Somewhere, a Twin Out There

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“Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.” ~― José N. Harris, MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love
I’ve been feeling a little sad lately. My twin and I went to college with two other sets of twin sisters. A few weeks ago, I learned through web connections that one of the matched sets suffered the loss of her sister.  I have felt empathetic pain deep in my heart for the remaining sister as well as sorrow for the death of the other half. Life will certainly be different for the survivor and grief is handled differently by each person.  I hope the surviving sister can find solace in all the things that she finds fulfilling in her life.

According to Psychology Today, the loss of a twin is  unique grief because twins hold special love and kinship with one another. If you’ve never thought yourself as a twin, according to Julie Dillon, we all have twins out there in the world. If you share a rare bond with a friend, you know what it is like to have a kindred spirit.

For some people it may take a lifetime to find a companion who you feel an extraordinary connection with. It took three minutes for my double to appear in my life. Although we are not identical, the fraternal connection is very strong and different than the the other relationships in my life. My twin and I have laughed together, cried together, been partners in mischief, learned some hard lessons as a united team and celebrated as siblings who were born on the same day from the same mother.

twin hearts

 

I  didn’t mean to end this Friday on a “downer” but sometimes if we put voice to our emotions through writing, it helps us to feel a little better.  Anyone who has lost a very, very special friend will relate to this writing.  We are all human beings, and grief, in many forms, comes to each one of us at one time or another. It is part of the human condition and with each loss we are reminded to “treasure your relationships not your possessions.” ~ Anthony J. DeAngelo

 

See you on Monday with more happiness in my heart! I  have faith that it will be so! I promise~~

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.  For information on her publications Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart and Soul.

 

 

 

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A New Year – Life’s Puzzle Pin

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Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” ~ Brad Paisley

The summer before last I had seen a few intriquing and thought-provoking pieces of jewelry that peaked my interest  at the Dorchester Art Center gift shop. This fall when I spoke to the Bayshore Bookies, a book group from Dorchester County, Maryland about my newly released memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected I stopped in once again.  I was hoping they still carried the objets d’art so I could get a second peak. Sure ‘nuf, they did.

The artisan, Joyce from  “Back in Tyme,” handcrafts the pins which I think are symbolic of what a New Year is all about. Take a look at the image of this pin. Creative, isn’t it?

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To my way of looking at things,  each element crafted into the bauble represents a part of life:

Puzzle pieces. What’s to come in our futures is a mystery. Sometimes befuddling,  isn’t it?

Old clock (watch) pieces. Time passes by quickly. Sometimes we aren’t quite geared up for all that happens. Sometimes we lose track if we aren’t fully dialed in. Makes life interesting.

Feathers! We hope there is some “fluffy stuff” in our lives. That’s what makes it worthwhile living! Agree? As they say “when feathers appear, angels are near!” What a divine thought.

Sea glass. Like people, each particle has it’s own journey and it’s own story from tossing and tumbling.

A crescent moon-shaped object. We go through many “phases” in our lifetime from birth to death. The crescent moon has appeared in art throughout the ages because as Debbie Keil-Leavitt says, “it inspires us to think that it might be a cradle for our newly-born dreams.”

If you wish to read more about what Debbie Keil-Leavitt says about the power of the crescent moon, here is an interesting article, full of mysticism. http://bit.ly/1AYu7s9.

On this day before the New Year, I’d like to remind you to tune in and be grateful for each minute, each new hour and each new phase of your life. Embrace life’s surprises. Find fulfilling, positive things even in the difficult. Often times the little mysteries of life are gifts to be explored and discovered just like this inspirational piece of jewelry.

What are your dreams for the New Year? I hope you’ll actively pursue them.

NewYearClock 2015

 

Livin’ in the Moment

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It’s Friday, let’s end the week with something else fun and entertaining.  If you are a baby boomer, you’ll remember this little ditty. .

When we hear songs like these, it reminds us of another era.As someone who has just penned a memoir, I can tell you looking back and reminiscing can be bittersweet depending on your own life events.

Some people have a hard time letting go of old memories. When memories are difficult it’s unhealthy not to let them go. But, if they are beautiful, hold on tight to them because those memories can help get you through the rough patches that come with being human.

When we  do the “hokey pokey” and shake things up, we find fulfilling things in our midst and get opportunities to experience some of life’s unexpected pleasures. As Louis Tomlinson once said, “Live life for the moment, for everything else is uncertain.

Hokey Pokey 3   Hokey Pokey 2From time to time we must ask ourselves “What am I doing to put a little zip in my everyday routines? ” Doing something totally out of character gives us all something to write home about, don’t you think? As Will Self once said “Live life and write about life!”

As a memoirist, I’m all for that!

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

 

Conscious Decisions

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Joy is the echo of God’s life in us.” ~ Abbot Coumba Marmion

Happy New Years Eve! If last year was a rough year for you, I am sorry. I hope 2014 will be much better. I’d like to share with you a story of someone who despite unimaginable trials and tribulations has managed to find fulfilling things in her life.

The other evening I was watching the news and Scarlett Lewis, a mother of a little boy who was shot and killed in the Newtown school massacre was being interviewed. She was so inspiring. I offer a link to a video of the interview -take a few minutes to watch it. http://bit.ly/1fCw9VA.

