Tag Archives: community

Member Spotlight: Madeleine Tilin

grey-big-smile-filter-5652Roots:
I grew up in Lubbock, graduated from UT Austin with a degree in journalism and moved several times before coming back to Austin in 2011. My children’s father and I both worked in publishing and enjoyed some great cities together as a result – Boulder, Chicago, Santa Fe and Oakland. We moved to Austin in 2011.

Family Life:
I live with my partner, John, and I have two children, Isaac (17) and Leila (14) who are in high school at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. We also live with John’s two sons, Graham (17) and Lucas (14) who attend LASA. It’s kind of like the Brady Bunch without Alice. ๐Ÿ™‚

Work Life:
I have spent my work life as a visual communicator – magazine art director, graphic designer and photographer. I’ve been an event and portrait photographer for the last 9 years and am transitioning to having my own female centered contemporary portrait studio out of my home. I’m excited to develop as a fine artist using my photography as a basis to create photo encaustic work, a medium that uses beeswax and oil pant to create beautiful, one of a kind art pieces for my clients. It’s been germinating for a few years. It’s finally becoming a reality, and I’m super excited! That said, my job as a mother trumps all. It’s clichรฉ, but I don’t think I really knew how big my heart could grow until I had children. I’m so thankful for this journey.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my iGnite experience…
Working out in community is way more fun and motivating. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have always valued my friendships with women, so iGnite is an extension of that. I appreciate that there are women of all ages, perspectives and life experiences.

Who or what inspires meย most…
It’s hard to narrow this one down! My children, my girlfriends, nature and my yoga practice. First, my children inspire me with their kindness, sensitivity and openness to life and all kinds of people. Second, nature, particularly the ocean and redwoods in Northern California and the high desert and mountains in New Mexico. As a photographer, I’m always observing the quality of light in new places, and I inevitably think the last place is the best…like how could it ever get better?! This is a great metaphor for life. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just when you think you have experienced the most amazing, sublime light, you arrive in a new place or time and something different and just as beautiful is revealed. Nature perpetuates a sense of wonder that is so very important to happiness. My closest girlfriends near and far inspire me with their big, generous hearts and willingness to dig deep and help each other be the best versions of ourselves. My yoga practice has enriched my life in ways I could have never imagined when I started practicing 22 years ago. It has been my close friend and refuge most of my adult life, and I can easily say that it has made me a better human being. I am eternally grateful to my many teachers who have passed on different aspects of this beautiful practice.

Something people may not know about me is…
I sang vocals, played keyboard and flute in two different bands in Oakland. They were both groups of parents who were getting their groove back. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a ton of fun and learning how to play with others was a whole new experience.

Three words to describe myself are…
Creative, warm-hearted, free-spirited


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Member Spotlight: Simone Krasan

simoneRoots:
I say I am from Seattle, as that is where I spent the longest amount of time growing up. My father was in the military, and my mother liked to travel, so we moved around a lot. I moved from Seattle to Austin, sight unseen, with two of my sorority sisters in 1995. I said I would give it a year…it’s been 22 years now. ๐Ÿ™‚

Family life:
I met my husband, Sean, when we moved from New York City and he lived next door to me at the Gables on Lake Austin Blvd in 1996. We have been married almost 17 years now and have three AWESOME -most of the time- kids! Max is 14 and will attend Westlake High School next year! Ben is 11 and then “WE GOT THE GIRL!” as my husband always says. Olivia is 10.

Work life:
Currently, I have the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom. I feel like I am a full time uber driver (but without pay) for my kids and their teammates. I also do some inspirational speaking on occasion. Before kids, I was a top sales producer at several telecom companies and later ran two sales offices as a District Sales Manager.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my iGnite experience…
The biggest lesson I have learned through my iGnite experience is how valuable the friendships, connections and community through iGnite are. Neissa and all the amazing women that help lead iGnite are some of the best women out there. Neissa has always had a gift of inspiring others and of bringing women together to share their gifts and talents. I highly value these women and the lovely ladies I get to iGnite life with.

Who or what inspires me most…
The ocean inspires me. There is a quote that I love by Isak Dinesen, and our own iGniter Olivia Osborne, found it for me in a magazine at the Re-New Year San Diego iGnite Retreat. She says “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” Thanks to iGnite, we get to sweat. Sometimes we just need a good cry. And the sea, although it has almost taken my life twice, is my happy place. I would also like to mention our fellow iGniter and my awesome cousin, Nikki McCormick, who inspires me to laugh! You know the belly laugh that makes your cheeks hurt kind of laugh!

