Tag Archives: Helping others

Shine Bright & Let Your Freedom Ring


Freedom allows us to shine our brightest.  How do you let your freedom ring and shine bright? Here’s inspiration from some of our iGniters…

“I believe that we all have a light within us; I think of it as the Holy Spirit and I visualize a candle that burns steadily as we stay connected to our authentic, true source. Sometimes the candle flickers and gets dim and we need others to help us rekindle it. I believe I am shining brightest when my candle is able to light the way not only for myself, but to help light the way for others who may be struggling.”Amy Younkman

“I shine bright when I can teach someone to do something they didn’t think they could do, or when I see three people in one day learn to surf that have never tried it. Women who said they would never water ski again and they do it! The smiles on their faces just makes me feel shiny! Also, seeing 50 plus year-old amazing women racing each other up one of the biggest and steepest hills and seeing women of all ages do pull ups and begin to love them! The freedom to lead the way I want to lead and teach the things I want to teach makes me so happy. Seeing the joy of accomplishment is the ultimate SHINE.”Kathleen Parker

“I let freedom ring through education, religion, and relationships. Through my freedom I am able to shine bright by teaching young minds to be creative, to think for themselves and encourage them to chase their dreams. I am able to shine bright and grow daily in my relationship with my savior Jesus Christ. And, lastly, I shine bright when I am surrounded by friends (new and old) and family. I am inspired and encouraged by how bright they shine in their own way!”Jessie D’Andrea

“I let my Freedom Ring & Shine Bright by being as healthy, independent, and self-sufficient as possible so that I can role model that for my daughters. I shine my brightest when I am connecting with other people whether it be enjoying fun times together, encouraging people through life, listening to live music, sharing a meal, or exercising outdoors in a group with other iGniters!” -Sarah Hamilton, iGnite member

“I shine my brightest in two ways, with one is when I am being someone’s cheerleader. I love to encourage, motivate and yell loud for anyone, whether it be in a competition, in a class or silently cheering in prayer! It makes my heart pound, and I get chills! The second is when I am around children. Kids make me smile and laugh. They teach me to practice patience and how to love hard. They enjoy the small, simple things in life, and they have crazy, amazing imaginations and dreams. I want to live like that.”Molly Daniels

“I feel like I shine brightest, and that I am doing what God has called me to do, when I am with children and youth, specifically when I am leading and coaching them in living healthy, active lives, opening their eyes to the many different ways to do that, and helping them recognize their unique and special qualities and their talents and gifts. And I feel most fulfilled when I am connecting with my own children in this way, through “play,” moving in new and different ways with them and enjoying the miracle of our bodies, while also enjoying nature and God’s beautiful world around us.”Alli Phillips

“One of the ways I let my freedom ring is by owning my own business. I love the freedom of getting to create a business that is an authentic expression of my heart and how I see the world, as well as the flexibility of working for myself and choosing who I get to work with. As for as when I shine my brightest? I feel I shine my brightest when I am leading, teaching, coaching, loving, encouraging, helping others, making people laugh and sharing God’s awesomeness. I am also super shiny when I’m spending sweet time my amazing family and friends, including my two precious children and husband, when there’s lots of playing and dancing.  –Neissa Brown Springmann

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The Benefits of Helping Others


It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.
— George Washington Carver

Enjoy a week of creative thinking and embrace all of the ways you can help others. From a prayer, kind gesture, volunteering or a donation, it all counts and always impacts a life.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

What an extraordinary summer and week the state of Texas and Central Texas has experienced?! With wildfires blazing all around and thousands of our neighbors left without homes, it has been a surreal week leaving each of us asking, “How can I help?” Additionally, with today marking the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I have spent a large portion of the morning watching the memorials in New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. The memories take me back to the day it all happened, when we all wondered “How can I help?”

I believe we are all created with an innate desire to help others, but if you’re like me I have a tendency to complicate the act of helping. For example, one of my lofty dreams is to go on a mission trip to Africa. I’ve talked to my husband Russell about this many times and “Mr. Practical” always says the same thing, “I think that’s a great dream, but why do you have to go to Africa when there are people in Austin that need your help now??” Ugh! Of course he’s right, but I love THINKING BIG, and because I love thinking big I want to help big too… And, because I’m a big thinker and want to help big, I get fixated on the BIG and unfortunately end up doing nothing.

