Tag Archives: grace

I’ll be Honest, I’m Not Good at Change!

 iGnite - if nothing ever changed

Photo taken by founder Neissa in iGnite member Mary Bell’s flower garden while the Monarch butterflies migrated to Mexico. Be sure to be on the lookout for Monarch butterflies (iGnite’s chosen symbol for strength and grace), as they will be migrating and coming through Austin soon! Devastatingly, since 1990 about 970 billion Monarchs have vanished due to farmers and homeowners spraying herbicides on Milkweed. You can help by planting a lot of Milkweed, which serves as their primary food source, nursery and home.

Point to Ponder:
How do you cope with change?

by Molly Daniels

by Molly Daniels

Change is very hard for me, and I’ve experienced a lot of it in the past three weeks. These recent changes aren’t happening to me personally, but rather to families very near to my heart — special friends who I consider family. As I mentioned in my journal piece about “connectedness,” when I love someone, I love hard, and I attach equally so. Hence, any event that alters that relationship is challenging for me.

I found out several months ago that my closest family friends in Austin were considering a move to Seattle, and my first reaction was an uncontrollable flood of tears. I cried thinking about how I would never get to see “my girls” as often as I would like. When I moved to Austin in 2006, I began babysitting for them. At the time, the oldest was nearly two, and the mom was pregnant with the little sister. I babysat two to three times every week, ate dinner with them, watched TV shows, spent the night, went to baptisms, helped at every birthday party, had Thanksgiving with them and had them as flower girls in my wedding. We actually are almost family — we share the same cousins, but we aren’t cousins, although the girls and I like to say we are 🙂 I have lived five minutes away from them for nine years, and could see them anytime that I wanted. I felt like I “grew up” in their house — as an 18 year old moving to a big city and a huge school, they were exactly what I needed. So, needless to say, their decision to move to Seattle really upended me, and the tears — both by myself and in public — continued to flow freely. I was hit hard with the feeling that a huge part of my heart and my life were leaving “home”. And I am crying as I write this because it is still so hard for me to think about, especially when I drive by their house and the two girls aren’t outside jumping on the trampoline with huge smiles on their faces. Although I know I can go visit them in Seattle anytime, and I will see them at Christmas, it is just not the same.

Then, when iGnite founder Neissa announced to our team that her husband Russell accepted a job in San Diego, my head fell to the table, and I cried so intensely…I even think I was dry-heaving! Neissa and iGnite have been the best thing to happen to me since I graduated college! I was very persistent with her when I was interested in joining the iGnite team, and she gave me a chance, for which I am forever thankful. I love her so much as a friend and a mentor, and I love her kids to pieces. I spent so much quality time with them over the summer, which was so nice, but that did make it slightly harder when they left. We swam at my pool, splashed in the lake, had dinner together and laughed a ton. My husband Clayton and I have conversations in “Malaine voices”, and we often catch ourselves saying things that both she and Durant say. We have enjoyed getting to FaceTime several times already, which was such a treat!

Saying goodbye to both of these families was tough — I cried in front of “my girls”, but actually held it together in front of Neissa and her family (I waited until I got in my car — which was not easy). Clayton has been telling me for months, “Molly, they both have to do this for their families. There is nothing to be sad about.” I completely understood his point about this truth, but I needed and wanted validation that my feelings were real. I got the validation I needed from sweet girlfriends, like Cary Fyfe and Kathy Huffaker, for which I am so thankful.

As I move forward and release all of my emotions, through either talking about it or crying, I am slowly learning to embrace this change, remembering that change is a natural and necessary part of life, and that where we all “travel” next will be good. I also try to remind myself of a quote that Neissa hung in her kitchen shortly after she knew that a significant change was coming their way:

“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they are meant to be”.

Most certainly, this is a growth opportunity for me, and even though it very painful, I know these changes are part of God’s plan. After all, I now have two really cool (literally and figuratively) places to visit, and I am certain that travel is EXACTLY how this change is nudging me to move forward — ha! However, and listen carefully to this, I hope that everyone that I love now knows that they simply must not move, EVER, because I am currently maxed out on change 🙂

Action Item:
If you struggle coping with change, remind yourself regularly of this truth:
“Change is not something that we should fear.
Rather, it is something we should welcome. For without change,
nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom,
and no one in this world would ever move forward
to become the person they are meant to be”.

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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!

Being “Good Enough”

You Are Good Enough

“Good enough means being able to accept who and where we are with grace and gratitude and being content with ourselves as works in progress.” — Kristin Armstrong

Action Item:
Accept yourself in the here and now, realizing you are a work in progress and God is not yet through with you.

by Amy Younkman

by Amy Younkman

Have you ever struggled with the feeling that you are not “good enough?”

