6,150 Newsletter #5
October 10, 2002
I wasn't quite sure how to begin the final newsletter of my journey. And then
I decided it is not an ending at all -- it is really a beginning!
So much has awakened inside of me during this adventure. I would like to
share some insight with you and to acknowledge the amazing people I have met. I'm
so grateful that they were willing to share their story with me.
I've been in Los Angeles for a week now, but I'm still not back at home just
yet. Remember the person in my first Newsletter that I said I'd had the disagreement
with? The person who said to me "Monique, I'm not going to go down this road with you,
your higher self knows better". This statement was made during my time of feeling very
restlessness which pushed me into following my dream of filming the documentary. Well,
this person has opened up his home to me while I'm waiting for tenants to vacate my place.
The exchange would be that I would care for his dogs while he was checking in on his mother
for a week in Arkansas. I've had to put my euphoria of the trip on the side for a moment
and be gracious for extending his home to me and my dogs. I know that this is part of the
Journey as well.
Of course my mind initially said, "God, what do you mean I have to so humble
myself as to put aside what I just experienced and now take care of four dogs
(mine plus his two)? I have things to do now that I'm back! I've got to get this
Documentary edited! I need to see clients and start my next workshop!" But God,
who goes before me, always has another agenda. Always.
It seems so appropriate that I would need to learn this lesson before I
begin my life again here in Los Angeles -- the lesson of humility, humbleness, and
graciousness. This past week has been about reflection and lots of dog walking! I
have really had to kick it into high gear and really re-learn very quickly about
giving. Asking "what can I do to help you today?" Remembering to say "thank you so
much for having us here." Constantly thanking this person for their generosity as
opposed to thinking about what my plans are and what I should be doing in my life
right now. When it really comes down to it, graciousness, being in the moment, and
humility is what we really give each other. We wait, we listen, and we are of service.
When we do this we get so much in return. My return is reflection and being still.
I feel the last eight weeks have been a time of recapturing my innocence
with the world. That part of me as a child and young adult that loved exploration
and people watching. And it also has been a time to remember my southern values and my
southern ways of hospitality that were so instilled in me as a child.
My beloved cousin, Susan, has helped me with this tremendously. She has been such
an example to me. I did not realize how "self" involved I'd become over the past
twenty years of my life. Where I come from in the South people can not do enough
for each other. And because of this we get so much in return.
Susan's mother died just a couple of weeks ago. She told me that the day of
the burial a very good friend of the family came to their home lit candles,
put fresh flowers out and cooked an amazing meal. When my cousin and her family
walked into the house after the funeral they were totally overwhelmed by this
person's thoughtfulness. But this is what people do in the South. And since I've
left New Orleans my cousin has checked in with me to see how I was and to teach me the
lesson of really giving back. Here she is going through such grief yet she
wants to know how I am doing. She has taught me the meaning of really getting
outside of yourself, being gracious and putting my own agenda aside. She has
been an angel in my life.
This is very much still a part of the journey. My friend, who is in
Arkansas, his roommate's mother died last week and was retuning from the
funeral this past Friday. I offered to pick her up from the airport. I just
can't help but know that God had an agenda here with me observing these women
go though such a transition in their life.
I do ask what is this about? What is the message for me? Why am I
observing and experiencing how these women are living through their loss?
Have I not been aware of other people's loss? Is there something I have not
done that I need to learn here?
I know when I get settled back into my place more will be revealed.
In the meantime, I'm becoming even more attentive to ways I believe
God and the Universe speak to me and how that speaking should be held.
1) One way God speaks is through other people. When the same message
comes through more than once -- I need to pay attention. For example, in Jackson, Ms.
my friend Addie offered her place to me while they were away for the weekend. I said,
"no, no. I'm OK, I need to get to Arkansas tonight." She said "are you sure?
Monique you really can stay here." I said "No, I'm fine."
