Tag Archives: Martha Lynn Mangum

What I’ve Learned About Setting A Healthy Boundary


Point to Ponder:
Is there an area in your life where you can benefit from adding a healthy boundary?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Several weeks ago I let Martha Lynn Mangum, iGnite member and my professional coach, know that I wanted to take the week of February 20- February 24 off. My children had the week off from school for what’s called Ski Week. No, this isn’t Spring Break, as that’s not until April. Ski Week is just a random week off designed to torture parents. HA! Really, I have no idea why, but my guess is with the President’s Day holiday, families were taking extra long weekends to go to skiing and as a means to avoid losing money (from the state), the district decided it was best to extend the school year and give the students the whole week off.

All that to say, I wanted to commit the entire week to spending time, having fun and fully focusing on Durant and Malaine, something I shamefully don’t allow myself to do or give them, ever. With the exception of a Saturday or major holiday, I am a slave to my email and anything work related takes precedent. If I’m not physically working, my brain is consumed with it. I’m a work-a-holic and am horrible at setting work-related boundaries. The result is that I spend much of my time multi-tasking between the needs of my family, household and work. On the outside looking in, it might appear that I am cool, calm and collected, but on the inside, I’m a mental mess. I, like most women, am a great multi-tasker, which I think is helpful and likely a God-given gift to women. During multi-tasking moments, I often experience an adrenalin high but I also feel like I am in a constant state of intellectual frenzy. Meanwhile, taking legitimate and real time off never occurs to me. Why? Because I don’t know how to.

As I spoke to Martha about what I wanted to do and why I wanted to do it, I expressed that I just wanted to just hang out with the kiddos. I wanted to give them my undivided attention and not put them on hold, like I frequently do. I also wanted to be fun, and not the crazed mom that I often become when I am striving to accomplish too many things at one time. And yet, as I discussed this with Martha, taking a full week off felt daunting because getting behind on emails and work didn’t seem worth it. Furthermore, with family and hard work being two of my core values, taking time off I felt as though I was not being a supportive team/family member to the iGnite team and family and it just feels wrong not to work!

As you are reading, you are likely seeing my own hypocrisy and wanting to shake me while screaming, “Isn’t taking the week off so you can spend time with your children/family in complete alignment with your family core value?” Of course you are right, but my deranged brain couldn’t see that. And, to exploit my hypocrisy even more, Martha reminded me that even though I always support and encourage our amazing iGnite team to take time off, (because I truly believe we all need it and are energized after a good break and extra fun) by not walking my talk I am non-verbally communicating that I really don’t expect them to take time off either. NOOOOO that’s not true, but clearly I’m being a hypocrite!

Realizing that I was being a total phony sealed the deal, so with Martha’s coaching (because I really didn’t know how to take time off), she directed me on the simple steps:
1). communicate my plans to our team, and 2) to set an email vacation reminder so when someone emailed me and I didn’t respond, they’d know that I I wasn’t ignoring them and I’d get back to them after my time off. And so, I followed Martha’s instructions and last Monday morning I began my week off. As a result, here’s what I learned:

I have very unhealthy work boundaries which are all self-induced, and even though I am deeply passionate about iGnite and it feeds every ounce of my body, mind and spirit, it is essential that I step away, just as I would advise our iGnite team and/or any mom to do from her family, despite her intense love for them.

In addition, taking the week off was the single greatest gift I could have given myself and my family–we had a blast! Because I set my email vacation reminder I didn’t feel obligated to check my email, or guilty or irresponsible for not responding. Was I perfect, no, as there were a few times when I needed to check on time-sensitive items, but I felt zero urge to check my email. All in all, I can’t give myself an A+, but I do give myself an A-. Now that I’ve officially taken time off and know how to, I’ll be able to do it better next time and the next time.

