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We're Getting Summer Ready with Gratitude, and Here's Why

Point to Ponder:

Do you start and end your day with gratitude?

Have you ever looked back at a situation that by all accounts could have had a terrible outcome and thought, “WHOA! That could’ve been really bad! Thank you God for your timing and protection!”

These were my exact sentiments yesterday, along with some of our iGnite leaders and members who attended our Pilates & SUP adventure on Lake Austin. Check out this wild scenario:

It’s a gorgeous spring day with not a cloud in the sky. The temperature is perfect and the lake you have planned to paddle board in is calm. You hop on your board and begin to paddle out when from out of nowhere a male swan feels you are threatening his seven cygnets (the official name for baby swans). As a result, you become the full-on target of a real-life National Geographic swan attack.

While I didn't attend our adventure, I received the play-by-play from two iGnite teammates and our incredibly resilient member who was attacked and gets the best attitude and spirit award. The prevailing thought is how grateful we are for who was there and the timing of the event which led to zero injuries.

Here are the series of events that we are very thankful for:

1). Just prior to getting in the water to paddle board, one of our members shared the wisdom that if being attacked by a swan, protect your face. A swan’s first defense is to peck out the eyes of their attackers.

2) Not at all expecting to be the target of a swan attack, per the wise and incredibly timely council everyone received, when being attacked our resilient and best attitude/spirited member dove down and into the water.

3) The strong seventeen year old son of our amazing Pilates Leader, Susie Matzorkis, was on scene and was able to paddle out and fend off the protective daddy swan.

Ironically, the third step we are going to encourage this week and during our Six Weeks To Summer/#summerreadywithiGnite initiative is gratitude. I for one am entirely grateful for: our member who shared her swan attack wisdom; our resilient, quick thinking cool, calm and collected member who was attacked, as well as our cool, calm and collected iGnite team, Susie’s brave son who by being nearby prevented the swan for attacking for a longer period of time, and all of the adventurers who remained injury-free.

In the words of our energizer bunny iGnite dancing machine Betty Cunningham, she recommends “spending the first waking moments of the day thanking our Creator for the opportunity to live another day surrounded by the blessings bestowed on us.”

We are fast approaching “May Mayhem”. Due to end of school activities and parties, exams and graduations, kids moving home, and a change in season, the month of May often feels as busy as the holidays. Whether or not you have made it through something as terrifying as a swan attack, or are making your way through this calendar-filled time of year--pausing and taking a moment to start and finish each day with a grateful spirit is an action that has been proven to improve your mental strength, psychological and physical health; reduce aggression and increase empathy; enhance quality of sleep, self-esteem and relationships. What we put out we get back, and putting out gratitude has a way of changing our attitude, which has a positive impact on every area of our life.

Whether your gratitude strategy is waking up and giving thanks, starting your day with upbeat and encouraging music, exercise, a warm cup of coffee, a sunrise or hug, quiet and prayerful meditative time, or watching a hilarious video (as seen below)—I encourage you to do what you need to do to keep life in perspective, your stress level low and your heart filled with gratitude. This will for sure have you feeling summer ready!

Click on the picture to view video


Action Item:

Start and end your day with gratitude.



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