Collective Gal Power

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Anytime women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing.Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens. ~ Phylicia Rashad

Last Friday after work I rode the bus into town. I heard two men talking and picked up from the conversation that their wive’s were attending a women’s group. Their husbands, apparently, were headed to one of the local pubs to sit at the bar for wings and beer.

“I just don’t get it,” one of the fellows said, “those women’s groups…. all they do is promote gossip. And they’re bad for diets. When my old lady gets home all she does is whine about how much she ate. I think those lady’s groups are all about having a space where they can complain about their kids and their husbands.”

“Really?” I thought, “That’s just plain sad. In my experience women’s groups are all about finding personal fulfillment in joint interests.”

Women who network create space where faith and hope prevail by learning from one another, sharing joys, talking about meaningful issues and by supporting each other. As a matter of fact, on Friday I learned something invaluable from a new acquaintance (I think her name is Joan) at the Sit and Stitch at Sew Steamboat. She taught me about “life lines” – a technique used in knitting, so that if you make an error, you don’t have rip all your work out and to go back to the beginning. I wondered why I hadn’t previously heard about this before? Now I’m apt to venture into knitting projects that are a little beyond my skill level since now I know there is a way to set up a safety net. If I make an error, I can still salvage the project and not have to trash it.

I can see that this knitting group at Sew Steamboat will become a valuable resource to me in the future. The owners of this shop is a collective of women. Here is the beautiful, colorful space they’ve created together. Makes a person want to sit down and take up a yarn!

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I’d like to hear from other women who find that women’s groups are their saving grace. How have they contributed to your well being? Post a comment to this blog. Maybe we can get a good conversation going right here on All Things Fulfilling.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard,  2014 EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

 

 

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Opening the Conversation

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Advent: Day #8

Intercultural dialogue is the best guarantee of a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.” ~ Robert Alan Silverstein

For the past two years in the town where I am residing, we watched the building of a huge addition to the Holy Name Catholic Church. The construction essentially turned a relatively small church into a nearly cathedral-sized structure.

On Friday evening, the entire town was invited in as the Yampa Valley Choral Society and the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra brought Handel’s Messiah alive in the community. My husband and I saw the gorgeous space and heard beautiful voices and outstanding orchestral music. The evening put me in the Christmas spirit. I am so grateful the Catholic Church opened up  this event to people of all religious affilliations and that I was able to attend it! The tickets sold out so quickly.

Throughout my lifetime I have been exposed to multi-cultural viewpoints and a diversity of religions. On this eighth day of Advent I’d like to share an image that will give insight into one of the largest influences in my childhood years which helped me to develop my thoughts and writings on spirituality.

alleluia

How To Order the award-winning memoir by Sue Batton Leonard,  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected:
Audio Book  http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback  http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book  http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

 

Stirring Free Thinking

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According to Tom Kelley, “exercise creates a responsive, innovative culture.” I whole heartedly agree. Ideas that came to me while walking helped me to write a memoir. Whole pages of text were composed in my mind as I beat the pavement daily.  Independent publishing was the right avenue to persue if I wanted to share my ponderings about the past  creatively. I had no doubt.

Falkner on storyHere’s an article that recently appeared on MSN.com about Why Walking Helps Us Think. http://a.msn.com/0E/en-us/BB1tnsq.

Top thought leaders advocate for the value of holding business meetings while walking. Listen to this Ted Talk if you are interested in this concept. http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/29/walking-meetings-5-surprising-thinkers-who-swore-by-them/.

Some of the top employers in this country are also allowing their workers to take time out of their daily schedules to exercise. It helps to create a culture of healthy minds, bodies and spirit. Many of these top companies have on-site exercise facilities.

For those who are not able to exercise during business hours, or do not have the resources to join a health club or gym, the best form of exercise is walking – and it is free!

I contend that thirty days of steady walking will have you feeling better all round – in mind, body and spirit. Watch out, there may be some unexpected consequences. The story in you might just come out!

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. Author of the EVVY award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For information about the memoir, browse this website and go to

Creative Memory

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A memoir takes some particular threads, some incidents, some experience form a person’s life and gives an account of it. ~ Richard Hell

Yesterday’s blog was all about using images, songs, adages, movies to elicit memories of times gone-by to help write life stories.They  all serve as great writing prompts.

saddle shoe polish

When I saw the image of this widely-used household item from my childhood it triggered powerful memories. Below are the words that I associated with this picture. The words became basis for writing the preface to my memoir.

Once I recorded my thoughts it was easy to compose the preface to the book. Then my words became complete sentences and a little organizing to make sure the writing became a well- developed composition that conveyed what I wanted to share with my readers.

Here are the free association words that immediately came to mind when I saw the image:

 

  • First day of school
  • lunchbox
  • socks with wrinkles
  • foreign speaking doctor
  • bus stop
  • saddle shoes
  • odd odor
  • six years old
  • my mother
  • fear and anxiety

If you want to write your life story but are stumped and having a hard time getting started, dig out some old pictures from the past and see what happens. Here is a great article about the power of creative memory. http://huff.to/1pNAOvL

If you are interested in this thing called “independent publishing” there are many, many blog writings on All Things Fulfilling about the subject. Basically, I recorded my journey as I went through my own publishing process. On the right-hand side of this page, you can search by category – enter words such as independent publishing, writing, memoir, marketing independent publications, e-book publishing, writers, creativity.

That is all I’ve got for today! This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For -information on her  book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected which won 2 EVVY book awards, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1rOmKUp.

