Nature’s Energy

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“For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies, for the love which from our birth, over and around us lies…..”  ~  Psalm 95:  1-6

Over the course of history many songs lyrics have been composed with words about the beauty of nature. Have you ever really thought about the impact the beautiful colors of nature have on your psyche?

This time of year I take my walk in early morning to avoid the heat of the day. Inevitably, I find myself marveling over plants that were barely out of the ground a few weeks ago that are now in full bloom, electric with color. How does that happen? Nature provides sun, warmth, moisture and all the right conditions that are needed to set the gardens in motion. Amazing!

Nearly every color is represented in the garden this time of the year. Here are just a few pictures I took on my daily walk last week.

pernennial 6 lupine

perennial2

perennial 3 peony

When I see the real stunners of magenta, orange, yellow, indigo and purple, I ask myself “How can I not walk with gratefulness for life and boundless energy no matter what else might be happening around me?” The magnificence of nature makes me want to stand up and sing.

Summer has just begun and we have several months ahead to enjoy the brightest time of year. Enjoy getting outdoors and seeing the landscape all decked out with color.

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Once within a House & Yard

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Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action. ~ Mother Teresa

Grandmothers house 2802 Fleetwood AvenueOnce upon a time all it took was a quick glance from the sidewalk and the heart and soul of this place could be felt in an instant. An American flag flew proud and tall on a big pole in the yard. A couple of rocking chairs sat on the small front porch and small pots of flowers crowded the ledge around it. The voices of neighborhood children walking by cheerily yelled out “Hi Baba!” It was a daily occurrence. The woman who lived there was a grandmother of everyone’s dreams.

A huge tall oak tree once grew on the left side. It canopied the property as if it embraced the residents living within the bungalow-style house.  Both front and backyard were carefully and lovingly tended by a bald, kind-hearted man who was called Pop by his grandchildren. He was as equally fine and gentile as his wife.

In the backyard grew lilacs, wisteria and the hugest magnolia tree I’d ever witnessed. So tall that as a young child, I couldn’t even see up to the tippy top. The tree went on forever – all the way on up to heaven. An outdoor brick fireplace in the gorgeously landscaped backyard cooked many a hotdog! Goldfish circled the waters of a four foot cement pond.The sounds of fun and laughter could be heard frequently of a wonderful couple who especially adored the days when their four grandchildren came to visit.

Smells of fresh peach cake, “smoked neck” with potatoes and green beans, yeast rolls and other lovingly cooked food and baked goods wafted outside through the screen door of the tiny galley kitchen. The aromas settled on pots of colorful pansies and petunias and on rows of dinner plate dahlias and gladiolas that lined the perimeter of the yard.

The house still stands, but when I look at this picture, I don’t see any evidence of the life that once graced the place. The tender loving care put  into the house and the children and grandchildren who visited remains only in my memories. This place once made my heartbeat warmly every time I entered in the door.

So what’s the good news on this Thirsty Thursday?  I can still hear the voice of my Grandmother….”Susie Annie, is that you, hon? Want a nice tall glass of ice cold sweet tea? I just loaded up the candy dishes on the buffet in the dining room. Help yourself. There are nonpareils, jelly candies, butter mints, anything you want. The Chiclets are in the top drawer of the buffet on the left.”

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Click here for more information on Sue Batton Leonard’s publications.

 

Tred Carefully

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Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.”Veronica Roth

A few weeks ago  I did a presentation on memoir writing. On Thursday I look forward to a similar presentation when I’ll talking with a geneology group at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Throughout my various book tours and presentations, I’ve had numerous people say to me that if they wrote their life story it would be filled with people who have taken advantage of them or made their lives difficult for one reason or another. Thus,  I am very aware of the need to mention “that sadly not everyone’s life story is happy and some people write for cathartic reasons.”

words have power“Something to think about,” I say, “is to share your experiences in a way that helps other people.”

The typical response is “I hadn’t thought about that approach, I just was thinking of voicing my anger.”

If you have had an unpleasant childhood or difficult life experiences, memoir writing is a great way to rise above it. Your readers will be looking for something they can relate to and learn from. Give them your story of challenge to triumph. Everyone likes to hold onto stories of champions and hope.

