Bicycles and Freedom

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“The less routine, the more life.” ~ Amos Bronson Alcott

This summer I began switching up my exercise routine alternating from walking everyday to sometimes biking. I haven’t had a bicycle in many years but thanks to my mother, I inherited hers, when she got a new one. At eighty plus years of age, she is still biking three or four days a week. That’s the way to keep on movin’! Most women in the generation before hers took to their rocking chairs at age 60, and now women are staying active well into their 70s, 80s and even at 90.

Its been a while since I have been on a bicycle, and I had forgotten the exhilaration that comes with using that mode of transportation. It is a very fulfilling feeling to be able to cover more ground, than on foot, in a short amount of time.

There are benefits to getting out of a rut, and doing something different. Choosing a unique vacation spot, driving roads less traveled, dressing in something new and stylistically different, eating foods that have never been tried before are just a few things we can do to add spice to our lives.

wheels of changeThere is a book by Sue Macy, a sports historian, called Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires along the Way) which explores how the bike had social impact on women allowing them to become more independent. Women’s infatuation with biking began as far back as the 1890s, and it started a slow evolution in fashion – moving away from Victorian couture. Bloomers, split skirts, and less voluminous dresses began making their entrance onto the fashion scene, which made biking easier for women and more convenient. Click for more info & ordering

Women’s activist Susan B Anthony once said of biking “I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.” Anthony’s independent thoughts remind me that I have freedom of choice. The same old story in my life needs to be replaced every once in a while with new narratives.

“I love biking in scenic Steamboat Springs, Colorado.”

Gift of A Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is an story that has been waiting to be told for many years. It is now available! Click for info & orderingAll Things Fulfilling is  brought to you by www.cornerstonefulfillmentservice.com. Where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

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Living and Learning

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“Writing and learning and thinking are the same process.” ~ William Zinsser

I had a lovely afternoon on Friday with a woman who fully embraces the concept of “life long learner.” I met her two years ago at a retreat sponsored by the United Methodist Women. Right away I was inspired by the interesting contributions she was making to our group discussions and wanted to know more about her. I’ve since learned she is an artist and a writer who is still avidly interested in the world and learning at eighty-three years of age. So young at heart, she still is in command of her own life. She swims at our local hot springs pool, volunteers weeding gardens and has a fulfilling spiritual life.

Last week, it was fun to finally see her contemporary paintings and discuss the thought process that she put into each composition. She interestingly explained the symbolism she incorporated into each of her paintings and how it related to where she was along her life path when she created them.

I took along an independently published art DVD to share with her that I knew she’d appreciate, a portrait painting demonstration, called “The Captain’s Portrait” by master painter Richard Schmid
 http://bit.ly/103RYtr. For me watching it brought back wonderful memories of 2001. I was in the audience the day the video was filmed and was attending my first live painting demonstration of a world-renown artist.

elderly paintingFrom our back and forth exchange of discussion as we watched the film together, it was evident that this woman has been a life-long art student. Although her works of art may not hang in top galleries throughout the country, she has won “Best in Show” awards. She seems to have a wonderful grasp of the concepts that were discussed in the film such as shape, form, values of light and dark, line, textures and color harmony. I shouldn’t be surprised, from the moment I met her she seemed very astute.

Just before we parted company , she told me how she has a void in her heart. Some years ago, the group of local painters who used to gather regularly at the Steamboat “Art Depot” and paint together, disbanded. She said “its much harder these days to find motivation to paint, and she misses the camaraderie greatly.”

I was reminded, once again, why art matters to young and old alike and to myself! This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Seek the Good in the World

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To love what you do and feel that it matters, how could anything be more fun?” ~Katharine Graham 

You’ve heard it time and time again, look for the positive not for the negative. Well, that is exactly what You Are Never Alone Foundation, a Vermont 5013(c) in Dorset, Vermont is focusing on between now and March 28th. The foundation is hoping to have help, around the world, in capturing and writing down ONE MILLION Acts of Caring and every community can participate! 

The idea is so simple. In your home, school, place of work, in your place of worship, or other public spaces in your community, place a “caring box” with pencil and paper in plain view. Every time you witness and catch someone in an act of kindness, write it down and put it in the box. If you see someone sharing a welcoming smile, extending a hand by volunteering to help or any other kind gesture or words that demonstrates caring, acknowledge it. Between now and March 28th focus on finding all the truly good and compassionate people around the world. 

You are never-AloneYou can go to the website for You Are Never Alone Foundation and get the resources you need to start a movement where you live. There are posters/flyers to print out, and a design to wrap around a box, so people will know to drop their testimonies of witnessing kind deeds and acts. http://bit.ly/TPEAEY

March 28 is the annual worldwide I Matter…You Matter Day and Salley Gibney, founder of You Are Never Alone Foundation has challenged people everywhere to tally up 1,000,000 caring acts by that date.

One Million Acts of Caring need not end on March 28th. You can engage in caring year round.As Salley says, “Caring is Contagious. We all need to share messages of caring, connection and hope.”  

One great act of caring would be to pass this message along and participate in the challenge!

Visit us tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Film Friday: The Great Courses

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Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. ~
John Dewey

great-courses

 Are you a person who has an insatiable thirst for knowledge? A type of brain food is currently on sale until February 15, 2013. The Great Courses ww.ordergreatcourses.com  offers educational DVDs and CDs from top college professors. Available on a full range of subjects, from the arts and humanities to history, religion, math, health and science. At very reasonable costs, you can learn and be inspired in the comfort of your home, office or while you are stuck in traffic. Some of the topics contain as many as 24 half hour lectures, most ranging in price from $19.99 to $69.99, far less than enrolling in classes at a top university or college.

