Tag Archives: living wholeheartedly

Fasting From Two Nasty Habits (The ‘Antidote for Exhaustion’ Challenge II)

“When you refuse to take anything personally you avoid many upsets in your life. Your feelings of anger, jealousy — and even your sadness — will disappear if you don’t take things personally.”
– Don Miguel Ruiz

Point to Ponder:
Do people ever tell you that you take things too personally or make negative assumptions?
…could they possibly be right?

Action Item:
Take the 3 scenario quiz in the journal and  order your copy of The Four Agreements to read over Spring Break.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

I don’t know about you, but this whole ‘antidote for exhaustion’ topic has me spinning in all of the right directions. I find myself thinking about it all of the time and thankfully feel zero obligation to say yes to anything I’m not interested in or that will take precious time or energy away from my family and iGnite.  I’ve also caught myself red-handed in ‘comparison mode.’  The most recent example was this weekend, at a four year old’s birthday party, really!  There were lots of moms with their little boys, and sure enough, I was sizing the moms up.  I know! That’s crappy, and I hate to admit it, but I am guilty. However, when I catch myself comparing, I immediately give myself ‘a talking-to’ and analyze why in the world I just can’t be in the moment.  I suppose comparing — like the Bermuda Triangle — is one of the great mysteries of life, but I am committed to remaining aware and trying to eliminate the disgusting habit that prevents me from living wholeheartedly. And even though I don’t get on Facebook much, not having it as an option to look at and subconsciously compare through (because I’m doing the 7-day cleanse) has been immensely cleansing and freeing.

Speaking of ‘freeing,’ about twelve years ago, my husband Russell suggested that I read the short and simple book The Four Agreements.  He said it impacted his life and he thought it would do the same for mine. So, I read it and not only did it impact my life, but it changed my life and absolutely gave me the freedom that  enabled me to live less exhaustedly, and more wholeheartedly.

By taking this short quiz, let’s see if you could benefit from reading The Four Agreements:
Read these 3 scenarios and ask yourself if the reaction described sounds familiar…

  1. You run into a colleague or acquaintance and he/she doesn’t engage you in conversation and seems disinterested. You’re confused and wondering what you did to make him/her react in such an unfriendly way.
  2. You were not invited to a lunch/wedding/party that many of your friends/co-workers were invited to. Your feelings are hurt, and you think you must have done something wrong or that something is wrong with you to not be included.
  3. Someone sent you a short and monotone email (with no smiley faces, exclamation points or xo’s). You think they are upset with you and you ask yourself over and over what you said or did wrong.

To clarify, assumptions are non-truths, yet we believe they are the truth.  So, if you answered ‘yes’ to any of the three scenarios then you are guilty of making an assumption and taking it personally, which we all do all of the time.

Before reading The Four Agreements, I was completely unaware of how many assumptions I was making each day and how personally I was taking each assumption. Let’s just say I stayed emotionally exhausted — trying to be liked by everyone and always wondering why he/she didn’t say hello or looked at me in a certain way. Clearly I was letting other people’s “stuff” affect my emotions, when I’m sure what he/she did or didn’t say to me really had nothing to do with me.  All in all, it was a complete and total waste of my emotional time and energy, and when I finally stopped making assumptions and taking things personally, a new freedom and world opened up for me!

Even though I’ve read the book, it’s time for a re-read.  With Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Spring Break all around the corner, this week I encourage you to join me in fasting from making assumptions and taking things personally. I promise this will create in you more wholehearted spiritual and emotional space, which will allow you to focus on the important endeavors in your life: the things that really matter. I also encourage you to read The Four Agreements over Spring Break. It’s a quick and simple read and can be ordered here on Amazon for less than $8.00. It will be at your doorstep within one to two days of ordering. The Kindle Edition is available too.

There are two more equally life-changing agreements in The Four Agreements that we will discuss next week. Until then, here’s to letting go of unwanted drama and emotional highs and lows!

