Tag Archives: relax

Hard Lessons Learned from the Big Move

iGnite - make sense of change

Photo above taken during a Susan B. Komen rafting trip during the iGnite Escape to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Point to Ponder:
What changes are you currently experiencing?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

I suppose I can officially claim California as my new home state. While I’m a Texan and Austinite at heart, I’ve lived in San Diego for a grand total of sixteen days, and I am pleased to share that with each passing day I am feeling more confident, comfortable and accomplished, as I have achieved the following three goals:
I found a babysitter (actually, Durant, our four year old spotted her out at the hotel pool and the rest was history).
I can get myself to the Pacific Coast Highway and all beaches with no GPS (thanks to the wonderful iGnite member Jill Imhoff who lives part-time in San Diego and has taken me under her warm wing.) #StrongerTogetHER!
I can get to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for an awesome hike, and I actually know where the heck I am going
While I am thankful and proud of these emotionally grounding steps and stabilizing pillars, this whole moving picture was and has been nothing short of frantic, sad and angry, as sixteen days ago I was a wreck and the canvas was an ugly mess!

The week leading up to our departure to the west coast was bittersweet. The ‘sweet’ being spending time with dear friends and family members, and the ‘bitter’ being seeing our home that we brought both of my children Durant and Malaine home from the hospital to and was also filled with amazing memories, become an empty house. That just plain stunk. The absolute worst of the worst was saying goodbye, which if I never had to say another goodbye as long as I lived, I’d be okay with it!! I know that’s not realistic, but it’s my truth.

In the moving ‘blender’ were absolute physical, emotional and mental exhaustion, the emotions that come with a husband who has been gone for two months due to his new job and now being physically back in our lives, along with real sadness and anger. I had been faithful, strong and positive throughout the entire job loss, job change, putting the house on the market and the sale of the house. Then, when the reality of leaving everyone and everything I loved set in and we set off to San Diego, the blender produced an ugly mess of emotions.

When we landed in San Diego, it was of course sunny and there was a cool breeze blowing, but really I couldn’t have cared less. I was legitmately sad, mad and a house overlooking the beach in La Jolla would not have satisfied me. As we drove to see our new house (which I had not seen in person yet), everything was unfamiliar, and directionally nothing made sense. I couldn’t tell which way was North, South, East or West. When we got to our empty house, the rooms seemed small and the house felt cold, and even though the neighborhood was highly recommended and described as the perfect place for families, it felt unfriendly. Ultimately, it wasn’t Austin, “my people” were missing, and my in-control, comfortable and happy world had just been rocked and turned upside down.

Looking back, of course these were normal emotions which I should’ve anticipated (especially because I have never moved like this before), but I’m a’ glass half full’-type and a faithful person. I knew I couldn’t change the situation, and we had moved to a pretty spectacular place, so complaining or feeling sorry for myself was just not an option. However, this was still a big change and even the most optimistic attitude couldn’t combat my sadness.

I’m not writing this journal to give you the play-by-play on our move, rather, in the past two weeks I’ve learned a lot that I want to share. As summer has officially ended and the fall season and school year has begun, there is a lot of change that is and will be occurring in not just mine, but many of our lives right about now. And if you aren’t experiencing change now, there will be a day when you will, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned thus far:

1. Being sad and mad are normal and healthy emotions, but they must get out. I was being totally passive aggressive and ugly to my husband Russell, which was terrible for him and created a ton of tension between us. It wasn’t until I told him exactly why I was mad and sad and that I would get over it, but that I needed him to let me be mad and sad and not try to fix it that things started to get better. It was like having the flu, and the emotions needed time to run their course. Thankfully they did, and things became better quickly.

2. Manage your expectations, take baby steps and accept feeling out of control. I wanted to have San Diego ‘figured out’ the day we landed. I wanted all boxes unpacked and the house looking great and feeling like our old house within days of arriving. I was craving organization and control! Of course all of this was absolutely not possible, and thanks to the advice from iGnite Leader and dear friend Kathleen Parker, I needed to “relax, breathe and focus on having fun with my family. There were no deadlines.” Then, my sweet cousin Craig reminded me to “not lose any sleep over unpacked boxes.” What profound wisdom! And so, I’ve doing what I can when I can and am making great strides to chill and realize this whole process is a journey.

3. Don’t compare your new life to your old life. As soon as we got in our rental car and left the airport to begin our new life, seriously, my brain immediately started trying to fit my Austin life into my San Diego life. It was the strangest thing, as I could physically feel my brain trying to make it happen. I was in complete compare mode. Though San Diego and Austin have similar cultures, San Diego is it’s own place — as all places are– and while I can and will certainly partake in similar activities and develop endearing and meaningful relationships like I have in Austin, they are different. It’s a new time and place and things are automatically going to look and feel different. I will of course hold onto all friendships and memories in Austin, but in order to fully experience and make the best out of our time in San Diego, I need to fully embrace it.

4. We are StrongerTogetHER. It was intentional for our summer shirts to read StrongerTogetHER. We believe that living, sharing and experiencing life together and in community is the best and only way. Plus, we believe we are created for community. But what I didn’t expect was how badly I was going to need it and appreciate it once I got to San Diego. As I mentioned earlier, sweet iGnite member and friend Jill Imhoff lives part-time in Austin and part-time in San Diego, and the day we landed she reached out to me and validated all of my mad and sad feelings. Then, within three days she was offering to help me unpack. Letting others help me is not something I accept well, but I was drowning in chaos and confusion and I knew letting her help me would be the best thing. Then, three days later, she drove me around to help me get the lay of the land and most importantly, get to the beaches. She also took me to Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve, where we hiked. What I’ve learned is how important it is to be vulnerable, raw and let others be your neighbor. We can’t and aren’t created to do anything alone, and change is much easier to accept and move through when we allow others to help us. Reach out to others and allow them to give you the gift guiding you down a path that they’ve already walked down and are better equipped to show you through.

So, I challenge you to ask yourself: what change(s) am I experiencing right now? Do you have a new job, are you new to iGnite or Austin, or have you recently moved? Is your first or last child entering Kindergarden or are you an empty nester? Are you expecting a child or are you a new parent? Are you newly married or recently divorced? Are you in a new relationship or have you recently lost someone you love?

Change is everywhere and all around us. The key to managing it and getting through it without losing your mind is letting go and sharing it with others. And so, here’s to a fall season of new beginnings togetHER!

Action Item:
Stop trying to control your changing circumstances, whatever they are.
Instead, let go and allow yourself to share it with others.

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Rest, Relax and Enjoy the Quiet

 

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“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
– Eleanor Brownn

Point to Ponder:
Is your brain spinning and thinking about all there is to do and make happen in 2015?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Prior to having children, Christmas wore me out. I’ve always burned the candle at both ends to get things just right, but now that I have small children I feel completely beaten down! I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, because I loved and am loving every minute of it, but despite feeling exhausted and knowing that I need some rest and chill time, I am still fighting the urge to go, accomplish and begin my 2015 list.

I have two conversations playing out in my head, much like in the cartoons where the devil is on one shoulder and an angel is on the other. The devil is telling me “you didn’t do enough in 2014 and you need to get your lazy rear moving because you are losing time and getting behind- 2015 is only days away and you need to do better!!” Then, the angel, of course the voice of calm and reason is saying, “rest your body, mind and spirit because there will be plenty of time to achieve. 2015 will be healthier and happier on a full tank.” Despite that real mental and spiritual battle, I know I need to let the voice of calm and reason win. And with the weather being dreary, I do feel as if it’s God’s gift, telling us to rest, relax and enjoy the quiet because it’s only a matter of time before life will get busy again and demand more from us.

