Tag Archives: adventure

Are You Listening to the Signs?

oct30_2016

Point to Ponder:
Is your antenna up for signs that are around you?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

As you may know, in April 2015 my family learned that we would be moving from Austin to San Diego. My husband accepted a new job and although the thought of leaving Austin was devastating, once I embraced it, I became excited about the adventure and possibilities, such as expanding iGnite and inspiring, empowering and enriching the bodies, minds and spirits of the women in Southern California. Upon confirming that we would indeed be moving, I sent an email announcement to iGnite members, family and friends. In it I included my iGnite expansion hopes (ugh..my optimism and idealism got the best of me–why did I put that out there?!?!?). However, because I don’t know what I don’t know, once we moved I was overwhelmed and spun in so many different directions that it became obvious that my focus could only be on the needs of my family, remotely leading and supporting iGnite Austin…and finding the grocery store, a babysitter and a place to get a good hair cut, etc. etc. etc.

While I realized that my focus needed to be on supporting Russell in his job and getting our small children adjusted to our new life, I severely struggled with my purpose, relevance and a plan. For the first time in fifteen years I was broken, confused and lonely and I found myself in daily prayer — asking God to show me what He wanted me to do. Frustratingly but also thankfully, I heard crickets–SILENCE!!! On one hand this was a welcoming sign because I didn’t have the mental, spiritual or physical bandwidth to take on anything new, but on the other hand, I felt like one of the reasons He sent us to San Diego was so that I could share iGnite. I was feeling like a failure and fraud because I wasn’t doing what I said I would do.

As I wrote in a previous journal, How Well Do You Rest & Receive, I met a faith-filled and wise friend who encouraged me to use this time to pour into my family, to rest in God’s presence, receive His love and enjoy this unique time with my children. And so I did. I relinquished my self-imposed expectations and began appreciating our new and different life. I did, however, continue to pray and ask God to show me how He wanted me to use my time beyond what I was currently doing, and if it were to bring iGnite into San Diego, to please make it obvious. Until I heard Him or saw specific signs, I remained content and knew that He had me exactly where He wanted me.

And then, one day in May, I met a mom in my son’s karate class who also had just moved to San Diego from Northern California. Because we were both with our children, our conversation was chaotic, however once she found out what I did, she instantly encouraged me and told me that iGnite would be a hit in our neighborhood. “Hmmm,” I thought, “That’s interesting. She just met me and she’s encouraging me to start iGnite.”

Then, summer came and went and I put the idea of expanding in the back corners of my heart. Honestly, I pretty much wrote it off (for the time being, at least). I hadn’t received any real signs (except from the karate mom) and it didn’t feel organic or like it fit….until mid August. While playing at one of our parks, a woman who lives across the street from the park came outside to let us know about rattlesnakes that had been spotted close by. As we talked, we realized that our children were classmates and as one thing led to another, we learned about one another’s professions. She asked if I was going to lead classes in our neighborhood and I told her that while I had considered it, right now the answer was “no.”  She then let me know that she and seven of her friends were going to be having their babies in December and in January they were going to want to get back in shape. Her request to me was to “let the idea of providing a class for her and her friends, marinate.”  I thanked her for the encouragement and promised her that I would think about leading the class. Meanwhile, I ran the class idea past a few friends in our neighborhood and they encouraged me to go for it. More signs…..

A few weeks later I made three consecutive trips to Austin, and I was asked many times of my plans to expand iGnite to San Diego and again was encouraged to do so. Pretty quickly I realized that God was speaking through all of these people, my angels, and they were delivering the answers and signs that I had been asking for.

All of this took place during iGnite’s 10th birthday celebration as well as during our Fall Body Re-Boot, and due to October being iGnite’s 10th birthday month, upon arriving back to San Diego with the abundance of signs, I decided that as an extension of our birthday celebration I would use October to test the waters for our new community as well as for myself and family by offering twelve complimentary iGnite classes.

With the help and support of angel friends, we have had an super fun month and starting this week, a 6-week iGnite session will be held in our San Diego neighborhood-yahoo!!!

Of course I am thrilled to make this announcement, as this means a new iGnite community is being formed where friendship can be developed and women’s health can be nurtured, but more than anything, I’m sharing this story to encourage you to patiently wait and watch for the answers and signs that you are asking for, as they are being delivered everyday and in a variety of ways. Even if the sign is silence, the answer isn’t “no,” it’s instead “I’ve got something much better for you” or “not now.” And, as we have all experienced, God speaks through music, people and even random billboards. Our job is to ask, diligently pray, wait and watch. The answers will always come and then we have to boldly walk out in faith and go for it! In addition, never underestimate the power of your words and encouragement. While you may not realize it, you are someone’s angel and your words can be the difference between them stepping out and pursuing their dreams and making an incredible impact in the lives of others.

There are more layers to this story, so it will be continued. Until then, I invite you to be someone’s angel while also watching for, listening to and acknowledging all of the signs that you are being given, including your own intuition, as that’s your best message deliverer!


Action Item:
Be someone’s angel while also watching for, listening to and acknowledging all of the signs that you are being given, including your own intuition.


You May Also Like:

Member Spotlight: Wendy Poppenhagen

28B0D4A6-9562-4392-9700-91A93E8F7682

Roots:
I am originally from the west coast (Nevada > California > Oregon > California) then moved to the east coast (Wellesley~Boston suburb) 20 years ago. I was fortunate to have one year (2004-2005) in Paris with my family for an incredible life experience. #movesalot

Basic family stats:
I have been married to Jeff for almost 25 years. He is a retired portfolio manager and a gin drinker (He told me to write that…He’s also very funny! 😍) Jeff and I have two girls. Lauren is 21 and a senior at Occidental College. She is a collegiate swimmer and will be graduating in May. Lindsay is 19 and a freshman at Tulane University. She is pursuing an architectural degree and currently in the middle of rush. I also have a really cute dog who I love tons. Fibber is a 10 year old Havanese. #lovemyfamily

Current/previous occupation:
I previously worked in Public Relations for a San Francisco non-profit. When I moved to Boston, I was pregnant with my second child and decided to become a stay-at-home mom. I also feel like I was a professional volunteer because I have chaired, co-chaired and volunteered for so many fundraisers and events over the years. #nowineedajob


The biggest lesson I have learned through my iGnite experience…

I don’t think I have a lesson, but I have a gift. The biggest gift iGnite has given me is the wonderful community. I was scared to move and start all over in a new city especially at my age. I no longer have any children at home, I am not in college, and I am not currently working. These factors make it so much easier to make new friends/community. I loved my friends and community in Boston, and I had a huge void to fill. The women I have met in iGnite have been so nice, kind, interesting, extremely inclusive and really fun to workout with. I am now playing Mah-Jongg with a group of incredible ladies because of a connection in iGnite. NEVER, EVER did I dream I would be learning and playing Mah-Jongg. Guess what? I love it! I have ben filled with genuine gratitude about finding a community so soon after moving to Austin. Thank you, iGnite. #grateful

I am most inspired by…
My husband, Jeff, inspires me all the time. He loves his family, super loyal, very smart, disciplined and is a….out of the box kind of thinker. He pushes me to look at the world, problems, relationships, etc. differently than I do. I always don’t agree with his perspective, but I love that I can be consistently challenged. He helps me to learn new things, empathize and have a more open mind. I think that is very cool! #thankyouJP

My celebrity look-alike…
I have been told by many people that I look like Princess Kate Middleton. #lovehertiaraandclothes

Something people may not know about me…
I am the fifth great-grandchild of Davey Crockett. #kingofthewildfrontier

Have you noticed the hashtags? Another thing you may not know about me is that I have been journaling on Instagram each day since we left Massachusetts. I post a daily picture (for one year) with hashtags describing my day. It is a bit silly and fun. I really wanted to remember experiencing Austin for the first time and photos are a great way of doing that. My daily post pushes me to discover my new city and all its adventures. When the year is done, I will get a book (or several) printed.

You May Also Like:

Summer Trip Details are IN! Sign Up to Join Us in Bend, Oregon!

click for full trip details & registration information

Information about Past Trips:

Lessons Learned from the Smoky Mountain Adventure

 escape hike

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Each summer iGnite hosts a girlfriend getaway called a Monarch Escape. These adventurous yet relaxing vacations serve as an opportunity for women to partake in new and fun experiences while enjoying the camaraderie and companionship of one another. This summer we spent six days and five nights in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina on what we called, the Smoky Mountain Adventure.

 

Our retreat began in the Hart House, a large six bedroom country style home nestled in the Cane Creek Valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Each day began around 8:00 a.m. and was chock-full of activities such as rock climbing, white water rafting, mountain biking, zip lining and hiking, followed by happy hour back at the house, a delicious dinner and the best part of all — candid and open conversations about the day and life.

 escape zip line

After having hosted four Monarch Escapes, there’s no doubt that the best part of each getaway is the fellowship and opportunity it gives attendees to recharge their batteries. Not only do we all return home feeling exhilarated, confident and full of energy, but the bonds and friendships formed leave you feeling nurtured, supported and loved….and who can’t use more of that?!

 

Check out what a few of this year’s attendees had to say about their biggest takeaways from the trip:

“One of my favorite takeaways from the trip was spending time with new people that I did not know very well or at all before the trip…I truly enjoyed hearing everyone’s “story.” It is very comforting to realize that we all have some common threads as women, moms, wives, friends, sisters, etc.  It is so inspiring to hear the things that other women in our group have achieved and overcome in their lives. I just loved our nightly dinner talks that spurred these great conversations!”

-Jill Watts

 IMG_0472

“During our 100 ft vertical rock climb, we belayed each other. When I was up about 50 feet clinging to any ledge I could find and a little scared, I looked down at JoAnn, who had my rope and my life in her hands.  She said, “I got you, Kathleen.”  I had no doubt that I was going to be fine! I love the “support” we get from each other in iGnite — LITERALLY!!!

-Kathleen Parker

“I’m really thankful I was able to share a week of my life with such kind, adventurous, inspirational women.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and I came home with renewed confidence.”

-Annemarie Glover

 “You never know what you are capable of doing until you try it. It is easy to say no, but when an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone comes your way, say yes and go for it!

-Nancy Dacy

 

Interested in attending a future Monarch Escape with iGnite?
We would love for you to join us!  Visit our website for details about attending future trips.

Click here to see more photos from the iGnite Smoky Mountain Adventure on Facebook

Wisdom from the Big Bang Birthday

Dad playing football with all the grandkids

Dad playing football with all the grandkids

See the distant road rather than the mud on the windshield.
— Bill Swinney (Kathleen’s father)

Action Item:
Fill your life with joyful, positive and passionate people, thoughts and things and remain focused on them. Never forget that life is an adventure.

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

This month we celebrated my Dad’s big BANG 88th birthday at his ranch. Seriously, it was a bang of a birthday, as he has an authentic Civil War cannon that he loves to fire to commemorate another year of his ‘great adventure.’ This year we had an Eight Bang Salute celebrating 88 years on the 8th of July.

Dad has shared his enthusiasm for adventure with his six children throughout his life, and he taught us that nothing is impossible!! For example, when we were young he threw six ropes off the back of the boat and had us get up and ski together. In the mid 60’s, he created the first parasailing expedition by going to the local Army Surplus Store and purchasing an old parachute. He cut holes in it, tied it to the back of the boat with a ski rope and took off with one of my brothers dangling from the parachute in a small makeshift rope seat. It was quite a site to see back then!

Just four years ago at the age of 84 he decided to build a big new ranch house by himself. He has always had an altruistic spirit and hired some ex-cons and a one legged carpenter to assist him. He finished his pride and joy in less than a year. Unfortunately, the ex-cons returned to rob him and stole his truck!

Following the big bang birthday I received a hand-written letter from my Dad — something he does a couple times a year to all of his children. He expressed his joy for life, along with incredible wisdom. This is what he wrote:

“Life has been a great adventure for me—and it continues to be so. Remember these things:

  • Believe there are opportunities for success instead of pitfalls leading to failure. Don’t let trivialities get you side tracked

  • There are a myriad of positive ways to view life—so keep the negative out of play.

  • Remember the redeeming value of rest and the exhilarating value of work and KEEP THEM IN BALANCE.

  • The body will follow the mind until it collapses with fatigue, so if you can keep your body fit and strong then you can get more performance as your mind pushes the body into high test situations.

  • Most importantly, remember the human body is the most complex chemical plant God created and the chemicals are dispersed by how one thinks. Thinking positively dispenses chemicals that lead to accomplishment, and daily accomplishment puts “OLD AGE” on hold! Sounds simple, BUT IT WORKS!!”

This is only one of many wisdom notes my father has written me and eventually I will share them all. Until then, I do not doubt that Dad will someday meet our Heavenly Father, exhausted and exhilarated from truly living and thoroughly enjoying this life that He so generously gave us. The thought “What if I would have…?” will never enter his mind, and I strive to carry on his grandiose passion and joy for life.

I found this 67 year old inspiration water skiing barefoot with a friend and while I not sure I want to ski barefoot at 67, she inspires me to never stop. She’s pretty remarkable!!

Leave a Comment