I recall being in 3rd grade and feeling sadly disappointed with all A’s, and a B in Penmanship on my report card. I thought my handwriting was good, but it wasn’t “good enough.” As a teen I struggled with feelings of self-worth and self-acceptance. I was never “thin enough” or “confident enough.” Then, as a busy Mom of three, one of my favorite free-time activities was training for triathlons. One year, I placed 3rd (in my age group) in a sprint triathlon and decided I could do better, so I trained harder. The next year I came in 2nd place and elusive 1st place was never an option, as the triathlon series was discontinued. Equally elusive were my feelings of being “good enough.”

I now know why God graced me with my three children. They were pre-destined to be some of my greatest teachers. At age 16 and in a fit of frustration, I recall my oldest daughter blurting out “Nothing is ever good enough for you!” Taking the comment to heart, I began a long, slow journey of learning to let go of desired outcomes and needing to control what I perceived as the necessary end result. I passionately want the best for my kids and for myself, therefore I continually struggle to ease up on my expectations and instead, to learn the lessons the present has to offer.

Meanwhile, the little voice in my head continues to taunt me… “Are you really a good enough Mom, wife, friend, yoga teacher??”  I have to stop, breathe and ask for help. I realize I am an imperfect human who, though flawed, does the best she can with a faith-filled heart. And then I offer the rest to God. Doing this frees me from the need to be perfect and in control. Divine design is constantly working through me, and I am only a small vessel amidst a fleet of God’s angels.

My yoga mat is a laboratory for my life. Every day offers new experiments and discoveries. I have found immense peace of mind through merely showing up on my mat, paying attention to my breath, and letting my body guide me as it opens and unfolds in it’s own time to receive grace. Learning to receive is a lesson unto itself. I don’t have to be a superstar on the mat; just showing up, willing to learn is “good enough.”

iGniters come to class starting where they are, taking one step at a time toward their goals...realizing that we are all "works in progress."

iGniters come to class starting where they are, taking one step at a time toward their goals…realizing that we are all “works in progress.”

The beauty I have found in iGnite is that we don’t measure success by inches lost, pounds shed, or winning times; instead we focus on nurturing relationships, finding fun in the everyday, and being fed in body, mind and spirit. If we can do that, it is most definitely “good enough.”

I challenge you to look at your own life vocation (and yes, motherhood is a vocation) and ask yourself, “Am I good enough?” Let the Weekly Intention Guide inspire you. Today may be different from yesterday, or tomorrow. Accept yourself in the here and now, realizing you are a work in progress and God is not yet through with you.

And for all moms, step-moms and future moms-to-be, you’ll want to check out this weeks video, as it features a new and hysterical online motherhood show based on true motherhood stories. Sharing, accepting and laughing at our successes and opportunities (including those of our children, spouse, family and friends) is the key to everyone “feeling good enough.”

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Guilt or Grace?

Girlfriend fun at the Journey XIX Christmas Party and at Rollingwood Park. Thank goodness for the gifts of girlfriends and grace, as they are the magical and necessary combination which allows us to live an enthusiastic and forgiving life.

Grace means more than gifts. In grace something is transcended, once and for all overcome. Grace happens in spite of something; it happens in spite of separateness and alienation. Grace means that life is once again united with life, self is reconciled with self. Grace means accepting the abandoned one. Grace transforms fate into a meaningful vocation. It transforms guilt to trust and courage. The word grace has something triumphant in it.
— Yrjo Kallinen

Action Item:
Release the burden of guilt and give yourself and others the gift of grace.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

As I wrote in last week’s Journal, on Saturday I celebrated my brother-in-law’s super fun 40th birthday. Read about that awesome experience and what I learned in the post, Increased Vitality. During the course of the evening I had many great conversations, however the most memorable was with my cousin’s wife, as I learned that she paints her own toe-nails (OMG!!) because she feels too guilty to get a pedicure. I am sure my facial expression said plenty, however also chimed in with a “WHAT! Are you kidding me? You’re a wife, mom AND business owner and you should NOT feel guilty about getting a pedicure!” I basically told her that she was crazy to think that way and she needed to treat herself to regular pedi’s and mani’s. Furthermore, I encouraged her to ditch the guilt complex because she was doing her very best, and guilt would only take away from her important roles as wife, mom and professional.

