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Do You Want to Be Happy? + Feels Like a Million Dollars + Back in School

Do You Want to Be Happy? + Feels Like a Million Dollars + Back in School

Good Morning from Warren Grove, Prince Edward Island

It is 4:48 am, and all is well. 

The phone photo is of one of my favourite trees at home this morning at 8:18. 

Tea is hot, and the kettle is still warm, probably be a two cupper before 6. 

Before sitting down and staring at a ‘blank page' this morning, I opened an email from someone unknown to me.  It was a request for the Gardens of Hope Respite Cottage. 

Those who follow my writing know that I start with a blank screen and wait for a thread to show up. This email was the thread. When one shows up, I pull on it and let the story and thoughts from there be a patchwork held together with the initial piece of thread. 

I felt led to light a candle for those who are suffering today. This morning’s email goes along with the others who wrote to us with similar stories this week. There are a lot who are dealing with illness and life in a way that just breaks my heart. 

Healing is learning to love the wound because love draws us into relationship with it instead of avoiding feeling the discomfort.

—Lama Rod Owens

I am so thankful that we have the Respite Cottage available to those who need a break from the routine of home and medical appointments. This year, the cottage was booked solid with people from all over North America mid-May till mid-October. Then COVID came along. Most of the bookings had to be cancelled or postponed till 202.  Amazingly it pretty well filled back up with folks from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

If we have our health, we have a lot to be grateful for. Sure, aches and pains are annoying, but really, the big picture should lead us to gratitude. 

Gratitude is our natural response to God’s grace. Nothing so takes the heart out of a person as in gratitude. Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all the others. —Cicero

I am not always successful at creating new habits, and I won’t stop trying to improve as human and all that my world includes. I have attempted a gratitude journal a few times. The Five Minute Journal is a popular one, I appreciate the simplicity. 

These words from the inside cover of The Five Minute Journal.

What is Gratitude? 

This nifty emotion defies easy classification. Gratitude, derived from the Latin word gratia (meaning grace, graciousness or gratefulness), eludes easy explanation by academics. Definitions such as the ‘the willingness to recognize the unearned increments of value in one’s experience” look great on term papers but don’t get the point across. We will not attempt to disguise im[precision with ten-dollar words. 

Gratitude is the experience of counting ones’ blessings. 

It is the feeling that embodies the word “Thank you.” It is the unexpected reward of a kind deed that is magically produced by your brain. It is the cute, tingly feeling in your body that makes you smile at strangers. 

The road to success with The Five Minute Journal is to write into this book every day.  Three things you are grateful for, three things that would make today great, two daily affirmations, and in the evening, write three amazing things that happened today, and two things on how you could have made today even better.

How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain by Greater Good.

Want to be Happy? Be grateful. 

In an attempt to read more, learn more and grow more, I am on book number 10 of the 2020 goal of 20. 

Why did I choose a 400 plus page book as number ten? I am glad I did. Someone recommended, The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd, and wow...the storytelling is inspiring, yet humbling. I can’t wait to get back to reading it after putting it down. 

From Amazon... 

In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.

Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humour and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana's pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome's occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbours a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history.

Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus's life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman's bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.

If you are looking to purchase a book for a friend who likes to read. You will not go wrong with this. Ratings are through the roof. 

So far, there have been three words I have had to look up. 

Propitious, Reverential, Supercilious.

"The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you."

- BB King

We all need a little hope. 

This week, I have been mixing up the music a bit I and listening to:

With fall in the air and love in my heart, have a wonderful day and a great week ahead. 


Bruce & Millie


Back in School…

Teacher: “I hope I didn’t see you looking at Timmy’s test paper?”

Little Johnny: ”I hope you didn't see me either!”

Previous article Happy News + Rewilding + Magicians Dilemma


Susan E-J - September 20, 2020

Three words only for the Blog this week, Bruce: Thankyou. Thankyou. Thankyou.

Jeannette Janssen-Sjostrom - September 20, 2020

Thank you, Bruce, for your insightful and heartfelt words. Your thoughts mean so much to so many. You have a unique way if getting your messages across. Thank you so much!

Derinda Lyall - September 20, 2020

Bruce once again you have brought Light and Happiness into my life. I am grateful for so much and your Blogs are one of those things. You are so passionate about so many things and have such a positive attitude. We hope to return to PEI when this Pandemic is over and hopefully we may get to see Millie in person. I am also an avid reader. The Garden of Hope is wonderful and must be such a comfort for people staying there.

Raegan Marsh - September 20, 2020

It is actually the one year anniversary of my wonderful week at the Gardens of Hope Respite Cottage. I am still overwhelmed by your extreme generosity. We were just looking back through our pictures today and remembering what an amazing week we had in PEI. I loved sitting in the garden, in my favourite yellow Adirondack chair by the water, watching the sunset. I was so relaxed, peaceful and happy. I didn’t have to think about chemo or cancer or my treatments. I could just enjoy the moment…and for that, I am forever grateful!
St. Catharines, Ontario

Judy (Donovan Whitty) in Charlottetown - September 20, 2020

Bruce, you never disappoint! Your writing/sharing is so worthwhile especially today on gratitude…so happy my sister and I got to
have one of the wonderful last meals served before your restaurant closed for the season…awesome food and staff as always…many thanks!

Audrey Wilde - September 19, 2020

Thank You, I love the video of “Hope”. We have had a dog with 3 legs as well and was a wonderful pet to everyone. Your blog is always inspiring. Hug’s to Millie.
I think I need to purchase The Book of Longings, for a friend.
Blessings, Audrey

althea - September 19, 2020

Oh, Bruce. What an absolutely glorious (and tearful) way to start today…and the weekend…continuing on into the week. The gorgeous tree on opening the blog brought Joyce Kilmer’s poem Trees immediately to mind. (And taken from your phone! Wow!)….Steindl-Rast and Sue Monk Kidd brought back teaching-readings of yore…and Hope, bursting with love, joy and most likely gratitude. Physically, it’s been a rough few months….so thank you for this blog with its blast of light and love and hope.

Mikel and Kay Stevenson - September 19, 2020

Indeed! Thank you, Bruce, and thank you Peggy for your comment above. You said it well for all of us here.

Ashley - September 19, 2020

I look forward to your posts every week. Makes me miss PEI so much. Thank you for brightening my day.

Marylou - September 19, 2020

As always I loved reading your blog Bruce – thanks so much. It always brightens my day.

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