Tag Archives: women’s wellness

Re-New Year Retreat “Rise & Shine”

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Why Retreat?

crystal

By Crystal Tidmore

There are a million reasons not to go on retreat (too much to do, kids’ activities, don’t need to spend the money…the list goes on). Oh…but when you do give yourself permission to go on retreat, you benefit not just yourself, but your loves ones as well. Retreat allows us to pause, reflect, and re-commit ourselves to becoming the very best that we can be. When we retreat, we commit ourselves to a journey of returning to the source of all things to refill our well and remind us who we truly are.

“Rise and Shine” was the theme of this year’s first annual iGnite Re-New Year Retreat. We set out to create a unique space, apart from our daily routine, where everyone could find renewal, inspiration and hope. Whether walking the beach, chatting around the fire-pit, practicing yoga by the pool, creating art, learning new forms of dance and movement, or exploring our core values, passions and purpose—we were treating our bodies, minds and spirits to the many gifts of retreat.

Our guest speaker, Stefanie, from Generate Hope, said:
“Life isn’t about finding ourselves. Life is about creating ourselves.”

We create and re-create ourselves each and every day by the choices we make. And we can choose to honor our gifts or dismiss them as unimportant or insignificant. Our job is to uncover our gifts and passions, and it’s God’s job to take those passions and gifts and point them to a higher purpose. How often do we try to do God’s job for Him? We RISE, so that God can SHINE through us.

Rising is about claiming God’s purpose for our lives. Rising is acknowledging the unique gifts that God has given us and iGniting the passion within us to use those gifts in a way that only we can. And when we RISE, we SHINE the light within us that encourages and empowers others to shine their unique light within them.

Much like a campfire, the light within us needs to be rekindled from time to time so that it doesn’t burn out or fade away. We must tend that fire with love and attention—and with retreat.

So, why do we re-treat? We retreat…
…to re-fill our well
…to re-create ourselves
…to re-gain strength
…to re-ceive the spirit within us
…to re-claim our gifts
…to re-iGnite our passions
…to re-fresh our creativity
…to re-juvenate our bodies
…to re-generate ideas
…to re-new our mind, body, and spirit

We re-treat to re-turn to our true selves, our very best selves.

This year’s Re-New Year Retreat was filled with so much fun and laughter and new experiences for all of us. Since the retreat, I have made a promise to take the concept of retreat into my daily life. I came away from San Diego with new tools for the tool belt and new companions for the journey. This Friday our San Diego retreaters will gather together in Austin for a Retreat Reunion luncheon to share more stories, watch our slideshow, and begin planning our next retreat! Hope you will give yourself permission to retreat throughout the year. And hope you join us for the next iGnite Retreat!

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The “Rise and Shine” Re-New Year Retreat was held Jan 26-29, 2017 in LaJolla, California. See the full photo album from retreat here.


 

Member Spotlight: Madeleine Tilin

grey-big-smile-filter-5652Roots:
I grew up in Lubbock, graduated from UT Austin with a degree in journalism and moved several times before coming back to Austin in 2011. My children’s father and I both worked in publishing and enjoyed some great cities together as a result – Boulder, Chicago, Santa Fe and Oakland. We moved to Austin in 2011.

Family Life:
I live with my partner, John, and I have two children, Isaac (17) and Leila (14) who are in high school at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. We also live with John’s two sons, Graham (17) and Lucas (14) who attend LASA. It’s kind of like the Brady Bunch without Alice. 🙂

Work Life:
I have spent my work life as a visual communicator – magazine art director, graphic designer and photographer. I’ve been an event and portrait photographer for the last 9 years and am transitioning to having my own female centered contemporary portrait studio out of my home. I’m excited to develop as a fine artist using my photography as a basis to create photo encaustic work, a medium that uses beeswax and oil pant to create beautiful, one of a kind art pieces for my clients. It’s been germinating for a few years. It’s finally becoming a reality, and I’m super excited! That said, my job as a mother trumps all. It’s cliché, but I don’t think I really knew how big my heart could grow until I had children. I’m so thankful for this journey.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my iGnite experience…
Working out in community is way more fun and motivating. 🙂 I have always valued my friendships with women, so iGnite is an extension of that. I appreciate that there are women of all ages, perspectives and life experiences.

Who or what inspires me most…
It’s hard to narrow this one down! My children, my girlfriends, nature and my yoga practice. First, my children inspire me with their kindness, sensitivity and openness to life and all kinds of people. Second, nature, particularly the ocean and redwoods in Northern California and the high desert and mountains in New Mexico. As a photographer, I’m always observing the quality of light in new places, and I inevitably think the last place is the best…like how could it ever get better?! This is a great metaphor for life. 🙂 Just when you think you have experienced the most amazing, sublime light, you arrive in a new place or time and something different and just as beautiful is revealed. Nature perpetuates a sense of wonder that is so very important to happiness. My closest girlfriends near and far inspire me with their big, generous hearts and willingness to dig deep and help each other be the best versions of ourselves. My yoga practice has enriched my life in ways I could have never imagined when I started practicing 22 years ago. It has been my close friend and refuge most of my adult life, and I can easily say that it has made me a better human being. I am eternally grateful to my many teachers who have passed on different aspects of this beautiful practice.

Something people may not know about me is…
I sang vocals, played keyboard and flute in two different bands in Oakland. They were both groups of parents who were getting their groove back. 🙂 It was a ton of fun and learning how to play with others was a whole new experience.

Three words to describe myself are…
Creative, warm-hearted, free-spirited


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A Holiday to Learn From

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Point to Ponder:
What president can you learn from?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

It’s no secret that I am a quote junkie. Besides a story of hope, perseverance and courage, there’s nothing that gets me more fired up and inspired than a good quote or a book of quotes!

Tomorrow, February 20th is President’s Day, a national holiday. Originally, President’s Day was founded in honor of George Washington’s birthday (his birthday is February 22), however it has since morphed into a day to celebrate all United States presidents. Unfortunately though, as most national holidays have become, President’s Day is overshadowed by commercial sales and the opportunity to enjoy a three day weekend. None of these are wrong, as a sale and three consecutive days off are glorious, however the opportunity to truly observe the day for it’s primary focus has become diluted, overlooked, and even obsolete.

In an effort to bring attention to and honor our nation’s presidents and absorb their wisdom and inspiration, I’ve created a top 25 United States President’s quotes list. My personal favorite president is Abraham Lincoln. In fact, if he were alive I’d volunteer to be his full time protege! His integrity, wisdom, courage and love for family and country is awe-inspiring, so you will see a few extra quotes from him.

Therefore, without further adieu, I hope you enjoy the words of wisdom from our nation’s presidents, all of whom were not perfect (who is, right?!), however their service and wisdom are commendable and worthy of pause, reflection and great gratitude.

“Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse.” –George Washington

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book wisdom.” -Thomas Jefferson

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”  -Abraham Lincoln

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air. ” -John Quincy Adams

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight–it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Great lives never go out, they go on.” -Benjamin Harrison

“I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.” -Abraham Lincoln

“If wrinkles must be written on our brow, let them not be written on our heart. The spirit should never grow old.” -James Garfield

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” -Abraham Lincoln

“The harder the conflict the greater the triumph.” –George Washington

“Try and fail but don’t fail to try.” -John Quincy Adams

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorns bushes have roses.” -Abraham Lincoln

“Be patient and calm. No one can catch a fish with anger.” -Herbert Hoover

“It’s amazing what can get accomplished if you don’t care who gets the credit.” -Harry S. Truman

“Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”  –Abraham Lincoln

“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.” -John F. Kennedy

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” -Abraham Lincoln

“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.” -Ronald Reagan

“If you look for the bad in people and expect to find it, you surely will.” -Abraham Lincoln

“If your going to think anything, think big.” -Donald Trump

“The best way not to feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope and you will fill you with hope.” -Barack Obama

“Use power to help people. For we are given power not to advance our purposes, not to make a great show in the world, or a name. There is but one just use of power and that is to serve people.” -George W. Bush

“In the end, it’s not the years in the life that count. It’s the life in the years.” -Abraham Lincoln
“If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is to never quit, never quit, never quit.” -William J. Clinton

“We are a nation of communities….a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.” -George H. W. Bush


Action Item:
Learn something from a former president that you can apply to your life.


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Be Love

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Point to Ponder:
Do your thoughts, words and actions produce love for yourself?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Last week I received a very kind compliment. It was one that I didn’t feel deserving of but none-the-less it was greatly appreciated, especially because I wasn’t having the most confident day or week. And, since being called out by a good friend many years ago and her telling me that I needed to work on receiving compliments because it was incredibly rude when I rejected them, I have changed my tune. You know, the standard compliment rejection goes like this:

Friend to You: “Hi You! Your hair looks amazing!”

You to Friend (response #1): “Oh my gosh–it’s a mess and sooo dirty. I haven’t washed it in days and just threw some dry shampoo in it. It’s so gross, I haven’t showered in three days, I barely even brushed my teeth this morning and you don’t even want to step inside my house….. etc. etc.

