Category Archives: Videos We Love

My Goal: Boundless Joy

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
– Oprah Winfrey

 

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

This time last week it was our third day in Dell Children’s Hospital and we were hopeful that the day ahead of us would look better than the ones before. Early that week, what resembled a sunburn on Durant (our three and a half year old son) turned out to actually be a rare toxin released from a staff infection that caused ‘Scalded Skin Syndrome.’ The last our pediatrician had seen this in a patient was twenty years ago, so you can imagine how scary it was when teams of doctors were entering our room to examine Durant and the sores that had developed on his little body. To say we felt like a spectacle isn’t an exaggeration. The medical staff wasn’t sure when they would see this uncommon infection again, so to them it was an intriguing educational opportunity. One emergency room doctor even asked us if he could snap a few pictures of our poor little guy. We knew he meant well, and while we accepted his offer with a weary smile, we were panicked.

Thankfully, with the combination of prayers, amazing doctors and nurses, around-the-clock antibiotics and a strong and resilient child whose only wish is to wake up every morning and be a ninja turtle, we were released on Monday afternoon. Durant is now as good as new, and as Amy Younkman so perfectly stated, it is us, his parents, who are left with the mental and emotional scarring and fatigue. But as any parent would say, we’ll take emotional scarring any day if it means our children are healthy and happy.

Despite both Russell and I being truly terrified and having to hide our tears in an effort to not worry Durant, so much beauty arose from our experience. With the power of prayer being paramount, we are beyond grateful for Dell Children’s Hospital. It is a superior operation layered with purpose and intention. From the toys delivered to each precious patient, to the art on the walls, we felt an infinite sense of hope, love, and joy during our stay.  One such photograph in our hallway said it all.

The photograph shown above of the happily running Ethiopian children was taken by Lynne Dobson. It is titled ‘Boundless Joy,’ and it actually hung just down the hall from Durant’s room. Upon seeing it, we were instantly inspired and reminded that despite unpleasant and frightful circumstances which we most often can’t control, we can control our response, and the goal is boundless joy. When life feels unfair, too hard and out of control, the goal is boundless joy. When school starts, traffic gets more awful, and homework and activities pile up, the goal is boundless joy. When work deadlines seem impossible, family, friends and co-workers disappoint us and our health fails us, the goal is boundless joy.

I know there are times when complaining feels necessary and venting is essential to getting through and past difficult and challenging situations, but if the children in this photo can have so little materially yet be so joyful, surely with all we have, our joy can be boundless too. But we have to be intentional to make that happen.

So, as we launch our fall season (yeah!!), let’s make it our goal to demonstrate, live out and give boundless joy. The results will be nothing short of amazing and like a movement, much like the viral and awesome Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral sclerosis (ALS). Ice Bucket Challenges are not new, though this particular one was initiated by Pete Frates, and has taken off. As of yesterday the ALS foundation has raised $62.5 million, which is $58.5 more than raised this time last year. Anything is possible, even a change in perspective and attitude, but if you need to throw a cold bucket of ice water on your head to get your ‘boundless joy’ blood flowing, by all means watch the video below, be inspired and go for it!

 

 

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Why We Should All Crank Some Tunes & Bust A Move

Bust a Move

“Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest,
heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.”
(Unknown)

Point to Ponder:
When was the last time you allowed yourself to let loose and dance without caring how you looked?

Action Item:
At least once this week, turn off the television in your house and turn on some fun, upbeat music. Notice how your mood and the vibe in your house changes!

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Surprisingly, this past year has been “the year of music” for me.  This was certainly not planned, but since September I’ve had the amazing opportunity to seen Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson, John Mayer, and Chris Botti in concert.  And, one month month from now I get to attend the Chicago and REO Speedwagon concert! Even though I do enjoy music, this is extremely unusual for me.  I’m not fond of huge crowds, so going to a venue where there are thousands of people does not appeal to me — which is likely why I’ve only attended one ACL festival in the eighteen years I’ve lived in Austin.  But, I must say that my “year of music” has brought me unexpected and tremendous joy.  In fact, I think I’d go as far as saying that each of these concerts sets my soul on fire! It’s possible that this reaction was a result of me desperately needing and wanting a girls’ night out, and while I am sure that had a lot to do with it, there’s no doubt that it’s mainly the product of talented musicians sharing their passions, by which, I am inspired.

