Tag Archives: Mother Theresa

Love Yourself! Inspiration for Your New Year

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Point to Ponder:
Do you love yourself as God loves you?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Since the New Year, I set a soft goal to find new and meaningful content that would not only challenge, encourage and inspire growth within myself, but that I would also want to share with you. I didn’t take formal goal action, like write it down and visualize finding this information, but instead, I set an intention. Excitingly, the intention started to bear fruit last week when iGnite’s wise and wonderful Amy Younkman shared 4 Yogic Tips to Make Your Resolutions Stick. Amy’s advice was perfect, as it was important and bite-sized holistic information that is realistic to achieve.

Then, more inspiration came again last night in the form of a text message from the always spunky, and never-met-a-bad-day or stranger, iGnite member, Lisa Wade. Lisa shared an article by Simone Talma Flowers that was featured in the Austin American Statesman. Simone is the Executive Director of the Interfaith Action of Central Texas and this spiritually-based article may be one of the greatest articles I have ever read. Simone speaks beautifully to every woman’s heart and tendencies: care giving, selfless, critical of oneself and even insecure. Most importantly though, Simone shares her experience with hearing God and His encouragement: for her (and us) to not only love others, but for her (and us) to love herself and ourselves, like He loves us all:

Selflessness is a virtue admired by many. It is an aspiration countless try to achieve. We often praise acts of selflessness, as great human achievements. Witnessing the acts, the dedication and commitment by others like Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa or Gandhi, we have great admiration for a life dedicated for the advancement of others.

Selfless acts are perceived as acts of graciousness, discipline, humility and hospitality. The person who receives this grace knows how powerful an act of generosity is; and the person who is engulfed in the act of serving, knows the power of this experience, the energy, the flow, the connection to God, to source, to the universe. It is a powerful feeling of blessedness, that makes you want to continue to do even more.

Living a life of purpose, a life of selflessness in service to others, is what I aspired to. Growing up, I saw people like Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa as examples of living purposely and selflessly in this world. I appreciate people in my community who are gracious and hospitable.
Hospitality is another virtue I admire greatly and associate with selflessness. Hospitality is being welcoming, generous with an unwavering expression of love and acceptance, making sure others are taken care of. So, in a recent conversation with God, I was shocked at what He revealed.
Enjoying a few days of rest, one morning after I finished my morning prayers and meditation, I had a conversation with God.

I was in a very relaxed state, a state of stillness, in tune and conscious of everything around me. I told God how much I love this feeling of peace, well-being, love and kindness I felt for myself and my surroundings. I told God how I appreciate my purpose here in this world of loving and serving others. I love going beyond myself to serve and share love, without effort. It is as natural to me as breathing or drinking water. Yet, it is common for me to delay taking time for my needs, and neglect to give myself the luxury of pacing or caring for myself. These unhurried moments of pure blessedness were rare.

What I heard in answer from God, really shocked me. God said to me, “You are here on Earth not only to love and serve others, but to love yourself as I love you.” I wondered if it wasn’t selfish to love myself that much. God said, “No, you are here to love yourself – like I love you. Loving yourself like I love you is just as important as your other life purpose of loving and serving others. You are perfectly made, in you lives my light that can give you everything you need in this life. As you love yourself, you love others more, as you care for yourself, you care for others deeper, as you speak kind words to yourself, you speak kind words to others gentler, as you think loving thoughts of yourself, your loving thoughts of others increase.”

Living this life, loving myself is just as important and necessary as the gift of purpose in this life. So, why did it take me this long to fully realize this? I always knew love is the key, however, the extent of the love I have for myself, has limits. What God is saying to me, is that I need to remove these limits and conditions that I set for myself, and love all of me, wholeheartedly.

As I look in the mirror, I sometimes do not like all I see, especially if I see myself in comparison to others. Yet when I see and conceptualize that God’s creations are perfectly made, beautiful, whole, this gives me a different perspective, a perspective, that I am one of these creations. I am included in that: I am beautifully made.

How am I whole when I look at myself and see so much that needs fixing? Loving yourself is embracing all of you, knowing that God loves you, for who you are, and forgives you in spite of knowing what you have or have not done. God is not conditional. God forgives us, so we need to forgive ourselves. If we think we are on a wrong path, we can always try again; we can make amends. We can start over.

In my conversation with God, I realized that what I say to myself, I say to God. I love God, and I want to deepen my relationship with Him and enjoy God’s love. So I am going to speak kindly, and speak with the love that God has put in my heart.

As I live my life, selflessness, has a new meaning to me. It means I live fully, I live wholeheartedly, I live nourishing myself spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically – so I have more of myself to share with others.


Action Item:
Make a list of the ways you can begin spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically nourishing yourself.


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How We’re Simplifying Our Lives in 2015

Simplify

“The more you have, the more you are occupied.
The less you have, the more free you are.”
-Mother Theresa

It’s never a bad idea to simplify. But exactly how to simplify? Now that’s another story. Our team shares the small ways they are choosing to simplify their daily lives this year.

Simplify… Your Time

by Sha Klatt

Sha

On the day of my annual doctor’s check-up, I schedule my appointment for the first thing in the morning. I fast the night before so that I can also get any bloodwork done right afterwards, and then I have my mammogram scheduled for right after so I get it all done in one morning!

Cary

Cary

I do two things: I say “no, thank you!” when my PERSONAL schedule is full, and I have a fun little tool that shouts at me if I try to replace my happy time with something less happy. My tool is a colorful little schedule that I created, and it sits where I can see it, all bright and loud. It’s all self-assured and happy, so thrilled that it’s not saturated with stress…it’s like a pretty new piece of jewelry and I love it so much.

photo-373In the happy color areas of chosen activities (family, yoga, teaching, my horse, Newt) I can’t add anything else in.  It’s CLOSED. I CAN’T. Those areas are sacred and content with who they are and what’s going on in them. And the set-in-stone colors keep me from over-scheduling and getting in over my head, with no down time for me and my family at all.  So say “no, thank you” and make a pretty, colorful schedule!

Kathleen

Kathleen

I have found 2 things that save SO me much time by not having to come home and shower between every workout I teach. I LOVE my new hair straightener that plugs into my car lighter from Amazon and lavender body wipes from Amazon.  After I teach a class, in my car I take a “shower” with my lavender wipe and plug in my straightener, which heats up in 7 seconds, and straighten that ponytail dent right out.  I LOVE THESE TWO AMAZING TIME SAVERS IN MY LIFE!!!  One shower at night and SO much more time during the day smelling and looking good in 30 seconds!

Catherine

Catherine

I was once told to use the time I spend waiting for my car to fill up at the gas station to clean out my car. I have done it ever since and it makes a huge difference in the clutter in my car!  I mean, why not? I’m there waiting anyways!

Betty

Betty

Dry hair shampoo!  It takes me so long to blow dry and flat iron my hair, and on the days when I don’t sweat as much…just spray your roots and go!

Simplify… Your Home

Amy

Amy

I’ve compiled my own ‘simplify’ list with the help of Deepak Chopra…
– Reduce the clutter.
– Turn off the TV.
– Stop junk mail.
– When you bring in something new, get rid of something old.
– Get rid of all but one credit card.

Alli

Alli

Make kids’ lunches during dinner clean-up: We have a system where my kids make their own lunches for the next day immediately after our family dinner during “kitchen clean-up” (with a little help/guidance with food selection/balance from me).
…. I realized about a year ago that every evening, after I’d clean the kitchen post-dinner (no easy task when feeding a family of 7!), then help the kids finish homework and get ready for school the next day, we’d return to the kitchen to make lunches and make a huge mess again. So, making lunches right after dinner means only one evening kitchen clean-up instead of two, and also the kids often pack “dinner leftovers” and save me the work of packaging and storing what’s left of the dinner. 🙂

Simplify… Your Work Load

Neissa

Neissa

Something I was taught in professional coaching with Martha Lynn Mangum that has definitely simplified my life is: each Friday, from 11-12 I review the week that I’m wrapping up, determine what needs to translate into the following week, create a “dump list’ based on everything I need to accomplish for the following week, then I organize the upcoming week and enter it all into my calendar. This activity has single handedly allowed me to feel free throughout the weekend. My brain isn’t full of everything I need to do and I can actually enjoy my weekends much more and don’t feel distracted by my work to-do list. And, of course it’s made me much more organized, effective and efficient!

Simplify…Your Daily Habits

Amy

Amy

Do one thing at a time.
Don’t be a slave to your phone.
Get up 20 minutes earlier to set your day and not be rushed.
Go to bed earlier.
Slow down to the posted speed limit.
Make water your drink of choice.

Simplify… Your Finances

Molly

Molly

My husband and I are frugal and always save, but we’d like to be more aware of where all of our money is being spent and follow a budget that works for us. We’ve decided to simplify this “big process” by using an online course to help us categorize where it is going. The course is called Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. I’m looking forward to simplifying our budget in 2015!

Simplify… Your Emotions

Amy

Amy

Steer clear of toxic energy and relationships.

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Our Favorite Non-Profits, Round 2

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“It is not how much we do, but how much love we put into doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”
– Mother Theresa

Point to Ponder:
What non-profit is special to you?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

During a conversation a few weeks ago between my mom and I, she candidly said, “If in this day and age anyone complains of being bored, they aren’t looking hard enough because there are always people to help.” I think she’s right. For sure there are always people to help, and “in this day and age” we are fortunate to have access to so many wonderful organizations that do amazing work!

Last week I shared with you my favorite philanthropies and non-profits, and this week our leaders are sharing some of theirs. For some of us, support is through monetary contributions, and for others of us it’s our time. The important thing is that it comes from loving hearts, and that’s what matters most.

Alli’s & Sha’s Favorite: Beyond Batten Disease Foundation

default-logo“Every year for the past 4 years I have participated in an event called “Run to the Sun” to raise funds and awareness for Beyond Batten Disease Foundation, and I am passionate about this event and this cause. BBDF is a local non-profit founded by dear family friends, Charlotte and Craig Benson, on behalf of their daughter Christianne, who has this devastating rare neurological disease. In just a few short years, BBDF has made huge gains in understanding and treating Batten, along with numerous other rare childhood diseases, and is now on track to find a cure in Christianne’s lifetime! Run to the Sun is a 90-mile overnight relay from Enchanted Rock to Austin in which runners symbolically experience Christianne’s journey — running into and through the night, “blind,” sometimes “alone” (but never really), always surrounded and supported by teammates, other runners, and volunteers along the course, culminating at sunrise with a finish-line celebration where everyone crosses and “comes into the light” together. The experience is truly life changing, and the work of the foundation is too.”

Amy’s Favorite: Austin Sunshine Camp

logo“One of my favorite, lesser-known, local non-profits is Austin Sunshine Camps. The camps’ mission is to engage and empower youth through outdoor experience and education. For over 85 years, kids from Austin and surrounding areas have enjoyed summer camp free of charge. There is a neat story to the camp’s beginning: In 1928, The Young Men’s Business League(YMBL) of Austin recognized the serious community threat of youth tuberculosis and became dedicated to making a significant contribution to the solution. YMBL members established the Summer Sunshine Camps in Zilker Park to provide afflicted local youth and economically disadvantaged youth an environment in which to gain weight, grow strong, and enjoy sunshine, as it was said that sunshine could assist in curing tuberculosis. Today, Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps continue to serve youth living near or below the poverty line. The programs have expanded to include education and a mentoring component. After-school programs and tutoring are now offered to middle and high school youth, empowering them to dream big and look towards college. The camps are in the process of building a new facility at Zilker Park which will enable many more central Austin youth to succeed through education and healthy living.”

Cary’s Favorite: Marbridge

marbridge-logo“If you ever doubt the adage ‘what you give, you get,’ just hop in your car and drive till you reach Marbridge Ranch. A home for cognitively-disabled adults, Marbridge gives life to those who might otherwise struggle fiercely if they lived outside of its warm and loving doors. Donations go to support the most loving and true people anyone will ever find on this planet. They literally ‘had me at hello’ the first time I volunteered there, answering phones in the main office. Two mischievous residents knew the regular gal was out, and that a green and unsuspecting little me was the gatekeeper-in-training…in other words, I had no idea who could come and go. So these two did just that, they came — time and again, carrying mail, bluebonnet seeds, papers, you name it…just to get past me so they could have a peek into the Big Boys’ offices. My face hurt, I smiled so much that day, and I haven’t looked back. Each time I go, I am visited by an angel…that is the truest way I can think to describe it. They love, they smile, they live, they learn, they teach. It is a beautiful place. You can give in the form of financial support, but also volunteer support, and there are a million opportunities for that. If you are able to become involved…I promise, you will never look back!

Catherine’s Favorite: Austin Community College

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 3.07.31 PM“This past year I have really come to respect and admire the work they do at Austin Community College. With both my husband and I taking classes there this year, we’ve witnessed first-hand how focused the instructors in the career-specific courses are on truly helping prepare the students for being successful in a career and finding good jobs, as opposed to just academics for academics’ sake (which I experienced through large Universities). Growing up, I had no exposure to or respect for community colleges, and since I’ve thankfully opened my eyes and learned that ACC does awesome things for students at a price that is actually manageable for those paying for their own school that want to pursue their dreams and become everything they dream of. The career-specific course instructors we’ve encountered are truly there for helping you learn more about what that skill is like in the ‘real world’, instead of focusing on school reputation, accolades, etc. Now, as far as I’m concerned, that’s the real deal… I just really love and value that at this point in my life! I’m so thankful that my prejudice against community colleges has been exposed and proven dead wrong, because ACC (a non-profit) is awesome and serves an incredible purpose for the people that want and need it.”

Kathleen’s Favorite: Campus Crusade for Christ

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 3.49.30 PM“My favorite non-profit thus far has been supporting Campus Crusade for Christ right here in Austin. I have sponsored a darling couple here on staff at UT. They have made such an impact on so many young lives just down the street from me on campus. I truly believe that these UT students will be forever changed by these young men and women on staff at Cru. I was involved with Campus Crusade when I was a student at UT and it was a life-changing event for me!”

Molly’s Favorite: Susan G. Koman Foundation

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 3.54.58 PM“My favorite non-profit is the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I’ve known several women who have fought and won the battle with breast cancer, and several who have passed away, including my grandmother. My support of this cause is important because I wish for the doctors and researchers to find a cure so that no woman endures this pain ever again. I’ve participated in the Race for the Cure, and I love that family, friends and strangers join together to unite for this beautiful cause.”

Action Item:
Determine one way you can help support a non-profit that’s special to you during this giving season.

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