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May 13, 2023

Jennetta Lost her Daughter to suicide: 9 months later she found a reason to live again

In this episode, we speak with Jenetta Berry, who faced the devastating loss of her daughter to suicide. Jenetta shares her journey of grief, trauma, and ultimately finding a reason to live again. Join us as we explore the power of the human spirit and the possibilities that lie within us.


- The Importance of Communication in Understanding the Whole Cycle

- The Importance of Family and Wildlife in Africa

- Education and Social Mobility in Kenya's Rural Areas

- Becoming a Free Agent and Gaining a New Perspective on Life

- Recollection of a 9/11 Survivor's Experience

- Parenting a Challenging Child: A Mother's Account

- The Unpredictable Nature of Jenny and Her Tragic End

- A Haunting Confession of Discovery

- Struggling with Grief and Suicidal Thoughts

- Finding Purpose After a Defining Moment

- Difficulty in Learning New Skills: Pain Points and Breakthroughs

- Neuroplasticity: The Remarkable Ability of the Brain to Rewire Itself

- Understanding the Whole Cycle: Exploring the Limits of Logic


Key Moments:

- Jenetta shares her experience of losing her daughter to suicide and the impact it had on her life.

- She discusses the importance of communication and understanding the whole cycle of grief and trauma.

- Jenetta reflects on her upbringing in Kenya and the role of family and wildlife in shaping her perspective on life.

- She shares her journey of becoming a free agent and gaining a new perspective on life after facing multiple challenges.

- Jenetta discusses the importance of finding purpose after a defining moment and the role of neuroplasticity in rewiring the brain.

- She shares her insights on the epiphany process and the human need to be understood.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a review to help us reach and inspire more people. 

Remember, your story is not done yet. Keep moving forward.


Imagine if you will uh facing cancer, one of the most terrifying diagnosis a a person can get to think that's going to be your biggest test in life only to then have to face the suicide of your beloved daughter at the age of 16 and really struggling with finding a sense of purpose to live and even considering suicide yourself multiple times until reaching a point of clarity and rediscovering a reason to live again. 

Today, we're gonna talk with Jetta Berry and this is her, very powerful, very touching, very moving story. And we're gonna talk, talk about some difficult topics today and we don't want to shy away from them because we think it's important that we bring these stories to light. So Jetta, thank you so much for being on the show today, John, thank you for having me. Honor and a pleasure to be here. Yeah. And, you know, just before we started recording, you were sharing a little bit about where you're currently at and it sounds absolutely beautiful and I think a lot of people would be envious if they heard, uh, heard where it is you're located. So maybe let's share with the people where you're at. 

Well, my funny accent, people think I'm from, from UK and although my parents were, um, I actually grew up in Kenya in East Africa. And although more recently I've been living in, in UK, I returned, my husband and I returned last year and we're living in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya next to a hippo filled lake and a semi extinct volcano. Oh, and we got wild animals in our garden too, including Hyena. Ok. How about that? I, I did have the privilege of spending some time living in South Africa, which is a little bit of a ways from Kenya. 

It's a bit of a road trip to get there. Um, but I did get to experience some of the, the African wildlife and I thought it was, it was quite remarkable and it is, is remarkably beautiful continent, especially Sub Saharan Africa where there's such diverse and fascinating wildlife. Oh, absolutely. If you haven't got to Africa, you haven't known what it's like to be bitten by the African bug. And I don't mean a, a bug bug. I mean, that once it's in your bloodstream, it's very difficult to not want to return again and again and want to live uh as well. 

So, and I can hear and see that you, you, you identify with that. Absolutely. You know, I think there, there's something about, um, the, the African continent is quite, quite remarkable and maybe it's because we, we view it to be the cradle of civilization to begin with. So there's, there's sort of a curiosity there, but I think there's also perhaps there's a few aspects of maybe the human experience that we've lost with the, the just rapid advent of modernity and modern technology and so on where, you know, one of the things that really stood out to me was, you know, in, in South Africa, it's a, it's a blend of about 11 different ethnic groups. So it's actually quite a diverse uh diverse country, but a one sort of commonality that ran through a lot of them were some very, very sort of clear social and cultural lines. They had, they had rituals for transitioning from boyhood to manhood and from girlhood to womanhood. 

