Johnnie Davis 00:04
Death is just it’s not the end. It’s the beginning of a whole new existence. People really need to understand and I think the consciousness is starting to seep and people are starting to wake up, that you’re really a spiritual being having a human experience and eventually, this suit is going to expire.

Kristin Taylor 00:34
Hello, and welcome to How I Made It Through. My name is Kristin Taylor, and I’m an executive coach. As a coach, I have the privilege of supporting clients and navigating many aspects of life that make it challenging to focus on business. My life’s work requires holding sacred space for stories of struggle, and facilitating a loving process of finding one’s way back to wholeness, because, much like the immortal words of Robert Frost, the best way out, is always Thoreau. Today’s guest is Johnnie Davis, an inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, success coach, and the author of the empowering memoir, and Amazon Best Seller. I’m still here, from heart failure to heart of a champion at the age of 34. upset, healthy and athletic Johnnie unexpectedly came down with a sudden and progressive medical issue that caused symptoms that left him debilitated. When he finally arrived at the emergency room, he was told that have you waited just 24 hours longer, you would have died with no family history or any lifestyle predictors. Johnnie learned that he had congenital heart failure, and would be lucky to make it to 50. In 2012, he became a sudden cardiac arrest survivor, having been clinically dead for 16 minutes, his near death experience or NDE, as they’re called him not only what it means to die, but what it means to live more fully. He now lives without any fear of death. Having heard, as he said, The words of God, and is purposeful in his energy, focus, and the precious time he has on this planet. I am so excited to elevate his story. And in so doing, elevate our gratitude for the precious time we all have left on this planet, reminding us to spend it with a heartfelt and soulful appreciation for what really matters, and melting any fears we might have about one day facing our own gaps. Hi, Johnnie, welcome to How I Made It Through.

Johnnie Davis 02:55
Thank you. Hi, how are you?

Kristin Taylor 02:57
I’m doing well. How are you?

Johnnie Davis 03:00

Kristin Taylor 03:01
Good. You’re outstanding. Good. Well, to get us started, I just finished reading your book. And Johnnie, you have a truly extraordinary story to share. And I’m really eager for our audience to hear it. And having just read I’m still here, I was really impressed among so many things. But you have this strength of character and this commitment to personal and professional development. I imagine that may be part of just who you are, but also very much informed by your childhood and your upbringing. Let’s start there. Can you share anything about your childhood or formative years that feels like shaped who you are?

Johnnie Davis 03:42
Yeah, so you know, I grew up in Newark, New Jersey. And I’m originally from the one and raised. And we grew up in an environment where it was really in the Inner Inner City of Newark, New Jersey, it was in one of the worst housing projects back then. And I can remember being there at that time, it didn’t seem like it was really bad. But once I got out of it, and I kind of look at where we were at that time, I’m like, holy crap, how did we make it out of there. But it was a typical inner city environment that was loaded with gang violence, and just violence and drug dealing and drug dealers and anything and everything that you can think of that will actually get young teenagers derailed and on a pathway to jail or dying or being sent to the cemetery, if you will, things of that nature. So it was a really, really rough environment, really tough, tough environment. And my mom and dad, they separated when we were young. And so my mom, she actually raised all of us. I say she raised all of us by herself, who’s six of us, told me and I’m the oldest of three sons and so for me I’ve always wanted to do well in life, I’ve always wanted more, even though I grew up in that environment, there was something inside of me there was a spark that I had. And I’ve always wanted to do more and have more and be more. So I really focused on academics, I focused on sports, as well, as dream years ago of becoming a basketball player were actually professional football player, and then it turned into basketball. But then I discover something early on, in my career that I was kind of height challenged, and basketball wasn’t going to be the way for me to get out. So I had to use the old noggin and really focused on academics. And that was going to be my way to, to a better future to creating a better future for myself. And so, but that upbringing actually instilled a lot of toughness, mental toughness, intestinal fortitude. And also, I had to become very disciplined, and very focused on blocking out distractions. And I think that’s one of the things that really served me well. In my later years, I was actually able to block out the distractions, because as I mentioned, there were so many elements that could have pulled me in that direction where I wouldn’t even be here today talking to you, you know, I’m probably would have been in jail or dead as a result of all of those things that were taking place in that environment. But I made a decision early on that I was going to block all of those things out. And I was going to keep the main thing, the main thing and focus on my academics and focus on becoming something and being the first person in my family to go to college and, and be an example, for my younger brothers and anyone else that came along in the family to be an example of what is possible. And even though you’ve been grew up in a really disempowered environment, or this in disenfranchised environment, you don’t necessarily have to succumb to it. You don’t have to pick them up. And many people are and many people have been, but I didn’t want to be one of those statistics.

