Tag Archives: advice

How Molly is In the Game

The Need for Connectedness  – Continued from Are you In the Game or On the Sidelines?

iGnite - connectedness

Point to Ponder:
When do you get the most offended in your interactions with people?
by Molly Daniels

by Molly Daniels

With the help of iGnite member and business coach Martha Lynn Mangum, I have learned that one of my core values is connectedness. And as I have considered my fears, I’ve realized that one of my related fears is not being and feeling connected.

I value all of my relationships, and when I love you, I love you hard. Before learning that connectedness was one of my core values, when I felt left out or distant from a friend, instead of reaching out to him or her, my fear-based reaction was to withdraw, as this was how I would attempt to protect my heart. Of course I know this isn’t the best or most mature response, but it’s the truth.

Now, since being made aware that connectedness is one of my core values, when I start to feel like it’s being ‘violated,’ I can now identify where that feeling is coming from, work with the facts rather than my assumptions, and move on.

All in all, I need relationships, and I especially love the feeling of connectedness — which is why I love iGnite so much! 🙂

Action Item:
Recognize that your reaction could be a result of your personal core values instead of the fault of others. Notice how this changes the way you view and internalize the situation.

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How Kathleen is In the Game

Vulnerability Lost is Intimacy GainediGnite - Share your StrugglesPoint to Ponder:
Are you struggling with something that you haven’t shared with others out of shame or fear of being judged?

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

I am truly not afraid of trying anything new, especially if it involves a good dose of adrenaline!! But since childhood my biggest fears have been failure and judgement by others.

In my classes I have often shared my father’s philosophy on happiness: “Happiness is found through your accomplishments.” Growing up with this mantra was quite scary. If I was not winning, getting a promotion at work, or raising perfect kids, I was not going to be happy. I was so proud and would not share any of my misfortunes with others. Even my best friend in high school didn’t know about my crazy family situation I was going through for four years! My four daughters were FAR from perfect and gave us a wild ride for many years. It wasn’t until the last few years that I embraced my NEW mantra: “Vulnerability lost is intimacy gained.”

Being afraid to show vulnerability kept me from having fuller and deeper relationships for years. How great it feels to be transparent and hopefully help others through all of the trials I have lived in my 54 years!

Facing my other fear — the fear of failure — I still have. When it comes to competing in the Austin Fittest Competition each year, I go to win, not just to compete. That sure makes it less fun. iGnite member Martha Lynn Mangum opened my eyes this year to focusing on having fun and enjoying the competition and not thinking about the win. I have to say it was the most fun out of the four years I participated! I took down my guard and got to know my competitors on a deeper level afterwards and the day ended with all of us being friends instead of competitors. The bonus was I still won, but had much more fun!

Action Item:
Consider opening up to a loved one about something you’re struggling with, and notice how your relationship deepens and your burden is lifted.

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Member Spotlight: Chelsea Tauzin

Roots:
I’m originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana. I moved to Austin last Halloween!

Family Life:
No significant other; no kids. My parents live in Lake Charles, and my siblings are scattered in TX and LA. I have two brothers (twins!) and a sister (who actually moved to Pflugerville just a couple of months before I did)!

Current/Previous Occupation:
I’m the Creative Director (which is just fancy talk for “I do the graphic work”) for a small science education company called Scientific Minds. I also do freelance graphic design projects when I’ve got the time!

Biggest lesson learned through my iGnite experience:
I am stronger than I think I am, and every week I am surrounded by some pretty incredible and encouraging women who help me realize this.

Best piece of advice and from who:
I’m super close with my family, so a lot of advice I pay attention to comes from them.
“In life, find balance.” – Dad
“In all things, find happiness.” – Mom

I am looking forward to:
In September I’m making my first trip (EVER!) to Europe! I’ve been dreaming about this for years, and I’m practically bouncing out of my skin Im’ so excited to make this happen.

If I were a pair of shoes I would be:
Chucks — they’re nothing flashy. They come in a jillion colors, but they’re just a no-nonsense, classic pair of sneakers. They’re my favorite pair of shoes.

My guilty pleasure is:
Watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette….I’m such a sucker. It’s not even good TV, but I CAN’T STOP!

How Cary is In The Game

iGnite - Faith Bigger than FearPoint to Ponder:

Do your fears inhibit you from trusting people and life in general?

In an effort to be vulnerable, courageous and 100% in the game, throughout the month of July the iGnite Team is going to share some of our fears (eek!!). Like all things in life, nothing is as they appear, the human experience is not unique and we all have fears. Therefore, we feel it’s important that we open the doors into our heads and hearts so that in the event you are experiencing similar fears and emotions (and we know at least one person is) we can bring you comfort, encouragement and even spark some healthy conversation. So, without further adieu, I hope you enjoy Cary’s beautiful testimony and appreciate how she’s avoiding the sidelines and playing in the game of motherhood and letting her children fly.

CaryFyfe

by Cary Fyfe

 “Have faith in him…”

My oldest son, in his quest to encourage me to step back from his younger brother’s need to blossom on his own, softly laid these words like a potion, on to my raw, motherhood anxiety. There we sat, in a sports bar, of all places, the night before this wise young man left for his first year of college. I had asked him to dinner, just him and me, so that I could frantically plant as many seeds as I could before he sailed off into his future…my motherly cherry-on-top-gift to him. He quietly tolerated my mission, and his brown eyes compassionately caressed my anxious sorrow as he listened and validated. Then, when I finally took a breath between words, he softly said this: “You are a great mother. You did everything you needed to do with and for me. Thank you. And now, I want to tell you something important. You needed to do that for me…it was necessary for me…but it is not necessary for Jack. You can step back. You can give him space to use the great skills he has….please do that, Mom…it’s okay to do that. Have faith in him.”  I stopped talking, and I began to listen…and what I heard was my own fear — fear that disguised itself as concern, as necessary in order to guarantee the survival of my children. Fear that was not…was not….true. What was true was the clarity of my oldest son, the capabilities of my youngest son, and my misguided thought that I alone could set their ships on course, for life. I treasure that warm summer night when my sage-of-a-son very gently peeled away the layers of my misguided need to control, and compassionately revealed my useless fear. And in my case, as my son taught me, my fear wasn’t something that I needed to conquer, but rather something that I needed to recognize for what it was, so that I could have the faith to allow life to happen around me, as it was supposed to happen. Falling into fear is a dance that I still do, but because Taylor brought a simple truth to life for me, I can now allow sweet faith to be a bigger part of that dance.

Action Item:

Recognize your fears for what they are. Then have faith by letting go and let life happen around you, as its supposed to.

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Member Spotlight: Lisa Wade

Ignite spotlight - Lisa WadeRoots:
I’m from outside of New York City and came to Austin 19 years ago after living in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 18 years.

Family Life:
Bob and I just celebrated our 30th anniversary. He’s an artist, and we have one daughter, Rachel, who is also an artist and lives and works in Austin.

Work Life:
I’ve worked with Bob in the studio in our home for over 30 years. He does large photo works and public art sculptures (giant boots in San Antonio, the fish at Hula Hut, helmet at Shoal Creek Saloon, etc.), and I take care of everything (He doesn’t email or have an iPhone). I’ve also worked with Prolink Sports & Entertainment for 15 years as the Director of Special Projects and now am Vice President. We produce professional tennis events and music. I’ve worked events with all the top American players all over the country. I was an art critic and writer in Santa Fe, working for national publications, such as Art in America, Arts, and Rolling Stone. When I lived in New York, I worked at the American Museum of Natural History in the Anthropology Department as an archeologist and continued that work at the University of New Mexico. I’ve served on numerous boards and advisory committees for arts organizations and childrens’ charities, including Hamilton College, Austin Museum of Art, Hope Outdoor Gallery, Big Brothers Big Sisters and The Center for Child Protection. I am the founding co-chair of the Buckaroo Ball in Santa Fe and was a co-chair of the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards in Austin.

Biggest lesson learned through my iGnite experience:
As Kathleen says “You can do anything for 30 seconds!”. The wonderful thing about iGnite is that you continue to learn. It has made me mindful of different things every week. It’s about being able to see past your daily experience to find the lesson. Don’t sweat the small stuff but sweat.

Best advice given and from whom:
The best advice came from my father. When I was a little girl and we were standing at a corner in New York, he pointed to the crossing signal and told me “When it says don’t walk, walk.” I guess I’ve been doing that my whole life…stepping off the curb and taking chances.

What people might not know about me:
I can’t snap my fingers!

My favorite color is:
Green! I was captain of the green team at camp and 25 years later my daughter was too.

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Face Your Fears

Inspiration from the iGnite Archives

iGnite - Face your Fears

On the heels of the 4th of July, we are embracing our freedoms that we have been given and facing our fears. Our inspiration is from the blog post from a few years back, Are You In the Game, or On the Sidelines?  We encourage you to read it again and be inspired to get in the game.

This week, and through the remainder of the month, we are crushing fear! Not only apply our Give It a Try in July theme to your iGnite classes, but implement it to your personal and professional life as well. Choose one fear you have, grab a friend for support (if you need), then commit to taking action to overcome it. And, if you are up for inspiring and encouraging others, comment here or email us at hello@igniteyourlifenow.com. We’re living in the no-fear zone and it’s going to be AWESOME!!