What I’ve learned in life is that I’m never alone in anything, and if I have a difficult time setting boundaries, then it’s likely that someone else does too. There’s no doubt that setting healthy boundaries around work can be tricky for anyone, but in particular for women, I think when it comes to our family, friends, volunteering, and just doing and giving to people in general (as I feel in iGnite), keeping healthy boundaries is as tricky as walking a tightrope. Honoring and keeping our personal and family-time separate and sacred, even from things such as social media, technology, television, and the plethora of activities and opportunities that vie for our attention is a real challenge, but its necessary. In the words of Susan Biali, Life Coach and Medical Doctor, she says it best in her article from Psychology Today titled, “7 Ways to Protect Your Energy & Enforce Healthy Boundaries”, you are here for a reason, and we need you to be at your best. We need you to be rested, and to have time available to do what you were put on this earth to do, no matter how big or small. You need time for you and for those you love most, in order for you to be happy and healthy and a blessing to all of us. This is really important, it isn’t selfish. Guard your life energy, it’s the most important currency you have.”

Action Item:
Establish a healthy boundary in an area in your life, and focus on it for a week. If need be, ask for guidance and find an accountability partner. At the end of your week, evaluate your progress and determine what, if anything, changed for you.


Why We Should Celebrate 2016, First


Point to Ponder:
Have you taken the time to say “thank you” for all that 2016 gave you?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

The night before the kids and I left San Diego to spend the holidays in Texas, I drove and walked around our neighborhood delivering Christmas goodies. Amidst the deliveries, I also contemplated my “going out of town for two and a half weeks” to-do list, which loomed heavily over my head. I also felt overwhelmed by everything that I had to get done between then and our 6:30 a.m. flight while also feeling resentful that I was living so far from my family, Christmas is no longer easy and once again I was traveling by myself with Durant (5 yrs) and Malaine (3 yrs). This is no fault of Russell’s (my husband), it’s just the nature of his job and our life.

As I drove, eager to check off items on my list, I tried numbing my to-do’s by listening to Christmas music and looking at all of the decorated houses. While my hopeful distraction did work (kind of), I still felt pretty sorry for myself until I clued into the significance of what I was doing. Unlike one year ago, I actually have friends to deliver Christmas goodies to and I have relationships with our neighbors! Having moved to San Diego last August, last year I didn’t have any friends in our neighborhood to deliver Christmas goodies too. What a difference a year makes?! I must admit, I did feel a bit like a 7th grader who was so thankful to finally have friends, but none-the-less, this was a big moment and one that I would for sure acknowledge, give thanks for and celebrate in the New Year– before going into goal and planning mode for 2017.

Two years ago, my business coach and iGnite member Martha Lynn Mangum taught me this very valuable celebration exercise. It is exactly as it sounds, which is before setting off to accomplish new goals for 2017, we must first take the time to say “thank you” to 2016 and celebrate all of the goodness and blessings from the previous year. A new year is always very exciting and it’s human nature to want to move forward rather than look back, but in this instance, it’s necessary. Really, it’s the power of gratitude and the law of attraction. The more we say “thank you”, celebrate and count our blessings, the more readily they will flow in our life.

And, if you have a terrible memory like I do and can barely remember what you ate for breakfast, remembering one whole year’s worth of celebratory material is impossible. However, because every single one of us have a smart phone, a day planner and pictures on social media, it’s a cinch to walk down 2016’s memory lane and see all of the fun, blessings, accomplishments, and successes (big and small) that occurred in our life.

To go one step further, unlike the past two years when recommending this exercise, this year I encourage you to also celebrate the painful, challenging and bitter moments (as mentioned in the quote), as they have helped shape you into who you are today, which has prepared you for what’s to come. This is also something that Martha has helped me see and do — rather than get frustrated and then dwell on situations or even people who challenge me, I’m learning to say “thank you” to them, as they are developing my character and enhancing my growth.

So, let’s do this by setting aside time to focus on all of the goodness and celebratory moments from 2016 and write them down on this simple printable. Celebrating, saying “thank you” and writing down the information is the best and most productive formula for saying goodbye to 2016 and welcoming in brand new year–your blank and full of potential canvas!

Action Item:
Set aside time to focus on all of the goodness and celebratory moments from 2016 and write them down on this simple printable. Celebrating, saying “thank you” and writing down the information is the best and most productive formula for saying goodbye to 2016 and welcoming in brand new year–your blank and full of potential canvas!