You to Friend (response #2): “Thank you! Your hair is amazing too!”

My wise friend explained that compliments are verbal sunshine and they should always be received with a big smile and a “thank you” (no extras needed and no compliment exchange necessary). Maybe it’s a universal female thing or maybe it’s an American female thing–I have no idea, but what I do know is that we are entirely too critical of ourselves, and learning how to graciously accept a compliment is one of the first steps to learning how to love ourselves, be loved, love others and being love. In addition, little ears are always paying attention, so whether you have nieces, sisters, daughters, granddaughters or just other female ears around, we are leading by example and they are always listening and learning.

And so, as Valentine’s Day is upon us and love is swirling all around, I encourage you to practice loving yourself by not only graciously accepting a compliment with a “thank you” and a smile, but by also speaking words of love and kindness to yourself. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7

Finally, I also encourage you to print our “I Love Your Because” love notes HERE so you can inform those who you love why you love them, or what you love about them. It’s a sweet and fun card that fits great in a wallet, lunchbox, backpack or taped on a mirror, around the house or in a car. It’s super simple yet very effective for both the giver and receiver. And, don’t forget about yourself. Write a love note to yourself, telling your body, mind and spirit what you love so much about them, and then watch your level of gratitude and appreciation for your body and whole self sore! Here’s to loving yourself, being loved, loving others and being love!


Action Item:
Print our “I Love Your Because” love notes so you can inform those who you love why you love them, or what you love so much about them. Also, write a love note to yourself, telling your body, mind and spirit what you love so much about them.


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10-Day Reboot: Delaine’s Day 5

DelaineTeeple

by Delaine Teeple

I started out my fifth day with warm lemon water as usual.  I drink this as I’m packing lunches and getting my kids off to school. I don’t like coffee or tea, so putting lemon water in a coffee mug helps me feel as though I am having a morning treat.  I take a probiotic with the lemon water and then wheatgrass which helps boost my energy in the morning since I don’t have caffeine.

img_3177-1After taking the kids to school, I made a breakfast for my husband (He is joining me on this journey) and me. Eggs, avocado, fresh salsa from Central Market, a slice the Whole 30 approved Pederson’s bacon (no sugar) from Whole Foods and orange slices.

I did some work on my computer and then went for a 45 min. interval walk/run around my neighborhood with our dog.  I always like to use an app like Interval Timer that will tell me when to run and when to walk. It pushes you to keep it up and I need that!

I had meetings off and on all day, so I needed something quick for lunch. I made a protein smoothie with spinach, strawberries, blueberries and almond milk.

img_3193It was such a beautiful day, so I wanted to get more sunshine. After my last meeting ended at 1:45pm, I enjoyed journaling/reading on our front porch.  I loved the quiet time and the heat of the sun on my back. It reminded me to do this more often as it was much easier to think clearly on the porch than being inside looking at the clutter and to-do list. Before I left to pick up the kids from school, I grabbed an apple and almond butter as a snack.

I was scheduled to volunteer at an event at my daughter’s school from 4-6:30pm. Since I didn’t plan ahead, dinner at home wasn’t really an option starting that late.  We headed to our neighborhood Mexican restaurant – asked for no chips and I had a salad with grilled chicken and onions, avocado, no cheese and just used limes as the dressing.

Aspects of the Re-boot I’ve found the most difficult: I have found the social media/technology turn-off the hardest. I have a busy week, so I have had to do some of my work and emails at night. I am really trying to let the things go that can be done tomorrow and just put it away.

Aspects of the Re-boot I’ve enjoyed the most: As I said above, the sun is out and it has felt almost like summer, so being outside journaling, walking, or riding bikes with the kids has been extra fun.

img_3199Tips & tricks that have helped me: I can’t handle the taste of apple cider vinegar. I have learned that if I put a couple of teaspoons in cranberry water with lots of ice, I can drink it! I also got this new JosephJoseph water bottle that keeps count of how many times you fill it up each day using the dots on top (I can easily lose track). My goal is to get to 4 every day with just room temp water.  I then add in my lemon water and cranberry water with ice and I have made my daily goal.

The intention I am focusing on this Re-boot: Sleep! I am trying to get settled in bed much earlier than normal and not look at my phone.

 

Love Your Butt

FEBRUARY 30 DAY CHALLENGE: LOVE YOUR BUTT

Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

Join in! We are going to LOVE OUR BOOTIES this month with 100 GLUTE RAISES (BRIDGES) EVERY DAY FOR 30 DAYS STRAIGHT!
THAT IS 3,000 GLUTE RAISES BY THE END OF THE CHALLENGE! (Yes, that includes Saturdays and Sundays.)

Just grab a calendar and keep track of your daily raises. It only takes a few minutes to complete 100 of them. You can switch it up and do 50 single leg bridges each side some of the days –  a little harder!

Why do this??

The benefits of GLUTE BRIDGES are endless!
-better posture
-great for spine flection
-great for injury prevention
-faster running, dancing, swimming and just about everything you do!
-fighting gravity at any age
-muscle tone in the back of leg and butt leads to less cellulite
and best of all—a good strong butt just looks amazing!!

Cheers to nothing BUTT strong glutes!!

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Why We Need to Take A Break

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Point to Ponder:
Do you give yourself the necessary breaks that you need?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

“Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.” Is that the truth or what?! Being one week removed from iGnite’s Re-New Year Rise & Shine Retreat in San Diego, although I was technically working and the retreat was a whopping thirty minutes from my home, it hit the spot. Of course I love my family and my life, but I just needed to step away from my day to day responsibilities and immerse myself into a new scene. As always, I returned home more patient, grateful, loving and passionate. Not to sound cliche, but I was rejuvenated, had a renewed energy and sense of self.

What I find over and over again (yes–it’s the definition of insanity-ugh) is when I neglect my physical, mental and spiritual needs, I quickly reach my tipping point and I don’t like who I become. As I’ve mentioned in previous journals, I have a skin crawling experience and I get resentful and very unpleasant….and to be even more honest, I get mean. I become quick tempered, yell, have very little to no patience and am no fun to be around. Everything becomes a struggle and in all facets, not only am I not myself, but I am a fraction of my best.

Sure, I could blame my husband’s work schedule, as him being gone often and us living so far from family makes taking regular time for me more difficult to coordinate, however this is on me. I know this about myself. In order to get the necessary breaks that allow me to be my best, I must schedule time for me and do so without any guilt. This doesn’t have to be a four day retreat or anything expensive or elaborate–it just needs to be a few hours away from my children, my computer, my phone, my house and my regular commitments.

My good friend and iGnite member Catherine Sanderson recently sent me an excellent article written by holistic health coach, Ashley Berry titled “Why Self Care Isn’t Weak”.  In it, Ashley writes about her journey with healing her sick body, but she also speaks directly to our great need for holistic (mind, body, spirit) well being, including rest, rejuvenation and caring for our whole selves–something that I believe every woman needs encouragement and support to do and regularly practice.

Finally, I encourage you to read Ashley’s entire article, but for starters, below is an excerpt and great reminder of our female tendencies and how and why we need to shift. Also, because you have your calendar out and are scheduling time for you (wink wink hint hint) be sure to secure July 28 – August 2 for the iGnite Summer Escape, an exhilarating, exciting, and empowering girlfriend getaway and break from your summer and life routine. Location with all details coming soon!

If you look at the animal kingdom, you’ll see that all creatures from birds to mammals and even insects practice self-care instinctually. When they’re sick, they eat plants that heal them. When they’re tired or injured, they rest. If they’re social animals, they seek connection when they need it. But somewhere along the way in our evolution as a species, we learned how to override the needs of our bodies and minds, and eventually even built a culture around doing just that. Almost everywhere we turn, there’s some sort of messaging that encourages us to push ourselves to our limits, to hustle, to grind, to work hard, and to play even harder. But where does rest factor into this equation? At what point did self-care get deemed self-indulgent?

Most of us know that our greatest wealth is health. There’s no amount of money that can buy happiness if we’re suffering mentally or physically, and yet, social pressures, both implicit and explicit, make it incredibly challenging to make choices that support our well being. We forgo using our sick days. We pull the long hours, fueled by sugar and coffee. We sweep our mounting stress levels under the rug with alcohol or food.

We use busyness to avoid being present with ourselves because if we stopped and stood still, we might feel the full weight of the overwhelm we’ve created in our own lives.

So the question is, how do we shift? How do we grab the reins and steer our culture to a place that is more supportive of our most basic needs?

By honing in on one person, one choice, one small, revolutionary act at a time. We all have the opportunity to look at our own lives and get honest about the ways in which we are not caring for ourselves. We can start conversations that promote awareness of the importance of both mental and physical health. We can model unapologetic self-care, and in doing so, give permission to those around us to do the same.


Action Item:
Pause and identify where you are not caring of yourself and then start making plans and schedule important time for you.


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