Tag Archives: self love

Real Women, Real Stories | Martha Pincoffs: Discovering Self-Love in Order to Shine in Life

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Roots: I am born and raised in Austin. I have left to live in D.C. and Telluride, CO, but I always come back to Austin. This is home.

Family Life: My partner, Jo, and I have two kids. River is 4 years old and Townes is 2 years old.

Work Life: I am the founder of Hot Dang Grain Burgers, a company I started in 2011 and am President of Hat Creek Provisions, a fermented food company. I am on a personal mission to empower people with food!

Martha - HatCreek.jpgMy favorite quote: “You can be scared and brave at the exact same time.” -Brene Brown

People so often speak of “fearless leaders” and that never resonated for me. When I read the quote, it put words to that feeling. Leadership for me is scary sometimes, but trusting myself and the people I surround myself with and doing it anyway.

I’m most inspired by…my kids. I am constantly amazed by their curiosity and joy and resilience. They have such pure, sweet spirits, I can’t get enough of them.

The best advice I’ve ever gotten…Every time I left the house when I was a kid, my mom told me “Be sweet and have fun.” Somewhere along the way those words really soaked in and have shaped me.

Something people may not know about me…I have dreams of being on Broadway!

My guilty pleasure…The Real Housewives of Atlanta

What I’m looking forward to right now…A trip to Tulum next week with Jo.

When I’m not working, you can find me…Playing with my kids, cooking, on the back porch with Jo or riding a bike

My Story: Discovering Self-Love in Order to Shine in Life

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My life-changing experience have come in stages. Each one has allowed me to be the most authentic version of myself.

I have changed careers and cities and houses and come-out and had adventures and big belly laughs and plenty of heartbreak and therapy and some of the best friends in the world and found the love of my life. All of these experiences have showed me the way back to my authentic self, held up the mirror for me and helped me sometimes gently and sometimes not so gently get back to myself.

MarthaP

Martha with Jo, her kids and her dad

No single thing has changed me more than becoming a parent. There was all of the sudden this little being (River) in our world and he became the ultimate mirror. I started thinking differently about life and about how Jo and I could raise a kid that is sweet and confident and safe in his own skin. I wanted him to feel the license to be himself.

There was something unsettled in me that I knew needed light. In this time I started meditating, reading Brene Brown and Debbie Ford and I could feel the light shifting in me. One day I was reading Brene Brown’s Parenting Manifesto, probably for the 15th time, but this time it hit a different nerve. In that moment I understood that my kids would never be able to be sweet, confident and safe in their own skin as long as I wasn’t able to give that to myself. That day I stopped drinking and smoking, my favorite coping mechanisms. I started actually liking myself and even loving who I am.

I’ll never forget the moment I was standing by our grill on the back porch and I had an experience where I could feel all of the love people had been giving to me for years that I hadn’t been able to feel. I had known intellectually that I was loved, but I had never been able to hold it. I always felt like I had something to apologize for, something to be ashamed of that made me somehow unworthy. Until this moment and the right relationship and set of circumstances, spiritual guides and tiny humans to care for taught me how to love myself.

Since that day I have been truly free. I don’t wear dresses any more. I don’t hold my tongue when I believe in something. I love my wife-to- be and our kids and the work that I get to do and the people I spend my days with. This lesson in parenting and self-love has pulled all of the parts of me together and I have given myself permission to love every bit of this journey and permission to go out and live the life of my dreams.

View More: http://katezimmermanpictures.pass.us/hot-dang-december-2015The effects of my “self-love” revolution left no stone unimproved. I had already started my company, Hot Dang, at this point, but I was plagued by self-doubt and insecurity in the early days. I didn’t feel like I knew enough about business to be successful, and the truth is…I didn’t, but no-one does when they start something and are immersed in learning. The shift that happened for me in business was profound. I went from a mind-set of who am I to try this, to who am I not to. I have a vision for a healthier place to live and eat and my regret would be NOT doing anything about it. This shift allowed me to boldly do and learn and unapologetically pursue my vision. The trick of living the life of your dreams is not to judge what exists in you or others and go bravely (remember, it is okay to be scared here) forward and live the life that you are meant to live. Whether that is becoming an artist, a therapist, raising kids, starting a company, being the best friend in the world, you are entitled to live YOUR dreams. Who are you not to show us your shine?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson


iGnite’s Real Women, Real Stories is a series highlighting the inspiring lives and experiences of women in our community. We hope their stories motivate and inspire you to live your life to the fullest.

