Resilience in the face of adversity.
An interview with Janine Shepherd
Resilience in the face of adversity.
An interview with Janine Shepherd
In this episode, Angela Lockwood interviews 6 time Author and Resilience Coach Janine Shepherd, AM. Janine's TED talk "A broken body isn't a broken person" has been viewed over 1.5 million times. Her work on resilience and post-traumatic growth has seen her travel the globe sharing her story when as a champion cross-country skier, she was training for the Winter Olympics when she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride. After being told she may not survive, Janine turned her tragedy into triumph and not only recovered but became a pilot.
In this episode, Janine shares her story and the skills needed to tap into the human potential for recovery and growth, of leaning into hardship and bouncing forward in the face of adversity.
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Angela: Welcome to your life podcast, the place where life becomes that little bit simpler. Welcome to Your Life podcast. I'm Angela Lockwood. And in this episode, I am really excited to be speaking with Janine shepherd. Janine and I go a long way back. In fact, I first came across Janine when I was only 17 years old. I was in hospital recovering from a head injury, where I had sustained quite significant injuries and I was in rehab in the hospital at the time when my sister gave me a book called “Never Tell Me Never”. Now at the time, it was pretty hard for me to be able to read because my eyes were blurry. It was hard for me to concentrate. It was sometimes even just hard for me to stay awake. But when I was given, “Never Tell Me Never” immediately I could feel shifts in the way that I was starting to see my recovery. Why? Because Janine talked about her own adversity that she had faced when she was training for the Calgary Winter Olympics. She was riding on a bike through the mountains in New South Wales, when a drunk driver struck her from behind. Her injuries were so significant that she was told she would never survive. But if she did, with some miracle, she would certainly never be able to walk. But in true, Janine Shepherd spirit, she certainly would walk again. And in fact, she went on to fly.
Your story has to be told Janine she didn't go on just to fly in planes. She went on to teach and she became an aerobatic pilot. But her story isn't just a story about survival, overcoming adversity. Her whole life story is one of inspiration of always overcoming challenges of looking forward to thinking, optimistically. So, here I am, so many years down the track, being able to share a conversation with a woman who I always have equated to being the one significant factor that helped me overcome such horrific injuries myself and helped me shape the path and the direction of my life. So it is my absolute honor to bring this conversation to you. With Janine Shepherd. Enjoy.
Janine Shepherd welcome to your life podcast.
Janine: Thank you for having me so far away, but so close.
Angela: I know you're on the other side of the world right now in a beautiful little cabin in Wyoming. How lucky.
Janine: Oh, it's wonderful, surrounded by bears and moose. No people.
Angela: No people just bear with me. So I'm surrounded by chickens and sheep. I love that side of the world, but we've got a similar wildlife. I don't know if you call that wildlife. But anyway, I think I'd rather be with sheep than a bear.
Janine: Oh, me too. Me too.
Angela: Can you believe that we first met 23 years ago, when your life was being honored on the basis of your life? Right?
Janine: Can you believe that? Worst night of my life? Well, because as you know, I really don't like that show. You know, it was like it, you know, I didn't want all that attention. And I remember saying at the time to my husband, I never wanted to be on that show. But if I'm ever on that show, don't you ever let me you know, I was sort of joking. And, and of course, when it happened, I thought, Oh, my gosh, I'm on that show. Not, but it seemed really sort of slightly embarrassing. I feel of course it's an honor, in that sense, but I was pregnant and sick. So it was a tough night. And then I look out in the audience and all my friends. Are there people that I'd only seen days and a week earlier. And no one had told me. I thought what is going on?
Angela: I mean, I've always wondered if everyone looks really surprised. And are you really surprised or do you have a suspicion?
Janine: Well l yes or no, you have no idea? In fact, I have a code name for you. Mine was Little Bo Peep. I think it was like the code name for my show. And I and if you find out they cannot.
Angela: Oh, so this is the other thing. I thought that was a little bit interesting. You had already been through so much and I can see why your life would be honored. But you were so young. I almost feel like you could have another This is Your Life moment.
Janine: Don't you dare ever put that out there in the universe? No, it's just a really slightly uncomfortable experience. I have to say to be honest, it's very odd. Okay. I mean, look, no, it's great that we met through that and other people there. And that was great. But I think being, you know, what, seven or eight months pregnant, and, and having the flu, not COVID, the flu. I wasn't well. And so it was tough. And that was a tough night.