Kristin Taylor 07:06
And you knew that early on. It sounds like,

Johnnie Davis 07:09
Absolutely. I knew it early. There was something in me that just, I knew that I wasn’t in the right place. I felt like, I’ve always felt like I was born in the wrong time. Really, I’ve always felt like I was older than I really am. But I had an old soul. And I used to ask him, are you sure that I was born in 1978 72 at night and not 1962? Like, I’ve always felt much older than I than I am. I’ve always had that maturity about me. And everyone that met me, a new me always said the same thing that I’ve had this maturity about myself. But I knew early on that I was definitely destined for more than just what the environment made available to me at that time.

Kristin Taylor 07:51
Yeah, that’s so fascinating to me, I definitely am someone who believes in soul ages, and that some people are just born having had sort of more lifetimes under their belt. And that really informs how they respond to the environments they’re in. So I hear that loud and clear. I want to dive right in to the story. Because in your book, you don’t talk a lot about your childhood, but you do make certain references like in particular, to your relationship to your mom and a little bit to your dad, which seemed really significant. I want to take us if it feels like it makes sense for you. When you believe you were in Florida on a retreat and you started having all these weird medical symptoms. Does that feel like a good place to start to unravel the story that that you lived through?

Johnnie Davis 08:37
Absolutely. That’s That’s yeah.

Kristin Taylor 08:39
Okay. Okay. Get us going there. What was happening on that trip? And what kind of alarm bells or experiences were you having?

Johnnie Davis 08:46
Well, we were on the trip with all of my friends, all of my executive colleagues, and we were having a great time we had done some deep sea fishing, golf and record, so much grouper. That day. I remember was just a phenomenal, phenomenal day. And we went brought all fish to the restaurant and they cooked it anyway, you can imagine it and we had a feast of a feast that day. And I remember just eating so much of the grouper and everything that I felt like I was I was so full and I felt like I was I had indigestion. And I said okay, well you know, I’m just going to chill out for a second I eat too much. And I’m going to go back to the room and relax. The next day. I still felt like I had that same symptom of indigestion. So I’m thinking oh my gosh, I really overdid it. And I thought maybe it was like, you know, gas or whatever the case might be and so I went to the local store in the area and I bought some over the counter medications just to kind of relieve my my, the the gassy feeling and the indigestion type symptoms that I was experiencing every time and nothing happened. Nothing. Nothing worked. And I just started feeling sick. If. And when I left, Florida and I went back to North Carolina, I was feeling even sicker. So it was getting worse and worse day by day, I was feeling more and more terrible. And I didn’t know exactly. You know exactly what the problem was. I initially, I thought it was something from the food that I had eaten. But later on, it revealed itself to be something a lot more serious than that. But at that time, I just didn’t know what it was.

Kristin Taylor 10:28
Yeah, yeah. I can imagine how horrific that was. And I was reading the book, and all these symptoms are getting worse and worse and worse. And you finally do see a doctor. And I remember you saying that she told you you had an ulcer. And so that was what you were thinking you dealt with. But then the symptoms persisted, can you get us to when you finally got into the hospital, and started to have an understanding of what was going down with you medically?

Johnnie Davis 10:50
Yeah, so I actually, because of these symptoms, got progressively person in mind your Chris and I have never had any answers, right, never had any major health challenges in my life. So for me to even experience what I was experiencing was just mind blowing. So when I got that diagnosis that I had, and also my first book was, Where did this come from, I never had any problems at all. And I noticed over the course of several weeks that my symptoms got worse, I was taking the medication that they had prescribed. For me, it didn’t work. In fact, I had a reaction to one of the antibiotic antibiotics they had given me, it caused my heart to flutter and cause my heart to race even more to the point where I felt like it was literally going to explode out of my chest. And so some time went by several weeks, as I mentioned, and I got worse, strength just disappear. Now my ankles and my feet, and everything was starting to swell. And a friend of mine had come over to to my home at that time and said, You know, I am going to take you to the hospital because you look like death warmed over me. And it was at that time that when I was taken to the hospital, they examined me they couldn’t find any beings, and we’re trying to withdraw blood from me. And they couldn’t find any veins. I mean, all my veins had collapsed. And they told me just by looking at me, we’re going to keep you here for observation. And whatever your problem is, we can definitely assure you that it’s not in your stomach. And after a battery of tests that they ran on me and I stayed overnight. The next day, they revealed that I had what’s called congestive heart failure. I had never in my life had any problems with my heart at all. I had been an athlete my entire life, the football, growing up basketball, played a little basketball in college in the intramural level not always worked out. I’ve worked out ever since I was 12 years old. So going to the gym eating properly. I’ve never done any drugs. I’ve never smoked anything. I’ve never been a big drinker at all. I was the person who did everything right. I made sure that I did not abuse my body didn’t abuse my health. I understood that health, your health is your wealth. And I took pride in taking care of myself. And there was no prior history of anyone in my family that had any type of heart issue. So for me to receive that information from the doctor, I was totally flabbergasted.

Kristin Taylor 13:25
Of course, of course, you’re 34 years old, you’re robust, you’re strong, you don’t look at I think you said something like they said you were the healthiest sick person they’d ever seen.

Johnnie Davis 13:33
Absolutely. I was the youngest person in the cardiac unit.

Kristin Taylor 13:37
Oh my gosh. And so you talk so much about the internal experience of being flabbergasted have been floored. And what stood out to me among many things was, as all of this is being processed, as you’re trying to take this in and understand. And to me, I imagine it’s it’s such a big part of your identity, you know that your identity was wrapped around being healthy, and fit and strong, and young and someone who values taking care of himself and here you find yourself in this cardiac unit or the ER wherever you are at this point going What the f just happened to my world, right? So when reading the book, I remember tell me if I get this right or wrong, but I remember you started to feel safe there because you have yet to say that. They basically said if you showed up 24 hours later you would have expired. Yes. Right. Absolutely. And then you started to feel safe there because you had medical supervision. But then when you went home, then you started to have a lot of anxiety and panic. Can you can you shed some light on that experience?

Johnnie Davis 14:45
Absolutely. Yeah, it’s you know, they call it separation anxiety. While I was there, I was surrounded by nurses. I was surrounded by the doctors and I just knew that if anything were to go awry, that somebody can Get to Yeah. And they can help me, they can save my life, they wouldn’t let me die. And I had to become used to that. When I got home and I was discharged, and I was home by myself, I was out of the safety and the sanctity of the of the hospital environment, I had no more nurses checking on me. I had doctor’s no more doctors checking on me. And I literally just had this anxiety about what was going to happen because my heart was functioning at a very, very low level. And I had all this medication to take, I had never taken any type of medication like that at all Kristin, but now I had a bag full of medications, it was like 18 different medications, something that you will see in the, on the shelf, or in the cupboard of a of a sickly senior citizen. Looking at all these different things, when I’m supposed to take this medication, and what time to take this medication, just trying to make sense of all the stuff. Because now this is my new reality. And as soon as I got home, I mean, it couldn’t have been even 15 minutes after I gotten got in my house. I had a panic attack. Yeah. And passed out, be taken back to the emergency room. And that that happened twice. So that happened 20 so awful. Yeah, it’s it was just the most, it was the most torturous. That’s the best word I can think about. I can think of at that time, I felt like I was being tortured. Never been in that environment. At all, you talk about my identity, you talk about being a huge part of my identity of being healthy, to go from one opposite end, to go to the opposite end of that spectrum. To go from being extremely healthy, to being in a situation now where I needed someone to take care of me. That was a huge shift. Yeah, yeah. Just trying to process that mentally. As well as physically. It was overwhelming.