Know someone who would be a great candidate for a Real Women, Real Stories feature? Email nominations to hello@igniteyourlifenow.com


 

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Do You Believe In You?

iGnite - You were created to do something great

Point to Ponder:
Do you realize you are here to do something great?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

As I’ve written about in past journals, my favorite magazine is SUCCESS. SUCCESS provides countless stories and tips for anyone striving for personal and professional success and wanting to become better. Darren Hardy is the publisher and founding editor and he also provides a free and daily motivational message called Darren Daily, which I love. His quick, interesting and inspiring message is sent every morning via text and email. Because I’m a motivation junky and don’t think you can ever have enough positive messaging in your life, I subscribe to his service. I don’t always listen to it, but when I do, the impact is far greater than the three minutes I spend listening to it. Most recently I was inspired and encouraged by Darren’s terrific message on the power of believing in yourself.

I wish I could say that I never lack belief in my abilities, both personally and professionally, but I definitely do at times. As a whole, I would venture to say that self-doubt, a lack of self-confidence and belief in ourselves is what prevents us from getting exactly what we want in and out of life. Whether it be the career we desire, a mutually respectful and loving relationship, or simply trying something that we’ve always wanted to try, it all starts with belief in oneself.

This certainly trickles down to our children, marriages, and really all of our relationships. Where, when, and if we doubt someone’s abilities, even if we don’t speak it, has a negative energy and can be physically felt. Belief or lack of believe has infinite effects. Can you imagine if from the day you were born you heard the words, “I believe in you!” Can you imagine the compound and staggering effects!? And what if we added the words, “I believe in you and I love you? You were created to do something great!” Can.you.imagine?! To speak in terms of last week’s journal, ‘It’s Time to Turn on Your Shine’, our shine would be on all of the time!

You may be thinking, “I never tell myself I don’t believe in myself,” but do you ever tell yourself that you do believe in yourself and that you were created to do something great? The heart knows what the brain is thinking, and vice versa. We can’t hide from our doubt or disbelief.

The words “I believe in you. You were created to do something great!” cannot be heard or told enough, and we must always speak them out loud and to ourselves everyday, in every circumstance, and in all situations. Then, we should also speak those words to everyone else — our spouses, people we are in relationship with, colleagues, children, friends, family members and strangers. My mind gets blown just thinking about the progress we would make and how much happier, healthier and satisfied our lives would be if we did this on a regular basis. To believe that a divine source, whom I believe is God, not only believes in us but also created every.single.one.of.us to do something great, would forever change the negative and limiting thoughts that we can have about ourselves and others.

Small children are fearless inspirations. They will try anything and they believe they can do everything. The picture above is of my four-year-old son, Durant, at Solona Beach on his boogie board. While his boogie board is sitting on the sand and not floating on the water, he believes he is surfing. I didn’t tell him otherwise, I just cheered him on.

This child-like and child-proof sense of belief is what we can never lose and can never stop instilling in others.

Action Item:
Regardless of the lies that someone in your childhood may have told you, you must always remember that you were created for greatness. The lies were about that person, not you, and the unfortunate lies that someone once told them. Don’t let someone else’s lies define you, your future or your family’s future. Instead, let the truth — that you were created to do something great & that you were created to shine — define you and your family’s future.

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The Compliment Dare

Loving Yourself & Others, Part IV

compliments

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

When I sat down in January to plan what I was going to write about in February, the idea of loving ourselves and others felt natural because February is all about love. As I pondered different actions we could take that would demonstrate love, the one that continued to stir in my head was the ability to receive a compliment with a simple and gracious “thank you.”

Let’s face it, we women are THE WORST at receiving compliments with a “thank you” or without the extra “oh”, “well”, “but”, and “really?” On the flip side, we are THE BEST at giving compliments! We have no problem showering others with compliments, but when it comes to loving ourselves and the person giving the compliment enough to graciously receive it with a “thank you”, as a whole we’re pretty bad.

How do I know this? Because graciously accepting compliments was something I once stunk at, and I continue to struggle with. It wasn’t until a friend called me out many years ago that I became aware of how rude, ungrateful and unflattering it was for me to not to be able to say “thank you”. I thought a lot about why I couldn’t receive a compliment. Did I feel unworthy? Did I not love myself enough to receive a beautiful compliment? Or was it because I was too focused on my imperfections that I couldn’t see or appreciate what others saw? Honestly, it was probably all of the above.

