Tag Archives: rest

Fourteen Reasons to be Grateful

iGnite -gratitude changes everything

Point to Ponder:
Do you regularly acknowledge what you are grateful for?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

As you have likely noticed, during the month of November we are celebrating gratitude! Not only are we eager to blast out our gratitude in our social media #ignitegratefulgram contest, but we are fired up to wear our gratitude loud and proud with our NEW ‘Grateful’ fall apparel.

We are not at all suggesting or asking that you post or wear your grateful spirit to be boastful about your “things”. Instead, the motivation behind our Grateful Campaign is to encourage the daily action of giving thanks for our amazing lives and blessings…because when life gets inevitably tough, a grateful spirit can change a bad day into a good day, and a good day into a great day, because gratitude changes everything. I’m hopeful that our Grateful Campaign will inspire and reignite a grateful spirit in everyone.

There is no denying that acknowledging our blessings on a daily basis leads to a physiological reaction that creates a happy and peacful state in the body. To go a step further, based on the findings from a fascinating gratitude experiment conducted by two psychologists, writing down what we are grateful for leads to even greater results. Check this out:

“Two psychologists, Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, wrote an article about an experiment they conducted on gratitude and its impact on well-being. The study split several hundred people into three different groups and all of the participants were asked to keep daily diaries. The first group kept a diary of the events that occurred during the day without being told specifically to write about either good or bad things; the second group was told to record their unpleasant experiences; and the last group was instructed to make a daily list of things for which they were grateful. The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of 1. alertness, 2. enthusiasm, 3. determination, 4. optimism, and 5. energy. In addition, those in the gratitude group experienced less 6. depression and 7. stress, and 8. were more likely to help others, 9. exercised more regularly, and 10. made greater progress toward achieving personal goals. In addition, Dr. Emmons’ research shows that those who practice gratitude tend to be more 11. creative, 12. bounce back more quickly from adversity, 13. have a stronger immune system, and 14. have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude. He further points out that “To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.” – The Change Blog

Something that I am experimenting with in our family is a gratitude jar. The jar sits in the middle of our dining room table and each evening at dinner, we talk about one thing we are grateful for, followed with writing it down on piece of paper and placing it in the jar. Because I have small children who can’t write, I have been writing what they say as as well as including the date. It has become a sweet and focused time which stirs up great conversation (even with a two and a four year old). My personal goal is to revisit the jar of notes during our Thanksgiving meal and to continue writing down what we are grateful for throughout the month of November and the remainder of the year.

Another idea is to print and cut out our Grateful Printables. Then, place your jar, printables and pen in a high-traffic area in your home and anytime you or your family members pass by it, drop a gratitude note in the jar. From a good nights rest, a warm a cup of coffee to the blessing of good health, family and friends, it all counts and taking the time to acknowledging your blessings will make a positive impact in your health, relationships and overall quality of life. And, several months from now or anytime you need a pick-me-up, all you have to do is read what’s in the jar and you are guaranteed a good laugh, happy cry and/or mood booster. Why? Because gratitude changes everything!

Action Item:
Print out our Grateful Printables. Place your jar, printables and pen in a high-traffic area in your home and anytime you or your family members pass by it, drop a gratitude note in the jar. Or, at dinner each evening have each family member write down and discuss what they are grateful for and place in the jar.

You May Also Like:

‘Enough is Enough!’

iGnite - remove the unnecessary

Photo from this summer’s iGnite Escape in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Point to Ponder:
What have you had “enough” of? What are you wasting your time and life on?
What keeps you running on the treadmill to nowhere and is keeping you from living your life, being fully present and feeling great?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Recently I ran across a motivating radio show series called “Enough is Enough,” and as I listened, I became more inspired to also declare what I had had enough of in my life.

In last week’s journal I shared my realization that my current purpose/mission changed from what I originally thought it would be at this time. Prior to this, I was running myself ragged and trying to live up to the ridiculous expectations I placed on myself, which led me to declaring that ‘enough was enough!’ of letting my ego be my north star. ‘Enough was enough!’ of giving into the lie that my controlling ways were better than turning everything over to God in prayer. ‘Enough was enough!” of screaming at my kids and not being a present mom because I was stressed out of my mind due to believing that I needed to do more and was not enough unless I was multi-tasking and focused on accomplishing a million things.