And, you know, family was crucially important and spending time to gather and, and gather on meals and things like that, these sorts of aspects that sometimes get lost in our modern sort of screen and technology driven age. And then, you know, we, we also, I guess, think about the, the sort of extremely diverse and exotic wildlife that we, that we, uh, picture in Africa. I mean, how many, how many kids grew up thinking, like, you know, like lions and tigers and elephants and hippos and monkeys and all of these, these fascinating and, and wonderful animals and, and, you know, sort of getting to see some of these would be and, and giraffes can't forget about those, you know, getting to see those, um, and see those in, in real life would be absolutely remarkable experience for, for many, many people. Yeah. Absolutely. The, the something shifts in you when you're surrounded by that natural flow. And here in Kenya, it's even more in your face than down in South Africa because we most, most places live with wild life and life around them. 

They're not just confined to game parks and that's exceptional. Absolutely. Yeah. Now there would be those that might feel some sense of trepidation around living. Even Kenya is probably one of the most uh safe and well developed countries in the African continent. But there would be some people that might experience some trepidation around the thought of uh living in Kenya. 

I know there was a number of years back there was uh a fairly high profile terrorist attack that took place in, I believe it was in a shop, shopping mall in Nairobi. Um And, and what would you say to those people who, and maybe you get, maybe you get asked this all the time, like is this safe? Is it not? You know, and so on, what would you share with people who have those thoughts? It's, I mean, it's a very real question and understandable until you put it into perspective because I could say to you, is it safe to come to America? Because last week a whole load of Children were shot to death. And is it ok to go to London? Because somebody was knive to death just walking through the streets? 

So, you know, those are all isolated incidents that don't happen every day and throughout the country. And uh so it's relatively safe compared to many other places. So it's about, I, I mean, I remember when we, well, I don't remember I was a baby but when my parents first moved to Kenya, it was whilst mama, which was a, a um in a sense, a terrorist rebellion of all the local Kenya people saying they no longer wanted uh British rule and, and the massacres were big, but they weren't all the time and they weren't in all areas. And a actually it, they weren't really that much affected on certain groups more than other groups. So when my parents moved here, everybody was saying, how can you move to Kenya in the late fifties? And yet, yeah, you know, it's all relative as to what's happening where it's never everywhere all at once. Right? I think that's a really valid and important point to consider because you know, our brain is naturally drawn to the negative and part of it is just a a primal survival mechanism. 

When we experience something negative, our brain really strongly remembers that and focus that. But that can also create types of filters and even distorted filters for our brains. We would call them cognitive distortions where our brain has an exaggerated version of reality because we remember so much more strongly those negative incidents that took place. Um You, you know, and I think of, of Kenya, um there, we, we would often maybe consider Kenya is like this sort of homogeneous region. But I think it's actually quite a diverse country with a mixture of cultures, uh combined together and multiple languages spoken. Um And so I guess I'm actually curious, there are 46 tribes, 11 in, in South Africa, which is probably three times bigger. 

There are 46 tribes here in Kenya. Wow, that is, that is quite remarkable. And, and, you know, I guess I'm, I'm maybe displaying some ignorance because I, I, I've not learned a lot about Kenya, although I think it's a beautiful place that I would absolutely love to visit. And we had hoped to when we lived in South Africa to get there, but it just didn't happen to work out in that stretch in time. But, um you know, do you find a lot of these groups are able to coexist peacefully even with like these sort of cultural divides and linguistic divides and, and how might, how do they do that? Well, I mean, I'd say in the rural areas, there are tensions, especially with the, the tribes that are more ferocious. Uh but Kenya has become a very educated country. 

Most, most people are fourth generation, very well read, very well educated. The education system is pretty good and uh many of the middle class because they didn't used to be a middle class. But now that there is many of the middle class have ended up qualifying in the States in Europe and UK. So got a high standard of understanding of what is and what isn't. Hm, that's quite remarkable. And so you, you came to Kenya as a baby uh with your, your parents. Uh and you said you grew up there. Uh How many years were you in Kenya before? Uh uh how many years did you live in Kenya before relocating? Um You know, I've been in and out of Kenya. 

