Category Archives: Parenting

Re-iGnite Your Senses

March26_2017.jpg

Point to Ponder:
Are you taking time to be rejuvenated by the spring season?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Just the other day I took a morning walk with a friend throughout the canyon trails in our neighborhood. Due to incredible winter rainfall that San Diego received, from start to finish the hike was bright green with proud and perky yellow and purple flowers raising tall towards the sun. At one point, a little white-tailed bunny hopped in front of us and the birds flying all around were singing loudly. Everything was happy, but after all, it’s spring, the season of opportunity.

As we walked, talked, and commented on the sights, sounds and smells of spring, she suggested that at some point I take the opportunity to close my eyes and let the senses of hearing, smelling and touching become stimulated.

Since receiving her wisdom, twice and at the end of our San Diego iGnite classes and after stretching, everyone has laid down, closes their eyes and become completely quiet. As you would expect and have experienced, laying still, closing our eyes and quietening our minds and bodies is a challenge, but when we did, real magic occurred.

For starters, at our San Diego classes, babies, toddler and preschool aged children come with their mom. We have a babysitter and most often the children play together, however as all children do, they will creep over and want to hang with mom. But on that day all of the children stayed with the babysitter and complete quiet fell over us (the actual real magic), except for a few sweet birds who sang. Then, the cool spring breeze blanketed our bodies. Two, maybe even three minutes passed and upon everyone opening their eyes, I witnessed mental and physical rejuvenation and peace.

The outdoor community exercise was absolutely rejuvenating. Rather than dash onto the next thing, we simply took a few extra still minutes to breathe, reset our body, mind and spirit, reignite our senses and truly tune into the joy of the spring season. Our ability to be renewed and present for what’s next is enhanced and heightened. This is one of the many opportunities of spring!

Throughout this week, I encourage you to take full advantage of the sights, sounds, and smells of spring and let your senses be reignited. Spend some quiet sunny time outside (even three minutes is great), alone and/or after your iGnite class, close your eyes and take a deep breath, exhale and hear, feel and smell the wonders of this season. Rejuvenation, peace, inspiration, clarity, mindfulness and tranquility are among a few guaranteed gifts this season will deliver you.


Action Item:
Spend some quiet sunny time outside (even three minutes is great), alone and/or after your iGnite class, close your eyes and take a deep breath, exhale and hear, feel and smell the wonders of this season.


 

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Quit Something

Mar20

Point to Ponder:
What do you need to quit?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Celebration! The first day of spring is tomorrow, March 20th and if there’s a person in the world who doesn’t love the season of rebirth, renewal and regrowth, I’d like to hear from he or she and to try to convince them otherwise. Blooming tress, longer and warmer days, and playful chirping birds are all signs that Spring has sprung and we get to begin again.

While I love the spring season, I actually have an affinity for them all. Having lived in both Austin and now San Diego, two cities who don’t have dramatic changing seasons, I’d argue that the seasons in both of the warmer climates are prevalent enough. They come at just the right time and give us exactly what we need, whether it be more time to rest or more time to play. Really, I feel that the changing seasons are nothing short of miraculous and our Creator knew exactly what we needed, at the perfect time.

Now, as we say goodbye to winter and welcome spring, you don’t have to look long or hard to find a blog post or magazine cover filled with springtime inspiration. Last week, while reading a new book, I too found what I think is the perfect way to start spring–Quit Something!

Recently, my good friend and iGnite member, Catherine Sanderson, recommended that I read Love Does, by Bob Goff. Ironically, Bob lives in San Diego and while I had been encouraged to read his book before I never took action, until Catherine sent me a very persuasive text saying, “Neissa! Do you know a book Love Does and/or Bob Goff? You would be freaking obsessed!” I mean, how can I say “no” to that? In addition, Bob’s whole mission is to inspire people to dream big and make life more awesome. Again, that’s hard to pass up! So, I purchased the book and while I haven’t finished it yet, I have snagged some jewels of inspiration from Bob, like ‘quit something’!

Either Bob doesn’t reveal why or I just haven’t gotten to the part in the book where he goes into more detail, but every Thursday Bob ‘quits something’. After reading this I paused, thought about it and decided it was brilliant! After all, to routinely quit something requires us to regularly stop and evaluate our actions and life, including any pesky bad habits that we’ve picked up along the way. Furthermore, this is one of the gifts of springtime, the season of new opportunity and rebirth. In order for new life to grow, we need to pull the weeds and quit something.

One simple yet big example that Bob used was to quit texting and driving, so don’t feel like you have to quit your job, unless you’re miserable and it’s preventing you from living a more awesome life. You get to choose. And, whatever you decide to quit, if you slip up, no one says you can’t keep choosing that same habit to quit each Thursday.

To get your mental juices flowing, below are 25 examples:

  • Quit saying ‘I’m sorry’ and replace it with ‘Thank you’. (Ex. If you are late to a function and everyone waited on you, rather than profusely apologize, greet your group with “Thank you so much for waiting on me!”. Though there’s nothing wrong with a sincere apology and many times they are necessary, women tend to over apologize. Plus,gratitude is always the winner)
  • Quit complaining
  • Quit wishing, waiting, over thinking and doubting yourself
  • Quit comparing yourself to others or who you were yesterday
  • Quit talking
  • Quit the glorification of being busy
  • Quit being late
  • Quit eating on the go or in your car
  • Quit going to bed past 10:00 p.m.
  • Quit being a consumer of things
  • Quit saying anything negative about yourself or others
  • Quit worrying and being afraid
  • Quit looking at social media
  • Quit drinking soda
  • Quit using the word “like”
  • Quit using your phone while enjoying a meal with other people
  • Quit doing at least one thing for your kids
  • Quit settling in relationships
  • Quit yelling
  • Quit reading gossip magazines
  • Quit eating fast food
  • Quit saying “yes”
  • Quit saying “no”
  • Quit looking at your phone before bedtime
  • Quit trying to gain the approval of others

As you can see, there is so much healthy quitting that we can do in which new life can grow. It’s the inspiration and promise of the gorgeous spring season of opportunity! When one unfruitful door closes, a fruit-bearing door always opens.


Action Item:
Each week, quit something that isn’t helpful, necessary, and/or is dangerous and preventing you from living your dreams and an awesome life.


 

 

Member Spotlight: Carol Reifsnyder

IMG_0160Roots:
I am originally from Lubbock, Texas. I attended the University of Texas where I met my husband, Andy. We moved back to Austin in 1992, a time when Mopac had no cars and the hills had no houses.

Family Life:
My husband is a radiologist and has been the Chief at Breckenridge Medical Center for a long while. We have two children, my daughter, Erin, who works at a hotel in Brooklyn, and my son, Emery, who recently graduated from Tufts and now works in technological mapping in San Francisco.

Work Life:
I am just finishing a long (4 year) capital campaign to restore and renovate a National Historic Landmark sorority house near campus. I have some ideas about where I would like to go next, but I plan to take a break for a while and get back in shape.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my iGnite experience…
Women derive strength from being and working together. I feel like I work harder when working out with iGnite ladies. I’ve got to work to keep up!

The best advice I’ve been given…
The best advice I have been given is from my Brazilian scuba instructor way back in college. I still use his instructions today when dealing with a crisis. Per my instructor, the two most important rules of scuba are:
Always stay with your buddy. I use this symbolically at work as in “always have the back of/always support your co-workers and employees”. For my family, I use it to stay present and attentive to their needs and issues. And for my ailing mother, I use it to diligently advocate for her at times when she is vulnerable.
Stay calm. Don’t panic. I learned the hard way that if anything can go wrong, it will! I am a planner by nature so I constantly try to consider all the possible scenarios before I act. Now, if things do go astray, I don’t sweat it much anymore. I just stay calm, refocus, reconsider and get to it.

What I’m looking forward to right now…
Getting comfortable with and enjoying this “kids out of college and employed stage”. I have always been so excited for what lay ahead for my kids that I rarely
felt too sad moving on down the path beyond key milestones. Now, I feel like it is time to discover and create some milestones for myself. My work raising them is actually over. Don’t get me wrong; it often makes me sad to think back on those years that went by so quickly and in such a blur. The good news now is I get to be the “friend” or “advisor” or “supporter” instead of the strict “rule following” parent.

If I were a pair of shoes…
I would love to be a pair of bike cleats. Riding a bike brings back that pure sense of “joy” not felt much in life as an adult. In fact, research confirms quite simply that cycling makes people happier. In my opinion, the bicycle is one of the world’s greatest inventions – simple in it’s design, easily mastered and inexpensive – a means of play, exercise and transportation. In the 1900’s the bike gave women unprecedented mobility; women essentially rode the bicycle to freedom. Susan B. Anthony once said, “Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” The bike allowed women to venture about without chaperons, liberated them from corsets and cumbersome skirts, provided them a healthier, more vigorous existence, and expanded their marriage pool (no more having to marry your cousin down the street). Today, strolling through street and parkways on a bike is one of the best ways to tour/see an area. Walking doesn’t cover enough territory and cars move too quickly and provide too big of a barrier from the environment. Even cycling excursions around Austin often stun me with the beauty of our Texas Hill Country. As a pair of cleats, my life would be outdoors, healthy, happy, adventurous, fun and even spiritual. So, make me a pair of old beat-up bike cleats any day. See you on the road!

Member Spotlight: Madeleine Tilin

grey-big-smile-filter-5652Roots:
I grew up in Lubbock, graduated from UT Austin with a degree in journalism and moved several times before coming back to Austin in 2011. My children’s father and I both worked in publishing and enjoyed some great cities together as a result – Boulder, Chicago, Santa Fe and Oakland. We moved to Austin in 2011.

Family Life:
I live with my partner, John, and I have two children, Isaac (17) and Leila (14) who are in high school at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. We also live with John’s two sons, Graham (17) and Lucas (14) who attend LASA. It’s kind of like the Brady Bunch without Alice. 🙂

Work Life:
I have spent my work life as a visual communicator – magazine art director, graphic designer and photographer. I’ve been an event and portrait photographer for the last 9 years and am transitioning to having my own female centered contemporary portrait studio out of my home. I’m excited to develop as a fine artist using my photography as a basis to create photo encaustic work, a medium that uses beeswax and oil pant to create beautiful, one of a kind art pieces for my clients. It’s been germinating for a few years. It’s finally becoming a reality, and I’m super excited! That said, my job as a mother trumps all. It’s cliché, but I don’t think I really knew how big my heart could grow until I had children. I’m so thankful for this journey.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my iGnite experience…
Working out in community is way more fun and motivating. 🙂 I have always valued my friendships with women, so iGnite is an extension of that. I appreciate that there are women of all ages, perspectives and life experiences.

Who or what inspires me most…
It’s hard to narrow this one down! My children, my girlfriends, nature and my yoga practice. First, my children inspire me with their kindness, sensitivity and openness to life and all kinds of people. Second, nature, particularly the ocean and redwoods in Northern California and the high desert and mountains in New Mexico. As a photographer, I’m always observing the quality of light in new places, and I inevitably think the last place is the best…like how could it ever get better?! This is a great metaphor for life. 🙂 Just when you think you have experienced the most amazing, sublime light, you arrive in a new place or time and something different and just as beautiful is revealed. Nature perpetuates a sense of wonder that is so very important to happiness. My closest girlfriends near and far inspire me with their big, generous hearts and willingness to dig deep and help each other be the best versions of ourselves. My yoga practice has enriched my life in ways I could have never imagined when I started practicing 22 years ago. It has been my close friend and refuge most of my adult life, and I can easily say that it has made me a better human being. I am eternally grateful to my many teachers who have passed on different aspects of this beautiful practice.

Something people may not know about me is…
I sang vocals, played keyboard and flute in two different bands in Oakland. They were both groups of parents who were getting their groove back. 🙂 It was a ton of fun and learning how to play with others was a whole new experience.

Three words to describe myself are…
Creative, warm-hearted, free-spirited


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Member Spotlight: Simone Krasan

simoneRoots:
I say I am from Seattle, as that is where I spent the longest amount of time growing up. My father was in the military, and my mother liked to travel, so we moved around a lot. I moved from Seattle to Austin, sight unseen, with two of my sorority sisters in 1995. I said I would give it a year…it’s been 22 years now. 🙂

Family life:
I met my husband, Sean, when we moved from New York City and he lived next door to me at the Gables on Lake Austin Blvd in 1996. We have been married almost 17 years now and have three AWESOME -most of the time- kids! Max is 14 and will attend Westlake High School next year! Ben is 11 and then “WE GOT THE GIRL!” as my husband always says. Olivia is 10.

