We think that we are lighting a cool fire for ourselves… and hopefully you.  🙂

Last week, we embarked on a month of exploring thoughts on taking better care of ourselves… with The Long, Cool Road.  We humbly suggest it might be a short, cool read.

Then, earlier this week, through The broadCAST September 2019 (our monthly news and views blog with some 15 contributors), we took the dive a little further. It too, we recommend.

Now, we take it a little further…

Jenny says…

As I wrote in The Long, Cool Road, “This summer has been full, beautiful and extraordinary. So many positives, yet I am pooped. I am a strong believer in self-care. A huge believer. But even in the moments of self-care, my mind is in full speed, thinking of all that I need to do in the next five years of my life. Which in all honesty does not help or benefit me in the slightest.”

As I shared in The broadCAST September 2019, “I am currently reading a Brene Brown book called Rising Strong. She is a phenomenal writer and I find myself relating to most of her writings. I have to say it is taking me a LONG time reading because of that thing we call life. I take all the moments I can spare to sit and read for a bit. But let’s be real, I also have a million other things that I want to do. Be lazy and watch Netflix, eat cheesecake, do my nails, hang with my boy, maybe just do absolutely nothing while scrolling through Pinterest. You know, all those important valid things. Which I think at times we need to do. I think it is a part of unwinding and letting ourselves breathe for a moment in time.”

I also suggested, “I feel like moments of relaxing, taking a nap, going to a spa, or getting your hair done, may have been considered more of a selfish act. When really it isn’t. It is taking little moments to love yourself.”

So, here is my thought this week…

Because this is not such a natural act, I get stuck in moments of self-care, with little imprints of caring for others or thinking about the million things I need to do. That is not self-care at its finest. I know how difficult it is to completely unwind, allowing your mind to compartmentalize the important and not so important things we need to focus on at that time. I guess therefore I have been left exhausted. I have been doing things for myself amid chaos these past few weeks. But clearly, I have not allowed myself to detach and let go of everything I have no control over in that very moment. If I can’t fix it now, then get into that little box inside of my head so I can push it away somewhere until I can address it or accommodate it.

Can you relate?  I have some more considering to do, and will share again next week.

Barry says…

I love where Jenny is going with this and can soooooo relate.  As I embark on the busiest semester of my teaching career (full time teaching, taking two courses, building the second order of Epic Engage™ with Jenny, and finding balance in and amongst), I am aware of my honey badger mind.

The honey badger is an intensely strategic creature; curious and always going it seems.

So is my mind.  🙂

It serves me well as an educator and entrepreneur but the challenge is the pace of grace.  Linda Kavelin-Popov (Co-Founder of The Virtues Project™) wrote a book on such, called A Pace of Grace.  I need to go back to it.  But, for now, three thoughts occur to me.

  • First, what would the practice of the Virtue of Grace look like for me?  I have to ponder on that.
  • Second, in relation to that question, what would a full on “day of rest” each week look like.?  This is the original concept of a Sabbath, a wise and ancient practice in the face of the 24/7 and too often worshipped hustle of life.
  • Third, and in the spirit of a book Richard Bolles (of What Color is Your Parachute? fame) wrote called The Three Boxes of Life and How to Get Out of Them (I have a 36 year old copy)… what would it look like if I worked some, learned some and played some each and every day?

Robert Fulghum wrote of this in “All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten“.  He wrote:

  • All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school. These are the things I learned. Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

I have to munch on this, this week, as I prepare for this amazing, crazy 4 months.  Thanks Jenny, for triggering my own thoughts on finding Grace.  I love you bestie!  I will have more to report back on next week.


As we said last week… “Together, we are committed to living a joyful life and work.  Best friends do that.  Together, we will explore our own perspectives on love and character and how they can build a life of work, play and service that is right for each and all of us.”

We do indeed think this will get ever more interesting; and out of this will come many cool, long road beautiful moments from the Benny and Jarry experience.

So, join us, stay tuned and engage us.  Our lives matter.

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

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.