Tag Archives: comfort zone

Member Spotlight: Nancy Dacy

I grew up in Midland, Texas. I came to Austin in 1975 as a Junior in college to attend The University of Texas as a transfer from SMU. I have been here…wow…40 years.

Family Life:
I have been married to David, an Austin native, for 35 years. We met here at UT. We have 3 children: Catherine, 29, Christopher, AKA “Cricker” 28 and Alexis, 24. And as I am sure everyone knows, we have 2 grandchildren: Grayson, 3 1/2, and Madison, 4 months.

Current/Previous Occupation:
I taught Kindergarten a LONG time ago. I have done a little health coaching but primarily I have lived my adult life volunteering in many different capacities. My focus now is the Helping Hand Home for Children.

Biggest lesson learned through iGnite experience:
I have gained so much from iGnite, but I think the biggest lesson is that I/we are capable of doing so much more than we think we are. We just need to take advantage of opportunities and with encouragement, all we need to do is step out of our comfort zone and give things a try. You never know until you try. As I have said, I never dreamed I would be surfing without a rope on my 60th birthday. That was 100% iGnite and Kathleen.

Best advice given and from who:
Not sure where I heard this but it has stuck with me ever since: Everyone takes responsibility for their own happiness. Happiness is a choice that comes from within. Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections. There are choices you can make every day to feel the effects of happiness. Choose to do something meaningful. Choose to take care of your body. Choose to be around the right people. Choose a good attitude. Choose to express gratitude. Choose to forgive. Choose to focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.

In my free time…
My first choice is to be on the lake. It is truly my happy place. I love to travel – just need to do more of it. I am working on a needlepoint stocking for Madison, my granddaughter. So, more time than usual, is spent in front of a LifeTime movie stitching. Otherwise, I am with Madison and Grayson a lot.

Who is your celebrity look alike?
Well, for some reason, people are ALWAYS telling me I look like someone they know. It is really the oddest thing. But, for many years, everywhere I went (and I am truly not exaggerating), people told me I look like Cindy Brooks who used to anchor the Channel 5 news here in Austin. I had no idea who she was because I didn’t watch that channel. Finally, I did. Of course, I didn’t really see the resemblance. Many people said it was the smile. And…again, I don’t see it, but many people have told me I look like Jane Fonda. All I can picture is Monster In Law.

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No Regrets

Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things.
The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have and should have.

– Louis E. Boone

If you haven’t had the opportunity to count your blessings, celebrate your accomplishments or set new goals yet this week, we recommend you do!  Your accomplishments may not feel as giant as the ones seen in the video below, but we promise you’ll feel just as awesome!


The Spirit of Spontaneity

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
— What Not to Wear

Action Item:
Practice spontaneity and try something new every day. Take a different route home, enjoy a new restaurant, try a new iGnite class, or stay up late watching a movie on Monday rather than Friday.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Last week while walking my son Durant, I became overwhelmed by one of THE BEST smells in the world. As I approached Wally’s Burgers on Mesa Drive, the smell took me back to a childhood memory-to a place called Wilburn’s. Wilburn’s was a “greasy burger joint” in Riesel (where I grew up), and there was not a single healthy item on their menu (except for the iceberg lettuce salad, which by the time it was covered in Ranch Dressing and croutons, it actually had negative nutritional value). In addition, smoking inside was perfectly acceptable, and therefore there was always a layer of cigarette smoke, making Wilburn’s a real safety hazard. Despite the heart attack risk, the hamburgers were unbelievably delicious and unforgettable, which is why my mouth watered when I approached Wally’s this last week.

As the smells took me down memory lane, I contemplated when I had eaten my last greasy hamburger, and sadly remembered it was my Junior year in high school. Upon graduating from high school I literally became obsessed with a healthy diet and up until my pregnancy, I deprived myself from indulging and enjoying fatty foods, which included greasy hamburgers. So, as I continued to walk, the smell from Wally’s drove me crazy and I began asking myself the following questions:

  • What is the worst thing that will happen if you ate a greasy Wally’s hamburger?
  • Why are you afraid of eating a greasy Wally’s hamburger?
  • Are you that boring and lack spontaneity so much that you won’t allow yourself one single greasy hamburger?

As I walked and thought about these questions, all of the answers were fear based. For example, I thought, “I’m afraid that if I eat a greasy hamburger I’ll like it so much that I’ll want another… I’m afraid of the fat and calories and fear I’ll gain weight.” Fear, fear, fear! What’s that all about?!?!?

iGniters working out and living life with friends who keep each other courageous and motivated to overcome our fears when we all need that extra support!

Needless to say, I did not stop and get a greasy hamburger because I felt like at that point in the week I had not calorically earned the right, however I decided I would have one in the very near future. I concluded that while eating a predominately healthy diet is a great goal, there is nothing wrong with having a greasy hamburger once every seventeen years! In fact, that would be a joyful and spontaneous experience for me, and one that would contribute to my enthusiastic life, just like when I indulged Friday morning and snuck away to watch the movie, The Way.

Ironically, The Way (an inspirational must-see) spoke to me like Wally’s. I realize this is a silly analogy, however in essence they both reminded me to shake up my routine and be spontaneous. Just as quoted in The Way, “You don’t choose a life, you live one,” and while cliche, life IS too short to not occasionally enjoy a greasy hamburger! Furthermore and also from The Way, were the words of a female inn keeper who never walked The Camino de Santiago/the Way of St. James. When asked why she had never walked it she said, “When I was young I was too busy, and now that I’m old, I’m too tired.” Honestly, her words knocked my socks off as “too busy and too tired” are excuses that I commonly say.

So, what’s your greasy hamburger? Are you possibly avoiding spontaneity as a result of fear, like me? If you are, then you are in good company and the best news is that becoming spontaneous is no different from developing a strong muscle, increased stamina or flexibility. It simply takes stepping outside of your comfortable shell and practicing. Soon enough, you will crack your protective shell and begin seeing life with a new pair of fearless and enthusiastic eyes. Furthermore, spontaneity, like practicing regular exercise, adds heart beats and energy to your life, and who doesn’t want that?

Therefore, in the spirit of spontaneity, let’s get uncomfortable, messy and try new things. Who knows, maybe you’ll dress up like a dancing trash bag and spontaneously scare your family or neighbors. After all, it is almost Halloween!  Enjoy this week’s Weekly Intention Guide for a helpful guide in thinking about new things you can try every day this upcoming week. Also check out the video below and enjoy a hysterical Ellen moment.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- What’s Your Greasy Hamburger? 

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