When asked how she gets through the day after having suffered such a terrible loss, she told of how an inspirational message her son, Jesse, had written on the chalkboard hanging in the family home before he went to school the morning of his death, has brought her joy. Jesse’s heroic actions in trying to protect other children and the teachers has also brought her a sense of comfort and peace. She feels that he was trying to fulfill his mission that day as a savior and champion.

choose joy1Lewis has written a book called Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness  that will inspire anyone who is dealing with hurt, loss, grief and difficult circumstances. She explains how making a choice to forgive has given her “an equation for moving forward in a positive way.”

Lewis has also started a foundation in honor of her son. Please visit this link. www.jesselewischooselove.org.

Stories such as these make us realize how precious life is and to embrace those we love with great joy this day and every day.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Do return to a new year on All Things Fulfilling tomorrow!

Human Behavior Dynamics

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Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. ~ C.G. Jung

I hope you’ll excuse me this morning. I am rather excited. I received a wonderful comment on “Wheels of Change,” the blog posted on August 8, 2013.The reader commented “You need to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality blogs on the internet. I will recommend this site!”  

Also, another positive affirmation came from Salley, from the You Are Never Alone Foundation http://youareneveralonefoundation.org/ . She said “Your blog blows me away….How do you come up with something every day?” She was commenting on yesterday’s blog on All Things Fulfilling called “Social Entrepreneurs.”

Thank you, readers. I’ll take those comments as  big compliments, and Salley, I think I have ADD – attention daily disorder. Daily, I look for stories that might be of interest our readers. My attention to All Things Fulfilling is rarely at a deficit.

taking flight The first comment came from a psychology internet site which, in part, is what All Things Fulfilling is about.  My goal is to inspire positive change as it relates to self-improvement, career and business or building a more positive world to live in. All Things Fulfilling means different things to different people. Exploring and discovering how our content might relate to the reader, is their own challenge, as they look into their own hearts.

My inspiration for writing comes from observing the world at large. Finding creative ways of bringing personal happiness to myself and others, is what this site is all about. Sometimes contentment means simply reading a book, seeing  images in an art gallery or movie or listening to sounds that educate, inspire, inform or entertain.

Learned OptimismIf you are interested in expanding your horizons, there is a book by Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D. called Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. Click for information and ordering The book incorporates the principles of how to look at and find the positive aspects of all things, thus changing our life experience affirmatively. Check it out.Click for info & ordering

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and www.allthingsfulfilling.com. Click for info & ordering on Sue’s memoir

Cookin’ Up a Soulful Pot

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As a blog writer, when the inspiration hits, I am on the job no matter what day of the week it is.  I am compelled to put it down on paper, when the mind and heart is awakened by a spark of creative thought. It’s all part of fulfilling my need to write. 

Today is National Day of Chicken Soup for the Soul, did you know that? It’s Saturday, a good day to stay at home and create a soup full of thoughts that will warm me both inside and out. Intuition tells me the ingredients to build a healthy stock would be – 

  • Year-long gratitude for the personally fulfilling things I have in my life
  • Observance of the gift of quiet times
  • Understanding that the ordinary can be extraordinary
  • Appreciation for the natural beauty of the earth
  • Rigorous amounts of stirring of the spirit by exploring one’s own gifts
  • Ecstatic feelings for our son and seeing him make his marc on the world
  • New Ideas to bring inspiration and creativity
  • Eager anticipation of beauty in the holiday season
  • Variety in Independent Thoughts, Words and Views for my blog readers
  • Energy  and excitement as I go about my daily work
  • Rousing possibilities for telling my own story
  • Abundance of work to do
  • Limitless discovery of “kindred spirits”
  • Old fashioned values of home and hearth
  • Nurturing of the book I am writing -it is close to my heart
  • Enduring love from friends and family 

Create your own unique recipe for Chicken Soup for the Soul. Add  ingredients that  bring happiness, contentment and peace to your life.  Stir the pot with a big strong spoon, so the harmony and balance of flavors will be just right. 

Bountiful Living to You !

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Libraries Agree the Time is NOW!

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We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll 

Last weekend, I had an opportunity to read an independently published book written by Kristen Moeller, called “Waiting for Jack.” http://bit.ly/bUy3pu.  This book has been enormously successful, and I believe it is because many people can relate to the book’s message. The point of the book is to bring to light to the fact that many people live their lives saying and thinking things like, “ I will be happy and my life will be fulfilling when …….” 

You pick your poison, and fill in the blank as you see fit!  A  few times in my life have I fallen victim to this way of thinking, but I usually do fairly well at finding the best in any given situation. 

There was another very good point made in the book “Waiting for Jack” that I did fully relate to, however. That is the importance of thinking outside of the box. Never has this become so clear to me until I moved from my thirty-five year state of residence to a new state. All kinds of opportunities and possibilities made sense to me when I  began to move away from old ways of doing things and started anew. 

Our past few blogs have been focused on a very valuable agreement that has just been signed between the Douglas County Libraries and the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. This agreement, I believe, will be as author Kristen Moeller, would say “a fierce disruption of the ordinary.” 

The Director of the Douglas County Libraries, Jamie LaRue, has taken a bold and brazen step in removing the boundaries that libraries have operated within for many, many years. By no longer restricting the library from only buying books from the main six or seven publishing giants from across the land, libraries will be positioned to accept a new generation of books.  Electronic books (e-books) from independent publishers will move the library away from standard ways of doing business, into new-age bodies of work.

Evidently, the Douglas County Libraries, and the Colorado Independent Publishers Association have decided the time is NOW! I have a feeling, that as libraries move away from doing business as usual, in time the full ramifications of this new agreement will  be realized by both libraries and independent publishers – not just here, but all over the globe. 

Yippee! There will be more IPPY’s in coming years!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.