Tag Archives: contentment

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.


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The Next Best Thing

Inspiration from the iGnite Archives

April24_2016

Point to Ponder:
Do you struggle with contentment, have trouble appreciating your life and/or find yourself always looking for the next best thing?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

In an effort to fill my life with as much motivation and positive thinking as possible, I subscribe to inspirational and spiritual email services, read nurturing books, surround myself with “light-giving” people, spend time outside and try to exercise several times a week. One of the email newsletters I receive is called Simple Truths, and several times a week they send quotes, short videos and exerts from their books. Just this week I scrolled through one of the newsletters titled “Attitude is Everything.” Honestly, because this message has been drilled into my brain since as far back as I can remember, I initially disregarded it, as I knew it wasn’t going to be new information. This was “old hat” and the reality is that I was looking for cutting-edge wisdom — the latest and greatest that would knock my socks off.

Never-the-less, I reluctantly played the encouraging video and as I suspected there was nothing new. I had read and listened to these words hundreds of times, however because it was ageless wisdom and my life is always evolving, it actually blew my socks off, again! The words were relevant and a necessary way of thinking and living. I immediately became re-inspired and humbled, and it dawned on me that my way of thinking is what led Eve down the path of destruction. I was looking for the next best thing, the shiny and juicy red apple that would give me an advantage in life, but the truth is the old and simple stuff was plenty good. It was enough. In addition, good and bad habits are formed upon repetition and because the substance of the following inspiration by Simple Truth is vital to keeping a positive state of mind, I will continue to read, share, and try my best to live it. Here is what they suggest:

Wait to Worry
Only 8% of what we worry about comes true.
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

Keep an Attitude of Gratitude
Count your blessings and jot them down.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Your Health is Your Wealth
If you lose your health you lost everything. Take time to exercise, catch up on your sleep and eat right.
“One of the main qualities it takes to be successful is energy….it may be the only thing.” ~ Katharine Hepburn

Joy Boomerangs
Do something for someone else….the good you do boomerangs back to you!
“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” ~ Booker T. Washington

Learn to Say “No”
We have limits to our time, energy and interests.
“If we always say ‘yes,’ we run a greater danger of severing relationships than if we refuse right away.” ~ Vicki Hitzges

Understand the Power of Discipline
If you discipline yourself today, you’ll enjoy your life tomorrow.
“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Surround Yourself with Positive People
Find people who will challenge you, believe in your and inspire you to improve.
“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” ~ David Viscott

All in all, I do think it is important to be open to learning and exploring new things. Knowledge is power and a key component of growth, however I also believe that most humans struggle with contentment (THAT’S ME!) which keeps us chasing the next best thing and in a perpetual state of wanting and needing more. Therefore, as we continue to seek new information, opportunities, and adventure, remember to not over-think it and keep it simple. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel and most often our most sacred treasures are right under our noses, like the bee pollinating the flower in the picture. While the bee is only a tiny little insect, they are the most efficient pollinators whose impact is incredible! Without them, many of the flowers we love would not exist, we would not be able to enjoy the deliciousness of honey as well as a long list of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. However, because of that simple little critter, life is a whole lot sweeter, just as so many other “little things” in our life.

Action Item:
Practice contentment by taking a moment to stop, breathe and focus on your life: the tumultuous times you have overcome and the wisdom you thankfully gained from them; the struggles and inconveniences that you are currently enduring and the growth opportunities you are receiving from them; and the relationships, blessings and “little things” that you might often look past. In this busy, accomplishment-oriented and task-driven world we live in, take the time to focus on the “small things” and give thanks for the big impact they have had and currently have on your life.

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WEEKLY JOURNAL: Are You Living in the Fantasy of “One Day…”?

The Best Time is NOW

Happiness is an inside job. By exposing your fantasy, you will once and for all dispel the myth that happiness, joy and contentment live anywhere but within you.

-Debbie Ford

Have you ever thought or said, “I’ll be happy or content when__________?”  Or, have you ever heard this saying “You’re only as happy as your most unhappy child”?  I’m certainly guilty of looking ahead to see what is over the horizon and will be the first to admit that I lack contentment.  And, just the other day during an iGnite meeting we discussed the danger of putting all of our happiness eggs into or children’s basket, or anyone’s basket for that matter. If that’s the case, we’ll never get off of the nauseating and emotional roller coaster; therefore, we’ll always deny ourselves happiness, joy and contentment!  Happiness, joy and contentment are choices; and thankfully, it’s up to us to find and experience these lifelong fulfilling emotions.

