Tag Archives: goals

Life is Like Flying a Kite

Fly Like a Kite

The worst thing one can do is to not try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something would have materialized – never knowing.        – Jim Rohn

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

There’s no doubt that March has come in like a roaring lion here in Austin, making for ideal kite flying conditions. So, this morning my son and I did just that — flew a Spiderman kite.  As the winds whipped, Spidey enjoyed several joy rides. He soared right, left, up, down and even found himself in a tree (a time or twelve). There were also plenty of times when he took sharp nose dives into the ground, at which we’d pick him up, throw him into the air and try again. It was during our many failed attempts to have Spiderman fly for an extended and uninterrupted amount of time that I began to see the parallels between life and flying a kite.

Life is like flying a kite. We can wait for the perfect conditions to pursue life-long desires, dreams, interests or to simply try something new, however there will always be extreme winds that temporarily throw us off course and even into the ground. We will also experience times of no wind at all, leaving us with little hope that the ideal opportunity will arise for us to fly. The truth is that as long as we are living, flying is a possibility, a choice that we get to make. We can embrace and even appreciate the sharp and unexpected turns and know that they are part of the ebb and flow process, or, we can allow the nose dives to harden our hearts, leaving us with the ongoing and defeated question of ‘what might have been?’  Either way, it is a choice, it is yours, and that’s the good news.

I leave you with this simple yet profound poem. I hope you choose to fly!

“I never can do it,” the little kite said,
as he looked around at the others high over his head.
“I know I should fall if I try to fly.”
“Try,” said the big kite, “only try!
Or I fear you never will learn at all.”
But the little kite said, “I’m afraid I’ll fall.”
The big kite nodded: “Ah well, goodbye:
I’m off,” and he rose toward the tranquil sky.
Then the little kite’s paper stirred at the sky.
And trembling he shook himself free for flight.
First whirling and frightened, then braver grown,
up, up he rose through the air alone,
till the big kite looking down could see,
the little one rising steadily.
Then how the little kite thrilled with pride,
as he sailed with the big kite, side by side!
While far below he could see the ground,
and the boys like small spots, moving around.
They rested high in the quiet air,
and only the birds and the clouds were there.
“Oh, how happy I am!” the little kite cried,
“And all because I was brave and tried.”

Author Unknown

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Point To Ponder:
Are you waiting for the perfect conditions to try something new or chase one of your dreams?

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Action Item:
Just do it! Don’t wait any longer and FLY!

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: Your Word of the Year

Inspirational Glass Stones

“Be fearless. Have the courage to take risks. Go where there are no guarantees.Get out of your comfort zone even if it means being uncomfortable. The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with barricades, bumps and uncharted terrain. But it is on that road where your character is truly tested. And have the courage to accept that you’re not perfect, nothing is and no one is — and that’s OK.” -Katie Couric

Each new year, a friend of mine — instead of creating a long and lofty resolution — chooses one word and makes it her supporting focus for the year. She was told, “choose a word that best supports and soothes you and mentally puts you in a place where you are your best”. What a brilliant idea! When I found this out, I was inspired and immediately began working on choosing a word of my own.

Thinking about my word led me down a squeemish and self-reflective path. Determining ‘your word’ requires staying introspective and still long enough to check in with your gut and truly listen to yourself. You have to be honest about your fears, insecurities and imperfections, as well as what you are striving for in life and why. So, after plenty of discomfort and thinking (of which I will spare you the details), I discovered my word for 2013: grace.

Grace, or in other words giving myself a break, is what I need to keep in mind when I am feeling inadequate in one of the many roles that I, like all of us, play in life — professional, friend, parent, spouse, neighbor… the list is goes on. On the days when I am not feeling “enough”, I will remind myself to give myself grace — that while I can always try my best, it is impossible for me to be or have it all, all at once. Even just thinking about it now makes me breathe a sigh of relief!

So, what supporting and soothing word would remind you to come to a place mentally where you are your best? Is it Worth? Adventure? Openness? Listen? Love? Strength? Rest? Peace? Grow? Patience? Joy? Travel? Family? Friends? Career? Energy? Fun? Financial freedom?…

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Point to Ponder:

What situations in your life do you wish you would respond to differently?

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Action Item:

Choose a word that will support and soothe you and remind you to respond to those situations in a way that reflects you at your best. Write it down and put it somewhere where you will see it on a regular basis.  Then, say it to yourself when necessary!

