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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET What Is a Second Chance? Through courage we do not reduce our fear, we go beyond it. —Chögyam Trungpa A second chance is the opportunity to come alive in the moment with the wonder of a child, witnessing people and situations as if for the first time. A second chance is an unexpected gift that takes our breath away. A second chance is a direct pathway to a grateful heart and an astonished mind. A second chance is a sacred glimpse at what is timeless and matters most. When I ease up on my need to control outcomes and judge myself and others, I free myself to marvel. What I then see is marvelous, regardless of (or perhaps because of ) how challenging it can be. Second chances appear like a gift left at our doorstep. When we answer the door, we notice the gift and may never know who left it. Other second chances come from letting go of what holds us back. These second chances take work. But fear not, the work is always rewarded. Choosing to be open to as many second chances as your heart can bear changes everything. Your Brain on Second Chances Research on the adult brain illuminates the pages of this book. Without saying so directly, neuroscientists are helping us see what second chances are all about. New studies, released daily, debunk or clarify old understandings. Just when we thought we knew something for sure, we read that neuroscientists are spilling out new information to challenge the old. I find this more liberating than threatening. The landscape of the brain is not flat. It’s as complex and full of mysteries as each one of us. Turns out our brains are wired to both avoid and embrace second chances. Turns out our twenty-first-century brains are enticed away from second chances by the allure of streaming, unprioritized information. Turns out we can make choices to find second chances both within and outside of that endless stream. 4  Chapter 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL