Second Chances Come in Many Forms
I've been having a lot of conversations lately around the idea of making the most of a second chance. As you know, for the past ten years, I've invested quite a bit of my time, energy, and love, speaking to and working with cancer survivors, caregivers, and really second chancers of all shapes and sizes. People who’ve endured all manner of life-threatening and life-altering situations.
A fairly common theme amongst us “second chancers” is this idea of wanting to make the most of it in order to honor: 1) the experience we went through, and 2) those who didn't make it. After we’ve survived, we’ve run marathons, raised money, started blogs, and taken the stage, all in the name of honoring some change that this chance has wrought inside of us.
What I've observed among you extraordinary people are many big common themes. Some of these themes empower us. Many of them prevent us from making the most of it. At least one of these common themes is behind any step back we take. This theme is related to the fears we feel. Three primal fears in particular. The Three Dragons, I call them.
Primal Fears - The 3 Dragons
The three primal fears that I’ve observed pretty much every fear we experience can be traced back to are: Loneliness, Poverty and Death. These fears manifest themselves in different ways that are easily recognizeable in our lives. I fully intend to wield an exhaustive treatment of these in a book or recording at some point soon. For now, I’ll share the basics. I think you’ll relate!
Dragon #1 - The fear of somehow losing the love, respect or admiration of someone else drives many of our behaviors. Often without our conscious awareness. The famed fear of failure is often closely associated with this. How often in your life have you “pretzeled” yourself and made yourself something you’re not, behaved in a way that you felt was incongruent or said something you just didn’t mean in order to keep someone in your life, keep them in the conversation or keep them from leaving - so you wouldn’t be alone?
Dragon #2 - The fear of losing everything is another biggie. An experience many folks I’ve met with have shared involves an illness or another situation that has taken us dangerously close to or deep into financial disaster. In my case, catastrophic financial disaster both during the illness and during the process of healing. It took nearly ten years for me to recover financially while my body healed in less than a year. My fear of bankruptcy often led me to ignore important financial warning signs - even sometimes tearing up dunning notices - because I was too afraid to take the situation by the reigns. Take me out, put you in. Can you relate? Where are you putting off important financial decisions because of your fear of the outcome?
Dragon #3 - Finally - and perhaps most obviously - the fear of chronic illness or death stops us from being in the moment. This encompasses the fear of not being healthy and well and vibrant and losing the ability to live with vigor. This Dragon often creates a fear that is so paralysing that it not only completely prevents us from making the most of a moment, but it leads us to actual destructive decisions - ones that hurt us more. Research on stress and its destructive influence on the body is pretty much widely accepted now. If anyone can appreciate the value of a moment, it's a second chancer, cancer survivor, or a caregiver.
My guilt cripples me
Anyone who has been through an illness or some type of situation that threatened their life has been made aware of the value of the moment. But do we make the most of it? I reluctantly confess that since my recovery, I have often not played “full out”. I rarely feel guilt. But when I do, it’s not because of anything I’ve DONE. When I feel guilt, it cripples me. No, when I feel guilt, my guilt brings me to my knees. It reminds me that I’ve been given a second chance and threatens me with the idea that I may have squandered it! Have you ever felt that you’ve let a big moment slip through your fingers having failed to seize it?
The conversation around these three fears has been common for me in the past ten years. I call them The Three Dragons because they are a particularly poignant visual for me. During my treatment I often woke up in the middle of the night. During my chemotherapy (24 hours a day for 7 days) I would often wake up nauseous and in pools of sweat. Powerful dreams and visualizations involving dragons came to me throughout the day and night.
Dragons and Irezumi
I asked a dear friend of mine, Bruce Kaplan who is a world renowned tattoo artist (www.LarkTattoo.com), about the imagery and what it meant. Bruce explained to me that in Irezumi - the ancient art of tattooing - the dragon always represents two things: both the protector of life and the bringer of death. As in life, there’s always a duality in that imagery. That was a very inspiring idea for me. I sort of held on to that imagery. When I was able to and my blood and my body were strong enough again, I went to Bruce’s studios on Long Island and had him apply on my shoulder a pretty cool tattoo of a dragon. This reminds me, of course, of what I've been through. It also reminds me of how important it has been for me, not to defeat those dragons but rather to befriend and tame those dragons.
Good news and Neuroplasticity
The dragon also reminds me that there's always good news under these fears. The fear has been put there by habit, by constant reinforcement of those fears. The constant observing of the references in our lives. The references have either come close to the reality that we fear, or approximate that reality enough that we mistake them for reality. We mistake them for reinforcement or references that support our believing that to be true.
Scientists have uncovered and have shared with us over the past several years the wisdom called Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is a term that basically means that we can retrain our brain. That's good news.
Some exciting new coversations!
I’m going to be leading a lot of conversations over the next 12 months in this community about Neuroplasticity and retraining our brain and many other ways we can use science and spirit to change our lives. I’m going to be sharing with you an opportunity to participate in some amazing conversations. We’ll be practicing some techniques that we can do and use to change the results we experience in our lives. Part of it includes a process that I've developed, I used in my own healing and has helped thousands of second chancers over that past ten years. It's called "Bio-transformative Meditation" and I'm eager to share this with you. We're going to be launching some products this year that support that and I’m very excited about sharing that with you.
For today, I just want to sort of plant the seed of hope. Today I just want you to know that it’s possible to overcome these fears. It’s possible to reprogram these habits and change our lives. It’s possible to take the action we know we need to take in order to move beyond the fear to make the most of the moment. The technology for doing this, the skills for doing it, the strategies for doing it are here, they're at our fingertips. And I’ve been studying them, putting them into practice and teaching them for a decade now. I look forward to rolling those out over the next year in a very accessible way.
Making The Most of It - Together
Finally, I'm so grateful that you have been a loyal member of my community. You've read my posts and you've liked my comments on Facebook and you've shared your experiences with me. You've been in the room and you've screamed, "Fantastic, George" and you've done all these things consistently with great sense of purpose and loyalty. I'm grateful for that.
As a way of sharing with you and expressing to you my gratitude for that, I want to invite you to participate on an absolutely complimentary call where I'm going to share some of this information that I've learned since my illness. I've had the great honor of working with tens of thousands of people across this beautiful country of ours and elsewhere. I would like to share some of this information that I've learned and come to really fully appreciate the value of it when it comes to getting ourselves to take action and make the most of it, make the most of the moment, make the most of the day.
“ask George anything about the second chance experience”
Please join me on this free call on Tuesday, March 31st at 1pm, PST. That call is going to be a free questions and answer call. A pretty much “ask George anything about the second chance experience” call. Finding hope and connection in the cancer experience, surviving, making the most of the moment, care-giving and what the second chance means to the care-giver, and the second chance in general and what it means to us and our ability to meet the responsibility that comes with that beautiful opportunity.
I'm really eager to share this information with you. I'm really eager to share and have this conversation with you, so please tune-in to that call. Again, on Tuesday, March 31st at 1 PM, Pacific standard time. That is 4 PM, Eastern time. Please register for this call and put it in your calendar! By the end of the call, my promise to you is that you’ll feel empowered, have some tools and be more excited than ever to make the most of your second chance - even if your second chance is simply waking up in the morning!
I look forward to being with you on that call. I look forward to continuing to support you and really expressing my true deep gratitude for you, being in this community, helping it grow. We've got so many exciting things that are going to be happening in this community in the next couple of months, so please stay tuned. Please tell your friends about it, please share this email with people. They can subscribe to these emails by registering for the call using THIS LINK just as you can.
As a bonus, I'm including this meme. I hope you find it inspiring. If you would be so kind as to share it on your Facebook page, that would be awesome, too.
Live with vigor, love with all you've got and make the most of it!
PS: If you're know you're ready to register for this call, please click here to register to reserve your spot so that you don't get blocked out. The call will be limited to 100 listeners and I wouldn't want you to miss your opportunity to hear and participate.
PPS: Remember, only registered callers will be able to listen in, raise their hand and ask questions. I'm really looking forward to the dialogue. Take care and we'll see you on the call. Get ready to Make the Most of It!
PPPS: Please join Tracey on a FREE call Tuesday, March 24th at 1 PM PST/ 4 PM EST for a call to discover why you're holding yourself back and what it takes to start shining now! Click here for call details.
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