Taking it a step further, my whole life I’ve wished I had long, slender legs. I’ve never been satisfied with my long torso and short legs until Dietitian Anne Wilfong spoke at one of our winter retreats. She too referenced her dislike of her short legs and long torso, and said that it wasn’t until she ran her first marathon that she realized how grateful she was for her short, strong legs. Not only did they carry her for 26.2 long miles, but they allowed her to train all of those miles! It was then that I realized I needed to stop wishing I had longer legs and simply be grateful for what I do have. So, to my short legs: I am blessed to have both of you. You are strong and allow me to run, jump, walk, play, skip, ride my bike and go everywhere I need and want to go. Thank you, and I will never wish you were longer again!

Gratitude. I’m learning that expressing gratitude is the key to living our best life, and while being able to receive a compliment with a gracious “thank you” and complimenting a body part that we are typically critical of might seem trivial, to me it all equals loving ourselves, loving the person who was kind enough to give us the compliment and appreciating what we’ve been given.

This week and moving forward, I invite you to join me in the Compliment Dare. The goal is to begin receiving compliments with a simple “thank you”, while also loving yourself enough to say “thank you” to your unique features and characteristics. And as you embark on the Compliment Dare, below are two beautiful iGnite leader examples of complimenting a body part that will inspire and encourage you to start saying “thank you”.

Amy

Amy

“On a good day when I’m feeling confident and self-assured, I call them my “character lines.” On a rough day when I am feeling anxious, worried and insecure, they show up as “old lady wrinkles.” What I realize when I am honest with myself is that every single one of the deep groves in my forehead and furrowed brow carry a lifetime of rich living. The etched wrinkles are complemented by the crows feet around my eyes that light up my face every time I smile and laugh…..which I must have done a lot of in this lifetime if their prominence is any indicator!  I have earned every single one of my wrinkles; a testament to a life well lived!”
-Amy

Catherine

Catherine

“When I get the occasional compliment on my hair, my tendency is always to respond with the bad — “oh really? Wow, it’s so fine and straight and flat and there’s so much of it…and this…and that… but thank you though. ” When really I should just rock it. Why am I responding with negativity when someone is saying something nice to me? The fact that my hair is relatively ‘easy’ to handle is something I should be incredibly grateful for and stop nitpicking about the things I wish were different about it. So, there — thank you God for this crazy head of hair that I should be nothing but grateful for!”
– Catherine

Action Item:
When given a compliment, practice receiving it with a gracious “thank you” and begin complimenting and being grateful for the physical features you are often critical of.

5 Books that will Improve Your Life

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by Catherine Sanderson

by Catherine Sanderson

With February comes a lot of focus on showing others our love through Valentine’s Day…but what about loving ourselves well in February?   Really, if we don’t love ourselves well first, it’s impossible to give our best love and care to the others in our life. So on that note, we wanted to share 5 great books that will help you do just that — show some love to the one and only you by making sure you’re taken care of first.

Carry on Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton

Cary's pick

Cary’s pick

“I love Carry on Warrior.  Not a book of inspirations or how to’s, but inspiring and real, I just love it.”

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz

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Catherine’s pick

“I first learned about The Four Agreements from Neissa, who raved about it — so I knew I had to read it.  The book is short & sweet– and the four simple principles it introduces really and truly change how you approach every single uncomfortable situation and difficult decision.   Once I started applying the 4 ideas to my daily mindset, I noticed a huge change in the stress and discomfort I felt in previously ‘difficult’ situations.  So, so worth the read!  I even found my bff and I talking about one of the ‘agreements’ at a happy hour last week — It’s stuff that sticks with you.” 

When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd

Amy's pick

Amy’s pick

“I love the book When the Heart Waits. It is really well-written. Grounded in personal experience and bolstered with classical spiritual disciplines, this book offers an alternative to fast-fix spirituality.” 

 The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino

Neissa's pick

Neissa’s pick

“One of my favorite self-love/self-improvement books is The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino. I read this book at a confusing time of my life when my self-esteem low and I was questioning my purpose and future. This book is a quick yet powerful read because it beautifully states how uniquely and purposefully created we are- full of nothing but potential. It was a game changer for me and it, along with The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz, are the two books I give every college graduate.” 

