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Quitting the Cult, Janet Bernstein on The Brave Files Podcast

Quitting the Cult

With Featured Guest

Janet Bernstein

LOST • COURAGE • PERSEVERANCE

Top Takeaways From This Episode

  • You cannot force happiness.
  • Sometimes true strength means walking away.
  • Real happiness doesn’t require convincing.
  • You are stronger and more capable than you realize.

For 20 years, Janet Bernstein belonged to a cult-like religious group. Unfortunately, she spent a significant amount of her early adult life sheltered and frightened within the bubble of Messianic Judaism. Frustratingly, her branch of this religion required she live a life of submission to her husband and maintain relationships only with those belonging to the same group. Shockingly, she was even punished if her head was not lower than her husbands when praying! Unsurprisingly, her happiness suffered and eventually, she realized the only way out was to abandon all she had known.

The submissive years.

Sadly, at the age of 22, Janet felt lost and a little misunderstood. First, she married a leader in the Messianic Judaism faith. Then, before she knew it she was the mother of three children and was traveling internationally to spread their church’s mission. Janet fully admits to enjoying the travel and is grateful for amazing cultural experiences. However, Janet grappled with deep levels of uncertainty, being uncomfortable in her family surroundings and feelings of forced happiness. One thing was very clear, Janet did not love her husband. Almost since the beginning, she knew something wasn’t right.

Leaving it all behind.

In order to divorce her husband, Janet was forced to leave her entire life behind. She had no friends, family, and hardly any financial independence. Disappointingly, her community cut ties, and she was alone. As someone who had never run from a challenge, Janet took this head on. Through her courage and perseverance, she secured housing and work. Bravely, her sacrifices would ensure she never had to return to the life she once lived. She also worked resiliently to get her children back. This was no easy task because their father was quickly poisoning their minds against their mother.

A brand new life.

Rather miraculously, Janet not only rebuilt her life, but she also built an extraordinary business.  She has, without a doubt, gone from surviving to thriving. What was once a one-person organizational business is now a large multi-team member company – The Organizing Professionals. Her courage to travel down a new path turned her life around. Janet’s story teaches us to hold steadfast to what we know is right. We all deserve a life full of happiness.

More About Janet:

Born and raised in England, Janet moved to the United States in her early twenties. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania. As an adult, Janet has lived in five countries on three continents and speaks English, Russian, and French. She developed her organizing expertise through her travels, multiple international moves, and work abroad including nine years in the Former Soviet Union. As a professional organizer, Janet combines her passion for helping others with her understanding of how to effectively organize space and systems that benefit each individual.

Professional Accomplishments

In 2006, Janet created Janet Bernstein Organizers and built a substantial word-of-mouth clientele in New York City before settling with her family in 2008 in the Philadelphia area. “I feel incredibly fortunate to do this work,” Janet says enthusiastically. “Whether I’m helping a client find peace of mind in their home or enhancing productivity and profit in businesses, I have the daily privilege of seeing real, positive change in peoples’ lives. That’s incredibly rewarding.”

Janet is a Certified Professional Organizer,* (CPO a Golden Circle** member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), a member of the Greater Philadelphia NAPO Chapter, and a member of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. She was named Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly® 2012 Personal Organizer and in 2015 Philadelphia Magazine named Janet Bernstein at The Organizing Professionals Best of Philly® 2015 Home Organizer. Janet has been interviewed for numerous TV, print and online media outlets including CBS Talk Philly and the New York Times. Janet is also available for speaking engagements. Her down-to-earth and humorous presentations ranging from “Why Can’t I Get Organized?!” to “Digging out of the Clutter” have been enthusiastically received by audiences.

Connect with Janet

Please learn more about Janet and her company on her website. You can also connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

Giving is Good

Having faced the difficulties of single parenthood, Janet Bernstein supports Single Parent Advocate. The organization is focused on educating and empowering single parents. The non-profit provides resources and social networking opportunities to better the lives of those parenting on their own.

"Something just clicked. I just realized I can't continue with this life. I knew that I needed an out."

- Janet Bernstein

Meet your Host, <em style="color:teal">Heather Vickery<em>

Meet your Host, Heather Vickery

Heather Vickery is an award-winning business owner and global leader with over 20 years as an entrepreneur. She leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment by helping them leverage their fear into intentional bravery. Heather says “When we choose bravely, on purpose, we choose bigger, have bigger successes and it’s contagious” A celebrated public speaker, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and successful lives through creating balance, time management, mindfulness, as well as countless systems, strategies, and boundaries. She’s the author of Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus and Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families. Heather is also the host and executive producer of The Brave Files Podcast.

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