of kidney transplants how to ask for a life-saving kidney and for people who want to give, how to say yes.

Eventually, I started speaking to groups about my experience as a living kidney donor. I found I enjoy inspiring others to hear God’s whispers in their life whether it’s to be a kidney donor, a doctor, a lawyer or a parent who then encourages their children to be great things.

Mostly, I love watching David live his life with his wife, children, and his grandson—that gives me the most joy. Knowing that I helped to make a difference and, in many ways, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

In conclusion

Physically living with one kidney has not affected my quality of life in any way. If I had more kidneys to give I would do it a hundred times over—no question. I’ve heard other donors reflect the same sentiment.

Spiritually, I found my soul’s purpose and continue to thank God for the many blessings I’ve received as a result of answering yes to my calling.

I pray that as I share my story of living kidney donation and how God changed my life with six little words, that people’s lives are saved. And, as we to listen to the quiet voice within, may we be blessed.

What might you be called to do if only you dared to believe?




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The Ultimate Superpower: Being a Living Kidney Donor

The Ultimate Superpower: Being a Living Kidney Donor

It’s very likely that you spent some time as a kid daydreaming about being a superhero. If this is true, I’m sure you spent time contemplating which superpower you’d have if you had to choose one.

It’s very likely that you spent some time as a kid daydreaming about being a superhero. If this is true, I’m sure you spent time contemplating which superpower you’d have if you had to choose one.

Did you want to fly? How about the ability to read minds? Or, was it your dream to have super strength?

Now, what if I told you that you could very well indeed have your superpower. But, it wouldn’t be a superpower that you’d find in a comic book. It’s a superpower that falls within a more realistic world. It’s a superpower that will allow you to save a life. What’s the superpower I’m referring to?

A Super Hero Kidney Donor!

If you don’t know this yet, I’m a living kidney donor. And, being a living kidney donor not only saved the life of the man I donated to but in many ways, mine as well.

The donation was 7-years ago July, and since then I haven’t experienced any side effects from the surgery. And, honestly, I can’t tell the difference between living with one kidney or two because my physical life didn’t change. But, what I do get to witness are the miracles of my kidney working in David.

I wish I had more to give away—I’d do it again and again. The blessings are endless!

Kidney Transplant Statistics

(courtesy of the National Kidney Foundation):

  • In 2014, 17,107 kidney transplants took place within the United States. Out of these, 11,570 came from deceased donors while 5,537 came from living donors.
  • The average wait time for one to get their first kidney transplant is 3.6 years. This number can vary depending on availability of organs, one’s health, and compatibility.
  • At the moment, there are 121,678 people in the United States waiting for an organ transplant. 100,791 of these are kidney transplant needs.
  • In 2014, 4,761 deaths occurred while patients were waiting for a kidney transplant. On top of that, 3,668 people became too ill to receive a kidney transplant.
  • On average, a person is added to the kidney transplant list every 14 minutes.
  • Nearly 13 people die every day while waiting for a kidney transplant
  • Over 3,000 people are added to the kidney transplant waiting list, monthly.

In Conclusion

With statistics like this, we need more and more kidney donor superheroes in our world. You have the opportunity to become one of these superheroes. It’s okay to be worried and to fear the idea of donating your kidney. It’s a normal feeling that nearly all donors have felt. Rest assured, there are answers to any questions you might have. The National Kidney Foundation can help guide you if you’re interested in becoming a donor. They also have an extensive list of valuable resources, that can help answer these questions. Check out The Big Ask, Big Give Program hosted by the NKF.

Become a Super Hero Kidney Donor—donate life today!





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In Need of a “Kidney Donor Angel”?

In Need of a “Kidney Donor Angel”?

Steps to Find Your

Kidney Donor Angel

Asking for help can be challenging at best. Many of us are programmed to live independently within a self-sustainable environment. While independent living can have its benefits, living in a community can be extremely beneficial. A supportive community is how we’ve triumphed through some of the most devastating and difficult events throughout history.

A community is what we need to continue thriving in an ever so changing world. It’s what we need when we face difficult crossroads in life…such as, let’s say…the need to find a kidney donor.

If you’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease, or for any reason require the need for a kidney transplant, knowing where to begin your kidney donor search can be somewhat challenging.

Do we start with Google? Do we ask a doctor? Do we search WebMD?

Many people have struggled with the need to begin this journey. Below are some helpful tips and resources for where you can start your kidney donor search.

Educate Yourself

First of all, you’ll want to begin researching reliable websites for the right information. As many of us know, the internet is an endless abyss of information which also allows for an endless abyss of misinformation. Therefore, you’ll want to start learning everything there is to know regarding kidney disease. Such as, living kidney donors versus deceased organ donors, the process of being put on a kidney donor waiting list, and stories of those who have donated or received a kidney.

For additional resources, check out the links at the bottom of this page when you begin your research.

Create Your Plan

When you begin to create your plan, you’ll start to understand the importance of community. First, you’ll want to develop a list of everyone you want to notify regarding your need for a kidney. Creating this can be one of the most difficult and stressful parts of beginning your kidney donor search, but it is the absolute most important one.

While being placed on a donor waiting list has undoubtedly led to an abundant amount of life-saving instances, the chances of being selected are becoming slimmer and slimmer. With the substantial number of people needing kidney transplants, the waiting list can take years.

So, your primary goal should be to reach out to your community. The first step is making a list of those people who you’ve connected with over time. Think about the below groups as a place to start:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Your Social Media Network
  • Co-Workers
  • Members of your Church, or religious place of worship
  • Members of any groups or extra-curricular organizations to which you may belong
  • The local media

Draft Your Narration

 Your story will become one of the most important tools during your kidney donor search. Empathy is the way to the human heart—and even the human kidney! Seriously, you’d be surprised with the number of people in the world who genuinely want to help out other people, especially when it comes to saving a life.

So, how do you come across as empathetic? Through a personalized and genuine story that showcases dedication, passion, struggle, and determination.

Start drafting your narration that tells the story of your life. Write about—

  • Obstacles that you’ve overcome in your life—showcasing your dedication.
  • What makes you happy and why being alive is so important to you—passion.
  • Recent troubles you’ve faced health wise and why it’s important to become healthy again—struggle.
  • Finally, talk about your never-ending ambition for finding a kidney donor—determination.

When people can connect with you on an emotional scale, they’ll be much more willing to help. The important thing is to be yourself!

Begin Your Search

First of all, have an intimate conversation with the closest people in your life—your spouse, family member, and closest friends about your decision to look for a kidney donor angel.

Afterward your ready to look for a kidney coach/sponsor who will support you along your journey. Kidney coaches will push you and motivate you during your hardest times and will help spread the word that you need a kidney to as many people as they can.

Next, send out your narration letter to the remainder of the people on your contact list. Your kidney coach/sponsor should be able to help you with this step.

Once you’ve had that intimate discussion with your closest friends/family and you’ve sent out the letter, begin approaching those people in your community whom you haven’t contacted.

Post your story on all your social media channels. You should even think about starting a GoFundMe campaign. If you don’t need the money for your cause, then tell people that you’ll donate the money to an organization such as the National Kidney Foundation. You can mention that the fundraiser’s purpose is to raise awareness in the search for your “kidney donor angel.”

Contact the National Kidney Foundation’s “The Big Ask, The Big Give” program:

Visit the National Kidney Foundation’s website, talk to a representative working for the NKF Cares helpline (844-224-4275), email a professional working for the same helpline (bigask@kidney.org), or talk to an actual living donor or recipient (855-653-7337).

Your Resources

Check out all of the below links for valuable websites and resources, to support you along your kidney donor search:

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