A Small Reminder of How Great You Are by David Miller

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The other day an old friend who I haven't spoken with in years reached out through LinkedIn.  To be honest, I could give a fuck about LinkedIn, as it always seemed like a fake place to list bullshit accolades.  As we have it, my friend was asking for just that.  He wanted me to check off things that I thought he was good at, so that prospective companies could approve of said checked boxes and hire him.  Keep in mind...this friend (Todd) is one of the most genius, hysterical, creative, beautiful humans I have ever met.  He's basically a handsome Texan comedian, meets, the most interesting man in the world.  This is our exchange below.  He's Todd (in bold italics.) I'm David (duh)

Todd sent the following message 7:58am

  • Hey bubs, I'm starting to look for a real big-boy job and need some help on my profile. Do you mind taking a few minutes and clicking on shit you think I'm good at? Any critique on my profile would help as well. Thanks!

7:58 AM

David Miller sent the following message at 12:10 PM

  • Ummmm Todd...is this you? As in Todd, the guy that I met a decade+ ago in TV production working for Brave Street? As in Todd, the guy who I cat sit for, who's cats tore my fucking arms apart while I jerked off to Telemundo on his couch? As in Todd the man who traveled through Central/South America and woke up out of a cold stone black out, getting a tattoo of a heart over his heart? "That way we will always be in your heart." As in Todd, the guy who worked on a cruise liner doing comedy, making fats from Ohio laugh their (literal) tits off? As in Todd, the guy who used to produce/cut Reno 911 interstitials, and make me laugh (my literal tits off?) As in Todd, who's wife Hanna was working at the Whoopi Goldberg show and after a bit of small chatter was told to have their wedding at Whoopi Goldberg's private estate? And then they did and had a rad fucking wedding that was a "backyard meets hoe-down" type ceremony filled with love, family and bobbing for apples? As in Todd, the guy who took a boat trip with a stranger down an unknown body of River with a few other new found students friends from an Ivy League University (I think Harvard or Stamford), and ended up spending 3 weeks with a native tribe who hadn't seen white people for decades, because their stranger boat ride guy disappeared the morning after they got there, and Todd was taken under the wing of the chief and became a "hunter"...and one morning as the sun was rising, brought quietly to what looked like the most amazing color filled bark tree you had every seen, until the chief clapped his hands and 1000's of tropical birds dispersed into the warm milky sky, while one of the other gentlemen you were with started writing down their language into a homemade dictionary (which has since been placed in a museum and is the largest known dictionary of that particular tribe), while the girl you were with kind of freaked out about being abandoned, and then the last guy you were with fixed an old radio that hadn't worked for years but was able to get it going and call for help and get picked up by a plane? That Todd? That's the same Todd who's now sending out copy/paste messages through bullshit Linkedln that everyone knows is fucking fake anyhow. Listen Todd, I'll click on your silly little Linkedln accomplishments just to keep up the face...but my friend, you are way more accomplished than any little box I could ever check. You want a real endorsement, call me for a catch up and then have your potential future employer call me. I hope you and your beautiful wife and child are well. With love from sunny, mountainy, mindful Colorado XX Miller 917 750 2178

Todd sent the following message at 12:56 PM

goddamn do i love you. i'll call soon. getting divorced. in huge depression. trying to get back up. needed to hear that.

David Miller sent the following message at 1:39 PM

  • "The wound is the place where the light enters you" - Rumi Call anytime my friend, I am here.


He did in fact call and we did catch up.  On everything.  Life, love, work...but mostly his current situation.  He wasn't joking.  He is getting a divorce, and now has to navigate this new found loss. Life as Todd knows it has forever changed. And although he's written scripts for the last 20 years of his professional career, this was never part of the real life script of his life.  So what's next?  Pain, sadness, boundaries, acceptance, reframing, growth, rebirth.  A few years ago I went to go see Pema Chodron speak at Naropa's 2015 graduating class.  She opened with this.  "Fail, fail harder, fail again."  The motivation and message behind the next 40 minutes of her speech could have been custom delivered just for Todd.  She went on to describe her own life "failures."  The shame and embarrassment that came from her divorce.  The pains that she suffered from her "loss."  But with those failures and losses, something tremendous was born.  She survived them.  And not only did she survive them...she surpassed and has thrived in light of them.  Those experiences allowed her to become one of the most prolific and influential teachers of Buddism in modern day.  If we can take pause in the moments where we are most afraid, then acknowledge and name those fears..we can start to heal from them. 

"Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know." - Pema

Two Moons by David Miller

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There are Two Moons:

The Moon of Loss and The Moon of Death.  The Moon of Death is the impermanence we are all familiar with.  Whether she terrifies or inspires us, death comes to us all…as does rebirth.  She is the biological life cycle that keeps this beautiful planet in motion.  We are carbon, we are the elements, we are everything in nature.  We borrow these bodies for a short while and eventually return home when mother nature calls for them.

The Moon of Loss however is different.  This Moon lives inside our hearts.  There are no boundaries when the grief of loss overcomes us.  There are no rules, there are no rights or wrongs.  Loss is that sharp pain that pinches our insides when we realize we'll never be able to say goodnight again. She is that rogue wave of tears we never see coming.  That is what we grieve for, not death…but loss.   Loss will also allow us to see how far the depths of sadness go.  It can allow us to dip our toes in the waters of darkness.  But through the grief of loss we are also given an opportunity.  One that few people take advantage of, but rather take for granted.  You see, in loss we are able to harness a global perspective that we couldn’t otherwise have.  A universal one.  While time stands still in the face of loss we are given a gift.  To observe life’s macro and micro moments.  A gentle breeze caressing the leaves of a neighboring tree.  A bird collecting small pieces of tinder to provide warmth and comfort for her babies. Listening to your pulse running through your entire body as you lay down at night. Loss creates room for personal and spiritual growth.  Many foundations, charities, artists, life adventurers have created beautiful things from loss.  There is no quick fix to healing from this pain…but that is no accident either. From this we learn to breath.  We exercise our muscles of patience, compassion, and gratitude. And Time.  Time is our ally in these emotionally delicate spaces.  She will be our forever protector of pain.  Slowly but surely, time will work on our understanding of what has just happened.  I trust in this.  And right now, my heart bleeds for all of you.  I am so so sorry for your loss. And my door of eternal love is forever open.

Mindful Eating - 65 lbs shed and counting... by David Miller

250lbs (32 years old)

250lbs (32 years old)

185lbs (35 years old)

185lbs (35 years old)

A few weeks ago I was speaking with a friend about my recent (6 months) physical transformation.  In that short amount of time I have healthily shed 40 lbs of unwanted fat from my body...and god does it feel incredible.  I make no claim to have a better or worse understanding of how our bodies work or that I have any education regarding nutrition.  I simply offer you one perspective, my own, after a lifetime of struggle with my weight.  The before picture above, is of me, 3 years ago at my all time biggest.  It simultaneously pains me and pleases me to see how far I've come.  Although I did lose some weight before starting this mindful eating program (25lbs), I wanted to show you all where I was at at my largest, most unfulfilled place in life.  It's incredible to think that we often don't see ourselves during our hardest times.  I had no idea that's what I looked like until a friend recently sent me that picture.  To that man in the before picture I say this, Thank you for now allowing me to see you fully.  I'm sorry that you were hurting, I had no idea at the time.  I am so blessed that you finally decided to listen to your inner truth and take the first steps to a very long and healthy journey.  Your entire body thanks you.  Your family thanks you.  Your friends thank you.  You didn't know it at the time, but things will get better.  You and only you have the choice to change what you want about yourself.  Let this be a continued lesson to look at yourself objectively, in love and compassion, always.

 

In a recent review I sent to the nutritionist who helped change my life, this is what I said...

https://plus.google.com/108333654085408959194/reviews

What a wonderful, enlightening and nourishing experience I had with Lindsay.  

Just to give you a little back story.. I am a 34 year old, working professional in the TV business, who has always struggled in managing my weight.  I've tried every type of quick fix diet and workout routine imaginable...with varying levels of success.  P90x got me in great shape, but wasn't sustainable long term.  Nutrisystem helped me drop 30 lbs, but I had no way of integrating that way of eating into my real life schedule.  Calorie counting programs were a wonderful way to keep track of what my intake was, but still, doesn't allow for a lot of flexibility.  

For the better part of a decade I found myself fluctuating 20+ lbs (maybe more) up and down.  This of course affects everything, not just the tangible weight going on and off my body.  But the actual emotional and physical stress is just plain unhealthy.  Enter, my decision to reach out to a professional nutritionist.

Meeting up with Lindsay may have been one of the most important meetings I’ve ever had, regarding my personal nutrition.  For the first time in my life I began connecting my brain’s hungry with my stomach’s hungry...and it has allowed me to flourish incredibly.  Shortly after applying some simple and SUSTAINABLE eating techniques, I have been able to shed weight healthily.  And although the ultimate mission isn't to hit some "target" weight goal, I've gone around 225 lbs and have slowly but persistently lost almost 20 lbs...and am still going.  When my body decides I'm at the right weight, it will let me know.  I put it like this, It’s no longer an “effort” to manage my weight, but more of an “awareness” of how I'm intaking food...it can be that simple.

In continuation on the path of mindfulness, Lindsay's gentle, nonjudgmental and nurturing approach is extremely helpful.  Her guidance has helped me realize some crucial internal truths…not least of which was my disconnected relationship with food.  I’m not crashing, I’m getting great sleep, eating extremely healthily and feeling wonderful...(and losing extra weight.)

Thank you 1 million times Lindsay, and I hope you continue to help the people of New York as you've helped me :)

So after this incredible experience, I have decided to share the method that has been most successful for me.  Below you will find the unedited email I sent to my friend regarding mindful eating and how it works.  I hope this can be of help to anyone who needs it and is seeking an alternative approach to losing weight and keeping it off forever.

David

Intro:

Everyday we make choices as to what we put in our bodies.  The best part about this plan is that the choice you make today will change how you look and feel tomorrow.  There is nothing stopping you from pursuing the body and mind that you want.  The days of excuses that our metabolisms have slowed down are long gone.  Today is the day you change your life forever.  As someone who went from 225lbs to 185lbs in 6 months (and shows no signs of slowing down) I can tell you that anyone can do this.  It’s requires patience, moderate discipline and a desire to change.

Keep in mind, this isn’t a diet, a quick fix, a magic bullet or some 3 min a day for 90 days routine.  This is a mental switch and lifestyle change that will take time.  However, if you’re willing to explore that there are better ways to living and eating, this will work for you.  If you’re willing to commit yourself to connecting your mental hunger to your physical hunger, this will be a bullet proof plan.  It’s called mindful eating and it makes sense.

(Food shopping note) When you buy groceries make sure you’re buying as much local/organic, non pesticide, non GMO as possible.  I know it seems like you’re spending more short term, but what’s more important than what you are fueling and feeding your body with?  This is one of the most important decisions and life choices you will ever make.  Consider this: we intake information, energy, nutrition in two different ways: First, from the environment we surround ourselves with. (i.e. people, pollution, geographic location, etc) Second, what we physically put inside our bodies (i.e. food, water, toxins, etc)   With the intention of living the best, healthiest, happiest life we can live... I have decided to commit myself to putting only the best ingredients in my body.  And let me tell you, the results are undeniable.  

The Concept:

When you “get hungry” what happens to you?  What does “being hungry” mean to you?  What does “being full” mean to you?  Think about these questions.  Actually write down answers and read them out loud.  For me being “hungry" = excitement.  I knew that I could order as much food as I wanted.  The possibilities were endless and the glutton inside me was triggered in a huge way.  Comfort was on the way.  Being “full" = stuffed.  Maybe even with an uncomfortable stomach ache.  So this was my eating habit for the last 15 years.  I’d get hungry (i.e. excited) and then eat and then be full (i.e. stuffed.)  What a disservice I was doing to my body.  Unconsciously consuming food just because…without actually connecting my mind’s hungry to my body’s hungry.  So here’s what I’ve done:  I’VE LINKED THEM UP.  

Step 1:

When I get hungry I ask both my mind’s hunger and my stomach’s hungry what they need.  Is this me being impulsive? Did I just walk by a bakery and that made me hungry? Had I been so engaged with work that I forgot to eat and now I’m STARVING? Am I eating because I’m sad or craving or need comfort?  Or am I just normal hungry because we need to eat to survive?  Regardless of the question/answer, it’s important to recognize and ask yourself these things.  That is the first step to connecting your mind with your stomach.

Step 2:

Have food prepped.  I know getting food prepped seems impossibly time consuming.  Well consider this.  If you have 2-4 hours a week of free time, you have time to prep food.  Personally I like to do most of my prep Sunday night while watching TV, reading or listening to music.  You have time, trust me. We all do.  It just takes a little effort.  Make it fun.  Do it with a friend, do it with a partner, do it alone naked…I’m not judging.  Just get into the habit of knowing you’ll have to cook for yourself.  Cooking is sexy anyhow, so it’s a good thing to learn.

Step 3:

Eat SLOWLY. I know we’ve all heard this before, but there’s an actual biological function to why eating slowly is SO IMPORTANT.  Not only is it better for your digestive system, but food takes between 10-15 minutes to reach your stomach.  Once it does, it signals to your brain “ok I’m good now, I don’t need any more food.”  The problem I had faced for years was that I wanted MORE MORE MORE (brain hunger.)  The comfort in stuffing my face wasn’t actually servicing me.  That’s the reason I could eat an entire cheese pizza, even though I’d feel like garbage afterwards.  Your body only needs 1 slice, but my mind was asking for 8 slices.  In reality, if I was to just eat 1 or 2 slices slowly, my body would eventually send the signal to my brain “Ok I’m full now” and I’d be satisfied.  Now pizza isn’t the best nutritional source of food, but it’s also not entirely off the table.  If you’re having a craving for pizza, eat pizza.  This eating shift is less about WHAT you eat and more about HOW you eat.  With that in mind, the better the nutrition, the better off you are.  And that just comes down to a matter of taste and choice. 

Step 4:

As you begin to step on this path of conscious mindful eating, more unexpected things will start to reveal themselves to you.  Personally I don’t drink or eat meat at the moment.  And here are the reasons for it.  I don’t eat meat because I don’t trust what the big farm industry is putting in our animals. Antibiotics, chemicals, etc.  I also don’t believe in cruel and unusual treatment for animals.  I’m not saying I’d never eat meat again, I just don’t want it to come from suffering animals.  I’d rather get it from a local farm who’s practices I know OR kill and process the animal myself.  That’s the only way I’ll eat meat again.  

Drinking was a simple decision for me.  Drinking is a toxin, no matter how you look at it.  Yea I know a glass of wine a day is supposedly good for you, and it just may be.  However, when was the last time I ever drank 1 glass of wine?! I actually can’t remember a time when I did that.  1 always leads to 2 to 3, then the bottle.  Drinking makes your body work harder to process the sugars/alcohol through your liver.  I don’t want to put 87 octane through my body anymore, I’d rather run 100LL airplane fuel through it.  I’m not saying I’ll never drink again, but when I started on this journey of becoming more mindful of what goes into my body, I decided to really give this a shot with no distractions.  Could I actually be social, have a good time without drinking? Could I spend a Sunday summer afternoon without getting tanked?  The answer is yes.  For me, the immediate satisfaction of getting wasted wasn't nearly as satisfying as not having a wicked hangover, eating like shit at 2am, making questionable sexual decisions, and poisoning my body.  As a result of pulling back from booze, I am now shaping my body and mind the way I want it. Maybe I’ll eventually I’ll find even playing ground where I’m comfortable having a glass of wine or two.  But when/if I do, my intention will be way different.  I will consume it mindfully, like everything else that I put in my body.

Step 5:

Remember this isn’t an eating plan.  This is a mental philosophy of connecting your body and your mind.  Here are a few bullet points to get you thinking about all of this:

- Be Patient. (you will lose 1-2 pounds of real fat per week. Some weeks more, some less…but you will lose it)

- Listen to your body. 

- Don’t eat past 8pm or 9pm (or within a few hours of bed time…trust me, you’ll wake up feeling so much better)

- Understand that you CAN do anything you put your mind to

- This will work

- What do you have to lose by trying?!  Commit 2-3 months to this program and see how it works.

- Everyday is a choice

- You wake up every day with a blank canvas and can decide what to paint on it

- What decision are you making today to get you where you want to be tomorrow

- Take 1-2 hours on a Sunday to prep for the upcoming week.  Do the same thing mid week when you run out of food. (buy tupperware, I recommend glass)

- Life is short, very short…so live as consciously clear as you can

 

Shopping List

 

Bulk Nuts/Seeds/Grains:

- Walnuts

- Brazil Nuts

- Sunflower seeds

- Almonds

- Macadamia

- Pistachio

- Cranberries

- Chia Seed

- Ground Flax Seed

- Quinoa (Excellent source of Protein)

- Instant Oatmeal

 

Home Made Dressing:

- Mustard

- Apple Cider Vinegar

- Balsamic Reduction

- Salt

- Organic, unfiltered, cold pressed Olive Oil

- omega 3 oil 

 

- Tahini

- Maple syrup or Honey

- Lemon juice

- Salt

 

Fruit/Vegetables:

- Sweet potatoes

- Red onions

- Zucchini

- Mushrooms

- Carrots

- Avocado

- Apples

- Mixed greens

- Lemons

 

Dessert:

- Pumpkin puree

- Garbanzo beans

- Coconut Oil

- Chocolate

- Honey

- Oats

- baking soda

- baking powder

- salt

 

- Firm Tofu

- Chocolate

- Graham crackers

- coconut oil

 

Misc

- Coconut Oil (raw, organic) (don’t refrigerate)

- Mary’s crackers

- Cheese (I like the ones with vegetarian enzymes instead of animal rennet (NOT VEGAN cheese) 

- Tupper ware for food transport

- Popcorn

- Honey (local, organic, raw) (Also an incredible anti inflammatory/antibacterial and helpful with combating seasonal allergies)

- Hemp Protien

- Spirulina powder or granules 

- Parchment Paper

 

How to Cook different Ingredients:

Veggies: (sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, onion, etc)

- Wash, cut, slice, dice (however you like to eat them) 

- Oven at 450 degrees

- lay down a piece of parchment paper in a oven, and coat with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. (make sure to lightly coat all the veggies, sprinkle a few pinches of salt on them)

- Bake for 1 hr or more depending on how soft/crispy you like them (depending on the veggies)

Dressing:

- 2 table spoons of mustard

- 1 teaspoon of balsamic reduction

- add apple cider vinegar (start with 1 teaspoon and continue until you get the consistency you like)

(mix all of the above together

- add oil and omega 3 oil to consistency you like (they should be separated, you’ll see)

- pinch of salt

Dessert:

In a food processor:

- Add 1 can pumpkin puree

- Add 1 can garbanzo beans

- 1 cup oats

- 1 cup honey

- .5 cup of chocolate chips (good quality chocolate)

- 2 teaspoons baking powder

- .5 teaspoon baking soda

- .5 teaspoon salt

- 3 table spoons coconut oil

(Blend all in a food processor except chocolate chips)

- Pre-heat oven 350

- grease oven pan with coconut oil.

- Pour in mixed ingredients into pan, add chocolate chips and hand mix them

- Bake for 1 hour, remove, let cool

- Cut it and serve it.  Cover it and leave it out of fridge.  Will last a few days.

 

Sample Day for me:

Snack Idea:

- A handful of Marys crackers, cut up some cheese cubes, tomatoes, avocado, balsamic reduction and a little sprinkle of olive oil.  I do this at least twice a week!

