Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year 2011

An old year is at an end and a new year is about to begin. Lori and I have been spending a great deal of our time recently, working on our merchandise store at and our Fine Art Gallery at, while also trying to keep up with submissions to our various Image stock portfolios. This has not allowed a whole lot of additional time to concentrate on writing for our blog or many of the other projects we pursue.

So, what is on the agenda for 2011? Right now we plan to continue working on our current venue of projects. We also expect to put a bit more time and effort into writing a self-help book and more articles on personal growth and evolution, as well as possibly seeking some speaking engagements on these subjects. If anyone would like us to speak at an event, or inquire about possibly scheduling us for an event, please feel free to contact Lori by e-mail at

While it is never easy to predict the future we expect 2011 to be a year full of new and exciting experiences. We wish everyone peace and happiness and hope the New Year brings you the best that life has to offer.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bridges to be crossed

By Robert Gebbie

Most people dream of a life filled with happiness and success, but the reality is few truly end up having the life they want to lead. Even when someone finds fulfillment in one aspect of their world, they will often find disappointment in many others. The journey from birth to death is often a struggle, the path ahead of us seems to always be filled with obstacles and impasses, and that is how it should be.

As much as even I hate to admit, if we began life with a contract and guarantee, few of us would ever make it beyond our living room couch. The things we struggle with most are usually the same things which lead us, as individuals, to our finest accomplishments and understandings. The greatest achievements of our species often come from learning to overcome that which causes us the deepest pain or dissatisfaction.

Little is ever gained without a purpose or reason for pursuing it. If our journey through life was absolute satisfaction, there would be little, if any, inspiration to carry ourselves forward, and the human race would have long ago become extinct. It is in our desire to have or become greater which give us, as individuals and a race, the purpose to move forward in all that we aspire to be. They say “a rolling stone gathers no moss”, yet by the same token a person who never moves becomes stagnant and dies. There are always bridges to be crossed. There will always be new adventures just up the road or around the next bend of life. Humans are creatures of great imagination and creativity, and our desire to achieve greater and greater heights in our existence give us the purpose we need to continue reaching forward from one day to the next.

If you did not have a goal to reach in your life or career, what purpose would you have for waking up each day? What need would you have for carrying forward? Who and where would you be if not for the lessons learned from overcoming the obstacles you have already faced?

Take a moment to pause and account for all the things you have already achieved, look back and acknowledge the progress and struggles you have overcome to get where you are today. There is a lot to learn from examining our personal failures, if we can look past our disappointment and see the true lesson. For all that we wish and desire to become there will always be a price to pay in getting there. Look to the future, remember that tomorrow presents endless opportunities to learn and grow. Have faith in yourself, find strength of will in the mountains behind you and carry forward to greater days ahead.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A little bit of Zazzle!!

By Lori Gebbie

We’ve been shooting images for stock for the past three years, and while it was a lot of fun to take the pictures and put them up for stock, I always felt a little flat. I saw so many uses for the images, but didn’t think I’d ever become a designer myself. And then, I found zazzle!

Zazzle has opened up a new opportunity for me to show my creative side, and I’m really happy that I have so much to choose from! From mouse pads to iPad covers, there is a whole world to design and create! And now, I get to do some of it myself! All of my favorite images are now being displayed on various products, the way we intended them to be seen. Great gift ideas, especially the little knick-knack stocking stuffer ideas! And I feel pretty blessed that our artwork is getting seen by a more general public than just designers! We have quite a colorful portfolio, and I’ve done my best to keep our images bright and sharp on our products.

We have some real cute ideas, won’t you take a look and see if there’s something YOU like there?*/

New - iPhone & iPad Cases! Free shipping on your first case order! Use Code: NEWZAZZCASES Ends Sunday Nov 21st! Hurry!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Still Not Taking a Break

Some of the other ways we have been able to keep busy is by finding other ways to market our product. We have several irons in that fire already, but decided, ehh, what’s a few more? We started a store on Zazzle to see what we could offer, and it’s been a lot of fun to build up and merchandise. But I find it’s also a whole lot of hard work! It’s not just about taking an image and putting it on a product, you also have to figure out what message you want that image to convey. It’s a totally different mindset (for me) than stock photography.

As a stock photographer, we take an object and think, ok, how would a client use this picture? For example: A red apple. This image has a thousand uses! It can be used in nutrition ads, school ads, by doctors or dentists, or just about anyone. So, we take the picture, isolated on a white background so it can be pulled and placed in an advertisement, and hope that our apple image is snappy enough to be seen and purchased among the hundreds of thousands of apple pictures already listed on our agency’s site.

Now, with the store, we now have to figure out HOW to use that image. Hmm… Sure, we could put it on a shirt that says An Apple a Day, or any of the other overused phrases that we hear about apples all the time. But now we’re on the marketing side. And an old worn out phrase isn’t going to attract customers to purchase our product. So now we have to come up with a new and exciting way to present that image, incorporate it into something witty and fun, and hope that it gets seen and goes “hot”, or at least draws enough interest for someone to browse our other products.

And then there is the copyright/trademark issue. We face it with stock, but we always have to remain mindful of it. Putting the phrase “Just Do It” is an infringement against Nike. “It’s the Real Thing” is an infringement against Coke. And fonts have to be watched, you can’t use a font that is used by a company, because that’s misrepresentation against that company. In other words, you can’t use the familiarity of a product to sell a “pirated” product, because they are the ones that did all the advertising work, not you. So now, you have to come up with something completely original, with your own work. You can’t see a picture and take it from the web and use it in your items. It MUST be original. And you should have a model release for any products you use. How would you feel if a photographer took a picture of you smiling, and you ended up on thousands of tee shirts and mousepads, without any sort of compensation or prior agreement??

There is so much to think about, so many different ideas that have to be shelved. Zazzle has over 35 billion items for sale. Which one is going to be the one that people see and want to buy?? So, for now, we’re brought out our Wermz, and are setting them up in Christmas hats around Christmas ornaments and the like, and hoping that people find them funny or cute enough. And we have a lot of our abstract images on different items. We’re trying to remain colorful as well as contemporary. Cross your fingers for us!

To visit our zazzle store, and see some of the ideas we’ve had, visit us at:*

As for Robert, he’s doing his best to meet the demands I’m making for new images and illustrations on the ideas that are getting spurred on by the mad merchandising frenzy I’m on! He is also working on a manuscript of his self-help writings. We’re very excited about that project, he’s taking a lot of his essays and we are weaving them together to come up with a book that we hope to release by summer. We will be releasing bits and pieces of his essays over the coming months while he’s working on that, but his focus right now is research and writing. I love his writing. He’s become such a better man since he started writing, and has made us stronger in our relationship. We have been able to get over many crippling obstacles in our lives because we remain focused and balanced. We keep our end goal in mind, and continuously strive toward that. We remain generous in nature, kind in word, gracious to those that offer assistance, and always have time for those that need a moment to talk.

