Growth of Self

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You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you will discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” ~ Alan Alda

Home Sweet Home! Where everything is familiar, safe, and there are few unknowns. I found out seven years ago that you can find fulfilling things when you leave your comfort zone and strike out on new adventures. I left my home state of more than 30 years and ventured into unknown territory, by moving to a place site unseen. It was a culture shock at first for an East Coast gal to move to remote ranching/ski community in northwestern Colorado. But I’ve grown to appreciate all that it’s brought to my life. It ended up being good for the mind, body and spirit and a time of enormous personal growth.

I jumped in wholeheartedly, and did something even more risky. I independently published a book, a memoir, about my remarkable young life.

My life is far from over, and there is more to discover about myself. I suspect it will come next time I step out of my comfort zone and into something else.

Speaking of comfort – did you know there is a place called Comfort, Texas? What I found interesting is there is little information about the place on their website. Perhaps that’s by design so visitors will come see the place for themselves.

What if you flyWhen was the last time you really stepped out of your safe environment? If nothing else you might learn you are stronger than you think!

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 short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Themes from the Bathtub

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When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes — I already have everything that I really need.”― Dalai Lama XIV

All week long our blogs have been focused on happiness, personal growth and success. But, we don’t always have to look at the big scheme of things to find fulfilling things in our midst. Contentment is not necessarily about career advancement, more money in our wallets, moving up the social ladder and having material things. It’s about incorporating little things that bring  joy into our lives.

There’s something that I deny myself that I need to give into. Allowing myself time to soak in the tub. I rarely do it. Only if have some ache or pain – and fortunately for me that’s next to never. There is something that seems time wasting about lollygagging in a bathtub. I am more of a power shower person than a soaker.

It’s not the first time this notion that I need to let myself linger in a tub for no reason has occurred to me. Every so often the thought comes along and then I  act on it a time or two, and then forget about it.
bathtub_reader 2Imagine how happy it might make me if I combined all my favorite things with drawing a bath. Add in teatime and reading and it sounds like a recipe for euphoria. I think I’ll go explore it.

On second thought, rather than read in the tub, perhaps I need to let my mind wander and see what ideas I can come up with for next week’s blog theme.

See you on All Things Fulfilling on Monday.

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

 

 

Thank you, Patient Souls

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St Francis quote about doing few things wellI have always been too good at multi-tasking as most women are. But there are consequences that come with allowing ourselves to do too much.

I think this sign should hang in front of every mirror in every household where there is a woman present. Some lessons are easier learned than others, and this reminder hanging plainly in the face of women might alleviate the guilt feelings that come along  when we CAN’T do it all.

Over the past few years, as I have written my memoir, there are things that I know I am guilty of – having neglected certain people, circumstances or tasks. I apologize! It’s not like me at all. But, I guess since I am only a human being, like everyone else, sometimes I screw up or overcommit.

There have been compromises that have been necessary to getting the “other job done.” I am talking about writing and independently publishing a book. Thankfully, my regrets are few. Penning my story has been most personally fulfilling thing I’ve done in my life.

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, I’ll have a surprise for you that has made my transgressions all worthwhile.

god bless you and thank you

Today I ‘d like to honor anyone who has had to be patient

 with me and who has had to sacrifice, so that I could get the job done!

Signed, Forever Grateful.

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

 

Skillfully Delivered

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Blessed are the ears of those who hear the pulse of the divine whisperer…”
~Thomas Kempis

I’ve had a fabulous summer so far. It’s been filled with business, checking out local art scenes in different places, meeting artists, including writers I have never met before, and best of all, the opportunity to spend cherished time with family.  Yet, one Sunday morning in my travels, I awoke and finally identified something that had been quietly nagging at me. I realized I missed a message of inspiration that I find each week at the United Methodist Church of Steamboat. “Time,” I thought, “to do something about it.”

I visited the diminutive United Methodist Church on remote Taylors Island, Maryland http://bit.ly/1bIYSIl and came out feeling uplifted, almost giddy . The sermon was as fine as I’ve heard anywhere, and it was the kind of inspiration yours truly needed at that moment. The Reverend’s well-delivered words included a message about God’s relationship to people in the business of trying to live up to their full potential. It was the fifth sermon in the series on “Living the Successful Life,” called Faith is a Dynamo. The Rev. Dr. Robert Kirkley spoke about how “God is in the business of success and blessings,” but we must do our part also. He reassured the people that if we ascribe to the principles of Jack Welsh and add God to our lives, we will find success. As someone who has read books on Welsh’s leadership, I tuned in immediately. The message was skillfully and clearly delivered and at the end of his sermon, I felt spiritually renewed. I will be sharing more fulfilling things that came about in my visit to a church outside of my own community in future blog writings.

We often discover new things when we step outside the box, and change-up our routine. Over the coming  month or so, there will be big changes coming to All Things Fulfilling. I am very excited and will be working hard to give this site an updated look while keeping the disruption to a minimum.

