Tag Archives: expectations

‘Enough is Enough!’

iGnite - remove the unnecessary

Photo from this summer’s iGnite Escape in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Point to Ponder:
What have you had “enough” of? What are you wasting your time and life on?
What keeps you running on the treadmill to nowhere and is keeping you from living your life, being fully present and feeling great?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Recently I ran across a motivating radio show series called “Enough is Enough,” and as I listened, I became more inspired to also declare what I had had enough of in my life.

In last week’s journal I shared my realization that my current purpose/mission changed from what I originally thought it would be at this time. Prior to this, I was running myself ragged and trying to live up to the ridiculous expectations I placed on myself, which led me to declaring that ‘enough was enough!’ of letting my ego be my north star. ‘Enough was enough!’ of giving into the lie that my controlling ways were better than turning everything over to God in prayer. ‘Enough was enough!” of screaming at my kids and not being a present mom because I was stressed out of my mind due to believing that I needed to do more and was not enough unless I was multi-tasking and focused on accomplishing a million things.

So, what have you had “enough” of? What types of things are consuming your time and energy? What keeps you running on a treadmill to nowhere and is keeping you from living your best life, being fully present and feeling great? Because women share similar heartbeats and the human experience is not unique, here are some ‘enoughs’ that instantly came to my mind and might resonate with you too:

Do you struggle with living up to the expectations of others and are too hard on yourself? Are the people you are spending the majority of your time with life-suckers rather than life-givers? Do you live on an emotional roller-coaster because you are too involved in your children’s lives, care too much about the opinions of others, make too many assumptions and take everything personally? Have you neglected your needs and are not getting enough sleep, healthy food, adequate hydration and exercise? Have you busied yourself, are completely stressed-out and therefore your words, interactions and body language are negative, cold and argumentative? Do you no longer attend church or have a day off for faith, family and rest because your children’s extra-curricular activities have taken over or you’ve replaced it with more work? Do you wrestle with control and worry too much? Is your financial situation and spending out of balance? Have you placed a higher value on work and outside commitments and as a result neglected the needs of your spouse or the people you love? Have you bought into the lie that God didn’t create you “enough,” and therefore you have low confidence? Do the destructive emotions of shame, fear and doubt control your life? Do you reject the love of others or can’t trust others because someone didn’t love you back or violated your trust? Do you procrastinate or keep putting off what is necessary and important in your life?

With only a little over two months left in 2015 (EEK!), I want us to be intentional with the way we spend the remainder of our year by declaring and writing down the “enoughs” in our lives on this printable worksheet. By doing this, your spirit will give you valuable knowledge and information about what you are willing to accept in your life. This level of awareness and information will minimize the chances of transferring negative actions and emotional garbage into 2016 and will promote healthy progress by adding what’s necessary, rich and wonderful into your new year and life!

Action Item:
Be intentional with the way you spend the remainder of your year by declaring and writing down the ‘enoughs’ in your life on this printable worksheet.

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Forever Forward, Never Back

iGnite - go forward, never back

Point to Ponder:
Do you ever find yourself living in the past?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

From September 3 through last Tuesday, September 15, I’ve had company staying with my family. Knowing that I was in a new city with children while my husband Russell was traveling, my father, stepmom, mother and sister all made special plans to come out and be with me on and around my birthday. And, unbeknownst to me, my dad, who is a total worker-bee and can’t sit still unless he’s quickly eating or watching a sporting event, had a specific agenda: to help get us out of boxes and settled into our new house. A.k.a. WORK!

It was wonderful to see my family, and I was so thankful to have them, but by Tuesday I was eager to get the kids and I back to a routine (a.k.a. CONTROL!). The time for exercise, uninterrupted time, responding to thirteen days worth of email and an opportunity to tackle my ever-growing personal and professional to-do list had finally come, and after dropping my children Durant and Malaine off at pre-school on Tuesday, it was MY time!

I planned to take a quick walk around the neighborhood near the kids’ preschool and then go to a yoga class. It was sprinkling outside, but the idea of walking in a light rain sounded delicious. Just before heading off, a dear friend called so I grabbed my phone to walk and talk.

The friend asked how I was doing with our recent move, and I told him I was struggling. I expressed that I was not questioning God’s plan, however the greatest challenge has been adjusting to no longer having an amazing community of family, friends, and support (CONTROL). And, having felt so purpose-filled in Austin, I was struggling with finding my purpose in San Diego, which was why I was clinging to my life in Austin. He listened intently and having moved a lot himself, he validated my feelings and gave me some helpful advice: take baby steps forward, take care of me, and don’t compare my life in San Diego to my life in Austin. It was a new time and I needed to work on slowing my brain down and releasing my expectations. I agreed with everything he suggested, and I proudly told him that today was the day that I was going to focus on Neissa — hence the walk and yoga class.

During my walk, the sprinkle turned into a solid rain—so much so that my eyes burned from the little bit of eyeliner I was wearing. I was totally fine with this because I had clothes to change into, it was MY DAY, and San Diego needs the rain. So, within twenty-five minutes I was back at my car to grab my yoga mat and a change of clothes when I realized my worst nightmare — my purse, wallet, and work bag with computer, day planner, mail, and work notebooks were all gone. They had been stolen! My driver’s license, expired passport, credit cards, check books….gone. It was ALL gone, including MY DAY! “My day” quickly turned into the misery of filing police reports, canceling bank accounts and credit cards, calling pawn shops and driving around with the hope of finding my things lying around the area.

As you would expect, “the day of me” and getting anything on my to-do list accomplished was no longer an option. I won’t bore you with the un-fun details of trying to get an California driver’s license when you have no form of ID except a paper copy of an expired driver’s license, a paper copy of your birth certificate and a Costco card, but what I do want to share is what I learned through the process, as I think it can be universally applied. I’ve had to find reason and some glimpse of positivity in this incredibly frustrating experience. Ultimately, I think it relates to our ability to shine throughout life, as I wrote about a couple weeks ago in It’s Time to Turn On Your Shine.

4 Things I’ve Learned the Hard Way:

  1. For starters, my work, technology and to-do lists have been and are my idols. They give me purpose and security and keep me distracted. Upon realizing that all of my things were taken, it became absolutely clear that God was telling me to let go, trust in Him and let Him take over. Do I think He made this happen? Of course not. Bad things happen to good people every single second of the day, but He knows that I am feeling completely out of control and have been clinging to every thing that makes me feel safe and secure. I shine when I find comfort, hope and security in God rather than things.
  2. Second, while it is a terrible and sad inconvenience, it’s actually nice to have my to-do list stolen! For the first time ever, I’m not busying myself with it and frantically trying to find time on my computer so I can respond to emails. And, you know what? Life is going on! I actually thought I was that important! Yes, I am skimming email on my phone, but I’m not checking email on my phone and computer. It’s actually liberating! Will I get another computer? Of course, and I pray I can recover everything I lost. But for the first time, I am giving myself a real break– because I don’t have any other choice. My poor kids actually get a focused mom. I shine when I am a present mom, wife, friend and person.
  3. Third, you must keep moving to survive. Always go forward, never back. I actually wrote down this quote weeks ago in a notebook…that was of course stolen from my work bag. I heard the words from the goofy kid movie “Shark Boy,” and for weeks I’ve thought about how perfect the advice is for our move from Austin to San Diego, and most recently, how I’ll deal with recovering my stolen items…and really for any of us who struggle with living in the past or comparing our present to our past! As for my recent move, it’s critical that I stop looking back and comparing my life in Austin to my life in San Diego. My spirit will not survive if I continue to do this. I have to move forward every day. Regarding my stolen possessions, I so badly want to live in the past and cry over what happened, dwell on it and talk about how unfair it is, but again, I won’t survive by doing that. I have to move forward, take baby steps and make progress in the recovery process. What’s done is done. I can’t change it and there’s no looking back. Just as with life in general, our past does not define us! Thank goodness we have evolved and aren’t the same people we once were. Most importantly, we will not survive nor thrive unless we focus on our future and on becoming who we need to become and are created to become. Our past has been given to us for memory’s sake and to give us wisdom — but not to live in. Sometimes our past can motivate us, but too often we get stuck in it and are unable to move forward and appreciate what we have right now. For women specifically, we are usually desperate to be the same weight as we were pre-children, on our wedding day or at some point when we were younger. I get that, but that’s no way to live and thrive. I think we would be better served and our bodies would respond in the ways we are hoping for if we treated it with more appreciation and gratitude. We beat ourselves up — thinking we need to look how we used to look. That is torture, and the antidote is to always look forward. We shine when we give thanks and appreciate what we have.
  4. Last, within one hour of the theft, iGnite leaders and dear friends Kathleen Parker and Catherine Sanderson randomly called. It was so comforting and calming to hear their voices. Then, I immediately texted the iGnite Team, informed them of what happened and asked for their love and prayers. Knowing they were praying and sending me love made a significant difference in my attitude and spirit. I knew this before, and I continue to be reminded of the importance of community. You can’t have enough community and supportive friends. We shine in community and are #strongertogetHER!

Action Item:
Remind yourself that your past has been given to your for memory’s sake and to give you wisdom — but not to live in. Look forward only. Appreciate and be present in the now.

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Hard Lessons Learned from the Big Move

iGnite - make sense of change

Photo above taken during a Susan B. Komen rafting trip during the iGnite Escape to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Point to Ponder:
What changes are you currently experiencing?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

I suppose I can officially claim California as my new home state. While I’m a Texan and Austinite at heart, I’ve lived in San Diego for a grand total of sixteen days, and I am pleased to share that with each passing day I am feeling more confident, comfortable and accomplished, as I have achieved the following three goals:
I found a babysitter (actually, Durant, our four year old spotted her out at the hotel pool and the rest was history).
I can get myself to the Pacific Coast Highway and all beaches with no GPS (thanks to the wonderful iGnite member Jill Imhoff who lives part-time in San Diego and has taken me under her warm wing.) #StrongerTogetHER!
I can get to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for an awesome hike, and I actually know where the heck I am going
While I am thankful and proud of these emotionally grounding steps and stabilizing pillars, this whole moving picture was and has been nothing short of frantic, sad and angry, as sixteen days ago I was a wreck and the canvas was an ugly mess!

The week leading up to our departure to the west coast was bittersweet. The ‘sweet’ being spending time with dear friends and family members, and the ‘bitter’ being seeing our home that we brought both of my children Durant and Malaine home from the hospital to and was also filled with amazing memories, become an empty house. That just plain stunk. The absolute worst of the worst was saying goodbye, which if I never had to say another goodbye as long as I lived, I’d be okay with it!! I know that’s not realistic, but it’s my truth.

In the moving ‘blender’ were absolute physical, emotional and mental exhaustion, the emotions that come with a husband who has been gone for two months due to his new job and now being physically back in our lives, along with real sadness and anger. I had been faithful, strong and positive throughout the entire job loss, job change, putting the house on the market and the sale of the house. Then, when the reality of leaving everyone and everything I loved set in and we set off to San Diego, the blender produced an ugly mess of emotions.

When we landed in San Diego, it was of course sunny and there was a cool breeze blowing, but really I couldn’t have cared less. I was legitmately sad, mad and a house overlooking the beach in La Jolla would not have satisfied me. As we drove to see our new house (which I had not seen in person yet), everything was unfamiliar, and directionally nothing made sense. I couldn’t tell which way was North, South, East or West. When we got to our empty house, the rooms seemed small and the house felt cold, and even though the neighborhood was highly recommended and described as the perfect place for families, it felt unfriendly. Ultimately, it wasn’t Austin, “my people” were missing, and my in-control, comfortable and happy world had just been rocked and turned upside down.

Looking back, of course these were normal emotions which I should’ve anticipated (especially because I have never moved like this before), but I’m a’ glass half full’-type and a faithful person. I knew I couldn’t change the situation, and we had moved to a pretty spectacular place, so complaining or feeling sorry for myself was just not an option. However, this was still a big change and even the most optimistic attitude couldn’t combat my sadness.

I’m not writing this journal to give you the play-by-play on our move, rather, in the past two weeks I’ve learned a lot that I want to share. As summer has officially ended and the fall season and school year has begun, there is a lot of change that is and will be occurring in not just mine, but many of our lives right about now. And if you aren’t experiencing change now, there will be a day when you will, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned thus far:

1. Being sad and mad are normal and healthy emotions, but they must get out. I was being totally passive aggressive and ugly to my husband Russell, which was terrible for him and created a ton of tension between us. It wasn’t until I told him exactly why I was mad and sad and that I would get over it, but that I needed him to let me be mad and sad and not try to fix it that things started to get better. It was like having the flu, and the emotions needed time to run their course. Thankfully they did, and things became better quickly.

2. Manage your expectations, take baby steps and accept feeling out of control. I wanted to have San Diego ‘figured out’ the day we landed. I wanted all boxes unpacked and the house looking great and feeling like our old house within days of arriving. I was craving organization and control! Of course all of this was absolutely not possible, and thanks to the advice from iGnite Leader and dear friend Kathleen Parker, I needed to “relax, breathe and focus on having fun with my family. There were no deadlines.” Then, my sweet cousin Craig reminded me to “not lose any sleep over unpacked boxes.” What profound wisdom! And so, I’ve doing what I can when I can and am making great strides to chill and realize this whole process is a journey.

3. Don’t compare your new life to your old life. As soon as we got in our rental car and left the airport to begin our new life, seriously, my brain immediately started trying to fit my Austin life into my San Diego life. It was the strangest thing, as I could physically feel my brain trying to make it happen. I was in complete compare mode. Though San Diego and Austin have similar cultures, San Diego is it’s own place — as all places are– and while I can and will certainly partake in similar activities and develop endearing and meaningful relationships like I have in Austin, they are different. It’s a new time and place and things are automatically going to look and feel different. I will of course hold onto all friendships and memories in Austin, but in order to fully experience and make the best out of our time in San Diego, I need to fully embrace it.

4. We are StrongerTogetHER. It was intentional for our summer shirts to read StrongerTogetHER. We believe that living, sharing and experiencing life together and in community is the best and only way. Plus, we believe we are created for community. But what I didn’t expect was how badly I was going to need it and appreciate it once I got to San Diego. As I mentioned earlier, sweet iGnite member and friend Jill Imhoff lives part-time in Austin and part-time in San Diego, and the day we landed she reached out to me and validated all of my mad and sad feelings. Then, within three days she was offering to help me unpack. Letting others help me is not something I accept well, but I was drowning in chaos and confusion and I knew letting her help me would be the best thing. Then, three days later, she drove me around to help me get the lay of the land and most importantly, get to the beaches. She also took me to Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve, where we hiked. What I’ve learned is how important it is to be vulnerable, raw and let others be your neighbor. We can’t and aren’t created to do anything alone, and change is much easier to accept and move through when we allow others to help us. Reach out to others and allow them to give you the gift guiding you down a path that they’ve already walked down and are better equipped to show you through.

So, I challenge you to ask yourself: what change(s) am I experiencing right now? Do you have a new job, are you new to iGnite or Austin, or have you recently moved? Is your first or last child entering Kindergarden or are you an empty nester? Are you expecting a child or are you a new parent? Are you newly married or recently divorced? Are you in a new relationship or have you recently lost someone you love?

Change is everywhere and all around us. The key to managing it and getting through it without losing your mind is letting go and sharing it with others. And so, here’s to a fall season of new beginnings togetHER!

Action Item:
Stop trying to control your changing circumstances, whatever they are.
Instead, let go and allow yourself to share it with others.