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Focus on the Truth & What Matters Most


Point to Ponder:
Are you over-committed, too busy and experiencing stress?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

To piggy back on last week’s Journal, “No More People Pleasing & Holiday Have-Tos,” I have been thinking a lot about Have-To’s deceptive twin sister, Guilt. Guilt is that nasty and wasteful emotion that takes us into a downward tailspin and negative place. Personally, I experience the most guilt when I feel like I am not doing enough. Admittedly, one of my struggles is acknowledging that I am enough (with or without doing) and when I start listening to the deceitful voice who tells me that I am not doing enough and therefore I am not enough, my first reaction is to overcompensate. I go into an unsustainable “like-me” mode and start doing things for people due to lack of confidence rather than my heart’s desire.

Over a year ago I purchased an excellent book called Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. As I recently thumbed through it, I was reminded of the power behind lie #18: “I Don’t Have Time to Do Everything I am Supposed to Do.” Interestingly, this is the #1 lie the women surveyed for this book identified with. As a result, I felt compelled to write about this because I absolutely think this is a lie that we can and should support one another in combating and overcoming. I also feel like it’s especially relevant during the holidays when we are trying to make our houses look perfect, buy the ideal gifts, send beautiful Christmas cards, and attend every party—all the while never missing a workout, tending to the ongoing needs of our family, keeping our house clean, working and or volunteering. It’s just too much!

In summary, here is what Nancy says, “More often than not, I find that women feel overwhelmed by how much they have to do, how much they feel they are supposed to do and how little time they have to do it. As a result, many women are living breathless, frazzled and discouraged lives. Ironically, we have more conveniences available to us that were unknown to women of past generations (dishwashers, washing machines, gadgets, devices, etc) yet our lives are more harried, hurried and stressed than ever before. There are probably a number of explanations, however, one reason is that we have accepted the lie that we don’t have time to do everything we are supposed to do. The fact is, we have no more or less time than any other human being who has ever lived. No one, regardless of his/her position or responsibility, has ever had more than 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week, 52 weeks in a year. The truth is, no woman can wear all hats effectively. Sooner or later, something (or someone) is going to suffer. Frustration is the by-product of attempting to fulfill responsibilities that God does not intend for us to carry. Freedom, joy and fruitfulness comes from seeking to determine God’s priorities for each season of life, and then setting out to fulfill those priorities, in the power of His Spirit, realizing that He has provided the necessary time and ability to do everything that He has called us to do.”

What I find so ironic about the twenty-first century female dilemma is that every single one of us is busting our tails trying to do good and have meaningful impact for our family and community, yet our efforts often backfire because we are trying to squeeze too much into one season of life. Just as Nancy reminds us, we can’t do it all and wear all hats effectively without something breaking, such as our health, our relationships, our families, our jobs. Not only can we not do it all, but we can’t do it all alone. I feel as though we have fallen into to a sinkhole of thinking that asking for help is a sign of weakness. The truth is that not only can we not do it all by ourselves, but we were never intended to anything alone. And so, the million dollar question is, “How do we stop our busy and possibly out of control lives? From the wise words of my business coach, friend and iGnite member, Martha Lynn Mangum, the questions that I encourage you to stop and take the time to answer is, What is uniquely mine to do?, What do I need help with? Who do I need to ask for help from?”

As you begin to answer your question, I want to remind you that you are not responsible for your family or friends’ happiness. You are only responsible for your joy and happiness, so if your joy and happiness is being compromised because you are over-committed and your life is feeling out of control, take the first and very important step by saying “no”. What will make your family the most happy is that you are not stressed and spending quality time with them. And if you find yourself afraid of disappointing someone because you need downtime and therefore need to send a regret email to the party that you have already RSVP’d for, I can’t imagine that anyone who really loves you will do anything more than applaud you for taking care of yourself. In order to stay healthy and well, we must be “selfish” and do what’s best for us.

As Dr. Riga Hancock reminds, “Stress increases your susceptibility to illnesses, physical pain and unwanted behavior through its effects on your posture, muscle tension and immune system. It leads to back pain, muscle spasms, migraine headaches, irritable bowel and ulcers. Stress also decreases your ability to fight infections like the flu. No matter how beautiful a Pinterest pin or Instagram picture makes something look, you are not required to bake one single Christmas cookie or hang one decoration to be good enough.”  So, in order to stay healthy throughout the holidays, I encourage you to keep your stress level low by only saying “yes” to who and what matters the most, ask for help, drink lots and lots of water, exercise, indulge but be sure and counter that with plenty of greens, vitamin C and protein, along with plenty of rest and washing your hands often.