We offer thanks every day to everyone for taking interest in our journey. We offer thanks for those who happen into our lives, as we feel everyone has a reason, everyone has a place, and there is always something to be learned by the various experiences we have. We find a great deal of inspiration in our life around us, and hope that you find that, as well.

Peace to you, my friends.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not Taking a Break

While we weren’t on the road for as long as we anticipated, our journey is about Creativity. We were fortunate enough to run into some real beautiful areas as we meandered across the desert on our way to Las Vegas. We also ran into some beautiful souls along the way, and shared some of those stories already.

We took a lot of pictures during the last few months, we’ve put some of them up on our gallery site at Fine Art America. Here, we’ve put a slice of our travels, some real beautiful and thoughtful shots. We hope you find the beauty in them, like we did.

To see more of our work, visit our gallery at

We are always trying hard to come up to the top of our situation, and while it isn’t always easy, we know as long as we keep focused and determined, we’ll reach our end goals.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On Growing up

By Robert E. Gebbie

As an observer of human nature, I have noticed how often people look for reasons beyond themselves for the troubles in their lives. They make excuses and cast blame at others when things go wrong. Even the people we once looked to as examples in the professional and political environment appear to be doing more pointing at others than accepting any responsibility for their own failures.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but maybe it’s you. That’s right, I said it, and maybe the problem is not the situations around you, but you yourself. Perhaps it is time for a deep and honest evaluation of your own words and actions. Maybe it is time we all grew up a little, quit finding fault on the outside, and did some serious work on who we are as individuals.

Everyone has situations that are beyond their influence or control, not everything in life is neat and orderly. If it was, we would never have a reason to move forward. There would be little purpose to aspire to be anything more than what we are. The lessons that are learned from failure progress both individuals and humanity forward to seek a greater existence.

While I must admit not everything is your fault, and not every disaster or failure can be put on your shoulders, sitting with your head in your hands sobbing is not going to do you any good either. Get up, take action, do something about it. Quit complaining about what others are doing or failing to do to change the situation. Stop waiting for the world to make a decision for you, and become part of the solution. Nothing is going to change in your life until you take the steps to change it yourself.

Become your own hero and example. Inspire others to stand up and take control of themselves and their lives. Take charge of the things that you can have an influence over and create a better tomorrow. Take a deep look at who you are. The greatest problems may not be the things you cannot change on the outside, but those you are unwilling to change on the inside. Admit your imperfections, be honest and move on.

There are few guarantees in life, not even your own mortal or immortal survival is divinely granted. No one else is going to save you, take some control of your responsibilities and do something about it. Unhappy or dissatisfied by what the world has given you? Perhaps you have received what is rightly earned if all you have done is wait for those things to be handed to you. Everything comes with a price, and people must work for their place in this world and their everlasting mark in existence.

Get up, step away from that television or computer and fight for what you believe in. Make the effort to do something about your future, because if you don’t, the only person you can blame is yourself. Take action today or the tomorrow you hope for may be one that never comes.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Personality Fan Books and Briar Wood Pipes

Some of the clients we shoot portraits of like to display their images in books.

Introducing Rachel’s 40 page hardcover book, “2010”. Her boudoir style book has been requested by so many of her friends, she decided to open it up for public sale. She offers a preview of a portion of her book, and invites you to take a look and see!
(Prices are set by our clients, and are shipped directly to you from the printer within 2 weeks of ordering.) Rachel's 2010 book
These books are offered to our portrait clients, and we hope to have more available in the coming weeks.

If you plan on being in the Las Vegas area, and would like to set up your own Book shoot, drop us a line at We would be happy to discuss various options available for your photographic needs.

We would also like to share some new handcrafted Briar Wood Smoking pipes we just released for sale. These beautiful Briar Wood smoking pipes are designed for a comfortable fit in the hand. They have a plateau end which allows for a nice gripping area. Beautiful wood grain patterns throughout, gorgeous swirl and burst patterns. These fine quality pipe will last decades in your collection! Our Briar Pipes at etsy

A little bit about Briar Wood:

Briar grows in the arid, agriculturally unproductive land surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Because of its severe habitat, briar grows very slowly. A marketable burl must be 40 years old before it can be harvested. Larger pipes would require an older burl. Larger burls from 100-year-old briars are becoming exceedingly hard to find. This is compounded by the fact that all easily accessible sources of briar have been used up and the back breaking labor of digging up burls must be accomplished without the help of power tools.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Faces @RGebbiePhoto

by Lori Gebbie

We would like to introduce you to two new faces!

Robyn Cooperman has been a friend of mine for several years. We met in College and sang together in the choir. Robyn is still singing, and is trying to get out there as a model/actress. She’s got such a great outgoing personality, and has a real positive outlook! We’ve hired her as our Outside Sales person, and she’s helping us get going on our portrait work here in Las Vegas.

Albert Carinio is someone we met since we’ve been in town. He’s got a great outlook, and a great sense of humor, and we’re looking forward to working with him in our stock photography. We’ve got some real fun things planned for him, and are going to draw on his ethnic background for several of our shots!

We’re looking forward to bringing our brand of photography to the Las Vegas area, and already have received quite a reception! Unfortunately, due to ethical issues, we had to pull out of the WAF/Humiliated Angels gallery exhibit we were going to be a part of, but we’ve made new connections with the art community here, and look forward to displaying our work with them.

Due to our issues with our vehicle, we will be staying close to the Las Vegas area for a while. We still plan on visiting a lot of the scenery in the area, and since Robert isn’t from this part of the country, it will be nice to see his fresh view on the local terrain. The journey continues as we sort through our view of life, and reminding ourselves, that, even in the face of adversity, we can still focus on the positive and remain inspired to carry on!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Leaving God’s Country for Sin City

By Lori Gebbie

Sorry it’s taken a bit to write this next part, but it was one of the harder parts we had to deal with. So, here goes…

The neighbor fixed the van, but we still felt a little iffy on it. We pulled our trailer out that evening and took it to the Circle L Campground in Layton overnight to dump it and prepare for the journey out. We are SO glad we stopped there. The park managers were such great people! So friendly, and very welcoming! Once we were settled in, they stopped by to chat. I guess they saw the rugged shape we were in, and spent some time with us, letting us unload about our journey so far. They left us with some good meditation techniques and some wonderful prayers for a continued safe journey. And we left with 2 new friends who we will keep in contact with for years to come!

