Tag Archives: dreams

Arm Yourself with the Best

iGnite team

The iGnite team during our 2015 summer boat outing

Point to Ponder:
Are the five people you spend the most time with causing you to give up on your dreams, or do they nurture your dreams and your life?

“If we surround ourselves with people who are successful, who are forward-moving, who are positive, who are focused on producing results, who will support us, it will challenge us to be more, do more and share more. If you surround yourself with people who will never let you settle for less than you can be, you have the greatest gift that anyone can hope for.”
– Anthony Robbins

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

It was just over nine years ago that my short, yet colorful life journey began making sense. All of the “who, why, and what for” puzzle pieces created a vivid and crystal clear picture of my purpose, which is when I created iGnite. The process wasn’t sophisticated nor predictable. Rather, it consisted of a few meetings with a dear friend and mentor at Starbucks where I revealed my heart’s desire and vision, coupled with challenging questions and critical thinking. Within a few weeks I answered his tough questions, though my business brainchild remained nameless. We both recognized that the name had to be something I loved, and that conveyed an inspirational, energetic and timeless message. As we tossed around different ideas he said, “it sounds like you want to ignite their lives!” “YES!”, I shouted. He smiled, I wrote it down, and the rest is history.

I love to share and reminisce about that story simply because of its spontaneous nature. There are also many more stories like this, all of which have provided me with unforeseeable lessons and growth opportunities over the past nine years. One of the most important pieces of advice that has provided me with the most personal and professional value, is “Be intentional with whom you surround yourself with, and arm yourself with the best.”

iGnite began the first Monday in October of 2006, and by February I had hired a professional business coach, Michelle Ewalt, who I worked with for three years. She was aware of all of my thoughts, plans, and ideas for iGnite, which for a one-woman show was a giant feat. She also knew that Russell and I wanted to have children one day, so during a meeting she suggested I spend my time determining the five, non-negotiable characteristics I wanted in an iGnite leader. I explained that I wasn’t interested in sharing this business with anyone else, simply because I couldn’t imagine another person loving and caring for our members and aligning with the vision as I did. But what she knew that I didn’t know at the time was this; “no branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain on the vine.” (John 15:4). I realize this verse has much greater meaning beyond my situation, but Michelle knew that on my own, the mission would not be fruitful. She also knew that if I wanted to see my personal goals come true, like having a family, forming a team was essential. And so, that exact day I identified and wrote down the five, non-negotiable characteristics of an iGnite team member. Within one year, the inspiring and wonderful women began appearing, and continue to, which currently make up what I think is the most beautiful, talented and special team in all of Austin and beyond. As a result, our membership is a mirror-image of our team, making up a spectacular community of love, health and kindness. The fruit is rich and we are blessed!

One of the unforeseeable lessons I learned is that in order for me to give my gift, which is the ability to personally and professionally give and be the best Neissa and pursue my dreams and passions, it can’t happen alone, and I must arm myself with the best. Per the words of the late world class track athlete Steve Prefontaine, “to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” I’ve decided that I don’t want to sacrifice my gift, and so with intention I not only arm myself with those who are the best at what they do (both personally and professionally), but I also arm myself with people who are better than me (personally and professionally) so I can up my game, grow, and become my best. As the late Jim Rohn says, “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.”

This week I invite you to be intentional with me and arm yourself with the best so you don’t sacrifice your gift. And, so we can be our best, we must constantly be evaluating and asking ourselves the following questions from Jim Rohn: “Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question. Is that okay? Life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.”

Action Item:
Make a short list of the five characteristics of the people you want and need in your life that can help you become your best.

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A Little Something to Get Your Heart Pumping for Your New Year

“A life without passion is not a life. It’s merely an existence. Find your passion. Don’t settle. You deserve it!”

