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For Your Well Being: Gratitude – A 3-Way Street

Nov. 20, 2008, Vol. 6 Issue 20

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m going to take a little detour from my trip down memory lane today, to share a letter of gratitude. I am always pleased to get emails and letters of thanks from event planners. After all of the planning, marketing, and taking care of details, details, and more details, it’s satisfying for all of us to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

This particular letter, however, came to me from one of our speakers, Sue Kirby. It was beautifully handwritten, totally unexpected, and while it’s a thank you to me, it’s really a unique glimpse of a speaker’s perspective. We usually think in terms of the speaker and their message and what they bring to you. This is a peek at her experience traveling around the country and what the experience of being a speaker and visiting a community, brings to her life. And, in a sense, it is an expression of gratitude to all the event planners and coordinators we work with year in and year out. Gratitude – it’s a three-way street.

Sue Kirby

By Sue Kirby

I know I speak for all the speakers who Barbara (The Speak Well Being Group) represents, when I say, “Thank you!”

I used to believe that my message was important and the affect it had on the audience was what I carried home with me. Now, after many travels I realize more and more, the real joy of this speaking profession is the people! Their pride, their passion, their purpose.

Just returning from North Platte, Nebraska, I came home with a very happy heart. These are some of the wonderful people we are privileged to meet. They welcome you into their town and their lives! They teach you about real Americans. They are the heart of our country. And . . . the entire time they honor the speaker for coming.

So again, thank you, Barbara, for being the connection. Consider us all humbly grateful.

Sue Kirby

Behind the Scenes

Sue KirbySue always brings home great stories about the places she visits – it obviously has something to do with the big-hearted person she is. But this particular experience in North Platte crystallized that effect for her; she was privileged to be included in the town’s expression of honor for their homecoming heroes, and it made her realize that everything we do enables us to participate in the lives of the people we reach out to and how much we receive back in the process – a realization we don’t often see so clearly in the press of daily life.

So what exactly happened in North Platte? Sue was there last year, to speak at the “Women’s Head 2 Toe Expo.” It was this experience off stage that really moved her.

“Everyone in the office gathered around as they shared a video with me – one they’d all seen many, many times,” Sue told me. “The entire town was lining the streets, and I mean everyone. The streets were packed with people cheering and waving flags, as they welcomed their soldiers home. From the airport to the community college where they all met in the gym, it was a mass of enthusiastic men, women and children. There wasn’t a dry eye in the gym, or in the room where they shared that memory with me. I thought I knew what I was talking about, but they showed me a spirit of gratitude that I took home and it changed me forever.”

And she ended her gratitude letter with this quote:

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude, of those who have lighted the flame within us!” – Albert Schweitzer

Thank YOU, Sue. It is an honor and pleasure to work with YOU, and all of the fabulous, talented, heartful speakers we get to know and introduce to others.

Introducing Nutrition Enthusiast
Eleanor Pella . . .
And a Pumpkin Pie Recipe

We’re always on the lookout for bright, up and coming speakers who are ready to take their expertise to the national level. Eleanor B. Pella, MS, RD, LDN, is one of those. Hailing from Gettysburg, Pennyslvania, she’s enthusiastic about great-tasting food, good nutrition and getting the message out there in fun ways. In fact, her demo DVD shows her breaking into song – a food parody, of course. Michigan Cardiovascular Institute in Saginaw, raved about her program, “Secrets of the Family Fruit Salad: Female Body Shapes and Your Health,” at their 13th Annual Women’s Health Initiative in October.

Eleanor is especially enthusiastic about the benefits of plant-based diets. In this pumpkin pie recipe, she shares one of her secrets for sneaking tofu into the family diet. Her one caveat is, “Don’t let them see the tofu package until AFTER they’ve eaten the pie!”


1 package (10.5 oz) firm silken tofu
1 can (15 oz) mashed pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Puree eggs and tofu in a blender until smooth
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and the sugars. Whisk in the spices and the pureed tofu.
Pour the mixture into the ceramic 9×12 pan and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 40 minutes. Chill before serving.

Yield: 8 servings
Nutritional Information: 200 calories, 8 g fat , 5 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber
NOTE: This recipe was modified from the pumpkin pie recipe printed on the Libby’s Pumpkin can label.

And Happy Thanksgiving to You . . . Make Some Memories

Speaking of Pennsylvania, some of my fondest childhood memories are of Thanksgivings in Pittsburgh with my aunt, uncle and cousins. My family lived in Parma, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland), at the time, and we would drive to Pittsburgh for the long holiday weekend. All the while that the grown-ups were cooking and kibitzing, my two younger brothers and three younger cousins were in the basement producing a Thanksgiving play, complete with cowboys, Indians and Pilgrims. We have pictures to prove it. You might take a wild guess as to who was running the show. I do recall that the costume-making was very creative. I’ll have to ask my brother next week at Thanksgiving Dinner, what he remembers.

Wishing you a joyful, healthy, yummy and memorable Thanksgiving.

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” – The Buddha

Until next time, make some memories and take care of yourself, for your well being and those you love.


PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.

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