Yesterday, October 15th, was the end of my 30 day social media blackout and now I sit here to reflect.

At the beginning of September I began to sense I was drowning in a whirlpool of everyday busy-ness. My sense of control had evaporated and no time seemed like my own. I was "busy" for the sake of being busy and I was once again lost in this false idea of what productivity was supposed to look like. The reality was similar to the vision of me running on a hamster wheel and I was growing weary.

My grandmother landed in the hospital and we ran through possibilities from cancer to heart failure. As information was revealed, the timeline for her existence shrunk from years to months. Her story began to emerge as she tried to cope with what was being presented to her by the doctors. The regrets, the dreams, the wishes, and The Truth. It was a stone-cold evaluation of her journey and the lessons she needed to pass along to her listeners. Time is precious and fleeting. It must be spent doing what we really WANT to be doing with the people that we CHOOSE. Sometimes we must make the tough choices to ensure we keep our purpose and true desires at the forefront of our moves. We only get to do this once! This epiphany was a striking catalyst for redirection.

Everything that I was currently caught up in was reduced to basic elements. The focus that I had given precedence in my life had assumed my power and control. I had most certainly been derailed. I had lost sight of my "why" (or my purpose and my passion). I was not producing value, but mental clutter that was piling up all around me. Why was I doing this to myself?! The answer seemed to be...that I didn't know what else to do with my time, so I was just "doing something" - AKA: the hamster wheel.

The act of doing needed to shift to the act of Being (with a capital "b" of course): stop moving and start spending time alone in thought. The overwhelming sense of awe from making this decision was astounding. The layers began to peel back immediately with the simple decision to put ME first. I decided I needed a "Me Month" where I stripped everything down to the basics, and focused on my purpose and true desires, as my grandmother so wisely pointed out. In order to quiet the noise, I logged off of social media with some fears that it would hurt my business connection. This proved to be an excellent move. In fact, my "likes" and "views" went UP when I actually spent my time focused on the "why" first, then action and results. The weight melted off of my shoulders. Then it was time to schedule some massages to reflect and be pampered. Clarity began to fill my body like cool, fresh air. I had broken open. The rest that followed was brilliant...

In this month I have felt gratitude, learned about the depth of “black holes,” and created a concept for “Triangles” that will dictate my next moves. Now, it is time for action after the absorption.

Purposeful Living 101

There are always events that occur every day that breathe life into my very world and the "why" behind I do what I do. I am often left feeling humbled and in awe... Goosebumps. For instance, this afternoon I had a workshop at a retirement community titled, Purposeful Living 101. I had one lovely attendant and she was beyond thrilled to do whatever it was that we were going to do. To begin the session, I pulled out bright yellow paper and pens and asked "Sally" to begin to brainstorm her Happy Thoughts. I capitalize this because this is the very title of the exercise. She was taken aback.

"You want me to write down my happy thoughts?"

Me: "Yep!"

Sally was very confused and when she doesn't know what to do she talks, quickly and without stopping. She was uttering something about how she wasn't sure about how happy she was in the community as she had just moved in and was still trying to figure it all out. She was probably more negative than positive. She probably needed this more than anyone. She really needed this right now, but she just wasn't sure if she could do it. --I had interrupt her panic to calm her down.

Me: "Sally, just write down things that make you happy... like rainbows, a bubble bath, when your kids visit...that kind of stuff."

She took a deep breath and seemed to gather her thoughts for a moment. "Oh!" She began to deliberately and thoughtfully write line items down in her beautiful, cursive. Then she started to talk about each one from her memory and the meaning they had for her. When I started to hear some of the simple, basic needs that were listed, I found myself taking a deep breath.

  • Touching
  • Smiles
  • Deep connections with others

She teared up three times as she reminisced about her life and how she couldn't bear to leave her home. Her memories from the last 20 years were all wrapped up in this special place. I understand. Our homes become our canvases and we become the painters. It is our protection, our security, our safety, our memory, our life. This generation specifically lived most of their lives in one home, so the loss would be tremendous. ((I began to wonder how I could help bring their home along with them, but this is a topic for brainstorming that will come.)) She then began to talk about how she really needed this reminder and thanked me over and over again. She had lost sight of her happiness and now she was bound and determined to make sure she was fulfilled.

This was more than just a Happy Thoughts exercise. They are more than happy thoughts; they are basic needs for her. Identifying them and refocusing her attention toward fulfillment was HUGE. And it left me with goosebumps...

And So We Begin...Or Are We Just Beginning?

So this is not my first blog, nor will it be my last I am sure. About 5 years ago, I began to capture my start and eventual path to creating Ignite by Design. What began as SolFire Creative, has evolved into something bigger. In true artistic form, I still can't decide on a single focus because I just simply love life and everything it has to offer. I want to do everything that interests me and I am easily interested. However, I have read that this is completely normal for creative, visionary types and not to worry. Haha. I still worry. Though I have become much more well acquainted with the belief that "not all who wander are lost." A friend and mentor from Atlanta named Kevin reminds me that where I might experience the winding path, he can see a straight line drawn right through it. It's my compass (core values/passions) leading me in the direction that I am supposed to go. We are all like that to some degree or another. It's just a matter of trusting our hearts to take us "there."

This business of Ignite by Design... I have built the concepts on the foundation of creativity (thinking differently to problem solve effectively), emotional intelligence, and servant leadership concepts. My goal is to create "wholeness" or synergy within individuals, teams, and businesses. It starts with defining the big picture, being intentional with direction, and creating action to ensure the desired outcome. Once we are dialed in on the core values/passions and visions, we can set the course we need to make really amazing things happen...and I see the light bulb turn on for people every day!

During the last year, I have spoken to some stellar groups on leadership topics, facilitated workshops, motivated local and international students in the classroom, and more!

  • WLN (Women's Leadership Network in Helena) - Emotional Intelligence and the Power of Self Awareness
  • GFAF (Great Falls Advertising Federation) - The Value of Finding Your Passions/Purpose
  • WorldMontana (Helena/Bozeman) - Servant Leadership & The Environment (IYLEP program with Iraqi students/Mexican students)
  • CMR High School AP Art Class (Great Falls) - 6 Part Series on Passion Determining & Next Step Planning
  • SOMT (Special Olympics of Montana in Great Falls - Individual Coaching with VP's
  • PowerHouse Montana (Great Falls/Bozeman) - Connecting/Networking: The Mentor/Mentee, Sitting at the Table, I Am and I Will
  • GFCMSU (Great Falls College Montana State University) - 3 Part Series on Emotional Intelligence as it applies to Servant Leadership
  • GFCMSU - Panel facilitation on the subject of How to Connect & Network

Now, I am adding another piece to the puzzle. My sister, Haley Van Heel, will be joining me in this pursuit.

Have you ever walked into a business and you have an instantaneous gut reaction that either leads you forward or pulls you away? Maybe you didn't even make it to the door with the feeling you experienced. Maybe you were enticed by the ambiance and arrived at the front counter with awe. We want more businesses to give the customer experience of the latter description. We believe there are 7 Touchpoints, from external marketing to the person at the front counter, that are relevant in deducing whether this business will be successful or not. Our approach is an all-encompassing overview of the business to ensure that everything is dialed in from the point of vision to reality. As Haley and I both have extensive experience in retail, sales, and marketing, we are now ecstatic to be able to offer this expertise to our clients as of August 1st.

Get in touch

Telephone. (406) 750-1864
Email. tiffany@ignitebydesign.com
Location. Great Falls, Helena, Bozeman
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