Last week, we posted the first of three blogs for August, called An “August” Trilogy.  In part, it dealt with a then upcoming retreat amongst friends.  That retreat has since happened, with some time taken to reflect on same.  This week, albeit a couple of days delayed and needed, we offer this from that special time.

The Retreat

We stayed at the Tree of Life.  The cabin in which we stayed is described online as “A unique stay opportunity in Newfoundland. This rustic lodge was constructed of re-purposed old-growth western red cedar from a Church. Your accommodation is part of a larger nature-based retreat space called the Tree of Life. Designed to connect people and nature through cooperative development and management of an off-the-grid retreat facility. The facility features alternative energy, natural building techniques, and other sustainability practices. Explore our outside and indoor spaces.

The space was remarkable.  The time… even more so.  Filled with moments of laughter, song, reflection, hiking, resting, and being… it was more than remarkable.  Time with waterfalls and wood stoves, and campfire.  The evening of the campfire itself was especially incredible.  At dusk, burning Barry’s hospitalization bracelet from the stroke of August 2015 … symbolizing next chapter on health and all.  Then, others on a yoga retreat showing up to campfire, with guitar and song … under the most glorious of night skies filled with a cathedral of stars, and the rise of the most red moon one can imagine.  We could go on.

We Brought and Took

Here is what we brought to and took from the experience.  We brought Openness.  We took learnings on it back.  It is a virtue.  We went in open, and experienced moments as they happened.  There were few plans.  There were road trips and walks and moments of silence as we chose.  There was singing and music as it moved us.

The first evening, we had a sense that we are the church; that sense that spirit has no particular space.  On Saturday evening, we found out that the cabin was built from the wood of a church, lol.  And there were moments of great joy.  There were even moments of coming face to face with doubts.  Both moments were unplanned.  There were moments expected and unexpected.  Because we were open.

Openness is honest and transparent.  It is direct and candid, appreciating of new ideas. It is sincere with no hidden motives.  It is caring about the thoughts and feelings of others; and it is willing to receive life’s bounties.  We experienced all of that.

Life’s bounties can come from both trial and triumph.  Our teachers can come from challenge and success.  They can come from joy and pain…. and from not giving up.  Openness is being open to life, as it comes.  It is best experienced in the face of expectation.  Excessive expectation can often lead to disappointment.   Our best character and our best experience of love are advanced by Openness.

This past week, Barry posted on love… on Facebook.

  • Love is a word easily thrown around, misused and misunderstood. It is without expectation or need. It is strength for it is knowing and faithful to itself. Patient. Kind. Forbearing all. Believing. Hoping. Enduring. Through all the worlds of existence, it is the Constant. Evil is its absence of practice. Inhumanity too.  Love needs nothing; for it is everything. Self sustaining; not owned nor possessed. It is an Ocean into which we get to submerge if we but choose. In so doing, we lose all sense of the temporal or finite. We understand the freedom that is love.If we choose to dip but our toe, we might get glimpses or we might confuse its ecstasy with something else, more finite and possessive and demanding. Love is none of those things, however we might “romanticize” it in songs of craving, deceit, betrayal or jealousy. Love knows none of these. Love is true. True love is the only love. It is eternal, infinite and without expectation. It exists whether we dare to experience it or not. Love simply loves. Anything else is something else. Love embodies everything virtuous. We love through our highest sense of self; our character… noble. Love is noble. It seeks nothing but the best. It is not weak or simply sentimental. It is strength and wholly honing of our best Soul. Love is Honor. Honor is Love. Love is Love. But it is not the shell we far too often understand it to be. It is not the empty shell on the beach. It is the deeply resonant sound of the Ocean heard within. Listen.

To listen, is to be open.  We took that leap this past week.  Our friendship is better for it.  The work that lies ahead is too.  Even, at the time of this writing, there are lessons to be learned from it.

Next week, we will be sharing thoughts around that future, centered on some of those takeaways.  Here is a bit of what you can expect going forward, from our recent podcast with The Opportunity Project. We are excited, and open.

Peace, passion, prosperity, and a whole bunch of Love

Benny and Jarry

Peace, passion and prosperity…




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Benny and Jarry

Jenny Dearing speaks to love in action.  She brings talent, experience and learning around love, trauma and care.  With a passion for Child and Youth Care and Addictions, and a background in same, she connects, and memorably so.  Her work spans children and youth care with addictions, personal and senior care, respite work, and business leadership; delivering on all.  Jenny is a Certified Virtues Project™ Facilitator, with professional training in child and youth care with addictions support and home support services.  With certification in ASIST Suicide First Aid, Autism Awareness and Understanding, Trauma Information Care and Child and Youth Care Practice, Jenny brings it, with zeal. On top of all that, she loves singing, and is an accomplished multi-media artist … and brings both to her work.  Artistry is a path to love and healing.  Jenny knows it.  She believes in it.  She drives it.

Barry Lewis Green moves the needle on character leadership and unity building with joyful ferocity and thoughtful zeal.  Barry helps leaders forge strong, united cultures at school, work, business and community.  Joe Calloway says, “I had the distinct pleasure of being in an audience in Montreal with Barry Lewis Green on the stage. Quite simply, Barry absolutely captivated us with his talent, his message, and his heart.  The feeling of unity that Barry created in the room that day was extraordinary.”  With 39 years in education and leadership training and development … and work in the private, public and community sectors across Canada… and as a speaker, educator, master facilitator, coach, writer, singer, dancer, and cartoonist, Barry stokes the fire on together strong.