26
Feb

Living with an Invisible Disability — The Consequence of Denying My Reality — Part 2 Revisited Video Presentation

Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. Yesterday I created a video presentation of Part 1 of the article that I wrote and published on Second Chance to Live. Here is a link to part 1 of the video presentation Living with an Invisible Disability — The Consequence of Denying My Reality — Part 1 Revisited Video Presentation.

Here is a brief introduction of Part 2 of the article.

For many years I was encouraged to buy into a belief system that would not or could not consider the possibility that the injury to my brain contributed to the difficulties I encountered when interacting with some people and social situations. Consequently I was frequently criticized for my inability to “get along” with people without factoring in the damage to my brain.

The sad reality created by a lack of acceptance — concerning my invisible disability — resulted in my being blamed, shamed and in many instances made to be the scapegoat for matters that were out of my control.

Watch Part 2 of the presentation to discover what I learned through my process. Here is a link to Part 2 of the presentation  click on this link Living with an Invisible Disability — The Consequence of Denying My Reality — Part 2 Revisited Video Presentation

In the event that you would like to read Part 2 to of this article, in addition to watching Part 2, please click on this link Living with an Invisible Disability — The Consequence of Denying My Reality — Part 2 Revisited 

In the event that you would like to be in touch with me, please use my Contact Page. I look forward to hearing from you. All questions are good questions.

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29
Jun

Second Chance to Live, Spiritual Awakenings and Practical Hope Part 2 Video Presentation

Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. Thank you for making the decision to stop by to visit with me. In today’s article I am going to introduce Part 2 of the video presentation series, Second Chance to Live, Spiritual Awakenings and Practical Hope Part 2.

My encouragement would be that if you have not previously watched Part 1 of this video series that you do so at this time, before watching Part 2 of this video presentation. Here is a link to Part 1 of this video series, Second Chance to Live, Spiritual Awakenings and Practical Hope Part 1 Video Presentation

To watch Part 2 of this video presentation series, please click on the following link my friend, Second Chance to Live, Spiritual Awakenings and Practical Hope Part 2 Video Presentation

In the event that you would like to read Part 2 of the series, in addition to watching the video presentation, please click on the following link Second Chance to Live, Spiritual Awakenings and Practical Hope Part 2

As you watch the presentation and or read the article and questions come to mind, please do not hesitate to ask. All questions are good questions my friend. I look forward to hearing from you.

In the event that you would like to be in touch with me, here is my Contact Page. Send comments or questions and I will respond to you.

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27
Jun

Second Chance to Live, Spiritual Awakenings and Practical Hope Part 1 Video Presentation

Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. Thank you. Several days ago I began writing an article series, Second Chance to Live, Spiritual Awakenings and Practical Hope Part 1.

I create video presentations to share my articles here on You Tube to empower individuals who learn better through watching and listening.

Today’s article is to introduce the 1st part of the article in the video presentation format. To watch Part 1 of the video presentation, please click on the following link. Second Chance to Live, Spiritual Awakenings and Practical Hope Part 1 Video Presentation

In the event that you would like to read the 1st part of this article, in addition to watching this video presentation, please click on the following link Second Chance to Live, Spiritual Awakenings and Practical Hope Part 1

As you watch, listen to or read this article and questions come to mind, please send those questions to me. All questions are good questions. I look forward to hearing from you my friend.

In the event that you would like to be in touch with me, here is my Contact Page. Send comments or questions and I will respond to you.

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26
Jun

Second Chance to Live, Spiritual Awakenings and Practical Hope Part 2

In the event that you have not already read Part 1 of this series, please do so by clicking on the following link Second Chance to Live and Spiritual Awakenings Part 1

I discovered that I no longer needed to judge my efforts and that I could pursue progress, not perfection. I discovered that I could stay off my back and that I could be gentle with myself.

I discovered that I could use my gifts, talents and abilities in ways that work for me, for the people who want what I had to give. I discovered that I no longer needed to be invested in specific outcomes, but that I could find satisfaction by doing the footwork – planting seeds – while trusting a loving God with the outcomes. I discovered that I could let go of the big picture and trust the process. I discovered that I could trust a loving God to put the pieces of the puzzle together in the correct order and at the right time.

I discovered what I had thought was meant for my harm – in the disappointments, discouragement and despondency that I experienced through the struggles and seeming failures of my past – were in reality preparing my ability to pursue my bliss in the now. I discovered that my circumstances were meant to build me up and not to keep me down. I discovered that my circumstances, lessons, opportunities and experiences together point me in the direction of my destiny. In the process, I discovered practical hope.

“Insist on yourself, never imitate. Your own gift you can present with every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only 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

“If you advance confidently in the direction of your destiny and endeavor to live the life that you have imagined…you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau

“Through out life I encountered many experiences that seemed to be failures at the time. What time has taught me is that my “failures” were not set backs, but rather set ups. Set ups to prepare me to create a masterpiece. Setups to prepare me to succeed in life beyond my wildest dreams.” Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA

In the event that you would like to be in touch with me, here is my Contact Page. Send comments or questions and I will respond to you.

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24
Jun

Second Chance to Live, Spiritual Awakenings and Practical Hope Part 1

Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. Thank you. Last evening I attended a meeting where the topic of spiritual awakenings was discussed. I would like to share some of the spiritual awakenings that I have experienced and gained through my journey and process. This list is not exhaustive by any means and I would be interested in hearing from you. Please share your spiritual awakenings with me. Thank you.

I have gained these spiritual awakenings through the grace of God and being rigorously honest with myself to the best of my ability. These awareness’s have not come over night by any means, but these spiritual awakenings have changed the way that I view and experience my life and relationships. One of these spiritual awakenings that changed my life was that I could admit my powerless over many things in my life. Another significant awakening was that although I was powerless, I am not helpless in life.

With my awareness — that I was powerless but not helpless – I found hope. I found hope because I began to realize that did not have to be alone. I did not have to be alone in my powerless, but I could ask for help from a power greater than myself. I could work in partnership with a power greater than myself by asking and inviting Him – a loving God – to be a part of my process. I could turn my will and my life over to His care and ask Him to guide and direct my steps and my process. In the process…

I found that I could be free from the limiting belief (s) that deluded me into believing that I had to depend on my own ability to figure out and manage what made me crazy. I found that I could ask for help, direction and guidance to identify and heal the limiting beliefs that deluded and made me crazy.   

