Coming Full Circle

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The honeysuckle is learning to appreciate all the small drops of sweetness in life.”

 ~ Sue Batton Leonard

testcart-2Last summer, when I was in Cambridge, Maryland I walked into Walmart. I selected what I wanted to buy and took it to the check-out counter. The sale was rung up and the cashier asked if I wanted to donate to the sick children in JohnsHopkinsHospital.

“Of course,” I said. “How could I not?” I thought.

The cashier thanked me for donating to the cause and said “Have a Blessed Day!” I smiled at her and thanked her back. As I walked out of the store, all I could think was “Have a blessed day? I’ve had a blessed life!”

You see, long ago I was a sick child in JohnsHopkinsHospital. And because the doctors and nurses did not give up on me and gave their time and expertise in caring for me, they saved my life.  Several events have taken me on a journey of realizing the blessings that I have been given, and it is all is told in my upcoming memoir.

It was such a simple thing to donate to the Johns Hopkins children and the monetary value was little compared to what I’ve been given – decades of  fulfilling and vigorous livin’. But a large group of compassionate people donating to a great cause can make a big difference.

The next day, I entered Walmart once again because I had forgotten something, and again I was asked if I wanted to make a meager donation. I answered in the affirmative.

Pay it ahead or pay it back, it’s all good. What is important is that we remember those who give us the sweetness from the vine of knowledge, friendship and love.

Those are my independent thoughts, words and views today on All Things Fulfilling.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com

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Seize the Moment with Action

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 “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” ~ Napoleon Hill

It came to me on Sunday morning, like an apparition. There I stood at the shoreline, next to the edge of the rip-rap, on a remote island on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay trying to decide whether or not the wind was going to stop me from taking a bike ride.  “Perhaps,” I thought, “a walk would be easier than trying to pedal against what feels like gale force winds.”

Suddenly, out of nowhere something ghost-like swept by me, swirling and twirling overhead in the breeze. “I’m going to run after that,” I thought, “so it doesn’t litter the island.” I took off running in pursuit of what looked like trash.

Each time it dipped, I nearly caught the waste, then the wind picked it up and blew it in another direction. Tired from chasing, I had almost given up hope of ever catching the trash. I was being teased and taunted because the wind kept shifting, blowing the plastic even further from my reach. “I’ll never catch it if I give up now.” Just as I finished my thought, the wind shifted yet again and blew the garbage right over my head, within reach.  I grabbed it!

Reaching-for-the-starsYou’ll never guess what it was. A balloon, shaped like a star! It had obviously traveled far, it had little helium left in it, and the gold mylar had taken a beating. It was less than shiny and new. Nevertheless, the shape was still in tact. I ran to show my mother what I had caught. We had a discussion about where the balloon could have possibly come from. “Who knows,” my mother said, as she looked out over the vast sea of water on the Chesapeake, “the balloon could have blown in from anywhere.”

We discussed the weather, and despite the stormy skies,  I decided to try biking. “It will be a good break from my  walking routine,” I said to my mother. I took off pedaling. Once I rounded a corner down the road, it was smooth-sailing. The wind was not even a factor. I’m glad I didn’t let the wind become an obstacle, it was a perfect morning for biking.

During my five mile bike ride, I pondered.”How many times are we stopped from doing something because of barriers. Sometimes we place them in our own mind. Is it not true we almost always find in our actions, fulfillment?”

Just a few independent words, thoughts and views for you this morning.Return tomorrow to www.allthingsfulfilling.com. This blog is brought to you by  www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

Designing a Life for Success

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Joy is the umbrella for life’s storms.” ~ Chris Vanderzyden

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to have lunch with author Chris Vanderzyden. We met at the Northshire Bookstore http://www.northshire.com/  in Manchester, Vermont and she arrived every bit the “dynamo” I expected, despite having just returned the night before from Bali and many hours of international travel. She had been at an event with Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame. Click for Canfields Publications

Chris is a corporate trainer, motivational speaker and business development leader. After years of working as a CPA and living a stressed-out lifestyle in Los Angeles, she traded in her career for a quieter way of life that has afforded her the ability to design a joyful existence that works for her and her family.

vanderzyden2Her book, A-Z Blueprint for Success: A Strategy of Action Steps to Elevate Your Business and Life was published out of Vanderzyden’s desire to help others create a more fulfilling way of life. She establishes, at the outset, that “having a successful life means something different to everyone.” According to Vanderzyden, a person is prosperous if they have a lifestyle that supports a healthy mind, body and spirit.

In order to achieve this result, defining one’s own core values is essential. The author provides an appendix of words which helps the reader to personally draw up a “custom” blueprint that very specifically identifies what a successful life looks like for them. Vanderzyden points out that action and persistence is necessary to achieve what one desires. Anyone can be successful with commitment to the principles she outlines in her A-Z Blueprint for Success. Click for info & ordering

I’d put Vanderzyden’s publication on a booklist for independent publishers who struggle to find time to complete their publishing projects or for those who need to find steps that will motivate them to consistently and successfully self-market their books. As the author points out, sometimes a better route to success is to hire someone else, for a small amount of money, so that will free up your talent for more productive tasks. She has become an expert on effective time management skills.

