Tag Archives: positivity

Creating Your Ripple Effect

Rain Drop Ripples

Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.
– Unknown

Last week I had the fortunate opportunity of having dinner with a very dear friend whom I have tremendous respect for. Unfortunately, we are in different chapters of our lives, making it difficult to connect. However, when we are able to spend time with one another, our conversations are rich, candid and I inevitably leave feeling more centered, wise and filled with an uplifting breath of fresh air.

During dinner, our impromptu topic was energy — about how the energy we give is directly proportional to the energy we receive. Basically, energy out = energy in, and while I know this to be true, it reinforced that having a consistent positive attitude, avoiding gossip, negativity and treating all people with kindness, patience and love has infinite power. In fact, our attitude (positive or negative), thoughts, actions and words have a ripple effect  — like the ever expanding ripples across water when an object is dropped into it — that can either add value to or take value away from our lives and each and every life around us. Pastor Charles Swindoll says it best:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.

I believe that creating the healthy and happy life of our dreams is as simple as our attitude and the ripple effect we create. What we all have to determine is whether or not our ripple effect is working for or against us.

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Point To Ponder:
Is your attitude attracting positive relationships and energy or is it creating a perpetual cycle of exhausting drama?

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Action Item:
Determine the areas of your life where you’d like to see improvement, then decide how you can make changes to your attitude so it creates a ripple effect of positive and life-giving energy.

To Your Health,


About Neissa

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STORIES THAT INSPIRE: Attitude is Everything

An inspiring story and an incredible outlook on life: “A positive attitude is the most powerful combatant to life’s misfortunes. Everything else will take care of itself.”

Wisdom from the Big Bang Birthday

Dad playing football with all the grandkids

Dad playing football with all the grandkids

See the distant road rather than the mud on the windshield.
— Bill Swinney (Kathleen’s father)

Action Item:
Fill your life with joyful, positive and passionate people, thoughts and things and remain focused on them. Never forget that life is an adventure.

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

This month we celebrated my Dad’s big BANG 88th birthday at his ranch. Seriously, it was a bang of a birthday, as he has an authentic Civil War cannon that he loves to fire to commemorate another year of his ‘great adventure.’ This year we had an Eight Bang Salute celebrating 88 years on the 8th of July.

Dad has shared his enthusiasm for adventure with his six children throughout his life, and he taught us that nothing is impossible!! For example, when we were young he threw six ropes off the back of the boat and had us get up and ski together. In the mid 60’s, he created the first parasailing expedition by going to the local Army Surplus Store and purchasing an old parachute. He cut holes in it, tied it to the back of the boat with a ski rope and took off with one of my brothers dangling from the parachute in a small makeshift rope seat. It was quite a site to see back then!

Just four years ago at the age of 84 he decided to build a big new ranch house by himself. He has always had an altruistic spirit and hired some ex-cons and a one legged carpenter to assist him. He finished his pride and joy in less than a year. Unfortunately, the ex-cons returned to rob him and stole his truck!

Following the big bang birthday I received a hand-written letter from my Dad — something he does a couple times a year to all of his children. He expressed his joy for life, along with incredible wisdom. This is what he wrote:

“Life has been a great adventure for me—and it continues to be so. Remember these things:

  • Believe there are opportunities for success instead of pitfalls leading to failure. Don’t let trivialities get you side tracked

  • There are a myriad of positive ways to view life—so keep the negative out of play.

  • Remember the redeeming value of rest and the exhilarating value of work and KEEP THEM IN BALANCE.

  • The body will follow the mind until it collapses with fatigue, so if you can keep your body fit and strong then you can get more performance as your mind pushes the body into high test situations.

  • Most importantly, remember the human body is the most complex chemical plant God created and the chemicals are dispersed by how one thinks. Thinking positively dispenses chemicals that lead to accomplishment, and daily accomplishment puts “OLD AGE” on hold! Sounds simple, BUT IT WORKS!!”

This is only one of many wisdom notes my father has written me and eventually I will share them all. Until then, I do not doubt that Dad will someday meet our Heavenly Father, exhausted and exhilarated from truly living and thoroughly enjoying this life that He so generously gave us. The thought “What if I would have…?” will never enter his mind, and I strive to carry on his grandiose passion and joy for life.

