Cover image of Your Story Matters with Angela Schaefers

Your Story Matters with Angela Schaefers

Encouraging and inspiring stories from around the world of those who have overcome challenges to live their amazing! Your Story Matters. You Matter. Changing the world one story at a time!

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Jill Kraft – Finding Jill – Overcoming #Grief

Jill Kraft Thompson poignantly shares her story of life, Finding Jill, after the loss of five family members; her husband, two sons, her mother and niece. Her book ‘Finding Jill’ is the powerful story of how one woman experienced unthinkable tragedy and yet survived to experience new love, new hope and new life. Jill Kraft – Finding Jill – Overcoming Grief Read more at Jill’s website, here: http://findingjill.net/ Read Angela’s related blog post, Finding Jill, at Then Life Happens.


15 Dec 2013

Rank #1

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The 10 Second Philosophy

The 10 Second Philosophy Everything was on a downward spiral in Derek Mills’ life – his work, his physical and mental health, his relationships with family and friends. But it only took one insignificant question from an office security guard one night for Derek to stop, connect deep within himself and in the next 10 seconds begin to see a way to change his entire life completely. Derek shares his story so that it can be the doorway to your own journey of change and instant success. http://derek-mills.com


5 Oct 2013

Rank #2

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Creating Change – Community Opportunities Inc.

Creating Change – Community Opportunities Inc. Community Opportunities Inc. is a non-profit agency whose purpose is to provide quality of life opportunities for adults and teens with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They provide these services in hopes to enhance their client’s lives and facilitate their becoming independent. They provide work skills training, job coaching, and opportunities to be involved in the community and with their peers. Along with the daily opportunities they also plan many special events through out the year to make memories and create opportunities for all. www.communityopportunitiesinc.org


14 Sep 2013

Rank #3

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Jac’s Voice #MentalHealth

Jac’s Voice #MentalHealth Donna May shares the story of her daughter’s journey with mental health issues and addiction that ultimately led to her death at the age of 34 years. Donna is on a mission to teach others about mental health and addiction, to bring about awareness and create change. She will share details of her daughters life and tips for those dealing with a family member in the same or similar situation in her upcoming book ‘The Innocents’. http://www.jacsvoice.com


31 Aug 2013

Rank #4

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Linda Ambard – Courageously Alive – A Walk Through Military Loss #MilitaryLoss

Linda Ambard was a single mom of three children working at the Mountain Home Air Force base swimming pool when in walked a young airmen in a blue hammock Speed-o swimming suit. Phil flirted with all of her friends and her too. She was not interested. She said no to his date offers 19 times. When he asked her out for the 20th time, he told her that he wouldn’t ask her out again if she said no. She said yes and four months later they eloped… beginning a 23 year love story. Ambard’s book ‘Courageously Alive – A Walk Through Military Loss‘ follows her journey from the moment she chose to fall into her faith in her darkest life situation, the death of her beloved. She shares the ups and downs of the year following the loss of her husband Major Philip Ambard, the reactions of people, the logistical nightmares of being a military widow, the decisions and life changes. She has stepped forward in faith and chosen happiness because she says “the assassin cannot have me too”. Linda Ambard – Courageously Alive – A Walk Through Military Loss Read more at Linda’s facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/LindaKAmbard


12 Jul 2013

Rank #5

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Swan Mothers: Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children

Natalia Erehnah shares her story of being blessed with three unique children that opened her heart to the realization that we are all special in our own way. From her book ‘Swan Mothers: Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children’: “I was blessed with 29 beautifully ordinary years. Family camping adventures. Good grades, reasonably easily achieved. Road trips with friends… motherhood landed me on a new island and the orderly ship that had carried me there promptly sank. There was no way to return to the Ordinary World. My Hero’s Journey began. My children (perhaps yours too?) missed the Supposed To line in pre-life orientation. I had been Super-Everygirl. Then, Extraordinary-Everywoman. Oh yes. I was a master of Supposed To. I devoured Judith Martin’s Miss Manners books. I inhaled pull-your-shoulders-out-of-their-sockets loads of parenting books. I made flashcards for my baby. My children were blissfully unaware of my Supposed To (supposed) Mastery. Each came with a clear mission and unique way of being. None developed in accordance with professionals’ timelines and charts. I was well trained. I embraced my job as a parent and set out to fix them. To make them the way they were supposed to be. I was doing my best, but it wasn’t pretty. Then, I wept at their non-compliance and non-conformance to my way. Now, I am grateful that I did not break them before everything was illuminated and I saw with New Eyes. Each of them is exactly the way they’re supposed to be.” Swan Mothers: Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children Read more at Natalia’s website, here: www.swanmothers.com


20 Apr 2013

Rank #6

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The Meah Foundation

The Meah Foundation From The Meah Foundation founder, Tina Klonaris-Robinson: “The Meah Foundation was born out of my personal experience of child loss and the journey of healing that followed. My daughter died as a result of my labor being induced at 38 weeks with the drug Cytotec, also known as Misopristal. My uterus hyper stimulated, and tore from top to bottom in two places. My daughter Meah, deprived of oxygen, never made it into this life. Her death left me feeling every emotion imaginable. I wrestled with deep aching pain, constant sadness and hurt, but I also battled anger, hatred and a sense of powerlessness. I knew that if I were going to find healing and grow in a way that was conducive to living life with purpose and true meaning, I would have to make something good out of this tragedy. I wanted to find a way to heal and empower myself and others. After hearing a story shared by Rwandan genocide survivor, Immaculee Ilibagiza, author of Left To Tell, I felt called and inspired to make a difference in this world. My desire to help led me to travel with Immaculee to Rwanda, a decision that would change the course of my life forever. While traveling through Rwanda, I listened to stories from men, women and children who had experienced genocide. We laughed, we cried. Sometimes we held hands and hugged when we could not understand each other. Although I had come to ‘help’, it was the people of Rwanda who helped me learn how to forgive and heal. I found for the first time since Meah died a very powerful transformation taking place within me. With every new story, I felt my heart open and the energy of anger and powerlessness shift and change to love, forgiveness, and a sense of empowerment. Slowly, I remembered I had a voice and began learning how to use it. I now found myself standing before hundreds, sharing my story and the stories of those who had touched my life and changed me in profound ways. I began to see how the power of stories could impact the lives of others and move people towards positive action all over the world. I felt new found hope. I began to tell a new and empowered story of love, compassion and gratitude. Through pain and grief there can be found the greatest of gifts and blessings; through life, loss, and transformation, we learn the greatest of life’s lessons, thus making us feel whole and complete again.” http://www.themeahfoundation.org/


31 Jan 2013

Rank #7

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How to Rise to the Top After Being Punched Down

How to Rise to the Top After Being Punched Down Who Else Wants To Stop Being Sucker Punched by Life And Finally Kick It To The Curb?  …to rise to the top after being punched down? Gayle Hall shares stories from her life and tips for others to overcome what she calls ‘Sucker Punched Syndrome’ From Gayle’s book you will learn: What it feels like to be Sucker Punched and what’s the meaning of it in your life? How being Sucker Punched in love hurts and how to get back up afterwards. Laid off or fired? What to do when you’re Sucker Punched at work. What to do when you go through major changes in your life like job loss, mid-life crisis, domestic violence, and getting duped. The Sinful Sucker Punch – How to deal with the shame of having a nervous breakdown. How to handle a situation when your help is not needed or backfires. Practical and simple skills to stop being Sucker Punched by life ever again. How to avoid negative people who Sucker Punch you daily with their negativity. Recognize when you’re being Sucker Punched, and learn the tools you need to deal with it so it doesn’t happen again. Find out if you have the symptoms that are a sign of Sucker Punched syndrome. Most importantly, uncover the ways you can get over it once and for all. Find out how this can work in your own life and you can experience the bigger and better things that are awaiting you on the other side of every Sucker Punch. http://drhalloncall.com


16 Jan 2013

Rank #8

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Thank You For Leaving Me

Thank You For Leaving Me Farhana Dhalla shares about her journey in her book “Thank You For Leaving Me”. Farhana says: “It was Valentine’s Day and I just found out that my husband of 10 years had purchased a gift for another woman. All day I was numb. Surreally, I drifted through my day with heaviness in my heart. I hung onto denial like it was my last friend in the world. I couldn’t bear the thought of my world disintegrating. It just couldn’t be. He wouldn’t do that. There had to be an explanation. With a strange kind of calm that only complete shock can produce, I asked him about it when he came home from work. His convincing denials and innocent-looking face almost had me believing him. For a flash, I thought I had manufactured this in my head. If I did not have tangible, physical proof in my hands to the contrary, I would have believed him. The look of innocence on his face was familiar. I was shocked at how believable he appeared and I wondered how many times in the past I had fallen for his lies. Clearly, I had just not wanted to see the truth. This is a journey of contradictions… and somewhere in the contradictions, lies the truth. This is a raw truth book about taking 100% responsibility. As long as I was blaming him, I would not be free. I would remain victim unless I took responsibility for what I had co-created. I resisted at first, but my children were watching me. I had been teaching them about being truthful and choosing who we wanted to be in any situation. Now it was time to walk my talk. Now, before I go all Pollyanna on you, let me tell you that there was (and still is) road rash along the way to our ‘loving separation’. The truth is, the ending of my marriage was simply the experience instrumental in waking me up to living a more amazing life. I believe that all crisis or major change comes as a call for us to transform ourselves into the Magnificence that we are.” http://www.farhanadhalla.com/


9 Jan 2013

Rank #9

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Make Money Doing Good

Make Money Doing Good? Noam Kostucki has co-founded three social enterprises based on his belief that everyone can make money from doing good. Seeducation enables people make a living from doing good. Redefine Us enables organizations to improve their performance by redefining how they see themselves, their people and the way they communicate. FlavrBox enables people to connect to and partake of the amazing food produced by UK farmers. All three enterprises have been challenging adventures for Noam to be part of and a huge learning opportunity to learn from the world and those around him.  Noam shares his knowledge as a speaker, coach and author. http://about.me/noamkos


22 Aug 2012

Rank #10

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Midlife Heart

Midlife Heart Jim Rogers did not set out to be a writer, or at least he’s convinced that he did not. His first love was music and the music industry. After a 25+ year stint in the recording studio and two failed marriages he realized that if he wanted to be successful in love again for the long term, he would have to do some work… more like a lot of work. Thus began a new chapter in his life.  Over the course of the past 10 years, Jim has done a lot of work, read a lot of material, dated extensively, shared with (and learned from) many friends, and made a LOT of observations tying disparate facts together to reach a greater understanding of the dilemma faced by those trying to move forward with their heart in midlife. Jim is a ‘heart coach’, author, seminar lecturer and someone who works to help others build relationships that they always knew they could have. http://www.midlifeheart.com/


8 Aug 2012

Rank #11

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Women On Point

Women On Point Everyone has a story and the story of Women On Point, while personal in origin, mirrors the story of so many women in business that are trying to juggle two, and sometimes three worlds. Often in our quest to “do it all”, women sacrifice their sense of self. Many of us compromise our creativity, our passions and our dreams. Linda Farmer, founder of Women On Point, believes each of us has a dream we are passionate about, we all have a story to tell and once we recognize the changes we need to make within ourselves, we have the power to change the world. Listen in as Linda shares her journey of facing life challenges and finding the strength to make it through those challenges. www.womenonpoint.org


28 Jun 2012

Rank #12

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Strand of Pearls #DomesticViolence

Strand of Pearls #DomesticViolence In her memoir, Strand of Pearls, Deborah Livingston recounts her journey from childhood abuse, frequent tragedy and adult addiction to a spiritual transformation that brought her an inner peace and joy available to us all. Her misfortunes early in life and her inability to see them as the “pearls” they actually were led to serious addiction in her early forties. And yet this addiction saved her life, preparing her for the inner transformation she would experience. http://www.authordlivingston.com


19 Jun 2012

Rank #13

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Heal My PTSD

Heal My PTSD From Michele Rosenthal’s book ‘Before The World Intruded: Conquering The Past and Creating The Future’- “In 1981 life really shocked me: I was 13 years old when I found myself struggling to survive Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome, a freak allergy to a medication that turned me into a full-body burn patient almost overnight. By the time I was released from the hospital 3 weeks later I was a very different girl. The kid I had been was gone. The girl in her place was a complete stranger. It didn’t take long for insomnia, intrusive thoughts, nightmares and flashbacks to set in. Within 5 years I was a complete and total insomniac, anorexic, melt down mess. Over the years everyone thought I was a difficult teenager, and then a temperamental artist, and then just a really moody woman. The therapists my parents forced me to see didn’t recognize my classic symptoms of PTSD.” Learn more about Michele’s recovery and healing at Heal My PTSD: http://healmyptsd.com


30 May 2012

Rank #14

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High Hopes in High Heels – Rachel Coleman

Rachel Coleman shares her story of being unhappy in life to using her unhappiness as fuel to pursue her passion and life purpose. As co-founder of the non-profit, High Hopes In High Heels, Coleman has created an organization for others to join in the cause. High Hopes In High Heels partners with local charities and does fundraising events on their behalf. From carnivals, to swanky girls nights out, several charities have benefited from the High Hopes In High Heels caring group of women who offer volunteer time, funding and other resources. http://www.highhopesinhighheels.org/


20 Jul 2011

Rank #15

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Millionaire Fastlane – MJ DeMarco

Entrepreneur, author, and the revolutionary “get rich slow” anti-guru, MJ DeMarco not long ago lived with his mother, mopped floors, and sought the dream like so many others: the dream to live free from bosses, free from 9-5 jobs, and free from life mediocrity. Through rigorous years of self-study, countless errors and failures, MJ uncovered the real essence of wealth, dreams, and was able to retire YOUNG in his thirties without sacrificing lifestyle. http://www.themillionairefastlane.com/ Click the Play Button Below to Hear the Interview By listening to the interview and leaving a reply below, you will be entered to win a copy of MJ DeMarco’s book, The Millionaire Fastlane. Comments will be closed once the draw has taken place.


24 Jun 2011

Rank #16

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Domestic Violence

Executive Director Nikki Daniels shares about the Family Justice Center of Hillsborough County. The mission of the Family Justice Center of Hillsborough County (FJCHC) is to improve the lives of family violence victims through community collaboration and the provision of comprehensive services in a single location. Click to Hear the Interview FJCHC is a community-wide collaborative between public, private and non-profit organizations to provide comprehensive services to Hillsborough County domestic violence victims and their families in a centralized location, or ‘one-stop-shop.’ There are other Family Justice Centers through out the United States. http://www.fjchc.org/

1hr 1min

19 May 2011

Rank #17

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The Note Project

The Note, a book based on the true story of a note I received from my youngest sister, has been awarded a Gold Medal in the Living Now Book Awards. Click to Hear the Interview If you already own a copy of The Note, I hope you agree that it’s a book that can help a person attain a more fulfilling and productive life. If you don’t already own The Note, you can obtain a copy by purchasing a $1.00 Note Project Starter eKit, which includes a PDF e-book edition of The Note, or the $14.95 Note Project Starter Kit, which includes a hardback edition of the book, plus a DVD video based on the book, and a set of three thank you cards. Both kits also come with free bonus gifts from Note Project sponsors, and a share of all proceeds will be donated to support literacy projects around the world. About The Note The Note is a book about the power of appreciation and how a simple note can change a person’s life. The first half of the book tells the story of the note I received from my youngest sister (which was also the inspiration for the Note Project) and the story behind that note. The second half of the book discusses the importance of sharing appreciation, why people don’t do it and why they should. The book also includes step-by-step instructions on how to write a heartfelt note of appreciation, along with several examples. Give the gift of a Note Project Starter Kit to yourself or to family and friends, and enjoy your copy of this award-winning book. -Mike O’Mary


6 May 2011

Rank #18

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Catrice Jackson – Empowerment Coach

Catrice M. Jackson, M.S., LMHP, LPC International Empowerment Speaker America’s Delicious Life Designer Fear-Free Living Expert Radio Personality and Author Click to Hear the Interview Catrice M. Jackson, International Empowerment Speaker, America’s Delicious Life Expert and author helps women live fearlessly delicious lives by facing and conquering their fears in life and career. Her expert sweet life strategies, inspirational messages and radio shows offer women ready-to-use, mouth-watering nuggets of empowerment to help them become delicious from the inside out. Catriceology her savvy, sassy and satisfying signature love your life recipe is taking the nation by storm. Women who experience Catriceology love themselves more, fearlessly create their lives and live a juicilicious life they crave, savor and love. Catrice M. Jackson, best known for helping people face and conquer their fears in life and career. Catrice is taking the nation by storm and mouth’s are watering for her scrumptious career strategies and tasty love your fearless life recipes. Catrice is on a mission to help people master “The Art of Fear Free Living.” She is convinced that when folks get out of their own way, and quiet the inner critic they can create a masterpiece called “their authentic life” Catrice is no stranger to living in fear. She’s been on a 13 year journey of self-discovery and knows for sure that “fear” will block your blessings, make you miserable, steal your joy and smother your dreams unless you choose to take intentional steps to put your fearless faith in action. Catrice is the author of “Delicious! The Savvy Woman’s Guide for Living a Sweet, Sassy and Satisfied Life” http://www.catriceologyenterprises.com/


15 Mar 2011

Rank #19

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Dining for Women

Our Mission Dining for Women’s mission is to empower women and girls living in extreme poverty by funding programs that foster good health, education, and economic self‐sufficiency and to cultivate educational giving circles that inspire individuals to make a positive difference through the power of collective giving. Our Vision Our vision is to create a new paradigm for giving – collective giving on an immense scale while maintaining the intimacy of small groups with a focus on education and engaged giving. Click to Hear the Interview Dining for Women is a dinner giving circle. We “dine in” together once a month, each bringing a dish to share, and our “dining out” dollars (what we would have spent if we had eaten at a restaurant) are sent to programs empowering women worldwide. We then combine all donations from hundreds of chapters to support one carefully selected international program a month. We fund grass-roots programs in education, healthcare, vocational training, micro-credit loans and economic development. These programs are aimed to improve the living situations for women and their families, by providing the tools they need to make changes


15 Feb 2011

Rank #20