Angela: So why would people put a pregnant woman with young children who is not well on national TV? Why? What was it about your life story?
Janine: I didn't know. It was very cruel. I'm never going to forgive those people. No, I'm kidding. I don't know. I think, you know, my story just really hit a nerve with a lot of people. You know, when I wrote my first book, “Never Tell Me Never” I thought, oh, I wonder if anyone ever read this book. And, of course, you know, hundreds of 1000s of copies later, and emails. I mean, it changed my life. And I think people just really resonate with real stories. And my story was,
Angela: I certainly did, and you just mentioned your book, “Never Tell Me Never”. And those people that know my story know that I often refer to “Never Tell Me Never” as a book that literally changed my life. And it was a book that I was given, you know, in hospital, and it was there's something about your story that I looked at, and I thought never tell me never. That's what I needed to hear right now. So what was it about your story that you feel that has resonated so deeply with people that the tenacity, the grit, but also the gentleness that you showed through? Not just “Never Tell Me Never”, but all your writings? What is it about your story, you think really inspires people?
Janine: I think it's simply that people see their own story in my story, you know, even with my, you know, I've written six books, my latest one “Defiant”, which we'll talk about that a bit later, but that, I think it's just it's honest, I think there's something in it that everyone can connect with. And I mean, if you take a snippet of, for example, my TED Talk, which is, you know, had an enormous amount of views, I think people are drawn to a story that somehow they see their own life reflected in it. So they can sort of go, yeah, I get that I've been there. And, you know, I've never been, you know, as a speaker on stage, I've never been someone who says, you know, you know, rah, rah, rah, you know, life is death, and life is easy, and you can do anything. My message is, you know, life is tough, you know, life is hard. But that, you know, if you can accept that, then it's not hard anymore, you know, that it's sort of lean into the hills, lean into the struggles, they're there to teach us something. So I think that I'm a mirror, you know, that simply yet, I think I hold up a mirror, whether I'm on stage or in my books, and people see some part of their life reflected in that.
Angela: And, of course, around the time, you were an elite athlete, you were going to the Calgary Winter Olympics, you know, you were you were the epitome of health, and well-being and achievement. So to have all of that taken from you by something that was really out of your control. A lot of people would sometimes find that story in itself going well, she can do it, then my problems really seem quiet little. Do you ever have that feedback from people?
Janine: I kept, I've had, you know, the feedback has been overwhelming. And of course, it's been such a huge part of my recovery, you know, sort of writing my story. And you know, all the people that have written to me over the years and still continue to do so took me out of my small story and into a sort of a bigger human story. And it helped me to realize that, you know, we're not on this, we're not on this journey alone. And I truly believe that we're all living one story, just different variations of it. You know, it's the one story of, you know, the classic Hero's Journey per Joseph Campbell. And that's the sort of repeating patterns through life. And once we see that, then we can go through life with much more ease and peace.
Angela: I love that. And I love there's a, there's a quote that I've heard you say before, and if you don't mind, I'm going to say it back to you. And I'd love to know how you knew this. So you said, “It's not until we let go of the life we think we should have, that we find the life that is waiting for us”. Now, what do you mean by this? And what events led you to know this?
Janine: Well, I think we hold on to things you know, and you only learn through experience, you know, it's you know, you sort of try something, it's a feedback loop and you figure out whether it works and, you know, when I got home from hospital after my accident, you know, paralyzed in a wheelchair in catheter and my old life was over. It was so incredibly painful. I just didn't want to be there anymore. And I sort of got to this point where the pain was so great that the only alternative was to let go. And it was in that letting go that, you know, my eyes were open to another way of being in the world. And of course, that's when all the possibilities opened up to me like, well, I can't walk, I'll fly, you know, and, and that whole journey of being a pilot, and, of course, flying is such a wonderful metaphor for life and freedom. So, in, in the letting go, I realized that, wow, this is, this is a process that I've used so often in my life, through other struggles that, you know, we can hold, the more we hold on, and then tighter we hold on to the way we think our life is supposed to be, the more we suffer. So we need to, you know, tread gently, hold things in a very gentle embrace, because we don't know what's waiting for us. We don't know what we're capable of. We don't know. You know? So I think life is inviting us all the time to experience new things. And that's all life is, life is a series of experiences.
Angela: Do you think that sometimes the busyness of our lives and, and being so on all the time can actually shut us off from some of those invitations that the universe sends us?
Janine: Oh, absolutely. And of course, you know, that is better than anyone. And I think that's a, you know, very relevant message right now. Because, you know, one of the struggles people are having now is, you know, life has been so busy. And it's almost as if the universe has said, well, you know, just gonna press the pause button, and we're all gonna take a breather, and it's very uncomfortable.
Angela: I really hope that out of all of this struggle that we're all facing right now that we do learn some of those ways of how we can step back, and how we can embrace those really simple things in our life and make the most of it. And I think, Janine, you know, you, you're somebody who it's not just the story of your accident or when you know, you had so much taken from you from your body point of view. But I am so fascinated in no matter how many interviews I hear that you share, or even your TED Talk, as you mentioned, which very humbly said a few people have watched millions of people have really, it really is an inspiring story in itself. But how do we disassociate? Or should we disassociate ourselves from our body to our mind? Or do they have to both work together to overcome these challenges?
Janine: Great question well, from someone who thought that I was my body, and of course, the original title of my TED talk was, “You are not your body”. You know, that's how I sort of defined myself, I thought that was my strength. I think it doesn't matter whether it's the body we're talking about, or any other skill or talent that we have in life, it's really, how are we putting ourselves out there? How are we defining ourselves? I mean, we see it over and over again, with, you know, celebrities and actors, who are beautiful people, and when they lose their beauty, you know, it's, it's, you know, they experience a great shattering of their image in the world, happens to athletes, you know, when their career is over, and they, you know, ask that question, well, if I'm not that, then who am I? So I think it really doesn't matter what it is, you know, it's, it's whatever we think defines us. If we hold that too tightly, we're on a very slippery slope.
Angela: Like he said, once upon a time, and I feel like I'm throwing everything back at you. But everything seems to be, you know, it makes you question your life or it's so deep, that you had a death experience around the time of your injury, and you don't call it a near death experience was his death experience, as I had, as you know? Did you make a conscious choice to come back? And why? why if you did, why did you?
Janine: Yeah, I did make a conscious choice. And well, at first, I was very angry. When I came back, I was very confused. Why am I back into this, this body's broken, it can no longer serve me? So it was pretty clear to me now, why I came back. It's because this was an incredible opportunity. This was the greatest thing that I could lose, that would wake me up to who I was truly who I was, you know, and as someone who just thought that they were their body as an elite athlete, and that's how I put myself forward in the world. That was my identity. That was the one thing that I had to lose to really wake up.
Angela: So how does somebody who is so focused on goals and outcomes which many of us are taught from a young age that it's even, you know, getting the best grades being in the best team? How much does surrendering have to play in this in achieving what we want out of life? Is it always about going hard and fast? Or is there an element of just going to you know what, I don't have the answers. I need some help.
Janine: Both really, I think, I mean, I'm still very junior. I’m, ‘Janine the Machine’, you know, I'm still, you know, driven towards my goals, but just not so much the outcome, like, I very much enjoy the process. And, you know, I know from experience that life, there's no guarantees in life, you know, you don't always get what you want, you always get what you need. And that's a really distinct, you know, difference there. And so, of course, we need goals, you know, of course, we need things to you know, I mean, I've been writing about this, today, I'm just putting the finishing touches on a course that I've created on resilience. And one of those is the hope theory, see us notice hope, theory, goals, pathways and agencies. And also, you know, part of the course is about values and strengths. And then I think they're important, you know, it's important to have goals, but what's really important is to know what our core values are, and to be able to align our goals with our values, so that, you know, when we live a values driven life, rather than a goals driven life, we're never really disappointed or not for very long anyway, because we can always live a life according to our values. The goals are never guaranteed.
Angela: And I can say in social media now, nowadays, too, that the life that often is portrayed to all of us is ideal. It's easy, it looks like you know, you roll out of bed in the morning, and you look like a model. Janine, I'm going to look like that when I get out of bed in the morning. Nobody does.
Janine: Yeah, I think people know that. I think people really know that it's, you know, all smoke and mirrors, particularly, you know, Instagram and things like that. And I think there's a, there's a balance between that to a balance between being really authentic. And also, you know, on the other side, sometimes it's gone the other way. And I see people that write constantly about depression. And I mean, I find it really sort of depressing. And, you know, so there's a balance between being honest about how you are, and also being optimistic because, you know, there's a great advantage to positivity in life, when we need a certain amount of that, to be able to, you know, just to meet our goals, and to live a life and to create well-being and to be hopeful. So positive emotions and positivity are really, really important. But that doesn't mean you have to be a Pollyanna.
Angela: Because that can also be hiding some of the truth can when you pretend, pretending to be positive, sometimes a little bit easier to then not address some of the challenges that you're facing.
Janine: Yeah, and I think it's really important to be like, you know, I was always there a long time to be really honest with a lot of my emotions, because I'm always I pick myself up and get on with it, which actually has a lot to do with how I did recover. So being accepting of my inner world, as well as the outer world, not just the circumstances, but my emotions has been really important in my life. So I say, you know, it's important to have a good cry, you know, to do all those things just don't stay there. That's all just don't get stuck there.
Angela: Yeah, I'm loving the situation that we're in right now across the globe, seeing on social media, which I try not to do too often. But people are starting to show photos of them, or just real moments of where, hey, you know, I'm actually struggling a little bit. And it's not all about we're all in this struggle together. But yet, I can still look picture perfect, and my life is still wonderful. And it's just also off social media, people seem to be having really honest conversations about what they're dealing with at the moment. Is that honesty really important for people when they're when they're faced with a challenge, and having those people on those supports?
Janine: Be honest with me? Well, it's always I mean, I think it's obviously important to be honest, and, you know, having a great support team is important too. And I think that's a great thing that's coming out of me, whoever's got shares in zoom is doing really well right now because everyone's on zoom. And it's amazing. I mean, we've all we're all connecting, we're all realizing that we're not in this, you know, we're not alone in this journey, that we're all in this together. And this sort of a sense of, I feel it anyway, a sense of calm, I'm amazed at how people are handling the challenge. That's not to take away from the incredible pain and suffering in the world because we forget living in in affluent societies, that there are people that are really struggling right now and that my heart goes out to, to them to people living in poverty for women living in, you know, domestic violence situations, when they're the you know, they're the real victims out of all of this and I think we need to, you know, focus on that I think this is going to make us a much kinder world and compassionate.
Angela: Can we learn a lot from listening to other people's stories? Or, you know, is there a sense of we are in this together so let's learn from each other?
Janine: Oh, yeah, I think, absolutely. We learn from each other's stories that's been really, you know, an important part of my recovery. And I think when we go through things, and I think this is part of the, you know, sort of the entitlement of life shouldn't be like this, if we're ever along those lines, that this shouldn't be happening to me, we know that we're pretty clear sign that we are exhibiting some sort of form of entitlement. And then entitlement kills joy. And I always say, well, you know, if someone says this shouldn't be happening, and I say, well, actually, it should, because it is. So that's the first thing it is. And so if you can get to that point, that point of acceptance, then that's the first step to you know, changing your life, to be able to say, this is where I am, this is happening. So now what, that's a really great next step. So now what? So yeah, back to the question, I get storytelling and sharing our stories. Whenever you hear someone else's story, you know, you sort of take you out of your small story. And you think, ah, right, I'm not I'm not alone, I think there's hope in that help in knowing that other people are also going not just going through, but other people have survived when you're going through.
Angela: And for those people that are listening, you've written six books, people should really go on and read them but there's no choice over the other. Really, interestingly, one of your books that has another profound impact on me was probably the one that people know least about. And that is “The Gift of Acceptance”.
Janine: Glad you said that. That's my favorite little book. I love that book. And it's just, you know, the story behind that, too. It's a book of affirmations, and just things that I've learned along the way. And I love it. I love that little book. And I do want to, I want to add to that I've got a whole double the amount of reasons to add to that book. So I will, you know, the plan is to republish that one day, but first I've got for anyone that hasn't read any of my books, I would say, start with my latest one, which is “Defiant” because that really brings people up to date with where my story is now. And, and you I haven't even told you this so that it's so defined has been optioned in Hollywood, and I know we get into a movie. It's so exciting.
Angela: Can I ask who the ladies will be because I know the beautiful Claudia Karvan was you in “Never Tell Me Never”.