Here is a small sampling of The Great Courses Offered:

  • A History of European Art
  • How to Listen to and Understand Great Music
  • Nutrition Made Clear
  • The New and Old Testaments
  • Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writers Craft
  • The Everyday Guide to Wine
  • Our Night Sky
  • Optimizing Brain Fitness
  • Practicing Mindfulness
  • The Science of Natural Healing
  • What are the Chances: Probability Made Clear
  • Secrets of Mental Math

This is just a small list of courses offered by professors from colleges such as:  University of Iowa, Johns Hopkins University, University of Virginia, GeorgetownUniversity, Northwestern, Colgate, Scripps Center for Integrative Healing, Vanderbilt UniversityDivinitySchool, Yale School of Medicine, The Peabody Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

It is important, at every age, to continue to grow for a fulfilling life. Seek new knowledge; become a life-long learner.  Baby boomers will enjoy keeping their minds active through the topics offered.  Search for brain food that suits your individual taste. Click for DVDs of The Great Courses

Visit us on Monday, on All Things Fulfilling,  where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Imparting Knowledge to Younger Generations

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There is so much we can learn from generations who came before us, if we would only listen and read about what others have to say through their writing.

On Sunday afternoon, the photography of Andrew Zuckerman and his wisdom project was featured on Rocky Mountain Public Broadcast Service (RMPBS). Zuckerman’s portrait photography is really stunning. He captured 51 important celebrity personalities who are familiar to most of us through their careers in all different fields. Each person’s image was captured, through the lens of the camera, with a pure white background; completely eliminating any distraction to the eye when viewing the aging faces. Hence, each person’s unique facial characteristics really pop. The stark photographs allow the viewer to better see beyond the external.

Zukerman’s book, Wisdom: The Greatest Gift One Generation Can Give To Another  is accompanied by a DVD. An oral recounting tells each person’s truth about life as they know it. To read more about the people who are featured in this project, Click here for info and ordering

There is also a show produced by Maryland Public Broadcast Service called My Generation, hosted by Leeza Gibbons in association with AARP.  This weekly, Emmy nominated show also highlights individuals, aged 50 and older, who have much to share with younger people about living healthy, active lives. Lifetime experience and knowledge is the basis for great words of advice. http://bit.ly/SYWDae.

 The advice and knowledge imparted in the book/DVD and the TV programs all give insight into the art of living a fulfilling life. Check them out.

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

Writing and Spiritual Journeys

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“Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.”  ~ Andre Gide

Yesterday’s blog posting led me to much deeper thoughts about the value of writing about health issues.

There are many men, women, and couples, who have found help and spiritual healing by writing about their own experiences of dealing with health issues of all kinds. If it weren’t for independent publishing, many of these stories would not be available for others to read. Important that these stories be told to help others who are going through difficult diagnoses and treatment, independent publishing serves as a valuable avenue in getting these books out to the public. Unique books, with personal stories, are often sold and marketed through e-commerce (sold on the internet).

There are many books available on cancer but there are three independently published books that I would like to mention in honor National Breast Cancer Month. To read more about these publications or to order them, please visit the links beside each title.

Fine Black Lines: Reflections on Facing Cancer, Fear and Loneliness by Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad  Click here for info & ordering

The Heroics of Falling Apart: One Couple’s Breast Cancer Journey, Julie and Dan Gordon http://bit.ly/SYjX7xClick here for info & ordering

The Cancer Odyssey Author: Margaret Brennan Brumel http://bit.ly/RAPOrHClick here for info & ordering

As a member of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association www.cipabooks.com , I have the opportunity to meet many authors who have published award-winning stories that help others. Although I do not know Julie and Dan Gordon or Margaret Bermel, I do know Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad. She is an amazing woman for many reasons, not just because she is a cancer survivor. She also has written other books about personal relationships. Each time I see her at a publishing event, we enjoy speaking with boeach other. I have observed something that she writes about – a very, very long lasting, successful marriage. She has been married 64 years, as have my parents. Her musings on what it means to have a fulfilling marriage are thoughtful and inciteful.

Although you may think your own story would not be of interest to others, I encourage people to find creative ways of telling them. It may just benefit someone else or at least yourself. It is very the reason, I told my story of childhood illness, (unrelated to cancer). For more information click on this link. Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard andwww.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Better Living Books

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Are you looking for a different assortment of books, like no other? Publications geared toward mind, body, spirit and the Earth? 

The Living Now Book Awards “Books for Better Living” has a great selection of independently published books on many topics that are popular and relevant to better living. Here are just a few categories that are judged in the Living Now Book Awards. 

  • Green Living
  • Social Activism/Charity
  • Enlightenment/Spirituality
  • Metaphysical (Astrology, Tarot, Psychic Development)
  • Healing Arts/Bodywork/Energy Techniques
  • Caregiving
  • Mature Living/Aging
  • Grieving/Death and Dying
  • Inspirational Fiction

 To see the titles of the winning books that came from thirty-six U.S. States, six CanadianProvinces and 7 overseas countries, please visit this link. http://bit.ly/RLQ8WV.

Return tomorrow for more independent publishing news from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.