Tag Archives: Neissa Springmann

8 Christmas Gifting Opportunities that Give Back

 

Looking for a more meaningful way to give this year?

Check out our team’s favorite socially-conscious companies to buy from and charities to give to this holiday season:

Raven + Lily

Raven + Lily“The whole mission of this beautiful jewelry, clothing and home goods line is to ’empower women through design.’  I have many of their pieces of jewelry and clothing, and I LOVE to give them as gifts because they’re not only beautiful but support such an incredible cause and an unbelievable organization — that way, everyone that gets one of their items then looks into what they’re doing and sees the big picture 🙂 Check it out at http://www.ravenandlily.com
-Catherine Sanderson

Teen and Family Services

Teen & Family Services“The charity of my choice this Christmas season is Teen and Family Services, a Texas-based nonprofit that fills such an important gap for families searching for answers.  It’s a peer-based recovery support program for adolescents and their families who are suffering from the harmful effects of teen substance abuse.  You can donate or learn more about their holistic approach at teenandfamilyservices.org.”
Betty Cunningham

Marbridge Ranch

Marbridge“My favorite charity is Marbridge Ranch, because it’s just a happy place, filled with kind people —  staff, residents and volunteers. It offers a safe and comfortable home for many cognitively-challenged adults, and the programs at Marbridge enrich lives daily, by providing activities, skills training for jobs, and community. It is the place where you go to give, and you leave filled up…they turn it around, and you become the recipient of warm welcomes, friendly hellos and hugs, and just the most contagious, amazing smiles that will absolutely light you up. I love the place, and I love to support it! To support Marbridge Ranch during the holidays you can donate or become a short or long term volunteer.  You can find these opportunities at www.marbridge.org
Cary Fyfe

Lush

Lush-Logo“I also like Lush for great handmade skin care and body products and they have wonderful project called “Charity Pot,” 100% of the proceeds from sales of this cream is donated to small, grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights. Learn more about this great product at www.lushusa.com.”
Alli Phillips

Buy Fair Trade

“Buying “Fair Trade” products and gifts (chocolate, coffee, wine, etc.) means that the workers and artisans around the world that grew/created/manufactured the food, goods, or gift items you purchase were paid a fair “living wage.” This is why “fair trade” goods are sometimes more expensive, but also why it’s so important to support these companies.  Just look for “Fair Trade” signage as you shop around this holiday season.”
Alli Phillips

Altar’d State

altard-state“I love this store for three reasons:  1).  They have super cute clothes  2) . They have affordable clothes  3).  They are service-oriented, and they donate 1% of all sales to local and international charities. They sponsor high-risk children in Peru, and they support their employees by sponsoring volunteer hours.  To date, they have volunteered over 1600 hours! Check out their clothing and their mission at  www.altardstate.com.
Neissa Springmann

Victory School Uganda

kamukamaLogo“My good friends and Austin natives, Jeanne and Lew Little, founded the Victory School upon traveling to Uganda and witnessing first-hand the poverty and absolute practical and educational needs of the children in a remote village in Western Uganda. They founded the Kumakuma Foundation as a means to partner with the Victory School in Uganda and help provide the children with a quality education and a bright future.  What I love about the Victory School is that for just $25 a month, I am able to sponsor a child, which provides tuition, books, supplies, a uniform, 2 meals a day, access to clean water and life skills.  As a sponsor, I receive pictures and letters from my child and am able to write him as well.  Find out more about this beautiful foundation at www.victoryschooluganda.org.”
Neissa Springmann

Trinity Center Austin

TRINITY CENTER-LOGO“The Trinity Center is an incredible faith-based organization that loves on the homeless and provides them with emotional, spiritual and physical needs.  From socks, underwear to tennis shoes, they provide it for these sweet people living in downtown Austin. To learn more and  donate visit www.trinitycenteraustin.org/.”
Neissa Springmann

 

Want some more great gift-giving ideas?  Check out our
“give back” lists from previous years here and here

Compiled by Delaine Teeple

Compiled by Delaine Teeple


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The Powerful Healing Effects of Water

Give it a Try in July IV

Water

Point to Ponder:
When was the last time you spent time in and/or around water?

Action Item:
Set a time and day on your calendar to be in and/or around water in the next week.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Unfortunately, I did not grow up in or around water. We didn’t have a public pool, only two people in our rural community of 850 had a pool, and the closest thing we had to a lake was TPNL Lake in Hallsburg, TX (where the infamous Branch Davidian’s lived). I say “the closest thing” because while TPNL did and still does serve as a lake, and many people ski, fish and tube there, we were always forced to wear flip flops in and around it because of the glass content from beer bottles, etc, settled at the bottom. Obviously it wasn’t the nicest of lakes, but as a child we couldn’t have cared less. We were just giddy to be in water!

Aside from a few summers of week-long indoor swim lessons, we didn’t have access to a pool. On rare occasion we’d go to the Waco public pool, which was a BIG DEAL, or we’d venture to Dallas and spend a day at Wet & Wild. One summer we even went to Galveston (my first ocean experience), but overall my exposure to water was extremely limited. So, as a child I always loved being in the water (even if it was running through a sprinkler) but there was a large span of time when I spent zero time in and around it, so naturally fear set in. If you don’t use it you lose it, right?!

Thankfully, as an adult I’ve been able to spend much more time in the water, and I’ve had new, wonderful and even uncomfortable experiences. Not only have I had to re-learn how to swim (thanks to my dear friend Shannon and our awesome swim instructor Sha Klatt, I’m actually a very good swimmer) but I’ve also learned to ski and surf (thanks to our water sports expert Kathleen Parker) and will do just about anything in the water now! Of course during all of these activities I swallowed a ton of water, had plenty of it go up my nose, and felt extremely goofy and uncoordinated, but it was important that being in the water felt natural to me again because when I can relax in it, it becomes a baptism-like and cleansing experience for my whole body and spirit.

I am not suggesting that you make it a goal to learn how to swim, ski and surf, but what I am suggesting is that you make being in and around water a weekly priority, which can easily be accomplished in iGnite! Like anything in nature, water has a magical effect on the body, mind and spirit, and when life feels heavy and daunting, water inevitably does the trick. Just the sight of water seems to wash away all worries, puts life back into perspective and adds the “joy spring” to our step, which is likely why the trail at Lady Bird Lake is used by thousands of people each day.

And, of course there’s the indisputable physiological benefits of water, a.k.a., hydration. To optimally function, our bodies MUST be adequately hydrated, which means drinking a minimum of 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water each day. Do you have achy joints and sore muscles? Drink water. Have dry skin, rashes or acne? Drink water. Struggle with constipation or abdominal bloating? Drink water. Need to boost your metabolism or drop a few pounds? Drink water. Struggle with fatigue or mental fogginess? Drink water.

Don’t like the taste of just plain water? Try our easy water replacement recipes for a tasty alternative. 

I wish I could say the above picture was me diving into the water, but I’m a belly-flopping diver. The picture was taken a few years ago during one of our class adventures at Barton Springs Pool, which consisted of squealing like school girls and then feeling so refreshed and invigorated that we didn’t want to leave. The fifteen minute dip kept us cool for hours, high-spirited and feeling our best!

I’m always amazed at how we (including myself) complicate things. We can search high and low for miracle cures, fountains of youth and sources of health and happiness, when really they’re right outside our doors and fortunately for us, they are plentiful in Austin.

 

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Stuck in a Food Rut? Healthy Options to Get Unstuck

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.”
– Julia Child

Point to Ponder:
Are you stuck in a food rut?

Action Item:
Consider juicing and/or trying some of the *new* recipes below.

 

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Last Tuesday at the member lunch at Abel’s on the Lake, “the Lisa’s” (Lisa Hildebrand and Lisa Joseph) inspired me to get a juicer. I’ve been wanting one for a while, but just haven’t made it a priority.  After hearing how easy and delicious it is to juice, and needing to find something *new* to try in July, I thought it was time to get my juice on.

Per their recommendation, I set out to purchase a Hurom- Premium Slow Juicer and Smoothie Maker. My first stop was Bed Bath & Beyond, but they were out of stock. So, I ventured into William Sonoma where they had plenty and they were on sale, too! Like a good food processor or Vitamix blender, the Hurom Juicer is not a cheap machine, but if used enough you will quickly get your money out of it. Plus, I’ve gotten terrible at eating vegetables simply because of the prep time, and if it weren’t for the simplicity that my Vitamix provides which quickly enables me to make my favorite fruit & protein smoothie, I wouldn’t eat enough fruit either. And so, getting the juicer is an investment in mine and my family’s health.