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

Family, Faith and Travel

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Each day I am thankful for; nights turned into morning, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.” ~ Ritu Ghatourey

I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of fulfilling things since arriving on the East Coast. It all began with attending a social event of a book club group with women who reside in and around the historic area surrounding TaylorsIsland in Dorchester County, Maryland. The Grace Foundation is restoring churches and doing work on the island to preserve the history of the churches and schoolhouses. http://bit.ly/16Ezcex.

The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake, a book I recently read and adored, is on the reading booklist for the book club for this coming summer. Based on a small town sea-side community during World War 2, the post office was a hub of activity, and the spinster postmistress knows secrets which if told, will change the lives of some of the residents. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

Then I traveled to the Boston area to attend the beautiful wedding of our niece on my husband’s side of the family. It was so wonderful to see the bride and her sister (our second Leonard niece), who are now both married adults.

We also spent a lovely evening in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and had dinner at Loretta’s. The harbor area in Newburyport has changed greatly since last time I visited many  years ago. Full of wonderful restaurants with varied cuisine, we also went art gallery hopping. As a Mother’s Day present, my husband bought me a New England artisan-crafted necklace from Annie’s of Newburyport. Then we finished the evening with dessert at a fantastic coffee shop complete with musical entertainment featuring a sole independent musician playing the guitar.

Join me tomorrow on my journey back to Vermont, my state of residence for more than thirty years. I was greeted by “Miss America” of the independent publishing industry! She’s quite a package! Well-built, for future developments.

Here are just a few pictures from my fulfilling travels:

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My favorite home away from home, my favorite writing place in the lighthouse

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Hope for a bountiful catch

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Rode my bike to the vineyards on the Island

too early in the season for fruit on the vine

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John the Baptist Church, Peabody, MA for niece’s wedding

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Beautiful bride (above)

and her maid of honor – her sister

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Stained Glass Window

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Dinner in Newburyport, MA at Loretta

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Couldn’t resist this photo http://www.imarc.net/  for our son, Marc R Leonard.

He seems to be showing up everywhere!

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My Mother’s Day Present – New England Artisan Crafted

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Left my heart in Taylor’s Island, Maryland

will be back to get it before my trip to the East Coast is over!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business!

Stories of Disappearing Acts

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“Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” ~ Unknown

Yesterday, as I walked, I began thinking about how there are things in life that we take for granted – like there will always be spring, puppy dogs, love, water coming from the Earth’s natural hot springs and rain coming from clouds in the sky. 

There are things that have always been part of our American heritage that are disappearing. We have always assumed there will be post offices to receive the mail, and a male and a female constitute a marriage. We can’t assume that anymore, it seems we are entering new horizons in every aspect of living. 

print media is dyingDisappearing traditions, mores, products, and professions need to be documented in books for the sake of future generations. An accounting of our country’s past history, stories about the family of man and how the world has evolved socially, economically, culturally, anthropologically are important  for studies and hypotheses about how human beings have survived throughout the ages and for future problem solving.

Take a look at fulfilling things that you thought would exist throughout your lifetime but have disappeared or are at the risk of becoming extinct in our society. Here is a list of twenty-five things to get you started. http://bit.ly/13GJ1Gx.  Help me add to this list. How has your world has changed since you arrived on this planet? Share them with our readers. 

At the bottom of this blog, click on comment, and digitally submit your observances. Your thoughts will be gratefully appreciated.

Visit us again 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.

Reaching Readers Worldwide

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HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! Today we will look back on All Things Fulfilling, over the past year and look ahead to the future.

FAQ: Does blogging work to promote books and business? My answer is YES! It provides promotion and advertising that would be, for most independent publishers, prohibitive if you used direct mailing or ads in print publications. Because we wholeheartedly believe in the power of e-marketing, I am opening up our year end report to our readers, so you can see our blogs effectiveness in reaching interested people all over the world. 

Our company’s blog All Things Fulfilling reached an astonishing 140 countries last year! Can you imagine the cost to reach people in those countries with direct mailing?

If you have never used social media to promote your business before, start in 2013, and www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com can educate and work with you to help you understand the marketing landscape in this digital age. A small investment reaps big rewards in exposure and visibility for your independent publication or independent business (publishing or other) through social media marketing (e-marketing).

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 18,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you to our readers in 2012. We look forward to sharing more with you about the independent publishing industry and all kinds of fulfilling things in 2013.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

Humor in Marriage and Friendship

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Laughter is the best way to make somebody’s heart beat.” ~ Robert Holden 

 Happy Labor Day Monday – just a light-hearted subject this morning. Good to focus on fulfilling things other than publishing, every so often.

Don’t you love having life long friends? I have quite a number, but there is one friend who has brought more cheerful times and humor to my life than I can tell you. We met the first day I arrived on my college campus. Her nickname is “Chatterbox,” for good reason. More fittingly, however, her name should be “Chatter, the Character! ” She’s made of stuff that you read about.

