All posts by Don Miller

About Don Miller

A lifetime Las Vegas resident and father of three grown children, Don spent 15 years as a licensed psychotherapist and speaker in private and hospital practices. Prior, he was part owner of an award-winning family advertising agency. Having fallen into addiction to crystal methamphetamine several years ago, losing everything to the drug, he has been clean since 9/4/11 and more sober about life with each passing day. The stories and content of this site are the accumulating epiphanies of his journey into sobriety, shared here to inspire others, especially those who remain embroiled in addictive battles of their own. LifeMeansSoMuch, the song title by Chris Rice (and you are highly encouraged to download it on ITunes or YouTube,) is the lyrical inspiration for the content of this site. Don is currently a life coach, author, speaker and Senior Programs Manager at a non-profit, HopeLink of Southern Nevada.

dinner conversation

Our dinner conversation about happiness took an unexpected turn into serendipity.

After sharing what makes each of us happiest, I had an epiphany. All our happiest scenarios were circumstantial, based on fortunate events and experiences that either happened around us, to us, or were otherwise created by us to experience and briefly enjoy.

It occurred to me “that’s a lot of work for a moment of fleeting bliss which is ultimately dependent on the next one.”

Being continuously happy requires effort and exposure to things outside ourselves while being content is a still, taskless state of peace within our circumstances whatever they are. Happiness is the ! at the end while contentment is the sentence before it we need not work to write, because we just let it fall into place.

It was at that moment we all discovered that serendipity is both insightful, wondrous, beautiful, and exactly what our dinner conversation that evening had happily become.

a summer rain

Tiny

droplets

falling,

landing,

faster now,

they race

for standing,

driving down

in revving sheets

a bouncing frenzy

each drop competes

but

I

lost

count

and a new river won.

I sat to watch

the cool summer rain

applaud the earth and

to it waved the checkered flag.

surprise!

I don’t want to know it when I die. I just want to come home from a long day at work, open the door, drop my briefcase for the last time and suddenly everyone I ever loved jumps out from behind the sofa and yells “Surprise!” and all my old dogs run up and lick me like it’s been ME who’s been gone so long.

death

Of all human experiences, only one remains almost entirely unknown.
Despite relentless attempts at its description from every conceivable perspective, unhinged fantasy, limitless speculation and sordid detail, unchallenged since the beginning of time, we still know nothing more beyond its cause except for the promise that we never will for as long as we live. And then it will either be the nothing or the everything we ever dreamed of.

fell from heaven

They don’t know when to stop.
They offer without an ask, buy before a need, don’t give or take no for an answer and expect nothing in return. The world’s not their oyster, but rather their responsibility. Their gifts give beyond holidays, life is their only prize and their every new morning a personal canvas for the fine art of being human. They create masterpieces in secret for needy people they’ve never even met and surprise unsuspecting strangers from the benevolence of their bottomless hearts. They neither demand nor expect the same for themselves, but survive on intuition, conscience, faith and opportunity. Their deeds are oft mistaken for angels and tiny pieces of heaven fell to earth, which of course, they are. They know no different and don’t know when to stop because indeed, this is what they were wonderfully made to do.
And someday. when you meet one, they will either change your life forever or inspire you to follow. #taganangel
LifeMeansSoMuch.com

a close call with a defibrillator

Out of ICU after a near miss with a defibrillator yesterday. Not the original reason for admission but perhaps a red herring. Triglycerides down to 400 vs 2000+. Going for a stress test this morning. Maybe home. Good spirits and new awakenings abound from the past 6 days here, the greatest of which was waking up to another day, another sunrise, another chance to dance. #thanksforthelove

Well, your love and prayers brought me home from the hospital last night after an ordeal that logically should not have.

So many first hand nursing accounts of young dead COVID patients in the ICU hall next door was sobering to say the very least. I was in bad shape but my mountains were rolling hills in comparison to the desperation only 300 feet away I could occasionally hear when those sealed double doors opened. Some called it ‘the tomb’ while others called codes on the dead and dying.

There are indeed heroes inside those walls whose dedication to serve others seemingly outpaces their own need to survive.

Until there is a better solution, wear a mask. Keep your distance. Keep hope alive.

 

10% solution

I find it remarkable how what lifts us from bed in the morning is the anticipation of a 10% sliver of the day’s hopes and holdings and what puts us to sleep at night is the reality that the day  had actually held so much more. #the10percentsolution

Equality is relative.

With all that’s going on these days, I’m not entirely convinced the question is whether we are all indeed equal, but rather, do we actually aspire to be?
Hear me out. I’ll be brief.
While we publicly abhor practices that promote differentiation from one another, at the same time behind the scenes, we are actively differentiating ourselves from one another, climbing ladders from lower rungs onto those higher, more distinguished or better regarded by society.
Like it or not, more measures of success in American culture still lie squarely in the value of being better than, with little to no reward earned for actually being equal. The climb crosses race, sex and all other classifications.
Those less successful at the climb are underfoot to the more accomplished climbers of a society disgustingly compelled to prove it with titles, money, power and prestige afforded by the present distance of their earned position from where they once began. Chances of the two ever meeting are reduced and subsequently, lines between the two are consequently more clearly defined.
Maybe what we really need is a better means of measuring achievement that’s not in light of being relative to that of another. Then inspire and equip people solely to be better climbers. Equality may be less about the height attained and more about progress made from where each begins his own adventure.
Just my thoughts.

Brush with depth.

A brush with depth.
I once knew a man who had a serious brush with depth. He failed to resurface, abandoned the life he knew and was never the same again.

Each of us is given one or two moments in a lifetime to dramatically change course if we want it bad enough, have vision to recognize the opportunity and the courage to act upon it.

This world would have us believe that succumbing to the shallows is the only safe existence. Never venturing into unknown waters, we risk dying without discovering our purpose or knowing the endowment of an internal superpower that equips us to see beyond the drivel of the commonplace and into the extraordinary unknown.

For too many, the price is too high, but for the priceless few fortunate enough to heed the call and take the leap, turning back becomes an unconscionable act of self-loathing, imprisoning us forever by the if onlys.

Deepest changes cost every cent you own, the allocation of your wealth to those with none, then makes you rich in acts of enrichment upon the lives of others.

So don’t fall into the lie that goes no deeper, reaches no further and leaves you like a child on the beach afraid of the water…
because I once knew a man…