DAVID LAROCHE: Hello, I’m with a new amazing woman. She’s Dr. Lise Janelle. She’s with me to answer my questions. You will love this interview. She will help you to break through your experience.
LISE JANELLE: Hello, David.
DAVID LAROCHE: How are you today?
LISE JANELLE: I am well. How are you?
DAVID LAROCHE: It’s an awesome day and I’m very glad to be with you today. Can you introduce yourself to the audience?
LISE JANELLE: Sure. I’m Dr. Lise Janelle and I’m the founder of the Centre for Heart Living and the Heart at Work Institute in Toronto.
DAVID LAROCHE: My first question is how can we overcome challenges?
LISE JANELLE: How can we overcome challenges? I find that there are two main ways of overcoming challenges: First is in creating something that’s greater than ourselves because when we think only about ourselves, it’s easy to back out. When we have something that’s greater than ourselves, then, it gives us courage.
For example, a mother who is about to give birth, if it were just about herself, there’s no way she would go through this pain; but because she has a bigger purpose, she will do that.
We hear also of people in a car accident and their child is stuck in the car. They would lift the car, open the door, and get their child out there because something greater than themselves is driving them. That’s one way of overcoming challenges.
If you’re so passionate about what you want and you have a greater purpose, it will pull you and you won’t even think about the challenges. You’re just so focused. That’s one way.
The other way is when you get scared when you look at a challenge. Start asking yourself: How was that benefiting me? So you don’t focus only on the challenging side but on the benefit side as well.
If you go to the gym and you’re only thinking—oh, this is painful; I’m hurting—then, you won’t go there. But if you think—I’m going to be healthy and because I’m healthy, I’m going to have vitality and I can live an amazing life. So find the benefits in the challenge.
DAVID LAROCHE: It’s in the perspective and the way you see the challenge.
LISE JANELLE: Yes. After a while, if you love something so much, you don’t even think about the challenges anymore. You just do it because that’s what needs to be done.
DAVID LAROCHE: Can you tell me the story you told in the conference? Some people wonder—oh, okay, she doesn’t have any challenges. Can you share with us the moment when you had three challenges in just one month?
LISE JANELLE: My life, all of a sudden, changed in 1988. I was kind of going through life half-asleep just going from here and there. But in 1988, my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he was given nine months to live. Three weeks later, my 21-year-old brother very suddenly died in a car accident. And my 8-eight-year relationship ended.
My father, my brother, and my first love—all within a month. It was so painful. And I had to stop and ask myself: What’s the meaning of life?
I certainly did not think that my 21-year-old brother was going to die. How do I live life so that if my time comes, I have no regret? And that’s what started me on this quest to live a fulfilling life.
And through that transition, now, I find, for example, that the death of my brother which was so sudden really drove me; and I know that, now, the world benefits because of this question that came from this experience.
DAVID LAROCHE: According to your point of view because you had a very hard experience and you learned a lot from that, do we have to have the same experience to learn that?
LISE JANELLE: A very good question! First of all, I believe that nobody escapes challenges. I’ve been asking thousands of people, “Raise your hand if you’ve never had any challenges,” and nobody has ever raised their hands. So I think, as humans, we need to get over the fallacy, the craziness that we can live a life that has no challenges. Once we get that in check, we can move forward much easier in life.
One of my clients had two babies and I asked her, “What would it have been like for you to go through labor if you didn’t know it was going to be painful?” and she said, “I’d be so scared I would have never been able to withstand it.”
So I think it’s important we know, as human beings, we are going to have challenges. But if we’re smart, the name of the game is not to avoid challenges but it’s how I can use the challenges to my advantage.
DAVID LAROCHE: True.
LISE JANELLE: Yes. Napoleon Hill had been hired by Dale Carnegie back then to interview the most successful people at the time like Edison, Ford and all those people. He found out that the common trait among all the successful people was the ability to find the benefits within the crisis.
When a crisis happens, the other people start sucking their thumbs. They feel sorry for themselves. Successful people ask themselves, “How can I use this to my advantage?”
DAVID LAROCHE: Do you have some life lessons you would like to share for us to grow, reach our goals, and be happy in this life?
LISE JANELLE: I have many life lessons but the greatest life lesson I had was…
DAVID LAROCHE: The top lessons?
LISE JANELLE: The top lesson that happened to me was in 1989 after the first time I did John Demartinis’s course. Within a few hours, I took the extreme anger and resentment I had towards my father. I released this anger and I got to experience the deepest moment of gratitude in my life.
It, actually, became the most powerful spiritual experience in my life as well. It’s hard to tell in words but, basically, what I saw was that everything that ever happened to me or us and that would ever happen to me or us is perfectly designed to bring the best out of ourselves, that we are on a spiral, 0:07:22.1 an evolutionary process that was designed to do this. And if were wise, we would just know at the deepest level within ourselves that we with loved.
It’s interesting because I could feel that I was also part of the web that makes us all one. And when you are there, you feel no fear; you just know gratitude.
Lately, I read two great books. One is called “Proof of Heaven” and the other one is “Dying to be Me.” Both people died and came back and told how it was like. And their experience of heaven was basically what I experienced as well. So I know you don’t have to die to go to heaven.