Another spiritual awakening that I grew into was that I no longer needed to be perfect to be OK with myself or other people. I became aware that life was about learning and that I did not have to be driven by SHAME  — Should Have Already Mastered Everything. I discovered that I could pursue excellence and learn from my circumstances, experiences and opportunities at my own pace, with my own learning curve. I discovered that I could let go of my illusion of being able to control people, places and things. 

I discovered that I could trust the process, a loving God and my ability to learn from what occurred in my life. I discovered that I could enjoy the process, instead of looking at the process as a gauntlet to be coped with, endured and hopefully survived — as I sought to live my life.

Please read Part 2 of this series by clicking on the following link Second Chance to Live, Spiritual Awakenings and Practical Hope Part 2. Thank you.

In the event that you would like to be in touch with me, here is my Contact Page. Send comments or questions and I will respond to you.

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27
Mar

Some thing to Consider — Who is limiting you?

Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. Several years ago I wrote this article and the content is some thing that I need to consider. I thought I might share the article with you. Give the article a read and let me know how the article speaks to you.

Thank you for being a part of the Second Chance to Live family.

Craig

Life limiting scripts are messages that we tell ourselves. These messages were given to us through various people. Unknowingly, we then internalized these scripts. For some of us these scripts have gone unchallenged for many, many years. Consequently, we may have found ourselves being manipulated solely because we did not question the scripts validity. Practically speaking, we may have found ourselves engaging in activities that were not in our best interest.

For many years I was held captive to many limiting scripts. I remained mesmerized by what I believed to be true. And then, one day, my spiritual eyes slowly began to open. My spiritual awakening helped me to realize that I had been trading the truth for a lie. My spiritual awakening helped me to understand the true nature of limiting scripts. Limiting scripts intentionally undermined my growth and development as an individual. Limiting script’s impacted my ability to trust God, other people and myself. Limiting scripts hindered my ability to explore and to create with my authentic self. Limiting scripts actively sought to shame my existence. Limiting script’s created insecurity. Limiting script’s corrupted my ability to be empowered. Limiting script’s undermined all that was good and genuine.

After having the above spiritual awakening, I began listening to what I was telling myself. In the process, I began identifying specific limiting scripts. I found that it was important to write these scripts down on a piece of paper. I then needed to determine why I had believed those limiting scripts. I also needed to identify the source of the script –not to blame anyone—but to consider the source. I then needed to explore the belief system behind the limiting script.

Through using these steps, I am able to remove the trigger created by the limiting script. Once the trigger was removed, the limiting script lost its power over my life. Once the script lost its power, I was able to replace the script with a new message. The new message was one of encouragement and empowerment.

Below is a short list of some limiting scripts. You may have unconsciously maintained some or all of these scripts at one time in your life. As an exercise, you may also like to get a pen/pencil and a piece of paper. Make a list of any other limiting scripts that you have been telling yourself. Once you have identified a limiting script, you can begin the process of changing your belief system.

Life Limiting Scripts

1. What I think does not matter.

2. What I feel does not matter.

3. No one will care.

4. Don’t trust your perception.

5. Don’t feel your anger if you are mad.

6. I don’t care.

7. It doesn’t matter anyway.

8. Nothing ever works out for me.

9. Relationships just don’t work out for me.

10. Life has got to be hard.

11. I can’t have…

12. I must be…

13. Good girls always do what other people want.

14. A man must take care of everyone.

15. Children are to be seen not heard.

16. Be right.

17. I must perfect.

18. Be good.

19. You think you have it bad. When I was your age I did not have…

20. You are as selfish as your father was…

21. You are as cold as your mother was…

22. You are not good enough.

23. I am not pretty enough.

24. I am not smart enough.

25. I am not talented enough.

26. Do for us (your parents/significant other) and do without.

27. Always obey the authority.

28. Never question the rules.

29. Don’ think for yourself.

30. Speak only when you are spoken to.

31. Being emotional is weak.

32. The only thing that matters is wealth and intelligence.

33. People are disposable.

34. Some people are made to be used.

35. Spirituality is for kooks.

36. God does not love me.

37. I have to perform to be lovable.

38. I only exist to be beaten.

39. Don’t talk.

40. Don’t trust.

41. Don’t Feel.

42. I can’t be happy unless you are…

Here is my Contact page. Send comments and questions and I will respond to you.

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5
Mar

Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Video Presentation Part 2

If you have not already watched Part 1 of the video presentation please click on the following link: Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Part 1. Thank you.

Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. Thank you. Last week, I wrote a 2 part article by the same title of this video presentation – Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments. Several days ago,  I made a video presentation of Part 1 of the article.

Today’s article will introduce Part 2 of the video presentation. In my experience, I have learned some valuable principles and lessons through my journey as a traumatic brain injury survivor. In Part 2 of this video presentation, I share these principles and lessons. These principles and lessons have served to enhance and empower my life as a traumatic brain injury survivor.

As you listen to and watch this video presentation, please let me know if you are able to identify with me. Please also let me know if the principles and lessons that I share with in this presentation prove to be helpful to you as an individual who is living with a traumatic brain injury. As you listen to and watch this video presentation and questions or comments come to mind, please send those to me. Thank you.

To watch Part 2 of the video presentation, please click on the high lighted title of the article here: Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Video Presentation Part 2.

To read the written Part 2 of the article, please click on the following link my friend: Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Part 2

To listen to the hour long program Innovative Brain Injury Treatments hosted by Lee Carlson please click on the following link Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Hosted by Lee Carlson

Here is my Contact page. Send comments and questions and I will respond to you.

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3
Mar

Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Video Presentation Part 1

Hello and welcome to Second Chance to Live. You are always welcome around my table. Several days ago, I wrote a 2 part article Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments. Because people learn in different way, I make video presentations to share my articles with friends that learn better through watching and listening, instead of by reading.