 

Morning Meals:

- Quick Oats Oatmeal (1 cup or more if you want, but that should work)

- Add in: Honey, walnuts, cranberries, hemp protein, spirulina, almonds (and whatever else you’d like)

Lunch:

- Big salad

- Add in: all the different nuts, Baked or grilled veggies, quinoa, dressing, avocado

Dinner:

- Big salad

- Add in: the above, plus any additional protein if you want/need

Dessert:

- Only if you’re craving it 

10 days of silence = .085% of my total life.. by David Miller

...and yet the simple idea of it is terrifying.  In 4 days I will be heading out for a 10 day Vipassana. A meditation retreat in southern Washington state.  The word "Vipassana" means, to see things as they really are. So why the 10 days of silence?  In this 2500+ year old practice, it is believed that 10 days is the minimum amount of time to achieve some semblance of a monastic state. It was taught in India as a universal remedy for all illness, the Art of Living.  And how better to know one self than to be solely in the space of your mind.  We spend so much of our lives achieving physical goals, relationship goals, career goals...but when it comes to our own mental health goals, we rarely take the time to dig deep.  That time has come for me.

PRE-VIPASSANA

I am peeling back the pre-conditioned layers, cutting through my personal boundaries, and breaking down everything I know to be true.  I've always felt "aware" in some sense of the word.  But as I continue through my spiritual awakening, there is so much I don't know...all of it, for instance.  I will be stripped of my cell phone, books, journal, eye contact and voice.  My objective (without too much weight on the outcome) is to breathe into my heart.  To connect my mind, body and spirit in a way I've never done before.  It's taken me 34 years to find, but as it turns out, what I have been seeking has always been right there...my eyes were just not ready to see it, until now.  I feel excited, scared, ready.

POST-VIPASSANA

I survived.  Looking back, post the Vipassana experience, it's funny to think that there was even an ounce of fear going into it.  10 days in silence with no technology is one of the biggest blessings I've ever given myself.  I'd be lying if I said it was easy.  There were times of extreme frustration, self-doubt, mild panic, heightened awareness of my own mortality, etc.  But those moments were counteracted with moments of true connectedness.  Some days, standing merely feet away from a family of deer in the woods, almost feeling as though we could read each other's minds.  Consuming incredible vegetarian meals every day, conscious bite by conscious bite.  One meal, I took 5 minutes to eat a single Garbanzo bean.  Shedding the soft protective skin layer, feeling it dissolve in my mouth, then observing the external hardness of the garbanzo and eventual dissolution of flakiness.  I observed the way my breath feels as it enters my lungs, cold, only to instantaneously transform it's chemical compounds and exit warm.  The experience was wonderful.  And although not for everyone...I was able to learn and fully digest the Vipassana meditation technique.  A non-sectarian form of meditation that follows the ultimate law of nature (Dhamma.) We are forever changing and in constant decay.  Focusing on eliminating the cravings for pleasure and aversions towards pain, is what will ultimately help us face and eliminate the dormant volcanoes (Sanga's) that live inside us all.  By observing ourselves in the present moment through our breath, we can find a space of pure living.  Living in your absolute truth without judgement.  Just being.  There's no magic bullet or pill or deity that will help you through this process.  This is an internal journey of self...and one that can lead you to pure salvation.  As the teacher of this art form says: "The keys to the gates of heaven within are held only by you."  This, I believe.

Up up and away! by David Miller

Two months ago, when I asked myself what I wanted to do next with my life, I could have never guessed that it would be getting my private pilots license.  Well the journey continues as the path reveals herself to me.  

After what feels like a way-too-short amount of practice (2 months), I have just taken off, for the first time, in an airplane, SOLO.  Holy shit this is exhilarating, terrifying, and exactly where I need to be right now. I don't believe there's any amount of preparation that can FULLY prepare you for solo Pilot-in-Command flight.  There's a mental switch that turns on that says, "you're all alone dude, don't fuck it up."  So with 0 margin for error, you grab the bull by the horns and ride. The experience reminds me of a quote from my favorite book, 40 Rules of Love.  "Don't just go with the flow, be the flow."

And as proof that my training has paid off, I am writing this journal entry right now.  The tree of aviation will just continue to grow, as her branches can take me in any which direction.  I'm thinking instrument training, then commercial license, then multi-engine, then sea plane and finally mountain flying. As I accumulate more and more hours in the cockpit, the lessons of flying continue to reveal themselves.  They say that "experience is the hardest teacher, because she gives you the test first and the lesson second."  Something that I will keep in mind every time I take off the runway.


"What am I doing with my life?"...my Friend asked Me yesterday by David Miller

- Asking yourself "what you’re doing with your life?"

Fair question…considering the limited amount of time we have on this planet. If you consider that time is the one commodity we can’t get/buy more of…how do you want to spend it?? No matter how rich, how handsome, how powerful you are…we all have a limited amount of time, some more, some less.  A day wasted on doing what you don’t love, is a day wasted entirely.  Use that as a learning lesson to pursue what you really want to do in life.  I have 2 exercises for you to try.  Easy and simple:

1st exercise: Imagine a scale in front of you. On one side, write down a list of all the things you want in life (money, cars, women, apts, friends, materialistic things, etc) Now, on the other side, write down a list of all the things you need to survive (food, shelter, money, etc)  By doing this you may realize something…there’s a great disparity in what we want vs what we need…and what we think we NEED.  Personally I was always plagued by the idea of a number.  A financial number that I wanted to beat every year.  This was my personal measure of success…could I out do my previous year?  After having stepped away from really making any money the last year, I realized something.  What I want and what I need are two totally different things.  What I started to do, was reframe that same question you have been asking yourself.  Instead of asking myself "what I was doing with my life?," I started asking myself "what I wanted to do with my life?"  A small shift, however it started opening doors to other possibilities.  What I want to do?????  Oh shit:  Travel the world, learn massage, live in a camper van, practice Spanish, build a treehouse village, learn small engine repair, get my wilderness EMT certificate, become a pilot, etc. The list goes on.  Then I asked myself an equally important question to the first…"What am I doing in life right now that’s getting me closer to any of those things?”  Nothing.  I was doing nothing to get closer to those goals.  So I left Bray and started on my adventure.  Working off a modest payout and savings, I am crossing things off that evolving list.  I stopped drinking (it wasn’t servicing me anymore) and have gone vegetarian.  Studied Thai Massage for a month last summer in North Adams Mass, spent time on a horse whisperer farm, started seeing a naturopath and am working on my own mental and physical health, moved out to Boulder to be closer to my mom and sister, joined a rock climbing gym, spent 10 days in a silent retreat, signed up for a treehouse building workshop in Vermont, attended an RV show in Denver this weekend, am seeking an apprenticeship at a mechanic shop in town…oh, and had my 3rd pilot training lesson yesterday (I’ve successfully taxi’d and taken off in a Cessna 172 by myself.)  Life is sooooooo fucking short, like, insanely short.  We blinked and are now in our 30’s…we’re going to blink again and wake up in our 40’s.  The time is now, to live now.  Yesterday can’t be changed and tomorrow doesn’t exist.  "Live in the present” as they say…and enjoy every moment of it.

