My name is Craig J. Phillips. I possess an undergraduate degree in theology and physical education / recreation. I possess a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling. I have worked during the past 30 years assisting individuals in various altruistic capacities in their pursuit of their dreams and their destinies. While working through undergraduate and graduate school I worked in a variety of human service positions assisting individuals in various capacities. Among these capacities, I worked in assisted living centers, in a residential treatment center and as a counselor with in the cemetery and funeral industries. In these positions, roles and capacities, I sought to enhance the individuals and families well-being and offer hope.
Post graduate school, I worked as a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) in both public and private rehabilitation settings assisting individuals with physical, emotional and psychological disabilities. My focus has been to help individuals find ways to use their gifts, talents and abilities to pursue their dreams and their destinies. Each of my altruistic pursuits has provided a unique window into the lives of individuals throughout the spectrum of life’s experiences. With this window of understanding and my desire to be of service, I have sought to grow in my self-discovery, self-reflection and self-exploration, to then in turn give of what I have gained through my pursuit of personal growth and personal empowerment.
Through my professional pursuits, as well as my personal endeavors to be of service; I have sought to grow in self-awareness and self-acceptance. As I have grown in self-awareness and self-acceptance, I have grown in my ability to take healthy and positive action in life. This action has given me a fresh perspective on how to create hope in my life. With this exploration, I was able to reach a place of acceptance with some thing, that I would like to share with you. I am a traumatic brain injury survivor. My brain injury occurred as a result of a motor vehicle accident in 1967 when I was 10 years old. I sustained an open skull fracture, right frontal lobe damage, a several brain bruise with brain stem involvement. I remained in a coma for 3 weeks.
In 1967 there was not much known about brain injuries or neurological rehabilitation. Once my external wounds healed my traumatic brain injury was never again considered to be a factor in my development or my difficulties. Because I was able to teach myself how to walk, talk, read, write and speak in complete sentences the effects of the injury to my brain became invisible and hidden. Although I was not expected to succeed beyond high school academically, I was able to graduate on time with my high school class and then go on to obtain my undergraduate (4 majors, 2 universities and one junior college in 10 years) and graduate degree (3 1/2 years and 2 different grad schools).
I later discovered that the difficulties that I encountered during both my undergraduate and graduate degree programs were due to the residuals from my brain injury. In addition to having difficulties in both my undergraduate and graduate programs, I had a long history of getting and losing jobs. While working as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, I became a client of the Dept. of Vocational Rehab. After becoming a client of the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and completing their evaluation process, I was deemed to be unemployable. Because I had been able to obtain my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I found myself in a very frustrating conundrum; having done the work to contribute professionally, I was unemployable.
To gain more insight into my experience leading up to being deemed unemployable by the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, you may watch and listen to a 2 part series that I created in August of 2011 by clicking on these links:
Although I had diligently applied myself – both academically and vocationally – I felt like some one all dressed up with nowhere to go. Although I had diligently applied myself — both academically and vocationally — I found that no one seemed to want what I had to give. Although I had diligently applied myself – both academically and vocationally – I found myself unable to succeed. Although I had diligently applied myself – both academically and vocationally – I found myself declared disabled by the Social Security Administration in 1999. Although I had diligently applied myself – both academically and vocationally – I found myself living on a fixed income. Not the dream I had hoped to live.
Although I had diligently applied myself both academically and vocationally for many years, I found myself being effectively discounted and dismissed by society. Like a broken toy tossed into a box to be forgotten. Although I felt like a broken toy, discounted and dismissed by societies standards, I still had a desire to follow my dreams and my destiny. In my desire to follow my dreams and my destiny, I discovered some thing very important. A lesson that would lay a foundation upon which I would learn to build. A foundation, that would equip me to follow my dreams and my destiny. A foundation upon which I would learn how to create hope.
Read my article by clicking on this link: Opening the Door to Hope.