The other day was Chatter’s 29th wedding anniversary, and much to my surprise, when I  went to her Facebook page to send her “Happy Anniversary Wishes” there was a picture of her all dressed up in the wedding dress she wore 29 years ago, complete with floral bouquet in hand. The dress still fit, she’s always been tall and slender.  I was bowled over with happiness and warm feelings when I saw the image. Nostalgic thoughts  came flooding back;  my twin sister and I were bridesmaids in her wedding. I’ll never forget when she left the reception for her honeymoon. She exited sitting on the back of a convertible, Jackie Kennedy Onassis style, as if in a parade, waving to the wedding crowd while her newly betrothed husband drove the car. It was something she said “she had been waiting to do her whole life.” 

Of course, as soon I saw the image she posted on Facebook the other day, I wrote a comment and an exchange of e-mails soon followed. Evidently, on the morning of her anniversary, she had awoken her husband of 29 years all dressed up in her gown. What pleasure  I felt in my heart when I saw her again in her wedding outfit; I can only imagine what the surprise did for her husband.

 Could this be a new trend for women who are celebrating their wedding anniversaries? A chance for ladies to wear those gowns every year, rather than only once in a lifetime. It might be healthy for marriage; bringing fulfilling memories back and a  reminder of what was promised.  What better motivation for women to maintain their  girlish figures – so they can fit into their gowns each year. Perhaps a way to reduce healthcare costs for women. 

Today, this blog is in honor of my friend Chatter! She has overcome adversity in her life, and a bout with cancer – always with dignity and honor and humor. 

Girlfriend – you are an inspiration! You remind me that laughter brings sweetness to life and friendship. I will see you next spring or early next summer as we have planned.

“Chat” and me at my niece’s wedding a year ago, October 2011.

Photo credit:  Erin Batton of eebphotography.blogspot.com

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com

Conspiring Through Smell A Vision

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A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” ~ Bernard Meltzer 

I have found myself caught up in the middle of a conspiracy, and it is me who is being conspired against. I know just who the little schemer is and how she is plotting to draw me in. The little manipulator is Darien Gee, and she is using word tactics of smell a vision to get me involved! 

You see, I never have been one who really likes to cook but, I did have many fulfilling moments of baking back in my days of raising a child. In fact, my son’s friends knew where to get the booty when their sweet tooth cried out for a fix. I was the rare Mom who made home baked goods. When I knew I’d have a houseful of kids, I’d jump into action and make something tasty. When the teen years rolled around, it was a good way to keep tabs on the adolescents, they’d frequently check in to see what was to eat. 

Ever since I became an empty nester and moved to a high altitude environment, where baking is more challenging, my cache of homemade creations has suffered. Author Darien Gee, the little conniver, is trying to lay a guilt trip on me through her book Friendship Bread. Have you read it? 

The magical powers of Amish Friendship Bread is the basis of the book. The wicked descriptions of warm yeast, cinnamon and sweet has made me want to try my hand at a batch. There are real consequences to jumping in because there is no way you can make just one loaf. The bread grows prolifically until before you know it, you are: 

  • Talking to your neighbors
  • Building community through food
  • Giving strangers more than just a passing glance
  • Strategically positioning yourself with groups
  • Building friendships based on commonalities and love 

I’ve peeked ahead in the book, and the recipe is there for the moment when Darien Gee is finished with brainwashing me into baking a pan. http://bit.ly/n50wn.  She is half-way done and I’m already beginning to execute my plan…. For starters there’s the Yampa Valley University Women, my fellow Kiwanians, the guys and gals at SHe Writes Steamboat, the Steamboat Writers Group and Lift Up Routt County (they can always use donations of food). 

I could put Strings in the Mountains on my list. Perhaps they would welcome a starter of something other than Steamboat fare for their own cookbooks. Then, lest I forget, there are always the kind and welcoming women of the United Methodist Church, although they can already abundantly cook! Then there is that other new meet-up group in town. What is it called? Ignite Steamboat? 

We will see, Darien Gee….with the way the recipe works, just getting people started might be the key. Perhaps then I can get out of the kitchen and just spend time creating other fulfilling things. 

Come on back tomorrow…. I promise the blog will not be so long!

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

Enter my Universe

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Ok, so after yesterday’s blog, She Writes Home, I am in the doghouse!  So many of my friends, family, acquaintances and business associates e-mailed me back to say the details of what I have been doing in Colorado are too flimsy!  

  • “What have you been up to?” They inquire.
  • “We don’t hear from you enough!” They say.
  •  “We read All Things Fulfilling, but we want to hear your voice!” They demand!
  • “We still don’t understand  all of the  hullabaloo about “non-traditional” publishing that you write home about! We want to know more!” They state! 

Ok, ok, I will reveal! I do admit I have been on the fast track since I arrived in this State of Colorado and I do owe an explanation. I will  give you all a good glimpse into my world – especially for those of you who are green to independent publishing!

Who Can Attend?  Anyone around the world who is fluent in the English Language! 

Where?  STAY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE! ON THE WORLD-WIDE-WEB 

When?  RIGHT NOW! 

How? CLICK ON THE LINK AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS !http://bit.ly/oIkV2g.

Hope you will enter  my universe and join in on an event that will open your eyes to a new world that is changing the lives of so many people all over the globe! Come along on this  fulfilling  journey of  possibilities and entrepreneurial spirit for every individual, business person and non-profit organization, no matter where you reside.

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