We admit, we must have been living under a rock, as this is the first that we have learned of fellow Canadian Neil Pasricha’s 3 A’s of Awesome TED. (Visit his Webby Award winning blog 10000 Awesome Things or read any 3 of his International Best Seller books).
This is yet another example of the power of reframing and how communicating from a place of abundance affects everything that we do. He is right, life is hard and not without its many challenges. However, we get to choose how we show up, how we build our relationships, and ultimately this choice shapes our life. Recently, my family was faced with such a challenge and I wanted to share our experience with you.
Late last month my husband was diagnosed with aggressive stage 3 Prostate Cancer, not awesome. Thankfully, it was discovered before it had time to spread. While I wanted to bury my head in the sand and have a tantrum screaming and crying “Why us? Why now? This isn’t part of our plan!” I knew being angry, resentful and sad about it wouldn’t solve the problem or help the situation. We have 2 kids (4 & 5 ½), 2 schools, work, daily commitments, life… clearly, there was no time for Cancer. I dug deep with my tools that we share with you and asked myself, what would I ask someone in this situation to do? How could I look at this differently? How could I reframe this challenge and not awesome situation to gain clarity and a new perspective? So I dug deep and this is what I came up with:
- Aggressive Stage 3 Prostate Cancer is ALL it is and it’s NOT going to take his life. With surgery it can be contained.
- It was found before it spread anywhere else making us THE LUCKIEST PEOPLE on earth.
- It gave us an opportunity to take stock of our lives and friends with a lens we would never have normally had, realizing how AWESOME our community really is and that so many things that we thought were ‘important’ turned out not to be so.
- We don’t take care of ourselves as effectively as we could be. Whether it’s being proactive in our health, our communication, our relationships, OURSELVES, changes needed to be made and new practices implemented. Again, a realization this lens gave us.
- Life is short and incredibly sweet. Wasting it on anger, judgment, resentment, criticism, and fear is simply not worth it. The ‘go-to’ tools so many of us default in daily situations of stress, being overwhelmed, or not living the life you want. As Neil Pasricha shows, it’s the “little” simple things that bring us such joy. How come it takes a not so awesome moment for us to appreciate that and bask in those moments? Our approach to life is now much fuller, freer, more joy and less “need”.
This reframe gave my husband peace, gave me courage, and empowered our family. I admit, most of our friends think we are in denial as we have such a positive and abundant attitude towards it; however, in some ways this cancer saved our lives.
We are consistently talking about the importance of being curious, open to new perspectives and possibilities, reframing all from a place of nourishment and filling ourselves up. What our family was able to do with our coaching culture tools, Neil Pasricha’s 3 A’s of Awesome demonstrates as well.
Since we have about 100 years to enjoy life, how are you going to choose to show up to yours? What tools do you use to dig deep with and how does it change your outlook?