Spiritual Disciples Handbook: Practices that Transform Us  by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

Alli's pick

Alli’s pick

“I was introduced to Spiritual Disciplines Handbook a few years ago when I served as an elder on the session at my church.  We, as a session, decided to study this book over the course of two years. Each month, one or two of us would choose one of the 50+ disciplines described in the book that seemed pertinent to us individually, then introduce it to the other members of the session at our monthly meeting. Then, all of us would work on that discipline and report back about the impact on our lives at the next meeting.  This book has since then been a fixture on my bedside table, and I still refer to it regularly. Truly, the practices are transformative.”   Try them out and let us know what you think!

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A Love Letter to You

Have you ever considered writing a gratitude or love letter, to yourself?  We know it seems strange, but consider how much more we might appreciate and love ourselves if we acknowledged and focused on our unique qualities, fully-functioning body parts, and positive characteristics, gifts and journeys — instead of the negative things about ourselves!
For some inspiration, check out this video and remember: YOU. ARE. AWESOME.

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Mirror Mirror OFF the Wall

If you learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better. And that makes you so happy.
– Kristin Chenoweth

Unfortunately, I cannot keep an organized office to save my life. I have all of the necessities that would allow me to do so; however, despite my ongoing efforts to make the office my official and inspirational space to work, I can’t seem to make it happen! Instead, my office has officially spilled over  into the closest room — our formal dining area. As a result of my disorganization, I am constantly shuffling through my piles trying to locate an important document, article, or reminder.

Last week and while in hot pursuit of finding a note, I saw a reminder on my bulletin board that I posted last fall. The note read, “No Mirrors/Negative Voices.” I immediately recalled the mind-blowing and introspective story I saw on 20/20. It featured Kjerstin Gruys, a 29-year-old PhD student in sociology and bride-to-be, who in an effort to boost her self-esteem and inspire others to stop focusing on external perfection, avoided her reflection for one whole year!

In the past, Kjerstin struggled with her body image and battled eating disorders. After reading the book Birth of Venus, she was inspired to “live life experiencing the world for itself instead of constantly reflecting on how you looked. It was a life where you could get away from yourself.” She also noted, “I kept coming back to this pattern of perfectionism and obsessing about my appearance, and I thought, if I can’t think myself out of this, then maybe I need to change something about my environment to force me to change. The project was to get rid of mirrors with the intention of focusing on everything else in my life.”

While many months have passed since seeing Kjerstin’s story, I vividly remember being more aware of how many times I looked at myself in the mirror, a reflection in a window, or in my rear-and side-view mirrors of my car. Honestly, the result was disturbing. I found myself being critical of my appearance, and when I acknowledged my truth, my truth told me that I was too concerned with the opinions and approval of others.

Do I think that avoiding mirrors and reflections for one whole year is extreme? Yes. But do I think we should care about our appearance? Of course. However, I think Kjerstin’s point is powerful and brings up the very important subject of self worth, self acceptance, and self love—despite our physicality or societal approval. Furthermore and regardless of age, I believe that the junior high girl in us all has the capacity to show her insecure face at any time, so it is important that we do what is necessary to suppress her — even if that means covering all mirrors. Not only do we owe the gift of high esteem and self-value to ourselves, but we owe this to our daughters, sisters, mothers, girlfriends, husbands and future generations.

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Point To Ponder:
Do you find yourself overly concerned or critical of your appearance and what others think?

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Action Item:
Look at yourself in the mirror and tell a friend or loved one (each day) at least one thing you like about yourself and that you are good at. Rotate the attributes so they include physical, mental, and personality characteristics and skill sets.

To Your Health,

Neissa

About Neissa

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Do You Love Yourself??

I need to be skinnier love myself.

How we perceive and talk about ourselves directly affects how we love ourselves, love one another and how we allow others to love and treat us. So, let’s keep it simple and be grateful for what we do have and love ourselves, unconditionally!

And now, an eye-opening video that just might alter how you see yourself:

Video: Dove Real Beauty Sketches

Dove Video: Real Beauty Sketches

Link not working? Watch it online here.

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WEEKLY JOURNAL: Breaking the Rules

Love

“You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. “- Lucille Ball

This weekend my step-mom and I shared a laugh as she jovially mentioned all the ways I march to the beat of my own drum. She was predominately referencing my unique parenting styles. Until my son Durant was one year old, we bathed him in the kitchen sink, where we would also feed him baby food before he was able to eat solids. Yes, this is bizarre — but he was happy, I was not stressed and it worked for us. Now, twenty-five months old, he loves being naked and so I let him run free inside the house. Thankfully, he tells me when he needs to go “tee-tee.” When he does, I take him to the bathtub where he has an obviously large target. Yes, this is also not mainstream, but currently the toilet freaks him out. Eventually, we’ll make our way to the porcelain bowl, but until then I’m okay with ‘breaking the rules’ and will not think twice otherwise.