I read my articles – instead of giving bullet points from my articles —  because I spend considerable time developing and writing each article and do not want to leave out anything that I have included in the article.

In my experience, I have found innovative ways to enhance my brain and body function as a traumatic brain injury survivor. In this 2 part video series I will share what I have learned and what has worked for me in my process as a traumatic brain injury survivor. 

My hope is that as you watch Part 1 and then Part 2 of the series — if you have not already begun – that you will begin to look for innovative ways to enhance and empower your life and process as a traumatic brain injury survivor. 

To watch Part 1 of this presentation please click on the following highlighted title: Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Video Presentation Part 1. Thank you.

To watch Part 2 of the video presentation, please click on the high lighted title of the article here: Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Video Presentation Part 2.

If you would prefer to read Part 1 of the article here is a link to written Part 1 of Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Part 1.

To listen to the hour long program Innovative Brain Injury Treatments hosted by Lee Carlson please click on the following link Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Hosted by Lee Carlson

Here is my Contact page. Send comments and questions and I will respond to you.

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29
Feb

Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Part 2

If you have not already read Part 1 of this article, please do so by clicking here and you will be taken to Part 1.

If we look at the size of the elephant we can find ourselves being overwhelmed and asking,” What’s the point?”. The elephant is just too large. And then I heard the answer to the riddle, “One bite at a time”. When I heard the answer, I gained hope and courage. I realized that I did not have to consume the elephant or desired skill or ability in one or two sittings. I realized that I no longer need to be intimidated by the size of the elephant. I realized that I could consume the elephant, one bite at a time. 

With my awareness, I started to look at my experience and journey as a process instead of as a destination, that I need to rush toward to establish my worth and value as an individual. With my awareness, I began to realize that I could enjoy and celebrate the process of consuming my elephants. With my awareness, I began to apply this principle to remapping my brain and body.

As I have shared in previous articles, I have been a student of the martial arts though out my life time, to varying degrees. In my journey as a student of the martial arts, I have studied and trained in different martial art styles. In my experience, I had the opportunity to train under a Sensei (instructor) whose Instructors original instructor was Bruce Lee. One of the principles that Bruce Lee taught his students was to, “Absorb what is useful; Disregard that which is useless”. This principle changed my life.

In my experience, I have learned and continue to learn to absorb what is useful and in the process, to disregard what does not work for me. Through training under my Sensei, I discovered what works for me and what does not work for me as a martial artist. In my martial arts training I have learned that training both sides of my body through boxing, trapping and muay Thai kickboxing works best for me. Muay Thai is the art or eight limbs – using each limb of the body – hands, elbows, knees and Thai kicks.

The principle that Bruce Lee taught his students has given me the freedom to use what I have in ways that work for me. These ways do not have to work in anyone else’s life for them to be effective in my life. 

I have been training and drilling in muay Thai in combination with other martial art styles for the past 17 years. As I have trained and continue to train both my right and left hands, elbows, knees and legs I have seen my agility, coordination, balance, speed, precision and reaction time progressively improve. With my improvement – in bite size pieces – I am encouraged to continue my training as a martial artist to treat my traumatic brain injury as I continue to remap my brain and body.   

Because I have worked very hard to enhance my skills and abilities as a martial artist – using both sides of my body – I have seen my agility, coordination, balance, speed, precision and reaction time improve beyond my wildest imagination.

I share the above to encourage you to not give up on your process. Find ways to – that you like and enjoy – to develop your balance, agility, coordination, speed, precision and reaction time. And as you do, my suggestion would be that you train and drill both sides of your body – as you are able my friend.  And as you eat your elephant — one bite at a time – and continue to stay committed to your process you will treat your brain injury and remap your brain and body to develop skills and abilities beyond your wildest imagination. 

To read more about Muay Thai Kick boxing click on the following link Muay Thai

To listen to Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Hosted by Lee Carlson click on the following link Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Hosted by Lee Carlson

Here is my Contact page. Send comments and questions and I will respond to you.

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All material presented on Second Chance to Live is copyright and cannot be, copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Craig J. Phillips, MRC, BA All rights reserved. Expressed written permission is required to re-publish material presented on Second Chance to Live Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND

 

 

28
Feb

Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Part 1

Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. Thank you for making the decision to stop by to visit with me. You are always welcome around my table my friend. Last night — on Brain Injury Radio –Lee Carlson spoke to the topic of Innovative Brain Injury Treatments. During the radio program Lee interviewed several individuals. who provided information on yoga, modifying yoga and the benefits of yoga for brain injury survivors.The focus of yoga is to help the individual connect their mind and body.

As the radio program continued, various individuals called in to contribute to the program. One of those individuals shared their experience with martial arts as a innovative treatment. As I listened, I made the decision to call in to the program. When I had the opportunity to contribute to the program, I shared several principles that I learned through the process of my training in the martial arts over the course of the past 17 years. In my experience, these principles have enhanced and empowered my life.

Approximately 12 years ago I started training at a martial arts school. Early on at the school, my Sensei (martial arts instructor) shared some thing with me that helped me to begin to heal on levels that I never dreamed possible. Although I did not recognize the significance of his words — at the time – what he shared with me found practical application in every area of my life.

My Sensei shared with me that obtaining your black belt in his style would be likened to baking a cake. He said, “I provide you with the ingredients to bake a cake. Obtaining your black belt is putting those ingredients together”. Over the years, I have worked on learning about the ingredients, how to use those ingredients and then how to combine those ingredients in correct combinations. By doing so I have learned how to bake my cake and become a master of the basics – in ways that work for me.

In my experience – through my training in the martial arts – I began to embrace and apply several other principles. These principles have been used to shape my perspective and the way that I seek to live my life. I would like to share those principles with you. As you think about these principles, please remember another principle, Progress not Perfection. Several years ago, I heard a riddle that seemed to make little sense to me, until I heard the answer to riddle.The riddle is, “How do you eat an elephant?”

To watch Part 1 of this article in  a video presentation format, please click on the following highlighted title: Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Video Presentation Part 1. Thank you.

