Hallowed Halls of Johns Hopkins

Leave a comment

The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. ~ M. Scott Peck, author of Gifts of the Journey, In Search of Stones and The Road Less Traveled

Happy Halloween, everyone. On October 3rd, my cousin Meg Heisse and I witnessed a little hocus-pocus when we attended An Evening of Victorian Magic at Evergreen Mansion and Library, which is a Johns Hopkins University Museum. Since my cousin is a member, we attended a pre-performance reception held in the Asian red room among Chinese and Japanese collectibles. The bartenders stirred up Victorian libations and we saw up close magic tricks by David London. Mind reader indeed, out of a 52 card deck, the magician asked me to select one card and show it to others.  No slight of hand involved, through telepathic transmission he correctly identified the card I had picked. But that was just the start of the delightful evening. The magician had many more magic tricks up his sleeve once the show started and he came to the stage.

There was no need to build a stage for the evening because there is already a Victorian era theatre in the Evergreen Museum. And although there were no upper level seats for celestials to sit as in many Victorian theatres, we were told apparitions are in or about the rooms of the mansion. The theatre, painted by Russian Artist Leon Bakst, was used regularly to entertain the three Garrett boys, who at one time lived there.

The Evergreen Museum and Library was built in 1850 and became home to railroad magnate, John Garrett and his family. He was President of Baltimore and Ohio “B & O” Railroad. A little over one hundred years later, in 1952, the Italianate home from the Guilded Era was donated to Johns Hopkins University and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also in the mansion is a 30,000  volume library with much of which is English Renaissance literature. Paintings by Picasso, DegasModigliani and stained glass by Tiffany, a 23 karat gold plated bathroom all are housed in the structure. In the Asian red room I spied several pieces of Chinoiserie furniture and as I snooped around in the museum gift shop at Evergreen, I saw several beautiful publications about stained glass.

Today, my Halloween treat to our readers is a recipe for soul cakes which traditionally was the offering to others on All Hallows Eve. And here are a few pictures of our evening at Evergreen Museum and Library, too. Look carefully you might see things that fool the eye!

Some time soon I do look forward to returning to the historic Evergreen Museum to take the full tour. This wonderful landmark is only one of the institutions of the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins. Check out the others on their website.

Thank you Meg for inviting me to accompany you for the evening.

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

 

Good News: The Simplicity Concept

Leave a comment

All Things Fulfilling

simple day 2To some people, living the simple life conjures up thoughts of living out in the woods with no running water, cooking over an open fire and being entirely self-sufficient by growing one’s own crops and hunting and fishing. A bit extreme for most people in this world of modern conveniences.

The good news is there is more than one way of living a pared down lifestyle. We can chose to simplify our lives in ways that might better suit us rather than returning to the homesteading concept.

In the interest of simplifying my blog writing today, here is a link to a great article that outlines 10 ways to simplify your lifestyle. Do a little soul-searching by assessing which choice suits your interests best.

This blog is brought to you by the author of the award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons…

View original post 4 more words

Your Soul at Work

Leave a comment

All Things Fulfilling

Never work just for money or power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night.” ~ Marion Wright Edelman

If you read my blog on Monday called A Shepard’s Tea, I mentioned how combining business with spiritual-centered idea has brought personal fulfillment to me. It is a growing concept in this country that I hope we hear more about in the future. Because working an entire lifetime at something that is not personally satisfying seems to be a waste of a life and not what life is intended to be.

labor of love

The other day I came across an article from McKinsey and Company. The good news is our country needs more leaders in all aspects of industry.  At the center of leadership there needs to be certain conditions for successful outcomes. They are as follows:

  • Meaning
  • Managing Energy
  • Positive Framing
  • Connecting
  • Engaging

If you wish to know more…

View original post 84 more words

A Girl’s Best Friend

Leave a comment

To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart. ~ Thomas J. Watson

hairdressers are a girls best friend

I’ve often thought that a hairstyling salon could be the best incubator for a creative book idea. There is something that makes people open up when they sit in a chair at any beauty shop. Have you ever noticed that? What is it? People literally “let their hairdown.” I suppose because it’s pretty relaxing when you get a haircut.

