“There is nothing impossible to him who will try.” – Alexander the Great

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

“I am not interested in why it can’t be done. I want to know how you are going to do it.” – Plaque this writer received from his employees in 1993 – the 15th anniversary of Annex Research, Inc.


* * *

Double Bench Day 4-10-15Moving two 250-pound benches down and up 50-foot hillsides half a mile apart

Another case of pushing the envelope – with Divine help – equivalent of bench-pressing 1.5 times one’s weight

RAINBOW SHOWER, Apr 10, 2014 – On Aug 27 of last year, I did something that seemed like “mission impossible.” Until it was done. Just like Nelson Mandela said in the above quote.

Back then I moved a 250-pound bench down and up 50-foot hillsides half a miles apart (see BENCH CHALLENGE: THE DAY “MISSION IMPOSSIBLE” BECAME REALITY).

And in the last two days, I repeated the feat – twice! I moved two 250-benches from one hill to another, roughly half a mile apart.


“Because it was there,” just as what happened with my “Lumberjack Challenge” four weeks earlier (in Aug 2014).

Okay. But seriously, why?

Two different reasons. Since I put our 5-acre property on the market, I had intended to move these benches to my 2-acre spread. But the weather has been rather bad for such a difficult undertaking. Rain makes steep slopes even more slippery and treacherous than they normally are.

And today was the first day in quite a few that seemed clear. At least long enough for me to get this done (about 4 hours). And now with this as a preamble, here are some shots after it was all over.

And what’s the second reason?

After I put the 5-acre property on the market, I was telling Elizabeth of my plan to move some benches.

She said, pointing to that Orchard Rd switchback, “this is where I want to have a bench.”

And what the lady wants, the lady gets… 🙂

Painting the Deck

Oh yeah… one more thing. After I was done with the benches, I took a short break, and then decided to paint our lanai deck while the sun was still shining. That took another two hours.  And then, just as I was finished, the rain started up again.

Oh well. You can’t win them all, I suppose… 🙂

Photo Album of a Double Bench Day
Bench #1

Bench 1 2 4-10-15

IMG_3678 IMG_3679 IMG_3680


Bench #2

Bench 2 4-10-15

IMG_3691 IMG_3681 IMG_3690 IMG_3682  Orchard Rd switchback 4-10-15 View from Bench #2-2 View Bench #2

* * *


Practice in Surrendering to the Divine and Receiving Grace

Our Spirit guides and teachers have told us repeatedly that everything that happens in life, whether we think is “good” or “bad,” carried a lesson.  So what was the lesson one is to learn from my Aug 1 Lumberjack and by Aug 27 Bench Press Challenges?

(Please let me know what you think – click on Leave a Comment at the top of this story)

As I contemplated in retrospect what all this was about, two things came to me.

First, it was the S.T.A.R. challenge, a test of faith in the Divine.


2SIRIUSSurrender-Trust-Allow-Receive, the four principles of the Golden Dolphins of Sirius that Nina Brown channels.  And since Sirius B is actually ALTZAR’s home star, no wonder the Golden Dolphins were here to help me and guide me through this adventure.

Here is their S.T.A.R. philosophy in a nutshell:

S.T.A.R. : When one aligns with the will and love of the divine Creator

  • SURRENDER to the tranquility of knowing human divinity
  • TRUST in wholeness to express
  • ALLOW human divinity to evolve
  • RECEIVE with appreciation and gratitude

Screen Shot 2012-09-26 at 10.33.57 AM

The Essential Qualities of the S.T.A.R. philosophy

  • WHOLENESS (human divinity)
  • PLAY (the now moment)
  • EMBODIMENT OF THE EXPANDED GOLDEN RULE (do unto all creation as you would have all of creation do unto you)
  • PHILOSOPHY: The activity through which we see creation through the eyes of the Creator.

Second, I realized that WE set our own limitations. Or let others set them for us.

If we live our lives by the “sky is the limit”-principle, great things will happen.  If we allow Fear to guide us, Trouble will follow in short order.Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 3.40.53 PM

I am 69 years old.  I am a 6-foot, 168-pound man who has always been physically active, but who hates weight-lifting or any other “gym”-activity.  If a sport did not involve a ball, I didn’t care for it.

Furthermore, I have had lower back problems since the age of 31. I have had two knee surgeries. I have had two major shoulder surgeries for torn rotator cuffs (both left and right).  They were all a result of various sports or hiking injuries sustained in the field, not gym.

A year ago, I re-injured my right shoulder on a tractor mower. It was so bad that I thought I would need a third surgery.  Instead, as a shaman, I turned to Spirit for help.  A year later, my shoulder is still not 100%.  But it was good enough to save my life a couple of times on Aug 1 when I was hanging on it like a monkey.  And to “bench press” an object 1.5-times my weight, and move it half a mile.

Yet, I never considered myself to be a strong person.  If I had an athletic gift, it was not body-building strength; it was ENDURANCE. I am blessed with a strong heart and lungs.  Despite my age, I was able to keep up with the fittest and the youngest of my fellow-Inca shamans while climbing mountains at elevations of 15,000 to 16,000 feet in the Andes.

Now contrast all that to the expectations in our society of what a life of a 69-year old man should be like.  See what I mean about letting others set our limitations?

“The only thing we have to fear is the fear itself” (FDR)

Another thing I realized is that this experience has taught me that, “the only thing we have to fear is the fear itself,” as FDR put it. Once we Surrender to the Divine, put our Trust in the Creator and our Spirit guides, Allow them to guide us and help us, we WILL  Receive and experience Grace. Which means a life without fear, a life of peace and tranquility and service to others.


IMG_2216 IMG_2217 IMG_2215

“It was a struggle. I don’t know how I did it. But here it is…” – I texted Elizabeth who was in an art class at the time, sending her this picture.

Both seemed like “mission impossible.” Until it was done. Just like Nelson Mandela said.

The only explanation I have is that I received Divine help to do the “impossible.”  Because I just could not see myself pushing the envelope that far out.  Until I did.  🙂


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