2nd exercise: Sitting alone or with a friend, give each other about 20 min or so to do this exercise.  Ask yourself, if you could wake up tomorrow and do ANYTHING, be ANYWHERE…without the limitations of time/money/travel etc…what would you do.  In excruciating detail take yourself through the day.  What time do you wake up, where do you wake up, are you alone, what city, are you in a bed, on a boat, a plane, a treehouse, what does it smell like, whats the temperature, who are you with, what do you do, what do you see, what do you feel like, what are you wearing, etc etc etc…do this entire day until you go to sleep.  Now start your life and get as close to that as possible.  Take your time, forgive yourself, make mistakes, fail, retry, learn, move forward, fail again, fail better, succeed...

I’d lastly like to say this.  We spend so much of our time concerned with the thoughts and judgements of others.  Our peers, our parents, our friends, and so on.  For what?  Who cares?  No one is doing it better than the other.  In my opinion, true success isn’t measured with a monetary yard stick, rather the peace you find within.  The stripping of your perceived identity and labels…and contentment in just, being.  I received a lot of judgment from a lot of people when I left my “perfect” life…and to very honest, I could never look back.  Life has finally begun. 

Now there are a lot of practical questions that come up when you make a concerted effort to live free…for instance, how do you make money? We can talk all about that as well.  But the short answer is that I have had to take a few jobs this year to support myself.  I’m not “making money” but I am coming out more even…all while trying to figure out next steps in automating income.  To be discussed if you’d like.  Life doesn’t just happen, manifesting your future isn’t just wishing things were different…it’s making things different.  Not just going with the flow, but also being the flow. We are constantly evolving, changing, decaying…growing, and dying.  That is the law of nature…and that is ok.  No one is protecting you on a GOD level.  GOD isn’t in the sky looking down and judging/protecting us.  GOD is humility, love, compassion, kindness, generosity…live like this and you will live well.

Dude, I hope this ramble helps…I got carried away and just started writing from the heart.  It’s all out of love and wanting to see the world find their purpose…something I also work on daily.  But damn man…my heart is fuller than ever, body and mind aligned like never before, and I am attracting all of the things I’ve ever wanted to do in life.

xx

 

"What do you do?" by David Miller

...the incredibly sweet woman behind the counter at Whole Foods asked me today.  What do I do?  Wait...what DO I DO?  This simple question left me a bit speechless...mouth open, and eyes looking upwards to the creative side of my brain for an acceptable answer.  I think I told her I was an aspiring magician...and then quickly changed the subject.  Before taking on this next chapter in life, I worked in TV production.  I spent no less than 12 hours a day working (commuting included.)  That's half of my 24 hour day, 50% (former mathelete.)  So then I started thinking about all of the ways I spend my days...and what it would be like if we knew how many days we had left.  And more importantly...how am I spending my time?

In life, in my experience, I find that we are commonly defined by all the things surrounding our, "self." Our jobs, our words, our actions, our homes, clothes, cars, friends.  When we are asked "what we do?" We are salesmen, we are artists, we are bankers, doctors, directors, teachers.  When we are asked "where do we live?" We live in big homes, small condos, our parents home, a roommate share, the woods.  When we are asked about "who we love?" We are single, married, dating, divorced, widowed, parents, siblings... And all of these questions define our exterior self.  For all of these "things" are merely circumstantial achievements. What we are failing to ask is "who we are?"  I am not a TV producer, I am not single, I am not a brother, son, friend. I am not white, black, Asian.  Tall, short, fat or skinny.  Rich or poor. These are all fabricated definitions to qualify and quantify our beings.  Ways of placing labels that makes it easier for us to "define" one another.  To place us in boxes.  I am none of these things, and I am all of these things.  I am love. I am energy. I am here, alone and with everyone.

I started doing some rough stats on my own life, and quickly realized someone must have already done this leg work.  Of course someone has. So here it is below: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fascinating-facts-about-how-we-spend-the-days-410973 Now if you're more of a visual type of person, I highly recommend this video as well.  


5 months: spent complaining.

115 days: spent laughing.

3,000 hours: are used shaving.

20 weeks: spent being on hold.

9 hours, 18 seconds: amount of time males spend orgasming & 1 hour, 24 minutes: amount of time females spend orgasming.

46,800 hours: we spend doing housework.

5 years: we use by being online.

658 hours: spent cuddling and being romantic.

11 years: spent sitting in front of the television.

38,003 hours: we spend eating.

99,117 hours: spent at work.

136 days: women spend getting ready.

4 years: are spent being on the phone at work.

366 days: are spent being sick.

6 months: how long we end up waiting in line.

23,214 hours: spent washing clothes.

26 years: spent sleeping.

160 days: spent smoking cigarettes on break.

7 years: how long we lie awake at night.

653 hours: spent waiting for trains.

46 days: men spend getting ready.

2,170 hours: spent sunbathing. 


An exercise for a moment.  Strip everything you know that defines you, away.  Take away your hobbies, your family, your support system, your profession, your life, your clothes even.  You are left in an empty room naked, with only a mirror.  You will remain here as long as need be.  Looking at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? This is who you are. When you can look at this person in the mirror and connect, without the noise of everything else...this is how you can be defined.

I find it fascinating that we struggle with being alone.  The idea of sitting in a room with no TV, no cell phone, no communication for most...is mind bending.  To not quite the noise of the mind is to not fully know ones self.  We are the most complicated and phenomenal of creatures in some ways, as we are the only animals that are cognizant of our own brains.  How incredible?  We have the capability utilizing this organ to learn endless amounts of information.  To aid others in need.  To make changes in the world, bigger than we could ever imagine.  Now Take these thoughts and the new definition of yourself, and ask yourself another question.  What is it that you want to do in this life? Now you go do that.

How Big Is Your Pond? by David Miller

koi

Koi fish are quite remarkable. Originally from Central Europe and Asia, the Koi represent love and affection, and are seen as symbols of this in Japan today. I can imagine the excitement when it was first discovered that they will grow as big as their environments allow. And this isn’t a phenomena restricted to just Koi. All fish have this capacity. And thus the expression, “Big fish in a small pond” is born. I think about this and am immediately filled with an indescribable amount of excitement. If we too can endlessly grow, than imagine the possibilities of what we can do in this world. With the infinitesimally small amount of time we are given on the earth in this form, we can not only explore the pond in which we live, but can explore all the ponds of the world, the universe. Because we are only limited by what we allow to limit ourselves, life can truly be an ever evolving process. Scratch that, it IS ever an evolving process, we just have to make a choice to accept that or not. And if you subscribe to this (that we are continuously evolving) then life never ends…it grows. Even in death we continue to do so. As our energy and evolutionary DNA transform itself into other life, our spiritual and genetic code strengthen. With that, imagine the pond in which you live now. The influences, the languages, the history, culture and love. Is it the pond in which you have room to grow? Or is it time to find a bigger body of water?