But after talking to family, we decided it would be safer to have the trailer pulled by someone else and follow in the van. Well, we’re glad we did, because only 20 miles down the road, we threw a valve rod in the engine. We pulled into Lehi, Utah at a gas station there, offloaded our things into the trailer, and left it parked while we continued on with our hired driver. I rode in the vehicle pulling the trailer, and Robert followed with the other driver and the kitties. My drive was real interesting, I rode with Trevor, the owner of the towing company, and we had a great conversation. He tows up and down the state of Utah, and has several trucks in his fleet. He is also an EMT, so we were listening to the police scanner the entire ride. One of the calls that came through was a man who had been struck by lightning. I told him if he needed to stop anywhere, to please do, we’d already been on the road for a month, what was one more day? But the crew was already there and dealing with the poor gentleman, who was still alive but in shock. We listened to the updates for the next half hour, until another call came through that had almost the entire state in a tizzy. Apparently a car tried to pass a semi, and got sucked underneath it. When they finally stopped, the car was T-boned underneath the back tires. What an awful site, but by the time we got on scene, there were fire, cops, paramedics and ambulances there, so Trevor kept going.

We got to where the 2nd truck had to be dropped off at, and Robert and the other driver climbed into the cab for the last 40 miles or so to St. George. Right as we were passing Zion National Park, there was road construction on the 15 southbound, and without warning, we hit a HUGE drop in the pavement. The new road dropped close to 8 inches back to the old road underneath. There was no signage, it was just a sudden drop, and we found ourselves airborne for a few moments after the bounce. HOLY HELL!!! I was sure the trailer was going to snap off on the bounce, but Trevor was an excellent driver with several years of towing under his belt, and he was able to keep it all under control. I don’t know how he did it, but we settled straight away and kept going, intact. That happened about 5pm on 7/18. And we were lucky, because about two minutes later, a truck went airborne and crashed into a Semi, and the accident stopped traffic for a while. All I can say is, Wow. I still am highly emotional over the incident, and grateful we made it through in once piece. We pulled off at Mesquite to check out the trailer, check on the birds, and to calm nerves. Everything was fine, we didn’t even break a dish! Trevor had another driver take us from there, he had an evening planned, so we proceeded with his assistant, slowly off again to Vegas.

We hit town at 10pm, and once we hit the streets, I noticed that the trailer lights weren’t working. But it was just a short jaunt to my Dad’s house, and within a few minutes we were pulling up. We unhitched and off they went, back to St. George. I highly recommend Trevor and his crew. I wish I had got a card from them, but if you EVER have a towing need in this part of the country, please call them first. (1-435-979-5909)

It was in the high 90s when we got here, so Dad pulled an extension cord to the trailer and we put the fan on for the birds overnight as we settled inside. Boy, it was GREAT to be home again! I hadn’t been back for a visit in about five years. Wow, had Vegas changed! My father moved here back in ’89, when Sahara dead-ended at The Lakes area, but now the Valley had extended miles past his house, the commerce area booming with new retail outlets peppering the streets.

Over the next few days, we unloaded the birds and the bulk of our things, and put the trailer in dry storage for a month or two while we figure out what we are going to do about replacing our vehicle. So for the last 2 weeks, we’ve stayed close to home, healing our broken bodies and resting our worn nerves. I was wondering how Mom and Dad would handle having our small family invade their home. I’d brought cats home before, Bijou lived with them for a while when I was single between marriages, and that seemed ok, but now I was bringing my husband, 2 cats AND 2 parrots into their very quiet home. But they welcomed us with open arms, and so far, things are going fine. I actually think they like the extra company, and the cats have been extremely well behaved. Prinnie still gets loud, and her and Tye go at it in the back room once in a while, but for the most part, we’ve all settled together pretty seamlessly. Robert and I are set up in the front living room, we set up our office areas, and spend the bulk of our time there, drumming up local networking contacts, and reconnecting with old friends in the area.

So here we are, stuck again, but this time we’re home, and we can settle for a bit before we have to worry about taking off again. We had planned on staying here a month or two, anyway, the dry climate is healing my asthma, and it’s so much better on Robert’s back. I had to laugh, this morning it was muggy outside, the humidity had hit a staggering 38%!! (I just checked, in Vancouver WA, it’s 83% humidity today.) My parents have been extremely supportive through our journey, and we are so grateful they opened their home to us.

But enough relaxing, it’s time to seriously get back to work, so we are scheduling shoots now, and contacting local art galleries. We feel that this town is where we need to be right now, the art district is booming, and people are already recognizing our work as quality. Our day trips out to see the local attractions are limited without a vehicle, but Dad has been quite generous with his car, so I’m sure in the next week or so we’ll be able to hit Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon.

So, for now, here we are! Safe and (now) sane in Las Vegas, NV. We are starting to go through the images we took along the way, and as they get finished, I will be posting some of the gorgeous scenery we saw along the way. Thank you all for your prayers and good wishes, they really mean a lot to us.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Age of Confusion; the End of Yesterday, the Start of Tomorrow

by Robert Gebbie

It seems pretty obvious to me that this world, our world, is in serious trouble. What I remember of history, being of deep personal interest to me, I don’t believe there has ever been a time in our human existence when the entire planet has been in such a stage of fear, conflict and confusion. Religious hypocrisy, political unrest, economic disaster and geological change, a shifting and reordering in the foundations of everything I can think of, the “Perfect Storm”.

Mankind could be standing before the pinnacle of their greatest growth and advancement, or at the edge to the pit of their greatest despair. Will we overcome the threats and obstacles that lie before us? Or be the engine that drives society and possibly all of human existence into extinction? The choices we make in these times as individuals will be the largest determining factor in the results of the things to come. It will show in the way Humanity either embraces itself and the diversity of its beliefs and ideas, or continue down the road of our history like jungle primates hurling the feces of our jealousy, insecurities and judgment at our brethren.

Which ways will we grow to evolve forward into the age of what comes next? What avenues will we peruse to diminish those that hold a faith, or point of view, that differs from our own? I hate to say, in my opinion, that I don’t hold much hope for the Children of Man. This selfish and self-absorbed species of hairless apes, with blinders on, fail to reach together for a higher existence; and instead, choose a path to our own self-destruction.

It is the sum of all that life has become, created and imagined that leads a species to greater awareness and evolution. It is the coalition and interaction as one, while, at the same time, continuing to retain the individuality of separate entities. Similar to a single cell within a body, existing and cooperating together for the life of the whole, while continuing to perform their individual functions within their smaller, interacting community of organs.

