Hiking the PCT with Strayed

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You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
~ Dr. Seuss Oh the Places You’’ll Go

This week I’ve hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s a place I never thought I’d visit. I hiked it with author Cheryl Strayed
and saw bears, rattlesnakes, a Texas longhorn bull and more.  At times throughout the journey I felt desperation set in, unimaginable fright, gratitude, inspiration, relief and grief.  Strayed’s thoughts of accomplishing what she set out to do, were familiar.

crossroads in the woods

No, Strayed was not alone  in her story, good authors always find the company of readers who appreciate what their characters have gone through and can often relate. I decided to travel along with Strayed by reading her book, so that when she shows up in Steamboat, at the Bud Werner Memorial Library http://bit.ly/16nUuYj  on April 11th, I’ll able to envision exactly what the Pacific Crest Trail looked like.

Wild is exactly the kind of book that reminds us why even when things are scary and uncertain, it is best to push through it, and accomplish the goal. Then we can look back and find the lessons within, and how challenges help us to rebuild our life.

Seuss’ words of advice are well-meaning. We need to do better job of teaching children there are so many fulfilling places to see and things to do in this world, and not to let obstacles stop them.  Books teach children and adults that we  never travel alone, there’s always a path thats been traveled and beaten before us.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance

You’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,

that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.”

~ Dr. Seuss Oh the Places You’ll Go

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.

Look for the Lessons

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I woke up this morning and turned on the news. The first image I saw were two girls kissing the ground they walked on. The women were among the 4200 passengers who had just gotten off the cruise liner that caught fire. There are many things to be thankful for  – the vacationers were rescued, there was no loss of life and the vessel was brought safely to shore after days of  people living in horrible, unsanitary conditions. 

Storms-Of-Life-Come___-Adijust-Your-Sails_1As I listened to stories of passengers recounting the incident, time and time again, I heard that the employees of Carnival Cruise Line did all they possibly could to keep calm and fulfill the needs of the passengers within their abilities. 

Sadly, there are people in this world who live in squalor everyday, and their lives are shipwrecks. They are unable to escape, however, they still manage to find a sense of inspiration and gratefulness in their lives. Attached is an article on how to find the positive when life challenges us with difficult situations.http://mayocl.in/12RaDIt.

Although I am sure it was very difficult to find the good  at the time, the 4200 passengers have returned home. Perhaps many have a renewed sense of gratitude for their lives. From here on out, their perspectives on life and their response to the vacation gone horribly wrong will all be about their attitudes.

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.

Fulfilling Services and Needs

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Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”  – William Arthur Ward 

The holiday season is in full swing, the signs are there – decorations, holiday fairs, parties, an appointment book that has become ragged and torn. A sure sign it is time to ring out the old and bring in the new. Increased activity of UPS, Fed Ex and other delivery trucks on the highways and byways, indeed indicates Christmas is near. 

On this blog site, we often recognize the work of artists and crafts persons working in a variety of mediums – writers, poets, painters, sculptors, filmmakers, potters, musicians and more. But there is another important form of art that we tend to forget – the art of serving others. 

 If you have ever worked in a service industry, or lived in a resort area, you become acutely aware of those who serve. These folks carry an extra burden at this time of year. In light of that fact, I would like to pause today to recognize people in all sectors of the service industry. They deserve our gratitude! 

  • Heartfelt thanks to nurses, doctors, hospice workers, and all medical staff.
  • Oodles of praise for mail carriers and delivery persons
  • Obliged to those who wait tables, to housekeepers, concierge and valets, too.
  • Respect for chefs, plumbers, electricians, builders, excavators and more.
  • Rewards for military servicemen and women who have ever kept us safe – well deserved
  • Abundance of kudos for repair shops, retail employees, gas station attendants, grocers.
  • Yule Tide Greetings to those service people I have missed such as the clergy. Many of you, because you serve, may miss holiday celebrations with families or friends. We greatly appreciate that you are fulfilling a need for the work  that you do. We desperately need people like you!

 Don’t forget to give a token of thanks to those who serve. Let them know that you appreciate what they do, over the holidays and each and every day of the year, too!

Return tomorrow for more independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

 

 

Praise for Creation

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We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”  ~Cynthia Ozick 

I’ve been drawn back into the church as an adult, in part, by the memories of the beautiful hymns that I sang as a child. Around Thanksgiving time, many of the spiritual songs have words of gratefulness and gratitude for the harvest and for the impending season of darkness. For without winter gloom, there would not be a fulfilling sense of renewal of spirit in spring. 

Composers of yester year have created some of the most eloquent stories, through song, about the change of the seasons and the bounty of the Universe. Many hymns of blessings and praise, written decades ago, are still sung in sanctuaries today, such as – 

  • For the Fruits of the Garden ~  verses by Fred Pratt Green
  • Oh Food to Pilgrims Given ~  words by Maintzich Gesangbuch
  • Come, Ye Thankful People, Come ~ verses by Henry Alford
  • America the Beautiful ~ verses by Katharine Lee Bates
  • For the Beauty of the Earth ~ words by Elliot S Pierpoint
  • In the Bleak Midwinter ~ words by Christina G Rossetti 

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year to step inside the doors of a church. Listen to the vocal choirs, tune into the musical instruments, experience the peace and be grateful for the cozy warmth of the shelter for the body and soul. 

A few weeks from now, at the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/lAT08q  in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and in other places of worship everywhere, choirs will be magnificently singing Handel’s The Messiah. Don’t miss out!

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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 !

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Gardens Heaven Scent

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Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero 

Doesn’t it feel good when our heart sings? That is the result of being involved with things we are passionate about.  

On Saturday, I played guide for the Strings in the Mountains Kitchen & Garden Tour. The home I was assigned to was a little slice of Vermont right within the city limits of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The lush green gardens were filled with most of the same species of plants that my extensive gardens inVermont contain. 

When I first arrived at the gardens where I was to volunteer, it was as if the names of the perennial flowers had been filed away in the archives of my brain. I had to dust off the files and dig back into the records of my mind, to remember the names of a few. Once the names of all my favorite flowers were brought to the fore, there was no stopping me. The names all came spewing forth. I had identified each type of bloom before it was time to leave. 

There were Master Gardeners at the site, and I was in heaven for just a few hours, talking the language that plant aficionados find so fulfilling to speak. We talked botanical names vs. common names, climactic zones, acidic soil, shade plants, sun lovin’ plants, invasive species, succulents, ground covers and so much more. 

It has been two and one half years since I have returned to my home in Vermont. This weekend was heaven sent. I  visited Vermont without having to travel and I nursed my dire need for some garden talk, all at once. 

How grateful I am that I have lived in two beautiful nature-inspiring, mountain communities. One is as magnificent as the other, in very different ways. Thanks to the folks that organized the Kitchen and Garden Tours www.stringsmusicfestival.com  for assigning me to this most appreciated locale. I was able hear my heart strings sing, very loud and clear.

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