A mix collection of inspirational stories gathered from the internet and personal experiences.

Friday, March 27, 2009


by John Gaudet

Out of all the things my dad left me when he died, a piece of an old combine belt was the most valuable. It was the belt his father used to beat him with and it always hung over the door to the bathroom as a reminder of what things could have been.

My father grew up poor in the remote province of New Brunswick. He worked the coal mines from an early age and indeed his life a a child was filled with hard work and harsh discipline. The man he called his father was actually his step father but he wasn't told of this fact until after the brutal man died. His daily routine of work and turmoil was only broken by visits from his uncle buck from Winnipeg. Buck was a large bear of a man who would come twice a year like clockwork to visit his sister and her kids. My dad said he was the kindest man he ever met and I guess it was his influence on my father that helped him break the cycle of abuse in his own home as he grew older .

We couldn't have asked for a kinder more gentle man than my dad and we all trusted and loved him deeply. When he would talk of his childhood and the beatings he received his eye's would slowly slide over to the belt hanging there and his whole demeanor would change. The power of those beatings must have been terrible and I would always go to bed with a heavy heart thinking of the childhood robbed from this gentle and loving man. He taught us that no matter what people said or did to us we would always be welcome home any time, and we knew that we could always count on a smile and a gentle word of advice to soothe us when we got there.

Time continued her dance, we all grew up and moved out but we still continued to seek advice and love from our father till one day we were informed that he had died. It hit us all hard and as we met on the old farm tears flowed freely for this man who had everything taken from him as a child but managed to find something beautiful for his own children to hang on to everyday.

The lawyers came in the days after and the last wishes were stated and passed on. The estate was meager but we all received one gift beyond value or words.

In his last days he had taken the belt down from the wall and cut it into four pieces. We all received a piece of the belt that had hurt our father so terribly. That night we sat around crying discussing what he could have been thinking when he did this. As the night wore on it began to dawn on us what he really wanted.

The belt symbolized everything he taught us not to be.

It was his trophy. He had lived through the abuse. Instead of abandoning his life like so many others had, he embraced it and in doing so he turned a legacy of hate and hut to a life of love and happiness.

I keep that belt on my wall. We all do. It hangs as a reminder of the obstacles we can all overcome with grace and when my daughter is crying because she lost her pokeman cards or skinned her knee, I look at it, hold her tight and think of a man she will never know. A man I was and am proud to call my dad.


John Aubichon Lives in Northern Saskatchewan with his wife Chantalle and Daughter Charisa. His short stories have been published worldwide in many books and magazines such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, Catholic Digest, and A Cup Of Comfort. He is a copywriter for a major network Radio Station by day and in the evenings he lives out his childhood fantasy of playing drums in a rock and roll band. John can be contacted at drmrjohn@hotmail.com drop him a line, he'd love to hear from you!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

What My Father Left Behind

By Janet Perez Eckles

At 13 years of age, my parents and I visited an ophthalmologist. As I sat in the examining chair, my face firmly on the chin rest and pupils dilated, the doctor looked into my eyes, shining a bright light.

"She did inherit it," he said with coldness. "You need to be prepared. There is no cure for this retinal disease."

My father carried the Retinitis Pigmentosa gene causing a deterioration of the retina which, in most cases, results in blindness. Although my brother's retinas seemed to be fine, I'd inherited the gene.

Fifteen years after my initial diagnosis, my father began to lose his eyesight and so did I. He was 55 years old, but I was only 28. In a matter of two years, we had both lost our sight completely.

I focused on the effects of my own darkness. My world crumbled as the black curtain fell, destroying the dreams my husband and I had for us and for our three little boys. But when I turned to God for hope and strength, He responded by opening my eyes to a new revelation.

My father had given me not just the RP gene, but the example of determination and tenacity as well. We were all living in Bolivia in 1964 when he defied the family's opposition to move to America. He and Mom worked tirelessly to satisfy the requirements imposed by the U.S. Immigration Department to enter the country and establish residency.

Once in the states, he overcame humiliation, intense loneliness, helplessness and uncertainty. He endured ridicule due to his lack of fluency in English, but he pressed on. And he managed to gather enough money for the basics--rent a small apartment, buy modest furniture from thrift stores and put a down payment on a car. Nine months later, he sent airline tickets for my mom, my brother and me.

Decades later, as an American citizen, I look back at what he'd shown me. He taught me the determination to move forward when facing adversity. He set an example proving that humility is crucial to success. He demonstrated the commitment to family and the importance of setting priorities.

His journey taught me valuable lessons for my own path in the darkness. Much like a baby takes its first steps holding tight to his father's hand, my dad held onto God as he stepped from the comfort of our hometown in Bolivia to the unknown in a foreign land.

I did the same as I stepped into the unfamiliarity of a sightless world. Holding onto God's hand, I gained confidence and learned the language of gratitude. With profound appreciation for my father's example, I learned how he had applied a powerful blend of faith and tenacity; the same blend I used to fulfill my own role as a wife, mom, Sunday school teacher, Spanish court interpreter, inspirational speaker and writer.

