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Becky Cortino Blog, Lifestyle, Live Happy-Be Healthy, Revel in Possibilities

Beautiful Gift Delivered by an Angel

There are Angels Among Us

We were sure she’d live to be 100 years old. It wasn’t long. She remained vibrant, clear-minded, armed with a spirit and spunk that let you know she’s got this — no problem. Our last visit with her convinced us, with certainty.

Her amazing schedule of gatherings, luncheons, meetings and activities belied her age. Far more active than folks even 20 years younger, we were thrilled to know she was still living an incredibly engaging, full life.

As human prognostications for the future often do, our hopeful prediction proved to be wrong. Exactly 2 days shy of 3 months to the date spent with her, she slipped loose of the surly bounds of this world. Jesus awaited her with open arms. Heaven welcomed another angel into its gates, and this world grew perceptibly colder.

When I heard the news, I was swept away in a relentless tangle of grief and despair. As if the tide was rolling in, dark waves of sadness continued pounding with a resounding thunder, on the eroding shore of my hurting heart. The exhausting ordeal pushed well past early morning hours, through the next day.

A profound sense of unceasing anguish gushed out of me. It was a strange mix of deep loss, blended with a consoling gratefulness that she had touched my life. I felt like a part of my heart was being surgically removed. In place of the gaping hurt, the remaining space was immediately filled with love.

She was one person who could say she knew me since I was born, and was glad for that. She well-understood my life story, and could recite it chapter and verse, loving me unceasingly through every unexpected twist, and uncertain turn.      

Our roots ran so deep, she even recognized when I became personally active in my spiritual life (before hitting double-digits) — and had proof. Certainly she and her family had always been influential in my life, sharing in that aspect as well.

When no Christmas card arrived from her by the usual time this year, I became concerned. Our card went out weeks before, hers was sure to follow. I chuckled, remembering her chiding me a few years ago, when busy with family adventures, I was slow to get our Christmas card and letter mailed. She let me know she liked to hear from me, and then respond to our holiday missive. So noted — and appreciated!

Looking back over her life, one would have to say she really got it when it came to relationships with others. She understood what was important to people, caring deeply about everyone. She was one of those saints you may be fortunate enough to know, who can make you feel you are the most important person in the world to her, without realizing the world is filled with others she was also crazy about.

True love was knowing her, having her in my life, and every visit. In addition to our recent joyous reunion, her powerful eyewitness account clearly confirmed how life was for me, as I grew up. Ever still undergirded with the blessed assurance I had received, gave me safe passage from that place.

Blessing upon blessing, she said she (and my long-departed much-loved grandmother) knew I was going to be alright. Those meaningful words were my precious gift, all wrapped-up with a beautiful bow this Christmas season.

Angels are among us. If you listen carefully, you will hear the Lord speak through them, intending to bless for all time.angels are in our lives

Related: Showers of Blessings 

About: My Current Book Project on Forgiveness

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Becky Cortino Blog, Christmas, Lifestyle, Live Happy-Be Healthy, Revel in Possibilities

Kindness Changes Everything

Kindness Changes EverythingKindness makes all the difference.

Christmastime brings with it traditions, surprises, special gatherings and beautiful blessings… About 22 years ago, a group of ladies gathered to give an abused woman a gift shower to help her in settling into a new, safer life. Every year since then, I’ve received a Christmas card and update from this sweet lady.

Her life hasn’t been easy, but she shares with me how this year  was for her, assuring me that she’s getting on in life amidst challenges and changes. She often shares remembering teaching my sons in music classes. Hearing this warms my heart, making me realize sometimes those ties that bind wrap many times around the heart, don’t they?

Every year I await hearing from her… it’s a Christmas tradition in my heart.

RELATED:

Showers of Blessings

On Forgiveness

ABOUT: My Current Book Project on Forgiveness

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Becky Cortino Blog, Lifestyle, Live Happy-Be Healthy, Revel in Possibilities

Transformations Surround Us

Butterflies represent an amazing transformation!

Transformations surround us!

