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Real Women, Real Stories | Martha Pincoffs: Discovering Self-Love in Order to Shine in Life

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Roots: I am born and raised in Austin. I have left to live in D.C. and Telluride, CO, but I always come back to Austin. This is home.

Family Life: My partner, Jo, and I have two kids. River is 4 years old and Townes is 2 years old.

Work Life: I am the founder of Hot Dang Grain Burgers, a company I started in 2011 and am President of Hat Creek Provisions, a fermented food company. I am on a personal mission to empower people with food!

Martha - HatCreek.jpgMy favorite quote: “You can be scared and brave at the exact same time.” -Brene Brown

People so often speak of “fearless leaders” and that never resonated for me. When I read the quote, it put words to that feeling. Leadership for me is scary sometimes, but trusting myself and the people I surround myself with and doing it anyway.

I’m most inspired by…my kids. I am constantly amazed by their curiosity and joy and resilience. They have such pure, sweet spirits, I can’t get enough of them.

The best advice I’ve ever gotten…Every time I left the house when I was a kid, my mom told me “Be sweet and have fun.” Somewhere along the way those words really soaked in and have shaped me.

Something people may not know about me…I have dreams of being on Broadway!

My guilty pleasure…The Real Housewives of Atlanta

What I’m looking forward to right now…A trip to Tulum next week with Jo.

When I’m not working, you can find me…Playing with my kids, cooking, on the back porch with Jo or riding a bike

My Story: Discovering Self-Love in Order to Shine in Life

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My life-changing experience have come in stages. Each one has allowed me to be the most authentic version of myself.

I have changed careers and cities and houses and come-out and had adventures and big belly laughs and plenty of heartbreak and therapy and some of the best friends in the world and found the love of my life. All of these experiences have showed me the way back to my authentic self, held up the mirror for me and helped me sometimes gently and sometimes not so gently get back to myself.

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Martha with Jo, her kids and her dad

No single thing has changed me more than becoming a parent. There was all of the sudden this little being (River) in our world and he became the ultimate mirror. I started thinking differently about life and about how Jo and I could raise a kid that is sweet and confident and safe in his own skin. I wanted him to feel the license to be himself.

There was something unsettled in me that I knew needed light. In this time I started meditating, reading Brene Brown and Debbie Ford and I could feel the light shifting in me. One day I was reading Brene Brown’s Parenting Manifesto, probably for the 15th time, but this time it hit a different nerve. In that moment I understood that my kids would never be able to be sweet, confident and safe in their own skin as long as I wasn’t able to give that to myself. That day I stopped drinking and smoking, my favorite coping mechanisms. I started actually liking myself and even loving who I am.

I’ll never forget the moment I was standing by our grill on the back porch and I had an experience where I could feel all of the love people had been giving to me for years that I hadn’t been able to feel. I had known intellectually that I was loved, but I had never been able to hold it. I always felt like I had something to apologize for, something to be ashamed of that made me somehow unworthy. Until this moment and the right relationship and set of circumstances, spiritual guides and tiny humans to care for taught me how to love myself.

Since that day I have been truly free. I don’t wear dresses any more. I don’t hold my tongue when I believe in something. I love my wife-to- be and our kids and the work that I get to do and the people I spend my days with. This lesson in parenting and self-love has pulled all of the parts of me together and I have given myself permission to love every bit of this journey and permission to go out and live the life of my dreams.

View More: http://katezimmermanpictures.pass.us/hot-dang-december-2015The effects of my “self-love” revolution left no stone unimproved. I had already started my company, Hot Dang, at this point, but I was plagued by self-doubt and insecurity in the early days. I didn’t feel like I knew enough about business to be successful, and the truth is…I didn’t, but no-one does when they start something and are immersed in learning. The shift that happened for me in business was profound. I went from a mind-set of who am I to try this, to who am I not to. I have a vision for a healthier place to live and eat and my regret would be NOT doing anything about it. This shift allowed me to boldly do and learn and unapologetically pursue my vision. The trick of living the life of your dreams is not to judge what exists in you or others and go bravely (remember, it is okay to be scared here) forward and live the life that you are meant to live. Whether that is becoming an artist, a therapist, raising kids, starting a company, being the best friend in the world, you are entitled to live YOUR dreams. Who are you not to show us your shine?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson


iGnite’s Real Women, Real Stories is a series highlighting the inspiring lives and experiences of women in our community. We hope their stories motivate and inspire you to live your life to the fullest.

Know someone who would be a great candidate for a Real Women, Real Stories feature? Email nominations to hello@igniteyourlifenow.com


 

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WEEKLY JOURNAL: Excuses Be Gone

No More Excuses

Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant.

– Tony Robbins

Like many of you, I have recently suffered from cedar fever, which turned into an upper respiratory nightmare that lasted for two weeks. Ironically (or you can call it karma), just two days prior to getting sick I was boasting about my flawless health.  Nonetheless, after feeling rotten for so long and experiencing poor health, I quickly felt sympathy for anyone who suffers chronically. It also made me even more eager to get well, begin exercising and start living my full life again. More than anything, even though I was legitimately sick, I was sick and tired of hearing my sick excuses. And somewhere in the process of saying “I’m sick and can’t do _____,” it dawned on me how easy it is to make and use excuses — for anything.

Recently, I’ve quoted from the book The Best Year of Your Life and author Debbie Ford provides excellent insight into what an excuse really is and how they sabotage our future:

Excuses keep us from taking responsibility for our lives and prevent us from seeing the truth about our current reality. They are literally an attempt to ‘excuse’ ourselves from acting like the responsible, powerful, creative human beings we are. Excuses become a socially acceptable way of giving ourselves the ‘out’ we might be looking for. Our excuses scream, ‘It’s not my fault’; ‘I couldn’t help it’; ‘I didn’t have time’; ‘My kids needed me’; That’s not in my job description’; ‘It’s too much work’; I’m too busy’; ‘Everything will fall apart if I don’t do it’. On the surface, these appear to be the truth but on closer examination, if we are wiling to look beyond the ‘I can’t,’ we will see that unless there is a circumstance that makes it physically impossible for us to do what we want to do, it is a form of an excuse. Even if it is justified, it’s still an excuse.

There’s no doubt that excuses can be justified, especially when we or a family member become ill, our job or financial situation takes a turn for the worse or life simply throws a series of curve balls, which is inevitable. With that said, we must determine the importance of experiencing our goal, dream, desire and best life. If it is NOT that important, then we’ll stay where we are and possibly always wonder “what if?” But, if it IS that important, we’ll not let excuses invade our vocabulary and steal our best life. It’s really that simple.

In conclusion, the esteemed counselor and author Wayne Dyer provides nine commonly used excuses, as well as affirmations to help us change our belief about them- and help us live an excuse-free, purposeful and fulfilling life!

  • Excuse: It will be difficult. Affirmation: I have the ability to accomplish any task I set my mind to with ease and comfort.
  • Excuse: It will take a long time. Affirmation: I have infinite patience when it comes to fulfilling my destiny.
  • Excuse: I don’t deserve it. Affirmation: I am a divine creation, therefore I cannot be undeserving.
  • Excuse: I can’t afford it. Affirmation: I am connected to an unlimited source of abundance.
  • Excuse: I am not strong enough. Affirmation: I have access to unlimited assistance.
  • Excuse: I’m too old, or not old enough. Affirmation: The age of my body has no bearing on what I do or who I am.
  • Excuse: It is my personal family history. Affirmation: I live in the present by being grateful for all my life experiences as a child.
  • Excuse: I’m too busy. Affirmation: As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul.
  • Excuse: I’m too scared. Affirmation: I can accomplish anything I put my mind to, because I know that I am never alone.

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Point To Ponder:
Do you use excuses (justified or not) as a crutch or a way to avoid taking responsibility for a situation in your life that is worthy of attention?

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Action Item:
Identify the excuses you regularly tell yourself and others. Then, make the decision to stop making excuses and begin acting and reacting in ways that focus on what you can do, regardless of the circumstances.

By Neissa

About Neissa

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

WEEKLY JOURNAL: Creating Your Powerful Intent

Don't just wish upon a Dandelion

“Our intention creates our reality.”
-Wayne Dyer

How is it that we are only one week into 2013 and I already feel disorganized and overwhelmed, to the point of near paralysis? To be honest, I have gone from thinking I could conquer the world to now being back to discouraging square one. Is it possible that I was overzealous and set too many haphazard goals in addition to suffering from post holiday blues? Yes!

Since riding the new years high, my life has settled back into the routine, and my unrealistic vision of being incredibly productive (both personally and professionally) with no interruptions, distractions or energy lows has come to a screeching halt. My lists and goals are not getting crossed off near as quickly as I had hoped, and if I am completely transparent,  the truth is that I actually didn’t spend enough time thinking through and prioritizing my goals. Instead, I wrote a million things down, wished upon a dandelion and said GO!

All of this leads me to the big question, which is, once we settle back into our daily routines and that first-of-the-year momentum dies down, how do we get on track and stay focused on our goals, dreams and visions, all the while getting the absolute best out of life?

Besides acknowledging that everyday comes with curve balls and opportunities to get side-tracked and even quit, our first and most important step is simply creating a solid, concrete intent. As Debbie Ford states in The Best Year of Your Life:

Identifying our intent “acts as an organizing principle, guiding you to make powerful choices. It ensures that you are indeed the captain of your own ship, and it gives you power to choose your own destination…If you aren’t making the best possible choices for yourself on a daily basis, if you’re bored, resigned, or struggling; if you’re continually making the same mistakes over and over again — your intent is most likely old, out-of-date, and just not working for you.”

The sample intent that Debbie gives is: “This is the best year of my life.”  Whatever your intent is, in order to make it come true, the most important step is committing to it — and right now.  Everyday remind yourself of this intent and it will begin to inform your behaviors, actions, choices and words.  It will become your personal operating system.

It is very likely that my intent is out-of-date and taking the time to rewrite it will make a momentous difference in my life. So, how about you? What will your powerful intent be? Regardless of what or how you choose to organize your intent, I encourage you to take the time and make at least one related to your most important goal, dream, vision or priority.  And don’t be shy about it either. Let others know so that they can support you — because as we know, accomplishing anything worthwhile takes a village, and it just plain feels better to have some support and encouragement along the way.

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Point To Ponder:
Do you have an intent that will successfully guide your goals, dreams, visions and priorities, or are you simply wishing and hoping for the best?

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Action Item:
Create an intent around your most significant desire for yourself this year.

By Neissa