Pura Vida by David Miller

Pure Life. Enjoy every moment. Never take a day for granted.  However you utilize this Costa Rican mantra, it’s important to understand it for yourself. What does it mean or you? For the greater part of 6 decades, it’s rumored that Pura Vida comes from a 1956 Mexican film titled, just that, Pura Vida. Since then the people of this beautiful country have adopted it in their daily vernacular.  Used as both a greeting and a farewell, Pura Vida is more than just two words strung together. Imagine for a moment our western words for greeting/farewell…Hello/goodbye. Now imagine how those words feel, what are their intentions? For me, I never gave much thought to what words came our of my mouth when greeting a friend, a stranger, an authority figure. This however, is your first encounter. It’s also the last thing we leave someone with before seeing them for an indeterminate amount of time. So why not greet and part ways in the most beautiful way possible? Why not focus on the words that fill the ears of those we intend on sending nothing but love to? Pura Vida does this, Hello/Goodbye, less so. And why not follow up your greeting or departure with one extra step of love? “How are you?” or “Have a beautiful day.” You see interactions strengthen with connectivity, and connectivity comes from true desire to wish powerful loving thoughts on others. Today make an attempt to ask someone how they are doing? And see their eyes light up.

The beauty of language is that it holds no boundaries. We are all able to access the same words, dictionaries, spell checks, etc…but it is how we intend to construct them that matters. Words are the vehicles in which we use to drive thoughts & heart into motion. Words allow us to bring thoughts to life from where action is born, change is felt, love is fostered. Words represent your internal construct, your foundation, your moral compass. Pura Vida are two words simply put together that represent and entire way of life for Costa Rica. What are your words? What words will you choose today to represent you?

Imagine for a moment... by David Miller

Imagine for a moment that I told you tomorrow was not going to come.  That today was your last day on earth, in this physical form as you know it.  But not only your last day, everyone's last.  Tomorrow, you will not wake up as you have every day of your life.  You will not drink your coffee, read or watch the news, check email, your phone, your texts, your messages.  You will not say hi to loved ones, shower in warm water, brush your teeth, choose an outfit that suits you best.  You will not prepare breakfast, send the kids off to school, kiss your partner goodbye.  You will not do any of that, for tomorrow does not exist.  Tomorrow has never existed, it has only been expected.  Just as yesterday can never be altered, tomorrow can never be taken for granted.  So what are you left with? Today.  The now.  This very moment in front of you.  This moment to close your eyes, scan your body and ask how it feels.  What it needs.  All of the tools for success, happiness, love, courage, strength, change, and health, live within each one of us.  Dedicate this moment to you.  Not work, family, friends...You.  If you are not fully aware and conscious of the every day gift of life, how can you possibly expect to share the best version of yourself with the world?

Now take those thoughts and broaden them out.  Since today is your last day on earth, what do you want to do?  Who do you want to share your heart with?  Your time?  Your love?  Your wisdom?  Who needs to know you care?  What projects that you enjoy doing need finishing, or starting even?  What sites do you still have left to see? And adventures to explore?  Peel away the veneer that has been sold to us as the blueprint for life and begin to unveil your truest self.  There you will find out what matters most.  Who matters most.

And if we should be so lucky that tomorrow comes, proceed in the same way.  Check in with your needs.  Continue to work on things you love, including yourself.  Be the best version of you each day, for tomorrow is never coming.

A Really Interesting Fellow by David Miller

I met a man.  Err, not like that...I should start over.  I met a fascinating, complex, intelligent, spiritual, inspiring human being 3 days ago.  Never mind the fact that he can speak English, French, Spanish, Czech, Mandarin, Balinese and Sanskrit,  (all self-taught with the help of his "Long Haired Dictionaries" ) OR that he's lived all over the world with the exception of Central America and anything south of Morocco in Africa.  But when Richard isn't teaching yoga retreats, moonlighting as a professional thai masseur, or picking up freelance journalism work (his primary vocation) you'll find him chasing 20 foot surf waves all across the globe.  Armed with his two boards, a small backpack, a wallet full of foreign currencies, a few books, a passport and his hands and feet...at 44 Richard is truly experiencing life.  Now you can understand why everyone in Asia calls him the "pussy billionaire," relax, that's a common greeting in over there...ummmmmmmm.

Born in Corpus Christie, TX, Richard embarked on this adventure a long time ago.  When I met him 3 days ago, he was just passing by my little hut here in Puerto Rico.  We shared a wave and I instinctively decided to get up from my chair to shake his hand and introduce myself.  My life may never be the same because of it.  Richard is tempered, even keeled, and when he speaks to you, he is extremely present.  His words are well paced and purposeful, and within minutes I knew he was special.  After a brief hello and an offering to help teach me to surf anytime, he was off for the day.  I thought to myself, what a nice guy and continued on with my own agenda (hammocking.)  How could I have known that 2 days later he'd be guiding me through an intensive 1 on 1 yoga class for a few hours, we'd be exchanging gifts, sharing beers and life philosophies, all under the Puerto Rican stars.  Sounds a bit like how you may like to romantically meet someone, but I assure you, this is platonic.  Funnily enough, when not discussing life goals, languages, near death experiences and the best places to travel across the world...we'd did what we do best...talk about chicks.  With a penchant for Asian women, and not in that creepy lonely business guy way, Richard described some of the most interesting cultural differences between the west and east.  Aside from their "3rd muscle" (that's a vagina based urban legend,) did you know that if you ask an Asian woman to meet her parents, that's the same as proposing to her?  He learned that the hard way apparently.  He also dated a woman for 4 years and never met the family?! Oh another interesting thing...there's a formal way to end a relationship as well...and no, it's not through Facebook or by text.  Actually Facebook is banned in China anyhow (who knew...well they know, I didn't)  So yea, if you want to break up in a relationship and save face, you must do it the right way. Apparently they don't subscribe to the good ole, "see ya...take care, brush your hair" philosophy.  Anyhow, on to last night...

So Richard offered me a yoga session and I graciously accepted. I had no idea what to expect.  As a sign of gratitude I brought him a small gift.  One of my favorite bad ass locking Caribeaners, with 12 ft of 500 lb para-chord intertwined in it.  In return, he said he also had a gift for me...the book, War by Sebastian Unger.  Apparently it's a front lines account from this bad ass journalist who lived with a battalion in Afghanistan.  When was the last time I actually exchanged gifts with a stranger?  I'm going to do that more often...

