Saturday, March 25, 2023

Overcoming Fear

Practice What You Preach

Fear and anxiety have always plagued me through out my life. As a child, I remember the day I fell from a fire escape in The Bronx after retrieving my slipper. I fell possibly a story down alongside the fire escape (or so it seemed to me). From that point forward I feared both heights and falling. I became risk averse.

Anxiety can cripple your personal growth. It can overwhelm. Medication alone can't remedy the underlying issues. Replacing that anxiety with knowledge can help you move forward. Understanding the consequences of failure and thinking through those consequences helps. Learning again to trust yourself and to deal with facts also helps. You are in charge.

Capuchin (White Faced Monkey)
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

We recently took a well deserved vacation to Costa Rica. Kim, my wife, was set on zip lining with our friends. I on the other hand was hoping everyone would forget and that we would choose some other adventure. Before I knew it, I was being harnessed and fitted for my zip line adventure over the jungle tree tops like a senior Tarzan. All this courtesy of my spouse who issues a Silver Alert if I am late from either the store or work.

My fate rested on two things and two things only: my harness and the team assisting us. Our leader Diego was a wiry small statured man with a broad smile, great sense of humor, and also the man who help built this zip line net work. He had Rasputin eyes and I am convinced that it made me trust him enough to take my first dangling leap held up only by a harness and a steel cable. I did it over and over one tree stand to the next hanging dearly to my handles while enjoying the view atop the rain forest.

The capstone was the very last stand. Again Diego looked at me with his intense eyes and smile. Now you are going to repel 100 feet to the waterfall below. You will place your hands here (left hand above you on the rope and right hand below you to control your descent you can choose your speed.  There was only one way down. I could hang there forever or take the leap of faith and trust.

Obviously I made it. I had the experience of a lifetime and I got a tremendous boost of self confidence. Fear is not a bad thing. It simply means we are uncomfortable and are challenged to do something about the situation. I got to experience life from the tree tops as seen by the monkeys and macaws who inhabit them. Find your inner Diego.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Tempus Fugit

Lone Photographer
Zabriskie Point
Death Valley, CA

As most of you know, I became a financial advisor eight years ago. As a financial advisor I realize that many people are more concerned about running out of money, than running out of time. In my opinion, we have our priorities confused. We do not live infinitely nor do we have nine lives. Each is allocated an undetermined amount of time to manage and enjoy. No amount of money will buy you more time if your health bank runs out.

Like the image above make sure you focus on the experience in front of you. Be present today and capture all that the gift of life offers you. Know what's important and treasure it. Time marches on.


Saturday, February 4, 2023

Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque Balloon Festival

Letting go is not something I'm very good at. Being in the moment nor simply just floating are foreign concepts to me. Simply put it's not in my DNA. Folks in my family get things done. We take charge. Unfortunately, you can't always be in charge; life provides plenty of impediments.

This past week our long awaited vacation was put on hold as a winter ice storm embraced Dallas and air traffic was frozen. Flights were cancelled and to hell with vacation plans. There was nothing I could do other than try to shorten my vacation and jump through airline hoops and logistic nightmares to get four stranded travelers to Costa Rica. That didn't make sense. It wasn't in the card for this month. We lost not only deposits but also the total paid for our rental home. That was the written policy. We lost.

As the genius who had planned this trip I felt responsible and ashamed but no amount of self flagellation was going to solve this problem. With lots of dickering we were able to book a subsequent trip to the same location at a discount but still more cash outlays. (We did salvage tickets.) It was a hard bitter lesson. Sometimes things do not work and we have to accept the situation we have not the one we want.

There are times in life you have to simply let go, acknowledge you've done your best, and move on. Make the best of a less than ideal hand. You control how you react to everything. That much you do control.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Lone Kestrel
Patagonia, AZ

It's difficult to start writing again. For so many years this was my form of self expression. It took care of my self imposed isolation stemming from job loss and bereavement. My morning companion was my computer and a blank screen for me to paint with thoughts and words.

In 2015, I started a new adventure at the age of 58. I became a financial advisor and quite frankly I forsake all others including my passions writing and photography. Although I needed to focus on building my business (and have) I truly felt something inside missing, my creative expression, my voice, and how I view the world.

So forgive me for not posting and indulge me once again as I share with you my views along my Daily Journey.

Your Pal,


Monday, March 16, 2020

Look Around You

Virgin River
Hurricane, UT

There's a lot of stress in the world today. We feel as if both 9/11 and the SARS virus of '03 have struck at the same time. It hasn't; we've been made to slow down, look around us, and take note that world is still spinning and traveling around the sun.

It's time for lengthy morning walks and hikes. Time to get in touch with nature and our families. Time to both disconnect and reconnect with those who need us most, seniors. Take control of your life and manage those things which you truly have control over.

As you know, I started my blog back in 2010 after I lost my job. At that time it was my end of the world and within a year's time I also lost my mother. Life did not end for me and since then I've rediscovered myself several times. Do not give up, keep moving, look beyond yourself, and find solace in nature and how things resolve over time. Stay healthy and wash your hands, be in control.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Find Your Peace

A Zion National Park View
Springdale, UT

My mother scarred my siblings and me when we were children. At breakfast or in fact any meal she would say "eat all of your food so you don't get tuberculosis". That was the root cause of our general anxiety disorder, tuberculosis.

Years later as I was doing ancestry research, I discovered that yes indeed there was a tuberculosis (TB) asylum in Ponce, Puerto Rico. In 1933 there were 337 deaths reported in Puerto Rico stemming from tuberculosis. Puerto Rico had one of the highest fatality rate in the world. By 1944 the mortality rate from TB dropped by nearly 80% as a result of public health efforts.

While I no longer worry about TB, I do take heed to public health warnings. I do so because it also allays my fears with facts about something I know nothing about. While I pray, I also pay attention to known science for my safety and well being.

It's spring time now for us in TX. Usually it signals a time of rebirth for me and renewed optimism; I simply am not a winter person. Spring affords me days to discover my surroundings and to observe nature. Nature enables me to reconnect with whats beautiful and allows me to see beyond what's inside my head. It's as if I can see the possibilities of life and what has been placed in it for me to enjoy.

So to reduce my childhood anxieties, I've relied on nature and later on in life photography to channel my anxiety into something positive. Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to sanitize myself and meet several of my clients in Las Vegas area. After my work was done, I headed to Zion National Park and acquainted myself with the peace of nature, reconnect, and find my inner solace. Find an activity to quite your anxiety these next few weeks and don't forget to eat all of your food just in case my mother was right.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Captured Moment

Platte Cove

There's a part of me that wants time stand still like a photograph captured as an elongated fraction of a second or two. I want to savor every aspect of it and have an opportunity to digest all of it and not simply have it slip through me.

Imagine getting to enjoy happy times with your family and friends in perpetuity. Wouldn't it be wonderful to pull those images from your mind and into your heart as you beckon them? That's what I am mentally trying to do now as the the measured strokes of time tick away always moving making the present slip away.

No sooner than I enunciate the present it too has vanished. I struggle to to fill it full of meaning: family, friends, and the fine art of the pursuit of happiness.

As a photographer, a professional sojourner and voyeur, I cherish all time and simply wish to capture and keep it still long enough to enjoy it and recall it as I see fit.