Tag Archives: mind

Being “Good Enough”

Encouragement from the iGnite Archives: March 2012

jan29_2017

Point to Ponder:
Do you struggle with feeling “good enough”?

Amy Younkman

by Amy Younkman

Have you ever struggled with the feeling that you are not “good enough”?

I recall being in 3rd grade and feeling sadly disappointed with all A’s, and a B in Penmanship on my report card. I thought my handwriting was good, but it wasn’t “good enough.” As a teen I struggled with feelings of self-worth and self-acceptance. I was never “thin enough” or “confident enough.” Then, as a busy Mom of three, one of my favorite free-time activities was training for triathlons. One year, I placed 3rd (in my age group) in a sprint triathlon and decided I could do better, so I trained harder. The next year I came in 2nd place and elusive 1st place was never an option, as the triathlon series was discontinued. Equally elusive were my feelings of being “good enough.”

I now know why God graced me with my three children. They were pre-destined to be some of my greatest teachers. At age 16 and in a fit of frustration, I recall my oldest daughter blurting out “Nothing is ever good enough for you!” Taking the comment to heart, I began a long, slow journey of learning to let go of desired outcomes and needing to control what I perceived as the necessary end result. I passionately want the best for my kids and for myself, therefore I continually struggle to ease up on my expectations and instead, to learn the lessons the present has to offer.

Meanwhile, the little voice in my head continues to taunt me… “Are you really a good enough Mom, wife, friend, yoga teacher??”  I have to stop, breathe and ask for help. I realize I am an imperfect human who, though flawed, does the best she can with a faith-filled heart. And then I offer the rest to God. Doing this frees me from the need to be perfect and in control. Divine design is constantly working through me, and I am only a small vessel amidst a fleet of God’s angels.

My yoga mat is a laboratory for my life. Every day offers new experiments and discoveries. I have found immense peace of mind through merely showing up on my mat, paying attention to my breath, and letting my body guide me as it opens and unfolds in it’s own time to receive grace. Learning to receive is a lesson unto itself. I don’t have to be a superstar on the mat; just showing up, willing to learn is “good enough.”

The beauty I have found in iGnite is that we don’t measure success by inches lost, pounds shed, or winning times; instead we focus on nurturing relationships, finding fun in the every day, and being fed in body, mind and spirit. If we can do that, it is most definitely “good enough.”

I challenge you to look at your own life vocation and ask yourself, “Am I good enough?”  Today may be different from yesterday, or tomorrow. Accept yourself in the here and now, realizing you are a work in progress and God is not yet through with you.


Action Item:
Accept yourself in the here and now, realizing you are a work in progress and God is not yet through with you.


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Who are You Grateful for?

"We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives."  -John F. Kennedy

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
-John F. Kennedy

Point to Ponder:
Who are you grateful for?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Who are you grateful for? If you are like me, I would guess that this is a fairly simple question to answer and that you could create a long list of people, however, it’s likely that these people may not hear or see the words “I am grateful for you” as much as they’d like to and as often as you feel grateful for them.

It was at this exact same time last year that we launched our “I am grateful for you”, week-long letter writing campaign, and it was nothing short of beautiful! As a result of you, our members, writing gratitude letters during classes, we mailed over three hundred notes by the Thanksgiving holiday. That was approximately 2.5 gratitude notes per person, which translates to over 600 uplifted and happy hearts — with both the sender and receiver experiencing the proven benefits of gratitude. Therefore, we are absolutely committed to making this a pre-Thanksgiving tradition! My personal goal is to crush last year’s number and aim for at least three hand-written notes per person.

iGnite is emotionally invested in your well-being and we believe that the act of expressing gratitude verbally or in a handwritten note has the power to repair relationships and transform lives. And because having healthy relationships is paramount to living a low-stress and fulfilling life, we have ordered one thousand cards and we’d love to have ZERO left over when you’re done with them! The only action required is for you to attend classes throughout this week, have at least three people in mind that you are grateful for, then fill out the notes & envelopes during designated class time. The postage and trip to the post office is on us!

Finally, there is one more thing that I encourage you to pay close attention to during and after writing your gratitude notes, and that’s how you feel. Because you will have just finished exercising and/or practicing yoga, your endorphins will be flowing and you will already be feeling great, but all gratitude research proves that the result of expressing gratitude is an increase in life-satisfaction and well-being. In fact, one fascinating and very relative study by Steve Toepfer, associate professor in Human Development and Family Studies at Kent State University, found that “when a study participant wrote up to three gratitude notes about something that was important to them (not a generic “thank you” for you a gift, etc) the more they improved significantly on happiness and life satisfaction. The new and potentially important finding is that depressive symptoms decreased. Even more fascinating is that by writing these letters – 15 to 20 minutes each, once a week for three weeks to different people – well-being increased significantly.”

Gratitude. We can question its power and significance, but it’s all backed up by research. The more we express it, live in it and share it, the happier, more fulfilled and healthier we are. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s the cheapest and most effective fix on the market. Unlike everything else, there are no crazy side-effects — with the exception of extreme joy — and we can access it at our disposal. Now that’s what I call some serious good news!

