Call Brings Fulfillment

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A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” -Amelia Earhart

Stephen Patrick Morrisey once said “there is no such thing as good news in America.” I say, “Hogwash! But clearly since each of us are human beings, we all face difficult days and periods throughout our lifetimes.

Did you hear the story about four policeman who pooled their money together ($160) to by food for an elderly man who called 911 to say he was hungry and hadn’t eaten in a few days? True story,  direct from the State of Tennessee. Watch this news clip.


Another random act of kindness has come from these caring public servants since this story.  The police officers have started a small food pantry at the station to help fulfill the needs of other citizens who are struggling. The community has rallied to provide resources to keep the shelves stocked to feed the hungry.

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See you back here on Monday, February 1st. This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Life Stories Altered

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If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders. ~Abigail Van Buren

Today’s narrative is about raising children. The other day I was in the library and picked up a copy of Psychology Today magazine and came across an article called in the October 2015 issue called Crisis U.

Long story short, the article by Hara Estroff Marano was about the “downstream consequences of kids being shielded from failure and adversity all their lives.”

“How does this happen?” You might ask.

There are a lot of psychologists, sociologists and behaviorists looking at this syndrome –  students who get great grades, yet are lacking in skills of taking care of themselves or they are developmentally delayed in their life skills. It happens due to over-involved parents or “helicopter parents.”

An expert, a dean from Sanford University recently appeared on Fox News talking about this very troubling issue facing young adults. Here is his article.

Several winters ago at Colorado Mountain College in a public speaking class, I presented a talk on Helicopter Parenting. I outlined how to  recognize the signs that indicate when parents are over-involved and the results on the behavioral patterns of young adults. I received high accolades from the teacher. She said “I fully convinced her how detrimental this is to the student.”HelicopterParentsIf you have children, I’d suggest you read these articles because a lifetime story can be altered in harmful ways when parents do not allow their children to learn age appropriate lessons (such as coping, resilience and resourcefulness) themselves. It can create a life-long dependency on parents that is unhealthy.

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.

 

 

 

Are You Tweeting with Happiness?

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what-is-emotional-intelligenceA few weeks ago as I drove 388 miles south along I-25 between Denver, Colorado and Albuquerque, New Mexico I heard a story on National Public Radio’s (NPR) All Things Considered about human behavior and social media that peeked my interest. It was a timely delivery of a story because it gave me something to ponder in my boredom.

Did you know social scientists are studying the mood of the planet through individual’s activity on Twitter?

Rises and falls in biochemicals which affect circadian rhythms may have something to do with how we feel throughout the day. Scientists say by reading an individual’s tweets, they can follow people’s mood changes throughout the day. There is a rise in positive tweets first thing in the morning and then late at night .

If the research proves to be correct, pollers and marketers will find this information valuable – “as a great way to get a pulse of what’s going on in the country,” says Scott Golder at Cornell University. Golder and his colleagues look for positive and negative words used in the tweets such as “awesome, outgoing, pleasing” or negative kinds of feelings such as “afraid, fury or fear.”

Do you think reading people’s emotions through their activity on Twitter is constructive or destructive or just a time waster? In my opinion, also tracking seasonal differences in atttitudes would make the research more credible because seasonal affective disorder has very real symptoms.

I’d like to hear from you about the validity of a study about Twitter “tweets.” Post a comment.

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

Advent Day #15 – Gentle Inspiration

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Advent Day #15: Gentle Inspiration

Life was a lot simpler when what we honored was father and mother rather than all major credit cards. ~ Robert Orben

Are you a parent who is concerned with raising children who will have their values in the right place? In today’s world of bringing up children, the challenges are different than in previous generations. Let’s be honest! There is an overwhelming focus on material things and kids feeling “entitled.” It’s what many parents are up against.

Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is written by a baby boomer who remembers when life was much simpler. There are many life lessons incorporated into the award-winning anthology of stories but you must read between the lines to get some of them. This publication is not an offensive hard core religious story and it is not full of in-your-face parenting tips. It is a “story of trust, faith, friendship and deep love for one another. Readers will be inspired by……a life most fulfilling.” ~ Barbara Gueldner, Ph.D.,MSE Licensed Psychologist

listening to booksListen to the award-winning audio book as a family. The stories, very appropriate for ages 12+,  give a jumping off point to handling those important conversations you have been meaning to have with your children. There is nothing that helps get a conversation started better than humor – that’s inside it!

