The Fewer Regrets Club
Big Dream Program Level I
An online program (or space) called
Petrichor: The Fewer Regrets Club.
"I don't want to die with my music still inside me"
There were two moments...
Moment #1: I once had a strong indication that i had maybe 2 or 3 seconds left to live. I was diving for sea urchins for my livelihood in those days, off the coast of Nova Scotia. On this particular day, the captain of our fishing vessel, with very little warning, had to start, and move, the boat to keep it from going onto the rocks in a big swell.
Though precautions had been hastily taken, my air hose - which was clamped to me - got caught and started winding up into the large spinning prop of our boat. Before I knew what was happening, I was being dragged, fast, through the water into the propellor. I could see it coming, and there was nothing to be done. I was moving too fast to reach my knife. An interesting few moments.
Due to the shouts of my work-mates, the captain got the propellor stopped when I was less than 2 feet from the steel blades. I recall the long moment staring at it, before realizing I also had no air to breathe with my airline all wound up. I was able to cut my way out of the situation and pop up to the relieved but ashen face of my oldest friend, Doug, staring over the stern. But - to my point in this email - something HAD gone through my mind that changed my life in the couple of seconds of not knowing.
I was 22yrs old, and my life did NOT flash like powerpoint slides across my vision. What did? All I could think of was my new girlfriend, Kathleen, and how sad she was going to be. I knew in that moment that she was ‘the one for me’ and I knew she felt the same. When I got back onto the boat, I was both feet into the relationship after that. The close call lasted seconds, the effect - much longer. 28 years and 2 now-grown-up kids since that day, and Kathleen and I are still together. I shudder to think I might have fucked that up from immaturity if I’d not had that ‘wake up call’.
It was not the only time this happened. I’ve had a few really close calls. All underwater, to my recollection. And I learned a lot from them that has stayed with me. These experiences have been entirely accidental (I don’t court adrenaline rushes. I’ve had my fill of them.), but have helped teach me that things can change really quickly.
They have also taught me the miraculous ‘priority-revealing' clarity of ‘deathbed regrets’ (as they are often called.) and how one might live differently if given a second chance. Even a short second chance. Imagine the person receiving a diagnosis that they have a week to live, only to discover that it was a mistake, and they have more likely a few years. That would feel, to some, not ideal, but a second chance nonetheless.
Petrichor - definition
(/ˈpɛtrɪkɔːr/) (PETRA-KOR) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek petra (πέτρα), "rock", or petros(πέτρος), "stone", and īchōr (ἰχώρ), the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.
Why I love the word
Aside from the word's innate delightfulness: when you smell Petrichor… it draws you instantly and entirely into the present moment. Where aliveness lives. Where you and nature live together. You can’t smell Petrichor, and worry, at the same time. :)
Moment #2: It has often been said that we are less afraid of dying than of not having really lived. I think dying can be very scary too, so maybe that’s not always true. But…
One of the wealthiest moments of my life happened quietly a little while back. I glanced in the mirror, a passing glance with no deep spiritual thoughts leading up to it. A chance moment, I caught my eyes in the mirror, and I realized with an unexpected ‘great peace’ that the moment I’d strove for my whole life had already happened and I’d just then noticed.
In that moment, I thought…
“Fuck me. I made it.”
I thought - “if I had to die tomorrow, I feel totally satisfied with the work I found, and was able to do, with my life.”
I still have ambitions, so it never occurred to me that I might have quietly stepped over a threshold at some point before that day and….
I was enough.
I’d done enough.
It was enough for me.
This was what, for more than two decades previous to the Big Dream Program, I most feared I would not find. Every day in those years (not hyperbole), I felt that I was meant to be doing something, but I didn’t know what it was.
I filled countless journals, took so many workshops, read self-help books until I was sick of them.
Then one day, a whole collection of threads came together at once, and the Big Dream Program popped through the soil of my life into the light. A tiny green shoot of a thing, and it had me from ‘hello’. I have not once questioned what I am doing with my life since.
Crucial lesson I want to Share
This moment in the mirror was the meeting point of not one thread, but two.
The work I do now is what I was so relieved to have found, and accomplished - to the point of being ok if I never got to do any more with it.
And this would never have been enough if I hadn’t also been able to find, and cultivate something else: The state of: “I’m good enough” - even for myself. Contrary to mainstream belief, this state does not come from accomplishment. It comes from cultivation of the state itself.
Of course, not surprisingly, this realization in the mirror did not make me lazy (as some people subconsciously fear). Instead, it gave me clearer ambition and has led to the book I’m writing, and this program. Bigger projects. But… there is almost no fear now. If I die before the book gets published, it won’t gut me. I am ‘good enough’ without it also.
Now, enough about me. What do YOU think about me? BAHAHAHA!!! (My wife’s favourite line.) OK, jokes aside now - Over to you:
If you found out you had x amount of time to live, and you were, perchance a little while later, looking in the mirror... what do you wish you would be able to think and feel in that moment?
If you had only seconds, or an hour, to live, what might matter to you?
If you had an hour, or a day, a week or a month, a year or 5 years… what might go through your mind? You will notice that these timeframes are different canvases, each with their own lessons to teach you. (We’re going to explore all of them right away in the Fewer Regrets Club.)
This program is about you getting ahead of a moment like this, by figuring it out now. Strategizing priorities. Doing some of what you’d regret… now. Or soon. Carpe Diem. Cultivating the inner state you wish. And not leave such a momentous (and inevitable at some point) life-moment to chance. And organizing the rest into a Fresh Start Plan.
(And deep heart hug going to those of you reading this who ARE in fact living with a tough diagnosis as we speak. I am hoping that I can facilitate around these topics in a way that is both light, as well as sensitive to the challenges you are dealing with, or completely understand if this is not a good fit for what you are needing right now.)
What I am working to achieve in this Fewer Regrets Club is to bring together for you:
- The satisfaction of accomplishments that matter a great deal to you (incl small ones like perhaps a phone call to a long-lost friend)
- AND cultivating a world-class capacity to feel peace, satisfaction, and good enough.
Most programs I see tend to focus on either productivity and manifestation, OR peace and contentment, without realizing what happens when you put the two together. With peace and contentment, it feels great in and of itself, but surprisingly creates the most astonishingly solid footing and ambition to accomplish and experience things that are very important to you. They work ASTONISHINGLY together. A symbiotic union if ever there was one.
Most people I know who come to feel more peace then want to do something very meaningful. Accomplishment grows well in the soil of peace and ‘enoughness’.
We’re doing both in Petrichor.
What do you hope to feel?
When I looked in the mirror, the words that felt so relieving in my soul were; ‘Fuck me. I made it.’ What would you love your words to be?
Maybe things like…
I really lived.
I really like myself.
I am satisfied.
I have a lot fewer regrets than I might have if I hadn’t prepared for this moment.
I found the things I love, and got to share them enough to feel satisfied by.
I did not waste this life.
I feel peace, surprisingly.
I do not want to go, and yet… I am also just a little excited to discover what’s next.
I am so glad I took Alex’s program. Pfew. (ok - I am putting that in as a blatant sales tactic. Ignore this one.)
I believe it’s possible to create that state you wish, in your words, from scratch. Even before accomplishments, or alongside them. And often, speedily enough. Another reason to 'Carpe Diem' this in my opinion. Not having felt that ’state’ is very likely the biggest regret you'd have.
I have already done one thing!
"I just wanted to share that - a couple days after brainstorming some misc things for the 1 year audit - I have already done one thing! It was free, and didn’t take long to do - but I've been meaning to do it for a couple years and yet something had been holding me back: fear, procrastination - who knows. It feels good to have gotten the ball rolling! I’ve started considering things I’ve been meaning to do in a different way: more of a ‘why not now?’ approach, instead of just ‘one day I might do that…"
Carla Grundison, founder of Intuition Continuum.
"Time spent in this community is a highlight of my week. It's a space where life feels not only more meaningful but also fun.
I’ve noticed a new sense of wellbeing followed by breakthroughs - on a dream I'd almost given up on (and nearly forgotten) and my capacity to love myself more.
The way the lessons are designed, I notice something is happening sort of subconsciously to create "shifts" in my quality of life and in my being, and I've been very inspired by what other people in the community have been sharing about their experiences.
I hardly know anyone like Alex, who has a solid capacity to see the best in people."
~Jen in Victoria, BC, Canada
"I would highly recommend this program to anyone stuck in overwhelm as I was.
The pacing and gradual integration have allowed me to not only build a system that produces results, but more importantly, create a why that motivates me when I’m not. Who wants to tackle another mundane chore on the list? Not me. Who wants to be a published author living abroad in winter? Definitely me!!
There is purpose to doing things now, a sense of accomplishment, and peace of mind. I have never felt that way before, or allowed myself to appreciate what I’ve done, only seeing all that is not done, and ending each day disappointed in myself, in the lack of progress and once again… overwhelmed.
In the Petrichor circle I no longer languish, I flourish."
~ Molly in Montréal, Canada
Sampling of activities, exercises, and modules expected inside the program:
- Pausing and ‘unpacking' the person you see in the mirror. Wow. So much there when you pause and unpack that moment.
- Priority-unlocking journal questions: eg. If you had, potentially, x amount of time left (to live.)… what goes through your mind?
- The State-Cultivator. Creating how you wish to feel. Two methods.
- For your accomplishments: meet The Architect, The Artist, and the Solid. (You’ll love the solid.)
- Lots of stories, like: The diver with a shovel and no boots.
- High-end 'Lifestyle Architecture' Toolbox curation. Collect some amazing tools for this life-work.
- Marie-Kondo some pain-in-the-ass stuff TF out of your life. Gone. Pfew. Lighter. Including the Elegant Extraction method: how to get yourself out of stuff you no longer want to do. Including wording template. Ahhh… more breathing space.
- Life should get lighter and easier with most weeks’ interactions with this Petrichor program.
- Meaningfulness assignments (optional?): questions you can ask a friend or loved one to help them with all this.
- Optional drop-in work-parties.
- Self-guided field trips offline - what to watch for.
Let our social togetherness do some of the work for you. Apparently, we are 5x more likely to succeed with something that is meaningful but easy to procrastinate on - by doing it with like-minded people. 500%. That is no small help.
Here's one of the first videos inside Petrichor. It will give you a great feel for the vibe, and what to expect...
- Module 1: Getting Started
- Module 2: The Audit - figuring out what is most important to you, especially if it's been a bit hidden.
- Module 3: The Studio - a new way to conceptualize your personal projects!
- Module 4: The Big Dream Toolbox - inspiring tools to help progress happen more peacefully.
- Module 5: Your OWN big project! Achieve something you've always wanted to.
Do at your own pace:
- I will NOT be rushing or overwhelming ANYONE to ‘pack stuff in’.
- Many exercises / lessons can be done offline.
- There are no classes, but we do have Genius Hours! (1hr times that we can work together at the same time on wherever we are in the program.)
Investment after free trial:
- $100 CAD / mo. Stay as short or as long a time as you wish. Cancel anytime to not pay for the next month.
- If you did 1 single lesson in a whole month, and it clarified something for you, created a bit of spaciousness, simplified your plans, helped you see something that is not as important as you thought it was, and something else that is, I'd say use that approach to gauge if this program is worth giving a spin for you or not.
- That, and the fact that our warm social togetherness in here (accountability, friendship) has been far more helpful to participants and their projects than I could have imagined when I started this.
The Big Dream Atrium Café: our private community on a platform called Circle. All program content and activity is happening inside there as we speak.