Live A Loving Life & Make Every Moment Count!
This past weekend I was blessed to pay tribute to one of the MEA community’s finest humans, someone who I considered to be one of my best friends!
His name was Dr. Danny Friedland and in addition to being a doctor, author, speaker and professional coach, he was known by everyone who ever met him as being one of the most loving souls to bless this earth.
Danny was one of the rare people who was always 100% present whenever you were with him. He was also one of the most emotionally intelligent, kind, loving, compassionate and charismatic personalities to grace our world. Trust me, this was not just my opinion, because when we listened to the tributes at his celebration of life, it appeared that everyone who knew Danny felt the same way. He was a gift to all of us, and we are going to miss him dearly.
Danny was a co-facilitator with Chip at an MEA retreat back in June of 2019. We named ourselves Los Curiosos and with Chip and Danny as our guides, we explored the nuances of becoming modern elders. Danny dazzled us all that week, mostly because he was such a remarkable listener and insightful teacher.
Once Danny was diagnosed with brain cancer back in November of 2020, he focused his final messages on two things. First to share how important it is to “Live a Loving Life” and second, to “Make Every Moment Count”. His year-long battle was very difficult for both Danny and his family, it was tough on all of us, because we loved him so dearly.
As part of our tribute to Danny we had a “paddle out” in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego where Danny and his family live. There were about 30 of us on the beach for the celebration and 18 of us who paddled out. Danny was a surfer who loved the ocean and found both peace and tranquility in the sea.
As fellow surfers, our plan was to paddle out together, form a circle around Danny’s wife Sue and two boys Zach and Dyl, and after sharing loving thoughts about Danny, spread his remains into the water. When we all finished sharing, it was left to Zach, his 21-year old son, to give the final tribute just before we would watch him set Danny free.
As Zach was literally just getting ready to spread Danny’s remains, three dolphins magically emerged from beneath us gently gliding through the surface of the water just 20 feet from our circle. They were so close we could hear each of them breathe. Everyone in our circle held their own breath, not a word was spoken. It was as if time stood still! There was simply no doubt in anyone’s mind that Danny was with us, we felt his presence and love as well as his message that he will always be with us. As the dolphins slowly drifted by and gently submerged themselves after they passed, there was not a dry eye among us. It was one of the most spiritual and moving experiences any of us had ever experienced.
So, I would like to share this. If you are not convinced that our loved one’s spiritual souls and energy live on after they leave this physical world, please think again. There is so much more to this life than we realize, so much more going on than we will ever know. And to our dear, dear, friend Danny, thank you for blessing this world and for sending us your message of love. We will all miss you dearly, yet always know we are surrounded by your love
Michael Harth is a co-founder and Chief Culture Officer of LAZ Parking which he founded with his two best childhood friends in 1981. Together, along with many amazing people, they have grown LAZ into the largest privately-held parking company in the US with over 3,000 locations and 10,000 employees. His passion for creating highly engaging cultures has been nurtured and influenced over the years by learning from inspirational conscious leaders including Chip Conley and Danny Friedland.