To order the award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please follow these links:

Audio Book  http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback  http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book  http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

 

Twistin’ Twiggy

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What will they think of me must be put aside for bliss.”Joseph Campbell

Twiggy-4When British supermodel Twiggy burst onto the international  fashion and style scene in the 1970s, it made me feel much better as a teenager. http://www.twiggylawson.co.uk/. After all, I reasoned, Twiggy had skinny, skinny legs like me, and she had a short pixie hair cut, like mine, too. It may have been my own twisted way of rationalizing that not having long flowing locks and shapely legs like all the others girls in school was ok. The only time I did have long tresses was in my senior high school picture. I caved into peer pressure and let my hair grow out.

It can be hard when you are a child and you feel different than the others, and even worse when you become a teenager. Wanting to “fit in” is important. I feel as if I was fortunate compared to kids today, I think the times were gentler and although there was peer pressure, it wasn’t quite as intense as it is in today’s world.

One of the reasons that I published my memoir is to help children who are struggling with childhood illness. Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is a story of hope for kids and their parents. Click here for information on Sue’s memoir. The message I wish to share with sick children is that no matter what they are going through it does not have to be their entire life story. With faith, positive attitudes and medical experts, things can take unexpected turns resulting in great health, happiness and fulfillment.

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. I am going to celebrate my many years of good health by posting a blog of iconic American images that make me smile!  The pictures hearten the spirit for all Americans who love and believe in our country. Enjoy a  patriotic visual experience from All Things Fulfilling.

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

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday: Opening Up Discussion

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trevor boehm quote

Happy Thoughtful Thursday! Today, I would like to share an interview that I had with Ali Boehm earlier in the week. She owns an award-winning healing business called “Kneading Hands” Massage. She is also the driving force behind a book, authored by her brother, Trevor.  The Boehm family published “Louie’s Saxophone” to help people struggling with mental illness.

Here is our interview:

Sue: Today is the first of many Thoughtful Thursdays to come on All Things Fulfilling. I continue to be inspired by your family’s story. The loss of your brother has been turned into a positive mission.  More than a year ago, I featured your brother Trevor’s award-winning book “Louie’s Saxophone” on All Things Fulfilling and I would like to feature it once more. http://bit.ly/1auIRSD

In a few weeks you will be participating in an event at Bermis Hall at Colorado College sponsored by the National Alliance of Mental Health. You will be sharing “Louie’s Saxophone” which has the potential to help many people. Tell me  more about the event.

Ali: On November 14th (at 6:30 pm) in Colorado Springs, CO I will be a speaking out, sharing our family’s experience at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It will be an evening of story and song called Silence No More. People will also be reading poetry and expressing themselves through the power of dance. Kathy Brandt and Max Maddox will also be sharing their book “Walks on the Margins: A Story of Bipolar Disease.”

Sue: What will you will be specifically speaking about?

Ali: This time when I speak at the NAMI event, and now that more time has passed since the loss of my brother, I will be reflecting on what I think Trevor would be doing if he was still here with us.

Sue: Tell me what purpose you feel Louie’s Saxophone plays in helping people with mental illness?

Ali: That no one is alone. The book, in a gentle way, opens a door to talk about a sensitive subject matter. I believe that my brother’s struggles began at age 8, and a children’s book becomes a family place for education at a very young age.

Sue: What has your family learned about the power of books to change lives by  publishing Louie’s Saxophone?

Ali: People believe in the written word.  A book creates a space for reflection and gives power to legitimize the healing process. Initially we thought we’d do a pamphlet, but a book has more credibility.

 Sue: How does it make you feel to know that you are helping others by sharing the story Trevor left behind?

Ali: Humbled. The book is powerful and it puts me in a position that facilitates discussion. I do not have all the answers, and sometimes that is scary. But I can provide and find resources.

Ali: Where should people who are struggling go to seek help? Can you give me a few resources?

Sue: Ali, It’s been a good day if by publishing this interview on-line if we can help even a single person to know that they are not alone and they can open up about their own depression or sadness. Best to you with the NAMI event, I am so proud that you are part of We Write Steamboat networking group for independent publishers . You are sharing an important story.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

Film Friday: Patching Up Families

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Remember laughing? Laughter enhances the blood flow to the body’s extremities and improves cardiovascular function.” ~ Patch Adams

Happy Film Friday! Today’s featured movie is a throwback to 1998. Do you remember the film Patch Adams patch adams bookfeaturing Robin Williams?  The movie brought big smiles to a lot of faces, including sick children.

