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By Remy Benoit

Many of us keep journals, day books, diaries, travel journals.  All of life is a journey as most of us have come to know.

At this point in time, it is my desire to write on topics related to ideas covered in the seminar. For today, I am including two DayBook entries that I feel expand some of the ideas covered.

If you have a story to tell of someone who helped you along the way, please do send it to us. Share your joy as a way of encouraging others to be there.
May 25, 2001

Lightning split the sky during the  night and precious rain fell here in Baton Rouge where the drought continues.  The huge gardenia bush that falls over the fence from the neighbor’s yard gives off an extravagantly sweet scent, but yesterday its leaves were drooping from lack of watering. My old Lhasa Apso, terrified of thunder, climbed into bed with me for comfort and immediately fell asleep in the curve of my arm.
Where do you go for comfort? Do you go to someone else, do you go into your own quiet and peace?
Just as we at times need comforting, so too do we sometimes droop when we do not water our hearts and souls. How often do we get up each day and go about our business dried up, tired, and robotic?
We cannot control when the rain falls, although it is true that how we treat the planet is reflected in the weather.  Just as we can choose how to treat the planet, we can learn how to stop or avoid the drought in our hearts and souls.
We must choose, actively choose, to make the time, even if it is only five minutes a day to sit with ourselves quietly, just stopping the outside world with its endless demands and slip into our own soul world.
That is where the peace is; that is where we find the watering for our parched and so thirsty hearts.
That is where we find true guidance and direction without the endless chatter of the ego’s constant demands for our attention to, and justification of, its endless demands on us to be better, move faster, acquire more, gain fame and fortune.
It is in the quiet that we sort out what is important and who we truly are or truly want to be.
The quiet time we give ourselves allows us to feel the connection we have with each other and our world; lets us feel the connection with all the Creation.
We know when we are pushing too hard, moving too fast, demanding too much of ourselves.  When we do not listen to what our body, heart, soul tell us, it makes us listen in one way or the other.
Better to take the time to listen before we are forced to by some incapacity.

What right at this moment would bring a sense of peace and order into your life?

How could you re-order your schedule to fit in a quiet walk without your head plugged into something, or a bike ride in the country?

Or just some time in chair outside to listen to the bird song, to feel the wind blow across naked toes?

The air here is wet with humidity and lingers as it flows across legs, feet and toes. We cannot see it, but we know it is real, it is there.
What else is there in our lives that touches us; that we know is there, is perhaps the real us that we cannot see, but know is there just waiting for our true intention?

How would re-ordering your life give birth to that part of you that has incubated far too long and needs you to give it the recognition that will make it part of you?

And when you gift that part of you with recognition, how will that re-order, revitalize, or indeed, change the life-style you have previously chosen?
What gifts does it carry with it that perhaps might give you more of a sense of fulfillment and purpose and send your sweet creativity out into the air?
Be still, and as you are still more and more will become clear.
The inner voice knows true direction; the outer voice makes only demands.
Be the quiet and you will be the peace.

May 26, 2001

"Acceptance of self is the foundation of receiving."
                                     Stuart Wilde