In closing, as you begin decommitting to the things that are not uniquely yours to do, I encourage you to start considering an action plan for 2017. The goal to not let the whirlwind of life pick you up and and take you where it wants to take you. Instead, the goal is to land where you want to land, leaving room for spontaneity and surprise, of course! Therefore, I encourage you to start thinking about how you will intentionally celebrate 2016, while creating an intentional plan for 2017. Whether that be asking for time off from your job or from your family, it is essential that you carve out the space that will allow you the time to consider exactly what you want and desire in the next year. It would be the greatest treat to have you attend our January ‘Rise & Shine’ ReNew Year Retreat in San Diego (LaJolla). However, if that’s not a possibility, something as simple as time alone with a new journal, a cup of tea, coffee or glass of wine with your favorite music will do the trick. Not only do you need this time, but you deserve it!

Action Item:
Determine what is uniquely yours to do, and decide what you need help with who can help you. De-commit to what is not uniquely yours to do and commit to what is uniquely yours to do, as well as your health and quality time with the people and things that matter most.

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Soaring Through All Seasons of Life


Point to Ponder:
Do you recognize your significance and the significance of your seasons?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Last week I attended a women’s workshop called In Sync with Significance. The organization who host the monthly events is called Lifestreams and their mission is to build relationships for Kingdom causes, by inspiring, connecting and empowering people and groups. Having lived in San Diego for nine months and feeling more comfortable, familiar, and enjoying my pace of life, my goal is to be intentional with how I spend my time and what I say “yes” to. As Martha Lynn Mangum, iGnite member and business coach often reminds me, “If it feels good, say “yes” and do it. If it doesn’t feel good, say “no” and don’t do it.” The In Sync with Significance invitation was a definite “yes!”, as will be the ongoing monthly workshops.

Like iGnite, for me there are few things more enjoyable than being amongst like-minded, loving and supportive women, and even for the most confident and resolute woman, discussing the topic of significance is never insignificant. The title alone was captivating, and the workshop was exceptional. Lauren, the founder and speaker, connected the dots between our significance in each life season and how we can find depth in every season. It was filled with big concepts that I am just now, while writing the journal, am able to fully grasp and comprehend. I have never heard our life seasons described this way, but it has allowed me to see the full purpose, significance and opportunities that each one holds. There are three life seasons, with all being of equal importance and each having an impactful role on one another and our life.

  1. Significance in Daily Identity – This is our everyday life that can often feel mundane and routine, but this is where relationships are built, structure is found and absolute joy can be experienced. This is the foundation for our future and where we begin and end each day. Embracing this season and changing our mindset to realize the significance in the ordinary will fill us with peace, contentment and gratitude. The keys for feeling significance in our daily identity season are: hearing love, having vision and impacting the people who we frequently spend time and have access to (family, colleagues, school, neighbors). Avoid the mindset of “when this happens, I’ll be happy”. This prevents us from seeing our significance in the season and being fully present and grateful.
  2. Significance in Trials – This is our season that allows us to trust in the Supernatural Power of God. We would never choose trials, yet they are necessary for building faith, relationships, patience and perseverance. Trials allow us to press into our Creator while experiencing intimate growth with Him. The trials season occurs alongside our daily identity season, and our daily identity keeps us grounded and gives us a comforting home base and foundation when the trials season occurs, as it always will. Once through the trials, we can be thankful for the opportunity we were given to soar through them and grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
  3. Significance in New Territory – This is our season of new experiences and opportunities. It’s the season for hearing your heart’s passion and saying “yes”. It’s the season of putting yourself out there, trusting God’s calling for you and going for it! It is always simultaneous with our daily identity, but not with our trials. The trials seasons place a pause on our new territory season. The two seasons are not are designed to go through together, as both seasons require a unique set of faith, trust and focus. However, the trials season plays a significant role in preparing our heart and mind to fully see and explore new territories that we have been created to confidently claim victory over. Both the trials and daily identity seasons are consequential in allowing us to flourish during our new territory seasons.

