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Bruce's Blog || Just sayin'. . .

Quit Your Day Job, River of Light, Need to Put My Glasses On

Posted on November 23, 2019 by Bruce MacNaughton

Good Morning from Prince Edward Island,

Thank you for being here, let's have a cuppa. I’ll put on the kettle.

Earlier this week I read an article the Intelligent Change curated newsletter.

The article, Your Mess is Your Message, by Kevin Evans was about a book review he did. The book by Cathy Heller, titled Don't Keep Your Day Job.

The book is about Cathy’s entrepreneurial journey as well as many known entrepreneurs who turned their lives around by dealing with life's rejections.

In the review, I was especially inspired by Josh Spector's story. 

A young man who was very involved in all things athletic, even being a competitive surfer while living in Hawaii. During his junior year in college, he was struck by a car while driving his moped. He ended by being paralyzed.  Lawyers told him he would be awarded millions of dollars.

During Josh’s darkest days, a friend brought him a Bible. He started to leaf through it until he happened upon the story of Samson.

Samson is confronted by a lion, whom he tears apart with his bare hands (Samson is best known for his strength). Later comes upon the carcass of the lion and finds a beehive filled with honey. 

Josh read these words, “Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet.” Josh took these words to heart and he felt they were sent directly to him.

He awoke from his place of darkness and made the decision to not pursue the lawyers and their money option. He personally felt he had not come to a complete stop at the intersection and in good conscience could not do it.

That is integrity, that is convicted character.

He felt what happened to him had a larger purpose for his life. Samson’s experience revealed a spiritual realization. God will use situations in our lives to accomplish His will. 

Josh, accepted the revelation and set out to make a difference. Today, he owns The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, which he started from scratch. 

If ever back in Los Angeles, I will visit. 

Here is a bit of his story via Vimeo.

 

Speaking of books...

This week I purchased and am preparing to read, Drinking from the River of Light, the life of expression by Mark Nepo. He is a poet and philosopher providing personal reflections and exercises in this passionate testament to the spirituality of expression, particularly prose.

Here is a quote from Mark's book.

"The fundamental truth of being human is that we are incredibly sensitive creatures whose joy and pain are registered through that unique sensitivity. This sensitivity allows us the gift of seeing and perceiving. This sensitivity allows us to make sense of being alive. Unlike any other form of life, being human allows us to fit things together or to break things apart. Inhabiting the art of expressing ourselves is what lets us fit things together rather than break things apart. The art of expressing ourselves—what we experience, what we feel, what we think, and what we imagine exists within us and beyond us—is a form of inner breathing. And so, we each must learn how to do this or we will cease to exist. If you stop breathing, you will die. If you stop expressing, you may still walk around and buy groceries and pay the bills, but you will not be alive." ~ Mark Nepo

A quote I am thinking about this weekend. "The proper function of man is to live, not to exist" ~ Jack London

This morning, I learned of a friends passing. “Tom” Davies was a wonderful 82-year-old man. A fellow restauranteur who at a time owned all the KFC’s on the Island among other businesses as well. He was a gentleman and someone I admired and appreciated very much. His character continues to reflect through his gracious wife, Eleanore and his children.

In David Brooke’s book, “The Road to Character” speaks of two kinds of virtues. Resume virtues and eulogy virtues. While the former is deemed important in the marketplace, it is eulogy virtues, that speak to the character, when others praise a person who isn’t around to hear it. My memory of Tom will always be he was a man of humility, gentleness and kindness. A wonderful character. RIP Tom.

Moral improvement occurs most reliably when the heart is warmed when we come into contact with people we admire and love and we consciously and unconsciously bend our lives to mimic theirs. ~ David Brooks

Pulling on the thread about friends...

I read an interesting New York Times article listing many studies from around the world that support the theory that "friendship" is good for our health. Friendships are an essential ingredient in a happy life, so it’s time to give them the care and attention they deserve. The kind of friendship bond they spoke of was the non-spousal kind. Interestingly, they also found the proximity of the friend was not all that important.

Researchers are starting to pay attention to the importance of friendship and social networks in overall health.

Considering the fact the next few months are all about family and friends, the following links might be read and considered.

Read Smarter Living by Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times.

How to Be a Better Friend

The Benefits of Friendship

How to Make Friendships Last 

How to Listen

How to Argue with Friends

Well friends, got to run, market morning...fresh eggs and sourdough bread. YumYum. 