To read the conclusion of the article in Traumatic Brain Injury and Innovative Brain Injury Treatments Part 2, please click here.

Here is my Contact page. Send comments and questions and I will respond to you.

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All material presented on Second Chance to Live is copyright and cannot be, copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Craig J. Phillips, MRC, BA All rights reserved. Expressed written permission is required to re-publish material presented on Second Chance to Live Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND

 

17
Jun

To Live Beyond Limitations Part 2 of 3

Please read Part 1 for context. Thank you.

Humility breeds brings security, because the individual knows that they can trust the process, a loving God and themselves. Humility encourages the individual to let go of that which is out of their control. Humility motivates the individual to ask for help because the individual realizes that they do not have to lean on their own understanding or resources. Humility empowers hope — through trust — because the individual knows that more will be revealed.

Humility seeks to set the individual free, because the individual knows that they can practice easy does it. Humility motivates the individual to take risks because there is no threat of reprisal. Humility encourages the individual to succeed, while at the same time cheer leading their efforts. Humility celebrates the individual as a work in progress. Humility teaches the individual to stay in the moment, to enjoy the process, to do the foot work and to let go of the outcomes.

Humility reinforces self-esteem, self-respect and self-worth. Humility does not seek justification. Humility does not disparage, minimize or marginalize. Humility does not condescend. Humility is free of contempt. Humility is patient and kind. Humility champions and supports the individual. Humility readies the individual for service. Humility empowers with wisdom. Humility gently reveals power through change.

Humility teaches the individual that they are on a journey. Humility teaches the individual that on that journey, the process is more important than the destination. Humility teaches the individual that — some times with seeming serendipity — they are being led in the direction of their destiny

Please read Part 3 for context. Thank you.

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16
Jun

To Live Beyond Limitations Part 1 of 3

Welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. I have been thinking about a very powerful principle. I have found that this principle — when applied — helps me to step out of my limitations into the abundance of possibilities. Discouragement is disbanded as an illusion of lack. The conceivable becomes attainable while apprehension is traded for hope.

Progress rather than perfection becomes a way of life.The bondage of needing to be perfect is replaced with the pursuit of excellence.

The voice of inadequacy is replaced with the voice of enough. I no longer have to be right to feel secure. I am free to say, “I don’t know”. I am made strong when I am weak. I am free to take risks because I realize that I can not fail. I am able to laugh at myself because I know that I am learning. I am able to let go of outcomes because I know that I will get what I need. I can trust the process, a loving God and myself because I do not have to know the big picture.

The principle that I am referring to is humility. Through my process, I have learned a very valuable lesson. Humility is not humiliation.

Humility promotes and empowers the individual through meekness. Humility sets the individual free to accept themselves — because the individual knows that they do not have to prove their worth or value. Humility regales the individual with hope because the individual knows that possibilities exist. Humility encourages learning, because the individual realizes that they do not have to already know everything. Humility encourages sets the stage for learning curves.

Please read Part 2 and Part 3 for context. Thank you.

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1
Jun

Traumatic Brain Injury — The Power to Change a Life Part 3 of 3

Please read Part 1 and Part 2 for context. Thank you.

“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 have only 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.

And so let me encourage you — as my friend encouraged me. Begin to share your experience, strength and hope — with the people in your world — in ways that work for you. Commit yourself to the journey and do not worry about the process. The process will take care of itself. More will be revealed to you. You will learn — as I have with Second Chance to Live — as you go.

And remember you alone “can present the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation. Do that which is assigned to you and you can not hope too much or dare too much.

“My mother said to me, “If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.” Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.” Pablo Picasso

Be yourself! You are an answer to someone’s prayers.

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31
Jan

Brain Injury and Rehabilitation Part 2 of 2

Please read Part 1 of 2 for context. Thank you.

If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to live the life that you have imagined…you will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau

I have heard that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. If I focus on the thousand miles I may never begin my journey. On the other hand, if I focus on putting one foot in front of the other — figuratively speaking — before long I will be able to look back and see how far I have come on my journey. My progress will become obvious because I decided to take that first step. Your rehabilitation process may look like that journey of a thousand miles. Consequently, you may be overwhelmed and daunted by what lies ahead. My encouragement to you my friend is to take that first step in your rehabilitation process and once your have begun keep moving.

Let me encourage you with this my friend. You are not alone. Through my rehabilitation process I too have considered if taking the first step would be worth the effort. Let me share with you what I have learned. The first step has paid huge dividends.

One of the lessons that I have learned — through my rehabilitation process as a brain injury survivor — is that when I do not give up on myself or my process I grow stronger. I may have set backs and disappointments, but those experiences do not have to slow my process. I can learn from them and decide to start again. On my journey in the martial arts I have learned a valuable lesson. The process far exceeds the destination. As I have been taught through my disappointments and set backs I have been prepared to fulfill what is required of me. Through my rehabilitation process I have grown strong enough to move one step closer to my black belt.

As a brain injury survivor, my rehabilitation process has prepared me to use my gifts, talents and abilities in ways that work for me. In the process I have be prepared to pursue my destiny.

Be assured my friend your toil is not in vain. Like a butterfly that has to break  free from it’s cocoon — in order to be able to fly — so you will grow stronger through your rehabilitation process. You will learn to fly again. You will reach your goals and experience your dreams. You will learn to use your gifts, talents and abilities in ways that work for you and you will fulfill your destiny.

Be encouraged my friend, take that first step in your rehabilitation process and then keep moving.

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12
Nov

Traumatic / Acquired Brain Injury– Do Not Give Up on Your Dreams! Part 3 of 3

Please read Part 1 and Part 2. Thank you.

What I thought had been in vain — all my rigorous training prior to going into the hospital — prepared me spiritually, physically and emotionally to be able to meet the demands of the test.

I share the above with you to encourage you to not give up on your dreams. Our journey together is not about comparison, but about identification. Our dreams may be different, but our determination to succeed in the face of disappointment and discouragement can be the same. Our hard work, determination and tenacity is not in vain. What might appear to be a set back, may in reality prove to show you something about yourself that you would not otherwise comprehend. You may also find — as I did — that you have more in you than you thought you did. Be encouraged my friend!