Well, little did I know that I would have an opportunity to
interview Mr. Bill Simmons. His family bought this historical home from
my great grandparents, In Jackson. I was wandering around Jackson (the place of my birth)
and found the home. It is called Fairview. I went up to the house rang the bell and
told them who I was. Long story short they invited me in and I was taken on a tour
(even got to see a photo of my great grand parents!) and ultimately put Mr. Simmons on
tape. Three hours later with no hotel to go to and having no idea where I was,
I wish I'd taken my friend up on her offer.
2) A second way God speaks is through a flash/picture. When I got to Santa Fe,
New Mexico, I arrived about 11pm. Not realizing it, I got off an exit that
was in a not so good area. I drove into Albertson's grocery store parking lot and
had no idea what to do next. Suddenly, a picture came to me that I would
speak to a girl with blonde hair in the parking lot and she would tell me where to go.
Just then I looked up and there was this girl with blonde hair putting her groceries
into her car and I drove over. I explained to her what I was doing and that I needed
a place to rest. She said, "you must be very careful, you know you are not in a safe area."
The only reason she shopped there was because she thought it was a great grocery store.
She lead me three miles away to a safe area and where there were some hotels.
3) A third thing I've learned of God's speaking is that "NO" means
"not yet" or I've got something better planned for you. When I was returning to
Sedona, Arizona I wanted to stay in the same hotel that I had stayed in at the
beginning of my trip. Well, come to find out, there were some dogs that stayed there
after we did and tore up one of the rooms. When I called to make reservations they
said that they were sorry, but pets were no longer allowed. I thought, "uh, oh" and
then I thought, "maybe somehow I could talk them into it." But there was a little
voice inside of me that said, "Monique, you've made it this far. You will figure it
out once you get there."
While driving to Sedona, I called new friends I'd met to let them know I was on my
way back. One of them said to me "where will you stay when you arrive?" I said
"I'm not sure... I will figure it out when I get there and I will let you know."
He said, "Well, I have an extra guest room, you and your dogs are more that welcome to
stay here. I will be gone to Phoenix for the day when you arrive, but make yourself at home.
Plus, I'm on about a quarter of an acre. The dogs will have lots of room to play!"
Boy, would I have short changed myself if I'd tried to talk that hotel into
letting me stay with them!!
4) A fourth distinction regarding God's speaking:
Plan for the future, but stay in the moment. Staying in the moment is so very
important. This moment, right here, right now, is where I get my guidance for
the next moment. That is it. It is truly when I get the direction of what to do next.
A friend in Sedona gave me these tapes to listen to when I was on my way across America.
The tapes are from the book called "The Power Of Now." I listened to the tapes
across the country. I highly recommend them.
5) Another point: Everything changes. If I am having a bad day --
if I'm afraid, don't like the town I'm in, am tired etc., I say to myself,
"Monique, don't place so much importance on how I feel in this moment."
In other words, when I am uncomfortable, I get to wait it out. I don't have to DO anything. Because I've learned tomorrow is a brand new day and I can be in the coolest town, interviewing the coolest people and I'm on top of the world again. So the idea really is that one should not be too attached to circumstances in the moment -- good or bad -- it all changes.
6) Finally, in regard to speaking with God and the Universe:
Plant seeds, wait, be patient. Put the attention on something else and see
what comes back. Patience is really important because it may not come back
in the manner in which I think, or from the person I think it should come
from or from the place. Be patient and see how I can be of service or take
my next indicated action in other words, just do what is put in front of me for
this day. Evaluate if there is a lesson for me to learn or something I have missed.
I have so enjoyed your response to my Newsletters and to the questions you've
asked. Please feel free to continue to write.
I'm now in the process of interviewing editors. I will be continuing this
Journey and continuing to interview people. My next stop is in my own back yard here
in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Big Sur etc. So, if you have people you'd like to
recommended or even yourself, please drop me a line.
This has been an amazing adventure. I'm sure I don't realize the full impact
it has had on me just yet.
This week I will be setting up appointments to meet with clients and
I will be starting my next workshop in the next few weeks.
Thank you so much again for sharing this with me!!