I am looking forward to…
The day my book I have been writing gets published. It’s not ready yet – it needs a great editor – but I have been enjoying finally writing a book that has been 25 years in the making. Many of the seasoned iGniters know “my story”, and if you have ever been a newbie in one of Kathleen’s classes that I have shown up for have heard it too, because she lovingly brags about me! In 1991, my new friend and love, Larry, set me up on the railing of an Italian ferry. I fell backwards and plummeted over 40 feet into the Adriatic Sea, and he jumped in after me. At 1:00 am, no one saw us go overboard. It was 18 hours that I floated in and out of consciousness, fighting for my life, before I was miraculously found by nine Austrian men on their 47 foot Clipper who saved me. Tragically, Larry did not survive. I share my story of love and hope in hopes to inspire others.

My guilty pleasure…
Would have to involve hazelnuts, whether it’s a French crepe with Nutella, a Hazelnut Latte or a Kinder Bueno Bar, a candy bar from Italy with a chocolate covered wafter and hazelnut filling. Yum!


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Member Spotlight: Janet Chastain

janet2Roots:
I was born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas. I’ve been in Austin, full time, since 1993, not counting the 4 years of college, 1978-1982.

Family life:
I’m married to Lee and have 2 children, Madeline (19) and Daniel (18).

Work Life:
Current occupation: Empty nester trying to find a current occupation.
Previous occupation(s): Tennis racquet stringer, waitress, banking regulator, attorney.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my iGnite experience…
Health and fitness, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, are best nurtured in community. iGnite provides a great community of leaders and members who encourage, challenge, support, and love each other every single day.

I’m most inspired by…
My good friend, Cristina. She is facing one of the most difficult trials imaginable with such strength, humility, wisdom and faith, that I know her friends and family will never forget. She is truly a testimony to God’s provision in the hard things.

I’m looking forward to…
Spending time with my kiddos in Colorado over the Thanksgiving break.

If I were a pair of shoes, I would be…
Either my daughter’s Birkenstocks or my son’s hiking boots, so that I could go with them wherever they go, see what they see and support them every step of the way. But then again, that’s God’s job.


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Member Spotlight: Kelly Glasgow

iGnite - Kelly GlasgowRoots:
I grew up in Dallas. My husband grew up in Houston. We moved to Austin in 1983 for my husband to get his MBA, and we never left!

Family Life:
I met my husband, William, at Vanderbilt. We married the January following graduation. We have five wonderful children and five beautiful grandchildren. Merrill (30) and Chase Laguarta live in Austin with their three daughters (5, 3, and 15 months). Megan (29) lives in NYC. Walker (27) and his wife Haley live in Oahu with their two boys (23 months and 6 months). Molly Frances (25) and her husband Joe Denham live in Austin. And last, but not least, Mallory (23) lives in Chicago.

Work Life:
I am a Registered Nurse (currently unemployed).

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my iGnite experience…
Hmmm…that’s a hard one. I have so many lessons learned through iGnite but I would say my biggest take away is that there is so much wisdom to glean from all ages
of women. I have learned as much from the younger women as I have from my peer group. These young ladies are mature and very cool!
The best advice I’ve ever gotten…ย “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.”ย  Matthew 6:34

As a mother of five children, I have done my share (and more) of worrying. I knew as a Christian it was not biblical to worry, but I was very stubborn in this area. I think I somehow believed the amount of worry correlated with my love for my family or some such nonsense. I did bible studies on worry, read books on worry, but yep, you guessed it, I continued to worry. I am a very slow learner. I didn’t release my kids until my son joined the army. At that point, it became very apparent to my that I WAS NOT IN CONTROL. All of those wasted hours worrying…as I loosened my grip on my children, I had a new outlook on life. When our son deployed to Afghanistan, I didn’t want his absence and my worry to define me. Instead, I put into action what I knew but never truly embraced…God has a plan, and I need to trust in that. So there you have it. I let go and trusted God. Every day is a new day, and daily I have to renew my trust. I must admit that I am so grateful that I’m not in control. It’s too big of a job for me! Do I still worry some? YES of course…I am a work in progress ๐Ÿ™‚

Something people may not know about me…
I am a NCIS junkie.

My guilty pleasure…
A glass of bubbly at lunch.

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Member Spotlight: Lexi Lenhart

IMG_2890

Roots:
I am originally from New Orleans but grew up mostly in Katy right outside of Houston. I moved to Austin for my first job out of college (so lucky!) about 4 years ago.

Basic Family Stats:
I just married my wonderful husband, Al, in May of this year. We have two dog children: Enzo, 140 lb Rottweiler, and Daisy, 5 lb long hair chihuahua.

