Tag Archives: spirituality

Living Like the Lotus Flower

fior_di_loto

Seek to live like the lotus flower, at home in the muddy waters.
Buddhist saying

Point to Ponder:
What negative occurrences or unfortunate situations inhibit your ability to move forward and thrive?

Action Item:
Don’t be a victim of your challenges. Rather, use them to make you strong and empower your life and the lives of those around you.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

I know you’ve seen them- the beautiful flowers that live in ponds and seem to grow out of lily pads. It wasn’t until my wise friend Amy Younkman brought them and their incredible meaning to my attention that I learned the lotus flower is much more than just a pretty flower. The lotus flower is a pristine waterlily that is undiscouraged by its surroundings. It rises from the depths of a murky pond and the petals perfume the air.

Well, last night I did not resemble a pure scented and pleasing lotus flower nor joy, which I am called to possess even during dark and frustrating times. Rather, I was completely ticked by my surroundings and looked wilted.

The events that led to my meltdown began on Friday, which was when I had to put my spunky thirteen-year-old cat Chandler down. He was sick and it was for the best, but it still stunk!! Then, Saturday night several other crappy things began to pile up: I learned that I would not have childcare on Monday; my second loaner computer freaked out on me (my original Mac died two weeks ago and while I wait for Apple to release the new MacBook, I’m on my second loaner because the first one malfunctioned); and Durant, my two-year-old son, couldn’t shake his fever of 101.5 degrees without regular doses of Motrin. Needless to say, I was sad, disgruntled, annoyed, worried and feeling sorry for myself, which was when I ironically walked into my office and saw the lotus quote on my desk. “Seek to live like a lotus flower, at home in the muddy waters.”

As badly as I wanted to have my moment and pout in my muddy water, I knew the quote was right and I needed to be resilient, rise up and thrive, like the lotus flower. And, in the midst of having an inner dialogue, I recognized I just wanted a day without hiccups or inconveniences, a.k.a. murky water (I realize I live an incredibly privileged life and my “so called” problems are laughable, especially when compared to the real problems and sadness that exist in the world). However, because much of what makes life so great are the experiences, growth and wisdom that manifest from the darkened water of difficult times, I’ll take the murk and mud and be thankful for it.

In conclusion, one of the most profound examples of being undiscouraged by your surroundings is Malala Yousafzai, the sixteen-year-old Pakistani girl who has been compared to Mother Teresa. As of last week she was a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and has also been on the cover of Time Magazine. Just one year ago and while on her way home from school Malala was shot in the head at point blank range by a member of the Taliban. Malala was the only one on the bus with her face uncovered and was targeted for fearlessly championing a woman’s right to education. Malala survived the horrific attack and courageously accepts the muddy waters that literally threaten her life everyday. One of her greatest quotes is, “I don’t mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is education. And I’m afraid of no one.” Now that’s living like a lotus!

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Why We Share

“This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring, forgiving, laughing, hugging, helping, dancing, wondering, healing, and even more loving.”   -Steve Maraboli

Point To Ponder:
Do you view your obstacles, successes, struggles and experiences as an opportunity to share and be a gift to others?

Action Item:
Continually share your life and gifts with others and view them as an act of service.

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

This weekend I had the fortunate opportunity to speak at a Christian women’s retreat called Soli Deo Gloria. It was a created and facilitated by a young woman named Jen Ferguson. Jen contacted me in February and shared her vision of the weekend, which was to highlight that life is an adventure and that sometimes God asks us to step out of our comfort zone and take risks so that we might grow and be challenged. She said plenty of other wonderful things about her plan, but outside of her first description I was not interested in additional information as her theme was right up my alley!

So, on Saturday, from 11:15 a.m to 12:15 p.m I spoke on the importance of honoring our temples. From regular exercise, eating a nutritious diet, the people we surround ourselves with and the information we read and listen to, all of these things pertain to honoring and keeping our temples healthy so we can live our best lives and ultimately be a gift to others. I also explained our iGnite philosophy and the blessings that occur from predominantly exercising outdoors and with positive, encouraging and fun women.

I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my opinions, however my favorite and most memorable moment was when questions began coming in, as having women share and open up about their experiences and struggles is like icing on the cake! Witnessing the bold and courageous act of standing up in front of others to comment, ask questions and express fears is very inspiring.

During this time, one of the women posed the following question, “What if I wasn’t feeling confident enough to exercise with a group and chose to exercise at home, alone?” I explained that exercise is very personal, and done in any fashion or environment is great; however, the bigger question is her lack of confidence and if not dealt with it will continue to show it’s ugly face and inhibit her from being her best and living her best life. Then, in the midst of our dialogue the topic of isolation arose and Jen eloquently interjected some of the most Biblical profound wisdom I’ve ever heard. She said, “Iron sharpens iron and we can sharpen one another, however when we’re in isolation we cannot be refined or strengthened. Therefore, when we share ourselves, our stories and our lives, not only do we have opportunity to sharpen someone else but we too will be sharpened in the process.”

I knew I would enjoy my speaking experience, however; I must admit that I was sharpened much more than I sharpened the women attending the retreat. Therefore, I encourage you to be iron for those around you, and guaranteed you will be sharpened in return.

Watch this week’s video and be sharpened!

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