A Pioneer in a Field

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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.

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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.

 

From Lightweight to Weightlessness

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You don’t realize that you are weighed down all the time by yourself, and your organs, and your head. ~ Mary Roach, author of Stiff

“How was your float?” Valerie McCarthy, Owner of  Neptune Healing & Float Spa asked as I exited the private suite that held the pod (or tank) and shower area where I had spent an hour engaging in the closest thing I have come to nirvana.

“Wonderful! I guess it is the first time I have truly experienced total weightlessness.” Think about it, even when we are trying to float in salt water of the ocean, we are fighting against the tides and body beating waves. The high concentration of epsom salt in the float pod was beyond any other buoyancy I had yet to experience. I am a lightweight, and don’t have much body mass to move around, but still taking all weight off my structure (and brain!) was something I have never known -a complete yielding for one blissful hour. I believe I may have fallen asleep for a few minutes. However, Valerie said I may have reached the theta state (that gray area when you are not sure if you are awake or asleep).

The relaxed, “putty-like” feeling continued throughout the day and that night I slept like a baby (although admittedly, I often do). Every tension of 2015 was removed while I “practiced the pause” and drifted unsinkable in the pod.

float podFloating is said to be one of the top ten wellness trends to watch in 2016 and it is even being used in athletic science. Top athletes are jumping in the pod to relieve muscle aches and pains and reduce stress to improve performance.  Floating is also said to increase creativity. Rehab facilities are including float pods for their athletes. According to an ESPN article Stephen Curry is among those elite athletes who is taking advantage of this wellness modality.

I am feeling rejuvenated and have a sense of well-being about the New Year. Bring it on 2016, bring it on!  I am ready!

I would highly recommend this experience. I can see how floating could be even more beneficial to mind/body and spirit on a regular basis.

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

Weekend Fall Craft Projects

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October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen.” ~ Hal Borland

I’m posting this image today because October is Applejack Month.

df3d11b86d421ecc7280f18a26aa1c5b One of my favorite craft projects from Girl Scouts was making dried apple people. If it looks like a fun project to do in October with your children or grandchildren, here is how. 

Another of my favorite craft projects was making bookmarks by pressing colorful autumn leaves between two pieces of waxed paper and ironing it.

A few years ago, when I was helping in a children’s Sunday School class, I learned that the bookmark project can be modified but putting shavings and tiny pieces of left over crayons between two pieces of waxed paper and ironing it to create a stained glass window effect. A beautiful, quick weekend craft project!

Tasty-Kitchen-Blog-Pumpkin-Spice-Apple-CiderIn honor of Applejack Month, I’d like to share this recipe for Hot Spiced Apple Cider with you. Perhaps you can make the concoction over the weekend to sip as you decorate your home for Halloween.

What are you doing this weekend? I am going on a one day road trip so I can have a change of scenery before the snow flies. Perhaps I will find something fulfilling to write about! See you back here on Monday!

If you enjoy reading the blogs posted on this site, don’t forget to bookmark All Things Fulfilling on your computer or on the right hand side of the page you can subscribe and have each posting delivered directly to your mailbox – free of charge!

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 of Heart & Soul.  

Pairing Health, Humor and Children

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Were you paying attention? Sometimes it is the little things that count. Did you see the reference between the medical school mentioned on the August 25th  blog posting on www.allthingsfulfilling.com and a highly treasured author of children’s literature? Go to Celebrate Aging  and play I SPY and see if you can figure it out.

The beginnings of the creative talent of “the doctor” who has brought millions of children joy became clear to me when I read an article in the September/October 2015 issue of Yankee Magazine. Here is an article that explains it even more.

Now, there is a new generation of books from the Cat in the Hat Learning Library that teach youth the basics of healthy living. They are part of the Healthy America program for Children.

Since future generations of children will benefit from the knowledge aspiring physicians acquire through this famed health institution and its research facility, it seems only logical that the medical school carries the name of an alumni. He has brought smiles to faces of children in many countries through his 47 books. Check it out!

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Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Artistic Whimsy and Ingenuity

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What’s life without whimsy? ~ Dr Sheldon Cooper – The Big Bang Theory

I like the concept of taking old things that some people might consider to be passe´and bringing them back through the process of “upcycling.” The artistic ingenuity that goes into reusing and redesigning found old items into something unique strikes my interest. Not to even mention that fewer items are now being sent to landfills.

In my own home, I like the juxtaposition between old and new. Over the years I’ve incorporated some antiques into my home décor.  It allows for variety and one’s own personality and unique preferences to really shine through. Each person’s interpretation of what makes a home comfortable and attractive is different. And I find it fulfilling to see how people artistically embellish their living environments, rather than using “cookie cutter” interior decorating style.

A few artists at Art in the Park in Steamboat Springs exhibited “upcycled” work that I particularly enjoyed. Chelles Painted Décor by Michelle Welch was one artist whose work struck a chord within me for her book night lights and other home accessories which had colorful glass plates incorporated into their design.  Her booth space was particularly attractive and showcased her crafts well. There was a lot of thought put into her set-up. Here are a few images.Visit her Facebook page!

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Up-Cycled Antiques had a great assortment of wind chimes made with old kitchen utensils. Their whimsical approach to art made me smile. After all, life shouldn’t be taken too serious. It spoils all the fun! Here are a few images  I captured and you can visit their Facebook Page or their etsy.com site to see more of their creations.

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That’s all for today, folks. We will be here again tomorrow and I hope you’ll check in on us!

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.

Good News: It’s All There

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“In a knowledge economy natural selection favors organizations that can most effectively harness and coordinate collective intellectual energy and creative capacity. ~ Justin Rosenstein

There is a new website, just launched on Tuesday called Guardian Sustainable Business. It is organized by some of America’s top companies such as Google and Coca Cola. The  mission behind GSB is to “rethink the prosperity hub.” It’s target audience will be 18 to 30 year olds who will be our next generation of business leaders. It’s hoped they will do things with an eye on sustainability.

sustainable world“The aim is to provide a dynamic showcase of technologies, campaigns and entrepreneurs for young people to participate in, celebrate, share and draw on to change their own lives and the lives of others.” According to this article, the good news is “everything we need to co-create a sustainable world is already out there.”

The human creative spirit will be relied on to bring about much change in the way people live. I must ask, is that not what brought America to its prosperous rankings the world in the first place?

Interested in learning more about Guardian Sustainable Business? Click on this link. Sign up to get mailings and become informed about how as a nation we can harness everything we’ve got and move into a more sustainable place as a nation.

Next Thirsty Thursday, the day of the week devoted to good news, we will follow up this story with another about children entrepreneurs who are climbing the corporate ladder with their digital knowledge.

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

Stimulating-Creative-Energy

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If we look for it, there is good news every day of the week, not just on Thirsty Thursday. So the good news for today is – “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~ Maya Angelou

Back on December 29, 2014 I posted an article on All Things Fulfilling about Jonathan Lehrer’s book called Imagination. If you missed the blog, you can go back and read Spinning Yarns.

The blog was about my decision to take a creative writing course because I had read so much evidence including Jonathan Lehrers book, called Imagination on the importance of seeking out opportunities to use our creativity.

Everyone-Has-A-Creative-GiftIf you are a person who has never explored the creative aspect of your brain, it’s never too late to discover your creative gifts. It’s been said that creativity builds more creativity. To use some popular buzz words, our imagination is a renewable resource. I’ve noticed in myself that once the right side of the brain gets triggered, one thing leads to another as the creative energy is stimulated.

Neurologists say certain conditions are conducive to stirring the imagination. If you are interested in learning more about how creativity works, there is a minute and a half video that explains what scientists have discovered about the array of distinct mental processes that happens in the brain when we fan our flame of creativity. It’s fascinating. Listen in!

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.