Tag Archives: peace

Re-iGnite Your Senses

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Point to Ponder:
Are you taking time to be rejuvenated by the spring season?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Just the other day I took a morning walk with a friend throughout the canyon trails in our neighborhood. Due to incredible winter rainfall that San Diego received, from start to finish the hike was bright green with proud and perky yellow and purple flowers raising tall towards the sun. At one point, a little white-tailed bunny hopped in front of us and the birds flying all around were singing loudly. Everything was happy, but after all, it’s spring, the season of opportunity.

As we walked, talked, and commented on the sights, sounds and smells of spring, she suggested that at some point I take the opportunity to close my eyes and let the senses of hearing, smelling and touching become stimulated.

Since receiving her wisdom, twice and at the end of our San Diego iGnite classes and after stretching, everyone has laid down, closes their eyes and become completely quiet. As you would expect and have experienced, laying still, closing our eyes and quietening our minds and bodies is a challenge, but when we did, real magic occurred.

For starters, at our San Diego classes, babies, toddler and preschool aged children come with their mom. We have a babysitter and most often the children play together, however as all children do, they will creep over and want to hang with mom. But on that day all of the children stayed with the babysitter and complete quiet fell over us (the actual real magic), except for a few sweet birds who sang. Then, the cool spring breeze blanketed our bodies. Two, maybe even three minutes passed and upon everyone opening their eyes, I witnessed mental and physical rejuvenation and peace.

The outdoor community exercise was absolutely rejuvenating. Rather than dash onto the next thing, we simply took a few extra still minutes to breathe, reset our body, mind and spirit, reignite our senses and truly tune into the joy of the spring season. Our ability to be renewed and present for what’s next is enhanced and heightened. This is one of the many opportunities of spring!

Throughout this week, I encourage you to take full advantage of the sights, sounds, and smells of spring and let your senses be reignited. Spend some quiet sunny time outside (even three minutes is great), alone and/or after your iGnite class, close your eyes and take a deep breath, exhale and hear, feel and smell the wonders of this season. Rejuvenation, peace, inspiration, clarity, mindfulness and tranquility are among a few guaranteed gifts this season will deliver you.


Action Item:
Spend some quiet sunny time outside (even three minutes is great), alone and/or after your iGnite class, close your eyes and take a deep breath, exhale and hear, feel and smell the wonders of this season.


 

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The #gratefulgram Challenge

Join us in our November #gratefulgram challenge!  Starting today and throughout the month of November, I invite you to join me in taking photos (each day if possible) of the things you are grateful for and posting them on Instagram, Facebook,Twitter or your social media outlet(s) of choice with the hastag #gratefulgram and tagging iGnite's social media profile. For participating, you will be entered into a prize drawing for iGnite to donate $50 in your name to the charity or non-profit you are most grateful for!

Join us in our November #gratefulgram challenge! Starting today and throughout the month of November, I invite you to join me in taking photos (each day if possible) of the things you are grateful for and posting them on Instagram, Facebook,Twitter or your social media outlet(s) of choice with the hashtag #gratefulgram and tagging iGnite’s social media profile. For participating, you will be entered into a prize drawing for iGnite to donate $50 in your name to the charity or non-profit you are most grateful for!

“Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there’s always something we could be grateful for.”
-Barry Neil Kaufman

Point to Ponder:
Are there things around you can be more grateful for that you might normally take for granted?

Do you know that there are only seven and a half weeks — that’s seven Saturdays and fifty-two days — until Christmas? (and I included both Thanksgiving day and Christmas Eve). So, take those days away and realistically we only have fifty days until Christmas. How does that make you feel? If you’re like me, it doesn’t give you the warm fuzzies that it should. Instead, it makes me tense up and think about how I turn into a consumer zombie and spend way too much money on unnecessary things, which in turn gives me the creepy crawlies. But wait, all of this is avoidable, right? Absolutely! I’m going to do it different this year and it’s going to start now, by counting down the days to Thanksgiving — which is actually my favorite holiday (besides Daylight Savings Time when we gain an hour of sleep…technically not a holiday, but I LOVE it!).

What I love so much about Thanksgiving is that it’s simple. Granted, I’ve never had to prepare a Thanksgiving meal, so that’s easy for me to say, but Thanksgiving for my family revolves around the 3 F’s: family, food, and football. We don’t have to travel far, there’s no gift giving, and we just spend time with one another. And, more simple than the Thanksgiving holiday is how our life can make a 180 degree turn for the better when we take the time each day to recognize and show appreciation towards one thing that we are grateful for.

In an interesting article in Psychology Today called “The Grateful Brain“, Dr. Alex Korb sites four scientific studies proving that expressing and showing gratitude towards anything activates brain regions associated with the feel-good neurotransmitter, dopamine. Fascinatingly, “once you start recognizing the things you are grateful for, your brain starts looking for more things to be grateful for.” And, even more extraordinary, “in a study from the National Institute of Health, researchers examined blood flow in various brain regions while subjects summoned up feelings of gratitude (ZAHN etal, 2009). They found that subjects who showed more gratitude overall had higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus. This is important because the hypothalamus controls a huge array of essential bodily functions, including eating, drinking and sleeping. It also has a huge influence on your metabolism and stress levels. Dr. Korb states that this brain activity evidence makes it clear how improvements in gratitude could have such wide-ranging effects from increased exercise, and improved sleep to decreased depression and fewer aches and pains.

There’s no denying that gratitude is a life-improving game changer, which is why I am proposing you join iGnite in our #gratefulgram challenge during the month of November. Starting today and throughout the month of November, I invite you to join me in taking photos (each day if possible) of the things you are grateful for and posting them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or your social media outlet/outlets of choice with the hastag #gratefulgram and also tagging iGnite’s social media profile. I encourage you to not over-think what you are grateful for. You having gratitude for your car starting in the morning is equally as great and wonderful as posting a photo of your family. According to Dr. Alex Korb, gratitude is gratitude and regardless of what you have gratitude for, it all counts. You can check out my Instagram account and Facebook profile to get a visual of how simple it can be. And, for those of you who participate, you will be entered into a prize drawing for iGnite to donate $50 in your name to the charity or non-profit you are most grateful for (just be sure and tag iGnite and #gratefulgram to enter)!

Above is a picture I took while attending last Friday’s sunrise Core & Stretch on the Texas Rowing Center’s dock, for which I was and continue to be grateful for. What I love about being able to capture our blessings is that they make us more aware of how abundantly blessed we really are and in turn improves our overall quality of life. And overt gratitude has the opportunity to improve the overall quality of someone else’s life! Gratitude changes everything and that’s the warm fuzzies I’m talking about!

Action Item:
Watch this week’s inspiring video (below), and throughout the month of November take one picture each day of something you are grateful for and post it on your social media outlet/outlets of choice.

I know, I know. It’s another Oprah video, but I promise it’s totally relevant. We need to just make Oprah an honorary member 🙂 She’s sooo iGnite!

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Being “Good Enough”

You Are Good Enough

“Good enough means being able to accept who and where we are with grace and gratitude and being content with ourselves as works in progress.” — Kristin Armstrong

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

by 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.”

iGniters come to class starting where they are, taking one step at a time toward their goals...realizing that we are all "works in progress."

iGniters come to class starting where they are, taking one step at a time toward their goals…realizing that we are all “works in progress.”

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 everyday, 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 yes, motherhood is a vocation) and ask yourself, “Am I good enough?” Let the Weekly Intention Guide inspire you. 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.

And for all moms, step-moms and future moms-to-be, you’ll want to check out this weeks video, as it features a new and hysterical online motherhood show based on true motherhood stories. Sharing, accepting and laughing at our successes and opportunities (including those of our children, spouse, family and friends) is the key to everyone “feeling good enough.”

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