Meet Me at The Movies

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Healing Art is being born as we speak. The concept is catching fire, is awakening in people’s spirits…Artists, musicians and dancers are realizing their imagery has meaning….that their imagery heals them, others, their neighborhood, or the earth.” ~ Michael Samuels

meet me at the moviesThe Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington is partnering with several organizations to bring back classic movies because of their power to connect seniors with memories. The Alzheimer’s Association’s Western and Central Washington Chapter and the University of Washington School of Nursing along with Artists for Alzheimer’s/I’m Still Here Foundation have sponsored Meet Me at the Movies to celebrate film and it’s ability to stir the human emotions. An interesting partnering isn’t it? It speaks to the power of art to heal.

During the great Depression, people flocked to the movies because the entertainment cinema provided gave them relief from every day stresses. The eldest of the eldest of our country’s population, those in their late “renaissance years” remember the Golden Age of Movies and dancing every Saturday night. Alternatively, family and friends sat huddled together in front of the radio engaged in shows that united people and provided diversions to forget the financially difficult times and as ways to uplift their spirits.

Stories through the decades whether by film, book or through audio listening inspire, influence, entertain and change lives.

Do return on Monday. Next week I’ll have a few announcements! Have a great weekend.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Her publications are available in audio, paperback and e-book format.

Thirsty Thursday: Going Dutch

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Looking at things through the eyes of people who have very different experiences and assumptions than you do can be like food for the brain,” ~ Tom McBride

I happened upon a story that I like a lot. So, on this Thirsty Thursday, a day of the week dedicated to good news, we are going to visit a story from the Netherlands. It is about a creative living arrangement for the elderly and college students.

In short, there is an eldercare facility in the Netherlands who is letting college students live free so long as they agree to one condition – they must do their part in volunteering 30 hours a month to help the elderly. All sorts of unexpected benefits come out of the arrangement for both parties.

The six college students who have entered into the agreement have found the arrangement to be fulfilling. They like being around the seniors cooking for them, doing projects and teaching them about new things to keep the seniors interested and engaged in life.

Dutch retirement humanitas2

“Perhaps,” I think, “this intergenerational partnering will be a testing ground for the college students who are considering whether a career in eldercare is what they’ll want to put their hearts and soul into in the future.”

The senior citizens benefit because they do not feel so isolated, and it keeps them feeling young having the students around.

Other countries in Europe are beginning to look at this example as a viable option to help out both generations – college students and seniors. Read the entire article.

Senior care is changing in many ways to benefit the mind, body and spirit. Thanks to research on aging, many countries are providing a better quality of life for those in the final years. That’s good news!

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

A Term I Can Live With

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Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us…” ~ Dale E Turner

I don’t know about you, baby boomer, but I dislike the thought of becoming a senior citizen. In fact, according to AARP, they’ve determined that I became a senior citizen five or six years ago when I began getting their publications and mailings regularly. I don’t think of myself anywhere near elderly or aged. In fact, I feel as if I am just beginning to hit my stride. Writing and publishing and a side of business that has come with that has given me a new lease on life. I am very committed and passionate about what I am doing.

People are living longer and more actively into their 70s, 80s and 90s. Research shows that staying active and involved is what keeps people healthy.

As I approach the retirement years, I decided that will not use the phrase “retirement years” when I reach that landmark. I don’t much like it. I’d rather say I am in my renaissance years. I discovered that term in an article.

Renaissance denotes vigor, renewal and interest in life than a decline and giving up. It will much better fit the “next act” wheverever that appears in my life.

If you are on the verge of retirement, have you put any thought into whether you are going to retire from life or continue to live life fully? What will you do in your “renaissance years” to keep you young and healthy? Volunteering, involvement in the arts, caretaking grandchildren, activity through sports such as yoga, hiking, walking, or staying interested in our diverse world though travel?

Whatever you chose, I wish you well. I hope your renaissance years are inspiring and they include creativity.

FIND YOUR CREATIVE SPARK

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Creative Districts Rock

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Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better.” ~John Updike

Yesterday I blogged about the Yampa Valley Choral Society. It is just one of many art organizations that abound in this town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

boettcher_report_thumbnailDid you know Steamboat Springs, Colorado was recently ranked in the Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research as #14 on the Arts Vibrancy Index?

The town also has the distinction of holding 4th place in the Small Towns to Visit in 2014 in the Smithsonian Magazine. For the small community of 10,000+ people, art and culture is important to part of everyday living yet it does not always get the attention it deserves. There are changes underway which will change all that.

Steamboat Springs has become an incubator as a Colorado Certified “Creative District.” There is an interesting full article in the Steamboat Pilot Newspaper about what it takes to become a creative district and to obtain funding and support for it.

I, like many others, have found the creatively stimulating environment refreshing. Living  life outloud is a term I associate with the people of Steamboat.

How does one “live life out loud?” Here is an interesting article about what that truly means.

earth without art

That is all for now. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling!

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Stories in Music

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conducive-to-happiness[5]Every spring and fall the Yampa Valley Choral Society holds a community concert at the United Methodist Church in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This past weekend a group of 41 men and women and 10 young girls presented “I’ve Been Everywhere: It‘s the Journey That Counts.”

This year, the sound of young choral voices added to the concert. Ten young girls sang a few songs taken from film scores and musical theatre productions. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head (from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and two memorable selections from Annie – Tomorrow and It’s a Hard Knock Life (from Annie) were  included.

As usual, the arrangement of musical compositions sung by the forty-one adults were thoughtfully chosen and diverse. Spirituals included Set Me as A Seal which was paraphrased from the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament and How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place by Johannes Brahms. Words from Psalm 84 of the King James Bible were incorporated in the verses of this composition.

Karl Jenkins composition Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary was not familiar to me, however it was sweet sounding and harmonious.  Jenkins, is a Welsh composer whose album is unintended for words, rather the voices of the chorus made instrument-like noises.

Two songs had nautical backstories to them. Over the Sea to Skye tells of Charles Stuarts escape from Scotland in 1745 via ship, along with Flora MacDonald, who traveled incognito, posing as his maid. His exile took him to France where he spent the rest of his lifetime.

Dry Your Tears, Afrika,  one of my favorite tunes of the afternoon, was taken from the 1997 movie Armistad. The story is about 53 Africans who were transported by ship from Sierra Leone to be sold as slaves. They changed their destiny when they took hold of the ship and navigated it to Long Island. The events of their journey became the subject of a Supreme Court case. If you have not seen the movie, it’s powerful.

You haven’t been anywhere unless you’ve traveled across America. Songs from past Pop Hit Charts included Homeward Bound, Surfin’ USA, I’ve Been Everywhere, and I’ll Fly Away were incorporated into the concert, as well as America from West Side Story.

I never fail to learn something from the interesting backstories of the compositions that the Yampa Valley Choral Society choses to focus the themes of their concerts around. The program notes as well as the choir Director’s commentary help tell the story of each song’s rich history and their composers.

Thank you Yampa Valley Choral Society for yet another delightful hour of music. Look forward to your fall concert.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Kids on First Things First

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“Let’s remember that our children’s spirit is more important than any material goods. When we do, self esteem and love blossoms and grows more beautifully than any flowers could.” ~ Jack Canfield

On this Film Friday I share with you a video of precious children. They pretend they are married as they communicate their feelings about their “spouses”, marital relationships and how to get through the rough patches. Much of what they say we adults, whether married or not, can learn something from it.

Watch how these young children come to understand about putting family first, how to compromise and how to show appreciation for their mates strengths in the relationship.

Their insight gives one hope that the institution of marriage might survive in future generations through a program called First Things First.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

 

All is Ours Day

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Happy Thirsty Thursday! Did you know that yesterday was All is Ours Day? Don’t believe me? Look it up!

“What does this mean?” You say.

The mission behind All is Ours Day is up for individual interpretation. In my opinion, it means we can really celebrate this day any time we want because it is all about good news, following dreams and manifesting happiness! These adages speak well to what All is Ours Day is all about:

Whatever comes, let it come. Whatever stays, let it stay. Whatever goes, let it go.” ~ Unknown

Whatever you want to do, do it. There are only so many tomorrows.” ~ Michael Landon

“Chase whatever it is that fills your heart with music and make sure it’s a beat you can dance to.” – Matt Baker

You can choose to live in the third row or the front row.” -Unknown

If you talk about it and think about it, it will manifest.”~ Unknown

To my way of thinking we know it’s All is Ours Day when ~

At the end of the day

 What ever you do today, make it an extraordinary one!

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Her publications are Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.