Here is a good article about why it is beneficial to read memoirs. http://memorywritersnetwork.com/blog/eight-benefits-of-reading-memoirs/.

Things to keep in mind as you go forward with your memoir writing.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Click on the title for information on these publications:  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected or short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

Good News, Dear Margaux

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May 27, 2015

Dear Margaux,

What a pleasant surprise when I opened my mailbox last week and found that the U.S. Postal Service had delivered this notecard from you!

Girl Scout Margaux letter without last name

I am so glad you enjoyed my presentation “One Day in the Life of a Writer.” I was happy to learn that I am not the only one who wakes up in the middle of the night wanting to jump out of bed to write down ideas. It makes me feel better that you said the same thing happens to you. 

GS scribe badge I was not aware that my visit helped your troop earn your Scribe badges until I read the Girl Scout blog.

Tomorrow I am attending the  Girl Scout Fundraiser for adults at the Catamount Ranch and Club.  I am excited! I have my ticket! What a cool fundraising idea to have some of the best chefs around creating savory appetizers from sweet Girl Scout Cookies.  It will be interesting to see what the chefs will be serving up. I’d better take my camera! If your mom is coming, tell her I have saved a book for her and will bring it along incase she hasn’t yet ordered a copy.

Enjoy your outings, meetings and the friendships you have made through the Girl Scouts. I think I mentioned to your troop that I made life-long friends through scouting.

Keep on Writing! And remember the good news we shared about life “There are always flowers for those who want to see them!”

Sincerely,

Mrs. Sue Leonard (aka author Sue Batton Leonard)

Award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected 

and short stories – Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Old Souls vs Young Souls

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 “Remember our souls are like snowflakes, all different and all beautiful.” ~ Unknown

I volunteer about six hours a week at a local consignment store called  Lift Up run by all the churches here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I love it! It’s so interesting to see what comes in to the donation center. We volunteers often talk about the differences between what people value.

Did you know there is actually a science behind why we like what we do and what gives us feelings of fulfillment? This article is interesting. To sum it up there seems to be a relationship between whether we are old or young souls to many of our preferences -such as the books we read,  perhaps what we writers chose to write about, art, music, fashion, food and maybe even our belief system.

Have you ever read characteristics of what defines an old soul as opposed to what defines a young soul? Personally, I think this concept does play into many of our choices, right down to the things that we chose to share on Facebook.

Old soul, new soul or somewhere in between  I am not sure there is a preferred way of being to navigate this world in which we are living. I’d have to delve much deeper into the research in order to decide that for myself. However, as I read the description of “an old soul” there is a there characteristic that can’t connect with. It has been said that “old souls feel old.” I am on the opposite side of the spectrum of that feeling.

Thank heavens for favors, big and small.

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

 

Radio Spot On! Mark it Down

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Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” ~  Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Everyone wants to find long-lasting, meaningful happiness. Right? But, how do we discover or develop that spot in our lives where we find true contentment?

Although we like to paint rosy pictures in our minds of how life should be and what the perfect world would look like, there’s that thing called reality that creeps into the picture and sometimes switches things up.

On May 21st I will be a guest on blog talk radio – Living a Richer Life. Save the date! The theme of the evening will be Finding Your Path to Personal Fulfillment. We will be discussing the journey and the challenges that come with finding that place in your life where a deep sense of harmony exists. Can we ever find it?

I hope you will join in the conversation because listeners will be able to call in with their comments and questions. Here are the details of the broadcast:

ePost Card_Living a Richer Life_Sue Leonard_May 21, 2015 600 x500 pixels

That’s all for today from All Things Fulfilling. I look forward to your return and mine on Monday.

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

Calling All Valentines Procrastinators

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“Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.”  ~Richard Bach

You knew you shouldn’t have, but you did it anyway, right? You’ve waited to the last minute to think about what to give to your loved one for Valentine’s Day. It’s tomorrow!

“Oh, no,” you say, “time got away!”

You can place your order today and have Short Stories: Lessons of Heart and Soul delivered within minutes as a gift for a loved one since it’s an e-book. It’s perfect for ages twelve and up. A little humor that is family friendly and a wonderful hero with subtle messages are all inside the storyline.

IMG_20150110_153738_111  resized 50%Have a great weekend, everyone. See you back here on All Things Fulfilling on Monday. This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.