Helping Children Map a Future

Leave a comment

Here is the treasure chest of the world – the public library, or a bookstore.” ― Ben Carson, Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence

Baltimore, Maryland. The home of Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College, Towson University, and many other colleges and outstanding schools in the greater Baltimore area.

A few weeks ago, I returned to Towson, in the suburbs of Baltimore, to do a book signing at Ukazoo Books for my memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. I found out something related to literacy and education that I didn’t know existed.

Towson, the town of my native roots,  is the home of The Carson Scholars Fund. This non-profit organization awards top performing students (both academic and humanitarian) through their scholarship program (Carson Scholarships). It also provides funding to schools to build libraries where children can learn to appreciate reading and books outside of a classroom in a comforting and warm environment provided for their enjoyment.

To date, The Carson Scholars Fund, which was started in 1996 by Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon, Ben Carson and his wife Candy has awarded 6200 scholarships and provided funding to 100 libraries. The scholarships have been given to deserving students in 50 U.S. States.
Ben Carson.We are so very fortunate to have in this country, outstanding citizens who are helping children map a future for themselves. Their generosity in giving scholarship money and building resources such as libraries and institutions of higher learning is what sets our country apart and makes it “America the Beautiful.” I read this book and I  put in on my recommended reading list.

To discover more about The Carson Scholars Fund, please visit and explore this website.http://www.carsonscholars.org/dr-ben-carson/general-information.

This blog is brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her EVVY award-winning memoir, an anthology of stories called Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt

Need for Mountains of Creativity

Leave a comment

Entrepreneurship, inspiration, and putting faith in one’s own creativity are all the things that excite me about the world of independent publishing. It is a field that has brought vast changes (with an eye on sustainability) by doing things differently than in the past.
brainstorming

Some time ago on All Things Fulfilling, I posted a blog about a TedX talk which I think bears repeating. I believe the speaker, Chuck Scranton, had some wonderful things to say about the future of education, how to engage students in classrooms and what today’s children need so that they are prepared with skills that go beyond what students of the past have been taught. It is all about encouraging creativity and active learning.

Parents and educators, this issue is very important. So please listen in to The Immovable Mountain. https://allthingsfulfilling.com/tag/that-immovable-mountain/.

Is there something more you can do to help support your child’s mind, interests and creativity? Our country’s future depends on new industry, creative thinkers and “pioneers” working in ways that are different than the same old-same old ways of doing things. The new generation will need to work in ways that will lead America forward to new eras of discovery.

Interested in reading about more ways you can foster your child’s creativity? Here is also a good article. http://bit.ly/10dKjtG.

Today and everyday is a great day for brainstorming! Don’t forget to write down your ideas!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her book Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/1te9k2F

Turning Points

Leave a comment

Nothing is predestined. The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” ~ Ralph Blum

air raidsOver the last week, I have been writing  about freedom of our country. Today’s topic concerns my own journey toward independence from what was to my life as it is today.

The first four years of my elementary school education were spent at Hampden Elementary School in Towson, Maryland. Those years held some uncomfortable times for me as a student and also uncertainties for our country. Remember air raid practices?

Overcrowded conditions in Towson and in other growing post war suburban neighborhoods led to the building of  new schools. In fifth grade I began attending Cromwell Valley Elementary School.

Cromwell is now  a magnet school. It was recently nationally recognized for it’s excellence in outstanding technology programs. http://towson.patch.com/groups/schools/p/towson-magnet-schools-earns-national-award-for-excellence.

cromwell valley elementary schoolIn retrospect, Cromwell probably holds happier memories  than Hampden Elementary. By the time I entered fifth grade, I was really getting stronger from my “pioneering” heart surgery at Johns Hopkins. A chance at new beginnings.

Two years later, when I was in seventh grade, one memorable day in the gym became a real turning point. That day is recounted in my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, in the chapter titled Stronger than You Think.

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

Photo above:  The second of my two elementary schools.

Tugs of Heart Strings

1 Comment

tugof war Do you remember playing tug-of- war on the play ground?

The physical education teacher marked the the pavement with chalk, threw down a hefty rope and teams were chosen at the discretion of the teacher or the team captains. Then began the battle to see which team had the greatest strength and persistence and could pull the other team over the line.

A few weeks ago when I talked with Kiwanis, I read aloud a chapter from my memoir called Having Faith in Oneself. Essentially it is about Fanny’s advice to me about the feelings I had when I was left out of the crowd on the playground due to my childhood illness. Fanny is the stellar character in my memoir who was a very sage woman.