Janine: It's Australian Telly movie, I guess. And so I've always had this idea. Well, no, I didn't always have this idea. But when I moved to America, that was prompted by an email that I got from a man in India, who wrote to me and said, “I've had an ailment for 17 years, and I was considering suicide. And I saw your talk and my life starts now. And you know that my life at that point, I'd been through a divorce single parenting, I'd lost my house”. And I thought for now. And I think I just thought, okay, universe, I get it. Okay, you want me to move? I mean, to take my story out into the big wide world. And then, you know, I thought, America and that sort of prompted the move here. And from my TED Talk, a couple of years ago, three really big Hollywood producers picked up my story, which was super exciting. And we're just about to sign on to an alias screenwriter, which I'm really, really excited about. So still Hollywood movies take a long time. Patience. Imagine what you can achieve between now and then when it comes out. I'll have to do a second edition for you. I know. That's so funny. It's so funny. But it's going to be great. I mean, there's so much more. I sort of the difference between my first and my latest book between “Never Tell Me Never” and “Defiant”. “Never Tell Me Never” which, you know, it's been I mean, I know in Australia alone, it's sold, I think 200,000 copies or something like that. It's really about what happened to find it more of a memoir. It's more about sort of peeling back the layers and more the emotional context of what happened around those events. So it's, it's deeper, and it's, of course, I'm older and more mature and able to, you know, I was able to write about things that I thought were very personal back then that I wasn't ready to share. So it's just, it's more raw. And I think it's absolutely my best book.
Angela: And I'm sure that there's so many more to come. And congratulations on having the screenplay. Oh my gosh, I just can't believe it has a movie now coming out. I can't wait. Don't tell me who it is. I want to have the element of surprise to see.
Janine: I don't know who it is yet. But I know that I know that a few names have been thrown around. But we have the screenplay. It takes a long time in Hollywood. It's such a big deal, you know, over here, I mean, takes years. So the screenplay will probably take a good year to write. Well, I mean, the writer that we have lined up is just wonderful. So I'm really excited about that second two years to find her.
Angela: Oh, wow. Well, congratulations. And I know that you have not just that happening. But you've also got this fantastic School of Resilience. I just love it. I love the title, first of all, the School of Resilience Now, why
Janine: I say it's not it's The School For Resilience. Yeah, which is actually, you know, I'll tell you the funny story. School of resilience was taken. This was years ago, when I got the name, the URL, and I thought, ah, rats, you know, I wanted that. And then I saw that a school for resilience was open, and I went, that’s way better, because it's actually building resilience. It's not all it's for. And so it's to help people to be for them to build. So just, I just love it. I love the name.
Angela: Another universal message. So one day the right one opens, but it was hearing so much about resilience. So I know, you really own this space. But I know, we're hearing resilience for children fit for people corporately. What is resilience? And why is it becoming such an important part of our development?
Janine: Yeah, well, of course, right now. It's the one quality that we all need. And I think people don't think about what they need. I mean, the whole idea is to, you know, when times are easy, you don't need it, it's when times are tough, that you really need it for a lot of people that sort of, you know, sort of chasing their tails now and realizing, wow, you know, this is something that I should have been thinking of earlier. And I think a lot of us think of resilience as bouncing back. And I always profess that it's more about bouncing forward, it's about post traumatic growth. It's about, you know, building upon, you know, the challenges in life. And, and it's not about avoiding adversity or loss, as I say, it's about tapping into our net resilience to create a life worth living. Because we all are innately resilient, the fact that we here says we're resilient, if people look back against, you know, over their life. And think of a time when they are struggling with something, maybe that it's now maybe that time is now but if they look back and go, Wow, I never thought I'd get through that breakup, or that job loss or whatever it was, but I did I, you know, so therefore, you are resilient, you just have to recognize the tools that you used at the time and the strengths that you had to get through whatever challenge you're going through now. And as I said, life is a repeating pattern. That's the hero's journey.
Angela: You talk about five pillars in the resilience net, I would love just to talk a little bit, go a bit deeper on two of them if we can, and one of them is we are never alone and always connected. And the second one is this too shall pass. And they feel like they're written for exactly what we're facing right now. But also, there are so many times where, you know, loneliness is on the increase with feeling, seeing increasing rates of depression, and feeling a feeling of isolation, but also that sense that I'm never going to get through this. Can you tell us a little bit more about these two, because I think they're really important for now? And I, one of the things I don't like is when people just try to get through something. And I know you're the same. How do we use these two pillars to move beyond what we're through now so that we can actually flourish and do the things we want? Beyond the hardship?
Janine: Yeah. Well, they're, you know, these pillars, or let's think of them as foundations of resilience. And, of course, You're never alone. I learned that in the spine ward. And in my TED talk, you know, I, that's represented in the story of the straws. And, you know, when we realize that we're all connected, I mean, there's so much work done on, you know, the benefits of our altruism, for example. And I think if we can realize that everyone's in this, everyone's got, everyone is struggling, okay, no one has a perfect life. No one is happy all the time. No one's you know, just, I mean, we look at people and think of only hiding their life, they're probably looking at that someone else is thinking the same thing. So, you know, there's a great benefit in recognizing that everyone's suffering. And you know, when we get out of that, when we hear that, and we realize that everyone's going through something, we immediately know that whole idea of connection and compassion. When we give to other people, we step out of our small story and help other people, we know that it actually benefits us. You know, there's a lot of studies that show that when you have, you know, exhibit an altruistic act, you're the one that benefits and there's studies that I've written about what they did. They gave university students money, and one group had to go and spend it on themselves, you know, in hedonistic activities, and one group had to go and spend it on other people. And as it turned out, the ones that acted altruistically that spent their money helping other people had greater benefits and well-being. So, you know, that's the whole idea behind that, you know, realizing that we're all connected, you know, and that everything we do affects everybody else. And, you know, if you go out and then and, and give an act of kindness, you'll be surprised at how much you know how it changes your brain. I mean, that's what resilience is actually about. It's about rewiring and changing our brains.
And, of course, This too shall pass. I mean, what a great message in these times, you know, realizing that, you know, it's the idea behind Buddhism is that impermanence that everything is temporary, that nothing lasts. And that, you know, if we just stay with it, and be really present with our experience, whatever that is, it will pass you know, better times will come, this virus will be over. So since we're in it, let's just accept that we're in it and try to sort of savor and embrace the gifts in this time, because there are many,
Angela: You know, something I've been feeling recently is, it's always like a concern that it's going to finish soon. And I know that sounds really silly, because of course, there's so much hardship people are facing right now. But I'm starting to question. Have I used the time really well? Have I used it well enough? Have I actually been given this gift where, you know, I needed to maximize it? Or is this a period of time where we do really need to just go, let's just be in this together, let's face what we need to face. And let's get through this, but I love this where you're saying this too shall pass? Because it just gives this sense of it's going to all be okay.
Janine: Yeah, it will. And, you know, it's, this is where we are, this is the only moment that we have, we have no idea which still very good with uncertainty, you know, we just, you know, we panic, and we stress about it, and, you know, this is a great time to, to be really present. For a lot of people I've had a lot of people reach out to me and say, I'm really, really enjoying this time with my family. And, you know, people that are have obviously been disconnected from that value of, you know, being with family and loved ones. So, you know, if you look at everything that you've been through in life, you know, we know that nothing lasts. And I've just been writing about that wonderful story about, you know, the ring, the man that the king that goes and since he's a humble servant out to find a ring. And you know, the story, you know, comes back with the ring that that has, this too shall pass, I've actually got a ring with that actually engraved on it. At that point, we realized that, you know, the truth of this is that the good times, it sort of keeps us humble, knowing that the good times will pass, but also it gives us hope that whatever struggles we have will also pass. That's just the nature of the universe, you know, the nature of everything is temporary.
Angela: And these are the thoughts that people should be having, or that you recommend, or that you see have worked with people, when they're in that struggle, when, when they're in that really dark time of not knowing what to do? Can these be almost like mantras for them to go, Hey, don't worry, this too too shall pass? Or is it things where people? Is it beyond that? Is it something where it's a lot harder to grasp? Or can it be as simple as just telling yourself that?