Kristin Taylor 17:05
Unbelievable. I think torturous is a perfect word. I’ve had panic attacks in my life. And I’ve never had them associated with my health and a reality of like, something really could go awry. And they’re torturous. When I was reading that chapter, in your book, I swear I wanted to time travel and show up there and give you a hug. I’m like this poor guy. This is a nightmare. Such a nightmare. So continue, if you would. You are now in anything, actually, I forgot a question that is important. So you’ve got congestive heart failure? I think they called it idiopathic cardiomyopathy. And you’re like, what is the prognosis? What do I do? What are you being told? And then the next several months? What is your quality of life in your headspace?

Johnnie Davis 17:54
Well, I had spoken to three different cardiologists while I was there. And one of the things that I love for people to do with me is to is to be straight. I’m a straight shooter. Give it to me. No, no, no chaser has given it to me, what am I dealing with? Because I need to know exactly how I want to fight now. Because, you know, I went into fight or flight mode. So now I’m, I’m in fight mode, I learned that from my childhood growing up in that environment had to fight. I was not going to retreat. So how can I win? How can I beat this? How can I defeat this tell me exactly what I’m dealing with? What is my prognosis? They all told me, the likelihood of you seeing 50 years old, is slim to none. Because your heart is functioning at such a low level. And we’ve seen individuals that come into this environment with the same symptoms, same situation as you. And they typically typically don’t live to see 50 years old, typically, they don’t live past five years. But for you, because you’re young. If you see 50 years old, that will be a tremendously means. And so for me, at 34 years old, I’m thinking in the back of my mind, I gosh, I gotta get to 50, I have at least have to live to 50. Now, what am I going to do for the next 16 years of my life? What does that mean, Johnny Davis, what do you do with the time that you have left? What if you don’t make it? And so I had to process that what my my new way of living was going to be without how I was going to take care of myself, because I’m an entrepreneur. And I built this huge organization in a company that I was with at the time. What was my role going to be in this world and what meaning was going to happen? And how was I? How was I going to define myself? Yeah, so I think, you know, for me during that time, you know, getting that information from the doctors, I had to process what this meant, and what my, what this meant for me and going forward the life I was going to have, and just trying to make sense of everything. So I was in a really praising headspace, just this quandary of just uncertainty, just not knowing what was going to happen and how I was going to pull it all together. So I was afraid for I can say, for the very first time in my life, that I was deathly afraid of just not knowing what was going to happen, you know, because I had always been taught to embrace uncertainty, embrace the unknown, make it your friend, you know, this is where all the exciting things live, and breathe outside of your comfort zone. This was so far out of my comfort zone, I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand being told that I wasn’t going to live. But for a certain time, it’s like every we know our birthday. But none of us know our death date. And I’m thinking to myself, Oh, my, wow, I can’t almost know my death date. And so I really have to get like, specific in terms of my steps and things I was going to do moving forward to get things in order to fulfill any dream that I had. Now’s the time to do it. And to do it with reckless abandon, because I’m on borrowed time. And that’s how I always approached every day that I’m on borrowed. So it was a really crazy headspace to be in when you’re told that you may not see 50 years old now. So here’s so here’s, here’s what happened. Six years later, they were absolutely correct. Because my heart function, it’s increase slightly, but not to the point where I wasn’t in the normal range. So 34 was diagnosed with heart failure. And 840. Just six years later, I went into sudden cardiac arrest.

Kristin Taylor 22:09
Well, I gotta tell you, that chapter and this is actually it was really, I’ve so appreciated the way you structured the book, because that chapter is written by your beloved wife, Rachel.

