Paper Bag Delivery

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Always remember the primary purpose of your life is living in tune with your energy pattern, find the true expression for the energy and go with the flow!”  ― Ramana Pemmaraju

So, last Wednesday I was invited out to lunch with a lady friend. I did not particularly want our time together to end. My dining companion has been a wonderful person to get to know over the past seven years. I love her spirited approach to living. At 86 years young, Nancy is moving away from Colorado to be closer to her son in California. Until now she has been a senior who has lived very independently.

She is bright, creative and her command of the English language is something I can only aspire to. She is an artist – a painter, poet, writer and a voracious learner. Despite her age, her inquisitive mind continues to ask, seek and question. I met her at church and her faith is deep.

We’ve watched Richard Schmid painting videos together, have seen the film about artist Gustav Klimt’s famous painting The Woman in Gold and other movies. We’ve had meaningful conversations traveling in the car and at various functions that we have attended together due to our common interests.

I wanted to give her a little parting gift, made from the heart  because I have so enjoyed our friendship. I delivered it to her when we had lunch together.bag

I wrote a little ditty and enclosed it in the package.It went like this:

The wind doth blow in San Francisco, you know

When you are feeling pale as heck,

Wrap these colors around your neck,

Then go out and take a short mosey

and you will feel more rosy.

I hope what I made from my heart to give to Nancy will be passed along to someone else when it’s life with her is finished. In a few weeks she will be moving along to her next destination in her life journey. But she will not be forgotten. My life has been enriched for having known her.

Here is what was inside the package.

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Look forward to seeing you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

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

Things in Store for 2014

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And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” ― Rainer Maria Rilke

It’s 2014! Time marches forward! Today, in keeping with Rainer Maria Rilke’s adage about a New Year that is full of things that have never been, I wanted to share a story of a Christmas present that Santa brought to my husband and me that I am very grateful for.

Nancy in Sherwood Forest,” a beautiful lithograph by artist Richard Schmid has been in my possession for many years now, but it had never been framed.  I loved it too much to put it in a closet. So, since it was mounted on foam board and shrink-wrapped to protect it I’ve displayed it frameless. It has given me great pleasure.

Several weeks before Christmas when I was wandering around in a consignment shop and I spied a beautiful frame, with an old distorted mirror in it. “Looks like just the right size for Nancy in Sherwood Forest,” I thought. “I think I’ll take a chance and buy it and hope for a good fit.”

I took the lithograph to Hayden Mat and Frame in Hayden, Colorado, and Jim, the proprietor measured it up. I lucked out! Sure enough, the frame was a perfect fit! Despite my concern that getting it framed before Christmas might not be possible, Jim said “I can have it ready for you for Christmas.”

“Oh, joy,” I thought! Thank you Jim Folley, for being our Santa this year! You delivered what you promised and your customer service was outstanding. I’m very grateful and the frame was well worth the wait.

I wonder what things the year 2014 has in store? 364 more days to find out!

http://www.richardschmid.com/Lithographs.idc

Nancy Sherwood2

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Treasuring Art

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 “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”   ~ Chinese proverb 

At a thrift store recently I came across an art print of Thomas Moran – imagine my delight! It seemed like a God thing – the image was just sitting there waiting for someone who’d appreciate it to pick it up . I gave in to my desires and purchased it – a real deal. I am very grateful to have the Moran art print hanging on my wall. He was one of the greatest illustrator and colorists of all times.

Every evening the week before last, I had been watching Ken Burns’ documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.  http://bit.ly/182xh1NMoran’s name was mentioned as one of the top landscape painters of the 19th century who ventured west. I learned he traveled to YellowstoneNational Park from the Hudson RiverSchool in New York, in the summer of 1871, to document on canvas what others described as a place where “hell bubbled up.”

Many artists traveled westward in the early days of the founding of the U.S. National Parks and they continue to be favorite places for artists who are seeking inspiration. Artists still go to paint, photograph and write about the dramatic landscapes in these protected government lands which are far more unique than many other places across the United States. Ralph Waldo Emerson described the National Parks as places where “God is more easily found in nature than in the works of man.” 

Lots of people find personal fulfillment in poking around in thrift shops. You never know what treasures you might find. I scored!

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow!

Planting Technology Seeds Early

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“Some people are really drawn to technology and I liken them to artists.” ~ Mitchell Baker

I’m sorry but you can’t tell me that e-books are a passing fad. I read an article the other day that convinced me that we have only begun to realize the magnitude of advancing digital technology.

200449942-001The article was about eight year old children who are learning computer code in schools. The article supports the importance of keeping school curriculum current and relevant with advancing technology and doing away with outdated ways of teaching and learning.

Young children are those who, in the future, will  drive independent publishing and digital technologies to areas that we can adults can not even fathom. We can personally resist reading e-books and continue reading books in print, but the reality is that e-books are becoming a growing presence in our world. Electronic books are what the next generation of readers will want because they are so accustomed to using digital technology. In the end, it will become all about supply and demand.

To read more about Why Your Eight Year Old Should be Coding, here is the link.
http://bit.ly/Z39yLr .

It concerns me that if American schools do not have the resources to keep up with other countries, our workforce will be supplying products that people don’t even want or can not use and this country’s workers will not have skills that will  be useful in business. Knowing how to write computer code will be an advantage  for all kinds of careers in the future.

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.

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.

A Literary Teabox

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Change your thoughts, change your life. ~ Unknown

A Literary Teabox! I like that idea – something to dig into when creativity is low and a pick-me up is needed.

The box is stuffed with things that help stir and brew up inspiration – combination treasure trove and fortune cookie, less the calories and carbohydrates.

Don’t get it? See the box – what’s in it? Words of wisdom – “quotable quotes” from all kinds of people.

Make your own literary teaboxes as gifts.  Keep it creative and loose so it will be meaningful to friends with different passions. A thoughtful,  inspirational gift for writers or other artists, self-improvement junkies, sports enthusiasts. Want to learn more about using affirmations for positive change, please visit this website http://bit.ly/XkUS9l.

Add instructions for how to use with best results: When you awake, open the box and read a quote. Let it brew and steep as you think about the hours ahead. Then let the words invigorate you and infuse you with energy. Go about your day in a fulfilling kind of way, perhaps by reading a book that has a lot of heart and soul. My suggestion:Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Happy Monday!

literary teabox 21

Photo composition/design and Photo credit: ©Sue Batton Leonard

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.

Ergo! Readers Reign Supreme!

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Consider the postage stamp:  its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.”  ~Josh Billings

When I began this blog site, All Things Fulfilling, I had arbitrarily set a goal of reaching 10,000 readers. Guess what? Yesterday I hit the mark! What a fulfilling day this is!

 I knew before starting this blogsite  there were folks searching for  specialists in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers. I was also well aware that writers, artists, filmmakers, musicians, educators, professionals and other “creative types” were becoming ever more interested in the industry called “independent publishing or non-traditional publishing.” But, I really was not sure how this blog site would be received. The result has been very gratifying!

I owe a huge Thank You to every reader of All Things Fulfilling. Each of one of you make blogging worthwhile. Whether you live in Steamboat Springs, Colorado or reside somewhere else around the globe, we are essentially one big community of people who believe in the power of independent thoughts, words and views. 

 I’ve enjoyed the journey of reaching 10,000 readers. I appreciate the comments and  discussions I have had with a community of people who share the same interests as I do. There will be more exciting news from All Things Fulfilling in the coming months so stay tuned!

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Living with Art and Soul

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A fellow who does things that count, doesn’t usually stop to count them.”  ~Variation of a saying by Albert Einstein

The Japanese people have been in the hearts and minds of so many of us in past weeks. The aftermath of a tsumani, an earthquake and fears of radiation contamination are what the people of Japan are coping with right now.  Despite catastrophic events that are enough to turn any country into chaos and confusion, it has been widely reported that the Japanese people are calm and have a cooperative demeanor. 

Traumatic occurrences in our lives leave us feeling helpless, out of control and at a loss. Coming to light are heart-warming stories of Artists and others who are raising funds, in their own creative ways, for the victims of the devastated country of Japan. It is fulfilling to hear of instances of people, communities and countries coming to the assistance of each other. It gives us faith that there are, indeed, compassionate individuals who are leaders in this world. When communities of people and individuals have benevolence and generosity of spirit, rebuilding of lives and healing can begin. 

In era of independent publishing, many non-profit organizations are sharing their missions of building a better world through the power of documentary films. Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, a project of a Tribe of Heart, a non-profit documentary filmmaking organization, brings awareness to the interconnectedness of life all over the globe. Living by commitment to kindness and respect for others and this earth, we can become agents for change. For more information on this award-winning film, please visit http://bit.ly/hQtDEi.

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An Eagle Eye Approach

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He is a great communicator and teacher. He knows how to fix things when they go wrong.” ~ Kevin Steele 

Over the past week or two, my son and I have had a running conversation about deadlines, and how they become the all consuming focus for so many writers, filmmakers and artists. 

Sometimes in the rush to meet a deadline, details that are critical to the success of a project are often overlooked. Yes, rewriting or redoing is arduous and laborious, but, it is not worth risking quality for the sake of just getting the project done and out the door. Presenting a project that is representative of your capability as a talented artist is vital. 

Before the deadline, it is wise to have someone take a hard-line objective look at the project you have been so deeply engaged in. An opinion without bias can serve you well! This step should not be ignored, nor should it be left as a final detail. Suppose there are things that need to be reworked? 

Meticulous does not mean being inflexible. It means caring and putting your very best forward. Think of it this way, what do you look for when you are at the other end? Quality, probably!

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Switching Gears

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Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things  in  a different way.” ~ Edward de Bono

I am amazed at the versatility of  some artists! Last week, a few members of the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra came to our weekly Kiwanis International meeting to give us all a short presentation on their programs, upcoming events and to showcase the talents of a few of their professional violinists. There before me stood two women, who produced a magnificent range of harmonious sounds that were representative of the classical music they play in concert with their other symphony members.

Later that week, my husband and I went out to dinner, and performing at the restaurant was one of the very same artists playing her violin. This time, of all things, it was lively, foot stompin’, fun lovin’ blue grass music. Could she ever play! The joy and intensity with which she played was evident on her face, while she played the music of both genres. During one performance, very serious yet beautifully engaged as she gently stroked the violin strings and during the other, broadly and brightly smiling as she plucked and strummed . Two separate manifestations of expression.

Musicians are not the only multi-faceted artists. Writers too, do not always adhere to the same genre of writing. Writers often have the ability to switch from adult to children’s literature, from fiction to non-fiction to poetry or other structure of prose.

Artists by definition are practioners of creativity, ever expanding their repertoire of skills. Switching gears makes life interesting for all of us, artist or non-artist!

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