Work life:
Currently, I have the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom. I feel like I am a full time uber driver (but without pay) for my kids and their teammates. I also do some inspirational speaking on occasion. Before kids, I was a top sales producer at several telecom companies and later ran two sales offices as a District Sales Manager.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my iGnite experience…
The biggest lesson I have learned through my iGnite experience is how valuable the friendships, connections and community through iGnite are. Neissa and all the amazing women that help lead iGnite are some of the best women out there. Neissa has always had a gift of inspiring others and of bringing women together to share their gifts and talents. I highly value these women and the lovely ladies I get to iGnite life with.

Who or what inspires me most…
The ocean inspires me. There is a quote that I love by Isak Dinesen, and our own iGniter Olivia Osborne, found it for me in a magazine at the Re-New Year San Diego iGnite Retreat. She says “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” Thanks to iGnite, we get to sweat. Sometimes we just need a good cry. And the sea, although it has almost taken my life twice, is my happy place. I would also like to mention our fellow iGniter and my awesome cousin, Nikki McCormick, who inspires me to laugh! You know the belly laugh that makes your cheeks hurt kind of laugh!

I am looking forward to…
The day my book I have been writing gets published. It’s not ready yet – it needs a great editor – but I have been enjoying finally writing a book that has been 25 years in the making. Many of the seasoned iGniters know “my story”, and if you have ever been a newbie in one of Kathleen’s classes that I have shown up for have heard it too, because she lovingly brags about me! In 1991, my new friend and love, Larry, set me up on the railing of an Italian ferry. I fell backwards and plummeted over 40 feet into the Adriatic Sea, and he jumped in after me. At 1:00 am, no one saw us go overboard. It was 18 hours that I floated in and out of consciousness, fighting for my life, before I was miraculously found by nine Austrian men on their 47 foot Clipper who saved me. Tragically, Larry did not survive. I share my story of love and hope in hopes to inspire others.

My guilty pleasure…
Would have to involve hazelnuts, whether it’s a French crepe with Nutella, a Hazelnut Latte or a Kinder Bueno Bar, a candy bar from Italy with a chocolate covered wafter and hazelnut filling. Yum!


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10-Day Re-boot: Crystal’s Day 3

crystal

by Crystal Tidmore

This morning I started off with a hot cup of DandyBlend Tea (kinda img_0974like coffee). My stomach doesn’t appreciate hot lemon water in the morning, so I opt for Dandy each day instead. For breakfast, I made one of my favorite smoothies with coconut water, spinach, banana, frozen blueberries and strawberries, and Hemp protein powder.

For a pre-workout snack, I pulled out my handy img_0978Trader Joe’s chopped salad (about 1/2 cup of package, apple cider vinegar, pumpkin seeds and avocado tzaziki dip that my husband had made for the Super Bowl (Reboot and Whole 30 compliant recipe that’s delicious!). I enjoyed a nice walk to the gym for a weight workout and luckily avoided the rain on my walk home.

Soon I was ready for lunch, and since I needed some post-workout energy, I sautéed some butternut squash “noodles” with onion, garlic and olive oil and tossed in some arugula and topped it all off with a few slices of avocado. With lunch, I made a cup of Detox Tea which is a favorite I have during Reboots.

img_0981Later in the day when my kids came home from school and were raiding the pantry and frig for snacks, I enjoyed a few dried dates along with my go-to cleansing juice like “Tigerlilly” at Juiceland: kale, spinach, parsley, celery and cucumber. I usually make a big batch that will last me 2 days. These great juice bottles come from People’s Pharmacy, so I re-use them quite a bit.

For dinner, I wanted a very light vegetarian meal because I had consumed a lot of red meat over the weekend. Into the oven at 450 img_0982degrees went brussel sprouts, onions, asparagus, mushrooms and green beans. It was exactly what I needed! And I drank tons and tons of cranberry cocktail all through the day. When it was time for bed, I felt good about the foods I had eaten during the day. I think I’ll add more protein into my diet tomorrow for more consistent energy. Loved having a light dinner and tea though. Just what my body needed!

Aspects of the Reboot I’ve found the most difficult: Technology turn-off is clearly an issue for me. I can’t seem to shut down at night. Tonight I’m going to try a guided meditation instead of frantically working on my laptop before bedtime.

Aspects of the Re-boot I’ve enjoyed the most: I’ve really taken Dr. Bomben’s message to heart about trying to add in little things that can make a big impact over time. For example, today I walked to the gym instead of driving there. Also, I walked to the restaurant where I was meeting a friend for lunch. Usually I would just hop in the car without thinking twice, but now I’m looking for ways to increase my activity outside of my usual workouts.