To gain insight into what I encountered and overcame in the process of creating Second Chance to Live you may read my 2 part article Back Story of Second Chance to Live, by clicking on the following 2 links:
Although I felt minimized, marginalized, dismissed and discounted by people who did not want what I had to give, I still had a desire to encourage, motivate, empower and share hope. In my process of finding a way that would work for me I wrote an autobiography, a book and then on February 6, 2007, at the encouragement of a friend; I found my way to share hope through my web log Second Chance to Live. I began writing and publishing articles on Second Chance to Live. During the past 94 months I have written a total of now 1445 articles for Second Chance to Live. To view a list of the articles that I have written and published on Second Chance to Live you may click on this link: Site Map for my Articles.
To aid in accessing my articles, I recently created article categories of my articles and video presentation categories of my video presentations uploaded to You Tube. Here are links to my article categories and my video presentation categories: Article Categories and Video Presentation Categories.
On July 29, 2011 I created a You Tube channel to begin creating video presentations for individuals who learn more effectively through watching and listening. To date I have created 286 video presentations for my Second Chance to Live 2dogbull You Tube channel. With in my Site Map for my Video Presentations, there is a list of the titles of the video presentations that I have created. By clicking on the title (s) of the video presentation (s) in my Site Map for my Video Presentations, the video presentation (s) will open for you on my You Tube channel.
In early 2015 I created 5 e Books — 5 e Books — to offer another way to access the information with in my articles and video presentations. My e Books are free for download and contain information that have empowered my ability to address, handle and overcome adversity, to be able to pursue my dreams and my destiny despite being disabled and unemployable.
To further be of service and After much thought and prayer, on June 16, 2015; I decided to create a new website Create a Spark of Hope – Create a Spark of Hope – to share what I discovered that has helped me to begin to create sparks of hope in my own life. Create a Spark of Hope will be different from Second Chance to Live in that I will provide succinct and consolidated articles from a professional perspective. Create a Spark of Hope will also be different in that it will only present articles and thus be easily uploaded to your mobile devices.
On August 2, 2015 the process was completed to move both Second Chance to Live and Create a Spark of Hope to managed wordpress sites from wordpress.com. I wrote an article to share the news, which I would invite you to read by visiting this link: Second Chance to Live, a Metamorphosis and a New Look
In October 2013, I was a keynote speaker at the Southwest Conference on Disability in association with the University of New Mexico. I spoke to an audience of between 600 – 700 individuals. During my 30 minute presentation, I spoke to not giving up in the face of adversity, as well as how using the concept of neuroplasticity has empowered my life. During my keynote, I included a 5 minute video presentation that a friend helped me to create a month before the conference. To watch the video presentation shown at the conference, you may click on this link: Demonstration.
To introduce the demonstration to my readers, on Second Chance to Live; I wrote an article. Here is a link to the article: Brain Injury, Neuroplasticity, Healing and Martial Art Disciplines. In August of 2014 a friend filmed another demonstration, in which I use double rattan sticks (siniwali) drills to enhance my ability to use both sides of my brain — using the concept of neuroplasticity. Here is a link to that Demonstration. In response to a comment I wrote an article: A Collection of my Articles — To Share the Story Behind my Martial Arts Training
Here are several Endorsements that I received from my keynote presentation at the Southwest Conference on Disability 2013:
Niketa P. Sheth, MPA
Senior Vice President, Quality of Life
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
I met Craig at the 2013 Southwest Conference on Disability, where he spoke as one of the keynote speakers for the conference. His remarkable words of inspiration moved hundreds of individuals in the room. Craig has an impressive ability to share his personal experience in a way that just about anyone can relate. His remarks brought strength and motivation to many in the audience. Craig has also invested much time and effort in creating many resources for individuals. I admire Craig’s dedication to inspire our community through his work with Second Chance to Live.
Rolf B. Gainer, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital
Craig Phillips is an exceptional person who has constructed his life to help others. I had the privilege to meet Craig, in person, at the Southwest Disability Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico in October 2013 where he was a keynote speaker. I had known Craig prior to that conference through his website and on-line presence where we had the opportunity to interact and learn about his work. What is impressive about Craig is his forthright manner about discussing his brain injury, it’s impact on his life and his devotion to helping others through Second Chance to Live. Craig has written a blog on our NeuroNotes which has brought his work to others living with brain injury.
In preparation of my keynote presentation, I wrote the following article to provide more detailed information for those individuals attending the 2013 Southwest Conference on Disability. Click on this link to read the article Back Ground Information for Keynote Presentation Craig Phillips Founder and Creator Second Chance to Live Southwest Conference on Disability 2013.
In response to the article Back Ground Information for Keynote Presentation Craig Phillips Founder and Creator Second Chance to Live Southwest Conference on Disability 2013, Ken Collins wrote:
Wow! What a story of accomplishment! Craig, you stared adversity right in the eye and said: “Get out of the way – I have something to do with my life! Way to go! There needs to be more people in the world like you!
Ken Collins, Program Manager at San Juan Center for Independence, Gallup, New Mexico
And one more Endorsement:
Craig’s message is universal. “You can find your way thru tragedy and build a new life.” It may not be the life you had before, but Craig’s message of hope, empowerment and love can help you discover your second chance to live – and live well. I am grateful for Craig’s beautiful writings. They inspire me and bring me comfort. As a speaker, Craig, speaks from the heart and is a living testament to his message. I am honored to know and learn from Craig Phillips.
Viki Kind, MA – January 18, 2014 4:58 pm Bioethicist and author of The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices for Those Who Can’t
To see a list of several organizations – past and present – using Second Chance to Live as a Resource, please click on the following link: Resource
As you read my articles and questions arise, please do not hesitate to contact me with those questions. And please remember, all questions are good questions. You may do so through my Contact Information Page
Second Chance to Live has and continues to meet a unique a unique need, both nationally and internationally. Second Chance to Live has subsequently been honored in different ways. To see a few of those ways, please take the time to click on the following links. As you read the various pages and questions or comments come to mind, please let me know my friend. All questions are good questions and all comments are welcome my friend. Thank you.
During the past 89 months Second Chance to Live has been of service and met a unique need, both nationally and internationally. To see some of the ways that Second Chance to Live has been of service, please click on the below high lighted links. Thank you.
To read a more detailed account of my journey and my process during the past 48 years, please read my 8 part series My Journey thus Far. Thank you.
Click on each link and the part will open for you.
I want to thank you for being a friend of Second Chance to Live. I look forward to being of service to you and your family. In the event that I can be of service, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you. I will say so long for now, but before I do let me share some of my favorite quotes with you. As you read these quotes, may you be encouraged to follow your dreams, to trust the process, a loving God and yourself.
“Be encouraged my friend, our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but they are meant to build us up.” Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
“Do not wait for leaders, do it alone, person to person.” Mother Teresa
“If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to life the life that you have imagine…you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau
“Do not judge your day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson
“Insist on yourself, never imitate. Your own gift you can present with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you only have an extemporaneous half-possession…Do that which is assigned to you, and you can not hope too much or dare too much.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You don’t have to be a person of influence to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they’ve taught me.” Scott Adams — American Cartoonist
“Everyone is trying to do some thing big, not realizing that life is made up of small things.” Frank A Clark
“I have heard that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The good news is that once we start walking on that journey, before long we will be able to look back and see how far we have come on our journey — because we did not give up.” Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
“…You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.” Mother Teresa
“For I know the plans that I have for you – says the Lord – plans for good and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 Old Testament
You have my permission to share my articles and or video presentations with anyone you believe could benefit, however please attribute me as being the author of the article (s) video presentation (s), and provide a link back to the article (s) on Second Chance to Live. In the event that you have questions, please send those questions to me. All questions are good questions. Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you. Copyright 2007-2015.
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If my articles and video presentations can benefit anyone whom you know, you are free to share these articles and video presentations with them. You have my permission. If they have any questions, please have them contact me. All questions are good questions. Click on this link to contact me: Contact page