I was also pumped because the juicer inspired me to grab some organic and seasonal veggies that I do like, but always bypass out of intimidation and convenience. For example, I like beets but they stain everything red, take time to peal, chop, and I never know what to pair them with. Others I run into issues with are cucumber, carrots and celery. I know they are really good for me but they don’t excite me. So, I filled my grocery cart up with grapes, kale, spinach, beets, lemon, pineapple, carrots, tomatoes, and celery, and couldn’t wait to get home to see what I could come up with. Here are the two juices I made:

 

Veggie Combo (my random creation)

Veggie Combo Juice & Grape Juice

  • 1 c Packed Spinach
  • 1 Beet
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Celery Stalk
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 1/3 c Pineapple (this adds a touch of sweet)

Grape Juice

  • 2 c  Grapes

I’ve gotta tell you, I’m fascinated with the juicing process – it is so simple and cool! As for how the drinks tasted, the ‘Veggie Combo’ was good enough and I’ll definitely make it again. The grape juice was delicious and both of my children lapped it up. Malaine (14 months) will eat and drink anything…so she was easy. Durant (3 1/2 yrs) is ridiculously picky so I told him it was Gatorade (a real treat for him) and he drank it all. SUCCESS!

Really, I’m not writing this journal to convince you to purchase a juicer. Instead, because I am not a creative cook, I don’t enjoy cooking, I find myself in a food rut all of the time, and it’s Give It a Try in July time, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some of my healthy, convenient and delicious summer go-to’s that might be *new* to you and might even help you get out of a food rut as well.

So on that note, here are a couple more of my faves:

Summer Potato Salad

Summer Potato Salad

by Chef Martha Pincoffs, creator of the Hot Dang Grain Burger (a healthy and convenient favorite)

  • 2 lbs Red potatoes, quartered and slightly boiled
  • 1 Small red onion, chopped
  • cooked green beans, cut in half
  • 1/2 c Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 c Olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt

Combine all and enjoy!

Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2/3 c Olive Oil
  • 1/3 c Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T Honey

– Combine all, simmer on med/high heat
– Stir with wisk, remove from heat and toss on any salad

Watermelon Herb Salad

by  Chef Scott Tompkins

  • 1 fresh watermelon, cubed
  • 2 T fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 T fresh basil, finely chopped

Combine all and let marinade for 30 min.  Eat right away

 

In the event you have a juicer, are wanting to begin juicing, or are in need of *new* recipes, iGnite member and health coach Lisa Hildebrand shares these two amazingly healthy and refreshing juices:

Classic Green Juice

  • 1 bunch spinach or kale
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 6-9 celery stalks
  • 1 bunch parsley or cilantro
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • 1 to 2 green apples
  • Ginger (about 1 thumb’s worth)
  • 1/2 lemon or lime

Love My Liver Juice

  • 2-3 beets
  • 4-6 carrots
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 6-9 celery stalks
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 bunch of mint

For even MORE healthy meal inspiration, check out our leadership team’s go-to, healthy summer dinners.

Besides the convenience, what excites me most about juicing is its health benefits. My personal belief is that food truly has the power to heal our bodies and most of what we need comes from the Earth. But because of convenience, I have not been nourishing my body with all that it needs to live and perform optimally. My favorite reminder about the amazing and intentional creation of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes comes from a book called Breakthrough: Eight Steps to Wellness by Suzanne Somers. Check out this fascinating excerpt:

A sliced carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris, and radiating lines look just like the human eye… and science shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function to the eyes.

A tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows that tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of a heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell, and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart-and blood vitalizing food.

A walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds of the nut are just like the neocortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over three dozen neurotransmitters for brain function.

Kidney beans actually help heal and help maintain kidney function, and yes, they look exactly like the human kidney.

Celery, bok choy, and rhubarb, look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23 percent sodium and these foods are 23 percent sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Eggplant, avocados and pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of a female-they look just like these organs. Today’s research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted baby weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? ...It takes exactly nine months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit.

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well as to overcome male sterility.

Sweet potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetes.

Olives assist the health function of the ovaries.

Grapefruits, oranges, and other citrus fruits look like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body cells. Today’s research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells; they even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.

Enjoy branching out and trying new ways to spruce up your food!

 

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What We Should All Learn from Children

Stop Playing, Grow Old

Point to Ponder:
Do you play enough?

Action Item:
Determine the things that make you feel most alive and start playing.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

There really isn’t a better time than the 4th of July to be reminded of what it means to be free and to live in the land of opportunity! Freedom has always been a critical element in how I choose to live my life. In fact, after working through a core values exercise, I actually thought freedom was one of my five core values. Turns out it’s not, but it’s part of my strategy to getting to several of my core values, which is likely why I felt claustrophobic, in conflict and restless during my pre-iGnite professional life. Looking back, my spirit was trapped and I needed to be set free so I could live in full self expression. Sure enough, iGnite was and is a snapshot of my spirit and how I interpret freedom and happiness.

I think we can all agree that the best example of freedom is children. Even before having children of my own, I worked with children and was always inspired by their effortless ability to play. It was actually when working with them that I recognized the importance of play and the organic spirit-lifting effect it has on people.

I get it — of course we can’t play all of the time, and I do agree that there is a time for work and play, however, we must make time to play. Play looks different for everyone, and research has found that when we play we are healthier, happier and live longer.

A great example is 81 year old Stuart Brown who is a tennis-playing and cross-country skiing psychiatrist who offices in his tree house in Carmel Valley, California (sounds pretty fantastic!). Stuart is a play-advocate and author of a book titled Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul. He warns, “a life without play is a life of rigidity, lacking in creativity, joy and sustained pleasure.” He also references a woman who lives a “turbocharged” life, taking care of her family and her job as the CEO of a real estate company. Up at 5 a.m., she ran 4 or 5 miles on odd days and swam and lifted weights on even days. She started to dread life. She set out to find a solution and remembered some of her fondest memories as a child involved horses. Now, she rides one day a week and is happier and more productive.

On the heels of the 4th of July, I encourage you think more like a child, be free and play more, which of course means being fearless to try new things, too!  Much like dancing, singing and doing more of what you love, you will thrive and your spirit will have the same effect on the people you interact with as does in the “joy bomb” that takes place in the video below.

 

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Happy Talk

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”
Philippians 4:8

Point to Ponder:
Do your words tell the story of who you are and how you view life?

Action Item:
Choose a word to eliminate from and/or add to your vocabulary to better portray who you are and how you view life.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

A few days ago, I read an article in SUCCESS Magazine titled “Happy Talk.” The author Patty Onderko, a busy mom who writes from her home in Brooklyn, NY, instantly grabbed my attention with her subtitle: “Why you should–like the song from South Pacific–“keep talk’in’ happy talk.” As I’d hoped, the article was thought provoking, research based and made the important connection between the words we speak and the effects they can have on our overall health and well-being. Clearly, it was “iGnite material” so I thought I would share it with you.  So even if you don’t use social media (which is referenced in the article), I encourage you to read it anyway, as it’s a good reminder that the words we speak about ourselves, as well as how we speak about others and life in general, are either working for us or against us:

You got to the town parade on Sunday and want to share your weekend adventure on Facebook. Which of the following is more likely to be your status update?

A. “I’m loving the marching bands! So blessed to live in this wonderful town!”
or….
B. “Drinking a bottle of beer at the parade. I hate bagpipes!”

It’s no surprise that different people can have vastly different experiences at the same event; or that people who are negative pick up on the downsides, and vice versa. But recent research suggests you pin down someone’s personality traits–and how positive they are–by the words they use on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

Psychologists from the World Well-Being Project (WWBP), part of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, examined 700 millions words, phrases and topics in status updates from 70,000-plus willing Facebook users who also completed a personality test. Participants’ personality traits were plotted on the five-factor model, or Big Five, which measures levels of extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism/emotional stability and openness to experience/intellect. Using computational linguistics, these traits were then matched with distinguishing words and phrases that can effectively predict personality–and hopefully, levels of overall well-being.

Past studies have highlighted the connection between language, personality and health outcomes. Facebook and the like, however, offer a new playing field for computational linguistics. “Before social media, we didn’t have the data size to fully leverage language associated with people in a data-driven fashion,” says H. Andrew Schwartz, lead research scientist at the WWBP. “There are so many words in our vocabulary that it really takes an enormous database to find statistically meaningful patterns.”

The goal, ultimately, is to track the psychological and physical well-being of humans through their language. “Behavior, psychological states and traits, and health manifest themselves so well in language” Schwartz says. Do people whose social media utterances reflect their emotional stability live longer? Are they healthier? Happier? That remains to be seen, and it’s what’s next for WWBP, headed by the famed positive psychologist Martin Seligman, Ph.D, from the University of Pennsylvania.

In the meantime, the “meaningful patterns” that they found can help you convey a more positive online image and possibly boost your outlook.

1) Count your blessings. Did you pick “A”, the first Facebook status? According to your word choices, you are highly agreeable (meaning cooperative, trusting, modest and altruistic), conscientious (thorough, careful, efficient, organized) and emotionally stable. Blessed in the hallmark for all three traits. You’re also likely to be quite extroverted, with most forms of the word love being strongly associated with the trait.

Even if some things about the parade bugged you, choosing to talk about the positive parts can not only alter people’s perception of you, but also your own perception of your experiences, says Todd Kashdan, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA., and author of Curious?: Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life. He subscribes to the theory that language dictates consciousness. In other words, the more you mention things you like, the more likely you are to focus on those things and find them in your future, which is why, regardless of your religion, the quote from Philippians is good advice.

2) Recognize your themes. Is the second Facebook status more your style? If so, you are probably more extroverted than introverted, Schwartz says. While you may not have loved the parade, the fact that you mentioned a social, community event is evidence enough, according to his research. Introverts don’t write about parties, sports or parades. While you may be extroverted, though, you may not be particularly agreeable. More than that, though, Kashdan advises being aware of what we regularly mention: “The real patterns are seen overtime. The themes you talk and write about most often become your life narrative. If someone were to write a biography of you based on what you talk and write about, would you like it? Would it be accurate? If not, change the way you communicate.

3) Avoid absolutes. Those inthe “B” camp might also score low on emotional stability. Emotionally unstable folk tend to swear and complain more, using phrases such as “I hate”, “so annoying,” “tired of’,” fed up,” and “for once.” Absolute statements such as “I hate bagpipes” or “I am terrible at math” are language traps, Kashdan says. The more you connect the words terrible and math in your conversation, the more wired together the ideas become in your brain. While you may have trouble understanding complex algorithms, you can probably manage your personal budget. But your verbal absolutism may convince you otherwise over time, and your language can have real-life consequences: You begin to believe your repeated “bad-at-math” slogan and avoid balancing your checkbook, leading to late payments or overdrafts.

4) Be inspired. Other words that positive, open, emotionally stable people use are: universe, dream, music, writing, and books. So if you heard about a great band recently, why not share it and talk about it? Talking about new things (if, say, you always post about your kids or your business) opens up your world to expand your opportunities, Kashdan says.

As for new things, talking about new things is great, but doing new things is even better! And so, during the month of July (only one week away) and in the spirit of summer, we will be encouraging you to shake things up and suggesting new things for you to try in iGnite and around the city. After all, and as the article says, “new things open up your world.”

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Just Do It!

www.igniteyourlifenow.com

“Confidence is like a muscle: The more you use it the stronger it gets..” (Anonymous)

Point to Ponder:
Do you lack confidence?

Action Item:
Get outside your comfort zone this week by trying an exercise or class you wouldn’t usually try.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Well, I did it! Last Monday I flew to Santa Monica for my ‘de-blorfting’ trip— a personal getaway (all by myself and for myself) for the sole purpose of recharging my battery. And just as the wise and wonderful iGnite member Louise Pincoffs warned me I would, the day before I left I began questioning if I indeed needed the trip and if it was worth the hassle of organizing myself and the family for my departure. I won’t lie, there was tension in the household, which made it even more uncomfortable for me to leave. Then, of course, I had multiple conversations with ‘Lady Guilt.’ She tried, almost successfully, to convince me that I was being a bad and selfish wife and mother by doing something completely for me. But I had prepared for her pathetic attempts and for no other reason than to defeat her, I was going on this trip!

Upon arriving and for about the first eight to twelve hours, it was rough. I didn’t know what to do with myself. As much as I wanted to completely remove my ’wife,’ ‘mom’ and ‘business owner’ hats and instantly make the trip about me, it was impossible because I had not practiced it since pre-marriage! I’m a giver and a do-er, and as good as it sounds to completely relax, have a glass of wine and empty my brain, this was waaayyyyy out of my comfort zone and much more difficult than I anticipated. In fact, I even considered catching an early flight back. However, I continued to remind myself that good things always come from discomfort and I would be cheating myself and my husband Russell’s confidence in keeping the children if I didn’t stay the course.

Long story short, after a five-mile walk along the beach, a glass of wine, a few phone calls with two veteran wife and mom friends reminding me why it was so important to be on this trip, the guilt, discomfort and fear was completely gone, and I found my groove. In fact, by sunrise on day two I was ready to add another day!

As I had hoped, this trip did wonders for my body, my mind, my spirit and for mine and Russell’s relationship. Oddly, we had better conversations on the phone than we have had in years. They weren’t rushed or interrupted, they were brutally honest, and there were no arguments. Because our roles were reversed for the first time ever, it was an incredible opportunity for us to see things from each other’s perspective. We shared compassion and gained a greater appreciation for each other and the roles we typically play.

I also finished reading The Confidence Code (our suggested summer read) which continues to get more fascinating with each page. In it, the authors interview a range of confidence scientists and experts. I was completely unprepared for one piece of research: that between 25% and 50% of our confidence is in our DNA, meaning we are genetically predisposed to have less or more confidence (regardless of our environment, experiences, etc). Another finding proved that while we are genetically predisposed to have less or more confidence, much like being born with the certain skill sets and talents, the more we practice confidence, the more comfortable we get at using it. So, to translate this finding into muscular physiology, most of us are born with more slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are the endurance type muscle fibers, however by performing and practicing quick and explosive movements, we can actually recruit fast-twitch muscle fibers, which will inevitably increase our speed and quickness. And so, the notion to ‘JUST DO IT’ (which the authors and of course Nike suggest), by practicing doing the uncomfortable things that we really want and need to do but avoid because we fear failure or the unknown outcome, is absolutely necessary in building confidence.

Lucky for us, summer is within an arm’s reach. I don’t know why, but the summer season has always felt like we can color outside of the lines and tip toe beyond our margins more than we would typically allow ourselves during any other season. With this liberty comes the opportunity to practice stretching our confidence zones. You can actually start in a safe place, like iGnite, and then take a class you have feared you can’t do or practice an exercise or pose you didn’t think you were strong enough to perform. Then you take that confidence/momentum and apply it when trying something else you’ve been hesitant or reluctant to try, do, or talk about.

When you practice enough, your confidence builds like a fast growing snow ball rolling down a mountain. Soon enough it becomes a massive avalanche and you become unstoppable! The bottom line is, you have to say ‘yes’ to yourself and JUST DO IT! Without a doubt, you can count on iGnite to be your never-ending source of encouragement and cheerleaders. We all have one shot at this life and we want to knock it out of the park with you. So let’s JUST DO IT!

 

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What Are You Paying Attention To?

“For one minute, walk outside, stand there, in silence,look up at the sky and contemplate how amazing life is.”   (Unknown)

POINT TO PONDER:
What are you paying attention to?

ACTION ITEM:
Every day this week, at least once each day, step outside, take a deep breath and contemplate how amazing your life is. Then, complete the cycle by sharing your amazing life and gifts with someone else. It’s the human world’s circle of life.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

There is no doubt that May is spring’s December. Not only does May consist of Mother’s Day and Memorial Day (both special and fun, but often also filled with heavy emotions and busy travel), but it’s also the month of transition, endings and beginnings — end of school activities, graduations and weddings. Until June arrives, it can be just plain nutty!

So, upon hearing the brilliant quote by author Sue Monk Kidd: “We become what we pay attention to,” I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to shift our mindsets to gratitude rather than let “the crazies” move in and potentially hijack our joy.

I really do appreciate being reminded that our lives are not a product of destiny, but rather a sum of our attitudes and choices — many being very difficult at times. We of course can’t always control our circumstances, however we can control what we pay attention to.

So, how about you? Are you paying attention to your hectic schedule, or to the blessing of a full life? To work deadlines or to the blessings of having a job and salary? To your significant other’s shortcomings or to their qualities and characteristics you admire and love? To not being the same size you were this time last year, or to the blessings of health and freedom of choice? To construction along MoPac and Austin traffic or to the blessing and convenience of a car? To running your child/children all over Austin for activities or to the blessing of a healthy child?

Our lives are inundated with distractions that shift our focus to unimportant things — adding zero value and actually taking away from our lives. However, it’s our choice to pay attention to what matters.

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