Monday, January 18, 2010

Expect the Least, Enjoy the Feast

- A pensive look at expecting less and being grateful for more...

As from my previous update-blog, I had been working non-stop since the 26th of December. I haven't been home, I have had crazy schedule and travel issues as well. I don't think I've ever taught this much in my life as I am in the process of preparing myself for some big financial endeavors in the near future so as to help me accomplish a few lingering, taunting and even haunting dreams to fulfill. That being said... I nearly didn't even realize I had my birthday today. I didn't wake up and say " WOW! I'm a year older! " or anything of that nature. In fact. The 12am mark passed whilst in the process of choreographing a swing routine for another competitive couple outside of an elevator loft in a hotel in Houston, so I could end up getting enough rest to pack, drive 4 hours to Dallas where I had been for over a week teaching and rehearsing and choreographing, to re-pack, and catch an evening flight to San Fran which connects to my final destination, Australia.

As Kellese, my DP and I rushed to the airport... the flight ended up being delayed so much, that the only option we could choose was to spend the night at her and her husband, Brent's house, leave for LAX instead of San Fran and have a 9 hour layover in LA.

This may seem bad, but as I stood in the ticket line of the airpor
t in
a frantic group of people rushing to get home or wherever they were heading... I couldn't have felt more grateful and appreciative of the simplest lesson and blessing I had been given: Before I explain further you may need some prior details as to how my joy came about. Sorry it's a little long...

In the midst of my tunnel-visioned self, huffing and puffing along... with no time to smell the roses or even see them in passing, I began to really shut off. And go into a semi survival mode. I normally only get this way when I'm on a reality TV show (
ha!) or if I'm preparing for an important competition or big artistic project. But because of the world, and it's material demands needing to be met, and for the fact that I have two very big goals/dreams I WILL accomplish, I became vacuous and robotic. Going through the motions. People pleasing from the goodness of my heart but not remembering a single word I had said to a loved one or a friend 5 minutes prior. And although I'm in one of
those moments in my life where I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think I started to ignore who it was that was providing such a source of brilliant hope and possibility.

I was fortunate enough to have had a dinner with two friends in Texas. An awesome Proverb was mentioned and I think I can relate to this more than anything right now in my life.

" Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD
? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. "

I think one of the biggest motivators in my work sometimes is respect. I work for i
t. I work to earn it. I love having my art validated by man. Not to say that that is such an awful thing. But when I end up viewing that desired success or respect as being rich or famous through my art and being able to coast through life because of my wealth and power... I am denying the very power that has given me all that I already have and will have! In the end the best lesson and the biggest lesson I can learn in this era of my life is working harder than using my talents alone in achieving what I desire, and understandi
ng that in the end, the outcome may not be what I desire, but whatever that outcome is, I am not favored more or less by God or by those who truly love ME for " me ". I sometimes look at others in their success or "disillusionalized" versions of it and wonder why they achieve so much. In reality I owe God a huge debt of gratitude for understanding a very important lesson I find very easy to forget way too often.

I can remember a time where I strived for material success for the benefit of others. My immediate and future family. I know that even to this day that they are the biggest positive motivators in encouraging me to make something of myself that would sustain them. Nothing would give more joy to have enough to take care of my folks and relatives and friends dear to me. And to have the freedom to dedicate so much of myself to help
ing those that are less fortunate at levels I can only dream of right now with D.E.M.A.N.D. inc. But there is that other side that craves glory and praise and riches. It's a beats and struggle I deal with so much. A battle that i think may be one of the biggest causes of aggression, frustration, guilt, sadness, shame, envy and greed.... basically anything sad and negative in my life at this point. I think if this burden was removed from me, I'd have enough strength to overcome anything that holds me down.

After reading this scripture, I made it a conscious effort to strive and just worry about work. Turning off any other desires for the moment, and thus I became immersed and even engulfed work and distraction, but this time for the reason of preparing myself to just focus on what's right. Preparing for whatever the Lord see fit for me. But working as hard as I can nevertheless.
Then this phrase came to mind:

Expect the Least, Enjoy the Feast

Now back to the flight madness of my trip!

Least : I am in love with my puppy, Buster. My sister has been taking care of him and secretly wants to steal him from me, and I worry he wont remember me since I've been gone 3 weeks by the time I get home. I remember driving him home in a 12 hour drive form Utah and him sitting there sleeping and sucking my pinky on the way through. i remember me pulling over at gas stations along the long trek and he making everyone's heart that saw him melt from how dang cute he is.
Because i have been working and saving my money and training really hard this past few months, I haven't had a lot of time to just celebrate a day with a loved one without it being Holiday related or work related.

FEAST : I get to have a 9 hour layover and spend nearly the w
hole time with some of my closest peeps....AND BUSTER! And i'll still end up making it to my classes in Australia on time and without having to disappoint anyone! I can't tell you how cool that is... however simple it seems.

In closing. The fact that I have to have the Lord constantly remind me and almost hit me over the head with a sense of awakening, must mean he truly does love me. And knows me. And knows that I lose track of the goal, and the light at the end of the tunnel. I tend to misconstrue the light and find it to be of some mortal earth-bound prize where in reality it is anything but that. The fame, the glory the praise and the wealth are all bonuses if used in the right way. I guess my place, as the proverb says is to be where I am at right now. In this influx and balance between the two. And that's okay. And now it doesn't discourage me the way it used to. Come what may, I need to just work, enjoy the simple stuff, and see where the true prize and wealth lie. And pray that when the bonuses start coming in (as I still hope they do), I'll have the strength to know and remember where all of it lies and to whom really loves me for me and to use whatever I am given to help others; as i feel like i am destined to do somehow.

I stopped worrying about the end prize and just lived d
ay to day, focused and reminding myself why I am here, and what this is all about. I forgot it was my day of birth. That my mom and dad made me 26 years and nine months ago and for some reason I am meant to be here on this earth at this place in my life for a reason. Not to be famous. Not to be rich and successful, but to learn. To love. To serve. To be loved. And most importantly remember the bountiful hand that provides such an amazing feast.

I write this in a 6 year old boy's bedroom where I'm staying. Lying on a floor matress and sharing it with a big grey dog named Izzy. I am not disappointed. I am smiling. I am loving the wishes of BDAY love from so many and again had expected all to forget and when so many more remembered even more than when I had been on a TV show. I am motivated, and this has been the best birthday ever.




  1. very well written - I LOVE the last photo especially - that's the same as my puppy!

  2. You're amazing! I always feel inspired after reading your blogs! Thank you.

  3. You are so good at describing your thoughts. Have fun in your travels AND work, keep smiling.
    Oh, and happy belated birthday!

  4. No matter how many times I feel tired and lost, reading your thoughts on the goals you want and are achieving makes me smile and think of the brief time I got to know you and see the spark of life that is Benji. I know that you will achieve what your heart and what God has set out for you to do.

  5. Benji you are an amazing person and I hope that someday God will bless us with a chance to meet. I believe we could share numerous stories of God's grace and mercy. you inspire me to keep my eyes on the big picture but to also keep my eyes on what God wants in my life as well. Keep reachin for your goals stop and smell the roses every once in a while and always remember that u are loved by God first and foremost but u are also loved by many whom you've never met. Lots of love, Kendy

  6. what kind of dog is Buster? he's adorable!

  7. Amazing and heartwarming to read...thanks for your me and so many others.

  8. Just found your blog. I really enjoy your thoughts. They make ME think and feel grateful!

  9. Hey Benji,

    So fun to find you have a blog....My husband and I loved watching you on DWTS, but we also hear a lot about you because we live in Yucaipa. My husband is a bishop here in Y3 ward. You are such a great example to everyone. I love how you are trying to keep yourself focused on what really matters. Just stay grounded in the gospel and everything will fall into place. Take Care,

  10. Benji I hope you come back to your blog!