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Lessons Learned




Aubrey ArnasonEvery year in December I dig out my favorite holiday blessing. It is a Jewish blessing that I first heard many years ago in a Barbara Deutsch workshop. Barbara Deutsch is an entertainment industry master and I suggest to everyone working with her and reading her book.  She will transform your entertainment industry career – I promise.

The blessing she read stuck with me, and each December I read it to my family.

My favorite line:

“Stay grateful for the connections we value,
for loved ones who witness our lives and give depth, breadth and perspective to the journey”

This year I decided to connect with my loved ones and see what perspective the journey of 2013 had brought them.

First phone call was to my father.

“Dad, what did you learn in 2013?”

Answer:  “Fuck all, I knew everything before that.” 


Then I called my 97 year old Grandmother.

“In 2013, did you learn anything?” Grandma “No………from where would I learn it?” 

Let’s keep going.

Mom:  “I learned how to do the front crawl and that I am a mermaid.”

Perfect. I always knew my Mother was a magical creature.

The phone calls and Facebook messages continued and it was a great to connect with everyone, here is what they had to say about 2013.

Auntie – Dental Hygienist

I learned that we are all in charge of our own happiness. Don’t expect others to do it for you.

Uncle – Funeral Director

1) What others think of me is none of my business.

2) I need to be kinder to those less intelligent than myself.

3) I should be more humble. 

Ha. Ha.

Uncle – Retired

It’s not much fun being alone. It’s the poops…..but now I’ve met a lady to hang out with.

Auntie – Retired

I learned that everyone can find an exercise regime they like and I really, really like Aquasize classes.

Cousin – Elementary School Teacher

I have learned that I am a much happier girl when I remember to be patient with everything and everyone. Seriously, what am I in a hurry for anyway?

CB – Student

Try really hard to communicate with people, because feelings and assumptions leave a lot of room for error and misinterpretation. That being said, listening is more important than talking.

KK – Environmentalist

1) Patience with my path

2) Patience with others

3) Embrace aging

MSG – Mother – Choreographer – Actress

1) 2013 is an asshole 

I kind of agree – hasn’t been the easiest year.

2) Don’t give away all your secrets. This is especially important in your professional life.

3) Old friends no matter how much older and wiser may not be the best business partner.

4) Babies lie.

5) I have 8 wonderful girlfriends that I would do anything for but never see them.

6) You don’t have to look or act older once you have a birthday. Just because your number is bigger doesn’t mean you have to change.

7) When creating art, always go with your gut.

8) I’m super, superstitious – I hate the number 13.

9) Don’t underestimate the power of old skills and or talents you’ve always had. Maybe someday you can do something wonderful with them. I’m not talking about acting, I’m talking about something you’ve always done and after years of doing it “life” gives you an opportunity to do something amazing with it.

10) Self confidence, friendliness and red lipstick will get you anywhere or anything you want. Weather it’s riding shot gun or free parking.

11) I need to always do what I love and never what others want me to do.

12) A warm boob, a tight squeeze, a shared nap, a piece of chocolate and a warm glass of milk will always comfort a cranky toddler…or mother.

CQ – Sales Consultant

Nothing is ever what you expect it to be but that can be a good thing and a bad thing.

SG – TV Host/Producer

It is not how many times you fall down it’s how you get up. Like a figure skater, get up and go after your dreams.

LB – Owner Beanstalk Apparel

1) It is only a crisis if you make it one.

2) You are stronger than you could ever imagine. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and that you believe in. They will inspire you to be your best self. 

KM –Actress – Yogi

I learned to breathe.

RKJ – Photographer – Lucky Girl Photography

To stop evaluating my personal worth in my businesses success. So often people fall into measuring their productivity as ‘their’ worth – such a mistake! It is hard when I consider myself an artist, to separate the business side and the personal side. 

AH – Realtor

Never underestimate yourself, you’re much more interesting than you give yourself credit for. People will always remember the authentic you, and that is the person that people want to do business with.

KH – Mother of 2

It’s all about love, kindness and patience – for the world, for each other, for your self. 

RC – Environmentalist

I learned that I bring a lot of outside balls into my court by way of other people’s problems and plans. By keeping others people’s balls out of my court it is cleaner and I am happier.

JS – Entrepreneur

1) The time is now

2) Everyone is coping with something, so in fact it is not about you…and love, wholly, freely and in the full service of the highest vision of yourself and the ones you love…um and dance, damn it.

LT – TV Producer

1) You got to be mean, to keep them keen.

2) Less is more.

3) You don’t need to be good at math and spelling to get ahead. 

JC – Realtor – Mother

Someone asked my husband and I “what’s enough for you guys” the summer of 2013 and it has really stuck with us. I am always looking for more. More connection, vitality, life, love, understanding… it is exhausting! I have learned that I don’t know what enough is. I also learned that being a workaholic is in fact, not cool at all.

AV – One of Canada’s top 20 under 20

There’s going to be no perfect time. You are always going to be busy, so do it now. Only busy people have time.

NG – Owner

1) My dad passed away this year. You know that feeling of missing home when you’re a kid? Losing my dad is like having that feeling and knowing you can never go home. I learned that losing a parent is the kind of sadness nothing can fill.

2) Business Lesson: Go where people understand you and recognize your spark. Don’t waste time convincing others of your greatness, or at least your great individuality. 

JBC – Actor – Model

1) A dear friend told me once that “It is not a race”…as long as I remain crystal clear about what I want my path to look like, in time it will unfold before my eyes. 

2) To remain devoted to a spiritual practice not only when life is challenging, also when life is flowing with abundance.

3) Life is much easier to navigate your way through when you can bend and sway with the flow, instead of breaking under the pressure of the tide. Breathe. Stretch. Say Thank You.

CS  – Owner of Frocks Modern Bridesmaid

If you go through life trying to please everyone, you will never reach your full potential. And cannot please everyone! 

KR – Producer – Actress – Make Up Artist

If you don’t take a risk you stay in the exact same place. Why not make yourself uncomfortable for a moment? The reward is far better than not moving forward.

BB – Mother of 3

1) Life means so much more when I am connecting with others on any level.

2) When I do my own internal work everything outside of me shifts.

3) It is good to have chocolate on a pretty regular basis – but not too much.

RF – Entrepreneur – Photographer Hero Images – Mother of 2

I learned that learning never ends. Also that somehow, things keep getting harder. I learned that you cannot be in control of all aspects of your life at one time. 

GK – TV Executive

You can always feel better – don’t stop finding new ways.

KS – Event Planner

I learned that sometimes, it is best to just listen and be supportive – sometimes they just want you to listen and not judge. I learned that vision boards really work! Also to take care of my health and wellness – be grateful for it.

What have I learned?

If I had to narrow it down to one thing – patience. I haven’t mastered it completely. I think that is going to be a lifelong lesson.

I also learned I am so fortunate to have connections with all of the amazing individuals in this article. This holiday season please know how grateful I am for all of you.

May we take these lessons and move swiftly into 2014.


About Aubrey Arnason

Host/Actor/Producer/Writer – Aubrey is a NSI Totally TV alum and a Bell Media Fellowship recipient. She started in the film industry as an actress, appearing on Smallville and Supernatural to name a few. She has since gone on to host/produce the Leo award winning TV series The Wedding Belles airing on Shaw Media channels since 2010. In 2013 she produced/hosted Shaw’s AMPIA award winning The Proposal. The co-creator of Kits, a scripted half hour series, she produced the pilot episode for City TV followed by another City TV pilot entitled The Range. The Range was top 3 at the Banff International Pilot competition and is based on her family’s experience of life after the NHL. Aubrey host numerous local live events most recently the Leo awards celebration. When she’s not creating television she’s trying a new recipe, new to the kitchen she’s discovered a new found passion for cooking!