A couple things I’ve learned about myself over the Reboot: Like Amy shared yesterday, I’m also pretty hard on myself. I’m noticing more and more the importance of accepting myself and loving myself…and making sure my children see this self-acceptance and self-love. What kind of message am I sending to my kids if I’m always so hard on myself? I want my kids to see that I’m making positive and healthy decisions for long-term health and wellness.
The parts that I have incorporated into my life: For the most part, I am trying to prepare healthy meals for the entire family…not just for me and my husband during a Reboot. It’s so important to me to offer healthy eating options for my family so we feel our best. Knowing the foods that don’t serve me well (dairy, gluten) is a powerful tool, because each day I get to choose if I’m going to fuel my body with what gives me energy or depletes my energy. I also have the choice to indulge every now and then, fully aware that my body may not react especially well, but I can way the consequences (i.e. having birthday cake because I want to celebrate with my family!)
Spiritual aspect I’ve enjoyed: During this Reboot, I am focusing on a daily gratitude journal where I write 3 things I’m grateful for each day. Eating clean has helped me gain clarity and with this clarity comes much appreciation for the blessings that are in front of me, like my family, my friendships, and my community.

10-Day Reboot: Amy’s Day 2

Amy Casual headshot

by Amy Chibib

Super Bowl Sunday! Lets the Re-Boot Begin!

blob-3This was my first official day to commit myself to the challenge. I started the day with the warm lemon water and Apple Cider Vinegar. It definitely helps get me going without the caffeine. I am enjoying the Dandy Blend which is the closest thing I have found to a coffee replacement! My go-to smoothie is what I started the day with and it keeps me going all morning – Blueberries, Kale/Spinach, coconut milk, almond butter & Vega protein powder.

blob-2I did feel a slight headache, but as I kept moving and went for a run around Town Lake, the sluggish feeling went away! I was re-energized after the run and was excited to experiment with some new appetizers I was preparing for the Super Bowl game.

 

 

blob-1My game time meal and appetizers included: Roasted Veggies – These were delicious and a perfect snack! I cut up cauliflower, broccoli, beets, mixed colored carrots, and kale then sprinkled with a little olive oil, salt/pepper, garlic & turmeric. I placed in the oven to roast. Super easy and even my teenage boys were enjoying it! Mushroom caps – stuffed with Italian turkey sausage and sauerkraut. These were simple and delicious baked in the oven – without breading or cheese they were still yummy and satisfying. Raw veggies and olives with Hummus was simple and easy. Last, I made a big pot of homemade tortilla soup – sautéed chicken with onions, garlic, peppers, Rotel, vegetable broth and seasoning. It was warm and tasty! All this made for a Re-boot friendly evening! The only temptation was the brownies a Mom brought over for the boys – difficult to pass on those! It was a fun evening and I was still able to get to bed by 10:30 without checking my emails or social media!

It is still early in the Re-boot so my primary goal is staying off caffeine and chocolate! And continue to add in the self-care with more Epsom salt baths. Also, practicing the habit of journaling – noting what works for my body.

Aspects of the Reboot I’m looking forward to enjoying the most: The awareness, acceptance, slowing down and paying attention. Making notes about how I am feeling and a journal of what I’ve eaten. Since October, I have been working to combat a recent discovery that I have Hashimotos (Autoimmune) thyroid condition that had been giving my digestion some serious issues leading up to the Holidays. It is getting better and better the cleaner I eat. I hope to use this journaling to continue to learn more about what effects my body so that I will have sustainable energy and overall health!

Something I’ve learned about myself: I am hard on myself – I tend to be quick to criticize myself for not doing better. So I am learning to be kinder and gentler to myself!

Most difficult part: will be to continue to stay off coffee in the morning!

Quality of Sleep: I typically don’t have issues falling asleep – it is feeling energized and rested when I awake that I am looking forward to being more consistent with the healthier habits I incorporate.

blob-5Energy & Mood: Sunday was honestly my first committed day! It was a fun and busy day which helped and I realize how much the exercise helps to relieve missing the caffeine.

Spiritual Practice: This is a space that I find throughout my day! I usually end my day with a quick read of something inspiring and before getting out of bed in the morning say a few words of gratitude and appreciation for the day ahead!