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What is Your True North? + The Chapters of Life + Wasn’t Talking to You

What is Your True North? + The Chapters of Life + Wasn’t Talking to You

Good Morning from Prince Edward Island, 

Are you up for a cuppa? Any new ones arrive from Santa? 

Today is the day after eating too much food. The day after Facetime and Zoom calls and exchanging gifts with the ones we call family. 

It was a wonderful day. I hope yours was as well. 

We wish every one of you, your families, a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and the very best in health and happiness in 2021.

I also have gratitude for all of you who read my blog. When I started my blog a few years back, I never imagined the privilege of having so many kind and thoughtful readers who comment and compliment. It means a lot to me. Thank you. 

With the busyness at our company during this time year, I don’t have a lot of time to help decorate our home. Shirley has lovely taste, patience and enjoys preparing the house for Christmas. I am grateful and fortunate for all that she puts into making our house a home, not only at Christmas. 

This story about people’s memories regarding particular Christmas decorations from years past.  Thank you, Sara Fraser and the CBC website. Read the story here. 

Sadly sometimes memories are all that we have. But sometimes memories work to help us to make changes. 

“If we can forgive what’s been done to us… If we can forgive what we’ve done to others… If we can leave our stories behind. Our being victims and villains. Only then can we maybe rescue the world.” ~Chuck Palahniuk 

The video, The Chapters of Your Life, is a testament to a son’s love and respect for his mother. For me, it is a reminder of the fact life on earth is not forever. It is thought-provoking enough to ask myself what memories I wish my daughters to have when I am gone. 

Life is to be lived one day at a time. And what is more important, the words we say or the actions we take? 

I start thinking about the year ahead, usually around the middle of November and try to find a word that will be my compasses north for the coming year. I have not decided yet for 2021, but the word I thought it was going to be has not yet won the day. I am still listening and watching for it. 

Tis the week for an annual “check-up,” sort of speak. What was healthy or unhealthy this past year?

An exercise similar to this one I learned from listening to a Tim Ferris podcast a few years ago. 

  1. Take out a piece of paper create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE. 
  2. Take a calendar from the last year, look at each week.
  3. List any people, activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Write them in their respective columns.
  4. Look at your list and ask, “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable, positive and rewarding outcomes?”
  5. Take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in the new year. Get them on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for activities/events/commitments that you know work. It’s not real until it’s in the calendar. That’s step one. Step two is to take your “negative” leaders, put “NOT-TO-DO LIST” at the top, and put them somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of 2021. These are the people and things you *know* make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, or other nonsense.

I learn so much by reflecting, non-judgementally on the past. I take the good with the bad and plan for more good. 

“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.” ~ Carl Bard

I start with free-flowing a list, a brain dump sort of thing. I don’t question anything; I just write. I review it over and over, asking myself why. I then pare the list down and fit it into the basics—Spiritual, Health, Family, Relationships, Business, Finance. I break it down into actionable steps of progression. Once I have it settled, I will put it on the calendar. Doesn't mean it won't change, but it is a good start. 

"You have to motivate yourself with challenges.
That’s how you know you’re still alive." - Jerry Seinfeld

Sometimes it takes courage to live your best life. Compromising your time is compromising your life. Saying no is hard, but if the request for your time pulls your needle away from true north, it is much easier when you realize it is happening. 

I am curious, do you make resolutions? Or do you have other habits around moving from one year to the next? 

I wish you a wonderful restful, and peaceful weekend. 

With love from Prince Edward Island, 

Bruce & Mille

ps. Your Morning Smile 

My three year old was saying his nightly prayers in a very low voice.

"I can't hear you," I whispered.

He said firmly, "Wasn't talking to you."

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tati - January 1, 2021

Happy New Year to you and your lovely family. You share so many lovely things with us. I hope it is alright to share this New Years Eve video from Edinburgh. I thought it was magical. The combination of music, poetry and technology was breathtaking.

Julie MacKenzie - December 29, 2020

I loved this blog. Especially the son’s tribute to his Mom. My Mom passed away very unexpectedly 1 year & 3 months ago. I had so many questions I never got a chance to ask her. It has certainly made me think about my own mortality. Loved James Taylor’s song that you shared. I saw him in concert a couple of years ago. He is one of my favourites. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your blog every week.

Zyna in Winnipeg - December 27, 2020

It’s now Sunday morning, and the I came back to re-read and say ‘hello’ to you Bruce, and all your other devoted club members.
I first read your blog on Saturday morning and was so surprised to find it there. That you would find time for us on Boxing Day speaks volumes. And the content – oh my. I wasn’t expecting to cry so much, but so much resonated with me that morning.
James Taylor has been the soundtrack of my life, and that Christmas song especially. But then there was the son’s tribute to his
Mum, Paula. Glorious!
I am starting to keep a record of the thoughtful quotes you share week after week. The Carl Bard is the self- forgiveness we all need, and the last page of the Tribute to Paula had the simple ‘Love is in the air. Take a deep breath’. Isn’t that lovely!
I think Lyndal is on to something when he suggested that you are a Fred Rogers for adults. I have begun to think that your ‘sharings’ are coming from your personal P.E.I. Lighthouse. A beacon of hope. The light always on! Certainly guiding us back to that lovely island Saturday after Saturday.
My love to all! Blessings on this day, and the days to come.

Peggy Freeman - December 27, 2020

Thank you, Bruce! With everything that has happened this past year, I found myself floundering in negativity. Your blog helped me determine how to put everything in perspective and move forward to plan for a much better 2021. I choose to put the negative things behind me and focus on the positive and the good things to come! Happy Holidays!
Peggy Freeman

Heather - December 27, 2020

Your package created much excitement on Christmas morning – the tea sampler and 12 bottles of various jams and jellies and assorted other goodies. A piece of PEI in a year that we couldn’t visit. Thank you!

Lyndal Joseph - December 26, 2020

I hope you don’t mind Bruce, but I’m beginning to think of you as the Fred Rogers for adults. Your massages are always so calming and inspiring. Thank you so much.

Phil Britton - December 26, 2020

Totally enjoy your Blog. Your thoughts and videos and music just always seem to fit the needs I have at that moment. Today knowing that it is not an end but can be a new beginning is the message I received.

althea - December 26, 2020

Ditto, Louise Lowther.
Curious: Does Bobbi feel left out? Or is she just camera shy?
As always: Love, Peace, Gratitude and Blessings.

Dave and Bonnie Blomquist - December 26, 2020

Good Morning, Bruce! Your blog made for perfect reading this morning after Christmas. As I think on this past year and all that we missed, I think of our summers on PEI and those Sunday morning breakfasts at the Preserve Company. I think of the sunsets over the North Rustico lighthouse. I think of the family and friends that we didn’t get to see this past year.
We must be hopeful that 2021 will bring us all back together!
Health, hope and happiness for the New Year!
Dave and Bonnie Blomquist
Westwood, Massachusetts

Lori E - December 26, 2020

I love what you said regarding “if the request for your time pulls your needle away from true north.” I have a few interests that I would consider passions, and occasionally, one has become so consuming that it has pushed the other interests out of the picture, until at some point I realize that I have become miserable, and need to re-center. Fortunately, over time, I’ve come to recognize that in order to be “me,” I need to have all of my flavours, and too much of any one ingredient can ruin the meal. I’m going to adopt “Are you still pointing true north?” as my new self-check to make sure I’m staying on the right track. Thank you!

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