The Antidote for Exhaustion Is NOT Rest, It’s…

Retreat dance party – the ultimate in letting go & wholeheartedly enjoying the moment

“It’s a journey… no one is ahead or behind you.
You are not more advanced or less enlightened.
You are exactly where you need to be. It’s not a contest, it’s life.
We are all teachers and we are all students.”
(Unknown)

Point to Ponder:
Does comparison play a role in stealing your joy?
Action Item:
For this one week, eliminate the behaviors (possibly social media)
that cause you to compare your life with the lives of others.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Two weekends ago at our Intentional Renewal Wellness Retreat at the T Bar M Resort in New Braunfels, our Saturday morning opening speaker was Dave Sunde. Dave is a pastor at Riverbend Church and leads the adult Sunday School class I attend. Every Sunday he leads us in a thought-provoking, interesting and heartfelt conversation, and his presentation at the retreat was no different. Dave spoke on the topic of renewal: renewal in the sense that we need it on a regular basis, but that we are created for it too. Dave referenced a book called Midlife & the Great Unknown, and went on to say that the author, David Whyte, suggests that the antidote for exhaustion isn’t rest, it’s wholeheartedness. Did you read that?  I’ll say it again: the antidote for exhaustion isn’t rest, it’s wholeheartedness. HO-LY COW! Is that blowing your mind like it blew mine?! Honestly, I can’t type my thoughts fast enough and have been thinking about it ever since I first heard it.

My first conclusion is this: no wonder why our society is  such an exhausted and stressed group of people. We’re over-committed, over-involved, over-stimulated and over-worked. And, it’s simply not possible to be wholehearted when we’re pulled in eighteen million different directions. It’s an unsustainable pace and a lifestyle that sets us and our children up for personal and professional burnout and failure. I believe the way we begin living a more wholehearted life is by saying “no” more often and “yes” less often. In other words, we need to be very selective with the things we choose to give and spend our time on.  Just imagine if we chose a minimum of one and a maximum of three things to pour our whole heart into (and family definitely counts as one). The value and meaning we would add to our lives and our relationships would soar! It’s the whole notion of “less is more” or “addition by subtracting.” I think we would all be better off and less exhausted if we put this into action.

My next wholehearted conclusion is based upon a Teddy Roosevelt quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” This one is huge, so here it is again: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Maybe it’s just me, but I think this is a game-changing quote that has absolutely  everything to do with living a wholehearted life. Here’s why: I think we’re all trying to keep up with one another — and that is exhausting. I also think this links back to my first conclusion, as could it be possible that we are over-committed, over-involved, over-stimulated and over-worked because we are trying to keep up with too many people (society) and we’re not living our own life?

Unfortunately we live in a world where nothing is off-limits or sacred, and thanks to 24-hour television access, the internet and social media, everyone’s everything is in our face, and it’s almost impossible to avoid continually comparing our lives.  And where there’s comparison ,there is always judgement — thinking someone or someone’s life is better (either you or the other person). All in all, we’re inundated with everyone’s airbrushed highlight reals, and it’s pretty much impossible for that to not have an effect us. As a result, I think we must strive to live a counter-culture life and live our own lives without the fear of judgement or acceptance of any one else. It’s then that I think our ability to live wholeheartedly, instead of exhausted, is possible.

This week, as one of the many components of iGnite’s 7-Day  Cleanse, iGnite will be taking a break from social media, and we encourage you to do the same. While we do think that social media has a place in the world and we are proud that the iGnite social media presence is building community and sharing a positive, encouraging and inspirational message, we feel that an occasional social media cleanse is healthy and necessary for us all. The purpose of our cleanse is to evaluate what types of unnecessary things we might be addicted to and to analyze the effect of eliminating them. Maybe social media only adds value to your life, or maybe it’s sucking time out of your day, preventing you from doing more of what you love, seeing more of the beauty in the world or living your best life. Comparison and societal approval rob us from living an authentic and joyful life, and we suspect that social media plays a role in this. Ultimately, we expect fantastic results, and we invite you to join us on round one of the “Antidote for Exhaustion Challenge.”