I find the topics of happiness, joy and contentment especially fitting this time of year as goals, resolutions and changes are being pursued by everyone, including myself. After reading the chapter  ‘Exposing The Fantasies’ from Debbie Ford’s book The Best Year of Your Life, I was shocked and humbled.  I recognized that my reasoning behind fulfilling some of my goals is actually fantasy-driven. Check out what Debbie has to say and see if you too have any “fantasies:”

When we are waiting for one day to come in order to be happy–to experience joy, fun, passion, or success — we are living an illusion that deadens our spirits and robs us of our ability to enjoy our lives right now. There is nothing wrong with future thinking or goal setting. In fact, I believe these actions are imperative if we are to reach our full potential. But living in the fantasy of “one day….” keeps our real lives — the ones you and I are actually living — on hold. Our fantasies prevent us from taking action and making the changes that are necessary to better our lives. Fantasies come in every flavor and are often disguised as goals. They might sound like:

“When I finally get________.”     “As soon as I accomplish____________.”      “When my husband finally____________.”     “When my kids are old enough to take care of themselves, I’ll be able to____________.”     “As soon as this _________ period is over, I will diet/get in shape/take care of myself.”     “Next year I will_______, and then I’ll be able to_________.”     “I’ll be happy when I make more money, live a more balanced life, have a baby, have more time,……………….”

There’s no doubt that timing is everything and the season of our life can certainly influence our goals; however, we must be honest with ourselves and determine if we’ve chosen specific goals as an effort to “one day be happy and fulfilled,” and are postponing the pursuit of a particular goal (as well as our happiness) because we are waiting for the “perfect time.” After all, waiting for the “perfect time” is like believing in mermaids, leprechauns and unicorns. They are nice to think about — but that’s about as good as it gets.

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Point To Ponder:

Are you postponing making a change because you are waiting for the perfect time, situation or opportunity?

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Action Item:
Determine what it is that you are postponing, and break that change or goal down into small, achievable, baby steps. Soon you will see that taking action today is not as intimidating and overwhelming as you originally thought.

By Neissa

Neissa Springmann

Enjoying the Little Things

Appreciate the Little Things in Life

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

-Robert Brault

Last Wednesday evening after our Christmas Market event, several of the vendors and I were gathering our things and making multiple trips to our cars when we stumbled upon a magical moment. As the full moon glowed and a dazzling bright planet sat to it’s left, the night sky was dark and oozed with holiday sweetness. The crisp cool air added to the charm, but then, as we continued to make our trips, we gathered outside to listen to and witness two owls hooting sweet nothings back and forth, from one chimney to another.

Sitting on top of a chimney was the silhouette of one owl, and across the street was the silhouette of the other owl who was also sitting on the chimney of a neighbor’s house. The hooting was enchanting and we all agreed that the male owl must have been courting the female owl. I also felt that at any moment Hedwig, the owl from Harry Potter, would swoop down and deliver us an invitation to Hogwarts. It was just that cool!

What I appreciate most about the courting owl encounter was it’s simplicity and spontaneity. We were all pretty tired and fairly eager to get home and have dinner when we were gifted with this magical moment. In addition, it wasn’t a huge thing, it cost nothing and it was a unique blessing from nature. (You know that anything that causes five hungry women to stop for an extended period of time must be something very special!)

If you’re like me, contentment is one of your opportunities for improvement — not a strength. I have the tendency to want more, try to “keep up with Joneses'” and covet my neighbor’s things. Our mystical owl moment reminds me to be more wise and treasure the so called “little things,” like family, friends, and nature — which are actually the big things! — for most often they are what makes life so memorable and worthwhile.

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Point To Ponder:
Do you have the tendency to place too much value on material things, a.k.a. the real “little things?”

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Action Item:
Spend time being thankful for the things that really matter in life — the daily gifts and blessings that cost nothing.

To Your Health,

Neissa

About Neissa