Music, as I’m sure we’ve all experienced, has a similar effect on us as smells do.  It can take you to a sad or happy time.  It can move you to tears, or cause you to dance.  In fact, when I finally ‘let go’ and stopped caring if I looked like a dork while I danced around at the concerts, the experiences were even more exhilarating. In fact, it was amazingly liberating!

The conclusion I’ve drawn is that music quickly takes me to my happy place and always causes me to dance, which I’ve decided I will no longer deny myself of.  Music and dancing transform the moods of me and my family in two seconds flat. All I have to do is turn off the t.v. and plug in the iPhone and the energy of the house changes. It is because of this that during our final week of July I am recommending and encouraging you to try turning off the discouraging and non-inspirational television or talk radio and turning on your iPhone, Pandora, etc.  Wherever you are spending significant time (car, office, bathroom, kitchen, living room), turn on some music and bust a few moves.  And while you’re at it, feel free to send us a video of your dancing!

If we’re all lucky, we’ll still be dancing at the age of the man in this video and looking this good!

 

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What We Should All Learn from Children

Stop Playing, Grow Old

Point to Ponder:
Do you play enough?

Action Item:
Determine the things that make you feel most alive and start playing.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

There really isn’t a better time than the 4th of July to be reminded of what it means to be free and to live in the land of opportunity! Freedom has always been a critical element in how I choose to live my life. In fact, after working through a core values exercise, I actually thought freedom was one of my five core values. Turns out it’s not, but it’s part of my strategy to getting to several of my core values, which is likely why I felt claustrophobic, in conflict and restless during my pre-iGnite professional life. Looking back, my spirit was trapped and I needed to be set free so I could live in full self expression. Sure enough, iGnite was and is a snapshot of my spirit and how I interpret freedom and happiness.

I think we can all agree that the best example of freedom is children. Even before having children of my own, I worked with children and was always inspired by their effortless ability to play. It was actually when working with them that I recognized the importance of play and the organic spirit-lifting effect it has on people.

I get it — of course we can’t play all of the time, and I do agree that there is a time for work and play, however, we must make time to play. Play looks different for everyone, and research has found that when we play we are healthier, happier and live longer.

A great example is 81 year old Stuart Brown who is a tennis-playing and cross-country skiing psychiatrist who offices in his tree house in Carmel Valley, California (sounds pretty fantastic!). Stuart is a play-advocate and author of a book titled Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul. He warns, “a life without play is a life of rigidity, lacking in creativity, joy and sustained pleasure.” He also references a woman who lives a “turbocharged” life, taking care of her family and her job as the CEO of a real estate company. Up at 5 a.m., she ran 4 or 5 miles on odd days and swam and lifted weights on even days. She started to dread life. She set out to find a solution and remembered some of her fondest memories as a child involved horses. Now, she rides one day a week and is happier and more productive.

On the heels of the 4th of July, I encourage you think more like a child, be free and play more, which of course means being fearless to try new things, too!  Much like dancing, singing and doing more of what you love, you will thrive and your spirit will have the same effect on the people you interact with as does in the “joy bomb” that takes place in the video below.

 

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5 Tips for Proper Running Technique

iGnite instructor and running expert Alli Phillips shares her top 5 tips for proper running form and technique to improve running efficiency and speed, prevent common running injuries, and allow runners to enjoy this most elemental, fundamental, and wonderful exercise for a lifetime.  Running with better form will make you more efficient and faster; and vice versa, running faster makes you more efficient and improves form.