I find it fascinating that every season is connected, which is why they are all significant and we can’t have one without the other. Just as each season is significant, you are significant, and you are in the middle of your story. Recognizing your season, your significance and living in gratitude for the fruit that each season will produce is the key to peace and contentment. All seasons take extreme courage, and standing tall and walking boldly through each season will unlock your power. You were made to soar and fly into everything God has created you for, which is greatness!

Whatever seasons you are currently living in, proclaim it with power and victory. Know that you are not alone, physically or spiritually. Millions of women are walking alongside you and even in your same shoes, while God and His angels are always walking with you–cheering on your every breath and step.

Action Item:
Recognize your season and your significance. Living in gratitude for the fruit that each season will produce is the key to experiencing peace and contentment. All seasons take extreme courage, so stand tall and walk boldly through the season, as this will unlock your power. You were made to soar and fly into everything God has created you for, which is greatness. Whatever seasons you are currently living in, proclaim it with power and victory!

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STOP: Pull Your Weeds!


Point to Ponder:
What weeds to you need to remove from your life in order to make your year all you hope it to be?

iGnite Neissa

Neissa Springmann

In order to be our best and see our 2016 garden grow into what we want, hope and envision it to be, we first have to rid our 2015 gardens of the overgrown weeds. Similar to prepping your garden from one season to the next, in order to create space for the new and healthy vegetation to grow and blossom, the old and dead must go.

I learned this ‘Clean the Slate’ exercise from iGnite member and business coach, Martha Lynn Mangum, and much like celebrating our accomplishments, unexpected wins, successes and all that we are grateful for from 2015 (as we did last week), this exercise is part of the strategic and vital process of starting anew and getting the results we want.

Very much like pulling our 2015 garden weeds, another analogy that really resonates with me is one of a forest fire. As Darren Hardy of DarrenDaily (a daily motivational podcast), states, “A forest fire is a very powerful and important act of nature. This is how Mother Nature clears out the old to make room for the new. It removes it’s previously restricted limitations and helps reset the conditions so new life can form. While this process begins in difficulty, it gives the forest a fresh start. Soon new picturesque plant species are able to thrive since they no longer have to compete for the sun with the previously tall, dead trees that hoarded the sun. Glorious new trees are able to climb majestically to the sky because room has been made for it’s room to expand.”

Of course we have to remove physical, mental and emotional weeds in order move forward, see progress and experience the new outcomes we are hoping and working towards! And, of course we would never plant anything new and beautiful plant on top of a bed of weeds and unprepared soil… so why in the world would we set new goals and intentions before pulling our 2105 weeds first? We wouldn’t!…therefore before setting your new 2016 goals, you will need to pull the following 2015 weeds by identifying and writing down the following information:

  1. What Disappointments did you experience?
  2. Do you have any Regrets?
  3. Are there Unfulfilled Expectations lying around?
    Is there any Undelivered Communication that didn’t get dealt with? Acknowledge any communication you need to clean up with anyone. You don’t have to have an actual conversation, rather acknowledging that the communication was undelivered works to.
  4. Do you have any Unfinished Business weighing you down? This can be goals you set out to accomplish but were unable to or have not achieved.

From something as simple as still needing to organize your office, the act of placing any disappointments, regrets, unfulfilled expectations, undelivered communication and unfinished business on paper will give your mind and spirit the capacity to evaluate exactly what you want to move forward with as well create new and fresh opportunities for yourself. Hang onto this information, especially your unfinished business because we’re going do something with it next week. It’s going to be a great year!

Action Item:
Identify and write down any dissappointments, regrets, unfulfilled expectations, undelivered communication and unfinished business left over from 2015. This action will give your mind and spirit the capacity to evaluate exactly what you want to move forward with as well as create new and fresh opportunities for yourself.

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Member Spotlight: Martha Lynn Mangum

I grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas and moved to Austin in 1986 to attend UT. I’ve lived here since with the exception of a few years in Dallas.

Basic Family Stats:
I’m married to Greg Mangum. I have two kids, Jackson, who is a sophomore at Texas Tech, and Madelynn, who is a Junior at Westlake. I also have two step-sons, Mark (recently graduated from TCU–woohoo!) and Kyle who is at Blinn College Station.