When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either. Leo Burnett

I hope my Sensei decides that I am ready to begin the black belt cycle in January to be able to test for my black belt in October 2009, but I know if he does not I have accomplished something I previously did not know was possible at 51 years of age.

Per your information I will include below what we had to accomplish the day of the progress check on November 8 from 9 am – 5 pm.

Black Belt Cycle Qualifying Progress Check — November 8, 2008 Saturday

The test began at Freedom Park at 9 am. This is how the test evolved. We had to first run three laps around the park — lake — 2 miles. The next phase of the test was to do 500 jumping jacks and then run 3 more laps around the park — 2 more miles — followed by another 500 jumping jacks all with in 30 minutes. The next phase involved 4 different stations — to rotate through– 5 minutes at each station. One station was to do 100 push ups in five minutes, the next station was to do wind sprints — 75 feet — over and over again every 30 seconds for 5 minutes, the next station was to do 500 crunches in 5 minutes, the final station involved doing 10 froggie jumps followed by 5 push ups over and over again for 5 minutes. The 1st phase of the project test lasted 1 hr and 40 minutes.

When we completed this part of the test we drove back to the martial arts school. When we got there we got dressed in our gees — martial arts gear — and then the 2nd phase of the progress check began. The 2nd phase lasted for 2 hours. During the 2nd phase we did a tremendous amount of jump roping, demonstrating various types of punches, kicks combinations, Kata’s and grappling skills — chokes, arm bars and other skills. We then did focus mit drills — with a team mate — jabs and crosses for 10 minutes each — with a team mate at various speeds and degrees of power in our punches. Following the jab and cross drills on the focus mits we switched to doing alternating hook punches on the focus pads — with a team mate — at various speeds and degrees of power in our punches. We then had to do 250 hard round kicks on a heavy bags. Once we were done with this gauntlet of physical activity Sensei dismissed us for our lunch break which lasted from 1-2:30. After speaking with a marathoner at a local running shoe company on Friday concerning what would be good to have for lunch the day of the test I brought a few protein bars — a MOJO bar and a Cliff Bar Friday afternoon at Wal-mart. I had these 2 bars along with 2 containers of Propel a vitamin drink.

At 2:30 we began the 3rd phase of the project test. The 3rd phase consisted of 80 minutes of grappling — 3 minute rounds — with about 15 or so different students and instructors. Right after grappling ended Sensei had us pad up to begin the next activity — free sparring. Free sparring lasted for 60 minutes — 3 minute rounds — with about 15 different students and instructors. At the end of sparring Sensei gave us our last assignment — to be done with a 3 man team. The assignment consisted of 2 rounds. Each round consisted of each member doing 100 gut busters with the second team member pushing the legs of the first team member to the ground and counting to 100. The 3rd team member held a left leg side kick out above the ground until the person doing gut busters completed their 100 gut busters. Once each person had done their 1st 100 gut busters, we repeated the process with the 3rd member of the team holding their right leg side kick above the ground.The team rotated through once and then repeated the cycle as the one team member held their right leg side kick out until the 1st team member completed their second set of 100 gut busters. When our team completed the 2nd rotation of gut busters our test was over. We ended a little after 5 pm.

You may send your question or comment to me by clicking on this link: Contact Page

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18
Jun

Second Chance to Live – Moving toward our Goals

Hi, and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am happy that you decided to stop by and visit with me. You are always welcome around my table. In my experience I have found that life is best learned through a curve. When I can relax and enjoy the process I am able to grow because of what I am learning. I am able to find fascination in the moment.

In my experience I have found that when I want to accomplish a goal, the goal is much easier to accomplish when I break down the goal into manageable segments or objectives. As an example I will use the goal of baking a cake. The cake will not be complete apart from all the necessary ingredients, but I do not have to be overwhelmed because I do not have all the ingredients.

Because I realize that I do not have to have all the ingredients – right now – I can keep my head where my feet are planted. I can take one step at a time towards the baking on my cake.

When I make the decision to accomplish a goal, I can sit down with a pen and a piece of paper. By sitting down and writing out how I can accomplish my goal, I become aware of the ingredients that I will need to bake my cake. A little salt, a little flour, a little baking power and a little oil. As I realize what I am going to need to bake my cake (accomplish my goal) I am able take the necessary steps to prepare to bake my cake.

In the pursuit of my black belt in the mixed martial arts I have had to learn how to combine my kicks, punches elbows, knees and my grappling skills. In the process I have needed to develop and fine-tune my muscle memory. I am not saying that I have achieved the goal of my black belt, but I am moving in that direction. In the pursuit of obtaining my black belt I am learning to bake my cake through various drills.

As I have spent time developing my individual body part drills – legs (kicking) hands (punching) knees (thrusts), elbows (strikes) and grappling skills – I have learned how to combine my punches, kicks, knees, elbows and grappling skills.

If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to live the life that you have imagined… you will meet with success unexpected in common hours.  Henry David Thoreau

As you listen to, watch or read my articles and questions come to mind, please send those questions to mind. All questions are good questions. In the event that you would like to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.To do so, please use the below contact form. I will respond to your comments and questions.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day.

Craig

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14
Jun

Second Chance to Live and Letting Go of Unrealistic Expectations

Hello my friend and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. Over the past several weeks I have been speaking to topics that have been crucial to my recovery and in my healing process. Through my process I found that I had to address my denial, anger and resentment to move beyond that which was blocking my relationships: my relationships with the God of my understanding, with other people and with myself.

Through my process I discovered that one of my biggest hindrances — in life — involved my critical nature. I discovered that my need to be perfect was driven by my attempt to avoid criticism, ridicule, rejection and self-loathing. Because I was unable to meet the demands of perfection I internalized ongoing frustration and anger. My frustration perpetuated my need to overcompensate and over achieve in order to maintain my perceived relationship with God, with other people and with myself.

Before I addressed and confronted my denial, anger and resentments through my grieving process I treated other people with the same contempt that I showed myself. My contempt was manifested through the unrealistic expectations that I placed on God, other people and myself.