Janine: Oh, no, I think, you know, having a practice of meditation or stillness, whether that's, you know, for a lot of people that maybe can't go outside now maybe that's, you know, room having a quiet space for people that can go outside, maybe it's going for a walk, getting into nature, if you can, but I think, you know, the answers, I think we've all got the answers, you know, everything intuitively is inside us. But, you know, we just have to silence the voice that keeps you know, that nagging voice that just doesn't stop, you know, to really hear what it is in our heart that we need to hear. And, you know, to really sort of tap into that, our soul and who we are today, and how much does spirituality play in your life? Oh, well, it's funny because someone asked me the day they said, Oh, you're very spiritual. I said, No, hi, everyone. You know, we're all spirits. We're all you know, what is it someone Deepak Chopra's, co-founder of the Chopra center used to say, we're all we're all God in drag. And we have, that whole idea of, we're spiritual beings having a human experience. So, in that sense, none of us have our bodies, you know, so it's just how we connect with that essence of who we are. Now, whether it's you know, whether it's through what you call God or the universe or a greater power, or whatever you call it, and however you connect with that, that's, really up to that's an individual thing. You know, my husband, David, I mean, for him being spiritual is, you know, walking off into the mountains on his own for a day or two, I mean, that to him is an incredibly spiritual experience. For me, it's just, you can experience great reverence when you're watching a sunset or listening to music or just reading something that sort of just cracks open your heart. And I think possibly that what we're all experiencing right now is an opportunity to hear something deeper, that deeper voice within ourselves.
Angela: You mentioned Deepak Chopra, and he, he said, a comment about you that you move people to find the real potential of their lives. And that's a pretty big call that's a pretty good endorsement. How do people know that they're not living up to their potential? How do people know that? This is not what I should be doing with my life or this, this feels out of balance.
Janine: I think the clearest sign for that is when people are experiencing sort of an extra anxiety about unrest about their life. And I think, you know, for a lot of us, we live, we live lives that we think we're supposed to live, you know, the life that we think our parents told us were supposed to live or a partner or our teachers, and I think we're out of alignment with, you know, the life we're meant to be living, I truly believe that we come into this body with a sacred contract, something we're meant to be doing. And I think we're not living that we're not living that truth. We're not, we don't have goals with soul. I think that we know, when we're depressed, we're anxious. We're scared of all of those things. And I'm not saying that's the only reason for depression, for example, I've been there too. I think it really takes a lot of courage to decide that, what I'm not going to live my life like this anymore. I'm going to, you know, step off, and I'm going to go in, and that and that's scary.
Angela: Yeah, I feel goals with soul. I love that. Goals with soul. It just puts a real depth and meaning to things that sometimes goals can feel a little bit superficial if they're not driven. Yeah, something internally. I love that. Janine, one of the things I love, of course, is working with children. As an occupational therapist, I work with children. That is a part of my soul work that I do. How much are we seeing the importance of resilience in developing resilience in children? And what are some of the things that parents can do to help foster skills and resilience in their children?
Janine: Well, I've got three, I'm a mother of three. And I've got three incredibly resilient children. And I think they're resilient because they've seen me fall over so many times and get back up. And you know, research shows that resilience, for example, is a cognitive skill that can be learned so we can learn to be resilient, which is great for parents, and the work of hope theory, who has hope theory, he says that we learn to be hopeful thinkers, which is a component of resilience through watching those people we're closest to. So that's a great thing for parents out there thinking, “Well, how do I teach my kids to be resilient?” Well, you cultivate that skill in yourself, because your kids are watching you very closely. And if they're learning from the people closest to them, they're learning from you. So cultivate those skills in yourself and cultivate the skill of resilience your kids have watching very closely. That's how we teach it to our kids by telling them you teach them by being that and sometimes you can even feel their eyes on you can't you know, they're watching. They're watching very, very closely.
Angela: Before we finish up, you live as we spoke about earlier in a cabin in Wyoming is a beautiful Rocky Mountains. What is the choice for you to simplify your life or is this a year to get back to this?
Janine: No, it's been a great lesson since I came here. Then I was guided here, you know, through meeting my husband. This you know, I mean, it was just the craziest thing. For example, my last name Shepherd, his farm, this farm we live in now. Go black sheep farm. So I'm a bit of black sheep, all the signs just brought me here. And this is what I was meant to be. And part of the reason I wrote my book here and that, you know, there's a lot of stillness, silence and solitude here, which hasn't always been easy for me, but it's really been one of my greatest lessons in life about slowing down, and just being at peace with being here. And it's been just an extraordinary journey. Every part of my life, I mean, you know, sometimes I've been brought here screaming and kicking by the universe, but I know now I've just had enough, experience to know now, okay, let go and trust.