Did you know Patch Adams is not a fictional person? He is a doctor with a bigger than life personality – also a social activist, clown and an author. He also helped develop the Gesundheit! Institute in West Virginia. The Gesundheit! Institute is a “project in holistic medical care based on the belief that one cannot separate the health of the individual from the health of the family, the community, the world, and the health care system itself.” 

Patch adams house-callsThe Gesundheit! Institute does global outreach, and it is in the midst of planning a  Teaching Center that “will bring together artists, medical students, care practitioners, parents, and reformers to design positive ideas of health care systems, and ways to implement these ideas,” according to their website.

If your family hasn’t spent much time together lately due to the demands of life, mend things up by watching Patch Adams together, you’ll be in stitches. Robin Williams’ performance is wonderful – I highly recommend this film. Click here for info and ordering Patch Adams

Visit http://patchadams.org/campaign to read more about the concepts in holistic healing that are gaining in popularity all over the world, thanks to the Gesundheit! Institute.

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Have a good weekend. Return to http://www.allthingsfulfilling.com on Monday!

Fair and Balanced Pets

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Scratch a dog and you’ll find a permanent job. ~ Franklin P. Jones

The other day kitties had their chance to be in the spotlight on All Things Fulfilling. So as not to be accused of being a dog hater, today we will cater to canine lovers everywhere by featuring a book about man’s relationship to dogs.

tibetan mastiff

Photo Above: Tibetan Mastiff

How can anyone not like a dog? After all, dog is God spelled backwards, and I have met plenty who rule the household kingdom. Unless a dog has a specific behavioral problem, they are usually fair and balanced when it comes to trying to understand their owners. They have dogcognition and even seem to have compassion when human beings are hurting. Cats, they can be a stand-offish, often paying little attention to the people who feed them.

If you are interested to know more about what dogs think, PBS has a great article based on their NOVA Series, with questions and answers, about a dog’s emotional intelligence. Visit this link. http://to.pbs.org/14vODVZ .

Dog ma the zen of slobberLooking for a good read about the canine species? Dog-Ma – The Zen of Slobber by Barbara Boswell Brunner is a book for you. The story is about a husband and wife who rescue dogs. When life gets complicated, and deals out some challenges, the tables are turned, and the canines they’ve rescued dish out what’s needed to help the couple through rough patches. The dog’s antics will make you smile, and confirm why a dog is said to be “man’s best friend.”

To read more about Dog-Ma: The Zen of Slobber, available through Smashwords, in digital format for a very reasonable price, please visit http://bit.ly/18MD6xo .

It really doesn’t matter what kind of pet you have as long as they fill your heart with happiness. Return tomorrow to more independent thoughts, words and views from CFS.
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Journey toward Enlightenment

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Words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Okay…it’s 4:30 in the morning and any minute we’re off to the airport…Burlington VT to Newark, NJ then 14 hrs to Bejing, from there to Mongolia and the Gobi–the first leg of the journey has begun!” ~writes Clemma Dawsen from Sandgate, Vermont.

I doubt my friend Clemma has taken her feline. She’d be more likely to transport her horse. She’s an equestrian, and finds the same kind of fulfillment in owning an equine as the Dali Lama does in having a cat. If you missed the story about His Holiness and his feline, scroll down to yesterday’s blog.

clemma dawsen

Clemma is part of a group that is traveling from Vermont to Tibet to learn more about personal fulfillment. This group is made up of artists of all types. She will be journaling as she travels, she is the poet/writer of the group.

I am so proud of Clemma. She is deserving of this assignment. I met her when I worked as education coordinator at the VermontStateCraftCenter “Frog Hollow.” She is one of those kinds of people you feel as if you have known forever – warm, loving and friendly. We “clicked” immediately. Although we only worked together for a relatively short time, she has never left my heart. When we met, we had a lot in common – both of us had sons, who were only children. They attended the same high school and both boys have artistic spirits. We’d share notes on teen rearing a lot.

I encourage you to follow Clemma and her fellow adventurers on the blog Triptych Journey: The Alchemy of Stories, Art and Travel. http://triptychjourney.org/  .

The group is also comprised of a project advisor (a Buddist who has more than two dozen books on spirituality to his credit), a documentary cinematographer, a photographer, and a choreographer. Their mission “is to tell compelling world stories that speak to all of us. Using multimedia arts and expression, Triptych Journey connects audiences to vulnerable people, cultures and ecology, instilling values of conservation and preservation in a rapidly changing world.”

Happy Travels to All! I can’t wait to be enlightened about what is learned from this experience that will take  these artists to far off reaches of the world.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow.