My About Page
My name is Craig J. Phillips. The reason for my writing to you is to share a little about myself and to also encourage you to not give up on your dreams. My hope is that my experience will encourage you to not give up on your process or your self. My hope is that you will not let disappointment to keep you from pursing your bliss and your destiny. My hope is that you will not give up on hope, because – as I have found – more will be revealed in time. My hope is that as you read a little about my story, you will see your circumstances and experiences in a new light, you will find a way to follow your bliss in ways that will work for you and that you will be encouraged and empowered to follow your dreams.
I am a traumatic brain injury and survivor. My 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. 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 predicament. Although I had diligently applied myself – both academically and vocationally – I felt like some one all dressed up with no where to go and with no one seeming to want what I had to give, despite my efforts. After all of my struggles to succeed I found myself unable to succeed and was declared disabled by the Social Security Administration in 1999 and began receiving monthly SSDI benefits.
Although I had diligently applied myself both academically and vocationally for many years, I found myself being effectively discounted and dismissed. Although I felt discounted, dismissed and like some one all dressed up with no where to go, I still had a desire to follow my dreams and my destiny. 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 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 84 months I have written a total of now 1199 articles for Second Chance to Live. To view a list of the articles that I have written and published on Second Chance to Live, please visit my Site Map for my Articles. Here is a link to my Site Map for my Articles. My Site Map for my Articles contains a list of the titles of the articles that I have written. By clicking on individual title of the article, the article will open for you on Second Chance to Live.
On July 29, 2011 I created a You Tube channel to begin creating video presentations for individuals who learn better through watching and listening. To date I have created 205 video presentations for my Second Chance to Live 2dogbull You Tube channel. A list of these video presentations can be found on my Site Map for my You Tube Video presentations by clicking on the following link Site Map for my You Tube video presentations. 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.
I am a Counselor, Educator, Keynote Speaker and a Workshop Leader – Sharing Hope in the face of Adversity
In April 2013 I was a guest speaker at the Alaska Peer Support Consortium Conference held in Anchorage, Alaska. http://www.peerconference.org/. In May 2013 I conducted a workshop at the Embracing Life and Living Well after Brain Injury Conference held in Seattle, Washington http://www.tbiwashington.org in partnership with the University of Washington. In October 2013, I was a keynote speaker at the Southwest Conference on Disability 2013 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. I also spoke to how neuroplasticity has empowered my life. During my presentation, I shared a video presentation that a friend helped me to create to illustrate how neuroplasticity has empowered my life. To watch the video presentation click on this link: http://www.unrealmediaservices.net/CraigPhillips/KeyNoteV7.zip I wrote an article for Second Chance to Live to introduce the video presentation. Here is a link to the article Brain Injury, Neuroplasticity, Healing and Martial Art Disciplines.
A few comments that I received from my workshops in Anchorage and Seattle were:
“While listening to Craig a light bulb went off regarding my son who experienced a TBI (unknown to me) in middle school and some thing that may help him” and “I was extremely impressed how he showed us how determination is usually all it takes. I appreciate your story tremendously” and “I learned more about individuals with brain injuries” and “keep after your goal”.
“Extremely inspirational, grateful for the entire workshop. Didn’t feel like going & I feel completely uplifted by the experience with Craig”, “I have read Craig’s blog for years. Thank you for bringing him to the conference. He is amazing and very uplifting.”, “He shared his point of view on many levels so that various people could understand”, “Very caring speaker”, “A wonderful story of hope!”, “Craig has lived his subject and has persisted-good message to impart” and “A very inspiring speaker!”
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.
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
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
To read more about the back story of how Second Chance to Live came to be, please read my 2 part article, Back Story of Second Chance to Live by clicking on these 2 links: Back Story of Second Chance to Live Part 1 and Back Story of Second Chance to Live Part 2.
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 83 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 following high lighted links. Thank you.
To read a more detailed account of my journey and my process during the past 46 1/2 years, please read my 7 part series My Journey thus Far. Thank you.
Here are the links to the 7 parts of my series, My Journey thus Far. 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, more will be revealed to us in time. Be encouraged my friend, our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but they are meant to build us up.
“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
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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