Through my experience and by addressing and confronting my denial, anger and resentments I grew in my awareness. First of all I realized that NONE of the relationships that I sought to sustain were healthy. I discovered that I either took hostages or was made to be a hostage in my relationships. I found that my feelings of inferiority alienated me from the very relationships that I sought to cultivate. I also discovered that I unconsciously projected my shame into my relationships through my unrealistic expectations.

My shame subsequently sought to control my relationships because I believed that I needed to do a dance to maintain those relationships. My denial, anger and resentments — through my shame — led me to believe that my relationships could only be sustained through a specific set of dance steps. Essentially, I believed that I needed to make the person – that I sought to be in a relationship — OK with me, so that we could be OK, so that I could be OK with me.

Through my process, I discovered that my unrealistic expectations served to perpetuate the dance.

Through my process I have grown in my awareness. In my awareness I have come to recognize that I no longer need to participate in any dance to be OK with me. Consequently, I have been able to let go of my need to be perfect. I have traded the notion of perfection for the pursuit of excellence. My drive to fulfill unrealistic expectations has faded away and I am learning to trust the process, a loving God and myself. Consequently, I am learning to have a relationship with myself.

Here is my Contact page. Send comments and questions and I will respond to you.

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8
Dec

Traumatic Brain Injury –The Power of It — Discussion

Hi Friends,
Yesterday I wrote a post, Traumatic Brain Injury and the Power of It and thought I would include the post below to generate discussion. You and I are confronted with our own “it”, our unique “it” because we are unique people. The way in which we chose to address our “it” invariably will impact the quality of our lives. Although we may feel stuck because of our “it”, the good news is that we do not have to remain stuck or immobilized by our “it”. Instead, you and I can be empowered to look for resplendent solutions that will significantly empower our lives, so that we can live the life we have imagined. Our “it” will consequently become our catalyst.

We have the power to choose. We can choose to focus on our “it” in the land of “Poor Me” or we can choose to look for solutions in the land of “Possibility Me”.

I want to open up the discussion with a few of the questions that I have asked myself. One of the first questions that I need to ask myself when I am feeling stuck is, “Are you focusing on the problem or are you looking for a solution?” Secondly, I need ask myself, “Are you willing to look for a solution?” If I am having a hard time being willing, I can ask the God of my understanding to help me to become willing. As I become willing — which many times comes after I have become sick and tired of being sick and tired of getting similar results — I begin to look for solutions. Through being honest with myself I can begin to ask myself pointed questions. Below are several of those questions.

What is the “it” in my life? Why are you focusing on your “it”? What can I do about my “it”? What practical steps can I take to empower my life? What solutions can be applied to my particular “it”? How can I enhance the quality of my life because of my “it”? In my experience, I have learned to ask questions and do my research. Are there resources that I need to use to help me live and thrive because of my “it”? I have also found that the squeaky wheel does indeed get the grease. Persistence and tenacity pays huge dividends. Consequently, at times I have had to keep knocking on the same door.

Now that I have shared some of the questions I have asked myself, I would encourage you to sit down with a piece of paper and a pen and begin to ask yourself some of the same questions. The answers to those questions may be different for you my friend. The exercise is to encourage and motivate you to realize that your circumstances are not meant to keep you down, but they are meant to build you up. As you are honest with yourself, your answers will come. You will find practical solutions. Your solutions will lead you to live the life that you have imagined.

Traumatic Brain Injury and the Power of “It”

Posted by secondchancetolive on December 2, 2007

Hi, and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. You are always welcome at my table. I have been thinking about a simple, but profound truth. Each day, actually every hour, in every minute we have the power to chose. You and I can make a decision to learn to live because of the “it” that is our lives. When I accept “It is as It is” in my life, I can begin to learn to live through the power of choice, because of the power of “it”. Several years ago I read a quote and found a renewed sense of hope. We no longer need to remain stuck in a place of helplessness or hopelessness because we have the power of “it”.

“If you do not like something, change it, if you can not change it, change the way you think about it.”

Because we are created to be empowered beings, you and I can make the decision to accept what “is” and then make a decision to thrive in or through whatever “it” may be in our lives. You may think or believe “it” is meant for your harm. I have good news; you and I are because of our “it”. Please read, Following your bliss…regardless. The “it” in our circumstances may appear to be unfair because we may be stuck in a box of expectation – expectation for ourselves or because of the expectations that people have for us. The good news is that you and I were not created to be a doing that strives to meet or measure up to anyone’s expectation for us. Our “it” does not have to fit into the box of anyone’s expectations. Our destinies call to us through our “it”. “It” has been given to us as a gift for our good.

Be encouraged my friend, you and I have been created to thrive because of our “it”. We have been created to run our own race because of our “it”. There is no need to compare our “it” to anyone else’s “it”, because those individuals can not run our race. Your and my “it” conditions us to live the life that we have imagined so that we can dream again. The “it” in our lives becomes the threshold that prepares you and I to be who we have been created to be in this life. Our essence is made manifest through our “it”. Your and my “it” sets us free to excel through our creative capacity. Our creative uniqueness is enhanced because of our “it”. The “it” in our lives prepares you and I to be. You and I are equipped to live our destinies because of the strengths that we develop through the power of our “it”.

Final Thought:
As an individual who has lived with an invisible disability for over 40 years I completely understand how our “it” can appear daunting and overwhelming at times. Apart from a positive perspective any traumatic brain injury survivor could easily give up on their process, a loving God and on themselves. Remember that with everything there is a learning curve. Please read my posts, Traumatic Brain Injury and the Elephant and The Measure of a Champion.

My motivation is to encourage, motivate and empower not to minimize or marginalize what you are experiencing. Your struggle is real, but that is not the end of the story. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. As we keep moving and do not give up on our process, on a loving God and or on ourselves, before long we will be able to look back and see how far we have come.

All material presented on Second Chance to Live is copyright and cannot be copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Craig J. Phillips, MRC, BA

1
Aug

From a Seed…

Welcome back to Second Chance to Live. You are always welcome at my table. I have thinking about progress over the last several days. Reality has revealed that with out a seed nothing can grow. I can get excited when I plant a seed, because with time, attention and encouragement the seed will grow. Although I may get discouraged — at times — because the seed is not growing as fast as I would like, I can be satisfied.

In the process of training for my black belt in the mixed martial arts, I have to learn specific Kata’s or forms. Because of the damage to my right frontal lobe, I have difficulty learning sequences. Each Kata requires mastery of a series of specific moves, stances and combinations. Each Kata consists of between 24 to 56 moves, combinations with specific stances to be mastered. Because I have difficulty remembering sequences, mastering kata’s can be very daunting.

I have learned through my process that progress through repetition is the only way that I can hope to learn sequences. The longer the sequence, the longer it takes for me to learn. My commitment to learn the sequence (s) has to over ride my feeling overwhelmed. Determination in the face of not being able to remember the sequence –until I have done the kata a bazillion times – keeps me from giving up on the process and myself. Slowly, but surely I am remembering and executing the moves, blocks and stances.

I have been a brown belt for approximately 18 months. I believe my Sensei (instructor) is going have me enter the 8 month long preparation next March to test for my black belt in October 2008. You may have a specific goal that you are working towards my friend, however your disability or injury may slow your progress. My encouragement to you — as I need to encourage myself — stay in the process. Your process is specific to your journey, therefore resist comparing yourself to anyone. You are enough.

So if you are tempted to give up and throw in the towel, “Do even think about that alternative”. You were born for magnificence. More will be revealed so that you can live the life that you have imagined. Keep learning, growing and enjoy the process. The journey is more valuable than the destination. You will grow stronger and you will learn how to compensate for your disability. You will fulfill your dreams and your destiny will be made manifest because you decided to plant a seed.

All material presented on Second Chance to Live is copyright and cannot be copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Craig J. Phillips, MRC, BA

27
Apr

I am a Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor

Perfectionism

Twinkle, Twinkle little star
How far did you really fall?
Or was it only expectation
That left you feeling obscure

Malady, malady of contentment
Fleeting as a falling star
Was it there at the stare?
To be a glare, opaque

Brilliance as it were
Yet appearing in despair
Of the air, perfectionism declare
It was complete, now insecure

Greatness, Triumph, Celebration
Minimize, oh there
Because was it really clear
Or only a buoyant mirage unclear

Declare

I wrote this poem a little over 11 years ago. I wrote the poem at a time in my life when I could not accept myself. I was still in living in denial. Sure I had been in a car accident at the age of 10, had an open skull fracture, was in a coma for 3 weeks, but that did not matter. Having an acquired brain injury had not stopped me from obtaining my undergraduate and graduate degrees. Much of my identity was connected to my ability to achieve academically. Consequently, I spent much of my time intellectualizing my experiences.

I had a difficult time accepting my deficits and limitations. I lived in the shadows of other people’s expectations. I regularly bought into other people’s denial systems. I shamed myself for my not being more. I had a very difficult time reconciling my ability to achieve academically (read my post, My Journey thus Far for more information) with my inability to maintain employment. This discrepancy also befuddled both my family and my friends. Consequently, I spent a great deal of time and energy in my attempt to overcompensate for my limitations and deficits. Reality nevertheless proved that I was indeed disabled.

Over the past 11 years I have come to terms with being a traumatic brain injury survivor. I have come to accept myself for who I am and what I can give to others. I share from my experience, strength and hope. I no longer seek to be perfect, just excellent. I also believe that my hope comes from my relationship with the God of my understanding. He alone has the big picture.

In the event that you are also a traumatic brain injury survivor please accept your condition. It is as it is. When I stopped trying to be something I was not (someone with out a disability) my life changed for the better. I found that my ability to move beyond perfectionism started when I began living life on life’s terms. When I learned to love and accept myself, just as I am, my ability to create began to flourish. You no longer have to be more than you are. You are enough! Focus on what you do have, not on what you may longer have because of your injury.

The pursuit of excellence involves a journey, not a destination. I had to learn not to judge my efforts. I had to begin living by the principle of progress not perfection. When I stopped trying to prove my worth, I was able to accept the notion of progress. Perfection is a hard taskmaster. Progress is a gentle coach. Don’t give up on yourself. You are worth your best effort. Make excellence your pursuit; to be the best you. That is what I attempt to pursue as a traumatic brain injury survivor. I am not less than, nor am I more than anyone. I am enough, just for today.

I am glad you are part of the family. You are wonderfully you. I am glad we have had this time together. I also look forward to your next visit. Have a great day!

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30
Mar

Inch by Inch

Welcome back to my world. I am glad you decided to stop by and rest. Recently I have been asked how I overcame specific challenges after the car accident, when I was 10 years old. Please read my post, My Journey thus Far). In many cases I applied persistence to the task at hand. Perseverance coupled with persistence helped me to overcome many obstacles.

Dogged determination has helped me to keep going despite disappointments and set backs throughout my life. For many years, my will to endure was driven by perfectionism and shame. I functioned to survive emotionally and spiritually. Perfectionism and shame motivated me, however they never let me celebrate my success. The bar of achievement seemed to be raised on a regular basis. I was driven to defend my being through achieving.

As I have shared in another post, I became what Terry Kellogg first posited, a human doing.

I would recommend — from what I have learned through my struggle – that you make excellence and progress your motto’s, as you heal and recover. My healing and recovery process continues to this day, although my brain injury happened nearly 40 years ago. I have to overcome on a daily basis from the affects of interacting with non-disabled individuals.

It is as though I have to defend myself because I have an invisible disability. I am frustrated by the indolence of those individuals who choose not to understand. They seem to want to blame me for their lack of tolerance. I am sure you can identify with me on some level, even if you do not have a disability. For those in the disabled community who are reading this post… I hear you shouting, “Amen Brother!”

For some, ignorance seems to be a terminal disease. Thank God that I do not have to buy into their unwillingness to understand that I have a disability. I am not the problem.