This type of thinking reminds me of setting goals and dreams. Oftentimes when setting big goals and dreams, my brain gets overwhelmed by the enormity. Instead of taking bite size and practical steps that will allow me to get closer to them becoming a reality, I get paralyzed and end up taking no action at all. Watch the video below if you need a little inspiration or reminder of why we should never let go of our innate desire to help others.

As for helping others, just imagine the outcome if every person in the United Stated donated $1.00 to the Bastrop fire victims? If this were the case, the total would be over THREE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS! I don’t know what the estimated damage in Bastrop is but I have a feeling that would help! I can only speak for myself, but I can find $1.00 of change in my purse, so why is it that when I think of donating $1.00, I often times pass up the opportunity? It is simply because I think it’s not enough. However, the truth is when my $1.00 is combined with other contributions, the total number quickly adds up.

Helping others certainly doesn’t have to come in monetary forms only. A prayer, kind gesture, volunteering once a year, donating 50 cents, clothes and non-perishables all add up and make a difference in a life. Furthermore and selfishly, when I help someone, my spirit is iGnited! Naturally, I am always humbled, however my level of gratitude for life exponentially increases and I feel enthusiastic about helping more!!

Finally, regardless of the way you can help, this week I encourage you to consider the “H” in Enthusiastic Living. Not only will you help someone, you’ll also be helping yourself! Below is a fascinating article from giftsofkindness.com which explains the multiple benefits of helping others, along with what happens when you add just one degree (action) to your life or to someone else’s. It’s all GOOD stuff!

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
— Sydney Smith

Being kind has a profound impact in the lives of others, but you may not know how much of a positive health benefit it delivers to you as well. People who perform acts of kindness would agree that being kind to someone else makes them “feel good.” Scientific research shows that it not only can make you feel good but being kind has a significant health benefit, both physically and mentally.

Allan Luks, the former executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of Health and executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York City studied kindness and documents his findings in his book, The Healing Power of Doing Good: The Health and Spiritual Benefits of Helping Others.

Luks’ study involved more than 3,000 volunteers of all ages at more than 20 organizations throughout the country. He sent a 17-question survey to these volunteers, asking them how they felt when they did a kind act. A total of 3,296 surveys were returned to Luks, and after a computerized analysis, he saw a clear cause-and-effect relationship between helping and good health. Luks’ concluded, “Helping contributes to the maintenance of good health, and it can diminish the effect of diseases and disorders both serious and minor, psychological and physical.”

Below are a few of Luk’s significant findings as a result of his research. We hope this research not only excites you but also encourages you to share the gift of kindness daily!

  • Helping others contributes to the maintenance of good health, and it can diminish the effect of diseases and disorders serious and minor, psychological and physical.
  • A rush of euphoria, followed by a longer period of calm, after performing a kind act is often referred to as a “helper’s high,” involving physical sensations and the release of the body’s natural painkillers, the endorphins. This initial rush is then followed by a longer-lasting period of improved emotional well- being.
  • Stress-related health problems improve after performing kind acts. Helping reverses feelings of depression, supplies social contact, and decreases feelings of hostility and isolation that can cause stress, overeating, ulcers, etc. A drop in stress may, for some people, decrease the constriction within the lungs that leads to asthma attacks.
  • Helping can enhance our feelings of joyfulness, emotional resilience, and vigor, and can reduce the unhealthy sense of isolation.
  • A decrease in both the intensity and the awareness of physical pain can occur.
  • The incidence of attitudes, such as chronic hostility, that negatively arouse and damage the body is reduced.
  • The health benefits and sense of well-being return for hours or even days whenever the helping act is remembered.
  • An increased sense of self-worth, greater happiness, and optimism, as well as a decrease in feelings of helplessness and depression, is achieved.
  • Once we establish an “affiliative connection” with someone – a relationship of friendship, love, or some sort of positive bonding – we feel emotions that can strengthen the immune system.
  • The practice of caring for strangers translates to immense immune and healing benefits.
  • Regular club attendance, volunteering, entertaining, or faith group attendance is the happiness equivalent of getting a college degree or more than doubling your income.

Try setting an intention this week for yourself and finding the way you want to make a different that suits you most, in this week’s Weekly Intention Guide.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- Do you have a story of a stranger helping you? 

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