Now that I am an adult, I understand what she was hinting at in one of our heart-to- heart conversations. One day she said “Sue, there ain’t no one who don’t play tug of war in life. Sometimes we is among the lighthearted and sometimes we are wid da heavy hitters. Dem knots in da rope is what helps us to learn to hang on and to roll wid da punches.” There is a lot of truth in that! But it is more fun to play nice. Tug of War Shel Silverstein This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. Click here for information about Sue’s memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  

Storytelling for the Sake of Others

Leave a comment

Stories are how we learn. The progenitors of the world’s religions understood this, handing down our great myths and legends from generation to generation. —Bill Mooney and David Holt,Storyteller’s Guide (American Storytelling)

I’m looking forward to this evening. I’ve been invited as a guest to attend an event called Stories! It Takes Roots to Bloom! A year or two ago I was invited to attend this annual event organized by the Steamboat Christian Church . The first time I attended it I thoroughly enjoyed myself, so I am thrilled to be welcomed back.  The night revolves around telling stories orally.

When I gave an author talk at my own church, The United Methodist Church of Steamboat http://www.umcsteamboat.org on May 5th, I mentioned my strong belief in the importance of telling stories to help other people and to preserve culture. It makes no difference what religion you practice because those that relate to what an author has to say will appreciate it.

In my opinion, we all come to our faith (or not) through our own experiences, which is just one point of my memoir “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.” Some people are exposed to very traditional teachings and some come from unique and varied viewpoints, which makes for an interesting American culture.Click here for Info & Ordering on Sue’s memoir

gift of a lifetime image from Amazon_

Several of our We Write Steamboat members are members of this congregation. They have published their stories in testimony to how their faith has made a difference in their careers. Courtney Diehl, an equine veterinarian shares stories about her dealings with horses and their owners. It is  filled with humor that anyone will enjoy. She also gives an accounting of trying to build a successful practice. At the root of her business is her faith that she will make it as a mobile veterinarian.Click here for info & ordering Horse Vet

courtney diehl book large
“Doc Dawn” Dawn V Obrecht, M.D. is a physician specializing in addiction. Her first book is about her medical missionary trips to far off places around the world helping  people who have been devastated by natural environmental disasters. She also has other publications that she has written designed to help those struggling with addiction. These are wonderful examples of personal stories told for the sake of others.Click her for info on all of Dawn V Obrechts books

mission possible

I’d like to extend a thank you to the Director of Women’s Ministry at the Steamboat Christian Church for inviting me. I am sure it will be an inspirational evening.

Do return on Monday! This blog brought to you by http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com and author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Sue’s publication, click on this text.Gift of a Lifetime – Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Coping Skills and Economy

Leave a comment

Entitlement is the opposite of enchantment.” ~ Guy Kawaski

Yesterday after I wrote about my college escapades in my  hand-me-down car, I began thinking of how different life is now for students compared to when I was in college in the early 1970s. My sister and I were very fortunate to even have had a vehicle to share in college because the majority didn’t. We were thrilled to death to have inherited the old “jalopy.”

When the budget was low and we ran low on gas money, we pooled our funds with our girlfriends. Back then, giving credit cards to college students was unheard of – most families operated on a cash only basis. If you had built a good reputation or were good friends with the shopkeeper, sometimes they did extend credit in emergency situations. gas rationing

Back in 1973 it didn’t matter who you were or what kind of car you drove, you were not entitled to having a full tank of gas at anytime of day or night. It was the days of gas rationing. My sister and I had to plan our 500 mile treks home from school vacations very carefully. We could only purchase gas on certain days and at some gas stations there was a 10 gallon limit.

To take things even further – we had to wait in line to use the pay telephone if we wanted to call our parents. And forget calling  on a whim – every telephone call cost dearly.There were no package plans! On Sunday evenings, every two weeks, we called home. And the time allotment had two be split between two talking heads, mine and my sisters.

Do you think young adults in today’s society have the same kind of coping skills as in previous generations? I’d like to hear from you.

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

Crossing it from the Vocabulary

Leave a comment

cross_your_heart2God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. ~ Voltaire

“Jine and Sue,” Fanny said one day, “I don’t want to hears you say it no mo.’ Not one mo’ time,” she said sternly.

“What?” Jan (my sister) or  (Jine, as Fanny called her), and I inquired, “ What were we saying? We aren’t doing anything wrong.”

“You is makin’ promises and sayin’  ‘Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die.’  Dats da worstest,” Fanny said shaking her head, “whoever made up dat sayin’ has gots it all wrong!”

Remember using that expression when you were a kid? Whoever came up with that lousy expression anyway? Researchers have learned so much about the effects of positive spirit on health. http://mayocl.in/1iigiNw.

