(the artist formerly known as Tim Talbott)
I've been a spiritual seeker for as long as I can remember. What I've been searching for and striving toward hasn't always been clear, but even in the times when I've felt the most stuck and lost in my life, there has always been an inner drive to go further, to reach higher, to find my inspiration and hopefully to inspire others to do the same.
What I've learned along the way is that at every moment of life, there exists an amazing opportunity for growth and development (our work) as well as for enjoyment (our fun and play). As I see it, it's really pretty simple. We are here on this planet to evolve, by being of service to ourselves and to others, and to enjoy our lives by experiencing the wonders of this miraculous world. Just exactly how our unique adventure will unfold, is a discovery to be made in time.
I've also learned that we must each walk our own individual path, as no one else can do the work (or have the fun!) for us. At the same time, we are not alone on this journey, as many seekers before us have consciously walked their own spiritual paths, and have left behind their wisdom and discoveries for us to learn from. Many times they've shown us what NOT to do as well, as they too are/were humans in progress.
Over the last couple of decades I have had the great fortune to learn from the guidance of many of these great teachers and their teachings, which has helped me tremendously to grow and develop as a human being who is trying to make a positive difference in the world. It is with the intention of sharing what I have learned and experienced that I humbly and boldly share my creations with you.
My Bio in a (big) Nutshell
During my life I have tasted the triumphant thrill of victory, and have choked on the tears of agonizing failure and defeat. Below are some highlights as to who I am and where my journey has taken me to this point:
•I was born and raised in a Roman Catholic family in Bend, Oregon, where my parents were public school teachers. My dad was a sports coach and referee and my mom taught tap dancing lessons.
•At Mountain View High School I was elected Student Body President and played varsity basketball, football and baseball. During my athletic career I threw a record breaking 99 yard touchdown pass as our team's quarterback, and missed an easy extra-point kick, which caused us to lose our only playoff game. I also broke our school’s three point percentage season record in basketball. About ten years later I found out that a kid I had coached at youth camp had broken my record. Hearing that news made me smile.
•I earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at The College of Idaho, where I also studied Psychology and Religion. During my college years I was introduced to partying, Carlos Castaneda, Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnu-Devananda, as well as other books which further sparked my spiritual and self-help curiosities. I also played college baseball for two years and our team won a national championship during my second year, though I never got a hit in my collegiate career.
•After college I served for two years as a Small Business Advisor in the Peace Corps on the island of Dominica, where I helped start a small herbal soap making business, which has been thriving for over fifteen years. During this pivotal time in my life I devoted myself to a daily yoga and meditation practice and devoured every book on spirituality I could get my hands and heart on. I also became pretty handy with a machete and wrote about 20 songs which I later recorded on an album with my acoustic guitar.
•After the Peace Corps I became a substitute teacher and created a storytelling and music show to share my overseas adventures with audiences around the Northwest. I then completed a month long yoga teacher training program on the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas and later relocated to Boulder, Colorado.
•In Boulder I lived for a year at Alandi Ashram, an ecumenical spiritual community, while I worked at a tax debt relief firm outside of Denver. I later obtained a Masters degree in World Religions ("Applied Spirituality") from Naropa University.
•During my graduate studies program I: attended a large retreat at the Shambhala Mountain Center, where we meditated for a month, 10-12 hours a day, mostly in silence; experienced the tremendous heartbreak of watching a three-year marriage engagement implode before my eyes; sat in the barracks at Auschwitz for five days with 120 people from around the world, as part of a "Bearing Witness" program led by Bernie Glassman; prayed at the Western Wall for a wife/life partner and danced in the streets of Jerusalem; fed fish in the Galilee; and lived for five days on the streets of Denver with a group of students interested in homelessness advocacy. Some of my favorite formal classroom topics were Mystical Judaism and the Kabbalah, Ken Wilber's Integral Theory, Buddha Nature and Tibetan Buddhism, Sanskrit, Biblical Hebrew and Father Thomas Keating's Centering Prayer practice.
•After graduating from Naropa, I met my soul mate and future wife and we fell madly in love. Soon after that we traveled together to Brazil where we sipped coconuts, danced on the rooftops in Rio, experienced a profound spiritual healer and witnessed a powerfully intense Candomblé ceremony.
•We later moved to the Bay Area, where we both worked in the Financial District of San Francisco. With the help of our loving community, we had a phenomenal wedding and a spectacular honeymoon.
•After I was laid off from my job, in the midst of the recession, we invented an eco-friendly cat toy, I started my own tax debt consulting firm and we both decided we wanted to have a baby; shortly thereafter our first daughter was conceived.
•I supported my remarkable wife as she pursued and completed her Master’s degree in the midst of getting pregnant and giving birth to our magical little girl. During the birth I had the extraordinarily good fortune to get to "catch" our daughter when she first came into the world. In 2014 our second magnificent daughter joined us, and our little tribe was complete.
•After many years of dancing and wrestling with the decision, I joyfully converted to Judaism through the inspiration of the Jewish Renewal movement and Kehilla Community Synagouge. This is also the time I received my Hebrew name, Micha'El. (Hebrew pronunciation of Michael)
•In 2013 I participated in the New Warrior Training Adventure with the ManKind Project and successfully completed a year long Clairvoyant Training Program at Aesclepion, in San Rafael.
•I am currently working on an album of original songs I wrote with my musical genius, brother-in-law Tanner Speas, as well as currently writing my first book.
•In my free time I love to dance in my living room with my wife and two daughters, cheer on the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriros, watch inspiring movies, play hoops and spend time with our wonderful community in Petaluma.
Enough about me. In a nutshell, over the course of the last two decades I've had the great fortune of getting to have some pretty profound experiences, and have learned a few things throughout my journey.
Amidst the myriad of other things I still hope to do, experience and accomplish in my lifetime, I have the deep desire to connect with YOU, to help YOU find YOUR inspiration, so that YOU can more fully live the life YOU came here to!