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

If your holiday was anything like mine, you’re still recovering from a week of Christmas gatherings — which of course were all wonderful and I am extremely grateful for — but DANG! I’m worn out and need a break from cleaning and trying to keep a tidy house for our company (yea right!), wrapping presents, delivering presents, going to church, playing Santa, traveling to grandparents’ etc… and somewhere in there trying to brush my teeth. With that said, 2014 is only a few days away and while you should certainly continue to enjoy the tranquil rhythm of the season, maybe somewhere in the back of your mind you can store what I think is one of the most incredible manifestos ever written. It’s just a little something to get your heart pumping and for you to chew on while thinking about what you want your new year (that’s twelve whole months, not just January) to look like. There’s no rush, so don’t feel like you need to buy a new journal or notepad and start writing down every thought that comes to mind. Rather, just read the manifesto and let it marinate.

If praying resonates with you, then pray that The Creator would intervene and fill your heart with love, passion and courage so that you can begin living out your passions that He has planted in your heart, whatever they are. If praying doesn’t resonate with you, then meditate and spend some quiet time considering what exactly it is you want your life to resemble.

I’m convicted in the notion that if we are bold and faithful enough to start living out our passions without over-analyzing the process or outcome, or the fear of failure and judgement…well, our life would be crazy good! The effects would be contagious and our family and community would thrive as well. It’s the greatest gift we can give ourselves and the world because when following our passion, we are growing a unique seed that was placed in our hearts, specifically for us to live, give out and spread.

Okay, I’ll stop there because I’m getting ahead of myself. For now, simply read the manifesto and I’ll be back in touch next week. Here’s to a passion-filled New Year!

The Holstee Manifesto

Exactly Where You Need to Be

Greatest Blessings come with patience

You will get there when you are meant to get there, and not one moment sooner…..so relax, breathe and be patient.
– Mandy Hale

Point to Ponder:
Do you question why you are where you are in life?

Action Item:
Remain patiently determined while understanding that you are planted where you and others need to grow.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Despite the fact that we profusely fought as teenagers, my older sister Shonna is my best friend. While our core values and beliefs are identical, we are two very different people. For example, she’s an ER nurse, while hospitals make me queasy. She’s direct and doesn’t mind confrontation, while I’ll do almost anything to smooth over an unpleasant situation. We both believe in the power of goal setting, however Shonna isn’t satisfied until it is accomplished, while I tend to find joy in the journey.

Over the past nine years, Shonna has been working diligently on accomplishing a long-term goal related to her career success. She has remained prayerful, faithful and determined, however she also stays perpetually frustrated and curious, wondering when she will see the fruits of her labor. Then, a few months ago during a bizarre dream (involving, of all weird things, a Rubik’s Cube), she was given the peace of mind she had been searching for. Not only did the dream reveal that she was exactly where she needed to be, but most importantly it showed her that while her time would arrive, she was where she was so that others could get where they needed to go.

We both believe that her dream was divinely inspired and certainly not coincidence. Its message is powerful and one that we all can benefit from, which is:

We all play a significant role in one another’s lives. Never is the meeting of a stranger or where we are at any given point inconsequential to the grand plan. We are planted where we need to grow, and, as frustrating as it can be, we must remember that 99.9% of the time it’s not about us. If looked upon from above, we would resemble an orchestra — everyone playing a different instrument, some well and some not so well, but nonetheless, creating a musical masterpiece together.

In case you feel like Shonna did, wondering when your hard work will pay off, why you are where you are, or when your time will come, just remember you are exactly where others need you to be, and therefore, exactly where you are supposed to be.

What do you think? Join the discussion here


Goals Shmoals, Just What Do You WANT?

by Catherine Hearn

by Catherine Hearn

In the world of self improvement and self-help, you’re always hearing about the importance of goals. What are your goals? What are your dreams? What are your passions? And if you’re at all like me, those questions just make you want to roll your eyes and think… I don’t know what my “goals” are!  Who really does that anyways?!   But something happened in my life that made me think about them in a whole new way… a way that made complete sense to me.  And now, I see that they are just as powerful as people are always saying they are.  It just doesn’t have to be approached in such a boring way!  It’s time to make “setting goals” more approachable, more interesting, more…fun?