In my personal life, I learn best through repeated repetition. Physically speaking, as I train in the martial arts, muscle memory is essential for me to learn and retain new information. As I train, I drill, and then drill again and then drill some more. Repetition is the mother of all that I learn. I believe that tenacity played a big role in my learning how to walk, talk and speak in complete sentences after waking from the 3-week long coma nearly 40 years ago.

For those who have to re-learn, keep marching. Read my post, Small Successes. Before long you will look back and see how much progress you have made.

I continue to learn through repetition in all of the dimensions that make me who I am in this life, i.e. my soul life, my physical endeavors and my spiritual life. The difference these days is that I am motivated to succeed by my desire to pursue excellence. I have given myself permission to fall and get back up again. Progress not perfection has become my creed.

As you listen to, watch or read my articles and questions come to mind, please send those questions to mind. All questions are good questions. In the event that you would like to leave a comment,  I would love to hear from you.To do so, please use the below contact form. I will respond to your comments and questions.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day.

Craig

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13
Mar

Painting your Portrait {aka}This is Not a Dress Rehersal

Welcome back and I am glad you came to visit. What an odd title. Painting your Portrait {aka} This is Not a Dress Rehearsal. The title sounds like a mystery novel made into a movie. However, I am not talking about something made in Hollywood. Look a little closer. That is right. I am talking about your and my life. Our lives are precious. We get to choose how we experience the journey. Choice gives us the responsibility to get involved with our lives. Wow. You mean I get to choose. Most definitely!

You may say to yourself or to other people, “You don’t know what I have too…” or “You don’t know how I…” or “If you only knew I …” To be honest with you, I have made similar statements during my life time. My challenge was to stop making excuses and begin living life on life’s terms. I would also encourage you to stop letting your “what”, “how”, and “only” be the reason why you hesitate.

If you believe you are stuck in a box, learn how to be happy in that box. If you can not find contentment in that box, use your creative energy to use the box to your advantage. Let gratitude be the vehicle you use to explore beyond the box.

Gratitude

Throughout much of my life, I minimized the “small things” as being insignificant. The idea of finding joy and wonder each day seemed pointless. Because I believed that my good was never quite good enough, I would not allow myself to find the joy that came through being grateful. I allowed myself to be persuaded that being grateful could only be experienced through achieving perfection. Consequently, I believed that achieving the spectacular was the only way that I could find satisfaction and contentment. I allowed myself to be distracted, rather than relishing what I could learn on my journey.

In my attempt to overcompensate (to be more than I could be), I was unable to recognize that life was a process and I was on a journey. The principle of progress not perfection was obscured by grit determination. In reality, I desperately needed to have my existence stamped by the approval of others. Pursuing approval and validation consequently obscured my intrinsic ability to celebrate life itself. My permission to be grateful became dependent on matters that were out of my control.

Through identifying and addressing limiting scripts, I came to understand that the above attitude pervasively undermined my ability to find delight. I now realize that gratitude can be experienced in each moment. As I decide to use all my senses, I find myself resonating with this present moment. My being comprehends wonder and I am in awe. I find myself celebrating in the now. Exuberance no longer needs to be reserved for the spectacular, nor do I need to wait for the applause from anyone.

Through making this decision, I find delight. When I look for the obscure, the shutter of my soul opens and I am enlightened. The eyes of my heart are able to behold what was once hidden from my awareness. Gratitude takes on new meaning and purpose. I find myself ushered into the light of living. As I continue in this light, I dedicate myself to the process of being. Being grateful adds true meaning to my life, whereas seeking approval and validation from others will only cultivate disillusionment.

As you listen to, watch or read my articles and questions come to mind, please send those questions to mind. All questions are good questions. In the event that you would like to leave a comment,  I would love to hear from you.To do so, please use the below contact form. I will respond to your comments and questions.

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18
Feb

Why can’t you be more like…

Society throws that the notion at us all the time. Advertising, commercials, magazines, movies and so on. Geesh. And the sad reality is that these messages can be very subtle and alluring. I believe what makes this message insidious is that someone, somewhere wants to make you and I into a clone — somebody other than who we were created to be in this life.

A clone by definition is a exact replica of another figure or state. The motive of such conditioning becomes obvious with time. Those who seek to make us into a clone want to use and exploit us — for their purposes.

By nature, such conditioning discourages and shuns unique expression while being a clone is held in high-esteem. Consequently, the status quo becomes the norm and mediocrity attacks excellence. Go along to get along is heralded as the banner of life, while the human spirit slowly dies. Living through doing — rather than being — becomes the rat race to bolsters who we are in the eyes of our peers.

What other people think and believe — in the process — become more important than what we think and believe. Acquisition of “toys” become the measure of status and success. Clamoring to prove our worth substitutes who we are in an attempt to justify our worth and being. In the process, self-expression and creativity are dashed on the rocks of conformity and compliance.

I have come to see the above conditioning and subtle persuasion as an enemy to the life that God breathed into — my life. With my awareness , I made several decisions.

I decided to separate myself from the notion of, “Why can’t you be more like…” I made the decision to start celebrating who I was created to become in this life. I made the decision to start pursuing excellence, rather than perfection. Consequently, being became more important than doing. In the process, I broke free from the notion that my security could be found in the pursuit of  conformity and compliance. With my choice, I decided to start thinking outside of the box.

Consequently, I stopped listening to the notion that I was to be more like anyone. In the process I have discovered what it meant to be perfectly me.

Perfectly Me

As I reflected upon my own uniqueness, I was reminded that each person contains his or her own inherent brilliance. Like the snowflakes that fall from the sky, none are alike. Each crystalline shape is set with intricate wonder. Although their beauty lasts for a brief moment in time, a lesson can be learned.

Each person is created with specific greatness, waiting to be revealed in time. Through accepting this reality, I find delight. I accept the wonder that defines my being. I am a thriving prodigy. As I breathe, my precise essence is revealed. Anticipation calls to me. I behold the distinction that is taking shape and I revel.

My pursuit of excellence motivates me to work in tandem with the God of my understanding. Together we see a metamorphosis, resplendent with dignity and poise. Through staying the course, I perceive that change is not of me, but through me. I am a work in process, but in this very moment, I am perfectly me. I am perfectly free.

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