So with 2015 on the horizon and the temptation to do better and more, I encourage you to join me and first take full advantage of this quiet time, while also taking the quote above and the following quote to heart: “Fatigue is the common enemy of us all — so slow down, rest up, replenish and refill.” (Jeffrey R. Holland). Then, starting next Sunday and throughout January we will provide you with several opportunities to create an intentional, meaningful and fulfilling year.  It’s going to be great, so rest up and recharge!

Action Item:
Avoid the urge to accomplish and allow your body, mind and spirit to rest, relax and rejuvenate. It’s only a matter of time before life will get busy again and demand much more of you.

Be Calm, Be Present, Be Still

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Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
— Mary Jean Iron

Action Item:
Each day take time to be calm, present and still, treasuring each moment for the unique opportunity it presents.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Since having my son Durant almost six weeks ago, my husband Russell and I have been given a wealth of parental and baby advice. It cracks me up because Russell comes home almost every day with a new piece of information that he received from a co-worker or another coach. While all of the advice has been valuable and is greatly appreciated, the one that is unanimous and has left the biggest impression is “to cherish every moment with Durant because he’ll grow up and change so quickly.” I even had one friend suggest that I pay attention to his eye lashes every day because they will grow, and sure enough, they have! As a result of continuing to hear this wisdom, I’ve concluded that it must be true and we’d be silly to not take it to heart.

As I’ve contemplated the idea of savoring every moment with Durant (even the late night wild animal screams), it’s made me reflect on how I treat each day. Have I relished life as I should, or am I constantly looking to the future and the next best thing? Do I even know how to appreciate the present or have I taken much of it for granted because I have a busy mind? My conclusion is NO, I have not relished my days and opportunities as I should. In fact, I have constantly rushed from one thing to the next, scarfing down lunch to only wonder what I will have for dinner and even returning emails on my blackberry while breast feeding Durant. Obviously I’ve been missing moments because I can’t turn my brain off long enough to relax.

It’s apparent that I have a difficult time being present, and because I want to treasure all little things such as Durant’s hair getting lighter (as it is) and the trees putting off spring buds (as they are), I’ve been focusing on the following words, “be calm, be present, be still.” And in the midst of repeating and even meditating on them, they’ve magically drawn my level of awareness and gratitude back to the present moment. Miraculously as a result,  my mind, body and spirit become calm and still. It’s a refreshing, relaxing and worthwhile experience.

In this amazing city of Austin we get to workout in, we are so blessed to have the green parks and fresh air to inspire us to take a deep breath, enjoy the beauty around us, and be still.

In this amazing city of Austin we get to workout in, we are so blessed to have the abundant green parks and fresh air to inspire us to take a deep breath, enjoy the beauty around us, and just be still.

Last week I had lunch with a beautiful ray of sunshine and a like-minded professional by the name of Kim Love. While enjoying our conversation, every ten minutes Kim’s watch alarm would chime. When it went off the first time she smiled and explained that the intention of the alarm was for her to stop and give gratitude for something. So, throughout the course of our lunch, Kim’s alarm went off at least six times and she’d always smile and give thanks for something different. Obviously, I think this is a BRILLIANT concept and as result I am going to do the same this week and I’d love for you to join me. However, rather than set your gratitude alarm, set your present alarm. Each time your alarm goes off “be calm, be present and be still.” Embrace where you are and even take a mental snap shot. Consider the moment as unique, cherish it and be thankful for it. I suspect you’ll enjoy the sweet and one of a kind moments. Enjoy our Weekly Intention Guide to help you set some goals around this.

All in all, it is necessary to think about your future, set goals, explore your dreams, and put into action all of the fruitful ways you will live your live and your legacy. However, I also think it’s equally as important to find the ease within your effort and relax and enjoy the life dance—rocking through life with no regrets, much like this amazing dancer in this weeks video (be sure and watch the whole thing!!!)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- How often do you take time to just be still? 

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