Now… let’s fast-forward to the middle of last week, as I was doing my usual iGnite, mom, and wife “thing” but felt oddly off. I was very busy with my weekly to-do’s, which I am always eager to tend to, but all I wanted was for the weekend to arrive so I could press the restart button and try again. I was completely unable to get in my groove and felt bogged down, scattered and unmotivated, which was really bothering me. Why in the world would I be feeling this way? I have everything to be happy and excited about and I am perfectly healthy, so why can’t I get moving and start accomplishing things?

"...praise the Good Lord for girlfriends and the restart/grace button, for had it not been from the inspiring words of my girlfriend, my spirit would still be in the garbage can and I would not have smacked the grace button on Thursday night." -Neissa

“…praise the Good Lord for girlfriends and the restart/grace button, for had it not been from the inspiring words of my girlfriend, my spirit would still be in the garbage can and I would not have smacked the grace button on Thursday night.” -Neissa

Thankfully, Thursday rolled around and I had the fortunate opportunity to have lunch with a friend who ironically was experiencing some of my same emotions. She too is in the wellness profession and claimed to feel like a fraud because she had not been “walking her talk,” which was exactly how I was feeling! I expressed to her that the only way she was a fraud was if she wasn’t real with her clients and pretended to always “have it together,” or never claimed to have a bad day/week. It was also during our conversation that she said she was going to give herself grace. It was then that it all began to make sense to me. The reason why I was feeling blue was because of guilt. Here I was just five days prior chastising my cousin over her guilt when I was doing the exact same thing!

UGH! What a fraud I AM! Where was that optimistic, joyful and can-do spirit that I persistently preach about having? I can accurately say that last week my head was rolling down the street, I was chasing my tail and my spirit was down in the dumps! I was like a ticking time bomb, caught up in the self-induced perfection pressure cooker and rather than take a deep breath and allow myself grace, I felt like a failure. My heart was weighing heavy with personal and professional guilt. I was feeling like an inadequate mom, wife, friend, business owner, manager, and leader. On a personal note, I was receiving Christmas cards from friends who had the most beautiful family photos taken on the beach, snowy mountain tops, etc, while I hadn’t taken my son Durant to get any professional photos! Additionally, I didn’t have any Christmas decorations hung and I hadn’t even written ‘Thank You’ notes for my baby shower gifts from LAST YEAR, much less have Christmas cards ready to send. Meanwhile, one of my best friends, whose twin girls turn one year old in March, was already planning their gymnastics birthday party! As for my husband Russell and I, we were two ships passing in the night. Professionally, I hadn’t given myself the gift of exercise in several weeks and there are so many things I am excited to do with and for iGnite, but I can’t seem to get ahead of my ongoing pile of to-do’s.

So, that was my week, and praise the Good Lord for girlfriends and the restart/grace button, for had it not been from the inspiring words of my girlfriend, my spirit would still be in the garbage can and I would not have smacked on the grace button on Thursday night. Once I gave myself the gift of grace, I was able to breath again and put things in perspective. I also had a dinner that I was supposed to attend and actually called one hour before to let them know I couldn’t come. I wasn’t proud of canceling at the last minute, but I just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to get dressed up and literally wear a fraudulent happy face. I was true to myself and needed to stay home to refill my empty tank, and without guilt I put on my pj’s and spent the evening with my family.

I don’t know if you suffer from seasonal or regular guilt, but if you do, I encourage you to pick the gift of grace rather the burden of guilt, as well as give others the gift of grace too. We ARE super women, but everyone needs a break. We also can’t live up to pressure of perfection and be everything to everyone, all of the time. This is unrealistic and the reality is that no one expects us to live this way. When we set ourselves up to wear ongoing and multiple hats, guilt and failure are bound to follow. Furthermore, rather than feel the need to “keep up with the Joneses,” like I was trying to do, do what’s best for you and your family, because everyone’s situation is always unique. And, with Christmas fifteen days away, I hope you’ll join me and give yourself the gift of grace. I also hope you’ll add grace to your New Years goals and enjoy an enthusiastic and guilt-free 2012.

Finally, last night following the Heisman Show on ESPN, I watched the wonderfully inspirational life story about a former college and professional quarterback named Todd Marinovich, whose father literally bred him to be a quarterback. As an effort to escape the tremendous pressures of success, he slowly became addicted to drugs. What started with marijuana and alcohol in high school, later grew to crack, heroine, and LSD. Needless to say, his college and professional careers were ruined, and after a long road to recovery, he is sharing his story, which is a beautiful story of grace. This clip is from Dr. Drew is ten minutes long, however it is great insight into a picture of grace. (To skip a commercial, fast forward to 40 seconds)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- Are You Aware of What Guilt You Are Holding Onto? 

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