A gecko came in to visit today.
I don’t think he came in intentionally with the thought of What is for breakfast? or I’ll have a cup of coffee with these people.  Yet, come in he did.
I found him in my entryway off the carport this extremely sultry morning, just sitting there, thinking whatever it is gecko’s think.
I didn’t bother me that he was inside the house; no eek, eeking response on my part. Actually I have quite an admiration for geckos.  They just seem so, well, so at peace with their geckoness.
But, I have three cats; three very gentle cats, but cats nonetheless, who by their very nature find gecko chasing quite an adventure.  They live in peace with each other; two of them sisters, newcomers this past fall to the domain of the four year old short haired American male and the fourteen year old male Lhasa Apso.  The two elder gentleman welcomed the tiny pair, sat in line patiently at their food bowls while the young ones ate first.
The Lhasa has a back yard buddy who has no regard for the fence that encloses the yard.  The big marmalade neighbor cat that sports the name Faust, spends much time lying in the shade with the old dog.  The two of them are about the same size.  Occasionally Faust decides it is time to stalk one of the small indigenous squirrel population and he will divert himself with that for an hour or so, never to my knowledge successfully. I am pointing this out just to show that there are all kinds of friendships that if encouraged develop into comfort zones.
The fact that the gecko drop in company was in the back hallway was a problem because at the moment it is filled with boxes that are being taken one at a time and filled preparatory to our move.  Thus to direct the gecko back to the outside became quite a complicated maneuver as he scurried from under one box, trying to find his way, to under another until I had at last laid the floor bare.  The old ‘nowhere to run, nowhere to hide’ situation for him. He chose the only remaining option of staying absolutely quiet; the ‘You can’t see me maneuver.’ Eventually, with a little gentle bare toe poking, I maneuvered him to the open door and out over the threshold.
It came to me as he and I did our liberation dance, he often at odds with my good intentions, that there are times in our lives when we try to explore something new and end up as the gecko did, the proverbial stranger in a strange land, much in need of friends and guidance.
When all the  ‘boxes’ of our new environment, or new job, or new house, or whole new life style, whatever, seem so big, so alien, so overwhelming to us, it is the greatest of gifts for someone close to come and help remove the obstacles with the clarity of a different perspective on the situation, or a hand held out filled with help and love, toeing us on to the proper direction, shoring us up with their concern, giving us the  strength to carry on when we feel like we just can’t move anymore, or see the light at the end of the tunnel of the new adventure we have entered.
When a friend takes the time to say:
‘Hey, it is only a box, or three; the threshold of the new way you are seeking truly is very, very close; ’
when he takes the time to take your hand and say ‘Hey, I am here, you are not alone,’ it makes all the difference in your world, in your soul, in your smile along the way.
In the same way, you can be the one to offer the strength needed in a particular moment.
That gift is the greatest of life’s blessings; that being there, truly being there when needed.
A friend of mine raised the question as to what was worse, the trial of the Cross, or being denied being known by all those closest in the hour of greatest need.  That is an important question to ponder in the light of your own sometimes needs, and your own sometimes being called upon.

May 27, 2001

"Eventually, we each have to answer one glorious question: What am I
really here to do?"
                                     Oprah Winfrey

Yesterday’s gecko adventure brings more to mind that just giving the assistance needed to someone to show the way to what they seek.
It raises the question of their being ready to receive.
That is sometimes one of the hardest lessons in life to learn.
We were raised to do, to produce, to succeed.
We came to question what that meant.
They called us Boomers, 77,000, 000 million strong.
We have been a roller coaster ride all of our lives on rails that led to the high SAT scores, to jobs, to altered job and life and roll descriptions;  to MAD, to the draft, to service and protest.
We were derailed by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from a variety of sources, by materialism.

But underneath it all we have churned, seethed, stewed, knowing there was something more on that track: and now what we have been seeking all along is coming into fruition as that deep, deep need takes hold all around the world.

The need to give ourselves to something more than we are as individuals is spreading as a deep spiritual movement across this country and around the world.  It is grounded in three words: connection creativity and commitment.

Thousands of non-governmental agencies saying this, whatever this this is, not being done as it should be; let’s find a better way.
Millions of individuals are saying there is a better way, a more spiritually oriented way of living and working.

Lawyers are looking for win-win scenarios rather than adversarial situations.

Those of us concerned with the education of our young are demanding an end to Assembly Line Education.*

There are advocates of health care, aging, birthing and care of the planet.
The list is long, diversified, and yet, all truly connected to the welfare of all of us.

We are learning to call up from deep inside us that something more that is our special gift, and to do that, very often to do that, we have to step aside from who and where we were. In doing this we find many obstacles, doubts and setbacks on our way, but by the time we have gathered ourselves to begin this journey we have also begun to garner the strength to see it through.
When we come to that place where the call we are answering is underfire and confusing to us, we must learn not to hide in fear and defeat, not to pretend that if we are very still it will all just go away. It is then that we must learn to open ourselves to receiving the help we need.

       We need to accept that at some point all of us need extra love and support. It is not a thing of weakness or embarrassment to admit to it, to ask for it, or to accept it. Rather we should rejoice in the fact that we have gotten far enough beyond our own egos to admit that none of us can do it alone. If we are blessed, as I was, we have a good friend who will tell us we have to let go of the control that trying to do it all on our own gives us, and open up to receiving. We are all connected and need each other not only to change the course of the planet’s history, but our own present and future.

The possibilities there all around us for us to see.

They are all around us, all the needs of the planet and its inhabitants that we can give ourselves to in service, and in joy.

Help is all around us to receive if we are willing to ask for it, to listen, not to the never ending demands of our so fragile egos, but to the still voice within that is the Voice of the Creator.  
Writing yourself home is one of the ways to facilitate the journey, to change the course of your life, and the life of the planet.
Be peace,

Copyright: Remy Benoit DayBook, 2001

* See:  Archives: Assembly Line Education by Remy Benoit, April 10. 2001


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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