To learn more about Chris Vanderzyden’s corporate training programs and about a second publication that “is slotted to become a bestseller,” please visit http://bit.ly/12jZaTh. Click for info & ordering

Tomorrow’s ponderings will be available on www.AllThingsFulfilling.com. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com, where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

Fulfilling Memories and Dreams

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We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they are called memories. Some take us forward, they are called dreams.” ~ Jeremy Irons

I loved living in the suburbs of Baltimore as a child and teen growing up. On rainy weekends, my twin sister and I often took the bus from the suburbs into the city to take in art and culture.  Come along as I continue to revisit some more familiar places throughout the city.

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A familiar site of my Baltimore-rooted memories. The “RCA Victor” Dog “Nipper”  atop the Heritage Museum

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Maryland Humanities Council brings fulfilling words to the streets through windows display

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Image below: Sculpture in Mt. Vernon Square – just up the street from the Walters Art Museum

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Below: Peabody Institute – “first major intellectual and arts center in an American city.”

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Radio Broadcasting – WBAL is still in existence. I still remember some of the radio personalities from back in the 1950’s and 1960s.

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Images above & below: Mt. Vernon Place United Methodist Church faces Peabody Institute. As a teen I used to go to the Baltimore Flower

show in Mt. Vernon Square. The one day of the year my mom would let us skip school. We’d ride the bus from the suburbs.

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Return on Wednesday to all things fulfilling. A press release about independent publishing, authors and book awards will be posted.. Join us to learn about some inspiring independent publishers.

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

Message of Encouragement

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WORDS-OF-ENCOURAGEMENT-QUOTES-Mistake-Quotes Happy May Day, everyone! Did you read yesterday’s blog about Dallas Clayton? He’s been acclaimed as “the next Dr. Seuss,” and his success has come out of his decision to rely on his own creativity to make a living and by taking a leap of faith.

This image on my blog today, is for anyone who will be starting a new endeavor. Relate to the words above? If so,  they are meant for you. We all need words of encouragement as we travel the path of life and wonder if we are doing the right thing. My hope in posting this quote is that you will find all things fulfilling in your decisions. Usually tasks are placed in our hands because someone else believes in us. Move forward with confidence, you have what it takes to be successful. http://bit.ly/15SuKaV.

Understand for whom this message intended.  Wonderful YOU! And remember,  “Have patience to walk with short steps until you learn to fly.” ~ St. Francis de Sales

Return tomorrow to  All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views  are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Putting Balance Back in Life

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“Art tends toward balance, order, judgment of relative values, the laws of growth, the economy of living – very good things for anyone to be interested in.” ~ Robert Henri

After a winter season that seems to have lasted into infinity, it as if I am looking through dirty windows. I am feeling shuttered up, listless. Creativity and inspiration? What’s that?  Funny, how the weather affects us.

Yesterday, gave me hope I was looking for – it was warm and sunny. Finally, snow only exists on upper elevations. I am so looking forward to spring and summer. This week I will set off to visit business clients in the other parts of the country. I have a lot to accomplish but, a change of scenery, alone, is bound to bring all kinds of fulfilling things to reinvigorate my spirit.

Strings Music Festival will again be at the centerpiece of my summer. I love that big name stars including Lyle Lovett this summer will come to entertain in this remote northwestern town. In the other seasons, the piled-up snow is replaced with artistic experiences, of all kinds, heaped up-high. http://bit.ly/151Hi0g .

I’m also excited about a July event – A Day for Writers, the 32nd annual, sponsored by the Steamboat Writers Group. John Calderazzo and Clay Haskell will help us explore writing from the perspective of an essayist and screenwriter. And of course, the ever-popular Five Minutes of Fame, hosted by Cesare Rosati, will give local authors an opportunity to read from their works in progress. This year, I may just have to add my voice. Although “regulars” have heard it, there are others who have not. http://on.fb.me/10LKPhM .

art towns in AmericaGet out and enjoy local arts in your community, this summer. And if your plans include travel, this book may come in handy, if you are looking to visit some arts destinations.  <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881506419/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0881506419&linkCode=as2&tag=allthinfulf-20&linkId=CW25SELCLFUU7OPF”>The 100 Best Art Towns in America: A Guide to Galleries, Museums, Festivals, Lodging and Dining, Fourth Edition</a><img src=”http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=allthinfulf-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0881506419&#8243; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />
by John Villani, can be ordered through e-commerce.

Travel back tomorrow to  All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views  are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Hazy Language becomes Clear

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Sometimes in our confusion, we see not the world as it is, but the world though eyes blurred by the mind.” ~ Unknown

This morning, I’ve been thinking about all the blogs I have written over the past few years. Some mornings, I’ve had a very clear vision for what I want to write about and other days, it’s a hazy start.

For me, the key is not to aim for perfection on the first draft. Eventually something usually takes hold inside of me, the words begin to flow. Soon a clear vision comes through and I find direction in my writing.

Occasionally, however, I have to scrap everything and start all over. On those days, I vow I must put in an order, over the internet, for Joseph M. Williams and Gregory G. Colomb’s publication Style: Toward Clarity and Grace.

Style Toward Clarity and GraceAccording to Williams, a professor of English at University of Chicago, until 2008, “it is good to write clearly, and anyone can.” This book is a good resource for all writers to put on their bookshelf because there isn’t a writer who doesn’t face the challenge of not being able to write succinctly from time to time.

There’s a new generation of students, however, who we will feature tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling, who are being taught to understand cryptic and obscure language at a very young age. Not all folks can interpret the symbols behind the writing they are studying.

Return on Monday 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.