I first left Kenya to go to University of Cape Town ballet school and music school and then returned with, with Children and we were here and then my Children went to school elsewhere and then I've been backwards and forwards to Kenya living here on and off over the last 20 years, depending on what's happening. Ended up a year in the States in New York, in, in Manhattan. And then UK, and uh it's been quite a journey really and what has allowed you to be able to move around like that, to have the ability to relocate from place to place as, as need be. Well, that is the most interesting question of all my greatest life test and my greatest loss allowed me that flexibility. Um And, and so I became my own free agent and deciding where and what and how and in fact, a year after my greatest life test, which I know we're going to be stepping into. Now, I actually sent an email to friends and family saying I'm closing everything up, attaching a handkerchief filled with basic belongings to my stick, putting my stick over my shoulder and I'm off and that's what I did for many, many, many years. Um and it, it gave me a great insight into things and the ability to look at bigger pictures. Yeah. Absolutely. Well, and one thing prior to the loss of your daughter, you mentioned was that you, you also had a cancer diagnosis. Um Can you lay the groundwork for what, what life was like? Um you know, in terms of your family or work circumstances and so on when you received that diagnosis? 

Yeah, we were here in Kenya and my youngest was only four years old and my eldest was 16 and uh Jenny who we talking about a little bit later. Uh She was eight and, and Neil my second son was 12 and Stuart was 16 and um, yeah, I had to be airlifted out of Kenya because in those days they didn't have, uh, the, the, the facilities to deal with what I had. So I was airlifted down to South Africa, operated on and then I didn't return home for, for 34 months. And, um, the community were amazing. They took over my kids and got them to school and helped my husband all sorts of things. So it was amazing that that's actually, I think, again, quite remarkable to think about because we often see the greatest humanity in the greatest crisis. 

There, none of us would put up our hand and say, I want to go through this ex this extremely difficult experience in life. And yet it, it, it is these moments of crisis that really cause us to remember what is most important in life and bring us together in ways that we otherwise maybe couldn't even imagine. And it sounds like that was your experience as well, time and time again and funnily enough. 

I was on a show. Um you know, I'm with USA Global TV. And I was on a show two weeks ago talking just about this because I happened to be in Nairobi when the American Embassy was bombed by uh Bin Laden before 9 11. And I was three streets away when that bomb went off and it created absolute carnage in a city where each was for his own before it happened. And in minutes as I came out, I saw tribes unite as one, a city unite as one, a nation unite as one. And so that's what I and I'm really passionate about this. 

There are always two sides, balancing everything out. And that's where our media only hones in on the one side, nobody reports on what actually did work in that situation. And I, I saw that working. It was heart opening and amazing, really amazing and maybe just for a moment. So you were three blocks away. 

Roughly, you said when, when that bombing occurred, uh, that seems like you'd be close enough to have heard something and realized that something terrible had gone on. And my brother has been living in Turkey for a number of years and that there's been some of these incidents have taken place in Istanbul, the city that he lives in as well. And, uh, you know, obviously he carries on with life as, as normal because again, you know, you don't let one incident define your experience living in that, that location. But, um, what, what specifically do you like? Do you remember about that incident, like when it happened? And then, and then, uh, what took place in the, in the minutes following? 

Yeah, I was, I was working and I, I was in the basement of the building. You know, it was a, it's a, a really modern building and you went down escalators to underneath the building where there were shops and offices and I remember sitting there going, wow, that felt like an airplane has flown into our building. Which is really weird because when it happened a few years later from the same person I was going, wow, that, that's what it felt like when we had the bomb in Nairobi. And I thought that's an airplane. It feels like it's gone straight into our building. Um, and unfortunately our building didn't lose its windows. 

Uh, but, you know, one street away, the, uh, the, there were 5000 people maimed in that, that bomb. Yeah. And 237 died or something around there. That number. Yeah. And that's, that in itself is quite, uh, traumatic to, to go through a, as also an observer and a bystander. 

I, I think about things like survivor guilt and, and whatnot. Had you had any experience, any notable experience of the trauma prior to that incident? Uh, I mean, pre pre trauma similar to that before then? Yeah. Yeah, probably. I, I've been prepared for it because when I was nine in the same streets, uh, the opposition party's leader, Tom and Boyer was assassinated in the streets. 

Not whilst I was there but the, the uprising, uh, from the other party and that party in the streets, um, brought a lot of tear gas and stone throwing and all sorts of things. And that one, I was, you know, the day of the funeral which was in the, of the city as a nine year old standing there with my mother in the middle of the street going, what do we do as this wave of people started running towards us? So I had, I had had a, a similar thing happen at nine in the streets of Nairobi. That, that is, that is quite something. And I guess another question that, that, that prompts for me is uh I imagine you're a visible minority in Kenya and, and as a child. So you grew up in this environment. 

So, you know, I've grown up in Canada and we think about those who, again, we grew up as like a visible majority essentially. So we're very accustomed to seeing people with their own skin color and so on and, you know, and of course, I, I try not to apply, you know, 2023 lens, you know, something in the culture that happened decades prior. But what was, what was your experience? Um I guess it was all you had ever known, but were you ever seen as like an outsider, an outcast because of your, your skin color or your visible differences? Well, if I was, I never noticed it, I, I, I went to a multicultural school. Uh In fact, I had, I had just about every ambassador's daughter at that school. So I really had an international upbringing. 

I, I, I never noticed it to me. People were people um and then there were some people who were more educated than others and would get more hysterical than others, depending on their level of being able to reason and put things into, into perspective. That that's how I saw it. And I was very fortunate. 

My, my father um owned a record label here in Kenya. And his, and his studio was filled with uh with artists always coming in and him, he recording them. And 11 of the songs from, from his studio, from his record label has been sung internationally by Harry Belafonte and brothers four and uh Pete Seeger and um Miriam Makeba. Um In fact, I own the rights to that, that song. Now, my mom and dad have passed on my, my brothers and I, and you know, so I was always surrounded by people of all different tribes and types and there, there is just many remarkable and delightful nuggets to, to your story here. And uh it's always fun to kind of discover these. And so you, you own the rights to an internationally famous song as well because your father had a, had a music studio. Um that's, that's beautiful. And so as we, as we shift gears and kind of get into the heart of heart of your story here, the the part of your story that we're sharing here, um which was the, the loss of your daughter. And if you could, again, maybe just kind of paint a picture for us. What was, what were things like in terms of your relationship with your daughter and so on as kind of leading up to this taking place? 

Yeah, Jenny was always my, my most trying child from the moment they put her in my arm, she was squirmy and difficult and I could never understand what it was that was or wasn't with her. And then my parenting style that worked with my other two, I'd try with her and it would backfire. Uh And then I'd find one that would work. And then the next time I applied it, it didn't work. And she, she was, she was quite a challenge. Um And when she turned 14, she came to me and said, I'm really battling and I've been, I've felt suicidal my whole life. 

I tried to strangle myself in front of the mirror when I was seven because I didn't want to carry on in this life. And now I've hit puberty. I really am seriously wanting to leave the planet. And can you help me? So that was the first and we went round down such a long deep rabbit hole after that because clearly conventional therapy, I mean, we put her into rehab and she had a young psychologist sitting there asking her 100 questions with me sitting there as they were putting her into this rehab. And at 14, she said to this psychologist, I think that question came from page 27 of your textbook. And do you want me to give you the answer that your textbook tells you? I should answer if I'm ok or do you really want to sit and understand how I'm operating or not operating at 14? 

Um, and, uh, you know, this is a, such a long, difficult, difficult story. But, uh, you know, they, they actually chucked her out of that rehab for bad behavior, um, because she tried to kill herself in the, in the gardens. And um and they said there's nothing wrong with her. Jenny. Jenny is such a bubbly bright child. 

She had, she was like the Pied Piper. All the other uh Children or teenagers were following her around and that all that was wrong was that she had a lack of, of coping skills and, and it wasn't true, right? And as you describe her, you know, I think I'm, I'm, I'm hearing someone who seems like she has a level of understanding intellect beyond her years, as well as quite a, quite a charismatic, I suppose wit to, to accompany that intellect, which is part maybe partly why she was, she was so challenging because there was this level of sort of seeing the world in a different way that uh maybe a child doesn't normally see the world. And the first thing that crossed my mind when you were describing that was like, what, what actually goes through your mind when you hear your child, say to you at 14 years old, I tried to strangle myself at age seven. It was terrifying. And, um, and clearly she was looking to me to be able to show her how to get through this. And when this happened at the first place, we got it to, she clearly realized I couldn't and she clearly realized the system couldn't. And then she really went off the rails. In fact, she was, she, she was expelled from this, this place and then ran away into the streets of the city and it took 30 hours to find her. And in that time, I, I had this image of her either in a drug ring or a prostitute ring, probably even taken out of the country. 