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

WEEKLY JOURNAL: The Road to Your Best You in 2013

The Road to Your Best You

The noblest question in the world is, what good may I do in it?
-Benjamin Franklin

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

I think it’s safe to say that in 2013 we all want to experience good health, happiness and prosperity. To get there, setting goals and being intentional about our wants and needs is necessary — but what if we first determined what our best really looks like? For example, rather than focusing on the desired outcome, let’s think about what we will need to do on a daily basis that will allow us to be our best and ultimately give our best to others. After all, isn’t the ultimate goal to lay our heads down at night knowing that we have done our best, used our gifts and helped one another? The process may look something like this:

Step 1: Ask yourself, what does my best self look like? Could it be…

  • 7-9 hours of sleep each night?
  • Quality time with my family/friends?
  • Exercising five times a week?
  • Meditating each morning?
  • Eating five high protein/low carb meals each day?
  • Spending six days a week giving of my time, talents, or treasures?
  • Drinking 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water or cranberry water each day?
  • Resting one day a week?

Step 2: Ask yourself, when I make the effort to be my best everyday, what is the result?  Could it be…

  • I am happy
  • I am energetic
  • I am fulfilled
  • I am patient
  • I am kind
  • I am productive
  • I am loving
  • I am generous
  • I am healthy
  • I am someone that people want to spend time with, allowing me to bring and spread joy

Step 3: Read the following five quotes, listen closely to your heart and without hesitation write down all of the ways you want to be and give your best this year. Keep this information handy, as this is the beginning of an exciting opportunity for yourself and everyone around you!

“It takes courage for a person to listen to their own goodness and act on it.” ~ Pablo Casals

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“The work of your heart, the work of taking time, to listen, to help, is also your gift to the whole of the world.” ~ Jack Kornfield

“The luxury of doing good surpasses every other personal enjoyment.” ~ John Gay

“If the world is to be healed through human efforts, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people, people whose love for this life is even greater than their fear.” ~ Joanna Macy

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Point to Ponder:
Do the actions you take in your daily life represent your best you?

—  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —

 Action Item:
Determine what your ‘best you’ looks like and all of the ways you want to be and give your best self this year.

Passion

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!

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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The Power of Now

Lady Bird Lake- Grace and inspiration in our back yard. Wow! We are blessed. This week we celebrate the life birthdays of Leslie P, Kelly G, and JoAnn H. Happy Birthday to each of you and we wish you a week filled with all things wonderful!

Doing just a little bit during the time we have available puts you that much further ahead than if you took no action at all.     — Byron Pulsifer

Action Item:
Consider your goals and dreams, or something you have most recently wanted to accomplish, and take action now. Cut out a picture that inspires you, buy a book on the topic or tell a friend who will hold you accountable… But most importantly use your enthusiasm today to get you to tomorrow.

Use the Weekly Intention Guide (PDF) of the week is the perfect tool to do just that…build enthusiasm to focus in on what you can accomplish this week!

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

I am confident you’ve figured out that I’m a sucker for inspirational stories, quotes and moments. I love to be wowed by words, pictures and courageous people, as they always set my mind into a tailspin of can-do thoughts and ideas. From inspirational leaders like Abraham Lincoln who overcame extreme and adverse life situations yet persevered and never lost faith in his dream and hearts calling, to a regular person such as Jesse. Jesse is a janitor at the University of Texas, who despite his house burning down and living a not-so-easy life, he is never without a smile and or a positive and grateful attitude.

I have decided that I am attracted to these kind of people and stories because despite circumstance, they are enthusiastic! They go about their daily tasks with continuous vigor and despite abundant hard knocks, they never give up and live life enthusiastically.

Don't walk toward your dreams...Run!!!

Don’t walk toward your dreams…Run!!!

Inspiration feeds my mind and spirit, and without it I am easily distracted. Therefore I have filled my office with inspirational pictures, quotes and books, and filled my life with inspirational and uplifting people. I subscribe to multiple inspirational emails and receive daily newsletters, Bible verses and quotes. I unfortunately do not get a chance to read them every day, but when I do I am re-energized to live life enthusiastically and motivated…and then to take action on one or more of my goals or dreams. A recent newsletter by Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, did just that!

Engaging in genuine discipline requires that you develop the ability to take action. You don’t need to be hasty if it isn’t required, but you don’t want to lose much time either. Here’s the time to act: when the idea is hot and the emotion is strong.

Let’s say you would like to build your library. If that is a strong desire for you, what you’ve got to do is get the first book. Then get the second book. Take action as soon as possible, before the feeling passes and before the idea dims. If you don’t, here’s what happens…You fall prey to the law of diminishing intent.

We intend to take action when the idea strikes us. We intend to do something when the emotion is high. But if we don’t translate that intention into action fairly soon, the urgency starts to diminish. A month from now the passion is cold. A year from now it can’t be found.

So take action. Set up a discipline when the emotions are high and the idea is strong, clear, and powerful. If somebody talks about good health and you’re motivated by it, you need to get a book on nutrition. Get the book before the idea passes, before the emotion gets cold. Begin the process. Fall on the floor and do some push-ups. You’ve got to take action; otherwise the wisdom is wasted. The emotion soon passes unless you apply it to a disciplined activity. Discipline enables you to capture the emotion and the wisdom and translate them into action. The key is to increase your motivation by quickly setting up the discipline. By doing so, you’ve started a whole new life process.