Next, and along the same lines, I recently saw an interview with the famous decorator, Nate Berkus. He referenced the importance of being confident enough to break decorating rules. In other words, just because a decorating book or article shows one opinion doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Rather, what’s most important is that you love what you have, that it reflects your style and that it makes you happy. All other opinions are irrelevant.

So, you are probably wondering where in the world am I going with a my weird parenting and decorating analogy…well, it’s all about loving yourself and being confident enough to go against the grain, break societal norms and follow your heart. For example, Nate also talked about making the mistake of accepting a television show offer, which naturally fed his ego and was of course financially rewarding; however, if he had initially taken the time to listen to and follow his heart he would have heard his spirit saying, “break the career ladder rules and say no.” As a result, he quickly became overwhelmed, his life spun out of control and his health was negatively effected.

Listening to and following your heart is tricky, especially in the fast-paced, over-stimulating and impulsive world we live in. It’s hard to turn down anything that may instantaneously feed our ego, provide a quick fix or appease everyone other than ourselves, and frankly, it’s not popular to say no. Personally, I cringe anytime I have to say no, even when I listen to my heart and am convicted in my decision (big or small). But, I’m figuring out that sometimes loving myself means saying no, and I’m okay with that, even if it means that my decision upsets or disappoints someone I deeply care for.

So, how will you break the rules and love yourself first? There are a million and one ways, but only you hold the key to your heart and can determine what is best for you and your life. I’m confident you’ll choose the habits, behaviors and choices that will positively feed your body, your mind, your spirit and then the lives of everyone around you.

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Point To Ponder:
Do your daily habits, behaviors and choices reflect love for yourself, or love for everyone other than yourself?

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Action Item:
Make a list of the habits, behaviors and choices you engage in that are in direct opposition to loving yourself.  Then, create a list of all the self-loving habits, behaviors and choices that you will begin making a priority.

by Neissa

JoAnn’s Journey to Confidence and Better Health

JoAnn Herness

“I’m not really focused on being skinny, just on being my best self.”
-JoAnn Herness

Point To Ponder:
Are you patient enough to give yourself the chance to be the best you you can be?
Action Item:
Love yourself and view health as a lifelong goal and one that allows you to be your best self.

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

Last week I received an email that not only blew me away but inspired me as well.  The email was from JoAnn Herness, a five year and predominantly 6:00 a.m. iGnite member (a.k.a. “Monarch) who was referred to iGnite by a very good friend of mine. However, by JoAnn’s first class my friend was no longer iGniting which meant that she knew no one. Obviously, this certainly didn’t intimidate or deter JoAnn from joining us because she’s been iGniting ever since!  In addition, JoAnn has always had a rigorous and busy work schedule that takes her in and out of town. What’s most impressive is despite her travel and having to leave her home by 5:40 a.m. on her iGnite days, she always shows up with a smile and upbeat spirit.

So, about the email…. JoAnn emailed to inform me that over the course of her five years in iGnite she has lost a total of fifty pounds! That’s right, 5-0 pounds and to use her words, “the very best part is that while I would like to lose another fifteen to twenty more pounds, I’m not really focused on being skinny, just on being my best self.”

My quick response to JoAnn’s tremendous goal is EUREKA, AMEN and HALLELUJAH! I am thrilled that JoAnn has lost her weight in a healthy, slow and steady fashion (the best way!), but knowing that her ultimate objective is to be her best self is the absolute BEST thing I could ever read. I admire this mindset because it’s the opposite of what our fast pace and instant gratification society tells us. For example, how many magazines do you see at the grocery store whose covers read “Lose 5 Pounds in Five Days”, “Get Skinny Now” or “Six Moves to a Sexier and Sculpted You”?  The skinny imagery and negative messaging is everywhere. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to believe that being skinny versus living a consistently healthy life is most important. Women come in every shape and size, and there is nothing more beautiful than a confident and healthy woman who truly loves herself and is comfortable in her own skin.

Thank you JoAnn for sharing your inspirational weight loss news, but more than that, thank you for showing us what patience, persistence and loving yourself looks like.

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