Tag Archives: quiet

It’s Your Season, It’s Your Purpose

iGnite - living with purpose

Point to Ponder:
Do you struggle with defining or finding your purpose, feel confused about your life, or feel fearful that there isn’t enough time left to do what you want to do?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Since moving to San Diego, my life has drastically changed and taken a 180 degree turn. I do not yet have any friends here, and except for taking Durant and Malaine to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and tending to my iGnite responsibilities and duties from afar, I don’t have any commitments either. I won’t lie, when talking to the iGnite leaders, family, and friends and occasionally peeking at Facebook and Instagram, I experience bittersweet emotions. It stinks to be on the outside looking in, missing out and not able to take part in what I’ve created in iGnite in Austin. I have also experienced extreme withdrawals from my addictions: the “being busy addiction,” “having places to go addiction,” and the “feeling needed and wanted” addiction. There are times when my ego screams so loud that I find myself taken over with feelings of inadequacy and the desire to busy myself just so I can feel important and accomplished again. Then, finally, it dawned on me that not only was my evil ego in my way, but what I was really struggling with the most was my purpose.

With the help of Martha Lynn Mangum, iGnite member and business coach, reminding me that our society inundates women with the destructive message that if we aren’t working 60 hours a week, involved in a million organizations, committed to regularly volunteering, acting as the home-room mom, and only taking two-weeks of maternity leave, or just tending to our own or our family’s and community’s needs, that we aren’t enough. Pu-lease! Don’t get me wrong, I believe in having a passion and purpose outside of our family, but not at the expense of jeopardizing our marriages, not being a present mom to our children and neglecting our relationships. Looking back, while living in Austin I definitely tip-toed into those zones and was drinking the toxic Kool-Aid. This is my destructive tendency, and I have to consistently check myself to make sure I am being counter-culture.

It has been a very long time since I have wondered about my purpose. While living in Austin, my family, friends and iGnite were absolutely my purpose and they kept my heart pumping fast and hard. Originally, I thought starting iGnite in San Diego would be my first purpose-filled project, but now I’m not so sure about that. For now, I’m declaring that I am on a prayerful, peaceful, intentional purpose-finding mission project. I’ve narrowed my purpose down to:

  1. Learning how to become a fully-attentive, loving and supportive wife to Russell (which is hard to admit because of my strong will, pride and independence)
  2. Appreciating this colorful and unique time I have with our preschool-age children and being a fully attentive and fun mother.
  3. Remotely supporting and leading the iGnite team, the iGnite members and our efforts to iGnite Austin and impact, inspire and empower every woman to live a healthy and purpose-filled life.
  4. Taking the time to get on my knees everyday and pray for myself, my family, my friends, iGnite and anyone I know who is in need of prayers or who I told I would pray for them. While I am a faithful person, embarrassingly my prayer life has been pathetic, and I’m tired of being lip-service only. Please let me know if and how I can pray for you. Seriously!
  5. Becoming involved with our church, The Rock, and serving the San Diego community.

I must confess that while I’m feeling content with my new purpose in San Diego, there is sooooo much I want to do in my life! For example, I want to write a book, I want to be on the speaking circuit and I want to grow iGnite so that women all over the world can iGnite in a positive and inspiring community. I wanna, wanna, wanna! And with that said, I get nervous and afraid that I am going to miss my opportunity, run out of time and miss out. But, thankfully, for the first time in my life, I found a Bible translation that I can actually understand called The Voice, and it’s teaching me about patience. Even though Adam, Pharrell, Gwen and Blake aren’t quoted in it, I have learned so much! One of the things that has been glaring is how late in life God uses people. Of course he uses children, like when He used David to defeat Goliath when David was only a teenager, but for example, Noah, Abraham, Sarai (Abraham’s wife) were waaaay past their “prime,” or what we today consider our “prime.” Granted, people back then lived longer, but by human standards, they were still considered old, and they fulfilled God’s purpose for them much later in life.

I recently watched a special on television called Try, Try Again where John Stossell chronicled the lives of great inventors and authors who not only failed before having success, but were also “past their prime” before having any success and fulfilling their purpose. Just to name a couple: Julia Child was 50 before writing her first cookbook, and Harland Sanders (a.k.a Colonel Sanders) franchised his first Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 62.

All in all, I write this journal not to go off about my personal purpose journey, but rather to encourage anyone who is struggling with defining or finding their purpose, feeling confused about their life, or fearful that there isn’t enough time. For sure we all sometimes feel a sense of urgency because we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, but fear cannot be the reason why we do or don’t take action. Instead, remember that there is a season in life for everything and that our purpose can evolve, morph and even change. Sometimes we’re in a season of action, and other times we’re in a season of self-reflection, contemplation and quiet. Regardless of the season you find yourself in now, when you weave in prayer and intention, you will without a doubt be led down the right path and your fruit will be ripe.

Action Item:
Remember there is a season in life for everything and that your purpose can evolve, morph and change over time. Approach your season of life with prayer and intention.

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Member Spotlight: Sharon Wilson


Roots:

I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but we moved to Austin when I was 10 months old in 1963. I’ve lived in Austin for 51 years and consider myself almost a native Austinite.

Basic family stats:
I’m a single mother of three daughters. I’ve had the privilege of raising them all by myself with the help of my parents and brothers. Catherine (23) is a second year law student at SMU, Caroline (21) is in the ACCESS Program at Texas School for the Deaf, and Claire (19) is a sophomore at UT. And…if you have any single men friends, I am available and single myself right now.

iGnite - Sharon WilsonCurrent/Previous Occupation:
I worked in my family’s business for 15 years and retired when my dad sold the company in 1995. I was pregnant with my third daughter, Claire, so I became a full-time mom and part-time tennis player and volunteer. I was president of the Women’s Symphony League three years ago, and I walk and house sit dogs about 5 hours per week because I love animals and need to stay active.

Biggest lesson learned through iGnite experience:
The biggest lesson that I learned through iGnite is that I can do the things that the 19-40 year olds do. I may not be able to that day, and certainly not as fast or huffing and puffing, but I can do whatever my mind decides I can do. We are all strong and capable of amazing things. We’re women — duh!

Who inspires me most:
I think I am inspired most by my daughter, Caroline. She is happy, healthy and super fun despite her multi handicaps and challenges. Because she does not hear or speak, she was never taught the concepts of: fear, judgement, unkindness, etc. She has never given up and crawled in a corner even after seizing 50-60 times per day during her childhood years. She continues to progress, learn and try. She inspires me every day. She was not in my plan of “non-typical” children, but God decided she belonged with our family, and heck yes — WE’LL TAKE HER!

Most people don’t know:
I’ve flown the Concorde. My grandmother decided I needed to go travel with her before I “tied the knot” in 1990, and we headed to Europe and North Africa on different trips. She had a life-long love of travel and the education that came with travel. At 73, she hadn’t flown the Concorde and Mach speed, so off we went!

Three words to describe myself:
Quiet, persuasive and POSITIVE!

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The Quiet Experiment

iGnite - Silence is a SuperpowerPoint to Ponder:

How mindful are you in your everyday errands and activities?  Are you comfortable with silence?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

I love a good experiment.  For example, I love finding new driving routes, trying new classes, workouts and locations (in iGnite of course), running a different direction around Lady Bird Lake, driving for a week with no music or talk radio, and even testing new “fad diets” just to mix it up and confuse my body, mind and spirit and see the results.  Here me out, I most certainly love order and prefer for things stay the same, though I really enjoy experimenting and stretching myself because there is always something new to be learned.

I may have used the term “fad diet” incorrectly because I’m not a fan of dieting, however I enjoy experimenting with food trends, assuming they are healthy.  I have tried being a vegetarian, vegan and eating all raw.  My goal was to learn how my body would respond and if it was something that was sustainable and worked for me.  What I learned was that none of them work for me, but I did gain great knowledge and tips from them all.

As for running, there was a time when I never ran with headphones around Lady Bird Lake because I loved hearing my breath, the pounding of the trail beneath my feet and most sacred, the sounds of the trail.  Then, one day I decided to listen to music for the extra motivation.  I did like it and the music was encouraging, but the experience was completely different.  I couldn’t hear my breath or the crunching of the trail which is what I had enjoyed for so long. Most importantly, every time I ran I received clarity on a life issue.  It was meditative and mother nature always spoke to me. Furthermore, one time while running with headphones, the headphones died at the half way point and because I was relying on the music to get me through the run, finishing the run was an absolute nightmare.  From that point on I vowed that I’d never wear headphones again because it was clear that a dependence had been established.  The same holds true when running or walking in a different direction on the trail.  Even though it is the same distance and same trail, when I start in the opposite direction or at a different location, my body, mind and spirit can’t go into autopilot and the experience is altogether unique.

As I write this journal I am sitting on my father’s back porch in total silence.  It’s just me, the cool breeze (crazy!!!), the singing birds and the rustling leaves.  I can think clearly, feel my body and hear my spirit.  It’s serene, perfect and so different than most days that come with the noise from children, television, traffic, the radio, and life in general.  And, because just two weeks ago in the journal Music: The Multipurpose Medicine, I recommended turning on some tunes and letting music feed your soul, you may think I am crazy for recommending that this week we turn off the music, the television and controllable noise and do life without it, just to see what happens.  Maybe for you this means turning off your television, radio,or  simply not talking when you don’t need or have to.  It’s simply an experiment to see what all we can hear.

With each passing day I realize that with most things in life there is no right or wrong way.   We are consistently evolving which includes growth, which also means that what works one day may not work the next. This is why we must remain open to change, trying new things, and experimenting, specifically as we did in iGnite many years ago. During one week we experimented with not talking to one another during the workouts. We saved talking until the end, where we shared our interesting realizations.  This of course seemed counter-culture because iGnite is all about being in and with community.  But in the spirit of discovering what we can learn, what we can see and most importantly what we can hear when we are quiet, I am suggesting that we try it again, as the results were exceptional!

Action Item:

In your workouts this week (and in other situations where you’d usually find a way to distract yourself with media or conversation), challenge yourself to be silent and focus instead on being entirely mindful of your surroundings, what you are doing and how your body is feeling. Observe what a difference it makes at the end of your workout! 

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