Tag Archives: graduation

Approach Your Fears with Child Like Perspective

iGnite - keep focused

Point to Ponder:
Are you a fearful person?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

I’ve always been of the mindset that children have it figured out. It stinks that we have to grow up and often times become jaded, cynical, insecure and obsess over our perceived pudgy legs and numbers on a scale. Children don’t worry about how many steps they take in a day or how many hours they spend exercising. Instead, they simply play — run, jump, spin and dance. They ride their bikes for hours, climb on the monkey bars and enjoy a high-calorie treat without feeling guilt. They stop eating when they are full, don’t talk about others, and without fear or doubt of what others think, they proudly proclaim what they want to be when they grow up, just as my five-year old nephew Cole did at his pre-school graduation when he announced that when he grew up he wanted to own a doughnut shop. Awesome!

Last week while finishing a hike and walking along the beach, I noticed a man, probably in his forties, standing alone in shin-deep water and jumping over every wave that came his way. Like a six year-old would do, each time a wave rolled in, he’d hop over it! It was the most playful, inspiring and refreshing sight. I watched him for several minutes and it was a great reminder that nature gives us everything we need to calm, invigorate and feed our body, mind and spirit. And what I loved so much about this guy was that while he was playing, he wasn’t worried or fearful about what those of us around him thought. In my opinion, the enormity and magnificence of the Pacific Ocean made his fears of what others might think insignificant, while also putting troubles and life stressors in perspective. At least that is what nature does for me. It swallows my doubt and fear and allows me to shine!

Robin Roberts, the always shining and inspiring co-anchor of Good Morning America, has a great line about doubt and fear in her book Everybody’s Got Something. She says:

“We all have doubts and fears. The thing about fear is that it only needs the tiniest space, the size of an eye of a needle, to get through and wreak havoc. Maddening, but true. So, when I was struggling in doubt, I would simply take the next small step. I would stop and think: No, life is not tied up with a beautiful bow all the time, but it’s still a gift. I’m going to tear away the wrapping paper like a kid at Christmas.”

What I love so much about Robin’s wisdom is that instead of running from her fear and doubt or dreading it, she sees it as a gift and looks forward to tearing into it to see what it is, just as a child would and just as Kayla Montgomery, the eighteen year old in the video below, who, despite being diagnosed with Multiple Sclorosis and losing feeling in her legs when she runs and when her body heats up, was determined to not only run, but win! It’s their child-like perspective that has kept them curious, eager and willing to conquer their fear, doubt, and SHINE! What a great example for all of us!

Action Item:
This week, try facing situations with the fearlessness, playfulness and confidence of a child.

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Fun Ideas for Gift Season

‘Tis the season of celebratory events, and whether you’re attending a wedding, shower, graduation or house warming, you’ll probably find yourself hunting for that “perfect gift” — which can be daunting!   To make the process a little easier, we’ve asked our leaders to share their go-to gifts for this event-happy time of year.  Check them out for inspiration for what to get the next time you’re on the hunt:

polarbear cooler



One of my favorite gifts for almost anyone is the Polar Bear Cooler – a personalized, soft-sided cooler that is light-weight and easy to take on road trips, picnics, to sporting events and more. It’s great to fill it with other gifts, depending on the occasion. For a wedding shower, fill it with a bottle of champagne and personalized cocktail napkins. For graduation, fill it with collegiate koozies or cups. For a baby shower, fill it with a picnic blanket and personalized bib or water bottle for the baby. You can buy them at polarbearcoolers.com or locally at 3 Threads.



My favorite gift to give to graduates is a small and basic tool kit. Screams boring, yes — it’s utilitarian, let’s just say it — but guys!!  Hammers come in flowers now! And whose day is not brightened by a flowered hammer, or a polka-dotted tape measure?? Toolkit: for those freshman-year days when the sun won’t shine, but your socket wrench will.




For wedding/graduation/shower gift ideas, I took my lead from iGnite member Lisa Hildebrand who works at the Silver Papery in Westbank Market. It is a super fun store to shop, and they also have personalized John Hart gifts, which make great graduation gifts. Here were her suggestions — I am going to check out the personalized cutting board for some of my upcoming wedding gifts!

  • Maple Leaf Personalized Wood Cutting Boards
  • Monogrammed styrofoam or frost flex plastic cups with their new married monogram
  • Personalized Note Pads with their new married names or monogram
  • Monogrammed guest towels for guest bath


A gift that I think is super practical is a personalized address stamp for letter writing. After all, a newlywed couple is going to be writing tons of thank you notes, so being able to conveniently stamp their address is helpful. Plus, I personally love them!
For college graduation gifts, I give a bundle of three books that helped me when I was a struggling twenty-something college graduate trying to figure out who I was and my purpose in life. The books are: The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, and Oh the Places You’ll Go, by Dr Suess. These three books are chock-full of wisdom and for me: They gave me great direction, perspective and guidance during the “tumultuous twenties”.




I am sucker for anything monogrammed!  Waffle robes with either the letter of your first name or your full monogram make a cute and extremely comfortable piece to wear around the house. I’ve also given a colorfully designed jewelry plate with a friend’s name on it as a gift. You can find both of these gift ideas at Personally Yours. My sister gifted me a very cozy Pottery Barn blanket with my new monogram embroidered in one corner as a wedding shower gift. I use it daily and love it so much that I’ve given it to friends for their wedding!

Make up towel



My new high school grad gift will be the little black wash clothes embroidered with “make up” on them.  I plan on putting the cute wash cloth into a cute clear plastic monogrammed make-up case from Personally Yours!!  Inexpensive and very useful! For boys I always give a monogrammed Texas Flag from Personally Yours. The perfect wall decor for the dude! I have had great responses from young men loving this idea — in state or out of state.

College Grad gifts are always a gift card. They are usually setting up an apartment, so I get a gift card to Crate and Barrel, Target or Ikea. They have already received all of the monogrammed items they need from HS graduation!

Happy gift buying!

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