Current/Previous Occupation:
I started a new job this year doing pharmaceutical sales. Prior to that I worked as a child nutritionist for 4 years.

The biggest lesson I have learned through my iGnite experience…
The importance of being a part of a good community of women. When I first moved to Austin, I didn’t have any girlfriends so being a part of iGnite and knowing all of these amazing, successful, positive women has been a great influence.

I am most inspired by…
This is a toughie because I feel like I am inspired daily by a million different people and things. The one I am most inspired by right now is my husband…He got a neurotoxin poison on our honeymoon from eating fish and has been struggling for several months with lingering neurological side effects. Through it all, he has been determined to work to provide for us, strong with a smile on his face even though I know he doesn’t feel well, and has still been a wonderful husband to me, always somehow keeping me and my happiness a priority. His ambition, will and love has been inspiring as I look to the future and know, that even in the hardest times, we will always make it through together.

I am looking forward to…
We are finally house hunting after greatly outgrowing our current home. I’m looking forward to finding and setting up a home for us to start married life and make memories!

My celebrity look alike is…
I think I have one of those faces that resembles a lot of people. I am always getting ‘you look like my sister, aunt, friend…’ I’ve heard from others my celebrity look alike is Carmen Elektra.

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A Touch of Kindness Goes a Long Way

Operation Spread Hope, Love & Joy, Part III

IMG_4317 2

“A little spark of kindness can put a colossal burst of sunshine in someone’s day. Be the reason someone smiles today.

Point to Ponder:
Have you ever considered your daily goal being to make someone smile?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Like many little boys, when my four year old son Durant was a toddler he loved trash trucks. Thursday was our trash pick-up day so that was a huge deal! As soon as I heard the trash truck roaring down the street my husband or I would scoop him up and we’d rush out of the house to catch a glimpse and give a wave. He loved trash trucks so much that I would follow them around neighborhoods. During one of my “I’ll do anything to entertain my toddler”/ “trash truck stalking” moments, I was following a trash truck so close that the sweet garbage man got out of his truck to wave me around him. I let him know that I had a little boy in the car who loved trash trucks. He then invited us into his truck and let Durant push buttons and steer the wheel. Like the quote says, the little spark of kindness from the garbage man put a colossal burst of sunshine in both of our days! I will forever be grateful for all of the sweet garbage men who honked their horns, gave us waves and let us check out their powerful machines.

Before having my endearing garbage man experience which led to a sincere appreciation for this group, my angelic grandmother showed me how important it was to be kind and generous to people who have “thankless jobs”, like a garbage man.

My grandmother, ‘Mama Doris’, might have been the most kind and wonderful person I have ever known. If being too kind is possible, she fell in that category because she nurtured and cared for everyone except herself. In addition to doing anything for anyone and being an amazing grandmother, a few examples of her kindness were that she would regularly bake the mailman and garbage man her homemade apple and butter pies, and she would scramble eggs for stray cats! She was always spreading hope, love and joy and I have no doubt that she is in heaven continuing to bake and cook for everyone.

In consideration of this week being our third week of Operation Spread Hope, Love and Joy, my encouragement for you is to continue to be intentional with spreading hope, love and joy by doing something kind for men and/or women who perform “thankless jobs”. Just a few examples of thankless jobs are garbage, mail and delivery services, construction, etc.

Finally, due to travel back to Austin for the holidays we will miss this week’s trash day, so last week I left a Merry Christmas note with goodie gift bag for our trash men. I don’t know about you, but our pantry is never lacking treats, especially during the holiday season, so it was a cinch to find goodies to fill the bag. And, it felt really good to create and leave a gift bag for our garbage men and upon doing so I had no expectation. However, that evening while pulling the garbage cans back into the garage I found a hand-written thank you note from Jaime V, one of the garbage men (see below). I was floored!

While last Tuesday was a great day, Jaime V’s note was the highlight of that day and it continues to make me smile. In fact, I’m keeping it in my day planner as a reminder of not only how truly gratifying it is to give, but how upligting it feels to receive an unexpected thank you.

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A thank you not from Jaime V, our garbage truck driver

 

Action Item:
Spread a little love, hope and joy by doing something kind for the men and/or women who perform thankless jobs such as garbage, mail and delivery services, construction, etc.

 

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It’s Your Season, It’s Your Purpose

iGnite - living with purpose

Point to Ponder:
Do you struggle with defining or finding your purpose, feel confused about your life, or feel fearful that there isn’t enough time left to do what you want to do?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Since moving to San Diego, my life has drastically changed and taken a 180 degree turn. I do not yet have any friends here, and except for taking Durant and Malaine to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and tending to my iGnite responsibilities and duties from afar, I don’t have any commitments either. I won’t lie, when talking to the iGnite leaders, family, and friends and occasionally peeking at Facebook and Instagram, I experience bittersweet emotions. It stinks to be on the outside looking in, missing out and not able to take part in what I’ve created in iGnite in Austin. I have also experienced extreme withdrawals from my addictions: the “being busy addiction,” “having places to go addiction,” and the “feeling needed and wanted” addiction. There are times when my ego screams so loud that I find myself taken over with feelings of inadequacy and the desire to busy myself just so I can feel important and accomplished again. Then, finally, it dawned on me that not only was my evil ego in my way, but what I was really struggling with the most was my purpose.

With the help of Martha Lynn Mangum, iGnite member and business coach, reminding me that our society inundates women with the destructive message that if we aren’t working 60 hours a week, involved in a million organizations, committed to regularly volunteering, acting as the home-room mom, and only taking two-weeks of maternity leave, or just tending to our own or our family’s and community’s needs, that we aren’t enough. Pu-lease! Don’t get me wrong, I believe in having a passion and purpose outside of our family, but not at the expense of jeopardizing our marriages, not being a present mom to our children and neglecting our relationships. Looking back, while living in Austin I definitely tip-toed into those zones and was drinking the toxic Kool-Aid. This is my destructive tendency, and I have to consistently check myself to make sure I am being counter-culture.

It has been a very long time since I have wondered about my purpose. While living in Austin, my family, friends and iGnite were absolutely my purpose and they kept my heart pumping fast and hard. Originally, I thought starting iGnite in San Diego would be my first purpose-filled project, but now I’m not so sure about that. For now, I’m declaring that I am on a prayerful, peaceful, intentional purpose-finding mission project. I’ve narrowed my purpose down to:

  1. Learning how to become a fully-attentive, loving and supportive wife to Russell (which is hard to admit because of my strong will, pride and independence)
  2. Appreciating this colorful and unique time I have with our preschool-age children and being a fully attentive and fun mother.
  3. Remotely supporting and leading the iGnite team, the iGnite members and our efforts to iGnite Austin and impact, inspire and empower every woman to live a healthy and purpose-filled life.
  4. Taking the time to get on my knees everyday and pray for myself, my family, my friends, iGnite and anyone I know who is in need of prayers or who I told I would pray for them. While I am a faithful person, embarrassingly my prayer life has been pathetic, and I’m tired of being lip-service only. Please let me know if and how I can pray for you. Seriously!
  5. Becoming involved with our church, The Rock, and serving the San Diego community.

I must confess that while I’m feeling content with my new purpose in San Diego, there is sooooo much I want to do in my life! For example, I want to write a book, I want to be on the speaking circuit and I want to grow iGnite so that women all over the world can iGnite in a positive and inspiring community. I wanna, wanna, wanna! And with that said, I get nervous and afraid that I am going to miss my opportunity, run out of time and miss out. But, thankfully, for the first time in my life, I found a Bible translation that I can actually understand called The Voice, and it’s teaching me about patience. Even though Adam, Pharrell, Gwen and Blake aren’t quoted in it, I have learned so much! One of the things that has been glaring is how late in life God uses people. Of course he uses children, like when He used David to defeat Goliath when David was only a teenager, but for example, Noah, Abraham, Sarai (Abraham’s wife) were waaaay past their “prime,” or what we today consider our “prime.” Granted, people back then lived longer, but by human standards, they were still considered old, and they fulfilled God’s purpose for them much later in life.

I recently watched a special on television called Try, Try Again where John Stossell chronicled the lives of great inventors and authors who not only failed before having success, but were also “past their prime” before having any success and fulfilling their purpose. Just to name a couple: Julia Child was 50 before writing her first cookbook, and Harland Sanders (a.k.a Colonel Sanders) franchised his first Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 62.

All in all, I write this journal not to go off about my personal purpose journey, but rather to encourage anyone who is struggling with defining or finding their purpose, feeling confused about their life, or fearful that there isn’t enough time. For sure we all sometimes feel a sense of urgency because we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, but fear cannot be the reason why we do or don’t take action. Instead, remember that there is a season in life for everything and that our purpose can evolve, morph and even change. Sometimes we’re in a season of action, and other times we’re in a season of self-reflection, contemplation and quiet. Regardless of the season you find yourself in now, when you weave in prayer and intention, you will without a doubt be led down the right path and your fruit will be ripe.

Action Item:
Remember there is a season in life for everything and that your purpose can evolve, morph and change over time. Approach your season of life with prayer and intention.

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