What I inherited from my father helped me to see my life with a more radiant and meaningful glow.

Janet Perez Eckles, featured in the New York Times is an inspirational national speaker, freelance writer, and contributor to seven books including Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has authored "Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming adversities in Life." She imparts insights, inspiration and messages to uplift the soul at:

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Friday, March 13, 2009


Tech Support: Yes, ... how can I help you?

Customer: Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install LOVE. Can you guide me though the process?

Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?

Customer: Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready. What do I do first?

Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?

Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install Love while they are running?

Tech Support: What programs are running?

Customer: Let's see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge, and Resentment running right now.

Tech Support: No problem, Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but it will no longerdisrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off?

Customer: I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?

Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and invoke Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.

Customer: Okay, done! Love has started installing itself. Is thatnormal?

Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other Hearts in order to get the upgrades.

Customer: Oops! I have an error message already. It says, "Error - Program notrun on external components." What should I do?

Tech Support: Don't worry. It means that the Love program is set up to run on Internal Hearts, but has not yet been run on your Heart. In non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before you can Love others.

Customer: So, what should I do?

Tech Support: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files: Forgive-Self; Realize Your Worth; and Acknowledge your Limitations.

Customer: Okay, done.

Tech Support: Now, copy them to the "My Heart" directory. The system willoverwrite any conflicting files and begin patching faulty programming. Also, you need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.

Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files. Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over My Heart.Is this normal?

Tech Support:
Sometimes. For others it takes awhile, but eventually everything gets it at the proper time. So LOVE is installed and running. One more thing before we hang up. LOVE is Freeware. Be sure to give itand its various modules to everyone you meet. They will in turn share it with others and return some coolmodules back to you.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Why The Elephants Don't Run

By Jim Donovan

A number of years ago, I had the rather unique experience of being backstage in Madison Square Garden, in New York, during the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. To say the least, it was a fascinating experience. I was able to walk around looking at the lions, tigers, giraffes and all the other circus animals. As I was passing the elephants, I suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not. I saw a trainer near by and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.

"Well," he said, "when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it's enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They think the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free."
I was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they could not, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before? How many of us are being held back by old, outdated beliefs that no longer serve us? Have you avoided trying something new because of a limiting belief? Worse, how many of us are being held back by someone else's limiting beliefs? Do you tell yourself you can't sell because you're not a salesperson?

Particularly in starting or running a business, we are cautioned not to take risks, usually by well intentioned friends and family. How many of us have heard, "You can't do that?" These are the dream stealers who, due to their own limiting beliefs, will attempt to discourage you from living your dreams. You must ignore them at all cost! I am not suggesting that you should not seek advice from qualified individuals and mentors, but that you avoid like the plague, being swayed by the limiting beliefs of others, especially people who are not in their own business.

Challenge your own limiting beliefs by questioning them. If you begin to question a belief, you automatically weaken it. The more you question your limiting beliefs, the more they are weakened. It's like kicking the legs out from under a stool. Once you weaken one leg, the stool begins to lose its balance and fall. Think back to a time when you "sold" someone on yourself. We are selling all the time. You have to sell your ideas to your spouse, your children, and your employees - even your banker. Maybe, as a child, you sold Girl Scout cookies or magazine subscriptions to raise money for your school team. That was selling too!

Once you realize you are, in fact, a capable salesperson, you have weakened that old belief and began to replace it with a new, empowering one. Look for references to support the new beliefs you want to cultivate. As in the example of the stool, you want to reinforce your beliefs by adding more and more "legs" to them. Find people who have accomplished what you want to accomplish, discover what they did and model their behavior. Remember back to times in your past when you were successful and use that experience to propel yourself forward. If your challenge is in sales, read sales books and listen to tapes or attend sales seminars. This is a critical area of your business. One that cannot be undermined by limiting beliefs.

There is a technique called "fake it until you make it" that works well. I am not suggesting you live in denial, just that you begin to see yourself succeeding. Visualize your successes. See yourself vividly in your minds eye making the sale and reaching your goals. Affirm, over and over, that you are succeeding.

Write your affirmations daily. Of course, make sure you take the appropriate action. As it says in the Bible, "Faith without works is dead."

Remember that your subconscious mind does not know the difference between real and imaginary. Before you go on a sales call, take a moment and mentally rehearse the scene, just like actors and athletes do. Tell yourself, "I'm a great salesperson." Do this over and over, especially just before a sales call. See the sale being made. See and feel the success. You will be pleasantly amazed at the result. Don't take my word for it. Give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

It has been said throughout history that what ever you believe, with conviction, you can achieve. Don't be like the poor elephant and go through your life stuck because of a limiting belief you were given or developed years ago. Take charge of your life and live it to the fullest. You deserve the best!


Jim Donovan is the author of the International bestsellers, Handbook To A Happier Life and This Is Your Life, Not A Dress Rehearsal. He is also the founder and CEO of www.FreelanceHelp.com, an Internet network for creative professionals. His articles, books and a free subscription to his newsletter are available from www.jimdonovan.com

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