While writing I have been listening to a new album by Sofaine Pamart. 

Gold Medal of the National Conservatory of Lille, Sofiane Pamart is the new French prodigy of the piano. At the age of 23, he spanned the biggest stages: Olympia, Bataclan and La Cigale in Paris. He has already collaborated with many French and international artists such as Kery James, Grand Corps Malade, Gael Faye, Medine, Scylla and Selah Sue. He draws his inspiration from today's rap and classical references such as Vladimir Horowitz, Ravel and Chopin.

His music is precise, sharp, rich in cultures and influences. 

Enjoy the sound. Sample Listen Here

Taking care of business. Be sure to take a peek at our offerings in the newsletter this weekend. If there is anything we can do to make your gift-giving easier, let us know. We can personalize each gift with your choice of items, and we handwrite the cards with your good wishes.

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Be nice. Love is a verb. 

With love from Prince Edward Island, 

Bruce

Ps. 

My face in the mirror isn’t wrinkled or drawn.
My office ain’t dirty; the cobwebs are gone.
My car seems so shiny, like I waxed it anon.
My abs are a ‘six-pack’; my body’s all brawn.

My desk is uncluttered, with papers not o’errun.
My screen crystal clear now and typing is fun.
My garden looks lovely, nd so does my lawn.
I think I might never put my glasses back on.

~ Dr. Bob Griffin

Hope is Rising, We are Ready for Change, Society's Soul

Posted on June 08, 2019 by Bruce MacNaughton

I love mornings!

The photo above was captured by Katherine MacLaine, our friend and graphic designer/photographer and it got me to thinkin’...

The sunrise reminds me to wipe off yesterday’s residue and start again. It’s a new day, a new chance to get it right. But what is right?

Happiness is great but joy is a whole other world.

David Brooks, a NY Times op-ed writer recently gave a talk. The lies our culture tells us about what matters - and a better way to live. In this video, he opens up to his personal failings and shares his education with us.

A bit of the transcript from the video gives you an idea of what he had to share.

The message of the meritocracy is you are what you accomplish. The myth of the meritocracy is you can earn dignity by attaching yourself to prestigious brands. The emotion of the meritocracy is conditional love, you can "earn" your way to love. The anthropology of the meritocracy is you're not a soul to be purified, you're a set of skills to be maximized. - David Brooks

His most recent book, The Second Mountain poses an age-old question.

What’s the secret to living a joyful, meaningful and fulfilling life? He provides a provocative answer. One that rubs against the grain of present-day society. Reject individualism and the almost unrestricted personal freedom it promises. Embrace a life of service to others.

 By undermining our social connections, individualism causes a range of societal and personal problems, which many people try to overcome by pursuing material success and happiness. But this pursuit ultimately leads nowhere. The real road to fulfillment leads to a life of service to other people, which can be practiced through our vocations, marriages, religions and/or the tasks of community-building. - Liner notes

This thread all started when I saw Katherine's photo of the farmer on his tractor. I am imagining that he is in his glory, preparing the land for a crop. And planning to harvest a few months from now. Farmers are special. Bless their hearts for working hard to feed us, our families, and the community.

Since World War Two our food systems became industrialized. Which brought on the steady decline of family farms. These facts are real.

Hope is rising.

There is a renaissance happening. More and more people plan or are growing food for themselves and others.

Cooking schools are booming. Community cooking classes are popular.  

We all play a part in restoring our society’s soul.

Get ourselves closer to the land and knowing those who grow our food is the first step.

You cannot ignore the benefits of cooking at home either.

To sit around the table and share a meal together is special. I wish I had spent more time honouring this. Going forward I will be more intentional.

A University of Montreal study found children who routinely eat their meals together with their family are more likely to experience long-term physical and mental health benefits.

Micheal Pollan has been writing books and articles for thirty years. His passion is about the places where nature and culture intersect. Our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in our minds.

Below is a short video speaking to some of the benefits of cooking at home.

Do you like to cook? What is your favourite dish to prepare?

Today and a lot this week I have been listening to:

Thank you for taking the time to be with me today.

I truly hope you have a wonderful weekend and a great week ahead.

With Love from Prince Edward Island!
Sincerely,
Bruce
ps.
An 8-year-old girl went to the office with her father on 'Take your child to work day'.
As they walked around the office she started crying and getting cranky.
Her father asked what was wrong.

As the staff gathered round she sobbed loudly, "Daddy, where are all the clowns you said you worked with?"