Although I know I did say “Cross my heart and hope to die”  plenty of times in my childhood when making a promise, I certainly didn’t understand the meaning of it as a youngster. One thing I knew for sure, even though I never understood the magnitude of my childhood illness, is that I didn’t want to die! I had too many other things going for me- a menagerie of animals, a sister,  two brothers, parents and friends who I knew cared for me. And what about my beautiful grandparents and my funny Fanny? I didn’t want to leave any of them behind!

I think rather then taking prayer out of schools, and eliminating “The Pledge of Alliance to the Flag, Under God” from classrooms, “Hope to Die”  needs to be eliminated from all children’s vocabulary when making promises. Children need to know  “Cross Your Heart,” plain and simple, works much better.

Fanny always said, “If you thinks yo’ life is bad, go poke ’round in someone else’s for a little while! Dare is always someone on dis Earf  who ain’t got what you gots. Be grateful.”

cross your heart

As an adult, I know Fanny was right. In her own funny way she was trying to get my sister and me to realize that living well means having appreciation for all that we have been given, including choosing life.

Wondering more about what my funny Fanny said about living? You’ll have to read my memoir. I have had  many people contact me since my memoir “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected”, was published who said “they wished they had someone in their lives who lived with such heart and soul when they were growing up.” Sue’s memoir

 

2014 Colorado Citizen of the Arts

Leave a comment

The strength of every democracy is measured by its commitment to the arts.” ~Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation

Today, I would like to acknowledge someone in our community! Photographer Jim Steinberg was recently named 2014 Colorado Citizen of the Arts. What a wonderful honor! http://bit.ly/1ky7g2V.

According to Steinberg’s website “he has traveled more than two million miles around the globe pursuing his passion for photography.” He and his mustard color 1980 Volvo station wagon have traveled many of these miles together. His car has been the subject of an article in the Steamboat Pilot. To read the full story, follow this link. http://bit.ly/1cSbImv .

His last book, Colorado Scenic Byways, Taking the Other Road won the 2008 Colorado Book Award in the pictorial category, as well as Forward Magazine’s 2009 National Book of the Year in the travel category. His stunning calendars featuring Colorado landscapes are also award-winners.

But, that is not all about Jim as an artist. He has proven himself to be a top-notch mentor and teacher for photography students. His workshops provide opportunities for students to travel with him in hot pursuit of captivating great scenes as well as intimate landscapes.

Chances are you have may seen some of Steinberg’s photographs in National Geographic, Backpacker, Audubon and Nature Conservancy magazines or other outdoors magazines.

Colorado Less TraveledSteinberg’s books provide treasured gifts for those who love Colorado as a place to ski, hike, live or travel. The outstanding panoramas that Colorado is known for are skillfully and exquisitely captured in all Portfolio Publications, including his calendars A Year in Colorado, the #1 Winner of the National Calendar Awards for 10 years running.

For more information on Steinberg’s award-winning publications, photo tours, photographic prints and calendars, please visit his website. Jimsteinbergphotography.com.

This blog brought to you by www.cornerstonefulfillmentservice.com. A space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

Do return to All things Fulfilling tomorrow!

Fulfillment of Career Dreams

2 Comments

Everything worthwhile in life is work.  But if it puts a smile on your face, it doesn’t feel like work. ~ Unknown

world university games 2013 ItalyI am very excited for my husband! He has an opportunity coming up that not many in his profession get to experience. He was just selected to be one of the ski coaches at The World University Games in Trentino, Italy. These are the Olympic Games for college students. Coaches and athletes from all over the world will be attending!

He is deserving of it because over the years he has used his great motivational skills in helping young people to understand that there is value in working hard. His message to his athletes is that even if you don’t come home with top prize, knowing that you did your best there is great reward in that – called personal fulfillment. His universe, outside of his family, has been the world of ski racing. He would say “His career of working with very high-level performance athletes has been very fulfilling.” I can not imagine him doing anything else for a lifetime career.

ski racerPeople think that coaching ski racers is all glamour and fun. Hardly! Have you ever tried standing out on a mountain, at a high elevation where the air is thin, in blinding snowstorms day after day with your hands and feet so frozen that your toe nails fall off at the end of the winter season? Or have you tried driving thousands and thousands miles each winter in a van packed with athletes and gear after a long day on the mountain, on roads so treacherous that if you blink at the wrong time you’ll end up in a ditch or worse? That’s exhausting and a lot of responsibility.

The World University Games officially kick off November 9th, and guess who will be lighting the torch? Pope Francis! To read more about the World University Games, please visit this website. http://www.wugusa.com/pope-francis-will-trentinos-torch/.

Congratulations, Terry! You will represent ColoradoMountainCollege with honor, as well as your colleagues – the other coaches in your profession. Enjoy it. It’s your reward for all the years of your service to a demanding profession.

Return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. The blog of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Thoughtful Thursday: Opening Up Discussion

Leave a comment

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.