If every individual begins working within themselves to change the perceptions that society and our cultures have written upon the human psyche, and re-write the way we think and interact with each other, we may survive. Sadly, it takes a personal effort, a deep and unwavering conviction, to improve upon what we are to become what we aspire to be. Often this commitment and pursuit makes us face things about ourselves and our inner being that most people would prefer not to uncover. Guilt for words and actions, for things we knowingly have said or done, that we knew within ourselves wrong the moment we did them. Fears and insecurities that arise from the possible ridicule we may receive from our peers because we want to fit in, rather than accepting and evolving from the diversity of each other’s experiences. It can be one of the most horrific and painful things any individual could ever conceive to do, to remove the masks of our own deceptions and peer face to face at the raw truth of our individual existence.

There is no absolute for the days ahead; perhaps a chance still exists to turn the course that we are on and redeem our honor and humanity. Perhaps we may yet save a place in the universe for the children that come after us, and the age that is to be. There will be great choices to make if mankind is to finally step forward and up to the things we were meant to be. It takes hope and faith for mankind to evolve and survive, or face the madness of our own creations and become victims to the devices of our own handy work. Only when we can stand at the gates of tomorrow and look back on the results, will this world know the success or failure of her greatest adored creation, the Human Race, the offspring of her seed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lemonade, Anyone?

By Lori Gebbie

The last week here in Ogden, Utah, has been very interesting. The 4th of July came and went this year with a bang, as usual. We had a small barbeque in the backyard with our hosts, Dawnelle and John, and their neighbors. Afterward, there was a little bit of hopping around, as the men started tossing poppers at the kids, and setting off the small bit of fireworks they had. It was a fun evening, the food was great, and the company was nice.

My aunt and uncle were in town, so we made plans to meet up with them for dinner. It was real nice to see them again, I had spent a few summers at their home in Fort Worth when I was growing up, and it had been several years since I’d been able to connect up with them. I always marveled at genetics, and how family genes carried down the line. Our family line runs real strong, but I could always tell the difference between my grandmother’s side and my grandfather’s side. My father and I tend toward my grandfather’s side, my uncle tends toward my grandmother’s. But the family resemblance is real strong, and the relationship is undeniable.

We planned to meet them at Cracker Barrel (of course). Robert and I got there first, and we were milling around the little store area while we waited. As soon as they walked in, I felt their smiles as they spotted us and walked toward us. They are very soft spoken and gentle souls, and it was a wonderful reunion, as we shared stories of our misadventures, and caught up with their lives. My uncle is our family historian, and he takes care of our genealogy lines. He was in Salt Lake City, working on getting birth certificates and death certificates for our ancestors. I am excited to report that he is on the verge of breaking into the 1700’s with his research, which is quite the accomplishment for a Mexican family, as most of the records in Mexico were either burned, destroyed, or mutilated by lack of care.

As the dinner progressed, we talked with them about our lives, and the turns it had taken. And we talked about what we were teaching now, which is helping people re-balance and re-focus their lives for the better through Self-Perpetuating Evolution. Dinner ended, but our conversation was still going strong, so we went back to their room to continue our visit. We spoke of faith, of love, of growth, and did a lot of learning. At midnight, we cut our visit and planned on getting together again the next day. When we got home, we felt so peaceful, we went straight to sleep, feeling very loved and secure.

The van was delivered on Wednesday, and our minds started to settle. We now knew it would be a matter of days before it was done, and we were glad, because we were starting to get restless. It was one thing to stop because we wanted to, and another to be stranded without a vehicle, dependant on others. We try to be good company, as unexpected visitors we have been spending time in the trailer, so as not to disturb the normal pattern of the household. And with my uncle and aunt in town, we’ve been spending time with them. So it has worked out all the way around.

Today is Monday, and the van is almost done. We had a mechanic friend working on it for us, and we’re grateful that he is willing to help us out. So, hopefully today we’ll have the keys and be ready to pack up tonite to set out tomorrow morning.

We have found that, no matter how much we plan, we do not control our path. Instead of fretting and worrying about it, we’ve taken the opportunities given to us to explore the area we are in, and to make the most of it. And we’re happier for it, we’ve added a great deal to our portfolio and had some good visit time with friends, old and new. So, off we will head, tomorrow morning, in search of new adventures and friends. We will head toward Las Vegas, and hope that we can drive straight through. But, if we get stopped along the way, we’ll take that time to look around and enjoy the scenery. And just breathe.

**** Now available on our hub site, our pamphlet “Self Perpetuating Evolution”. Please feel free to download your copy. Distribution permitted in original form only.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Traveling with Disabilities

by Lori Gebbie

I’ve been asked repeatedly, why it’s taken so long for us to travel such a short distance. So, I decided tonight I would write about that. We always got into the van with good intentions. We would start out in the morning, intending to pull in 400 miles down the road for the evening. But, we’d start on the road, and the trailer would start to sway, so we’d start driving slower and slower, to keep it all under control. Our max speed was 60 mph, but we would average between 40 and 45 mph. And on mountain roads, sometimes we would trudge up the side at 25 mph, and pull it down at 40 mph to keep it under control.

What is a sway? It’s where the trailer starts going one direction while the van is trying to go another. And the sway is from the wheels, not a tipping motion. So it feels like you are going straight, but the van is being pulled sideways. When it gets bad, it feels almost like the rubber is going to be ripped from the tires. So you can see how stressful and tense the situation can be if you get out of control with it. It’s a lot of white-knuckle driving and a LOT of praying.

Another issue we have is Robert’s disability. He has a degenerative lower back injury with severe nerve damage down the right side of his leg and foot. After five operations, and killing his stomach with vicodin and morphine, he isn’t able to take painkillers anymore. So part of the white-knuckle driving is pain, and after an hour of driving with your whole body tense, it feels like you’ve run a marathon. So we would welcome the sight of a rest stop, where we could get out and he could stretch out again and try to get the blood moving. Sometimes he would just need a quick stretch and we could be off again after an hour or so. But sometimes a bad road or hill would wipe him out and he’d have to sleep for a few hours. And until we get the swaybar and equalizer hitch for the trailer, I can’t handle the trailer like it is, so we go at his pace.

So, that should explain why we seem to be crawling across the desert to get to our first destination. Next week we are having the van worked on, and we hope to be back on the road by the end of the week. But, as much as we plan for life, sometimes life has a different plan for us. For example, if we hadn’t been stopped here, we would have missed out on reconnecting with an old friend of ours. And my uncle and aunt just happen to be doing some work in Salt Lake City this coming week, so we’ll be able to visit with them, too! And Utah is God’s Country. The weather is beautiful, and the scenery is breathtaking. So, while it was unfortunate that we were stopped by engine problems, in the end, I’m glad we did. For the last two days, Robert hasn’t even been able to get out of bed. I think the stress stripped him of all he uses to hold himself together, and his body is just responding. I have him set up in the bedroom area, his computer there so he can still work while he lies down. He’s determined to be up and moving tomorrow, so I’m hoping the rest he’s had will allow him that much.

