Tag Archives: friends

10 Day Re-boot: Kellie’s Day 8

iGnite 10 Day Body Reboot

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by Kellie Strickland

After a stressful last couple months with buying a new house I knew I needed some serious changes in my daily routine. I was stress eating, binging on TV all night, and breaking out like crazy. Let me give you some perspective on just how far down this hole I had gone. Every night on my way home from the new house I would inevitably have forgotten to eat dinner so I would stop by P. Terry’s which was conveniently right on my way home and get a cheeseburger then I would proceed to go home and eat some ice cream straight out of the carton. I’m not talking about those cute Ben & Jerry’s pints of Chunky Monkey. I’m talking the full on, half gallon Blue Bell carton sitting in my lap while I watch TV. This brings me to my unhealthy habit of falling asleep to the TV. I don’t even know how I got into this habit or when it got so bad, but I was to the point to where I HAD to watch Friends when I was in bed. I needed the soothing voices of Monica and Rachel to lull me to sleep. Last, and most annoying in my eyes, was the fact that my face was breaking out worse than when I was 13. I felt like my pimples had pimples. This is to give you ladies a good idea of where I was going into the Re-Boot.

 

7th Street Hill-1

7th Street Hill

I started my Monday with my usual 6AM class with Molly. She had floated the idea last week that we were going to have an entire class at the 7th Street Hill (Note the capitalization. The 7th Street Hill deserves the respect of being a proper noun) and boy did she make good on her promise. Life was so much simpler before I knew this hill existed. After five trips up the hill sprinting (I use “sprinting” loosely as I can barely make it to the top of the hill in what would be considered one step above a walk) and some circuit training, I checked “Exercise” off my Re-Boot list so exhausted yet happy as always to have woken up and started my day there.

 

The Judging Lemons

The Judging Lemons

Full disclosure … I hate lemon water. Let me take that one step further, I hate lemon in any of my drinks. It’s weird and un-American on some level I’m sure, but I just can’t do it. I tried the warm lemon water on the first day of the Re-Boot and not a day since. Give me half a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar and oil pulling over lemon water any day. I have the lemons in a bowl in my kitchen and they judge me every morning that I don’t pack one to take to work with the rest of my food. Well judge away lemons, I will not force drink you.

 

Dog Walking

Taking my dog on a walk during my lunch break

I went home for lunch today to check on my sweet dog who has not been adjusting to the move from New York to Texas well, let alone the move to the new house over the weekend. We went for a walk around the block and played fetch in the huge backyard that I hope he grows to love. I packed myself a quick salad and headed back to the office. A big challenge for me has been the packing of the food. I am incredibly unorganized and hate the prepping that goes into most healthy diets. I have really struggled with getting things together for work in order to get all the meals in so I have ended up having three meals and done more snacking in between (gluten-free delicious snacks that I never knew exists until this week), but I have YET to drive through any fast food place and I have stayed away from all desserts.

Lunch-1

Salad for lunch at work

Espom Salt Romance

My favorite part — the Epsom salt baths

Without a doubt, my favorite part of the Re-Boot has been the Epsom salt baths. Let me put this out there that I am not a bath person at all. I haven’t taken one since I don’t know when and the thought just skeeves me out. I gave it a go and my life will never be the same. Granted, I put the water on way too hot the first time, scalded myself and only lasted about 15 minutes and sweat poured down my face but when I got out, I fell asleep almost immediately (Your hold on my sleep ends now Chandler Bing!) and my knees that always give me problems felt amazing during my run the next day. I have gotten the water to a manageable level and I am loving this time to myself where there is nothing else to do but relax so this was naturally the perfect way to end my Monday.

 

All-in-all this Re-Boot has been the perfect thing my life needed at the perfect time.

Dear Me, Thank you!

Fall Folaige pic 2

Point to Ponder:
How often do you acknowledge and give thanks for all that you do and all that you are?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springman

Throughout the month of November we have focused on expressing gratitude in various ways. We encouraged making gratitude jars and everyday writing what we are grateful for and then placing it in the jar to then look at at a later date. Then, we took the time to physically write gratitude notes to the people we are grateful for, we continue to post what we are grateful for in our social media #ignitegratefulgram challenge, and we are wearing our gratitude, as ‘grateful’ is printed across the chest of all of our new fall apparel.

We believe that gratitude changes everything and of course our efforts were put in place to inspire attitudes of gratitude, but we were also hopeful that it would ignite attitudes of abundance, blessings and fun! Also, our big picture mission is that our gratitude campaign has made a positive impact on you and in your life, starting with your family and then being contagiously caught by thousands of other people.

Finally, there’s just one more gratitude request and call to action, and that’s to thank yourself by filling out our “Dear Me, Thank You!” worksheet. You may think this is totally narcissistic and weird, but stick with me. Typically, when we express gratitude it’s towards the people we love, our health, time with family and friends, things, our work, food, clothing, etc. All of these are wonderful, however what you must not neglect and absolutely must acknowledge and celebrate is everything you do and all that you are, which includes: your commitment to countless people and relationships; how incredibly hard you work on so many things; the impact you make in the lives of others; your dedication to your health and wellness, family and relationships; your beautiful and unique God-given talents and features which allows you to be you and do what you do, and so much more!

I realize this may seem like just another task during a busy holiday week, however I encourage you to take ten minutes to celebrate yourself, because ultimately when you acknowledge and express gratitude for all that you are and for all that you do, it’s simply saying “thank you” for what you’ve been given, which opens your spirit to receiving more, giving more and becoming more. And, becoming all that we were created to be is one of our greatest callings and life’s missions, and in doing so, our impact is extraordinary.

Action Item:
Print the “Dear Me, Thank You!” worksheet, gratefully fill it out and place in an area where you can frequently see it and give thanks.

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Fourteen Reasons to be Grateful

iGnite -gratitude changes everything

Point to Ponder:
Do you regularly acknowledge what you are grateful for?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

As you have likely noticed, during the month of November we are celebrating gratitude! Not only are we eager to blast out our gratitude in our social media #ignitegratefulgram contest, but we are fired up to wear our gratitude loud and proud with our NEW ‘Grateful’ fall apparel.

We are not at all suggesting or asking that you post or wear your grateful spirit to be boastful about your “things”. Instead, the motivation behind our Grateful Campaign is to encourage the daily action of giving thanks for our amazing lives and blessings…because when life gets inevitably tough, a grateful spirit can change a bad day into a good day, and a good day into a great day, because gratitude changes everything. I’m hopeful that our Grateful Campaign will inspire and reignite a grateful spirit in everyone.

There is no denying that acknowledging our blessings on a daily basis leads to a physiological reaction that creates a happy and peacful state in the body. To go a step further, based on the findings from a fascinating gratitude experiment conducted by two psychologists, writing down what we are grateful for leads to even greater results. Check this out:

“Two psychologists, Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, wrote an article about an experiment they conducted on gratitude and its impact on well-being. The study split several hundred people into three different groups and all of the participants were asked to keep daily diaries. The first group kept a diary of the events that occurred during the day without being told specifically to write about either good or bad things; the second group was told to record their unpleasant experiences; and the last group was instructed to make a daily list of things for which they were grateful. The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of 1. alertness, 2. enthusiasm, 3. determination, 4. optimism, and 5. energy. In addition, those in the gratitude group experienced less 6. depression and 7. stress, and 8. were more likely to help others, 9. exercised more regularly, and 10. made greater progress toward achieving personal goals. In addition, Dr. Emmons’ research shows that those who practice gratitude tend to be more 11. creative, 12. bounce back more quickly from adversity, 13. have a stronger immune system, and 14. have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude. He further points out that “To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.” – The Change Blog

Something that I am experimenting with in our family is a gratitude jar. The jar sits in the middle of our dining room table and each evening at dinner, we talk about one thing we are grateful for, followed with writing it down on piece of paper and placing it in the jar. Because I have small children who can’t write, I have been writing what they say as as well as including the date. It has become a sweet and focused time which stirs up great conversation (even with a two and a four year old). My personal goal is to revisit the jar of notes during our Thanksgiving meal and to continue writing down what we are grateful for throughout the month of November and the remainder of the year.

Another idea is to print and cut out our Grateful Printables. Then, place your jar, printables and pen in a high-traffic area in your home and anytime you or your family members pass by it, drop a gratitude note in the jar. From a good nights rest, a warm a cup of coffee to the blessing of good health, family and friends, it all counts and taking the time to acknowledging your blessings will make a positive impact in your health, relationships and overall quality of life. And, several months from now or anytime you need a pick-me-up, all you have to do is read what’s in the jar and you are guaranteed a good laugh, happy cry and/or mood booster. Why? Because gratitude changes everything!

Action Item:
Print out our Grateful Printables. Place your jar, printables and pen in a high-traffic area in your home and anytime you or your family members pass by it, drop a gratitude note in the jar. Or, at dinner each evening have each family member write down and discuss what they are grateful for and place in the jar.

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It’s Your Season, It’s Your Purpose

iGnite - living with purpose

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

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Member Spotlight: Susan Palombo

      Susan with her sweet father

                Susan with her sweet dad

Roots:
I was born and raised in Tulsa, OK, went to UT Austin for undergraduate (Plan II), then moved to Minneapolis, MN and lived there for 30 years. We have been back in Austin for 1 year and are loving it!

Basic Family Stats:
I have been married for 32 years to John Palombo. We have three children. Nick, 26, is a middle school science teacher in St. Louis. Michael, 22, and his twin sister, Megan, graduated in May — Michael from Vanderbilt and Megan from UT Austin. Michael has moved to Austin for a job with GLG Consulting, and Megan is interviewing.

Current/Previous Occupation:
I love my career, which is helping individuals and families feel better about their path to reach their family, foundation and financial goals through our Wealth Management practice with Merrill Lynch.

Biggest lesson learned through iGnite experience:
Working out with positive trainers and friends outside in the Austin sunshine with iGnite is such a fabulous experience. Working out doesn’t have to be “bootcamp with pain and suffering!”

Best advice I’ve been given:
Through his wonderful examples, my 90 year old active and healthy father has taught me so much. One particularly pertinent lesson is: Listen more, talk less.

In my free time, I like to:
Be outdoors in nature, read and get together with family and friends.

If I were a pair of shoes, I would be:
I still have my hiking boots from 5th grade, and I think I would be them. They are long-lasting and reliable, strong and functional, outdoors-loving, well-loved leather
with beautiful patina and comfortable and sturdy boots. They have traveled a lot of miles, covered a variety of terrain, scaled some altitude, grown up and matured, made some mistakes, saved my life and witnessed a lot of conversations by hundreds of bonfires. These boots have lots of energy and endurance. They have been a good friend to me. I hope that I can be that good of a friend to 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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Thank God for Girlfriends

leaders 2

“In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another….the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting — any of these chances might have kept us apart. Friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”                -C.S. Lewis

Point To Ponder:
Do your girlfriends lift you up and add value to your life?

Action Item:
Make a phone call or send an email, text, or hand-written note and express your love and gratitude to at least one girlfriend this week.

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

A few weeks ago, Cary, our magnificent 6:00 a.m. yoga instructor came back from a girlfriend weekend and sent me our quote of the week. When I read it, I instantly knew it was an iGnite-caliber quote, as making new friends and growing our community of girlfriends is not only important, but it is a momentous part of life and of iGnite. In addition, I love the wisdom from C.S. Lewis, suggesting that meeting our friends is not luck or coincidence, rather it’s divine intervention and an opportunity for God to display our unique and beautiful qualities to one another.

Really, can you imagine life without girlfriends? I can’t, and as a matter of fact I don’t even want to think about it! Who else besides a girlfriend can understand why Dirty Dancing is still one of my all time favorite movies and why I turn into a teenager while watching it?! Better yet, when I’m experiencing spousal irritation, feeling like an inadequate mother or life is simply getting the best of me, only a girlfriend can lift my spirits with her relatable gifts, angelic words and fantastic sense of humor.

October is iGnite’s birthday month and we’ve officially turned six years old. Celebrating another year is always special; however, what’s most sacred are the friendships that have been formed and will continue to grow and blossom throughout the years to come. It is for this that we are dedicating Thursday evening to you and the very special friendships made through iGnite, providing us with an absolute reason to party! The atmosphere will be festive and filled with food, adult beverages, indulgences, door prizes and our new fall apparel. And, you just never know, we may even have Dirty Dancing tunes so we can live vicariously through the soundtrack and have the time of our life. We love you, appreciate you and hope you can make it!!!

Watch the video below to have a blast from the past and check out the fabulous and hysterical four minutes of Baby’s first encounter with Johnny. And look out  Dance Fit & Zumba — this is likely to inspire Betty!

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