Screen shot 2014-02-19 at 7.47.08 AM.png

Ok, on to the yoga.  We started off lightly by stretching, breathing, centering ourselves.  And within minutes I had sweat through my clothes.  **Ahhh...time out, there's a rainbow colored centipede crawling up my leg.  Ok, I knocked it off me.  Actually I think it just made it's way into the house.**  Ok, I'm back.  So this yoga session that I figured would be maybe 40 minutes long or so, went on for almost 2 HOURS.  His instruction was not only incredible, but he was patient.  We didn't joke, (although I held back a few times), but rather just focused on the entire process.  I felt my body and mind transforming like never before.  At one point I opened my eyes and there was a single candle on the floor, the smell of incense burning, and I was completely at peace.  What an incredibly physical/mental art form that you can take anywhere.  I didn't even pay attention to the fact that we were in his rental hut that looks nearly as bad as mine.  Literally I could see them branding these homes as "Los Meth Dungeon Bungalows."  Anyhow, so the while doing yoga, Richard also incorporated some Thai massage, cracked a bunch of my joints, stretched me out and brought me to an incredible internal place.  At the end of it, I was completely exhausted and yet energized.  We shared some tea afterwards, then a beer, then some hilarious stories...and I was on my way.

When I got home I thought about what had just happened.  An experience that I could have NEVER before experienced staying the course in my old routine.  We spent the next few days hanging out, going surfing, cooking dinner and enjoying each others company.  At the end of the week it was time for him to take off, so I brought him to the bus stop, attempted to play him a farewell song on the cuatro, and we hugged goodbye.  Before leaving though he left me with two things.  A handmade bag he had picked up in Thailand years before (which he took off his shoulder after I made a passing compliment) and chant if I should ever find myself in trouble.

The Chant:

(Mantra to Ganesha) "om gam ganapataye namaha" So anyhow, if you find yourself in a place where you could use a little extra help...give this a try.

The Moral:

The only way to make life an adventure is to adventure your way through life.  It's been one week so far on my creative sabbatical and I as promised I am living out every moment to the fullest.  The universe truly is opening itself to me and I am embracing it with complete gratitude and humility.  I have so much to learn.  About myself, about other people, about other cultures...and I am ready.

Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 9.25.08 AM.png


Wild Dog Attack by David Miller

dog_attack_3.jpg

Wild Dogs Attack me in Puerto Rico

**Actual Hill

**Actual Hill

Ok, well last night got fucking weird.  Around 8:30pm, after a rigorous P90X sweat-a-thon, I decided to shower, dress myself-ish, and walk to Tamboo...a beach front restaurant about 1/2 a mile from my surf hut.  Anyhow, I leave my hut in full yoga pants and a scraggly hooded shirt when all of a sudden I remember a moment from a conversation I had 5 days ago.  Miguel, my sweet landlord, had mentioned that he keeps "Pimiento" on him (pepper spray) for the dogs.  OK, well I'm not quite sure how that concerns me, because every dog I've met here has been super fluffy and sweet.  Well...until tonight.  So upon hearing Miguel's voice in my head, I decided to walk back to my hut, unscrew the 2 ft. plastic broom handle from my dust pan and walk with it...just in case.  WELL FUCKING, JUST IN CASE, THANK GOD. 

**Not Actual Dog

**Not Actual Dog

As I got down the steep hill (pictured above) on the blacked out road towards Tamboo, I saw a dog, middle of the street, about the size of an average German Shepard, comforting.  He of course was a mix of some sort, as all sato's (island dogs) are. 

Anyhow, if there's such a thing as tangible energy, I sensed it tonight.  The Sato, scoped me out and then started running towards me.  I couldn't decide if it was a friendly, I want to lick you, run, OR an I'm gonna eat your fat ass up, run.  Regardless, I took the defensive stance hedging my bets...and I'm glad I did.  This mother fucker wasn't here to play fetch at all.  Once he got within a few feet of me, I felt the offensive bark.  He growled, darted in, I swung, he darted out.  Oh, the fight was on and he was totally sizing me up.  Meanwhile, in a slight panic, I was looking for higher ground and a better weapon than some fucking plastic broom handle. "SOS, Miguel, por favor bring me some fucking Pimiento spray bra..." no answer.  Thank fucking god I had that shitty broom handle though.  At least something to distract him if he tried to latch on to something.  So I did the expected...yelled out shit like "no" and "tsk" and "fuck off."  Apparently he didn't speak English.  Where's Cesar Milan when you need him?!   Regardless, I kept Cugo within 6 feet of me.  Although at times, he took a chance and lunged forward with a bark and growl getting as close as 3 feet.  I swung and screamed and slowly retreated.  At this point I looked to my right and saw two friends....no, not mine...his.  Two other fucking wild dogs jumping past a fence to come and eat me.  What is this ambush bullshit?!  Aren't there any field mice you assholes can eat?  Honestly, now I got a bit scared.  One dog, I feel confident in killing, (IN SELF DEFENSE, relax psychos, I love dogs)  But 3???? Fuck. 

**Not Actual Dogs

**Not Actual Dogs

So when I spot the other 2 dogs, I immediately look behind me for something to jump up on...nothing but a few trash bins.  At least those could put some distance between me and the dogs if necessary.  I can't overstate that I literally felt like I was about to be attacked.  Keep in mind, I am on a deserted road with one street light.  Not chill.  Anyhow, I continue my yelling and swinging, and notice a pivotal moment in the fight.  One of the dogs gets stuck in the barbed wire through the fence.  It felt as if a referee entered the scene and called a time out.  I wasn't going to waste a moment of the pause, so I started to back up.  As I took a step backwards, yelled out, swung my shitty broom handle and continued to look for higher ground...eventually the lead dick head stopped chasing me.  Once I got to a safe distance I noticed him run over to his stuck friend and saw him trying to help.  I felt sorry for the dog caught in barbed wire...but not sorry enough to help. I was also kinda like, yea, fuck you dicks, I'm safe now and you're caught in barbed wire.  If you were nice, I'd of probably brought you food and water, but you weren't, so now this is happening. Anyhow, I watched them struggle for a while from a distance, and then started to consider my options for returning home after dinner.  Ugh, I can't believe I actually have to game plan around coming home because of some attack dogs.  I was really looking forward to a chill, relaxing night of eating healthy fish and going back home.  Anyhow, I did have to come up with a strategy.

Option 1: go back the same road with a planned route, knowing where my higher ground walls are along with bringing food back as distraction. 

Option 2: take the beach route for the length of 3 football fields and hook right to avoid where they were (no promises there weren't any other dogs or creatures on the beach though) 

OR Option 3: unknowingly after sharing this story with my waitress, she would offer me a ride back home.  Ummmm....Option 3 it was.  And in the safety of a car, I was dropped off restaurant to door, like a total American Pussy.  But god damn it felt nice not getting attacked by any dogs.

The Moral:

If you find yourself in life, in a position where instinct for survival speaks louder than instinct for maintaining coolness credibility, take the route of survival.  I can't predict if I will ever be approached by a pack of wild dogs again, but I can say that if I hadn't double backed and grabbed that broom handle based on instinct, I may not be typing with a right hand, right now.  Also, when it comes to your safety and the safety of the ones you love, don't be afraid to break the rules.  Oh, also, fuck you wild dogs.  I know it's not your fault you were born, but still, I'm a pretty nice guy and that shit wasn't cool.