Last week I had my tresses trimmed and I felt as if Valentine’s Day came early I had such nice treatment. I got a style that’s fitting for me and before I walked out the door, I was offered a sweet treat. A little round brownie decorated with pink and white icing and candy sprinkles.

Thank you,  Sharon and Lisa, at my favorite and perhaps the most affordable salon in town.

3d895e6f816dde96cfacc0df7e942a94 (1)

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

A Pioneer in a Field

Leave a comment

Shoot for the Moon

Quote by: Norman Vincent Peale

Have you read the debut novel by Amy Brill, The Movement of Stars? I just finished it and enjoyed a book club discussion of the publication with a group of United Methodist women.

Knowing so little about astronomy, when I first began reading Brill’s novel I was concerned that I may not be able to get through the astronomical details. How wrong I was. I became quickly involved in the relationship of the two main characters whose lives intersected. They seemed to have a deep understanding of one another due to parallel themes that ran throughout their lives. Both were strangers in a strange land, each deemed by their culture to be a people who should be denied to dream and excel.

As I became involved in the narrative, I  could see how necessary the astronomical details were to the heart of the story. Brill’s writing about the planetary world was written as tightly as possible to convey the story of a well-rendered fictional personality based on a real life person, Maria Mitchell. She was a pioneer in her field, the first professional woman astronomer.

I felt the author did an admirable job of crafting an historical novel and I would argue with some reviewers who said “the central character was too staid.” After all, she was a Quaker who the author aptly portrayed with the values of her culture.

5 star

This blog is brought to you by the author of the EVVY award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

 

Conversations about Kindness

Leave a comment

Kindness is just love with its workboots on. ~Author Unknown

Do you think traits such as kindness and compassion can be taught or are some people endowed with these traits from the start (innately)?

Many educators feel character education is the only way to reduce bullyng in schools.

YouAreNeverAloneFoundation.org has found a way to involve children in their program “I Matter, You Matter: Let’s Start the Conversation.”

In fact, school kids put their most pressing questions down on paper hoping to help improve their relationships with schoolmates, their families and friends. Through practicing empathy and understanding other’s points of view, the goal of this program is to advance listening and compromising skills and provide help in identifying one’s own feelings, too.events_kindmatter_overview_logo Teachers, your school can become involved, and the questionnaire that is being used in schools to begin the dialogue between children can be downloaded on-line. 

Caring coins are also available with this program, which is an easy way to pass a message from person to person. More than 176,000 of these wooden coins have been shared around the world as a part of the YANAF mission. It started at the grassroots level to inspire caring connections in our community and the greater world by providing hands on opportunities to be kind.”

If you are concerned about our future generation of children, please spread the word about this program.

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

Practice the Pause

Leave a comment

The greatest failure is the failure to try. ~William Ward

Join us today and tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling as I relate how I started my New Year by trying a new up and coming healing arts experience….

I arrived at Neptune Healing & Float Spa, knowing a little about what to expect because I had read the arrival instructions and watched their video describing the benefits.  I know myself well enough to know my biggest challenge would be surrendering fully to the experience by shutting down my mind, trusting the environment (the bouyancy of the water) and just enjoying the total experience.

neptune floatMy apprehension came from wondering whether I would be cold (although the water was said to be skin temperature) and could I float for an entire hour? I am not a person who puts my feet up very often but rather inclined to be engaged in doing something constantly. The very reason I decided to engage in the mind/body/spirit experience in the first place – to practice the pause!

My uneasiness about trusting the environment was laid to rest immediately as I climbed into the “pod” and let myself be lifted, being fully supported by the density of the salt water.

I kept the pod covering open simply because once I began floating I was much too comfortable to change positions to close it. While the room faded into darkness a few minutes after I began my float, I keep the spectrum of multi-colored lights on under the water in the pod. I also requested that the music stay on. It was bearly audible but it kept me entirely focused on enjoying the experience.

When the hour was over I couldn’t believe it. My concerns about being in the pod for one hour and being cold were ridiculous. Nothing more than a case of worrying about something before it even happens!

Tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling, I’ll tell you more about the benefits of “practicing the pause.” Floating has come into one of the top 10 wellness trends to watch for in 2016 and tomorrow we will be sharing articles that tell you why!

This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, Sue Batton Leonard.