The Gift of Acceptance
Janine Shepherd overcame massive obstacles and horrific injury to become a bestselling author, sought-after motivational speaker and inspiration to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
She was once an elite athlete, an Olympian in training whose dreams of sporting glory were dashed when she was horrifically injured in an accident and told she would never walk again. She refused to believe her doctors and the story of her amazing recovery and indomitable spirit were told in three bestselling books, a movie of her life and numerous television appearances and shows. Janine also became an inspiring motivational speaker and travelled all over Australia telling her story and instilling the Never Say Never spirit in all who listened to her. Over many years, Janine has found she has been as inspired by the many people she's met in the course of her travels as they in turn have been motivated and moved by her and her story.
Janine has come to realise that her life and everything she has learned from its challenges can be distilled in one simple phrase and defined by one outstanding quality: that of Acceptance. She believes that is truly the greatest gift of all, and one that we all need to nurture in ourselves in order to move on from tragedy and trauma and become the people we are meant to be. The Gift of Acceptance is a collection of her wisdom, insight and advice; a distillation of 25 years of struggle and learning on her part.
The Gift of Acceptance is really one for us all - to take and to pass on to others.
Janice Shephard's story reads like the plot of a Hollywood movie. A champion cross country skier in training for the winter Olympics, her life was irrevocably altered when she was run over by a truck during a training bicycle ride to the Blue Mountains. Doctors warned her parents that she was not expected to survive her ordeal. Even if by some small chance she recovered, she would never walk again. Janine's story of defying the odds and winning is both moving and inspiring. The title of her bestselling book, Never Tell Me Never, says it all. Janine has also authored two more books, Dare to Fly and Reaching for Stars, and is much in demand as one of Australia's most sought after motivational speakers.
The Gift of Acceptance
Allen and Unwin
Author: Janice Shephard
Interview with Janice Shephard
Question: Why did you decide to write The Gift of Acceptance?
Janice Shephard: The inspiration for writing The Gift of Acceptance came one day when I was riding my bike along the bike path. I was reflecting on a conversation I had with an elderly lady in a small country town. She told me she had recently lost a son and when I told her how sorry I was she replied, "No dear, just like you I have been given the gift of acceptance. No matter what happens in life, you just have to move on and make the best of it." I turned my bike around, rode home and started writing.
Question: How have you 'accepted' your fate?
Janice Shephard: The word fate seems too final for me. Rather, I see life a dance, forever shifting and changing. Every moment we have the opportunity to make different choices and rewrite the script of our lives. Accepting all of life, the painful and the joyful, has given me not only a new way of doing, but also of being. It has allowed me to make peace with my life.
Question: Was it difficult reliving the accident as your wrote The Gift of Acceptance?
Janice Shephard: When I wrote my first book, Never Tell Me Never, I relived my accident in a profound way, which was both painful and cathartic. Writing The Gift of Acceptance was a completely different experience for me. This book is a journey into my heart and soul. It is a very intimate book and it was a joy to write.
Question: How does The Gift of Acceptance differ to your other books?
Janice Shephard: Someone recently compared The Gift of Acceptance to me as an essential oil, which I thought was a lovely way to describe it. Although it is not an autobiography, in many ways it is the story of my life. I could not have written it if I had not been through the experiences I have had. Each page had been lived fully and I am still learning from it myself.
Question: What do you hope readers take away from The Gift of Acceptance?
Janice Shephard: I hope that readers will be able to reflect on their own experiences of acceptance as they journey through their own lives. With understanding and insight into the process of acceptance, we are able to heal the parts of ourselves that need to be nurtured and loved.
Interview by Brooke Hunter