Special Thanks:

To Ingrid and her husband Jimmy for taking me home.

Ugh...enough with "Open Letters"...ok, just one more. by David Miller

open-letter.jpg

Dylan farrow to Woody Allen, Christina McDowell to Hollywood, the World to Vladimir Putin...finally, my chance...

Here is my Open Letter to my friends, also known as, a letter.

I just wanted to take a quick moment to say thank you to all my friends. Thank you for your kind words, loving support, and more than anything...your complete care of my well being.

For those of you who may be wondering why I am on this one-way timeless adventure, I thought that I would take a little moment to explain :) For the better part of a decade I have been grinding away in the TV business, Reality mostly.  I have tried nearly every position possible and actually enjoyed most of it. And for the last 4 of those 10 years, I have been part of growing a production company from the ground up. We went from working out of our homes, to a 200 sq ft windowless office with 1 employee, to a mid town NYC office, to finally a 4000 sq ft office at times employing over 60 people. Our mission, to sell TV shows and retire young. (Don't worry, this is not some douche bag way of me telling you i am retiring...not even close) So at the end of the 4th year of building the company, the 3 of us partners sat down and had an incredibly transparent conversation.  You see, while the world of TV is exciting, it can also grind the hell out of you.  It's not quite the glamorous life one would expect. 16+ hour days, no weekends, horrible diets, 0 routine, no vacations or recognition of national or religious holidays.  You see production is like the beating heart of the body. Even when your arms and legs get to rest while you sleep, the heart still continues to work. And to succeed in production, you must be 100% committed in your heart. Ok, so back to the 3 of us sitting down...

We started talking about where we were mentally. How we were feeling? And when I actually stepped outside the work circle I had been living in, I was able to see 2 things very clearly. A macro perspective view on my life, and the deepest introspective view on my needs. And truly, it all started with 1 question. If I could wake up tomorrow and do anything, what would it be?

To back up for a quick moment. 2 years ago on Feb 4th my beloved poppa passed away. A sudden, tragic brain tumor showed up on a scan, and he was delivered a 3 month sentence. He passed away after 3 months and 7 days. We took the time he was alive to laugh, cry, and mourn the inevitable. He was always transparent through those few months about his emotions. His fears, His regrets, his wishes...And only being 60, he knew he had been short changed on life. But what he hadn't been short changed on was the family he helped raise and the people he affected. My dad was a dedicated surgeon who helped saved countless patient's eyes, not to mention lives. He was a doctor, a therapist, a father, a husband and a friend. He dedicated himself to helping others, never paying attention to his own emotional and physical needs. Even in the end when we were caretaking, he was concerned about our arms and backs while lifting him. He was the consummate giver. And while I appreciate every moment I had with my dad, I must admit that I wish he had done some things a little differently. I wish he had taken the time to foster his creativity and dreams. Opened that photo school he always talked about, quit medicine when insurance companies started intervening in his care taking practices, visited his home town of Johannesburg South Africa and gone on that photo safari...
What a lot of people didn't know, was the depth of his creativity. And my point is this...while my father lived a good life, he never fully lived his own. And while there is beauty in spending your life for others, balance is required to create harmony. Somewhere along the line, his balance got lost in the shuffle.
After his passing I felt more responsibility than ever to care for my mother and sister. I needed to make sure they were ok emotionally, physically, financially, etc. Part of that responsibility drove me deeper into work. I sought refuge in knowing I could help build something that would hopefully take care of us in the long run. Well 2 years later, my sister found her own way and is now in grad school in boulder, my momma has rennovated/cleaned the entire home and is ready for the next chapter in her story. And the only one left to figure out what he wanted to do, was me. So, in honor of my father and in pursuit of life balance I go back to that simple question; if I could wake up and do anything tomorrow, what would it be? My immediate answer? Sitting in a hammock on the western coast of Puerto Rico, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Carribean waters, watching the sun rise and set every day.

I can't tell you what the next step will be, but I can tell you this.  I will eat, breathe, love and live every day to its absolute fullest.  In return I ask only one thing. Universe, continue to meet me where I am, with open arms and mind. You have given me the freedom to pave my path and I will continue to make my own waves. Reconnecting with nature, humans, sounds and smells I have ignored for so long. I am admittedly hungry for new experiences and environments. And if for just one second others are able to find their own fuel through my travels and connections, I will of had a good life.  I want to meet all of the people that glue our country/world together. Everyone has a story to tell, and if for nothing else I can at least enjoy some of them over a cup of coffee, tea, or even better, a cocktail or two...  

And at the end of the day, I won't ever have to ask what I could have been doing, for I will have been doing it all along.

Thank you for taking the time to read all of this and have a beautiful day.

Thank you Papa by David Miller

To a great man:

October 27th 2011 on a dark brown leather couch, in a dimly lit room, surrounded by large books, that resembled more of a library than the office of the country's leading neurology oncologist, we were delivered "the news."  Like a page from a movie, my family's world crushed in a second.  The room filling with what can only be described as a thick hot pulse of disbelief.  I remember it very clearly.  The Doctor's words..."of everything I do in my profession, this is one part I wish I could eliminate and never do again.  Brian, (my father), you have what we call a Glio Blastoma.  It's a malignant aggressive brain tumor, and there are two of them."  (We didn't even bother to look at the MRI)  Surgery was not an option, but maximizing the next 4 months of his life was.  As if the diagnosis of Parkinson's almost exactly one year prior hadn't been enough, my dad, best friend, and father was now given a definitive expiration date with a prognosis of 3-6 months. He made it 4.  And on Feb 4th 2012, he passed away after one week of care at Calvary Hospital/Hospice.  Ironically, a stone's throw away from where my dad had spent the better part of his 60 years of life helping save and teach others at the Albert Einstein Hospital.  A doctor, a father, a husband, a best friend, a teacher, a therapist, a confidant, an artist, my dad had barely scratched the surface of what his life could be.  And just saying those two words out loud, "could be" is what drives me forward in this mission.  This isn't about my father, my sister, my mother, my friends, my family, my profession...this is about fulfilling a secret my father gave me a long time ago.  I had expressed concern over how fast life was moving, mind you, I was 10 years old at the time.  Always patient, my dad offered me a solution.  He always had solutions.  He told me, "David, you know there's a way to slow down time don't you?"  I couldn't believe it, he invented a time machine.  Well not quite, but his answer did help my curious little brain out quite a bit.  He said, "enjoy every moment of life, and time will slow down."   Without fail, wherever I have landed, I have enjoyed every moment.  In good times we laugh, in bad times we laugh harder.  In good times we cry, and in bad times we cry harder.  This is how I've begun to slow down time.  When I figure out how to freeze it, I'll let you know :)