We hope you all have a lovely and safe Fourth of July this year.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Leaving Idaho

by Lori Gebbie

Leaving Idaho was a little more difficult than we expected. We started off at Caldwell RV Park because we needed to rest overnight. We stayed because we needed a little vacation to settle in after all the packing and moving and stress. While we were there, we met some pretty fantastic people! Two in particular come to mind.

Dan and Robert met while Robert was out fishing. Dan lives at Caldwell, and would often walk around the park, socializing with the residents. An eccentric gentleman, with a lot of life experience, he and Robert hit it off immediately. He invited us back to his RV, and as I looked around at all of the various photos and trinkets he has tucked in everywhere, he and Robert sat and talked. Off they went, into their own little world, bantering ideas back and forth, discussing hypothesis and theories that would rival any scholar. Ecologically minded, Dan was working on a solution for our fresh water ponds and lakes. Here, clearly, was a man of heart and great ideas. But he needed some help with his focus. We gave him some ideas on how to help himself, and reminded him, just breathe.

Terry came out when I was fishing with Robert. We chatted casually, and then she went back home. Later, she came by, and we talked again, and she started to talk to us about life, balance, and focus. There was an instant camaraderie between us, and we felt connected in some way. A beautiful woman, a gentle soul, and a very talented artist. She showed us her work, and we discussed ways she could help advance her career. We are really looking forward to seeing her again, and helping her in any way we can.

We left Caldwell RV Park on Saturday nite, and started off. But it got dark quick, and the road was torn up, so we had to move real slow, at about 45mph. The stress of holding onto the van to make sure it stayed on the road was telling after such a relaxing few days. So we pulled out for the night to rest. The next morning, we headed back out toward Twin Falls. We took a break there for lunch, and to let Robert stretch his leg, which he couldn’t feel at the time. Once more, we headed to the highway on our way toward Las Vegas, and as we crested into Utah, Robert was starting to have trouble with his leg again, so we exited again for the evening. In the morning, we headed out again. The van was purring softly as we headed up the grade on the outskirts of Ogden. But there was a grade in front of us, and it was getting warmer, and as we crested the grade, the lower radiator hose blew. We rolled into the Perry Port of Entry truck station and turned off the van. The hose had come off, it didn’t split, so we tried to clamp it and fill it, but when we started the van again, there was a small white puff coming from the tailpipe, and it was dripping water. This indicated a blown head gasket, so with heavy hearts, we asked to pull off for a while until we could figure out what to do. We had just had the van serviced in Vancouver, so we were very surprised, since we had told them we were going to be pulling a load through the desert and asked them to make sure our van was road worthy. We called the shop, and they arranged towing for us. Horray! However, our mechanics decided it was not their fault, and were not going to reimburse us for the expense. We were down to gas and food money, and the future looked bleak.

We have a friend, Dawnelle, who had moved to Utah recently, and we had planned on stopping by on our way through, but weren’t able to make an event she had planned the prior evening. When we missed her event, she felt saddened she missed us. She told us she prayed that we wouldn’t pass her by on our way through, so when I called her up, she was overjoyed that we were here, and has been nothing but a ray of hope for us. She has allowed us to park at her home while we figure out our situation. She is also pulling her resources together to help us find a cheaper alternative than the $2700 the shop told us it would cost us to fix the van.

So, here we are, in Ogden, Utah, without a vehicle, and looking for portrait work to try to raise some money so we can get our van fixed and back on the road. We are blessed to have Dawnelle here to help us remain sane and to give us a safe place to park until we figure this out. And blessed for her friends who are mechanics and willing to help us as well. So, sorry, Las Vegas, it’s gonna be another few weeks until we can get there, but, we’re on our way!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Little Longer in Idaho

by Lori Gebbie

Yesterday, we took a drive into Boise to see a few of the sites there. That’s when I saw the sign. Cracker Barrel, Exit 50B. My heart skipped a beat! Ohh I love Cracker Barrel! It was one of my favorite restaurants when I lived in South Carolina, and traveled in the area. It was always a special treat to go to see some of the kitsch items they carry in their little store. And the food is hearty and the portions are plenty. Good old Country Style eatin’. And to top it off, authentic Sweet Tea!!

We found out there was a Birds of Prey Museum and Aviary close by, as well as the Lucky Peak Dam. There was only half an hour left in the business day for the Aviary, so we noted the location and headed toward the dam.

It was a real pretty drive, and we just took our time and enjoyed it. Since Robert has to do the driving when we’re hitched to the trailer, I get to drive when we aren’t. I noticed he spent most of the drive rubbing his leg, but he’d brought his cane, and he wanted to try to stretch it out a bit. We got to the dam, parked the van, and off he went. I went toward the waterline, and sat at a nice table under a tree to do some writing and relaxing. When he came back, he was limping quite a bit, so I had him do some stretching on the shore. A little while later, we headed up toward the other beach area and took some more pictures of the water feature there, but he was getting tired, and we’d been away from the animals for about five hours now, and while I knew they COULD be good, I wasn’t sure they WOULD be good while we were gone.

By the time we got home, I had to help Robert out of the van. He went straight into the trailer, and straight to bed. He couldn’t feel his hip or any of his right leg. And we were supposed to leave in the morning. Of course, he said he just needed to rest, so as soon as he was able, I sent him for a hot shower, and we settled in for the nite to watch a slideshow of the shots we’d taken. We knew we had an early morning, packing the trailer up for travel, so we got to bed a little early.

In the morning, Robert said we had to get moving, so with a lot of creaking and groaning, we started moving around. I noticed he was really favoring his leg, and when I asked him, his head fell and he said he still couldn’t feel it. He looked worried. So, I did what any wife would do. I went to the office and extended our time here. This is just a typical situation we deal with. Sometimes Robert’s disability puts him down for a few days. Before, he would try to push on and keep going, but I had to remind him that we are on our own schedule now, and if we go slow, well, we’ll get there eventually. Once we can both drive, we’ll be moving a lot more, but, for now, this will do.

So, here we are, still in Idaho, trying to heal our bodies enough to make another run. We’re considering this our “vacation at the beach” which we’d planned to take before running to Vegas, but didn’t get a chance to do. We are paid up until Sunday morning, so today we are doing nothing, just spending “us” time, hanging out at the lake, just relaxing and enjoying the time and space and peace we have.

Tentative Agenda: If Robert is walking, then tomorrow we head out to the Birds of Prey Museum and Aviary. And, maybe back to Cracker Barrel, too! After all, it IS on the way! If not, more fishing and hanging out by the camp.

PET REPORT: Since the kids stayed home yesterday while we went wandering, Robert brought Prinnie outside and we set her on the top rung of our step ladder. We also brought Tye and his cage out, and set him on the table. We had some people come by and chat with us and the birds. After about an hour, we put them back away, and got the kitties into their harnesses, and put them in their cargo crate and took them to the lakeside with us. They enjoyed watching the ducks and squirrels running around, but as it started getting hotter, I took them back to the trailer, turned on the air conditioner, and everyone settled back down again. Prinnie is making a lot of friends here, she sees people walk by the trailer and calls out to them.

“Hello!! Hello there! Come here, come here, come here, Hi Hi Hi!!!” and when they see it’s a bird and come to the window, she says “Hello there, how are you?” and of course, when they laugh, she then asks for a cracker.

We are becoming known as “The Couple with the Parrots and Cats”. I hope that’s a good thing!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Driving Into Idaho 6-20-10

by: Lori Gebbie

We left Fort Henrietta at about four that afternoon. We drove onward up the mountains above Pendleton, the Blue Mountains. At the summit we pulled out to let the van rest, and to take some photographs of the valley. Wow, was it beautiful up there! As we crested and began our descent, the road and the weather started to turn. We were driving in asphalt, tire ruts making the trailer dance and sway behind us, and the hail came with the wind. Fortunately, we saw a rest stop, 1 mile! We pulled out to wait out the storm, our little family huddled in the trailer. Dry docked at a rest stop, enough electricity to run lights but not outlets, we ran our laptops till the batteries went out and went to sleep for the nite.

The next morning, we woke up and it was gorgeous outside! We got the trailer ready for travel again and headed out. The roads were still rutted, but the hail and wind had stopped, and we had a light rain. It’s very stressful to drive when you are trying to control something that large. Especially when you don’t have all of the proper equipment that makes it easy in today’s standards. Nope, we were doing it old school, just a ball hitch pulling a load behind us. White-knuckled and screaming (mostly) with our inside voices. We decided to stop at the first stop for coffee and gas, and pulled into Durkee, Oregon.

In Durkee, there were two things that I saw, a gas station and The Hungry Redneck Café. We decided to stop there for some coffee, and to ease our quickly frazzling nerves. It was getting harder and harder to stay motivated to continue on our trip, with the way our bodies were being beaten around in the van. Being pushed and pulled, constantly being thrown off balance, your body’s natural reaction is to compensate. So we were really feeling the stress from driving.

The café sat just off the gas station, the only things on that exit on that side of the freeway. There was a beautiful ram head mounted in the dining room, watching over all who came in. Beautiful painted canvases along the walls, price tags in the corners, all the art was for sale. We talked to the waitress, Robin, and she was sympathetic to our plight, making sure our coffee cups never emptied. Such a sweet lady, happy with what she had, and she said something to us that we always say to everyone else. “I just hope you two have enough. You only need just enough.” That’s when it all settled for me. She was right. We didn’t get to do this with a great deal of financing, we had just enough. And just enough was going to continue to work for us. We ate a light breakfast, and while I finished my coffee, Robert grabbed the camera and took some more pictures.

We needed to figure out a better plan, because our current one was quickly wearing us down. I remembered what Robin had said, we needed just enough, and just enough means rest, too! We headed for the border town of Ontario, and pulled into the first rest stop inside of Idaho.

There was an information center there, and I talked to the lady there about some of the things to see on our route. My father had told us to stop at the Lucky Peak Dam, and seeing as how we were almost to Boise, I took matters into my own hands and decided we were going to stop for a few days and recoup. Our backs were both strapped, every muscle aching. We stopped at Caldwell RV Park in Caldwell, Idaho.

This park has a private 7 ½ acre lake, and residents and campers are permitted to fish without a license. Robert’s face lit up. He was actually going to get to fish again, after 15 years! Today is our second day here, and he’s been fishing for a little while this evening. He’s already caught a few fish, too small for keepers, but he’s having so much fun, I don’t think it matters. What does matter is seeing the child light up in his face again, after so many months of seeing the old man’s pain. This is why we are doing what we are doing. All the rest is just bonus.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Digger Squirrels and Jack-Knives;

by; Lori Gebbie

I remember going camping as a kid with my family. My father used to drive, my mother in the passenger seat. My brother and sisters would sit in the back seat, and I would sit on the seat in between my parents. My father used to take some pretty scary roads, winding mountain roads. Everyone else would be able to sleep through it, but I was there, white-knuckling it and sweating it out with Dad. I vowed never to go on such a scary adventure ever again, and for about 30 years, had been able to avoid it…

We finally set out, Friday at noon. We hooked up, everything looked great. We started to drive, yep, everything still on track. We got on the freeway, ok… at about 55 mph, we started to sway. Badly. It was enough to send me into tears of panic, but Robert was driving, and although he’d never experienced hauling a travel trailer, he was able to pull us out of the sway pretty evenly. Then a semi went by us, and we started swaying again. I was afraid the rubber would be pulled off of the tires, but we were able to slow down enough to pull out of it, and pull out in a rest stop to regroup ourselves. We were in Hood River , Oregon.

While we were at the rest stop, of course we took out our camera and took a short walk. It was a beautiful rest stop, up against some real pretty forest area. As I came around a building, I ran into a squirrel, eating a peanut. Robert got some great shots of the cute little guy, and then we saw the lady with the peanuts. Her name was Shelly, and she and Kay were feeding them. The little guys were so tame, they would come up to us and stand on their hind legs, begging for treats. Then she pointed us to her daughter, Talia. She was sitting on the ground, her legs spread out, with peanuts lining her legs. The squirrels were crawling all over her, munching on the peanuts, and she was giggling the entire time. It was real great to see her taking such delight in them, and even more beautiful to see Kay and Shelly light up when they felt her laughter. “She’s having the time of her life! She just loves animals” says Kay, as the squirrels engulfed Talia’s lap.

After the squirrels, we went back to the van to get ready to leave again. We ended up speaking with a real nice couple, who, like us, had taken to the road full time. She offered some real good advice on stops and stuff, and he helped Robert with the van and trailer setup. We set back out, and stopped in The Dalles, Oregon, to check on tire pressure and fluids. After adjustments were made, we set back out to a more comfortable and relaxing ride. The sway problem had been equalized, one of the trailer tires was low, and our new air shocks were at passenger levels, not tow levels.