Uh, and that I would never see her again. And that was one of the most terrifying times those 30 hours. I thought that's it. We've lost her. Uh, you know, I, I'm as, you know, you got to meet my little fellow and, uh as a parent, like my heart just hurts at the thought of like, where is my child? And there's all manner of disaster things that could be happening to her in, in this moment, you know, what's, what's really fascinating to me is this seeming level of self awareness that Jenny seemed to possess, that I have these very strong urges to end my life. And yet I don't actually want to have them and I want to find a way, like I'm looking for help to get through this, but it seems like, and maybe there maybe a again, we try not to apply a 20 you know, 23 level of understanding to something that was maybe a couple of decades earlier because boy, we could say that knowledge and information understanding is really advanced quite rapidly. But I think about like, do we did, was there an understanding of or even any kind of accurate clinical diagnosis as to what she was experiencing or did that really come after the fact, it came after the fact for several reasons, you know, from 14 to 18, they try not to label as much or they didn't in those days and, and part of me didn't want it to be labeled because because of her level of intelligence, then she's going to go around saying I'm borderline personality disorder, I'm bipolar, I'm, I'm this, I'm that and the other and then that defines her for the rest of her life and everybody labels and defines her and I didn't want that to happen. Um But the thing with Jenny is that she, she mostly had this amazing wisdom and insight. I mean, often I'd stop and go wow, Jenny, where did you get that from? And she went, I just know it. And then other times she would go into this place where there was no reasoning and, you know, life was too overwhelming and, and she could not be reasonable. 

There was no ability to be reasonable with her and that's actually what happened the day that she died was that with this whole scenario because they're feeling so out of control a person like Jenny starts finding ways to get control. So she, she was already in a bulimic eating disorder because she kept saying to me that's the only thing I can control in myself. Everybody else is trying to control me. But that's the one thing I'm entirely in control with. Nobody can stop me unless I want them to. And the other was that comes with this whole situation, grand manipulation because after her, her, her third attempt, she tried three times after her third attempt, I really knew Jenny was serious about leaving. So when you go into that place and we're, we're finding it difficult. 

She's been in rehab and six weeks under 24 hours surveillance to, to make sure she doesn't do it. And, and you comes out saying, well, it helped, but I still feel suicidal. You're treading on eggshells and you're tiptoeing to make sure that something or someone or whatever isn't going to, to send her off onto that trajectory. And uh so with it comes a lot of, of manipulation because then they realize that's where the power is. So what happened that day is she was breaking all safekeeping house rules and she had a baby sister four years younger than her at the age of 12, Jenny was just turned 16, 2 weeks before. And I had written her a letter saying you do not have permission to do this anymore whilst you're under this roof, these are necessary rules and I scrolled it and made her a smoothie and knocked on the door and said, this is for you. And later that day, she came through to me and said, don't make me do this bad things will happen. And I went, there's no other alternative, Jenny. And she actually said, well, then I'm leaving home and I said, well, I, I can't stop you. You're 16. I suggest you don't. But I, I, I, in all fairness, it wasn't in this smooth way. 

We were at screaming point with each other and we were arguing and, um, she stormed out with some really interesting last words. They were the last words to me. Uh, basically saying you've effed up my life and you've effed up my friendships and she left and after a while I felt something wasn't right. And I went to find her and that's when I walked into the bathroom and found her hanging in the shower. Hm. That, that is a moment. 

You know, I think that we would never ever wish to see as a human being, let alone as a parent. And, you know, there was a question that came to mind and it's a difficult question to ask. But as I, as I hear you describe like her e essentially like her living lived experience and just how tempestuous it was, how difficult it was, how I, in a sense, how tortured it was this constant sort of wrestling back and forth between this sort of beyond her age wisdom and intellect with the these other experiences and extremely powerful suicidal urges. Uh You know, I guess what I'm trying to ask here is like, is there or did there at a later time come a sense that in some way, her life not continuing was, was merciful. Given how like difficult her, her lived existence was. 

I really enjoyed that question. And in fact, it's even more than me. It's insightful. And that is where, you know, I was trying to carry on as best I could after she left. And, um, sure it, it, I mean, that's when I got to the point where three times I started planning my suicide because I just didn't know how I could get on with the rest of my life and get out of that black hole. I was in and nine months after she died, I, I was crossing the road and I decided that I don't know how I managed to cross that road without being hit. But when I got over to the other side and had my crossing over moment, I knew I had to study and, and research how to accurately get through this not hit and miss stuff. And it's, it's the epiphany process that I've now formed, that helped me to define what you've just said even further because I was able to, to put together a long list of what that loss was all about, which we can all do very easily when we're in the loss. So that list was there going ok. 

You know, a loss. I'll never see her get married. I never see her Children. Um, I never know what she looks like all all those losses and of course, the trauma of, of losing her the way I did. So dealing with all of that, I could do that easily. But what my research and study enabled me to, to do embrace understand on a conscious and an unconscious level blew my mind away as I began to understand that the level of connection now is far more accurate. 

You know, science says energy can't be created or destroyed. It reforms into a new version of itself. So Jenny was energy. So where's that energy? And so through my, my ability to, to study and research the science side of all of this uh formed the ability to see a bigger picture. And that was if Jenny had stayed, we as a family would have possibly have spent the rest of our lives trying to keep her alive and it would have compromised every level of our living with Jenny gone. 

It's been able to bring in a new level of purpose for me and a new level of conversation with my Children that is more real, more authentic, more direct because we've had this loss. And so now it's like my very, my very loss has put a life purpose and a legacy that has made such a difference to so many people around the world through Jenny having left. Mhm There was, there was something that you described there that I just wanted to revisit a little bit. And part of the reason for wanting to revisit it is because, you know, we learn through, we as humans learn exceptionally well through story, we're able to sort of connect and as we share elements of story, others who hear those stories who may be going through a similar experience can kind of read themselves into that and, and in that start to find some hope. So you describe, you know, the, the nine months before you had this epiphany or the nine months of what your your life was like as a black hole as you're trying to dig yourself out of this. How did you function in day to day life? And what, what ultimately led you to maybe considering suicide and when considering that, what stopped you? Hm. This is a wonderful questions. Um day to day life. 

I had moments where I coped and moments where I fell apart, which is part of the grieving and trauma cycle of life. Um So most people saw me as altogether because people were going well. You know, it's not, thank goodness it's happened to Je Jeanetta. But if it's got to happen to anybody, at least she's got the strength uh to see this through. Uh so on the surface, I looked very strong. Um underneath, I had moments of strength and moments of just falling apart and a number of times where I nearly hospitalized myself. And then I really realized the moment you start working, using the word suicide, people start reacting very differently to you. 

You suddenly stop being a reasonable reasoning and reasonable human being. And they, they almost treat you like an article. I watched that with Jenny and you lose a sense of being believed and that makes it worse. It puts you even more down that rabbit hole. So I went, I'm not going there. 

I've got to find a way to do it myself. And, uh, so that's what I, I decided that day I crossed the road. I was in that moment. I was feeling so hopeless that I just stepped off the edge. I didn't look at the traffic. I, I, I was mindless really? 

And, and it wasn't until I got halfway across the road because I knew I had to cross the road that I, I, I, this voice inside me, my voice said, you've forgotten. You have choice. You do not have to have the label of the mother whose daughter killed herself after you had an argument as being the only label, the ultimate label. And I kind of wandered aimlessly over to the other side. And that's when I stepped her off and went, wow, I safely crossed over and I had a crossing over moment. 

There's one thing you said that I, I would like to highlight because I think it was so, so important. I don't want to get to, to get missed. And you said it's the shift in how people perceive you when the word suicide enters the conversation. I, I felt that when you said that because you still are a reasonable, rational thinking, human being even in that moment and perhaps even sharing that word is a cry for help. I don't want to do this, but I don't see another option out of what I'm currently experiencing. Yeah. And what happens is people get so scared, it becomes their fear, not your fear. So because they're so fearful, they feel they have to protect themselves without realizing that's what they're feeling. So to protect themselves, they start their energy towards you, starts changing. 

They don't think you're a very safe person to be around with and a very safe person to operate with. So they treat you as though you're an alien. Really? Hm. Well, and, and thank you for, for sharing that because I, I really think it's, it's so important, you know, I, I, in my line of work, um, you know, I I do nutrition coaching. But I joke that nutrition is the cover story. 

We're really working with people in a very different capacity. But we use the lens of nutrition to help us understand it. It's a safe entry into understanding why we do what we do and doing it with, with a level of compassion that allows us to bring these difficult struggles into the light where we can do it without judgment. So you crossed over the street now and I loved that there was like, there was actually like a almost like a physical ritual that accompanied the, the mental, the emotional, the spiritual epiphany that took place for you that you, you aimlessly are crossing the street, not even concerned about the outcome if you were hit by a car. And then this, this moment of realization comes to you. And you said, you know, I, I have a choice that has to be one of the most powerful realizations that somebody can come to. And I have a choice. 

This experience does not have to be the defining moment of my life where that is the label I will wear for the rest of my life. And in that moment, it seems like something was, was awakened within you and I wouldn't want to paint it as though the rest of your life was walking down the yellow brick road here. But, but it seems like and you, you can clarify but that gave you a new sense of purpose and a reason to keep moving forward. It gave me a small sense of purpose, funnily enough. Well, not fun, but actually enough, it gave me a shift. But as you said, it wasn't a yellow brick road, it was an enormous amount of, uh, the only thing that got me through it was that I, I, I remember thinking to myself, I do not want to get to my eighties and nineties having lived the rest of my life like this, I'd rather die. And since I don't want to die, something has to change. And it was a very painful, difficult, difficult journey to start finally getting the epiphany moments that this, I call it the Yin and Yang of science. Um This whole process enabled me to do and, and the most wonderful part about it is that in having to walk the walk and talk the talk and go through every bit of pain, failure and then success and um and, and breakthroughs because when you have an epiphany moment, scientifically, it's known as a photon moment and your body lightens up in your conscious consciousness and your unconscious consciousness. So every time I had these epiphany moments where I'd go, oh ah I get it. Um It's helped me to help so many people you mentioned the terrorist attack earlier, I helped so many of those terrorist attack victims with this process. 

I've helped um kids who are self harming and not washing and not eating and writing suicide notes. They're now once a pilot. Um And it's, it's just amazing how having been walked the walk and talk, the talk has made this so much more authentic and durable for other people. I've been able to assist. It is so important because there is an experiential level of understanding that cannot come from a textbook and that allows you to connect to people in the most. You would use the word authentic, the most authentic, the most human way. 

One of the greatest things I believe that we struggle with as human beings is being misunderstood. And there's this great relief that comes when somebody says, aha, at least there's one person who to some degree understands what I'm experiencing. I no longer feel alone in this. And so now you describe what you call the epiphany process and like what comes to mind for me again is when somebody hears about that, there's a natural human inclination to want to avoid going through struggle and discomfort. It's just a part of our primal brain doesn't want us to do that. So when we hear something like this, that sounds very hopeful and very promising, perhaps there are those who would, would hope that this is maybe like AAA painless or frictionless process. 

Now, I imagine because you've gone through this and you've worked with many, many people and you've refined this process over a number of years that it has become, you know, perhaps more efficient, it has become more effective. It, it, you have shortened the window of time that people may necessarily have to go through difficult things. But when they go through the epiphany process, um is there still difficulty that they're going to encounter? Uh yes, in one way, but not in the way that you're asking the way is that it's a skill and any skill that you're learning has its pain points until you have a breakthrough and dealing with that skill, whether you're learning to be a javelin thrower or an ice skater or uh AAA singer or whatever skill it is. There's those points where you want to take what you're doing and throw it all out the window and go, I'm not doing this anymore. Um And, and, and anybody getting a skill and fine honing, it will have the moments where they go and it's the same with this. 

It's, it's, it's a skill set that is so very different that when you first start with me, people have to often ask me to repeat the questions because they've never been asked questions like that. And because they're not used to that question, the brain, the brain has to start rewiring to answer it. And it's just amazing to watch how um motor neurons and synapses go chi chi and then they, and then suddenly it starts coming out them, their mouths and they go, I never thought of it that way because it had never been wired that way before. So it, it does take application but when they have an epiphany moment you can see and hear them going. Oh my word. You know, that person that was really bugging me. 