I found this 67 year old inspiration water skiing barefoot with a friend and while I not sure I want to ski barefoot at 67, she inspires me to never stop. She’s pretty remarkable!!

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Bark Less, Wag More



Action Item:

Throughout the week, consider this quote and greet each day (as well as your family members, friends, and neighbors) with a spunky and friendly tail-wagging attitude, while eliminating the bark. Not only will the people around you appreciate it, but you’ll be giving a beautiful gift for everyone to enjoy and follow.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

It just so happened that my mom was in town for “Sisters Weekend.” She and her sister Sharon, who lives in Round Rock, designate a few weekends out of each year to spend time, reminisce, and enjoy shopping, gardening, and late nights of laughter together. Basically, it’s a weekend-long slumber party that is absolutely hysterical. Because this weekend is Mother’s Day weekend, I decided that my husband Russell and son Durant and I would stop by to give my mom her Mother’s Day gift, big hugs and tell her how much we love and appreciate her.

As we pulled into my aunt’s driveway, the sisters just driven up too. They had been to a flower nursery where my mom found and purchased a plant called a “Duranta,” which blooms blue flowers. She thought this was entirely ironic and wonderful (because of her grandson Durant) and as she got out of the car she was all smiles and oh-so-proud of her new plant. It didn’t take but two seconds before both of them put their plants down and headed straight towards Durant giggling, with bright and smiling faces.

Within just a few minutes, the five of us were inside my Aunt’s cozy home. As they shared amusing details of their special family weekend, my Mom fed Durant and we sipped on cold drinks. It didn’t take long before we transitioned into the backyard, under the gazebo and enjoyed the shade, breeze and one another’s loving company.

Unfortunately, we could only stay for two hours which passed by quickly. However, despite our abbreviated stay, it was a special and dear time. I was once again reminded of how amazing my mom is and how blessed I am to have such a tremendous role model. She is a prolific woman of admirable characteristics and if I’m fortunate enough to possess a few of them, I will be grateful. 

This Mother’s Day, as I think of her many endearing qualities, the one that is paramount is her eternal “don’t sweat the small stuff” optimistic attitude and ability to laugh at just about anything. It’s rare that she doesn’t have a radiating smile on her face and in fact, her spirited and uplifting personality reminds me of this week’s quote, which was on a bumper sticker that iGniter Louise recently shared with me. “Bark Less, Wag More”— What a brilliant life philosophy, and this is exactly my mom’s and Louise’s attitude that is so inspiring! Honestly, while growing up I do not remember her ever yelling at us or ever even complaining. And now, as an adult, the only time I recall hearing her complain is if it is absolutely 100% justifiable.

I realize that creating the analogy between my mom’s spirited attitude and a happy dog might be strange, but I love the idea of “barking less and wagging more”- it makes me smile and I just don’t see how applying it to our daily life could be bad. Actually, the ultimate attitude goal would be to combine a happy bark with a tail wag, like the one seen in this week’s video. I know you will thoroughly enjoy it and I look forward to barking less and wagging more with you. 

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JOIN THE DISCUSSION-Who are your role models?

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It’s ALL About Perspective: Changing the “Have To”s to “Get To”s

Point to Ponder:
How often do you hear yourself negatively say that you “have to” do something?

Action Item:
Eliminate the “have to” and replace it with “get to.” Perspective is everything.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Have you ever been so sick with the flu or a stomach bug that all you can think of is how AWFUL it would be to stay sick? Or, while in the midst of being sick, actually thought you’d NEVER get better? Furthermore, have you ever noticed that after being sick or injured, or even after experiencing something sad, unfortunate or inspirational, that your level of gratitude and motivation to try new things and to live a fulfilling, fearless and joyful life is heightened? Personally, my answer to all of these questions is YES. It often takes me getting sick, injured or seeing something sad or inspirational to be reminded of how great my life really is and all of the incredible things I get to do everyday.

I’m not exactly sure why it takes an injury, being sick, or experiencing something sad or inspirational for us to be reminded of how blessed we are to get to live everyday. I suppose it’s one of those “human things,” but what’s most important is that more often than not we view our life and our day-to-day activities — work, going to the grocery store, seeing friends, taking kids from point A to point B, exercise — as things we GET to do versus things we HAVE to do.

Of course, if we want to earn money, have food in the house, be involved in our friends’/significiant other’s/children’s lives and stay healthy and fit, it’s necessary that we take part in these activities. But positive perspective, attitudes, and phrases such as “I get to” attract dynamic relationships, radiant energy and exciting opportunities — while negative attitudes and words attract bleak relationships, stagnant energy and very few new opportunities. Something as simple as saying and viewing your daily to-dos as things you “get to do” vs. things you “have to do” can and will change the way you view life as well as the way life views you.

In this week’s video, Patrick Henry Hughes explains what all life has given him. You’re bound to be inspired as perspective and attitude are everything! I’m eager to see and hear what life gifts you get this week!

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What’s In Your B.A.G.?

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. — Willie Nelson

Celebrate our wise, faithful and intelligent presidents of the past by focusing on your blessings, celebrating your daily accomplishments and (together) setting and achieving your weekly and long-term goals.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Monday, February 15th is Presidents Day. While I’m aware that it’s a federal and school holiday accompanied by the usual store sales, I shamefully know nothing about President’s Day… so I googled it.  I found out that the real name for Presidents Day is Washington’s Day, in honor of George Washington’s birthday.  AND it turns out that not all states observe it the same way. For example, Massachusetts calls it Washington’s Birthday and honors the presidents that came from Massachusetts, while Alabama calls it Washington and Jefferson Day.  Who knew?

Regardless of what the day is called or how it is observed, we should be reminded of how George Washington and many of our early presidents put forth wisdom, faith and intelligence that have stood the test of time. The foundation and roadmap they laid out for us as well as their leadership and bravery is truly inspirational.  I am convinced they’d want each of us to live and pass on their legacy as an overflowing “BAG.”

BAG!? It’s an acronym that represents three positive and essential things that allow us to spin our new cocoons, morph into new Monarchs and fly to new, high, and exhilarating places. Choose the color, shape, style or brand of your B.A.G., while proudly carrying it with you everywhere you go.

B stands for BLESSINGS. Upon rising, throughout the day and when going to bed, acknowledge and be thankful for all of the blessings that are in your big, shiny new B.A.G. As discussed in last week’s Journal, it’s important that we love ourselves and view a compliment as a blessing, without pointing out our blemishes in return. Receive the verbal sunshine with a “thank you,” and only think and speak kind and positive words about yourself and others. Our language and thoughts are the software that drive our body’s hardware, and happy people focus on what they have vs. what they don’t have.   Stay focused on your blessings rather than your blemishes. WARNING: We’ll have the referee whistle on hand again this week; if a compliment is rejected or a blemish is called out, a compliment foul will be given!

A stands for ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Often when we think of accomplishments we think of big actions such as starting a business, getting a Ph.D., or running a marathon. But, it’s important that we experience and celebrate all of our accomplishments—big and small. We need not dismiss accomplishments such as getting kids successfully to school, seeing them successfully through school, crossing off all of our to-dos, exercising for the day, or paying bills on time. By dismissing these accomplishments we are selling ourselves short of an opportunity to feel great. Building our self-confidence is essential. A lack of self-confidence is the greatest deterrent to success, which is why I believe that exercise is so important. It’s obviously good for us, but it’s also energizing, invigorating and provides a wonderful endorphin rush. Regardless of what accomplishment we fulfill, it will be a result of disciplined efforts — which always have multiple and worthwhile returns!  It’s important that we celebrate our accomplishments and allow others to celebrate alongside us on a daily basis.

G stands for GOALS. Think back two years, or even one year ago. Are you healthier, happier and in a better place personally, professionally, spiritually, mentally, or financially? A way to increase your chances and chart your progress is by making goals for yourself. Providing goals can ensure that we are taking steps forward instead of walking in circles or even taking steps backward. When taking the time to write one or two goals down the result is always exponential. When we procrastinate and do not set goals we’re putting our potential for more success and happiness on layaway. By setting lofty and easily attainable goals you’re destined to experience accomplishment and be in a healthier, happier and better place… I promise!

As we begin our week with Presidents Day, I encourage you to fill your B.A.G.  with all things our past presidents would want us to focus on: blessings, accomplishments and goals. Eliminate all talk of your blemishes and celebrate everything!  Before the start of the week, write down your goals for the week. Leave time and space for spontaneity; however, plan when and how you will love yourself with exercise as well as other important and necessary tasks on your agenda. There’s no doubt we’ll take flight, experience success, and will celebrate on Friday and throughout the Journey.

This week’s video highlights how our little “accomplishments“ can make us so very very proud.

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“I Can, I Am, I Will, I Do” : The Effects of Self-Talk

Congratulations Gretchen! During the second week of our Journey, Gretchen Huddleston said “I am going to win the first place Monarchs on the Move prize.” Her words became reality on September 22 when she punched her eighteenth hole. Gretchen’s motivation and conviction through words led to a determined spirit. Now she has $100 of Monarch Money and new iGnite shirt to celebrate with. WAY TO GO GRETCHEN! (Second and third place prizes as well as prizes for anyone who gets all eighteen holes punched are still available, so follow Gretchen’s lead and get those holes punched!)


If you do not conquer self you will be conquered by self.
— Napoleon Hill

Action:  Speak, receive and reprogram your brain with words and phrases that support your goals and the life you desire.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Having a coach as a father was great even though there were times when I didn’t appreciate it. My sister and I were the “sons” my father never had, so he raised us to play rough with the boys and stand up for ourselves — even fight with boys if necessary. Despite the occasional annoyance of all-sports-all-the-time talks, I am very thankful because he and my mother built up our confidence with their words. If we ever fell, bumped our heads, or scraped our knees, Dad would make us say out loud “I’m mean and tough” over and over until we stopped crying. Our tears disappeared and our cries turned to smiles. There was magic in those words, and he taught us more powerful chants as we grew.

Mom had magical words too. She boosted our self-esteem with compliments. Even when we absolutely knew we hadn’t done our best, she would tell us how proud of us she was, how well we did and how pretty we were. Words lacking confidence or positivity were not tolerated. “I hope”, “I need”, “I wish”— unacceptable! Instead, we were encouraged to speak in confident phrases such as “I am,” “I will,” and “I do.”  These subconsciously encouraged us to take action.

Looking back, I realize that our parents taught us the power of “self-talk”.  By using words that are positive, confident and convincing, they created programs in our brains that empowered us to believe that we can achieve all things and that nothing is impossible. As I often say, we are products of our past—good or bad—and we are programmed to believe and see ourselves in ways that are not accurate. It is up to us to eliminate self-doubt and believe that we have the power to change and achieve anything. Doing so takes setting an intention and reprogramming our brain with “I am,” “I will,” and “I do” statements:  “I am open minded,” “I am patient,” “I will ask for help when I need it,” “I do love and care for my body,” “I will exercise everyday.”

Another opportunity to reprogram ourselves comes through accepting and believing the compliments we receive. When we reject a compliment, we are essentially saying we aren’t good enough, we don’t deserve kind words, and we don’t want them. We are also denying the complimenter the right to be kind, and sending a negative message into the universe. It’s important that we all speak and accept loving, kind and positive words.

There can be no doubt when setting goals. We must write them down and use persuasive self-talk to achieve them. There should be no uncertainty in your language. Two weeks ago many of you boldly wrote down your goals. During the process, Monarch Patty Huffines shared a past success story. She told us that when she was going through her divorce she was asked to write down what she wanted — with or without a man in her life. She took out a legal pad and wrote down everything she could think of, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Within one year, 80% of what was on her list had been achieved and by the third year, everything was!!! She is living proof that we can create anything we want. Patty has written down a new set of goals and recently spoke excitedly and confidently by saying she KNEW her desires would come true. She has no doubt.  Neither should you!

This week’s video features well-known self-talk expert Dr. Shad Helmstetter and shows the power and positive effect that self-talk can have on your life. When you reflect on your life, will you say “I wish I would have” or “I’m glad I did”?


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