So, feeling confident, but very road tired from the stress and the unusually sunny day that we were blessed to drive in on our voyage out, we pulled off when we saw a sign for a campground. We were in Echo, Oregon. The campground is called Henrietta. However, there was no real signage. Apparently everyone in Echo knows where it’s at! So we continued on the road we assumed would lead to the campground, and found ourselves on a tight canyon road. A 24’ Chevy van pulling a 27’ travel trailer. Canyon roads. This was a scary point, as I’d been through something similar in just a car. But, holy moly, there was no place to turn around. Finally, at the bottom of a curve, there was a small pull out, so Robert tried to turn us around, because ahead of us was a hairpin I wasn’t especially interested in trying to take! Well, let’s just say, we didn’t quite make it, and in trying to back up (behind us was a ravine and in front of us a grassy steep hill) we managed to jack-knife the trailer. And the road was at an angle, and the front jack was dragging on the ground. We were blocking one full lane and a bit of another when it jacked. We both looked at it in panic. Severe panic. Mind numbing panic. What do we do now?? I prayed. Hard. “If this is the path we are supposed to be on, please send help to us so that we can continue on our journey. Please send us a trucker who has dealt with a jack-knife, and is knowledgeable and can help us out.” I looked at Robert, he was doing the same thing, both of us wide eyed in panic. And then, a couple pulled up to us. The man took one look at us, and, barely holding back a smile, asked us if we needed help. Well, here was the ex-truck driver I prayed for!! They pulled out and with a reassuring calmness, and great sense of humor, he helped us figure out how to get out of the mess we were in. But we needed just a little bit more help. We couldn’t get the tire up far enough to get some wood under it for traction. Then another car pulled up and asked if we could use another jack. What?? We felt truly blessed as ten minutes later we were back on the road, being escorted back to the campground in Echo.

So, tonight, we sit in Echo, at Henrietta Campground, and I feel truly blessed to be here. My mother’s name is Henrietta, so I feel extra protected staying here tonight. It’s beautiful, quiet, and out of the way. Just what we needed to untangle our nerves. It’s taken us four hours to calm down enough to understand that we are safe, our home is intact, and we are cared for.

Tomorrow is a different journey.

PET REPORT: Buster decided to jump out of the van when we stopped for gas, near a highway. Panic set in, but he hunkered down by the back tire and waited for us to get him again. I’m a bit scratched up from the ordeal, but he’s safe and that’s what counts most. It was a bit hot, and the kitties were happy that we were able to turn on the air conditioning to cool them down when we finally stopped here. Fortunately, while it heated up a bit outside, keeping the back vent open seems to keep the trailer pretty even temperature, between 75 and 85. The parrots are tropical, they can hang in up to about 100 or so before they start to get cranky. Princess is a Green-Wing Macaw, and Tye is a Miniature Noble Macaw

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our First Night

Well, I’m sure we’ll laugh about it in a few months, but what a first day out!!

Rule #1 when traveling by RV: Travel light.

We had it all figured out. After furniture weight was subtracted, we thought we were good enough. Apparently, that wasn’t the case. We stuck around later last night than we had anticipated, because we were donating the last of our furniture, and the guy was on the way. At last, he was there and gone, and we pulled out of our driveway for the final time. Goodbye, Roots!! Hello Open Road!! Then the trailer bounced a little, and we thought, uh ohh. Gotta go a little slower. We were sitting lower than we were both comfortable with, so we headed to our local Walmart to regroup and figure out how to make this happen. “Why Walmart??” I hear you cry. Because Walmart allows RVs to park, overnight, in their parking lots all over America. Except Washington, you have to ask permission. So we asked the guard and he said to pull to the far lot and we’d be “OK” for the night. We pulled in and unhitched the van, and the weight off the van was real noticeable. We needed new shocks. We drove about five miles, total, last night. This morning, it was interesting to wake up in a parking lot. The world going on around us, like it was normal to park next to an RV with people sleeping inside. We giggled and contemplated walking across the parking lot to Jack-in-the-Box for coffee in our jammies, but we were good and got dressed.

We contacted a shop and are set to have new air shocks installed tomorrow. We are also lightening our load by about a thousand pounds. Hopefully the two combined will be enough to get us started, because this weather makes it hard for me to breathe comfortably, and I need to get to a drier climate ASAP.

We drove to a local RV campground here in town, and pulled in for the day and a half it will take us to get going again. It will also give us a chance to ask a few veteran RVers for some quick tips.

PET REPORT: The kids all traveled real well! Prinnie and Tye rode in the trailer, and we let them see out the window as we were driving. We didn’t hear any squawking, so they were fine. The kittens hid in the back corner of the passenger area. They usually went to the vet when they drove in the van, but I think they are starting to get the idea. We have some real cool harnesses for them. We keep them on during the day while there is a lot of movement in and out of the rig, but take them off at night when we settle down. I think in a few days they will know that when the harnesses are on, we’re moving! The birds are getting used to being locked down for travel, too. We’ve had a bit of chatter today, so they have adjusted well to it so far. I’m sure on Thursday when we move, they will all be ready to go again. At least, I’m hoping!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Almost on our way - How soon will the adventure begin;

We are on the last part of sorting out our old life and preparing for the new. We expect to be on the road now by Friday or Saturday at the latest, everything is going very well just a lot of little details and load/space considerations being made. Cannot wait to have all this finished and take a few days shooting and traveling in the new home, GO MAN GO!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Beautiful Life

by; Lori Gebbie

I always admired the people that took to the road, experiencing America and the World. But I always had too many commitments to pack up and leave. Rent, bills, family, friends… there just never seemed to be a way. Of course, I did my fair share, I’ve lived in Germany, South Carolina, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and for now, Washington State. While I’ve seen a bit of the world, there was always the hunger to keep traveling.

When I moved to the PNW (Pacific North-West), I knew I was here for a reason. Looking out the airplane window as it crossed the Columbian River to circle into PDX airport, I felt such an overwhelming feeling of “HOME”, it brought tears to my eyes. Just 2 short months later, I met Robert, and my life felt oddly connected to his in so many different ways. We talked about art, history, photography, life. He was an artist who had given up his craft, and so was I. We both knew intimately, the rush from a creative burst, getting exactly the right angle, hitting the note in the sweet spot, and the thunderous applause from a crowd of admirers. We also both knew the pain that goes with setting your tools down and walking away from your art. But two Creatives getting together can only spur that spark so much before it sets hold. Within a few weeks, Robert finished this art piece that he had put down almost 2 years prior. And, he took a few pictures of me for an online profile on a chat site we belonged to. We put them up, and a few of our friends said they wanted new pictures, too. So, slowly we started doing pictures for friends, just one or two here and there, nothing fancy, nothing pretentious, just a good image of friends.

In the meantime, Robert and I were both working, set up in a cute little duplex, waiting for the sale of a house he shared with his ex-wife to go through so we could settle and buy our own home. We moved into the duplex, telling the landlords that we would probably only be there for 3 months, as we were awaiting the sale of a home. Everything seemed set in place for us to continue to prosper as an American Family.