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Embrace “The Juggle”

Inspiration from the iGnite Archives

iGnite - The Juggle

As the summer is coming to an end and the shift to back to school and more activity is happening, we are embracing The Juggle.  Our inspiration is from a blog post from a few years back. We encourage you to read it again and determine your priorities and goals, set some realistic expectations and practice patience in the moments when it’s not all going according to plan.

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I Love Myself Enough to…

Loving Yourself & Others, Part III

“Today I will be ME-SPONSIBLE. The act of being responsible for me, for the benefit of my health, happiness and well-being”
(Anonymous)

Point to Ponder:
Do your daily decisions and actions benefit your health, happiness and well-being or are they based on doing what you “should do” or caring for the needs of others only?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Last week while having a conversation with one of our members in class she let me know that she would not be participating in our upcoming Body Re-boot. She explained that she has a lot going on in her life and she recognized that participating in our Re-boot would have the opposite effect on her: it would add stress to her life rather than reduce stress.

Even though I personally created our Re-boot and believe it’s a non-extreme and practical way to de-stress the body, mind and spirit, learn about yourself and focus on self-care for ten days, I love her “Me-sponsible” decision because she is doing what is best for her, right now.  She is being realistic about where she is in her life and that even participating in something as healthy as our re-boot would not serve her at this time and would cause stress. To me, her mindset is beautiful, healthy and is the perfect example of self-love, which is something I struggle with because I feel like “I should” always be striving to do more, be more, more…more…more!!!!

I’m working on resisting the “I shoulds” — the high expectations that I’ve created for myself and my life — and am working on accepting and embracing the Yin and Yang, which Cary so eloquently articulated in her article last week. Along those similar lines, during mine and Russell’s wedding ten years ago, the minister preached on the ebb and flow that occurs during marriage, and how important it is to go with the flow and ride the high and low waves rather than resist them or throw in the towel. The ideas of yin/yang and ebb-and-flow seem easy enough in theory, but the “I shoulds” that continuously run through my head as well as comparing myself to yesterday is the ten ton stress gorilla that sits on my back and the result is very often self-disappointment, guilt and feeling like a fraud.

When I explained this mental dilemma to my business coach and iGnite member Martha Lynn, she advised that I needed to master saying ‘yes’ to myself, which — because life doesn’t come in a predictable square box — looks different every single day, She also suggested that I begin requesting what I need, such as, let Russell know that once a week I need a 30-minute bubble bath so please take care of the children for me so I can have this time for myself. I’ve already tried and of course he said “sure”, thought my natural instinct is to take responsibility for everyone else and neglect something I need, love and want.

All and all, even though it doesn’t always feel like it, we are the captains of our ship, and with that comes great “ME-sponsibility” to listen to our body, our mind, and our spirit and love ourselves enough to know when to push, rest, indulge, focus, play, be still, say “yes” and say “no.” As referenced above, it also means asking for the things we need and want. For women, I think this is extremely challenging because we all feel immense responsibility for so many people and things, so loving ourselves and our ever-changing needs enough is very difficult, but doing so is essential and will give us the opportunity to participate in the yin, yang and ebb and flow of life, which ultimately means saying “yes” to our health, happiness and well-being and therefore being able to authentically say “yes” more often and to the people we love.

Action Item:
Be ME-SPONSIBLE and love yourself enough to be flexible in your daily actions, honor where you are and give yourself what you need to be your best.

But Why?

A Road Map to Your Best Year Yet, Part III

unnamed-73

Point to Ponder:
Have you given much thought to why you are interested in pursuing and accomplishing your 2015 goals?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Have you ever wondered why people do the things they do, or better yet, why you do the things you do? I ask this because I find that the longer we live the more programmed our brains become, and the less intentional our actions are. Out of simplicity, ease of mind and habits, many of our daily behaviors and decisions become unconscious patterns, and before long we’re driving the same way home, eating at the same restaurants, interacting with the same people, engaging in the same conversations, and creating the same goals….year, after year, after year. Just as all children ask “why?”, and I have been coached and encouraged to ask “why?”, I think its a great question for all of us to ask so we can go deeper into and be more conscious of why we are considering pursuing the 2015 goals that we are.

As you think about the goals you are wanting to pursue in 2015, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the thought of pursuing the goal feel daunting, or does it excite me?
  • Is the goal going to enrich and add value to my life?
  • Is pursuing this goal really worth my time and do I really care?
  • Is the goal in alignment with what I want for my life?
  • Am I setting this goal out of guilt, shame, obligation or an unfulfilled expectation from my past?

The reason why I’ve loved asking myself these questions is because they force me to think. What I’ve learned is that I’m a haphazard goal-setter and don’t give my goals the conscious time and effort they need in order to thrive. I’ve also realized that many of the goals I was setting for myself were left-over goals from the past that I felt I still needed to accomplish. Interestingly, these goals actually no longer resonate with me, they don’t align with my life and I really don’t care. What’s also been enlightening about asking ‘why?’ is that many of the goals I’ve been hanging onto are expectations that I once had for myself or felt that someone else had for me. Now that I’ve let them go, I feel like I’ve been released of unnecessary baggage and unproductive energy.

I think it’s safe to say that each year we all strive to do better and be better than in the previous year. As it pertains to the goals you are considering in 2015, I encourage your “one thing” this week to be curious, and ask yourself why you want to pursue and accomplish these particular goals. For sure you’ll receive many interesting answers and great knowledge to take into next Thursday’s Goals Workshop.

Action Item:
Be curious and ask yourself why you are interested in pursuing and accomplishing the goals you are considering setting for yourself in 2015.

Daring Greatly #3: Expressing Gratitude & Appreciation the Old-Fashioned Way

Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you.  Remember, life is an echo. It always gets back to you. So give goodness.
– Unknown

Point to Ponder:
Who in your life do you wish you would hear more “thank yous” from?

Action Item:
Realize that what goes around comes around, and tell at least 3 people in your life a genuine “thank you” this week.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Per last week’s ‘stop stealing your joy quest’, I give myself an A-.  I was much more conscious of my thoughts and words and focused on the gratitude piece; however, what came from it was unexpected, interesting and much needed.

On a ‘daily joy and gratitude scale’ of 1-10, I give myself a 9. I consider myself simple — I see the glass half full and I have very few needs, except when it comes to my husband Russell. Because he is my life partner and I can be completely vulnerable with him (which translates to bitchy) he gets dumped on. Sounds fair, right? Of course not!  Well, after having a rich conversation with a stranger (that’s the unexpected and interesting piece), it dawned on me that while I was grateful in spirit, I needed to verbalize my appreciation and gratitude with a simple “Thank you” much more often than I’ve been doing.

I mean really, can you imagine what would happen to our relationships (spousal, work, children, friendships, etc.) if rather than nit-pick or take their hard work and efforts for granted, we simply thanked them everyday, even if it were forced and for the tiniest of things? I have zero doubt that this would solve the majority of our relationship struggles, because after all, no one wants to feel taken for granted and everyone wants to be appreciated.

I will admit this. Russell’s job can sometimes drive me crazy because of the long hours and time away, however the second he sends me a text or calls and tells how much he appreciates my patience and understanding and thanks me for being a great mom and wife, ALL of my defenses come down and I’m a new person, simply because I feel appreciated. And then of course I feel like a jerk because I haven’t thanked him for working hard to provide for our family, so I then thank him. It’s the appreciation and gratitude circle, and it works every time.

Now that we are no longer foreboding joy, how about we start healing, transforming and taking our relationships to the next level by verbalizing our appreciation and gratitude? And, don’t forget that verbalizing these things can be difficult for some people and must be learned. So, if you want someone to appreciate you, start by telling them “thank you” while patiently coaching them on how much you’d appreciate a “thank you” from them. Sounds silly and counter-productive I know, but everyone comes from different backgrounds and it is wise to never assume that they can easily express or verbalize emotions. This will be fun and will WORK.

Here’s to building relationships the old-fashioned way!

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