Tag Archives: joyful living

Why We Should All Crank Some Tunes & Bust A Move

Bust a Move

“Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest,
heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.”
(Unknown)

Point to Ponder:
When was the last time you allowed yourself to let loose and dance without caring how you looked?

Action Item:
At least once this week, turn off the television in your house and turn on some fun, upbeat music. Notice how your mood and the vibe in your house changes!

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Surprisingly, this past year has been “the year of music” for me.  This was certainly not planned, but since September I’ve had the amazing opportunity to seen Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson, John Mayer, and Chris Botti in concert.  And, one month month from now I get to attend the Chicago and REO Speedwagon concert! Even though I do enjoy music, this is extremely unusual for me.  I’m not fond of huge crowds, so going to a venue where there are thousands of people does not appeal to me — which is likely why I’ve only attended one ACL festival in the eighteen years I’ve lived in Austin.  But, I must say that my “year of music” has brought me unexpected and tremendous joy.  In fact, I think I’d go as far as saying that each of these concerts sets my soul on fire! It’s possible that this reaction was a result of me desperately needing and wanting a girls’ night out, and while I am sure that had a lot to do with it, there’s no doubt that it’s mainly the product of talented musicians sharing their passions, by which, I am inspired.

Music, as I’m sure we’ve all experienced, has a similar effect on us as smells do.  It can take you to a sad or happy time.  It can move you to tears, or cause you to dance.  In fact, when I finally ‘let go’ and stopped caring if I looked like a dork while I danced around at the concerts, the experiences were even more exhilarating. In fact, it was amazingly liberating!

The conclusion I’ve drawn is that music quickly takes me to my happy place and always causes me to dance, which I’ve decided I will no longer deny myself of.  Music and dancing transform the moods of me and my family in two seconds flat. All I have to do is turn off the t.v. and plug in the iPhone and the energy of the house changes. It is because of this that during our final week of July I am recommending and encouraging you to try turning off the discouraging and non-inspirational television or talk radio and turning on your iPhone, Pandora, etc.  Wherever you are spending significant time (car, office, bathroom, kitchen, living room), turn on some music and bust a few moves.  And while you’re at it, feel free to send us a video of your dancing!

If we’re all lucky, we’ll still be dancing at the age of the man in this video and looking this good!

 

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Live With No Guarantees

Vulnerability pushed, I pushed back. I lost the fight — but probably won my life back.

-Brené Brown

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

As mentioned a few weeks ago, myself and eleven other iGnite leaders and members attended the Texas Conference for Women. Brené Brown, an inspirational researcher and story teller, was one of the keynote speakers who spoke on the power of vulnerability. I must be honest, my first reaction to vulnerability is weakness, because if you’re vulnerable you are weak and cowardly, right? But, it wasn’t until Brené described it in her terms that I completely grasped the full power and potential of vulnerability, which is brilliant!

One of the stories Brené told was about a young man who randomly stopped her after watching her talk on TED.com. He explained that her talk inspired him to tell his girlfriend that he loved her; however, his vulnerable moment didn’t turn out as he had hoped. His girlfriend did not return the enduring gesture and told him they should see other people.

Unfortunately, this young man’s story didn’t end the way he had hoped, but I absolutely think he did the right thing. Obviously, this girl wasn’t the one he was supposed to be with and, as we all know, experiencing a broken heart is part of life and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Furthermore, if we lead and live our lives with our whole hearts, meaning we get out of our logical and non-risk-taking heads, disappointment and heartache may certainly be an occasional result, however we will live with no regrets nor “what if’s” and live a life filled with joy!

In essence, whether or not we lead with our heads or our hearts, life will always be filled with distressing moments that can and will harden our hearts and cause us to avoid taking risks and experience potential failure. However, to use the words of Brené, which are also heard in the video of the week, “Stop controlling and predicting, and do something with no guarantees.” Dang that’s good stuff and I highly encourage you to take the twenty minutes and watch this life-changing (and funny) talk!

Point To Ponder:
Do previous disappointments prevent you from taking risks and enjoying life to the fullest?

Action Item:
Do something that you have always wanted to do but fear has prevented you from doing so.

Wisdom from the Big Bang Birthday

Dad playing football with all the grandkids

Dad playing football with all the grandkids

See the distant road rather than the mud on the windshield.
— Bill Swinney (Kathleen’s father)

Action Item:
Fill your life with joyful, positive and passionate people, thoughts and things and remain focused on them. Never forget that life is an adventure.

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

This month we celebrated my Dad’s big BANG 88th birthday at his ranch. Seriously, it was a bang of a birthday, as he has an authentic Civil War cannon that he loves to fire to commemorate another year of his ‘great adventure.’ This year we had an Eight Bang Salute celebrating 88 years on the 8th of July.

Dad has shared his enthusiasm for adventure with his six children throughout his life, and he taught us that nothing is impossible!! For example, when we were young he threw six ropes off the back of the boat and had us get up and ski together. In the mid 60’s, he created the first parasailing expedition by going to the local Army Surplus Store and purchasing an old parachute. He cut holes in it, tied it to the back of the boat with a ski rope and took off with one of my brothers dangling from the parachute in a small makeshift rope seat. It was quite a site to see back then!

Just four years ago at the age of 84 he decided to build a big new ranch house by himself. He has always had an altruistic spirit and hired some ex-cons and a one legged carpenter to assist him. He finished his pride and joy in less than a year. Unfortunately, the ex-cons returned to rob him and stole his truck!

Following the big bang birthday I received a hand-written letter from my Dad — something he does a couple times a year to all of his children. He expressed his joy for life, along with incredible wisdom. This is what he wrote:

“Life has been a great adventure for me—and it continues to be so. Remember these things:

  • Believe there are opportunities for success instead of pitfalls leading to failure. Don’t let trivialities get you side tracked

  • There are a myriad of positive ways to view life—so keep the negative out of play.

  • Remember the redeeming value of rest and the exhilarating value of work and KEEP THEM IN BALANCE.

  • The body will follow the mind until it collapses with fatigue, so if you can keep your body fit and strong then you can get more performance as your mind pushes the body into high test situations.

  • Most importantly, remember the human body is the most complex chemical plant God created and the chemicals are dispersed by how one thinks. Thinking positively dispenses chemicals that lead to accomplishment, and daily accomplishment puts “OLD AGE” on hold! Sounds simple, BUT IT WORKS!!”

This is only one of many wisdom notes my father has written me and eventually I will share them all. Until then, I do not doubt that Dad will someday meet our Heavenly Father, exhausted and exhilarated from truly living and thoroughly enjoying this life that He so generously gave us. The thought “What if I would have…?” will never enter his mind, and I strive to carry on his grandiose passion and joy for life.

I found this 67 year old inspiration water skiing barefoot with a friend and while I not sure I want to ski barefoot at 67, she inspires me to never stop. She’s pretty remarkable!!

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