But Robert was working with a 50% disability from a chronic back injury, and all those hours on his feet started getting to him. He walked all day at work, on hard concrete floors, and would come home hobbling almost every night. And I was trying to work through my own medical issues. I stopped working first, and did what I could to manage our household and take care of his aches and pains so he could continue working. But all those aches and pains add up, and he would find himself out on temporary disability, flat on his back for weeks at a time, trying to prolong another operation. That worked for a while, and then he contracted the MRSA virus and was out again during the month-long quarantine period. By the time he got back to work, the company was in a bit of an economic mess, and started laying off employees. When they got to Robert’s section, they were going to lay off the swing person and give Robert that position. But the swing person was healthy, had a young family he was trying to support, and was already used to the hours. And Robert knew that he would continue to be out due to his disability, and now MRSA, for blocks of time. So he took the hit and went on unemployment. By this time, we had already started poking around stock photography, and figured we’d either find another job or make stock work. So we went full steam into our project, while looking for work. But the unemployment numbers kept rising, and the longer we were out, the more unemployable we became. We cut down to bare bone basic necessities, and lived a very frugal life, shooting stock, and shooting portraits for clients.

Meanwhile, for the last five years, the house sat, in limbo, on the market, hoping for a nibble here and there. We never counted on the house selling, we were even planning on releasing his ex-wife from the house and moving into it ourselves, until the market got better and we could sell it then. Then, a few weeks ago, we got a phone call. “Robert, can you come sign some papers? Someone put an offer on the house.” The house sold!!

We looked at our bills, looked at our home, dreamed a dream, and decided to buy an RV trailer and hit the road with the kids. We are retiring, and traveling America! Well, I say retired, we’re just taking our cameras on the road. Being stock photographers, there are always pictures in demand, and right now they happen to want travel photos. So, we’re going to do our best to oblige them.

But packing up your entire life to fit into a suitcase isn’t always that easy. We tend to gather little things along the way… A photograph here, a letter there, someone gives us a cute figurine, and what about all the serving plates and candlesticks? Not to mention Robert’s shop, all the tools, compressor, and then there’s the professional gym he has. We’ve had to delay our start just a bit, as we finish packing everything that we MUST have into our vehicles, and all the rest that we have to keep is going into an 8x10 storage unit for a few months until we can figure out what to do with all of that.

So, here we sit, at 90%, trudging thru the last 10% of our things so we can clear out and head on our trip. We’re still rolling full steam, just taking a little longer to get out of the gate! We’re hoping to be on the road in 2-3 days, now it’s just a matter of running to storage, bringing the last box into the trailer, washing walls, and turning in keys.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Big things coming

RGebbiePhoto - An Artistic Journey Across AmericaThe Journey Begins June 2010!!

RGebbiePhoto is hitting the road in a journey across America. Robert and Lori Gebbie, owners of Robert Gebbie Photography, are trading in the concrete foundation of a home, for the black rubber tires of a travel trailer. We will be traveling the country, spreading a little hope and charity in these difficult times. Photographing the beauty of our nation’s landscapes and capturing the personalities of her people, we share our adventures with the world from our blog and website. The journey begins June 2010.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Faith and Evolution; The Keys to Personal Evolution and the Kingdom Ahead

Evolution is commonly described as a process of continuous change from a lower to a higher state. In human evolution it is often the genetic stages of change that are commonly thought of, such as the physical development from primitive to modern man. Perhaps our spiritual and intellectual evolution are also tied to the forward and ever changing progress of humanity as we journey from what we once were to what we will become. Most religious and spiritual ideals center on the belief of living our lives in a manner that allows us, on death, to transcend from the physical form to the ethereal. Perhaps like Humanity’s genetic and intellectual development, our spiritual journey has also been an evolutionary process of several thousand years, a progression of lessons leading to the present day. As our genetic progress changes the physical body, and the sciences change mankind’s perceptions and understandings, so should our personal spirituality develop as well.

Some of the key principals that have helped me grow and become the individual I am today can be simple in their concept, but nearly impossible in their execution. To look deeply within ourselves with honesty, and face the best and worst aspects of one’s self is never an easy endeavor.

The Keys
1. Honesty with self
2. Forgiveness of self
3. Evaluation of self
4. Strive to improve on self
5. Move on

1. Be Honest; only when you can be completely truthful with yourself can you remove obstacles from your Future Path. We often create false memories of experiences to justify actions or mask emotions. We may also re-arrange the events and experiences of our history to justify or avoid present day moral conflicts. Take responsibility for yourself in both thought and action. Accept that no one is perfect and that no person is always right or justified in the choices of their past. Eliminate the walls between the truth and the lies you can create to protect yourself from the emotions you fear to examine. Break down the barriers that block you from who you truly are.

2. Forgive Yourself; allow the failures of your past to be the lessons which build your future. Learn from poor choices, allow yourself to let go of the things you cannot change. Remove the burden of guilt, regret and missed opportunities, by forgiving yourself for not meeting your own expectations. When you hold on to the mistakes and poor judgments of your past, you add obstacles to your future journey, and a larger load of unresolved emotions to the weight you bear. Clear away the inner conflicts of your history and approach the future without the prejudices and burdens that your life experiences have caused.

3. Evaluate Often; be willing to adapt and adjust to the continually changing landscape of life. As you grow, your perspectives and expectations will alter. A frequent assessment of where you stand with yourself makes it much easier to determine the next step in becoming who you wish to be. Take every opportunity to re-center yourself on your goals and the path ahead of you. The better you know who you are, the more successful you will be in achieving positive growth.

4. Strive to improve; make a true and honest effort to grow and evolve. The reason for personal development is to become a greater you tomorrow than you are today. Be open to new ideas and concepts, you can spend a great amount of time and effort maintaining outdated ideas. Evolution itself means change in a positive manner, and to effect growth you must be open to accept and adapt to new information. Make a sincere commitment and take personal action in following a course that leads to a greater you.

5. Move on; build on both the positive and negative experiences that will occur in your journey forward. Allow every moment to be a chance to make positive change in You. You can make the decision, at any moment in your life, to be a greater and better Human in your future than you have been in your past. Leave your history behind and move on in your journey forward. Continue striving to become the Human you aspire to be.

After many years of applying this process again and again, constantly placing the burden of accountability and responsibility upon my own shoulders for the direction of my life, I had an epiphany. In my attempt to simply be a better individual and live up to my own personal expectations and truth, I accidentally opened a doorway that changed everything I thought I knew or believed. I now have a peace and happiness in my life that I have never known before. Because of my personal revelations, my wife and I now lead our lives by the philosophies and understandings that we gained from this experience.


This will be our last “personal evolution” article for a few months as we begin a wonderful new creative adventure. Watch for our next blog post soon with a detailed announcement about our upcoming changes and plans.