To make a long story short, the journey that brought me to setting and achieving “goals” and completely changing my life for the better went about something like this:

Stage 1:  Live my life as an absolute perfectionist, overachiever,  make-sure-I-look-good-in-everyone-else’s-eyes kind of  gal.  i.e.   always trying to get the ‘perfect’ grades, look as ‘perfect’ as possible (whatever that means?), be the president of my college organization, date the ‘cool’ guy, and on and on…

Stage 2: Get a standard office job doing what my college major prepared me to do…regardless of whether it really inspired or interested me. It’s what we’re all “supposed to do” after all, isn’t it? (gag)

Stage 3: Find out I have a brain tumor.   A benign, non-cancerous tumor called a pituitary adenoma to be exact. Not dangerous or life-threatening, but try explaining that to me in the same sentence as  the words BRAIN and TUMOR  in a voice mail left on my cell phone by my doctor’s office (awesome customer service, I know) , and I didn’t exactly hear the “you’re gonna be fine though” part…

Stage 4: Sit down and realize (post freak-out and crying session)… ok, clearly I am NOT in control of my life.   So, what CAN I do? Suddenly I realized that SO MANY of the things we sit around and complain about in our lives are actually within our control of changing.  Unfortunately, for most of us it often takes a moment of — oh wait, I might not have another day— to realize that.   So I asked myself,  how am I spending my days that suddenly seem more numbered?  Well, at the time… 9 hours a day at a job I didn’t like, in a 7-year relationship that wasn’t healthy, not working towards anything I had always talked about wanting to do “some day,” not really doing anything that necessarily excited me… not the best start, to say the least!  I  had been living my life entirely with the purpose of impressing others and was completely out of tune with what I personally wanted and who I really was.  This prompted me to sit down with a piece of paper and make a list (I love lists 🙂 ) — I asked myself just for fun, what are all of the things I’ve  said I’ve always wanted to do?  The list started something like this:

  • study abroad
  • complete a triathlon
  • become fluent in Spanish
  • go rock climbing
  • live in Southern California — I love the beach!
  • go to ACL (it had always sounded fun but because my friends weren’t into it, I never went)
  • drive a black bug convertible (why not?)

…and many more things, both small and big.

I decided then and there that THIS was my new to-do list. And to start on it…. RIGHT THEN. And what do you know? Within two years I had lived and worked abroad entirely in Spanish, spent  6 months living in San Diego (which led me to discover my passion for women’s empowerment & psychology of health & wellness) … and the list keeps going on.  Of course I have not checked everything off of my list, but I see them ALL as achievable and I am always working towards making at least one of them happen.  No more stagnant living for me!  My self-talk has changed from, why do that? That’s ‘not normal.’ To, why NOT? My new mantra became “no regrets,” and I became the queen of trying new things, getting outside of my comfort zone, listening to what I wanted to do instead of what was seen as “normal” to those around me —  and WOW am I a happier, more fulfilled and more joyful person on so many levels, to say the least.

I truly believe that God made us each purposefully unique, with very different, specific (sometimes random or silly) desires in our hearts.  He put all of these random desires within each of us for a REASON. We just have to have the courage to listen to them and go after them. It is THEN, along those crazy missions toward checking those small and large things off our “lists” that we will find our unique purpose and experience the abundant, exciting and joyful lives we are cut out to live.

It’s simply a matter of taking ownership.

I think this quote says it best:

The best day of your life is the day on which you decide your life is your own.
No one to lean on, rely on or blame.  The gift of life is yours, it is an amazing journey, and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.  Life is about the choices you make — choose wisely.

So I challenge you,

  1. Ask yourself: Do I take ownership for the quality of my life? Or do I blame my circumstances or other people in my life for the way things are?
  2. Sit down & write down all of the different ways (big & small) that you complete these sentences:
    • “I’ve always wanted to _____________”
    • “I really want to _______”
    • “Someday I’d love to ______”
    • “I  wish I could __________”
  3. Get to work! And remember, it’s all about baby steps.  Decide that the second you want to start complaining about something,  you will instead decide what small steps you will take to CHANGE them.

You might just find that the grass, right where you are, suddenly gets a little greener 🙂


Good Golly Miss Dolly: Transcending Generations

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
– Dolly Parton

Point to Ponder:
If someone described you, would they use these words:
authentic, passionate, joyful and committed to living a great life?

Action Item: 
Take pride in your unique individuality and don’t allow what anyone says steer you away from creating the life you want.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Several months ago while watching the morning news, I stumbled upon a Dolly Parton interview. Dolly candidly described her recent book Dream More, and charmed both the male and female news anchors with her jokes, big smile and surprisingly (at least to me) wise and optimistic outlook on life.

Of course I know who Dolly Parton is, as I have been familiar with her music since I was a child — “9 to 5,” “Islands in the Stream” (one of my favorites!), “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You,” etc. But to be brutally honest, prior to her interview the first things that came to my mind when I thought of her were not her extraordinary wisdom and impressive outlook, rather it was her big hair, full lips, heavy makeup, tiny waist and extra extra large you-know-whats!

However, during her interview I became laser sharp focused when she was asked about her positive outlook and lengthy success. She said, “The way I see it is, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain!” which was of course followed by her very distinct giggle. From that moment I carefully listened to every word that came out of her mouth and I now consider myself a fan!

Since becoming a Dolly fan (no, I won’t be making a special trip to Dollywood), I have found that she has accumulated an impressive list of “Dolly-isms”, that, like her rainbow quote, are equally as inspiring. Here are ten of my favorites, with some humor thrown in too:

If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.

Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

Storms make trees take deeper roots

I’ve always just thought if you see somebody without a smile, give ’em yours.

They think I’m simple-minded because I seem to be happy. Why shouldn’t I be happy? I have everything I ever wanted and more. Maybe I am simple-minded. Maybe that’s the key: simple.

The magic is inside you. There ain’t no crystal ball.

You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.

I would never stoop so low as to be fashionable.

It doesn’t bother me when someone calls me a ‘dumb blonde.’ I’m neither dumb nor blonde.

It takes a lot of time and money to look this cheap, honey.

What I appreciate most about Dolly is she’s authentic, funny, and overflowing with passion. But, most of all, she’s genuinely joyful and committed to living a great life. She’s the real deal and embodies qualities and characteristics that transcend generations!

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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.


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?


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

By Neissa


by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

I’m not sure if there’s anything more inspiring or contagious than seeing someone courageously pursue their passion, which is why I love The Voice. In case you missed it on Monday, CeeLo’s team was the only team with one spot left and for months, Cody Belew, who happened to grow up on a farm in Arkansas and whose father is a former bull rider, has aspired to be on Team CeeLo. The video below is an amazing display of passion, along with a few passionate and bleeped-out words.

All in all, there is power in chasing your dreams, goals and pursing your passion, and we hope you will transform your goals, dreams and passions into reality!

Having a Dream

Harvest moon

If you don’t have a dream how you gonna have a dream come true?     -South Pacific

Point To Ponder:
Do you have a dream and if so, do you believe in it?
Action Item:
Determine at least one dream and believe in it.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Last Friday, I attended a style show in Waco benefiting the Hillcrest Hospital Auxiliary. My mom has managed the Auxiliary Department for years and the annual Surviving in Style luncheon and fashion show features models who are former patients and are healthy and happy as a result of the hospital’s care. In order to support my mom, my sister and I always take part in the festive event.

Unlike the many Hillcrest Style Shows that I’ve attended, this one was different as it honored three doctors and their wives. Each of the retired doctors practiced medicine at Hillcrest since the 1970’s and have been instrumental in caring for cancer patients. While the hospital’s cancer center has served thousands of patients, the three doctors always dreamt of having more. In fact, the dream of having a state of the art cancer center that would prevent Central Texas cancer patients from traveling out of town was coming true, and ground was just broken last week. Therefore, as each doctor was recognized, Dr. Haluska closed with our profound quote of the week.

Following the style show I inquired about the new cancer center and learned that it will not be complete for many years. And, because the three doctors are retired they will never have the opportunity to treat a cancer patient in the new center; however, their impact, legacy and dream will forever be felt by every patient, family member, doctor, nurse and associate.

The wisdom I did not expect to take away from the Style Show is that we all must have dreams, and most importantly, we must never give up on them. Just as important is to plant and nurture our dream seeds as well as to have faith and trust the process of seeing our harvest come true.

Therefore, as the big and beautiful harvest moon glows above in the autumn night sky, I encourage you to dream both big and small, but most importantly, just dream.

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The Snake Surprise

Snake Picture

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Point To Ponder:
Do you get so involved with the details of life that you lose sight of the big and important picture?

Action Item:
Pursue your goals, dreams and life with laser sharp focus while always appreciating the common miracles and blessings that continually surround you.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

This summer, while in Asheville for our Monarch Escape, one of the many things I enjoyed was taking pictures of the beautiful surroundings. Photography is a hobby of mine and while I certainly could benefit from professional coaching, I delight in taking pictures and especially love the thrill of reminiscing through my photos.

Not long ago while looking through my Asheville album, I was completely taken aback by something that I not only failed to see while taking the picture, but also didn’t notice the many times I previewed the photo before. In the picture above, I was desperately trying to focus on a stunning turquoise dragonfly. At the time, I thought my camera was experiencing difficulty because of the dragonfly’s translucent and delicate body, but after review, that could not have been further from the truth. The reason my camera was unable to focus on the dragonfly was because it was focused on the snake, slithering behind it, that I never even saw!!

After the initial shock and sheer fascination of the snake in the picture, my next and immediate thought was how this was the perfect parallel to what we, especially me, can do with life.  Very often, I get tunnel vision and become hyper-focused on accomplishing one thing that I miss out on all of the other possibilities. A common saying for this is, “can’t see the forest for the trees“, meaning I get so involved with the details of a situation that I lose sight of the larger issue. Or, in my case, you could call it stubborn, for when I set my mind on something, my laser sharp focus can often be a curse and not a blessing.

In the case of the Asheville snake, I am actually very thankful that I fixated on the dragonfly because the picture was an amazing surprise and had I seen the snake, I definitely would have freaked. However, I also love the wisdom that it provides, which is that concentration and focus are very important, but of equal importance is viewing life with a broader lens and appreciating all of the gifts that surround us.

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People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. — Zig Ziglar

Action: Make small changes to feed yourself regularly and abundantly with healthy food and exercise for your body and with positivity and inspiration for your spirit.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

I don’t know about you, but finding time to eat has NEVER been a problem of mine. I go to bed thinking about breakfast and wake up eager to eat. In fact, as soon as I finish one meal, I’ve already planned the next one. Then there’s my husband, Russell, who often comes home after work and tells me that he hasn’t eaten since breakfast because he FORGOT! SERIOUSLY?!?!? Forgot to eat!?…I’D NEVER!!! This must be one of those “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” examples.

Ironically, when we eat regularly throughout the day, we actually find ourselves hungrier than when we skip meals. This happens because our metabolism, our internal furnace, is constantly getting fed, staying on and wanting more. But, believe it or not, when eating fresh, clean and healthy foods more regularly, our metabolism stays elevated throughout the day and we actually have better energy and burn even more calories than if we had skipped meals.

The body is our temple and it will allow us to live safely, efficiently and enthusiastically. We can become a calorie-burning machine and have optimal energy to last throughout the day if we simply:

  1. Stay hydrated.
  2. Eat regularly (every three to four hours). Consume complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and lots and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. (See Journey XI, week 2, 3 and 4 for more information.)
  3. Exercise regularly (ideally 3-5 days per week)

In addition to keeping our bodies in optimal condition with a strong appetite for healthy food, having a well-fed mind and spirit is of equal importance too. We must have a consistently hearty appetite for goodness and positive information to keep both mind and spirit open and alive! You’ve heard the expression “You are what you eat.” It’s true for our minds and spirits too: “You are what you think.”

Friends, family, community and the company we keep play an enormous role in our ability to remain mentally and spiritually motivated, invigorated and charged. The more we practice and receive inspiration, the greater our appetite for it becomes. The result is a generously expanded life that we GET to live and share with others.

You can find inspiration in movies too. This week’s video is an inspiring moment from the movie The Pursuit of Happiness.