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What If vs. What Is?

A Father’s Day Tribute

iGnite - have funPoint to Ponder:

How can you change your thoughts regarding a “What if?” that has been on your mind recently?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

With Father’s Day upon us, I would be remiss not to share some of the best pieces of wisdom my father, Don Brown, has passed along to me, which is:  Put a smile on my face, don’t worry and have fun. 

There was once a time in my life when I worried about everything and with that came a ridiculous amount of “What-if’s.”  It’s funny because now I can’t even specifically remember what all I worried about or what-if’d about, but it happened regularly enough for my Dad to impress upon me that worry and what-if’s would not only ruin my day, but were a complete waste of my time and energy.

Even though I knew my Dad was right, applying the “don’t worry, smile and have fun” philosophy was much easier said than done.  Then, before having children I vividly remember ‘what if’-ing and literally freaking out about my future–wondering how balancing a family and career was or wasn’t going to work out.  My mind meandered down a million unnecessary paths. Amongst all of the worry, of course everything worked out great.  In fact, it worked out much better than I could’ve ever planned or imagined. Not only was my Dad right, but the majority of the time the things I worry about and what-if over never become a reality.  I also realized that I could never get back all of the time I’ve wasted on worry.

Along the same lines, but spun slightly differently, my husband Russell recently shared this wisdom he learned from the University of San Diego head baseball coach: “If you are going to spend time on the “What’s,” spend time on what is vs. what if.”  I love that!  What if we replaced the imaginary “what if’s” with the facts of what actually is?  To me, this changes the whole situation, because when we stick with the facts only, we can apply logic and reason.  We’d save ourselves a ton of mental, emotional and even physical anguish and stress, and a ton of time — something I am certain all of us can use more of.

I am thankful to admit that the amount I worry and what-if over the years has significantly decreased, but when they do start to creep back into my head and get me emotionally charged, irrational and threaten to sabotage my day, I recall my Dad’s wisdom and strive to not worry, smile and have fun.  So, please join me in making it a goal to ditch the worry and what-if’s and focus on enjoying life and having fun!

Action Item:

Focus on the what-is rather than the what-if and enjoy the difference it makes in your daily living.

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Member Spotlight: Ashley Lottman

iGnite Member Spotlight

iGniter of ~ 4 years

Roots:
Technically I’m from Chicago. When I was younger, we moved every 2-3 years for my dad’s job, but our last move was to Chicago when I was 11 so it became home. I’ve lived in Austin for 8 years on and off. I went to UT and moved back to Chicago for a job in 2007. I came back to Austin in July 2011 when my fiancé, Ryan, decided to get his MBA from UT.

Family Life:
I am engaged to Ryan Brueckner, and we are getting married October 17th in Austin! Ryan is a Consultant for Deloitte so he’s typically traveling for work Monday through Thursday. Thus, we really cherish our time together on the weekends! Although we don’t have any kids, I’d love to have 3 later on down the road.

Work life:
I am currently a Banker with J.P. Morgan Private Bank, and I work with individuals to help them with investment management, banking and estate planning. I started with the bank 8 years ago when I was right out of college as an assistant and worked my way up to Associate and now Banker.

Biggest lesson learned through my iGnite experience:
I’ve learned many things, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I am stronger than I ever thought I was. With the encouragement of the iGnite leaders and my friends in class, I find I continually surprise myself with what I can do and love that I am always challenged to do more.

Best advice I’ve received:
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received came from my dad which has served me well over the years. He always told me to never stop challenging myself and go out of my comfort zone. This advice has led me to set challenging goals for myself which has helped me to continually learn, grow, try new things, and be open to new experiences.

I am looking forward to:
My wedding! We are very blessed to have friends and family flying in from all over the country to help us celebrate our big day. I’m also very excited for our honeymoon. We will be spending a week laying on the beach in Bora Bora and then two weeks exploring the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

If I were a pair of shoes, I would be:
Tennis shoes. I love to be active and love to travel/explore and being tennis shoes would allow me to do both all the time!

Necessary –> Possible –> Impossible

iGnite - Doing the ImpossiblePoint to Ponder:

What’s your impossible?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Has there ever been a time in your life when completing a project, accomplishing a goal or getting through a particularly difficult situation seemed just plain impossible?  Did you maybe procrastinate starting because you knew the journey would be long, uncertain and maybe even agonizing? I’d like to be able to say that I’m happy to jump on any project, goal or problem, but too often I instead get stuck over-thinking the “how” as well as the magnitude of the desired result.  All this does is overwhelm me, delay the start and discourage me from even getting started.