1. Upper body alignment

  • Stay in a stacked vertical plank: head in alignment with shoulders, ribs and hips.
  • Strong core: all runners should have a strong core to support that vertical plank, so be sure to include some good core strengthening exercises into your running routine
  • Relax the shoulders

2. Lower body position

  • Pelvis under ribs: keep hips neutrally aligned under the ribs. Think of your pelvis like a bucket, not tipping it one way or another, hold it steady under your vertical plank.
  • Strong glutes: be sure to incorporate glute-strengthening exercises like squats, lunges & step-ups in your running routine because strong hips & glutes will help maintain that neutral pelvis
  • Keep  soft, slightly bent knees through all points in your run, keeping your knee like a loaded spring. This reduces the impact on your joints.
  • Feet under the hips

3.  Foot placement or strike

  • You want to the foot to land right under the hip when you’re running
  • Forefoot takes the weight

4. Forward lean

  • When you run, you want a slightly forward lean with your full body
  • Lean & drive from your hips (or your center of mass)
  • Maintain neutral connected plank position as you lean forward

5.  Cadence

  • Fast Turnover: to go faster, simply increase the rate of your step — don’t widen your stride
  • Quick light steps

DRILL: Sub-Max Sprints
Complete this drill after a 10 minute warm-up. This drill will teach your body how to maintain proper running form at a higher cadence/speed.

  1. Run in place 5-10 seconds focusing on body position and high cadence/turnover
  2. Lean or “fall forward” and run fast for 20-60 seconds or until your cadence slows and/or form is lost

Repeat 3-10 times based on your level of fitness.

 

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The “Way, Way” Ultimate Example

One of the most perfect examples of ‘actual confidence’ comes from the movie The Way, Way Back.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s the perfect summer flick & we highly recommend watching it!

To summarize, Duncan, the main character, has little to no confidence. However, his confidence and life change as a result of meeting his boss Owen at the local water park who builds him up, encourages and loves him.

Enjoy the sneak peek, and go out and connect, relate, listen to, encourage, and love people, which will inevitably result in having a great rest of the week 🙂

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Our Favorite Exercises: The Plank Spiderman Squat

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Molly Daniels

Molly Daniels

The Plank Spiderman Squat is one of my favorite exercises because it works your core, your chest and your back, while also being a great cardio exercise.

Important notes on form (see video for demonstration):

  • In your plank, be sure to keep your shoulders directly above your wrists and your chest between your hands
  • Look slightly in front of you at the end of your mat

Modified version (see video for demonstration) :

  • Instead of tapping each foot on the ground by your hands, bring the knee to meet the elbow on each side, then step the feet in and out of your squat one at a time

 

Complete 3 sets of 5, with a 30 second rest between each set.

 

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Everything in Moderation…Except for Confidence

With all of the days at the pool and carting kiddos from camp to camp, summer really is a great time to chillax and watch movies. Classics like The Great Outdoors will have you in stitches. One particular scene (shown below), reminds us of the serotonin topic in this week’s Journal. Science has proven that if our serotonin levels are low, our confidence is likely to be low as well. Fortunately, we can get serotonin from turkey, beef, and cheese. With that said, eating too much beef, like John Candy does in this scene, will have the opposite effect on our confidence.

Here’s to everything in moderation (except confidence), a happy Wednesday & an awesome summer!

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Light Yourself on FIRE

Okay, okay, so here’s the deal: When we are confident, listen to our hearts and are true to ourselves, WE ARE UNSTOPPABLE AND WE-ARE-ON-FIRE!

The reverse is true too. When we are not confident, don’t use our voice, say ‘yes’ to everything, feel guilty for all of the weird things we feel guilty about, our flame that lights up others burns out.

So let’s think like a man — never underestimating our awesomeness — and light this world on fire! Remember, confidence is learned and your daughters, nieces, grand-daughters, God-daughters, and female eyes are always watching. The opportunity is ours, so seize the moments!

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Power Off & Look UP

“When you’re too busy looking down,
you don’t see the chances you missed.”

This is a quote from this viral, MUST-SEE inspirational video, which passionately proves why we need to power off, look up more and contemplate our amazing lives.

So without further adieu, check out the video (warning: there is adult language), power off, and spend more time with the people you love, doing what you love.

Video not showing up? Watch it here on YouTube

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This Will Put a Smile on Your Face

On this beautiful spring day it really is difficult to not feel optimistic. But, in the event the bight blue sky, glorious shades of green and bluebonnets aren’t doing it for you, check out this a-maz-ing video. And, we dare you not to watch it at least three times and pass it along to other friends. Actually, do watch it several times and pass it on to as many people as possible. This optimistic video is addictive and your cheeks may hurt from smiling so big.  It’s that good, so consider yourself warned!

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