Meet You at the Sandbox

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“Play is the work of children. It’s very serious stuff.” ―Bob Keeshan

Welcome back! Hope you had fun weekend.

A few years ago when I moved to Colorado, I went to a business conference for entrepreneurs. I sat next to a very nice young woman, not many years out of college. We visited throughout the day and enjoyed each other’s company. At end of the conference, she turned to me and said, “You know, you really ought to join the young professionals networking group.”  I began laughing!

“What?” she asked, in all seriousness. “What are you laughing at?”

“Young professionals?” I asked. Not because I thought joining networking groups for professionals was a bad idea but because I was questioning her judgment of how old I was. If fact, there are great advantages to joining organizations to meet-up with other entrepreneurs and business people. http://bit.ly/1uICWXy.

“Yes,” she said, “they are a great group and you ought to be part of it.”

Captain KangarooI kept laughing and said, “I don’t think you understand how old I am. I’m not sure I can keep up with all the techies and you. I grew up with Captain Kangaroo!”

“What?” she asked. “Who is that?”

“A TV icon from the 1950s and 60s. You know,” I said, even though I knew she didn’t, “his friends were Mr. Green Jeans, and Bunny Rabbit.”

“Sorry, I don’t know who or what you are taking about,” she looked at me like I was crazy and dropped the subject.

As I left the conference and considered what she said to me, I began to feel good that even though I am a baby boomer this young professional had wanted me to play in the same sandbox!

If you even know what a sandbox is you belong in the same group as I do – the playpen for people who remember when life and child’s play was much simpler.

sandbox

This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her book, the memoir “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected,” please follow this link.http://amzn.to/1pRK5Ao

We’ve Got Ya Covered

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Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of the living.”   –Miriam Beard

I’ve always had a penchant for covered bridges. I suppose it began during my childhood years when our family spent time on Lake Champlain in Vermont for many summers. Every time we passed by the Shelburne Museum, I saw their covered bridge and loved it.

When I was in college and moved off campus, I had to cross a covered bridge every morning and evening on my way to campus. Sometimes it was by way of foot and sometimes in my old hand-me-down station wagon. The girth of the car took up the entire bridge it was so wide. Only one car at a time could travel through it.

If you are a fan of covered bridges, you’d love Vermont, and you ought to visit the State. Leaf peeping (aka fall foliage) time is the best. Colors of golden yellow,  vibrant orange and firey red from the maple trees are a sight to behold along with the contrast of verdant green in the fields and meadows. From the northern border which touches Canada to the southern part of the State, bordering Massachusetts, vibrant color is everywhere.

Crossing over that covered bridge in Johnson, Vermont every morning and evening gave me warm, fulfilling feelings. As it turned out, this girl who originated from the south of the Mason-Dixon Line had found a place in the North Country that she would call home for three decades.

Covered bridge near Chaffee House

Above: Covered Bridge at Rt 100C, Johnson, Vermont

This image and more wonderful Vermont images can be purchased through www,hansonstudio.com

Johnson State College  http://www.jsc.edu

Below Photos: Shelburne Museum   www.shelburnemuseum.org

shelburne museum1Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont.Shelburne_lighthouse1shelburne museum3Shelburne Museum 5

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For information on the memoir, please visit this website

http://amzn.to/1oj1hjW

Storytelling for the Sake of Others

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Stories are how we learn. The progenitors of the world’s religions understood this, handing down our great myths and legends from generation to generation. —Bill Mooney and David Holt,Storyteller’s Guide (American Storytelling)

I’m looking forward to this evening. I’ve been invited as a guest to attend an event called Stories! It Takes Roots to Bloom! A year or two ago I was invited to attend this annual event organized by the Steamboat Christian Church . The first time I attended it I thoroughly enjoyed myself, so I am thrilled to be welcomed back.  The night revolves around telling stories orally.

When I gave an author talk at my own church, The United Methodist Church of Steamboat http://www.umcsteamboat.org on May 5th, I mentioned my strong belief in the importance of telling stories to help other people and to preserve culture. It makes no difference what religion you practice because those that relate to what an author has to say will appreciate it.

In my opinion, we all come to our faith (or not) through our own experiences, which is just one point of my memoir “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.” Some people are exposed to very traditional teachings and some come from unique and varied viewpoints, which makes for an interesting American culture.Click here for Info & Ordering on Sue’s memoir

gift of a lifetime image from Amazon_

Several of our We Write Steamboat members are members of this congregation. They have published their stories in testimony to how their faith has made a difference in their careers. Courtney Diehl, an equine veterinarian shares stories about her dealings with horses and their owners. It is  filled with humor that anyone will enjoy. She also gives an accounting of trying to build a successful practice. At the root of her business is her faith that she will make it as a mobile veterinarian.Click here for info & ordering Horse Vet

courtney diehl book large
“Doc Dawn” Dawn V Obrecht, M.D. is a physician specializing in addiction. Her first book is about her medical missionary trips to far off places around the world helping  people who have been devastated by natural environmental disasters. She also has other publications that she has written designed to help those struggling with addiction. These are wonderful examples of personal stories told for the sake of others.Click her for info on all of Dawn V Obrechts books

mission possible

I’d like to extend a thank you to the Director of Women’s Ministry at the Steamboat Christian Church for inviting me. I am sure it will be an inspirational evening.

Do return on Monday! This blog brought to you by http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com and author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Sue’s publication, click on this text.Gift of a Lifetime – Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected