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Not a Good Idea + A Current Collective + Do You Feel It Now?

Not a Good Idea + A Current Collective + Do You Feel It Now?

Good Morning from Warren Grove, Prince Edward Island
We love our Millie, a two-year-old Australian Shepherd.

She celebrated her second birthday this week. I forgot to take photos but here she is at 10 weeks. 

I am curious how many pet owners there are reading today. What does owning a pet do for you?
I am thinking about contagion due to the news out of South Africa. It started me thinking about what is the opposite of stress. So I pulled this thread at 5:30 am this morning. Here we go.
"Brain cells create ideas. Stress kills brain cells. Stress is not a good idea" ~ Arthur Frederick Saunders
I went to Dr. Google and typed in the question. What is the opposite of stress?
After 3 pages of dictionary responses, I found a Stress Management article posted by Villanova University.
"Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency."

~ Natalie Goldberg 

What is Stress?
“There are two ways you can look at stress - you can change the stressor or you can change the way you look at it.
Stress is a feeling that's created when we react to particular events. It's the body's way of rising to a challenge and preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, strength, stamina, and heightened alertness.
The events that provoke stress are called stressors. They cover a whole range of situations. Everything from outright physical danger to speaking in public.
The human body responds to stressors by activating the nervous system and specific hormonesFor example, the hypothalamus signals the adrenal glands to produce more of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol and release them into the bloodstream. These hormones speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. Blood vessels open wider to let more blood flow to large muscle groups, alerting our muscles. Pupils dilate to improve vision. The liver releases some of its stored glucose to increase the body's energy. And sweat is produced to cool the body. These physical changes prepare a person to react quickly and effectively to handle the pressure of the moment.
This natural reaction is known as the stress response. When working correctly, the body's stress response enhances a person's ability to perform well under pressureBut the stress response can also cause problems when it overreacts or fails to turn off and reset itself properly.”
How do I turn my back on stress?
As a man of faith, I am fortunate ‘when’ I surrender to the peace of God, stress is not so much an issue. But the real trick is in surrendering.
While talking with Dr. Google, I discovered kindness is also highly contagious.
"Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver."
~ Barbara De Angelis
Scientists at Harvard and Yale measured the contagiousness of kindness out to three social steps.

When you are kind to someone, that person will be kind or kinder to someone else (1 social step from you), because of how you made the person feel, and the recipient of that kindness will be kind or kinder to someone else(2 social steps from you), and the recipient of that kindness will be kind or kinder to someone else (3 social steps from you).

In practice, kindness is ‘circularly contagious’, like the way a wave travels outwards in a circle when you drop a pebble in water.

"Imagine you are walking in the woods and you see a small dog sitting by a tree. As you approach it, it suddenly lunges at you, teeth bared. You are frightened and angry. But then you notice that one of its legs is caught in a trap. Immediately your mood shifts from anger to concern: You see that the dog's aggression is coming from a place of vulnerability and pain. This applies to all of us. When we behave in hurtful ways, it is because we are caught in some kind of trap. The more we look through the eyes of wisdom at ourselves and one another, the more we cultivate a compassionate heart." ~ Tara Brach

We feel happier when we act in service to others.
“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop
A recent study reported on how people felt after performing or observing kind acts every day for seven daysParticipants were randomly assigned to carry out at least one more kind act than usual for someone close to them, an acquaintance or stranger, or themselves, or to try to actively observe kind acts. Happiness was measured before and after the seven days of kindness. The researchers found that being kind to ourselves or to anyone else — yes, even a stranger — or actively observing kindness around us boosted happiness.
Check out the study here
I love the story of how Evan Bisnauth makes animated videos with the dogs to help them get adopted. I love his passion and his kindness towards the animals who can’t speak for themselves. How one 11-year-old is assisting hard-to-place dogs to in shelters get attention and find homes is a beautiful thing. Read the Washington Post story here
Have you seen our newest blog, by our graphic designer and photographer, Katherine MacLaine? She captures Prince Edward Island's beauty with her camera like no one else. Check out A Current Collective.
A Quote I am Thinking About
"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop." - Ovid
I love silly clean humour. This guy is a comic genius
Steven Wright


Ok, I hope you had a laugh. Now let’s Dance. Wiggle and Giggle Time.

