Quite simply, if you want your mind blown wide open to what is possible, please read this book.
I’ve read the book and listened to the story in countless interviews and I still cry every time. It is amazing what we can achieve if we simply focus on what we truly want and never give up trying to get that.
Long story short, JJ Virgin’s son Grant was hit by a driver and left for dead in the street. (The driver was never found.) At the hospital, he was given less than 1% chance of survival. Her younger son replied “So you’re saying there’s a chance?” and it was game on for the family. They airlifted him to a hospital that would perform the surgeries that he needed to survive. They did research about how to heal the body and mind, and made sure Grant had everything he needed. No one was able to speak any doom and gloom in the room, only hope.
After a long, long process Grant started making small improvements. After many years of therapy and work, he is about 80% back to normal. This is amazing for someone that had almost no chance of surviving, let alone ever walking or talking or leading a normal life ever again.
The book tells the story of Grant’s recovery and how JJ Virgin dealt with it. The accident happened at the same time she was trying to launch her first book and revolutionize her career. While people were telling her to stop and take a break so she could be with her family she thought to herself that if she stopped she would never be able to take care of her family. She knew that her business was going to be what paid for the absolute best care for her son and she did not want money to be the reason he didn’t get treatment.
There were so many lessons in this book. Here are a few of my favorites.
I think my favorite chapter was one of the very last chapters in the book, and it was how she dealt with forgiveness. Even years after the accident and all the progress Grant makes throughout the book, Virgin still felt weighed down by the whole process, like she was stuck.
When Virgin realized she was still carrying around so much toxic energy from being angry with the driver she knew she needed to deal with it. She decided to put the driver on trial. She wanted a judge that would be fair and impartial, so she imagined Aslan from books. She got to be the prosecuting lawyer and imagined arguing every accusation at this woman. She blamed her and said everything she was thinking. When she had it all out, she switched places. Mentally, she stepped into the shoes of the driver. What would this woman have had to be thinking to do what she did? She defended the driver's position.
And this gave Virgin the clarity she needed to forgive.
It worked so beautifully that she repeated this process for everyone including Grant and herself. I loved this idea so much that I tried it too. It is a beautiful process that brings great relief if you are struggling to forgive someone. It is particularly powerful if you are trying to forgive yourself.
JJ Virgin is a health expert. She was teaching people how to eliminate harmful foods and keep their bodies in tip top shape. And thank goodness she practiced what she preached. When Grant was in the hospital, Virgin knew her health was more important than ever. If she had so much as a cold, she wouldn’t be allowed in the room with her son.
She packed her meals and she ran the steps up and down the hospital to get intense workouts in. She did research about what nutrition Grant needed to heal his brain and made sure he had plenty of Omega 3s. When he was eating, she brought coolers full of fresh food and made smoothies for him packed with nutrients that he needed.
More than anything this inspired me to keep my health in the forefront of my mind. Just like a car, if you do your regular maintenance it will run for a long, long time. The body needs to be taken care of every day, and those little choices matter much more than when we choose to go on binge diets. Do the small actions consistently, and your body will take care of you.
1 Focus and never, ever, ever give up.
The Virgin family fought so hard for Grant. Every step of the way. No was never an answer. They would accept “not right now” but no was never an option.
Small wins were always celebrated like big wins. Progress was focused on every single day. They had the goal to make sure Grant could walk and talk and live his life. He was encouraged to do what made him feel good. As he recovered he cultivated an interest in art that he did not have prior to the accident and it became a hobby for him that provided solace in tough times.
People who suffer severe brain injuries have a high risk of suicide because life is so difficult during recovery. Virgin shared stories of how Grant attempted to swallow pain pills to escape the pain. She got him help and helped him to redirect his focus. It’s not about the pain today. It’s about where you are going. Believe you can get there, and it does not matter how long it takes. It’s about the daily process, and never give up before you get there.
This book is full of miracles and lessons. And maybe the biggest lesson of all is that miracles are simply just a change in perception. Miracles can be as simple as being able to draw or swimming laps in the pool. It can be big goals, like launching a million dollar business no matter what bumps come in the way. But the only way to achieve those miracles in your own life is to believe that you can and to keep going.