Category Archives: Spirit

Re-iGnite Your Senses

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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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It’s Never Too Late

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Point to Ponder:
Is there something that you have been putting off that you have been wanting to do?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Like me, I’m guessing that prior to last Thursday you had never heard of Orville Rogers. It wasn’t until iGnite leader, Alli Phillips, sent our team a video of Orville, at 99 years young man racing and beating his 92 year old competitor in the 60 meter sprint during the Masters Indoor Track Championship that I learned who he was. The now viral video is certainly inspiring, but on Saturday morning, while doing my mundane weekend laundry folding and listening to the national news, I saw an interview with Orville and heard his hardly mundane and impactful story.

In this 3-minute interview, Orville revealed that as a result of reading the book Aerobics by Kenneth Cooper when he was 50-years old, he began running. Incredibly, in the almost 50-years that Orville has been running, he has logged over 42 thousand miles! When asked about his workout routine, he said that 3 times a week he warms up with a lot of stretching and time on the Elliptical machine followed by slowly running 3 miles. Even more impressive are the 2, 100 meter wind sprints that he tops off his 3-miles with. In addition, he strength trains, eats fish and chicken 6 days a week, red meat 1 day, and plenty of colorful fruits and veggies. He also added that he takes a daily multivitamin and gets a physical once per year at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. When asked what gives him his spiritual edge, he said he believes in God, considers himself blessed and has a wonderful family who he plans to celebrate his 100th birthday on November 28th with after he participates in the Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championship this summer in Baton Rouge. His motto is “You don’t stop running because you get old. You get old because you stop running.”

Every bit of this World War II pilot and world record holder’s story is inspiring, but the part that made the greatest impression on me was that he didn’t begin running until he was 50 years old, which is typically when people end their running routine. In addition, he sees his commitment to his health as a means of honoring his temple so that he can serve to his greatest ability. Furthermore, when he was 90 years old old he went skydiving for the first time and at 93, he went hang-gliding.

Besides the word “stud”, there’s only one other set of words that best describes Orville and that’s a fearless go-getter. That being said, I really wonder which came first–the chicken or the egg? Was Orville born eager and fearless or did his life experiences create a can-do fearlessness spirit in him? Did he become this was after surviving World War II and flying for many years as a commercial pilot? I guess we’ll never know, but I can’t help but think that environment has something to do with it, as his “go for it” attitude was a part of his daily life and it continues to be.

While some fear and hesitation is healthy, by in large, fear really ticks me off because I believe that most of it is bogus, irrational and unfortunately, grows with age. Research from the National Institute of Mental Health found that 60% of the things we fear will never come true; 90% of the things we fear are considered insignificant; and 88% of the things we fear about our health will never happen. As this relates to our daily lives, fear and not being willing to “go for it” single-handedly prevents us from trying new things, creating new relationships, exploring new careers, and therefore living the big and bold life that I believe God created us to live. Ultimately, it undermines faith and puts God in a box.

When making the bold decision to regularly put ourselves our there and go for something we’ve been putting off or have told ourselves we can’t do, it will be deliciously terrifying. However, just as passing up opportunities is addictive, so is going for it and saying “yes”!

No one knows, at least I haven’t found it in an article or heard in an interview, if Orville Rogers was nervous or hesitant to go on his first run. I assume he considered that it would be uncomfortable, probably hurt and he likely would not be able to complete the whole distance. None-the-less, his decision to go for it at 50 years old has now bloomed into him being a 99 year old You Tube sensation who is getting to share his inspiring story on television and on the internet and making the case that no matter how old we are, if we want to do something, we should go for it!


Action Item:
Pick something that you have been wanting to do, take the first step and and go for it!


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Re-New Year Retreat “Rise & Shine”

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Why Retreat?

crystal

By Crystal Tidmore

There are a million reasons not to go on retreat (too much to do, kids’ activities, don’t need to spend the money…the list goes on). Oh…but when you do give yourself permission to go on retreat, you benefit not just yourself, but your loves ones as well. Retreat allows us to pause, reflect, and re-commit ourselves to becoming the very best that we can be. When we retreat, we commit ourselves to a journey of returning to the source of all things to refill our well and remind us who we truly are.

“Rise and Shine” was the theme of this year’s first annual iGnite Re-New Year Retreat. We set out to create a unique space, apart from our daily routine, where everyone could find renewal, inspiration and hope. Whether walking the beach, chatting around the fire-pit, practicing yoga by the pool, creating art, learning new forms of dance and movement, or exploring our core values, passions and purpose—we were treating our bodies, minds and spirits to the many gifts of retreat.

Our guest speaker, Stefanie, from Generate Hope, said:
“Life isn’t about finding ourselves. Life is about creating ourselves.”

We create and re-create ourselves each and every day by the choices we make. And we can choose to honor our gifts or dismiss them as unimportant or insignificant. Our job is to uncover our gifts and passions, and it’s God’s job to take those passions and gifts and point them to a higher purpose. How often do we try to do God’s job for Him? We RISE, so that God can SHINE through us.

Rising is about claiming God’s purpose for our lives. Rising is acknowledging the unique gifts that God has given us and iGniting the passion within us to use those gifts in a way that only we can. And when we RISE, we SHINE the light within us that encourages and empowers others to shine their unique light within them.

Much like a campfire, the light within us needs to be rekindled from time to time so that it doesn’t burn out or fade away. We must tend that fire with love and attention—and with retreat.

So, why do we re-treat? We retreat…
…to re-fill our well
…to re-create ourselves
…to re-gain strength
…to re-ceive the spirit within us
…to re-claim our gifts
…to re-iGnite our passions
…to re-fresh our creativity
…to re-juvenate our bodies
…to re-generate ideas
…to re-new our mind, body, and spirit

We re-treat to re-turn to our true selves, our very best selves.

This year’s Re-New Year Retreat was filled with so much fun and laughter and new experiences for all of us. Since the retreat, I have made a promise to take the concept of retreat into my daily life. I came away from San Diego with new tools for the tool belt and new companions for the journey. This Friday our San Diego retreaters will gather together in Austin for a Retreat Reunion luncheon to share more stories, watch our slideshow, and begin planning our next retreat! Hope you will give yourself permission to retreat throughout the year. And hope you join us for the next iGnite Retreat!

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The “Rise and Shine” Re-New Year Retreat was held Jan 26-29, 2017 in LaJolla, California. See the full photo album from retreat here.


 

Be Love

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Point to Ponder:
Do your thoughts, words and actions produce love for yourself?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Last week I received a very kind compliment. It was one that I didn’t feel deserving of but none-the-less it was greatly appreciated, especially because I wasn’t having the most confident day or week. And, since being called out by a good friend many years ago and her telling me that I needed to work on receiving compliments because it was incredibly rude when I rejected them, I have changed my tune. You know, the standard compliment rejection goes like this:

Friend to You: “Hi You! Your hair looks amazing!”

You to Friend (response #1): “Oh my gosh–it’s a mess and sooo dirty. I haven’t washed it in days and just threw some dry shampoo in it. It’s so gross, I haven’t showered in three days, I barely even brushed my teeth this morning and you don’t even want to step inside my house….. etc. etc.

You to Friend (response #2): “Thank you! Your hair is amazing too!”

My wise friend explained that compliments are verbal sunshine and they should always be received with a big smile and a “thank you” (no extras needed and no compliment exchange necessary). Maybe it’s a universal female thing or maybe it’s an American female thing–I have no idea, but what I do know is that we are entirely too critical of ourselves, and learning how to graciously accept a compliment is one of the first steps to learning how to love ourselves, be loved, love others and being love. In addition, little ears are always paying attention, so whether you have nieces, sisters, daughters, granddaughters or just other female ears around, we are leading by example and they are always listening and learning.

And so, as Valentine’s Day is upon us and love is swirling all around, I encourage you to practice loving yourself by not only graciously accepting a compliment with a “thank you” and a smile, but by also speaking words of love and kindness to yourself. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7

Finally, I also encourage you to print our “I Love Your Because” love notes HERE so you can inform those who you love why you love them, or what you love about them. It’s a sweet and fun card that fits great in a wallet, lunchbox, backpack or taped on a mirror, around the house or in a car. It’s super simple yet very effective for both the giver and receiver. And, don’t forget about yourself. Write a love note to yourself, telling your body, mind and spirit what you love so much about them, and then watch your level of gratitude and appreciation for your body and whole self sore! Here’s to loving yourself, being loved, loving others and being love!


Action Item:
Print our “I Love Your Because” love notes so you can inform those who you love why you love them, or what you love so much about them. Also, write a love note to yourself, telling your body, mind and spirit what you love so much about them.


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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!

Why We Need to Take A Break

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Point to Ponder:
Do you give yourself the necessary breaks that you need?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

“Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.” Is that the truth or what?! Being one week removed from iGnite’s Re-New Year Rise & Shine Retreat in San Diego, although I was technically working and the retreat was a whopping thirty minutes from my home, it hit the spot. Of course I love my family and my life, but I just needed to step away from my day to day responsibilities and immerse myself into a new scene. As always, I returned home more patient, grateful, loving and passionate. Not to sound cliche, but I was rejuvenated, had a renewed energy and sense of self.

What I find over and over again (yes–it’s the definition of insanity-ugh) is when I neglect my physical, mental and spiritual needs, I quickly reach my tipping point and I don’t like who I become. As I’ve mentioned in previous journals, I have a skin crawling experience and I get resentful and very unpleasant….and to be even more honest, I get mean. I become quick tempered, yell, have very little to no patience and am no fun to be around. Everything becomes a struggle and in all facets, not only am I not myself, but I am a fraction of my best.

Sure, I could blame my husband’s work schedule, as him being gone often and us living so far from family makes taking regular time for me more difficult to coordinate, however this is on me. I know this about myself. In order to get the necessary breaks that allow me to be my best, I must schedule time for me and do so without any guilt. This doesn’t have to be a four day retreat or anything expensive or elaborate–it just needs to be a few hours away from my children, my computer, my phone, my house and my regular commitments.