Transformations… surround us. Because life is dynamic, things change every day. Transformative events occur, creating a world we never dreamed of before this moment. We’ve been known to have a change of heart… often change our minds… sometimes, we even change directions in midstream!

As sure as we are of things. consistent and stable as we may try to live our lives, it’s obvious we exist in the midst of change. These are the unexpected spaces in our lifetime where we grow in surprising ways — if we embrace them.

 

I wonder if the lowly caterpillar anticipates of or fears what lies ahead? The ungainly alien-like critter eventually transforms into a well-loved winged delight. It changes into something previously unimaginable — beautiful, taking flight now, as a graceful butterfly!

 

 

There is an inherent elegance in change. Not for the sake of it, but for the possible opportunities of personal growth and promised good things to come.

 

Revel in the Possibilities!

 

RELATED:

Showers of Blessings

On Forgiveness

ABOUT: My Current Book Project on Forgiveness

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Becky Cortino Blog, Lifestyle, Live Happy-Be Healthy, Revel in Possibilities

Happy Friday!

Happy-Happy Friday! I love celebrating the weekend, don’t you? There’s something special about them! I still look forward to the week’s end even when I have no big plans or events scheduled.

 

Fridays and Weekends are FUN!

Happy Friday! Happy Weekend!

Not long ago, as we were all embarking on a long holiday weekend, a lady I know wished me a nice, long weekend [appreciated] — and, she added — to give me “a break from work.” Her comment made me chuckle, because my life blends work into it like breathing. I’ve lived (and worked) like this for years, and can’t imagine life otherwise. In my world, wishing me a “break from work” is like asking me to hold my breath for an indeterminate time.

 

This gave me pause to stop and consider her viewpoint. As any parent knows, you don’t ever have a “day off.” She’s a parent, too. When our children grow up, we’re still their parents. She works in a family-owned business, but I think her mindset is very much tuned into “w-o-r-k” at her very own business! Because she’s trapped herself into this perspective, it’s just a J-O-B for her, waiting for the end of every workday, languishing until that next long weekend. Apparently, she has no joy in the job, which makes her time there unpleasant.

 

Weekends and special days are something to anticipate. Although  I’m fairly certain my work day runs a bit longer than hers, I’m very happy with that. I know nothing else, and realize it has more to do with my personal work style.  I hope my friend gets things arranged the way she’d like. I remember once convincing her a nice piece of business that was literally dropped in her lap was actually a wonderful opportunity, not something to dread (as she was). Eventually she realized it for the profitable, new service it is, and plans to offer it.

 

Happy Friday — happy weekend! Take time to enjoy this weekend, and every day as you can — make the most of it!

 

RELATED:

Showers of Blessings

On Forgiveness

ABOUT: My Current Book Project on Forgiveness

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Becky Cortino Blog, Lifestyle, Live Happy-Be Healthy, Revel in Possibilities

Showers of Blessings

Showers of Blessings

“I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” ~ Ezekiel 34:23b [NIV]

It seems the weather is almost always a popular topic of conversation — maybe in part because it’s something we can agree upon*. Highly unpredictable twists and turns during the 2016 growing season certainly provided endless soundbites and sharing.

 

According to USDA Drought Monitoring, my area of North Carolina is experiencing drought conditions. This we knew. It was especially evident when our garden went unattended during a recent trip.

 

While our garden took the turn it did this season, we didn’t feel any less blessed at all. In fact, even in the midst of this dry and crispy season, we’re feeling very blessed!

 

About 2 months ago, I was assured that what was going to happen in my life was “intended to bless.” Not quite knowing what that was, or how it would be delivered, my mind played with this for a while.

 

I do have a great imagination, but found it to be no match for the showers of blessing about to rain down upon us! Even with 8 weeks of advance notice, I assure you I’d never have been totally prepared for the dowsing we were to receive!

 

The deluge began just over 2 weeks ago, and it has not stopped. I’ve discovered I don’t have enough buckets, barrels, baskets or bins to collect all the blessings! Still, they keep coming. I’m running, trying to keep up!

 

If you know me on the other side of this screen, or online, you probably know I don’t usually run out of things to talk about [I’m a good listener, too by the way]… but at this moment, I’m having a difficulty putting more than 2 words together, to make a sentence. I think my nearly speechless condition is probably because I feel so incredibly blessed, and am busily running to catch all these blessings any way I can.

 

For now, I think I’ll linger just a bit longer in this blissful place… but I want to assure you that even in times of drought, we are all incredibly blessed.

 

*meaning weather conditions, not causes of extreme weather

 

ABOUT: Drought Conditions Status  [For other regions, click-through, to view USDA Drought Monitor Map]

MORE: On Forgiveness

My Current Book Project on Forgiveness

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Creative Arts, Healing Humor, Injecting Healing Humor Into Healthcare, Live Happy-Be Healthy

Funny Smile Makerz Kit

Funny Smile Makerz Kit by Becky Cortino

Funny Smile Makerz Kit by Becky Cortino

Create Endless Smiles ‘n Memories with Funny Smile Makerz Kit!

Designed especially for those who want to spread laughter and cheer, make happy memories for others.

Always a hit with all ages, Funny Smile Makerz Smiles communicate clearly in all languages! Share Smiles everywhere — anytime! Once purchased, print as many as you want, as often as you need. Just for FUN — share Funny Smiles wherever you go!

 

Create a simple, special leave-behind for patients or residents of a healthcare facility or nursing home, humor programs, events and venues, humanitarian purposes, and outreach events. One size fits all! Great FUN for everyone!

Available on Amazon.com

Creative Arts, Injecting Healing Humor Into Healthcare, Live Happy-Be Healthy

Creative Arts Ministry

Gift of Heart: Impacting Lives Through Christian Creative Arts by Becky Cortino

Gift of Heart: Impacting Lives Through Christian Creative Arts by Becky Cortino

Are you looking for a meaningful way to serve? Christian creative arts ministry provides a means to touch hearts with ideas, lessons and uplifting messages. In today’s entertainment-driven society, this ministry form is viable, with endless opportunities.

 

Fear not! Although the name may imply requiring great creativity — it does not. Simply, a heart to serve is essential. This inspiring guide is presented as a springboard to spark imagination by Becky Cortino, based on her experience as a family entertainer since 1997.

 

Learn what Christian creative arts ministry is, and why it is important. Discover possibilities surrounding all of us daily. Explore easily-implemented special event ideas, proven appropriate for varied venues and situations, along with four popular ministries to consider. You will benefit from tried-and-true insight and professional tips. A personal view presented from the trenches will help you know the positive impact made through simple gifts of the heart.

Available on Amazon.com

Available directly from Becky’s Publisher

Healing Humor, Injecting Healing Humor Into Healthcare, Live Happy-Be Healthy

Healing Humor in the Healthcare Setting

 

 

From the Heart: Injecting Healing Humor in the Healthcare Setting by Becky Cortino

From the Heart: Injecting Healing Humor in the Healthcare Setting by Becky Cortino

From the Heart: Injecting Healing Humor in the Healthcare Setting by Becky Cortino

While it is said the longest journey begins with a single step, the adventures of a hospital or caring clown into the Great Clown Unknown may comprise the most incredible experience of a lifetime, in every step taken by those funny shoes and in the true heart behind that nose.

 

This book is written based upon personal experience, explorations and interest-directed research serving in the trenches, as a hospital or caring clown since 1997.

 

Presented as an inspiring collage from my clown heart as a grassroots volunteer community-based hospital clown creative ministry coordinator, this book is well-seasoned with insight, served up with the purpose of providing a dose of encouragement to active healthcare venue performers and creative arts entertainers; those with a heartfelt desire to inject healing humor into the healthcare setting; or those simply interested in taking a peek into the joy-full existence, a part of the blessed journey of hospital/caring clowns and creative arts family entertainers!

Available directly from Becky’s Publisher

Healing Humor, Live Happy-Be Healthy

A Heart 4 Clowning: Touching Hearts thru the Arts

Miles of Smiles

Share Smiles!

