Tag Archives: adversity

Thank You, Adversity

Inspiration from the iGnite Archives


Point to Ponder:
Do you view your problems as a launching pad—-a powerful and preparatory growth opportunity to take you to your next and important chapter in life?

iGnite Neissa

 by Neissa Brown Springmann

During one of mine and Russell’s weekend conversations, he inquired about this week’s journal topic. I explained that the first day of spring was Tuesday, and I am always inspired by this season because having proceeded winter, it provides a beautiful and organic example of new beginnings, growth and opportunity. The discussion went on, one thing led to another and somehow our conversation landed on the benefits of manure — gross!

You see, about a week ago our landscapers spread manure throughout our lawn. Mildly inconvenienced, our yard smelled terribly and Durant couldn’t play in it, but I knew that in the long run it was for the best and the poo pros outweighed the poo cons. So we did what we had to do and dealt with it. Very soon we will reap the benefits of the fertilizer and enjoy a bright green and healthy yard.

As our highly sophisticated conversation continued, we compared the manure on our yard to the manure in our life. We discussed different times when we’ve dealt with problems, adversity, and challenges. As painful as they were, they served and continue to serve as opportunities to experience new growth, necessary change and improved character, which is everything we need for the next round of poo, a.k.a. essential problems, adversity and challenges that allow us to reach our greatest potential, reach the next phase in our life and help someone else.

In addition, because nature is our best teacher, we concluded that the special ingredients to a having rich, healthy and vibrant lawn are exactly the same as living a rich, healthy and vibrant life. The recipe consists of:

Water – The grass and trees that once looked lifeless are now thriving and alive. The recent downpours of nutrients have given them vitality and are also producing what might be one of our most gorgeous springs ever. The trees are standing tall and proud and the wildflowers are smiling everywhere. Interestingly enough, our bodies are no different. In order for the body to function optimally, our brain to think clearly and our skin to repair, we must drink water. Just as the grass turns a brighter shade of green after an actual rain shower vs. water from a faucet, there is no substitute for the water that our body requires. Coffee, tea, juice, milk and soda are not adequate hydration substitutes. Drinking half of your body weight in ounces per day of water, cranberry water or water with a splash of lemon will give you a vitality boost!

Sunlight – In order for vegetation of any kind to grow, it must receive an adequate amount of sunlight, just like humans. Spending time outside, in the sunlight, not only provides us with vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium, but it also boosts our spirits and immune system. This is scientifically proven! And, just as grass, trees and plants prosper when spoken too with kind and cheerful words, our spirit requires the exact amount of “people light”, i.e. friends, colleagues and neighbors that breathe confidence, love and encouragement in our lives. A plant cannot survive without sunlight and nor can we, therefore rid your life of darkness and fill it with light!

Fertilizer – It is incredible that something as gross and foul as manure is, it provides crucial benefits to crop and yard growth. The benefits include: improved soil structure, increased water-holding capacity, improved drainage, a source of slow-release nutrients, reduces wind and water erosion, promotes growth of earthworms and other beneficial soil organisms. As for our gross and foul life problems and challenges that we wish would go away, when faced head on and accepted as opportunities, they will always translate into a more gratifying, healthy and enhanced life.

With spring upon us, immerse yourself in the therapeutic and energizing season and enjoy all she has to offer. Relish the nourishing rain showers, bask in the sunlight and be thankful for adversity, because there is power in your problems. The special three ingredients come as a team and are filled with life blessings and opportunities along the way.

Action Item:
Immerse yourself in the therapeutic and energizing spring season and enjoy all she has to offer. Relish the nourishing rain showers, bask in the sunlight and be thankful for adversity, because there is power in your problems.

You May Also Like:

Fourteen Reasons to be Grateful

iGnite -gratitude changes everything

Point to Ponder:
Do you regularly acknowledge what you are grateful for?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

As you have likely noticed, during the month of November we are celebrating gratitude! Not only are we eager to blast out our gratitude in our social media #ignitegratefulgram contest, but we are fired up to wear our gratitude loud and proud with our NEW ‘Grateful’ fall apparel.

We are not at all suggesting or asking that you post or wear your grateful spirit to be boastful about your “things”. Instead, the motivation behind our Grateful Campaign is to encourage the daily action of giving thanks for our amazing lives and blessings…because when life gets inevitably tough, a grateful spirit can change a bad day into a good day, and a good day into a great day, because gratitude changes everything. I’m hopeful that our Grateful Campaign will inspire and reignite a grateful spirit in everyone.

There is no denying that acknowledging our blessings on a daily basis leads to a physiological reaction that creates a happy and peacful state in the body. To go a step further, based on the findings from a fascinating gratitude experiment conducted by two psychologists, writing down what we are grateful for leads to even greater results. Check this out:

“Two psychologists, Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, wrote an article about an experiment they conducted on gratitude and its impact on well-being. The study split several hundred people into three different groups and all of the participants were asked to keep daily diaries. The first group kept a diary of the events that occurred during the day without being told specifically to write about either good or bad things; the second group was told to record their unpleasant experiences; and the last group was instructed to make a daily list of things for which they were grateful. The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of 1. alertness, 2. enthusiasm, 3. determination, 4. optimism, and 5. energy. In addition, those in the gratitude group experienced less 6. depression and 7. stress, and 8. were more likely to help others, 9. exercised more regularly, and 10. made greater progress toward achieving personal goals. In addition, Dr. Emmons’ research shows that those who practice gratitude tend to be more 11. creative, 12. bounce back more quickly from adversity, 13. have a stronger immune system, and 14. have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude. He further points out that “To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.” – The Change Blog

Something that I am experimenting with in our family is a gratitude jar. The jar sits in the middle of our dining room table and each evening at dinner, we talk about one thing we are grateful for, followed with writing it down on piece of paper and placing it in the jar. Because I have small children who can’t write, I have been writing what they say as as well as including the date. It has become a sweet and focused time which stirs up great conversation (even with a two and a four year old). My personal goal is to revisit the jar of notes during our Thanksgiving meal and to continue writing down what we are grateful for throughout the month of November and the remainder of the year.

Another idea is to print and cut out our Grateful Printables. Then, place your jar, printables and pen in a high-traffic area in your home and anytime you or your family members pass by it, drop a gratitude note in the jar. From a good nights rest, a warm a cup of coffee to the blessing of good health, family and friends, it all counts and taking the time to acknowledging your blessings will make a positive impact in your health, relationships and overall quality of life. And, several months from now or anytime you need a pick-me-up, all you have to do is read what’s in the jar and you are guaranteed a good laugh, happy cry and/or mood booster. Why? Because gratitude changes everything!

Action Item:
Print out our Grateful Printables. Place your jar, printables and pen in a high-traffic area in your home and anytime you or your family members pass by it, drop a gratitude note in the jar. Or, at dinner each evening have each family member write down and discuss what they are grateful for and place in the jar.

You May Also Like:

Thanksgiving for Adversity & What You Do AND Don’t Have

Fall Leaves

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
-Thornton Wilder

Have you ever reflected on your life and given thanks for what you do not have and for adversity?

For example, many years ago while suffering from a broken heart, I prayed over and over that my boyfriend and I would reconcile and live happily ever after. The boyfriend was not my husband, and I am off-the-charts thankful for what I don’t have: a bad marriage and a life that looks nothing like the one I now live, love and am infinitely grateful for.

Also, I specifically remember a friend telling me that she faithfully prayed to no longer have financial woes; however, following a substantial salary increase she was unable to budget and found herself back in financial struggles. This was a tough lesson, but she confessed that she now understands that the blessing of money comes with great responsibility. She is thankful for the tough lessons learned and lives a more financially accountable and practical lifestyle.

Thanksgiving is a joyful time that creates a desire to rest, reflect and give extra thanks for all of our blessings. However, I suggest we go one step further and give thanks for what we do not have, as well as for challenging life experiences.

It seems silly to be thankful for life’s hardships, but for me, they have shaped my life for the best, and provided me with much needed humility, gratitude and the desire and ability to connect and share with others.

Therefore, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am happy to say that I am thankful that I did not marry my high school sweetheart, did not succeed in New York City, and for not having to bake the Thanksgiving turkey 🙂  Have a safe & happy Thanksgiving!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Point To Ponder:
Are you as thankful for life’s challenges as you are for all of the good times?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Action Item:
Be grateful for the blessing of adversity, what you have, don’t have and for unanswered prayers.

To your health,


About Neissa

Leave a Comment