By striving everyday to open your heart more and more and to have more and more gratitude, your life can be heaven on earth. We have hell on earth when we are ungrateful. We have heaven on earth when we are grateful.
DAVID LAROCHE: How can we develop gratitude?
LISE JANELLE: First, you need to want to live a great life. If you want to live a great life, guaranteed, that’s ingredient number one.
Number two, I’ll use a story and it’s a corny story but it’s the perfect little corny story. This is the story of a scientist who’s observing a butterfly coming out of the cocoon.
DAVID LAROCHE: Yes, I heard the story.
LISE JANELLE: And so, the scientist is observing and he feels sorry for the poor butterfly because it takes hours and the poor thing is struggling.
“I’ve got to cut the cocoon open so it doesn’t have to struggle.”
Because he does that, though, the butterfly has nothing to push against. Its wings are too weak and it can never fly. And it dies.
So if you have people you love in your life, don’t only support them. Challenge them. And as you have a picture of your life, if you can start recognizing these challenges I had, it was not because something is wrong with me. All human beings have challenges.
And if you come from the place of “my soul chose how this experience… and it’s for my highest good.” What is it that I’m supposed to learn? How can I use this to my advantage?—the same questions as before.
Everything that happens to us is perfect. When I look back at the crises in my life, I know that every one of them was shaping me, driving me, and creating support and challenge so that I would be driven.
I have a chart in my book on pages 16 and 17 that talks about the conscious and the unconscious phases of our life. As human beings, we have a choice; and, as human beings, we all have the one phase that we go through which is the unconscious phase.
I think it’s brilliant. God made it happen because it’s the cosmos joke as well. We, as spiritual beings, are this unconditional love. We are these spiritual beings.
And then, we come into the physical world and, right from the beginning, love has to come from the outside. If you start thinking that love is going to come from the outside, you’re driven your whole life, if you’re unconscious, trying to get love from the outside which never works.
And trying to get love from the outside, I find, gives us three main mechanisms when we are in the unconscious phase.
One is to run away from pain towards pleasure. Let’s say, you’re the youngest one in the family and you have a big brother. I was working with someone earlier and that’s his story. He felt that he could never compare to the big brother in sports. So he decided to do music and he’s as brilliant in music as his brother was in sports because he had the need to compete.
So his pain at feeling not as good physically as his brother drove him somewhere else so he made himself a musician.
I asked him, “If I give you the choice right now to have been as good physically as your brother but you wouldn’t be playing music, what would you choose?”
And he said, “I would choose not to be as good so I could play music the way I play it.”
The other mechanism we have is our ego. Our little ego makes us say, “I’m going to be better than my parents or my siblings” or whatever it is. I’m going to show them how it’s done.”
With other people, it’s like, “I want to be exactly like my parents. They’re amazing.”
The problem with doing this is, instead of trying to be yourself, you’re trying to be or not be somebody else. But it’s a perfect mechanism because it creates part of our character and personality.
The last mechanism that we have that drives us is the Pavlovian reflexes. 0:12:15.4 We learn conditioned reflexes. We associate pleasure and pain to different stimuli.
So when we’re on the unconscious phase, we’re constantly going back and forth between these mechanisms believing that we are consciously choosing what we’re doing but, actually, we’re just reacting.
And if we’re lucky, what would happen is something like what happened to me when I got all this within a month. Something strong happens that it shocks us and we start asking ourselves, “What’s the meaning of life? How do I live life?”
So it’s either a shock in career, finances, relationship, or health, one of the areas of life or somebody will inspire us. That’s the way to avoid the strong lesson. It’s to be inspired.
What you’re doing right now is very important because you can help people to wake up without needing to have their brother die or something like that. And if it happened, it would be perfect but just realize that you serve a purpose by doing this. You’re trying to awaken people so that they start getting their lessons and start listening to their hearts without having to get the big baseball bat.
All of you who are listening, realize that you’ll never have more pleasure than pain.
We use the yin and the yang, the light and the dark. If one represents support, then, the other one represents challenge. If one represents comfort, then, the other one discomfort. I guarantee you we’ll never escape that.
If you stay in your comfort zone and you don’t do what you know in your heart is calling you do to, you’ll get challenged.
But if you challenge yourself to do what your heart is telling you to do, you’ll attract support in the form of gratitude and satisfaction in the sense of being successful.
We never escape support and challenge. We can only choose the form it’s going to come. Maybe I’m a control freak but I would, right away, challenge myself to follow my heart to get the pleasure of that than to stay in my comfort zone of not doing what I know I should be doing and attracting all the challenges and the drama that comes with that.
DAVID LAROCHE: Great! I love that. You have an accent. What do you think about the [inaudible] 0:14:39.6 to succeed? How did you use it as an advantage?
LISE JANELLE: My accent?
DAVID LAROCHE: Yes.
LISE JANELLE: The first time I got to do public speaking, I was hired by IBM to go speak in New York City in a WIT convention, Women in Technology, where women from all over the world were coming to hear me. And I was a bit nervous about my accent.
The feedback that was given to me was, “Because you have an accent, we need to pay more attention to you.” So they, actually, got the message better. It’s good that we have an accent.
DAVID LAROCHE: Thank you very much for all these answers. They were great!