A Heart 4 Clowning: Touching Hearts thru the Arts (TM)

 

Becky Cortino is the creative mind behind AHeart4Clowning.com, series of related books, multi-media, and online resources about Healing Humor and Injecting Healing Humor in the Healthcare Setting through Hospital Clowns, Healthcare Family Entertainers and Staff.

 

Beginning in 1997, Becky followed a meandering joy-filled journey from a marketing and PR consultancy she founded, to actively performing as a family entertainer, joining Frye Regional Medical Center’s (FRMC) Charlie’s Chaplains, eventually serving as the group’s coordinator (2003-11). Established in 1991, the group is thought to be one of the oldest known continually-performing all-volunteer hospital clown groups in existence. Under Becky’s leadership, Charlie’s Chaplains transformed into a “New Generation,” a more expansive version, including professional jugglers, magicians, puppeteers, and musicians. She received recognition for her thousands of volunteer hours of service by the Points of Light Foundation. 

 

FRMC Charlie’s Chaplains’ now-infamous “Skool” was designed and instigated by Becky, first launching in February, 2004, eventually creating global awareness for the program, drawing attendees from other states, while also training many other groups, troupes and ministries, in the process. In 10 consecutive comprehensive “Skool” training programs since 2004, Becky trained 245 hospital clowns and healthcare family entertainers in service at other healthcare facilities, as well as her own group at FRMC, and those performing in other states and regions. She took her passion and live training to an international audience, as a featured presenter at the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor conference in 2010.

 

Becky has a heart to share her passion and message of encouragement as a writer, broadcaster, featured speaker and presenter.  Her view on humor as an everyday necessity is: “Healing Humor is not a Band Aid — it’s a Way of Life!” (TM)  Her books and media on this topic are based on her most popular programs and presentations.

 

 

Gift of Heart: Impacting Lives Through Christian Creative Arts by Becky Cortino

Gift of Heart: Impacting Lives Through Christian Creative Arts by Becky Cortino

Are you looking for a meaningful way to serve? Christian creative arts ministry provides a means to touch hearts with ideas, lessons and uplifting messages. In today’s entertainment-driven society, this ministry form is viable, with endless opportunities. Fear not! Although the name may imply requiring great creativity — it does not. Simply, a heart to serve is essential. This inspiring guide is presented as a springboard to spark imagination by Becky Cortino, based on her experience as a family entertainer since 1997. Learn what Christian creative arts ministry is, and why it is important. Discover possibilities surrounding all of us daily. Explore easily-implemented special event ideas, proven appropriate for varied venues and situations, along with four popular ministries to consider. You will benefit from tried-and-true insight and professional tips. A personal view presented from the trenches will help you know the positive impact made through simple gifts of the heart.

Available on Amazon.com

Available directly from Becky’s Publisher

 

 

Lifestyle: Health and Humor

On the FlipSide: Becky is the Creative Mind behind Healing Humor: Live Happy – Be Healthy and AHeart4Clowning series about Injecting Humor in the Healthcare Setting, via Applied Humor Therapy. Writer, featured public speaker, trainer, with multimedia training series, based on nearly 14 years of performing in the healthcare setting and leading a hospital humor program.

 

From the Heart: Injecting Healing Humor in the Healthcare Setting by Becky Cortino

From the Heart: Injecting Healing Humor in the Healthcare Setting by Becky Cortino

While it is said the longest journey begins with a single step, the adventures of a hospital or caring clown into the Great Clown Unknown may comprise the most incredible experience of a lifetime, in every step taken by those funny shoes and in the true heart behind that nose. This book is written based upon personal experience, explorations and interest-directed research serving in the trenches, as a hospital or caring clown since 1997. Presented as an inspiring collage from my clown heart as a grassroots volunteer community-based hospital clown creative ministry coordinator, this book is well-seasoned with insight, served up with the purpose of providing a dose of encouragement to active healthcare venue performers and creative arts entertainers; those with a heartfelt desire to inject healing humor into the healthcare setting; or those simply interested in taking a peek into the joy-full existence, a part of the blessed journey of hospital/caring clowns and creative arts family entertainers!