"Be The Peace You Wish To See In The World!" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

With love from Prince Edward Island.
Bruce + Millie
ps. Your Morning Smile
My wife yelled from the bedroom, asking, “Do you ever get a shooting pain across your body like someone’s got a voodoo doll of you, and they’re stabbing it?”
I replied, “No.”
She yelled back, "What about now?"
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murdock morrison - November 29, 2021

Finally got the blog I always did with the lovely pic and date( Nov.27.21) did something change to have this happen. Enjoyed this blog very much on Stress and Kindness and all of your examples were great and the quotes were wonderful too as well as the comic and You Tube ones – Overall a well rounded and positive blog that makes it so enjoyable to read -Have a great week Bruce murdock

Suzi - November 29, 2021

Dear Bruce,
I would love to see the BE KIND sign that Mary Zelli’s friend, Gini makes, so if she shares it with you, would you please pass on this thoughtful idea?
I also appreciated both the article and comment (S. Kaliich) made about the smart young boy who reads to dogs, and tries to get them adopted. What a beautiful act of kindness on this young man’s part!
Love your blogs, as always.
Holiday blessings to you dear person!

Mary - November 28, 2021

Happy birthday Millie! Our corgi James just tuned 15 yesterday. He is blind, deaf, has a bad back, and needs to wear diapers, but he just loves life. Being pushed in his stroller when the walk is too much for him, greeting all the neighbors, enjoying the late fall sunshine – he constantly reminds me that life always has moments to savor.

Ellen Fisher - November 28, 2021

For the love of pets. During the last years of his life my husband Paul had many hospital stays. One day when I went to visit Paul he asked if I brought his cat, Mr. Potter. I was surprised at this question & thought, my goodness Paul is really sick if he thinks I can bring the cat to the hospital. A kind nurse had found Paul weeping, he was missing his Siamese cat, Mr. Potter. This nurse told me that the hospital was a ‘whole health facility’ & yes I could go to get Mr. Potter to comfort my husband. This wonderful cat laid beside Paul for 2 hours seeming to know how much he was needed & loved. Later at a rehab facility while Paul was learning to walk with an artificial limb, other patients would ask to see Mr. Potter. Pets are truly amazing in their ability to give comfort and love to their human companions. Ellen

George E Read - November 28, 2021

Being restricted to a wheelchair, my Greyhound has gone to the Happy Hunting Ground. your news and videos are a blessings…. George

Jack & Lillian Paul - November 27, 2021

Bruce we love the kindness message…It is missing in far too many places due to Covid. In Ottawa we had a wonderful man..a Rabbi…Ruben Bulka…who passed away last spring. He was fixture at the National War Memorial Ceremonies every year and did so much for the city. He started a “Kindness Week” in February each year and asked everyone to do an act of kindness every day. It is something we should all think about as we try to get ourselves back to normal. Happy Birthday Millie from our little Tasha…a pet therapy dog.

Julie Watson - November 27, 2021

You asked about the importance of pets. Where to start. I purchased Sparky in Florida for my husband who was battling ill health. He had never been without a dog, so because we were living in an RV we downsized and got a Yorkie/mini-poodle mix. Cancer claimed Jack so Sparky is my only companion. He gets me up in the morning. He gets me out for walks. He gets me down on the floor to play with him (my challenge is getting up). He wants his meals on time so I eat. He snuggles at night. He makes coming home joyful. Sometimes its a pain having a dog in an apartment, when I want to travel, or even go out in the evening, but can’t imagine life without him. He gives me a reason to be.

Bob Griffin - November 27, 2021

Bruce, we loved the reminder to US that we are inundated with “stress”. Stunned at how the Goldberg quotation on how “ignorance believes that everything is an emergency” reflects the headlines of our daily life.

Your heart of a teacher (or is it a closet preacher?) shares a lesson I need repeated every day. While succumbing to stress leads us to turn inward, kindness is an attitude that will always lead to action. We will not quiver in fear and stupor, but move ahead in the opposite direction to service for others.

S Kalich - November 27, 2021

Oh how cute Millie was and is! Pets have always been in my life. From dogs and cats on the farm growing up…my brother and I always had a treasure hunt finding new litters in the haymow. They brought joy and laughter to our world. Have had cats since then and all have given unconditional love and especially comfort in times of stress or sadness. Not sure what the psychological effect of petting soft fur, a purr and looking into those wise eyes is for humans….they always seem to know.

Julie MacKenzie - November 27, 2021

Good Morning Bruce! I enjoyed the 2 videos this morning. I have seen Steven Wright many times & I enjoy his “dead pan” humour…the monotone way he moves through his comedy routine. He’s so funny! The music video was good too. Enjoyed “Your Morning Smile” joke too. Thank you for sharing your blog with us. I always enjoy my weekends waiting to read it.

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