Working out in classes can help keep members like stay motivated to act...NOW!

Working out in classes can help keep members like Jenni T. stay motivated to act…NOW!

Here is the greatest value of discipline: self-worth, also known as self-esteem. Many people who are teaching self-esteem these days don’t connect it to discipline. But once we sense the least lack of discipline within ourselves, it starts to erode our psyche. One of the greatest temptations is to just ease up a little bit. Instead of doing your best, you allow yourself to do just a little less than your best. Sure enough, you’ve started in the slightest way to decrease your sense of self-worth.

There is a problem with even a little bit of neglect. Neglect starts as an infection. If you don’t take care of it, it becomes a disease. And one neglect leads to another. Worst of all, when neglect starts, it diminishes our self-worth.

Once this has happened, how can you regain your self-respect? All you have to do is act now! Start with the smallest discipline that corresponds to your own philosophy. Make the commitment: “I will discipline myself to achieve my goals so that in the years ahead I can celebrate my successes.

Last week during class we passed out new note cards for you to begin writing your short term goals and dreams (August 22-Dec 17). One of the reasons I believe having goals and dreams is important is because of the enthusiasm that is generated from taking action. As we enter week two of our 17-week Journey, I encourage you to take action now. From adding to your goal/dream card in class, to cutting out inspirational pictures, do it now and enjoy a week of enthusiastic living! And while accomplishing our goals and dreams can sometimes feel difficult, there are so many wonderful inspiration tools like this video of the week, “Never Give Up!” to keep us on track when we inevitably fall off!

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- What successes do you want to look back on? 

We think you will also like:

Step-By-Step

the Santa Monica steps

the Santa Monica steps

“Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.”    – Samuel Smiles

Point to Ponder:
When you’re going through the day-to-day, do you lose sight of what you are working toward?

Action Item:
Keep your eye on the prize — identify a specific health, career or other personal goal you are working towards and stay motivated by visualizing what it will be like when you are successful.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Santa Monica, California is one of my favorite vacations spots. Just outside of L.A., the breeze off the ocean creates an ideal temperature leaving the mornings and evenings cool and the daytime perfect. From the quaint restaurants, boutiques, and cottage-style homes to roses, hydrangeas and flowers galore, the charm of the city is simply “sweet.” One of my favorite spots within the city is the Santa Monica Steps. The steps number 154 (compare that to Mt. Bonnell’s 102), each old and worn down, yet used every day by thousands of inspiring exercisers of all ages, shapes, sizes and forms. Whether choosing to walk, jog, double step, double step with a leg lift, side step or match the pace of a motivational competitor, the experience is always grueling and entirely humbling. My heart rate spikes, and my legs burn as they turn to jello. I stay sore and walk weird for days after, but the view at the top—the infinite Pacific Ocean—makes the self-induced agony worthwhile.

Steps with a breathtaking view at the top—like our very own Mt. Bonnell—are analogous to the step-by-step journey of life and the treasure and infinite opportunities that await us when we make it to the top. The steps you’ll take on your life journeys are:

Step 1. Commit to the undeniable fact that morphing is essential and it’s time to “Take Flight”—continual growth and change is necessary.

Step 2. Believe in yourself and that anything is possible—every action is 90% mental and only 10% physical.

Step 3. Rid yourself of extra and unnecessary “weight,” i.e. negative thoughts, relationships, behaviors, and burdens you have no control over—no more ‘ought-to-haves,’ ‘should-haves,’ ‘maybe-wills,’ or ‘I-hope-tos.’

Step 4. Allow the team and community to support and encourage you. It’s the law of attraction: if you are open to receiving, they will come.

Step 5. Set your sight on your goals, begin moving up the steps and embrace your heart rate rising.

Step 6. Trust the shaky, nervous and discomforting feelings you have—this is when real change starts to occur.

Step 7. Be proud of yourself and acknowledge what a great job you are doing.

Step 8. Give someone a high five—be a support and encouragement to others.

Step 9. Keep taking steps and don’t give up on yourself.

Step 10. You’ve made it! You are alive, free and flying high! Nothing can stop you now!

This week, I encourage you to relax, put a smile on your face and be excited about the positive step-by-step journey you’ve embarked on!

If you still are unable to get excited, maybe this week’s video—featuring my favorite boy band and middle school crush—will inspire you to enjoy the step by step process of becoming a transformed woman. Even if the lyrics don’t inspire you, I am confident the hair styles or dance moves will—watch carefully, as there is a flash of a bicep curl!!

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FEED ME!

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.