 

Available directly from Becky’s Publisher

 

 

 

Injecting Healing Humor in the Healthcare Setting by Becky Cortino

Injecting Healing Humor in the Healthcare Setting by Becky Cortino

An inspiring guide filled with ideas and savvy solutions for Hospital Clowns, Healthcare Family Entertainers, Applied Humor Therapists, and SmileMakers, by Becky Cortino, based on her almost 14 years of hospital clowning experience, beginning in 1997. Insightfully written to encourage those in the trenches desiring to generously inject Healing Humor in the healthcare setting, through effectively entertaining, touching hearts, spreading a contagious epidemic of laughter and cheer through lavish doses of Joy and Wonder! *Pointers and Tips for Entertaining in Healthcare Setting *Inspirations and Ideas for Putting Your Best Foot Forward *Actionable Steps to be an Effective Healthcare Family Entertainer *Journaling and List-keeping Section *Special Reader BONUS Gifts ($45 Value)

Available on Amazon.com

Available directly from Becky’s Publisher

 

 

A Heart 4 Clowning How to Establish a Hospital Clown or Creative Ministry Guide by Becky Cortino

A Heart 4 Clowning How to Establish a Hospital Clown or Creative Ministry Guide by Becky Cortino

Are you all Dressed Up with No Place to go? Have you had Hospital Clown, Caring Clown or Healthcare Family Entertainer training, but no established hospital or healthcare facility program where you can apply it? Do you need a dose of encouragement? There are many preliminaries and considerations that need to be addressed in setting up a hospital or healthcare facility humor program. The nuts ‘n bolts to help you build a group is provided in the 131 pages of this ‘how-to’ guide for injecting healing humor in the healthcare setting through creative arts. This book provides: Experienced insight, ideas and inspirations to encourage unique ministry. Considerations in setting up a hospital clown, caring clown or healthcare family entertainer group, troupe or creative ministry. How to present your idea to a hospital or healthcare facility. Organization, team-building and training ideas. Case Studies and Printable Forms to encourage and support efforts.

Available on Amazon.com

Available directly from Becky’s Publisher

 

 

MultiMedia: Healing Humor 

Funny Smile Makerz Kit by Becky Cortino

Funny Smile Makerz Kit by Becky Cortino

Create Endless Smiles ‘n Memories with Funny Smile Makerz Kit! Designed especially for those who want to spread laughter and cheer, while making happy memories for others. Always a hit with all ages, Funny Smile Makerz Smiles communicate clearly in all languages! Share Smiles everywhere — anytime! Once purchased, print as many as you want, as often as you need. Just for FUN — share Funny Smiles wherever you go! Create a simple, special leave-behind for patients or residents of a healthcare facility or nursing home, humor programs, events and venues, humanitarian purposes, and outreach events. One size fits all! Great FUN for everyone!

Available on Amazon.com

 

There's a Clown in My Soup! Best Practices Edutrainment Video for Clown Rounds by Becky Cortino

There’s a Clown in My Soup! Best Practices Edutrainment Video for Clown Rounds by Becky Cortino

There’s a Clown in My Soup video is a Best Practices EduTrainment Clown Rounds program is especially for Hospital Clowns, Caring Clowns and Healthcare Family Entertainers… Presented to integrate universal concepts for performers in the healthcare venue, this program makes effective learning enjoyable in a fresh, fun and colorful, new, memorable way.

No more talking heads, drab, dull or boring training sessions with this program! Instead, a sugar-coated, humorous presentation of 21 Key Questions Every Healthcare Family Entertainer should be able to answer. Developed by Becky Cortino, hospital clown who injected healing humor in the healthcare setting for nearly 14 years, served as coordinator of one of the oldest all-volunteer hospital clown programs in the world, founder and director of FRMC Charlie’s Chaplains’ now-infamous “Skool” in which she trained 245 hospital clowns.

This innovative and inspiring training program includes a “Clown Soup” Facilitator Guide, and printable Participant 21 Key Questions Booklet. [Video and all materials are in color.]

Available on Amazon.com

 

MORE About AHeart4Clowning, Injecting Healing Humor in to the Healthcare Setting, and Resources