Current/Previous Occupation:
I am a business coach, and I’ve been working with Momentum Consulting since 2003.

iGnite - Martha Lynn MangumBiggest lesson learned through iGnite experience:
The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my iGnite experience is that everyone has an amazing life story. iGnite has provided me with a great reminder to deepen and open up my perspectives and be curious.

Best advice given and from who:
The best advice I’ve been given and continue to work on daily is from my 20 year old son, Jackson. He is one of my best teachers and reminds me to LISTEN before I judge, respond or react.

I am looking forward to:
I am learning that all we have to do here on planet Earth is to love and be loved. I’m looking forward to practicing this everyday with all the challenges, ups and downs I encounter. So far, it’s a lot easier said than done, and I’m playing the game!

If I were a pair of shoes, I would be:
My fluffy UGG slippers! They are cozy, warm and comfy and bring me joy! (I am more of a barefoot gal though.)

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It’s Your Season, It’s Your Purpose

iGnite - living with purpose

Point to Ponder:
Do you struggle with defining or finding your purpose, feel confused about your life, or feel fearful that there isn’t enough time left to do what you want to do?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Since moving to San Diego, my life has drastically changed and taken a 180 degree turn. I do not yet have any friends here, and except for taking Durant and Malaine to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and tending to my iGnite responsibilities and duties from afar, I don’t have any commitments either. I won’t lie, when talking to the iGnite leaders, family, and friends and occasionally peeking at Facebook and Instagram, I experience bittersweet emotions. It stinks to be on the outside looking in, missing out and not able to take part in what I’ve created in iGnite in Austin. I have also experienced extreme withdrawals from my addictions: the “being busy addiction,” “having places to go addiction,” and the “feeling needed and wanted” addiction. There are times when my ego screams so loud that I find myself taken over with feelings of inadequacy and the desire to busy myself just so I can feel important and accomplished again. Then, finally, it dawned on me that not only was my evil ego in my way, but what I was really struggling with the most was my purpose.

With the help of Martha Lynn Mangum, iGnite member and business coach, reminding me that our society inundates women with the destructive message that if we aren’t working 60 hours a week, involved in a million organizations, committed to regularly volunteering, acting as the home-room mom, and only taking two-weeks of maternity leave, or just tending to our own or our family’s and community’s needs, that we aren’t enough. Pu-lease! Don’t get me wrong, I believe in having a passion and purpose outside of our family, but not at the expense of jeopardizing our marriages, not being a present mom to our children and neglecting our relationships. Looking back, while living in Austin I definitely tip-toed into those zones and was drinking the toxic Kool-Aid. This is my destructive tendency, and I have to consistently check myself to make sure I am being counter-culture.

It has been a very long time since I have wondered about my purpose. While living in Austin, my family, friends and iGnite were absolutely my purpose and they kept my heart pumping fast and hard. Originally, I thought starting iGnite in San Diego would be my first purpose-filled project, but now I’m not so sure about that. For now, I’m declaring that I am on a prayerful, peaceful, intentional purpose-finding mission project. I’ve narrowed my purpose down to:

  1. Learning how to become a fully-attentive, loving and supportive wife to Russell (which is hard to admit because of my strong will, pride and independence)
  2. Appreciating this colorful and unique time I have with our preschool-age children and being a fully attentive and fun mother.
  3. Remotely supporting and leading the iGnite team, the iGnite members and our efforts to iGnite Austin and impact, inspire and empower every woman to live a healthy and purpose-filled life.
  4. Taking the time to get on my knees everyday and pray for myself, my family, my friends, iGnite and anyone I know who is in need of prayers or who I told I would pray for them. While I am a faithful person, embarrassingly my prayer life has been pathetic, and I’m tired of being lip-service only. Please let me know if and how I can pray for you. Seriously!
  5. Becoming involved with our church, The Rock, and serving the San Diego community.

I must confess that while I’m feeling content with my new purpose in San Diego, there is sooooo much I want to do in my life! For example, I want to write a book, I want to be on the speaking circuit and I want to grow iGnite so that women all over the world can iGnite in a positive and inspiring community. I wanna, wanna, wanna! And with that said, I get nervous and afraid that I am going to miss my opportunity, run out of time and miss out. But, thankfully, for the first time in my life, I found a Bible translation that I can actually understand called The Voice, and it’s teaching me about patience. Even though Adam, Pharrell, Gwen and Blake aren’t quoted in it, I have learned so much! One of the things that has been glaring is how late in life God uses people. Of course he uses children, like when He used David to defeat Goliath when David was only a teenager, but for example, Noah, Abraham, Sarai (Abraham’s wife) were waaaay past their “prime,” or what we today consider our “prime.” Granted, people back then lived longer, but by human standards, they were still considered old, and they fulfilled God’s purpose for them much later in life.