I don't, I, I'm not charged about it. I'm feeling actually quite graceful and accepting and, you know, spontaneously loving about it and it happens in a managed second like that brilliant. And you're, you're describing one of my, my favorite things which I know very little about relative to the scope of the topic. But that is neuroplasticity and the brain's ability to rewire itself, which is, it's, it, it is just mind bogglingly remarkable. Mind being the word we have, we have a just a limited amount of time before we close at this interview. And boy, I think, man, I, I, I could just ask many, many more questions and I, I know that people as they listen to you describe this, who would love to know more about this, this epiphany process because it really sounds like something quite remarkable and a path to creating very dramatic transformation in people's lives if you could, maybe, maybe this is difficult, but it's, it's kind of in a nutshell, encapsulate for somebody who's wondering like, what, what would it be like to, to kind of go through the epiphany process? What is the actual experience of that and what potential changes could occur? 

You know, for example, you describe someone who was, if I, if I'm putting the dots uh correctly together, someone who is suicidal, who ended up becoming a pilot, for example, what might that process look like if somebody was to come to you and say, I, I, I don't know much about this but I know that you have something that could really help me. What would that look like? Well, in a nutshell, we're in a society that's mostly almost addicted to being positive. And it's the biggest myth. We've been fed since I don't know when. And the reason being that if we're only being positive, it means we're judging all negative parts of ourselves. And there are nearly 5000 human traits listed in the dictionary and approximately half a positive and half a negative. So that means if we're only saying that positive is valuable in our psyche, it means we're judging half of who we are as being unacceptable and unlovable and unloved. And that is where people get stuck because half the time we're judging ourselves going not good enough, not good enough failure, not good enough, not good enough. 

A whole conversation is about trying to be attached to one sided reality. So what the epiphany process does is it, it brings out questions that begin bringing positive and negative from being polarized from each other to reverse the polarities so that you create that photon where both positive and negative become complementary opposites. So it's like two magnets reversing two magnets, they're pulling together and pulling away at the same time. That's what happens with an epiphany moment. So instead of you being polarized and going, I'm model citizen number one, being so positive and then when the negative kicks in to balance you out, you're going, I'm a big failure. 

Suddenly the two are going, I don't agree with you, but I do, I don't agree with you, but I do. And then suddenly you have this moment of seeing two realities that seem separate from each other are part of the one cycle. And suddenly you realize that you're in actuality, you're actually getting the whole picture. Hm. Now I'm, I'm, I might get the word wrong here but I'm thinking, it's like dialectical thinking where it's the ability to hold two opposing thoughts at the same time and accept them both as true. I don't know if I've got that correct. 

No, because you're in your brain and then whilst you're logically it, you've polarized again. So it's a, it's a really difficult thing to explain. It's rather like me saying, listen, if you pick up that javelin and you throw it there, it will land over there and you go, well, that's fabulous in theory. But you have to really do it to go. Oh, yeah, it does go there. But, you know, if I find hone and practice, uh, so it's about understanding that it isn't something that you can logically, you get your, your um logical thinking and your feeling, emotions. 

They're also a bit Yin. Yay. So when you can get the two to start talking different languages to each other than they used to, then there's this, this bigger actuality, understanding of the whole cycle, not half a cycle. So I had this thought, maybe this analogy is, is trying to understand this through logic might be like trying to explain the color blue to a blind person because there's something that just has to be experienced. I love that this is, this has been just a, a fascinating and a remarkable conversation. 

I, I so appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable. I realized there was so much more we could discuss and unpack, but we, we've come to the end of the interview and I always like to ask my, my guests, you know, if somebody has listened to this conversation today, if, if you could have them, just take one sort of prescient nugget away from this, what would you hope they would take away from hearing this discussion today? That there's always an answer. It depends whether you're ready for it or not. Hm It's always an answer. You just have to be ready for it. 

I, I love that Jeanette, thank you so much for, for being on today. It has truly been a fabulous conversation and I look forward to the opportunity to chat again in the future. Oh, thank you, John. Thank you to honor and pleasure. As I said, thank you so much for tuning in to between the before and after.