So, what have you had “enough” of? What types of things are consuming your time and energy? What keeps you running on a treadmill to nowhere and is keeping you from living your best life, being fully present and feeling great? Because women share similar heartbeats and the human experience is not unique, here are some ‘enoughs’ that instantly came to my mind and might resonate with you too:

Do you struggle with living up to the expectations of others and are too hard on yourself? Are the people you are spending the majority of your time with life-suckers rather than life-givers? Do you live on an emotional roller-coaster because you are too involved in your children’s lives, care too much about the opinions of others, make too many assumptions and take everything personally? Have you neglected your needs and are not getting enough sleep, healthy food, adequate hydration and exercise? Have you busied yourself, are completely stressed-out and therefore your words, interactions and body language are negative, cold and argumentative? Do you no longer attend church or have a day off for faith, family and rest because your children’s extra-curricular activities have taken over or you’ve replaced it with more work? Do you wrestle with control and worry too much? Is your financial situation and spending out of balance? Have you placed a higher value on work and outside commitments and as a result neglected the needs of your spouse or the people you love? Have you bought into the lie that God didn’t create you “enough,” and therefore you have low confidence? Do the destructive emotions of shame, fear and doubt control your life? Do you reject the love of others or can’t trust others because someone didn’t love you back or violated your trust? Do you procrastinate or keep putting off what is necessary and important in your life?

With only a little over two months left in 2015 (EEK!), I want us to be intentional with the way we spend the remainder of our year by declaring and writing down the “enoughs” in our lives on this printable worksheet. By doing this, your spirit will give you valuable knowledge and information about what you are willing to accept in your life. This level of awareness and information will minimize the chances of transferring negative actions and emotional garbage into 2016 and will promote healthy progress by adding what’s necessary, rich and wonderful into your new year and life!

Action Item:
Be intentional with the way you spend the remainder of your year by declaring and writing down the ‘enoughs’ in your life on this printable worksheet.

You May Also Like:

The Quickest Way to Great Abs…Sprints!

iGnite - Advantages of Sprints

What is the KING of getting great Abs??

A. 1,000 crunches
B. $19.95 Ab Cruncher from an infomercial
C. Sprints

Woo hoo! How easy and less time consuming is the correct answer C – SPRINTS!!!

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

YES, they are uncomfortable & YES, they are challenging!! But, if you are not uncomfortable or feeling challenged, then most likely you are wasting your time.

As a matter of fact, ask any good strength and conditioning coach what they do to work on their athlete’s midsection and they will not tell you crunches. Sprinting is a required component of 90% of all sports and therefore the major component of any athletes training.

WHY SPRINTS?
Crunches and other ab exercises focus almost exclusively on the rectus abdominis muscle. This is a narrow range of development. Total degree of muscle activation and length of time that muscle is under tension are major determinants of muscle function and growth. There is no exercise that generates more force in the abdominal musculature than sprinting, and therefore NO exercise can mimic the developmental stimulus it provides.

When sprinting, the arms and legs are pumping and exploding like pistons. This immense force being generated on either side of the body pulls and twists the spine and body back and forth, and side to side. The only reason the body stays ridged and upright is because of the tremendous degree of force and pressure elicited by the contraction of the abdominal wall. The entire abdominal cavity is forced to engage in one monumental effort to stabilize the trunk. This force is so powerful that even ONE ten second run can induce massive muscular stimulus on the midsection.

ADVANTAGES OF SPRINTS:

BURNING FAT:  Sprints literally teach your body how to be an effective fat burner. Unlike steady state aerobics, sprint training produces a metabolic ripple that leads to enhanced fat burning for days after the workout is over. Almost ALL traditional ab exercises fail miserably in their ability to burn fat.

AFTERBURN = FAT LOSS: The sprint is so powerful for fat loss because it sets into motion biochemical reactions that turn on your fat burning machinery. This concept is popularly known as the metabolic afterburn effect. It represents the body’s attempt to recover, repair and regenerate after intense exercise. Anyone who has run a 100 yd dash or a HILL sprint knows what the beginning stages of the afterburn feels like. This intense exercise releases a “chemical soup” that is one of the key benefits leading to fat burning for hours and even days after the workout has ended.

BURNS FAT AT REST:  Sprinting also trains the body to be a more efficient fat burner at rest. Sprint training turns on fat burning enzymes and keeps them on.

The most important thing to remember is that intensity is an individual thing. You can reap the benefits of this training by just putting on your gas pedal a little bit more when you are doing your cardio!

You May Also Like:

Slow Me Down

iGnite - slow down imagePoint to Ponder:

Do you, like me, find yourself in a perpetual state of busy, cluttered and indecisive thinking and unable to hear your heart?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

A little over one month ago and upon seeking wisdom from a council of three wise friends, I was planning to take a two month sabbatical from May 10 – July 6th.  What led to this decision was a state of mental and spiritual fatigue, confusion and consistently feeling “off.” I wasn’t feeling joyful, even though I had everything to feel joyful about.  I felt like a robot, was indecisive, lacked motivation and was having to give myself regular pep talks.  I found myself feeling inadequate and worrying about things I rarely worry about, like:  iGnite, questioning my purpose, feeling like I didn’t have value and whether or not people liked or approved of me. The ongoing experience that was most frightening was that I couldn’t get out of my head and hear my heart — and my heart has always been my greatest guide.  I was instead constantly thinking, problem solving, and trying to figure everything out.  Honestly, I thought I had lost the ability to hear my spirit.  Embarrassingly, not once did I think this could just be the result of fatigue.  Instead, I thought I needed to work harder — because that’s the solution to everything, right?!? – HA!  I prayed regularly and tried cleaning up my diet and taking better care of myself: getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep and eliminating all caffeine, gluten, sugar, etc.  Actually, I did feel better, but I still lived in my busy and chatty brain, and still couldn’t hear my heart.  It wasn’t until I met with my wise council and put everything on the table that they diagnosed me as being tired and needing a sabbatical.  They knew exactly what I was going through because they too had been there.  They shared similar life experiences, validated how I was feeling and promised that all of my symptoms could be reversed with a break: a few months of wearing fewer hats, slowing down and letting my mind rest. Seriously, I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to be validated and learn that I wasn’t going crazy!

When I told my business coach Martha Lynn Mangum about my decision to take a sabbatical, she too validated my feelings and my plan by telling me her own personal sabbatical stories and how vital they were and are to her health and her ability to personally and professionally thrive.  In hindsight, this is a total no-brainer, as I know the importance of rest and taking a break.   I’m the first person to encourage and cheer on our team leaders (or anyone for that matter) to go on vacations and have regular getaways, as it’s a critical part of wellness.  But, I don’t play by the same rules. The big revelation that came out of this was that I have attached the majority of my worthiness and value to iGnite, just as could be done in any relationship or job.  My fear was that if I wasn’t “doing it all” I’d disappoint people and feel invaluable. This is total head-case thinking, I know!!  It’s during these head-case times of mine that Martha says, laughing, “we are silly, silly people.”

Ironically, about six weeks ago, while I was in the midst of all of my confusion, iGnite member Frances Netherton sent me a poem called Slow Me Down, Lord by Orin L Crain.  Frances’ step-mother had recently passed away, and while cleaning out some of her things Frances found the hand-written poem.  The reason this was ironic is because it pegged my feelings and desire perfectly.  It was as if Frances knew, but she didn’t.  And, most interestingly the poem was written in 1957, by a man!  What this tells me was that if a man in the 1950’s was in need of being slowed down, Frances’ sweet step-mother was in need of being slowed down, and I was in need of being slowed down, then it is likely that you too are in need of rest and being slowed down at some point. 

Due to Russell’s new job and getting everything in order to move San Diego, I have postponed my sabbatical until an unknown later date, but I have promised myself that it will happen and Martha is my accountability partner.  If you are like me and have found yourself in a perpetual state of busy, cluttered and indecisive thinking and unable to hear your heart, I encourage you to be an advocate for your spirit and rest. It doesn’t have to be a full-on sabbatical, rather start with taking one thing off of your plate that will free up some time and space for rest and BEING.  Even though we Americans associate non-busy time with laziness (at least I do), that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is certainly value in working towards goals, having projects, being motivated, and doing for others, but it can’t be done at the expense of your physical, mental and spiritual heath. Hard work and full and busy days, weeks, months and years must be met and balanced with quiet and stillness.  Interestingly, it’s during the restful and serene moments when life reveals its greatest secrets.

Read the inspiring poem Slow Me Down, Lord by Orin L. Crain here.

Action Item:

Be an advocate for your spirit and rest.

You May Also Like:

Rest, Relax and Enjoy the Quiet

 

unnamed-71

“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.