Recently I received the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation‘s newsletter and in it read the brilliant article Possible by Charlotte Benson.  In it, Charlotte, the mother of Christiane Benson who has Batten’s Disease (a neurodegenerative condition that causes seizures, blindness, cognitive and physical decline and is terminal by the late teens or early 20’s) shares incredibly exciting and encouraging news regarding Christiane’s eyesight and middle school successes. Here’s a little teaser:

“A couple of weeks ago, we had Christiane’s annual visit with her opthamologist to assess her vision and see what changes have occurred. Last year, we received the very good news that Christiane’s vision had only decreased marginally in one eye and this year her vision was virtually unchanged since last year! This is more than we could have possibly hoped for. When I told the doctor about the nutritional supplements we give Christiane, she said that she never sees this sort of stabilization in Batten patients, and then she asked who our nutritionist was. I could hardly wait to call Richard Abdo, our nutritionist, and tell him the good news. He has done a phenomenal job addressing the effects of Batten Disease through Christiane’s diet and supplementation. Richard has never had another patient with Batten disease, but applies what he does know about nutritional support for her brain based on other neurodegenerative conditions he has treated. Just by knowing what is necessary and doing what is possible, he is making an indelible impact on Christiane’s life by improving and extending her quality of life.” 

One of the many things I love, love, love so much about Charlotte’s article is its relevance. We would be hard pressed to find a person on the planet who doesn’t sometimes get bogged down by the magnitude of life and occassionally wonder “how in the world am I going to get through this? And where do I even begin?!” Instead of focusing on what’s necessary or possible, too often the tendency is to look at the big and overwhelming im-possible, first.  However, when we flip it and instead start with what’s necessary, then accomplish what’s possible, it changes everything. Before long, what once felt impossible becomes possible!

If you’re like me, you are likely tired of hearing about my upcoming move to San Diego, however I am declaring that Necessary –> Possible –> Impossible is my new mantra for expanding iGnite into San Diego (and really life in general).  When I look at the big picture and how it’s all going to occur, it’s too overwhelming and makes my brain hurt.  But, when I break it down into first doing what’s necessary (sell our house, find a good neighborhood and home to live in, get moved and settled, find a church, figure out my remote role for iGnite Austin, etc.); then do what’s possible (have fun and explore with the children, get familiar with the area, make friends, find a babysitter,  find a preschool, have iGnite Escapes to San Diego, etc.); before long and in some capacity iGnite San Diego will be up and running and the impossible will become an inspired community of women sharing life through health and fitness, and new friends for us all!

So…what’s your impossible? 

Action Item:

If you have a daunting “impossible” dangling in your life, I highly recommend you first do what’s necessary, which is gain strength, encouragement and inspiration by reading Charlotte’s article, Possible. Your impossible is awaiting possible status!

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Member Spotlight: Leslie McConnico

IMG_7038
iGniter of  7.5 years
Roots:
I am a true native Austinite, born and raised as we say. I have lived here almost all of my life with the exception of some college and for a short time in Houston. I love the city and it just keeps getting better.
Family Life:
I have been married to Steve for 22 years. Steve has two “boys”, Kit (33) and Andrew (30). Andrew is married to a wonderful woman, Caitlin, and they live in Seattle. Andrew is a landscape architect with a commercial firm, and Caitlin is in Public Health. Kit lives in Austin and does sports announcing for college games and professional soccer teams. He also has a radio show on The Horn. Steve and I have a daughter, Callie, who is a junior at Hamilton College in upstate New York. We have lots of fun together, but I’m not sure if and when I’ll get her back to Austin!
Work life:
I retired from Stuart Title Guaranty Company soon after marrying Steve. I was the Director of Communications for their national office. With two boys at home, managing their activities, and becoming pregnant 4 months after getting married, we decided it was best for our family.
Biggest lesson learned through my iGnite experience:
I can do more than I think I can. It is so good to have positive reinforcements and cheering coaches. They have made me better at some things and pushed me to a new level. I also enjoy the women of the group–who knew exercising could be so much fun and rewarding!
Best advice given:
“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” -Don Williams Jr. (American Novelist and Poet, b. 1968) I really have to try and keep this in my head. I am such a planner, which can be a very good thing, but I forget to take everything in and enjoy the moment and the journey.
What I like to do in my free time:
I love to read and travel. Those are my hobbies with a little Mah Jongg thrown in. I think I caught the travel bug from my mother! We are going to the Amazon for 9 days in June.
My favorite color is:
Orange. My daughter says its because when I attended Camp Waldemar I was a Comanche, and their color is orange. There might be something to this, but I am drawn to the color in clothes, fruits, shoes and nature. It makes me happy.