I recently watched a special on television called Try, Try Again where John Stossell chronicled the lives of great inventors and authors who not only failed before having success, but were also “past their prime” before having any success and fulfilling their purpose. Just to name a couple: Julia Child was 50 before writing her first cookbook, and Harland Sanders (a.k.a Colonel Sanders) franchised his first Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 62.

All in all, I write this journal not to go off about my personal purpose journey, but rather to encourage anyone who is struggling with defining or finding their purpose, feeling confused about their life, or fearful that there isn’t enough time. For sure we all sometimes feel a sense of urgency because we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, but fear cannot be the reason why we do or don’t take action. Instead, remember that there is a season in life for everything and that our purpose can evolve, morph and even change. Sometimes we’re in a season of action, and other times we’re in a season of self-reflection, contemplation and quiet. Regardless of the season you find yourself in now, when you weave in prayer and intention, you will without a doubt be led down the right path and your fruit will be ripe.

Action Item:
Remember there is a season in life for everything and that your purpose can evolve, morph and change over time. Approach your season of life with prayer and intention.

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How Molly is In the Game

The Need for Connectedness  – Continued from Are you In the Game or On the Sidelines?

iGnite - connectedness

Point to Ponder:
When do you get the most offended in your interactions with people?
by Molly Daniels

by Molly Daniels

With the help of iGnite member and business coach Martha Lynn Mangum, I have learned that one of my core values is connectedness. And as I have considered my fears, I’ve realized that one of my related fears is not being and feeling connected.

I value all of my relationships, and when I love you, I love you hard. Before learning that connectedness was one of my core values, when I felt left out or distant from a friend, instead of reaching out to him or her, my fear-based reaction was to withdraw, as this was how I would attempt to protect my heart. Of course I know this isn’t the best or most mature response, but it’s the truth.

Now, since being made aware that connectedness is one of my core values, when I start to feel like it’s being ‘violated,’ I can now identify where that feeling is coming from, work with the facts rather than my assumptions, and move on.

All in all, I need relationships, and I especially love the feeling of connectedness — which is why I love iGnite so much! 🙂

Action Item:
Recognize that your reaction could be a result of your personal core values instead of the fault of others. Notice how this changes the way you view and internalize the situation.

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How Kathleen is In the Game

Vulnerability Lost is Intimacy GainediGnite - Share your StrugglesPoint to Ponder:
Are you struggling with something that you haven’t shared with others out of shame or fear of being judged?

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

I am truly not afraid of trying anything new, especially if it involves a good dose of adrenaline!! But since childhood my biggest fears have been failure and judgement by others.

In my classes I have often shared my father’s philosophy on happiness: “Happiness is found through your accomplishments.” Growing up with this mantra was quite scary. If I was not winning, getting a promotion at work, or raising perfect kids, I was not going to be happy. I was so proud and would not share any of my misfortunes with others. Even my best friend in high school didn’t know about my crazy family situation I was going through for four years! My four daughters were FAR from perfect and gave us a wild ride for many years. It wasn’t until the last few years that I embraced my NEW mantra: “Vulnerability lost is intimacy gained.”

Being afraid to show vulnerability kept me from having fuller and deeper relationships for years. How great it feels to be transparent and hopefully help others through all of the trials I have lived in my 54 years!

Facing my other fear — the fear of failure — I still have. When it comes to competing in the Austin Fittest Competition each year, I go to win, not just to compete. That sure makes it less fun. iGnite member Martha Lynn Mangum opened my eyes this year to focusing on having fun and enjoying the competition and not thinking about the win. I have to say it was the most fun out of the four years I participated! I took down my guard and got to know my competitors on a deeper level afterwards and the day ended with all of us being friends instead of competitors. The bonus was I still won, but had much more fun!

Action Item:
Consider opening up to a loved one about something you’re struggling with, and notice how your relationship deepens and your burden is lifted.

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Slow Me Down

iGnite - slow down imagePoint to Ponder:

Do you, like me, find yourself in a perpetual state of busy, cluttered and indecisive thinking and unable to hear your heart?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

A little over one month ago and upon seeking wisdom from a council of three wise friends, I was planning to take a two month sabbatical from May 10 – July 6th.  What led to this decision was a state of mental and spiritual fatigue, confusion and consistently feeling “off.” I wasn’t feeling joyful, even though I had everything to feel joyful about.  I felt like a robot, was indecisive, lacked motivation and was having to give myself regular pep talks.  I found myself feeling inadequate and worrying about things I rarely worry about, like:  iGnite, questioning my purpose, feeling like I didn’t have value and whether or not people liked or approved of me. The ongoing experience that was most frightening was that I couldn’t get out of my head and hear my heart — and my heart has always been my greatest guide.  I was instead constantly thinking, problem solving, and trying to figure everything out.  Honestly, I thought I had lost the ability to hear my spirit.  Embarrassingly, not once did I think this could just be the result of fatigue.  Instead, I thought I needed to work harder — because that’s the solution to everything, right?!? – HA!  I prayed regularly and tried cleaning up my diet and taking better care of myself: getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep and eliminating all caffeine, gluten, sugar, etc.  Actually, I did feel better, but I still lived in my busy and chatty brain, and still couldn’t hear my heart.  It wasn’t until I met with my wise council and put everything on the table that they diagnosed me as being tired and needing a sabbatical.  They knew exactly what I was going through because they too had been there.  They shared similar life experiences, validated how I was feeling and promised that all of my symptoms could be reversed with a break: a few months of wearing fewer hats, slowing down and letting my mind rest. Seriously, I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to be validated and learn that I wasn’t going crazy!

When I told my business coach Martha Lynn Mangum about my decision to take a sabbatical, she too validated my feelings and my plan by telling me her own personal sabbatical stories and how vital they were and are to her health and her ability to personally and professionally thrive.  In hindsight, this is a total no-brainer, as I know the importance of rest and taking a break.   I’m the first person to encourage and cheer on our team leaders (or anyone for that matter) to go on vacations and have regular getaways, as it’s a critical part of wellness.  But, I don’t play by the same rules. The big revelation that came out of this was that I have attached the majority of my worthiness and value to iGnite, just as could be done in any relationship or job.  My fear was that if I wasn’t “doing it all” I’d disappoint people and feel invaluable. This is total head-case thinking, I know!!  It’s during these head-case times of mine that Martha says, laughing, “we are silly, silly people.”

Ironically, about six weeks ago, while I was in the midst of all of my confusion, iGnite member Frances Netherton sent me a poem called Slow Me Down, Lord by Orin L Crain.  Frances’ step-mother had recently passed away, and while cleaning out some of her things Frances found the hand-written poem.  The reason this was ironic is because it pegged my feelings and desire perfectly.  It was as if Frances knew, but she didn’t.  And, most interestingly the poem was written in 1957, by a man!  What this tells me was that if a man in the 1950’s was in need of being slowed down, Frances’ sweet step-mother was in need of being slowed down, and I was in need of being slowed down, then it is likely that you too are in need of rest and being slowed down at some point. 

Due to Russell’s new job and getting everything in order to move San Diego, I have postponed my sabbatical until an unknown later date, but I have promised myself that it will happen and Martha is my accountability partner.  If you are like me and have found yourself in a perpetual state of busy, cluttered and indecisive thinking and unable to hear your heart, I encourage you to be an advocate for your spirit and rest. It doesn’t have to be a full-on sabbatical, rather start with taking one thing off of your plate that will free up some time and space for rest and BEING.  Even though we Americans associate non-busy time with laziness (at least I do), that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is certainly value in working towards goals, having projects, being motivated, and doing for others, but it can’t be done at the expense of your physical, mental and spiritual heath. Hard work and full and busy days, weeks, months and years must be met and balanced with quiet and stillness.  Interestingly, it’s during the restful and serene moments when life reveals its greatest secrets.

Read the inspiring poem Slow Me Down, Lord by Orin L. Crain here.

Action Item:

Be an advocate for your spirit and rest.

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