Action Item:
Think about 3 people who you are grateful for and write them a personal “I am grateful for you” note this week!

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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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5 STRATEGIES TO TRAIN FEARLESSLY NOW & FOREVER

iGnite - strength training

Can we keep lean, strong and fit into our golden years? Can we still get a summer-ready body even if we are flashing a senior citizen card someday? The answer is YES!!!
The strategy is UPPING THE ANTE and DOING IT WITH INTENSITY!!

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

You can make 70 look like the new 50 and 50 look like the new 30 if you are smart about your lifestyle choices and approach them, particularly exercise, with intensityGenes play a leading role, but even if you have elevated risk in any category of illnesses/conditions you have a solution: regular strenuous exercise. We may have received a certain genetic package from our parents, but it is not our fate to be governed by it.
Dr. John Ratey writes in his enlightening book SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, “If your brain is not actively growing, then it is dying. Exercise is one of the few ways to counter the process of aging because it slows down the natural decline of the stress threshold.” He says intense exercise is the Holy Grail for our bodies and our brains.

INCREASE YOUR INTENSITY!
Here are strategies you can incorporate into your next workout to drive the power of your workout to a higher level. Get more work done. Lift Heavier. Sweat more.

1. INCLUDE ALL FOUR VARIETIES OF EXERCISE IN YOUR TRAINING.
–Aerobic Exercise that increases your aerobic capacity
–Strength Training to build and MAINTAIN muscle
–Balance activities like training on a BOSU to build core strength–strong core AND a sharp nervous system
–Flexibility to remain limber and agile and on your feet well into your later decades

2. FOCUS ON REGULAR STRENGTH TRAINING
–Regular strength training is also cardiovascular training. It offsets the steady decline in muscle mass and metabolic rate that starts in our 30’s. Only progressive strength training, performed at least 3 times per week will help build muscle and brain mass. The weight should be heavy enough to challenge you. You need to feel the burn and be out of breath when done.

3. HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING IS KEY!
–HIIT repeatedly proves it is one of the best ways to challenge you aerobically and muscularly. HIIT works your aerobic and anaerobic systems at the same time, engaging your complete physical self.
By adding even one 30 second sprint into your cardio, human growth hormone peaks and stays that way for several hours afterward. HGH is the surefire, turn back the clock, fat-burning agent produced naturally by the body that ensures a lean and strong body!

4. PUT YOUR MIND INTO THE MUSCLE
–Engage your mind in your training. When you are mentally present for reps or sets, physical payoffs are far greater. In Dr. Norman Doidge’s book The Brain That Changes Itself, he reveals that just thinking about an exercise changes your brain structure as if you were doing the movement. This changes the structure and function of your brain by affecting the neurons at the microscopic level.

5. HEALTHY DIET
Food is Fuel. Don’t pollute your engine!!

This applies to ALL AGES–even you 20 and 30 somethings! Remember at the young age of 30 we start to lose muscle mass yearly if we don’t do something about it.

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Q&A with Instructor Kathleen Parker

Teaching members how to wake surf at Lake Escape class on Lake Austin

iGnite instructor and water sports enthusiast Kathleen Parker shares what it is that makes her tick and gives her that contagious enthusiasm we all know and love.

1. How did you come to love the water so much?

I grew up on the water.  Being blessed with a family lake house since childhood, my siblings and I were on or in the water all day every summer.  I am the youngest of 6 kids, so keeping up with 4 big brothers and a sister forced me into the water a little earlier than most.  I learned to ski at the age of 5 and was driving the boat and pulling skiers at the age of 9.

2. Any advice for someone who hasn’t ever tried water sports and is intimidated to try them now?

Water is a “happy place.”  I read somewhere that people are 60% happier when they are in, on or near water.  Wake surfing is a gentle sport for ALL ages.  The iGnite Lake Escape is a safe and fun environment with supportive and encouraging women cheering you on.  It does not get any better than being on Lake Austin on a Wednesday morning!!

Teaching members to ski, slalom & wake surf at Lake Escape class on Lake Austin

3. What is your teaching philosophy?

I have always loved the saying “Challenge leads to change.”  I think this covers all of what we promote in iGnite.  Challenging the body, mind and spirit to reach new levels keeps us healthy and strong inside and out.  My dad always told us that if we keep our body fit and strong, our mind will follow.  Just like keeping a car running–when one part goes, the car stops running.

Leading Cross Training in the park

4. What is the best piece of life advice you’ve been given and from who?

I would like to share TWO.  My Dad is fearless in all aspects of his life. He wakes up every morning looking at the day as a “great adventure.”  He is 90 years old, a successful real estate investor and still wants to race me down his driveway.

Second, Neissa Springmann (the founder of iGnite) led me to find my passion and follow it and live each day with purpose.  I would not be doing what I am doing now if I had not taken that to heart.

5. What is something people may not know about you?

I have triplets!  And I can still do the “splits,” but I cannot throw a ball.

6. Outside of iGnite, what is your favorite way to stay active and fit?

Anything that involves having fun!  From April to October, water skiing and wakesurfing.  In the winter, snowboarding, but we were actually water skiing through December last year!

In Austin? Join Kathleen weekly this summer at one of her many classes:

Cross TrainingCardio CircuitTotal Body Strength & ToningLake Escape and Cardio Core

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Stay Active While Away: Your Go-To Travel & Vacation Workout

the only equipment you need!

Who says that staying in shape has to go out the window when you’re traveling? The energizing effects of starting off each day of your vacation with a quick 15-20 minute pick-me-up workout will have you enjoying the escape even more.  Staying active while away requires nothing more than 15 to 20 minutes and two light, inexpensive and easily packable tools: a jump rope and an elastic resistance band.

We’ve made things easy for you! Toss your jump rope and elastic band in your bag (together they weigh less than 7 ounces!), follow this workout created and demonstrated by iGnite founder Neissa Springmann three times per week (resting at least one day between workouts), and you’re good to go.

Repeat Exercises #1-5  three times with 30 seconds of rest between each exercise.  

Total Time: 15-20 minutes

Exercise #1: Jumping Rope
1 minute

  • Form: Stay light and on your toes
  • Benefits: Great cardiovascular exercise that works all muscles
  • Don’t have a jump rope? Jumping jacks are a great alternative.

travel workout 1

Exercise #2: Push-Up
1 Set of 10-15

  • Form: Position arms wide at a 90 degree angle, chest falls between arms, tighten core and firm glutes to protect the lower back and look at the tip of your mat (don’t allow your head to droop).  To decrease difficulty, drop to knees.
  • Benefits: Works chest, arms and core (when tightening the abdominals)

travel workout 2 travel workout travel workout 3 travel workout 4

Exercise #3: Squat to Shoulder Press
1 Set of 20

  • Form: While holding the handles of the resistance band, stand with feet hip width distance apart (6 -12 in.) on your resistance band. Squat, while keeping weight in the heels, eyes forward and chest open.  Come to standing while pressing the resistance bands above the head and firming the glutes. For less resistance, alternate arms.
  • Benefits: Works glutes, quads, hamstrings and shoulders.

travel workout newsletter workout 027 2 newsletter workout 028 2

Exercise #4: Plank
30 seconds – 1 minute

  • Form: Position body so shoulders and elbows are in alignment. Look slightly forward while pulling shoulders away from your ears, firming glutes and pulling abdominals up and in.  If lower back bothers you, lift glutes higher or drop to your knees.
  • Benefits: Works all core muscles (abdominals and lower back) and shoulders.

newsletter workout 041

Exercise #5: Alternating Lunge
1 Set of 20 (10 each leg)

  • Form: Start standing tall and looking forward. Step one leg out in front, making sure the ankle and knee are in alignment, with the back leg bent and the heel lifted up toward the sky. With a strong core and eyes forward, push off the front leg and come to standing again, to then alternate legs.
  • Benefits: Works glutes, hamstrings and quads.

newsletter workout 039 2 newsletter workout 037 newsletter workout 039 newsletter workout 038

Are You In the Game, or On the Sidelines?

Face Your Fears

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
– Dale Carnegie

Point to Ponder:
Are you an active participant in the game of your life or are you watching it from the sidelines?

Action Item:
Choose one of your fears and take action to defeat it.

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

Airline travel is 29 times safer than driving an automobile, and I’ve never had a bad experience; yet, I remain desperately afraid to fly. Every time I fly, I go through the same ritual: find my window seat; say a prayer; and fall asleep as quickly as possible (preferably before take-off). My routine prevents me from letting my imagination and fears run wild.

I have no idea why I have this fear. What I do know is that NOT flying is NOT an option. If I had let my fear of flying prevail, I never would have seen the Virgin Islands, Maui, the San Juan Islands, or gone to Lake Placid or a number of other places I have been lucky enough to visit. Fear could have prevented me from experiencing new things, from starting iGnite, and from meeting and working with you.

Having fear is normal. It is how we choose to let fear affect our lives that is most important. Does fear motivate or paralyze you? Do you give it power by talking about it instead of taking action? Or do you look it in the face, call it by name and then take action and conquer it?

Giving in to fear can become habitual. The more you allow fear to stop you from taking action, the more it will show up in your life and take control. Confront fear with courage and confidence. Taking courageous, confident actions can also be habit-forming. But these are good habits, allowing you to live a life full of new experiences. Use fear as a stepping stone to motivate you and get you going!

The question we need to ask ourselves daily regarding fear is one phrased so well by University of Texas Women’s Track Coach Bev Kearney, a woman who has overcome amazing physical challenges as a result of a horrific car accident. She asks:

Are you in the game or on the sideline?

How would you answer? Fear keeps us on the sidelines, while courage, confidence and action put us in the game. I know I choose to be in the game of living life! This week, choose a fear you have and take action to overcome it. I’d love to hear about your choice and help you succeed— email me!

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