My good friend and iGnite member Catherine Sanderson recently sent me an excellent article written by holistic health coach, Ashley Berry titled “Why Self Care Isn’t Weak”.  In it, Ashley writes about her journey with healing her sick body, but she also speaks directly to our great need for holistic (mind, body, spirit) well being, including rest, rejuvenation and caring for our whole selves–something that I believe every woman needs encouragement and support to do and regularly practice.

Finally, I encourage you to read Ashley’s entire article, but for starters, below is an excerpt and great reminder of our female tendencies and how and why we need to shift. Also, because you have your calendar out and are scheduling time for you (wink wink hint hint) be sure to secure July 28 – August 2 for the iGnite Summer Escape, an exhilarating, exciting, and empowering girlfriend getaway and break from your summer and life routine. Location with all details coming soon!

If you look at the animal kingdom, you’ll see that all creatures from birds to mammals and even insects practice self-care instinctually. When they’re sick, they eat plants that heal them. When they’re tired or injured, they rest. If they’re social animals, they seek connection when they need it. But somewhere along the way in our evolution as a species, we learned how to override the needs of our bodies and minds, and eventually even built a culture around doing just that. Almost everywhere we turn, there’s some sort of messaging that encourages us to push ourselves to our limits, to hustle, to grind, to work hard, and to play even harder. But where does rest factor into this equation? At what point did self-care get deemed self-indulgent?

Most of us know that our greatest wealth is health. There’s no amount of money that can buy happiness if we’re suffering mentally or physically, and yet, social pressures, both implicit and explicit, make it incredibly challenging to make choices that support our well being. We forgo using our sick days. We pull the long hours, fueled by sugar and coffee. We sweep our mounting stress levels under the rug with alcohol or food.

We use busyness to avoid being present with ourselves because if we stopped and stood still, we might feel the full weight of the overwhelm we’ve created in our own lives.

So the question is, how do we shift? How do we grab the reins and steer our culture to a place that is more supportive of our most basic needs?

By honing in on one person, one choice, one small, revolutionary act at a time. We all have the opportunity to look at our own lives and get honest about the ways in which we are not caring for ourselves. We can start conversations that promote awareness of the importance of both mental and physical health. We can model unapologetic self-care, and in doing so, give permission to those around us to do the same.


Action Item:
Pause and identify where you are not caring of yourself and then start making plans and schedule important time for you.


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Being “Good Enough”

Encouragement from the iGnite Archives: March 2012

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Point to Ponder:
Do you struggle with feeling “good enough”?

Amy Younkman

by Amy Younkman

Have you ever struggled with the feeling that you are not “good enough”?

I recall being in 3rd grade and feeling sadly disappointed with all A’s, and a B in Penmanship on my report card. I thought my handwriting was good, but it wasn’t “good enough.” As a teen I struggled with feelings of self-worth and self-acceptance. I was never “thin enough” or “confident enough.” Then, as a busy Mom of three, one of my favorite free-time activities was training for triathlons. One year, I placed 3rd (in my age group) in a sprint triathlon and decided I could do better, so I trained harder. The next year I came in 2nd place and elusive 1st place was never an option, as the triathlon series was discontinued. Equally elusive were my feelings of being “good enough.”

I now know why God graced me with my three children. They were pre-destined to be some of my greatest teachers. At age 16 and in a fit of frustration, I recall my oldest daughter blurting out “Nothing is ever good enough for you!” Taking the comment to heart, I began a long, slow journey of learning to let go of desired outcomes and needing to control what I perceived as the necessary end result. I passionately want the best for my kids and for myself, therefore I continually struggle to ease up on my expectations and instead, to learn the lessons the present has to offer.

Meanwhile, the little voice in my head continues to taunt me… “Are you really a good enough Mom, wife, friend, yoga teacher??”  I have to stop, breathe and ask for help. I realize I am an imperfect human who, though flawed, does the best she can with a faith-filled heart. And then I offer the rest to God. Doing this frees me from the need to be perfect and in control. Divine design is constantly working through me, and I am only a small vessel amidst a fleet of God’s angels.

My yoga mat is a laboratory for my life. Every day offers new experiments and discoveries. I have found immense peace of mind through merely showing up on my mat, paying attention to my breath, and letting my body guide me as it opens and unfolds in it’s own time to receive grace. Learning to receive is a lesson unto itself. I don’t have to be a superstar on the mat; just showing up, willing to learn is “good enough.”

The beauty I have found in iGnite is that we don’t measure success by inches lost, pounds shed, or winning times; instead we focus on nurturing relationships, finding fun in the every day, and being fed in body, mind and spirit. If we can do that, it is most definitely “good enough.”

I challenge you to look at your own life vocation and ask yourself, “Am I good enough?”  Today may be different from yesterday, or tomorrow. Accept yourself in the here and now, realizing you are a work in progress and God is not yet through with you.


Action Item:
Accept yourself in the here and now, realizing you are a work in progress and God is not yet through with you.


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