How A Paraplegic Learned To Fly | Janine Shepherd


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What would you do if the Universe decided to throw a giant curveball at you that could potentially destroy your life? Today’s guest, Janine Shepherd, says that us humans are far more resilient than we know, and can bounce back from even the most life-altering tragedies. And she should know — her personal story of embracing a curveball and rebuilding her life from scratch will take your breath away.

In 1988, Janine Shepherd was an Australian champion skier headed to the Calgary Winter Olympics. Instead, she was the victim of a horrific accident on a training bike ride, suffering multiple, life-threatening injuries.

After almost six months in hospital and struggling to rehabilitate with permanent disabilities, Janine didn’t just learn to walk, she chose to fly! Starting flight training in a plaster body cast, she ultimately attained her commercial pilot rating, and even taught aerobatics. Told it was unlikely she would ever have children; she is now the proud mother of three.

Today, Janine Shepherd is an internationally-renowned speaker and author of six best-selling books. Her inspiring TED talk, “A Broken Body Isn’t a Broken Person.” has garnered over 1.6 million views, she’s been featured on Australian “60 Minutes” and “This is Your Life”, and has been recognised with her country’s highest honour, The Order of Australia.

Janine is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever talked to. I walked away from this conversation buzzing, ready to reclaim my power in areas where I’ve given it away, and determined to expand my beliefs about what’s truly possible.

So if you want to hear what it really takes to bounce back when life throws you a massive curve ball, how to build a bulletproof resilient mindset, and why tragedy does not need to define your life or hold you back from your dreams… then pop in those earbuds. This one’s for you.

In this episode we chat about: 

  • The life changing car accident that left her a paraplegic... and how she not only learned to walk again, but learned to fly (06:24)
  • The tough realities she faced after her accident, and how she moved through them to heal and grow (11:28)
  • Why we are not our body (and why a broken body does NOT mean a broken person) (15:24)
  • How to consciously rebuild and design your life when everything is turned upside down (and why it might be your biggest opportunity for evolution ever) (18:22)
  • Her genius strategies for embracing uncertainty (and why this skill is so crucial for healing and growth) (26:10)
  • How she overcame obstacles to learn how to fly (even though many would have given up) (28:18)
  • The best way to achieve true fulfillment (... and why most people do the exact opposite!) (31:25)
  • How to bust though old habits and programming so that you can create the life you dream of (36:45)
  • How to build next level resilience so that you can bounce back from absolutely ANYTHING (47:00)
  • Plus so much more!

Episode resources: 

TED Talk: A broken body isn't a broken person
The FREE Resilience Checklist
Ten Good Things Exercise
Build Your Unshakeable Core
Defiant by Janine Shepherd
Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
We Learn Nothing by Tim Kreider
The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön
The Psychology of Hope by C. R. Snyder
The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav
Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Deepak Chopra Website
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

Thank you so much for listening to this episode. I’m so honored that you’re here and would be so grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or on your podcast app, that way we can inspire even more people together.

P.S. Please seek advice from a qualified holistic practitioner before starting any new health practice.

P.P.S. If you’re looking for a high-impact marketing opportunity for your business and are interested in becoming a sponsor for The Melissa Ambrosini Show podcast, please email pr@melissaambrosini.com for more information.

Comments (4)

+ Leave a comment
    • Renee Cahill
      June 5, 2020

      Oh Melissa!! The timing of this is unbelievable. My dad is currently in ICU for heart surgery, in a pretty bad state which has me up thinking all the time why he choose this in his life plan and what lesson he needed to learn. We know from our helpers that his life force is strong so he will make it as he he hasn’t completed his life mission. This oodcast helped me but mainly my mum!!! THANK YOU XXXX

      • June 12, 2020

        I'm so glad it was supportive for you and your mum. I'm sending your dad so much love and healing angel. You're an amazing love and support for him. xx

    • Jennifer Black
      June 8, 2020

      Love love love your podcast. Win Hof was fabulous, interesting and inspiring. I’m going for a cyro freeze session next week. However, Melissa Shepherd - omg she was game changing for me. I went to bed excited for a new day - for the first time in way too long. I am signing up for her resilience course. Thank you Melissa, you are bang on with your guest list, engaging and fun to listen to. You are making a difference to my mental health and my soul ✨ you rock Melissa xx

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