Johnnie Davis 22:22

Kristin Taylor 22:23
And I swear to you, I could not get through a page without crying. I felt like I was in her body in her heart. It was such an extraordinarily excruciating experience. From her vantage point, given how much she loved you. Can you share with our audience? What happened that night?

Johnnie Davis 22:44
Well, it was Christmas Eve. And, and I’m telling you the story, because it was told to me so many times. Okay, so we were just sitting in our living room, and we were just talking about Christmas, and what was gonna happen, in fact, my wife and I, at that time, we didn’t want to in vitro. And so we had all the medication and everything on the coffee table for her to take so she can start getting home prepared for our baby. So we were talking about baby names, and all if all of these things and like so she was gonna get pregnant in January, after baby in September. And we were gonna start our life with as as parents went to sleep that night, and didn’t wake up. She said, I reached over and I shook her. We were already kind of like, you know, laying next to each other really close and tight. So she thought she said, I shook her. And she thought I was having a bad dream. And she called my name heatedly. And notice that I hadn’t responded. And so she immediately got up and turn on the lights, and saw that my eyes were rolling in the back of my head. And so she immediately called 911. And he told her what to do, as far as how to administer chest compressions. So she began to administer chest compressions on me, however, she was administering those chest compressions on me while I was in the bed. So if you’ve ever done CPR on anyone, if you’ve ever watched anyone do CPR, you know, that that person should be on a hard surface. So she’s administering CPR, and I’m just going up, down, up and down on the bed. Needless to say, she witnessed me take my last breath, and die in her hands. There was a period of over 16 minutes when I didn’t have any oxygen to my brain, or I didn’t have a pulse. So she worked on me, for firemen arrived on the scene. They East it 300 chest compressions on me for a total of 1200 chest compressions. They didn’t shock me six times with the defibrillator. And it was on the sixth time, that every game I started breathing on my own but I never regained consciousness and so they I told my wife on that night and Christmas Day that if, if I survived, in the likelihood, they weren’t very optimistic that I would. But if I did survive that I would be a vegetable because it was so much time that he left without having any oxygen, right. So they had done everything that they could do to save my life between first starting the process to firemen, the EMTs, and the doctors, they had done everything that their training taught them. But everything that they learned in their training to do to save the human’s life they did on me. And at that point, they were like, if you are a praying woman pray, and she, my wife is a pretty woman. And she reached out to everyone. And information was circulated all over social media, unbeknownst to me at this time, because I’m gonna call him up. And I had the whole world praying for me, people in different parts of the of the globe that I didn’t even know at that time, praying for me. And I can go back on social media and look at all look at the dates, and I can still see all that all of those things that were circulating at the time, this is very beautiful moment and makes me feel really special. Because people took time out of their day and night to pray for me during that time. Yeah, it’s, it was just one of those things that person I don’t even remember. I don’t remember anything. So for me, like, when I think about it, it makes me emotional. From the standpoint of man I was that was it. That was almost the end of my story at 40 years old. But at the same time, because I don’t remember, I’m, like totally disconnected from it. Whereas my wife and other hand, she will not talk about it. It even to this day, it’s almost been 10 years later, and she still won’t talk about it because her experience was completely different from mine. This was even more horrifying. If I hadn’t survived, it would have been the easiest, most painless way to die, because I didn’t feel anything. And I completely have no recollection of what transpired up to that point. I’m giving the details because it was told to me, it’s right. There’s been there’s been pockets of time that had been deleted from my memory. And I think that was a result of the not having oxygen to the brain. Because there were some things that I had been dealing with. When I first came home from the hospital I had, I was dealing with the brain fog. And there was some short term memory loss and things of that nature. But so there are things to this day that I’ve done that I just don’t remember anymore. Right?

Kristin Taylor 27:56
So, Johnnie, I want to ask about I hear, you don’t remember any of it. And that makes sense. But you also in the book do mention hearing God. So you had what is called an NDE, a near death experience. You are clinically dead for 16 minutes. And I’m going to be the first to share that I am fairly obsessed with people who’ve crossed over and come back because I feel like they have a lot to teach us not only about what it means to die, but what it means to be alive and why we are here and living with purpose and connection to spirit. However we define that you heard God, can you share anything about being on the other side so to speak?

Yes, so is really ironic that I don’t remember anything up to that point. But I do remember feeling the sense of pure calm, calmness, joy, a perfect peace, a perfect love. When I was out of my body, you know I can I can feel my essence my energy, my soul, my spirit. whatever term you want to use, I can feel my energy leaving my body. And I was conscious of the fact that my spirit man was conscious of the fact that I was not present in my body. And I heard a voice. It was very soft, but very loud. It was so I couldn’t determine whether or not it was a man or a woman’s voice. But it was kind of like you ever you ever read a book to yourself and you can hear the voice in your head. But you don’t know what that voice really sounds like when you just know that you can hear it. And that’s what it sounded like for me. And it was very distinct in the message said that is not your time. You cannot stay you have to go back And I’m really I just remember feeling like I didn’t, I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to say exactly where I was. Because in that space, in that essence, I felt like I was one with everything. And I felt like I was complete. I felt a sense of love. Like you’ve, you’ve never felt in your life, a sense of joy, that you wouldn’t just think about a time in your life where you actually felt like you were going to explode because you were so happy. And I didn’t move back. I didn’t want to leave that. And my wife was telling me while I was in a coma, she was telling me that she loved me and we love you, he come back to us, you know, you’re my hero. I love you. You’re my champion. We need you to come back. And I told her, I said, you know, I didn’t hear a word. I didn’t hear a word. You said, I didn’t hear any of that. Yeah, all I knew, I was conscious of the fact that I was in the presence of, of this pure love that I did not want to leave. Yeah. And I wanted to stay there. And I remember feeling like, oh, my gosh, I have to go back. And I can feel I remember, kind of coming back into my body, so to speak. And it was just, I remember feeling pain, all of a sudden, I felt pain. Because I feel no pain. Right? I felt absolutely no pain at all. But then I coming back into my body, I remember feeling a sense of pain. I was, I was cold. And I was cold. Because they had done this technique on me. It’s called a cold, cool technique where they, they froze my body down to hypothermic levels, to preserve my, my organ function. So that was a fairly new technique at that time. And so I was frozen. And so when I came back, I was cold. I was I was in pain. And I was totally shocked. Mike, you know, I would liken it to a newborn. When a newborn is in the mom’s womb, they’re safe. They just, they’re, they’re warm, they have everything. And all of a sudden, you’re just out in the world. And you’re like to be because you’re human, this whole new world. And he’s like, What is this? What am I doing here? And that’s how I felt it was like, Oh, my gosh, I’m back, you know, trying to process, you know, everything. But it was the most beautiful experience. And I think about that every day, I find myself doing a lot of daydreaming and drifting. Sometimes I have to catch myself, because I just remember how I felt. And I want that feeling. And that’s the feeling that I chase, if you will, because I know that now that I know that that feeling exists. That is possible. I want it. But just yet, yeah, to feel that again. Yeah, to experience that again. But I knew that I can. I know that that feeling exists. And I And and I want to.

Kristin Taylor 33:24
This is part of the reason I wanted you on the show, because there’s so much in that story that can inform how we live and our relationship to death. What I’m hearing is often because I am admitting that I hear a lot of stories about people who’ve crossed over near that near death experiences. And often the term people use is like a bliss consciousness. It is like the embodiment of the most profound love and bliss anyone has ever experienced. And returning to the mortal world world living in these bodies is so painful. How does this idea of you know you find yourself daydreaming? Or chasing that? I’m curious Johnnie about how that experienced, changed how you live, as well as you our relationship to the fact that you will die like we all will die one day.

Johnnie Davis 34:21
Yeah. So I know that death is just is not the end is the beginning of a whole new existence. People really need to understand and I think the consciousness is starting to seep and people are starting to wake up that you’re really a spiritual being having a human experience. And eventually, this soup is going to expire. It’s going to wear out and the spirit is going to return back to where it came from. So we’re all just having this human experience that we call life. Our sole purpose is to make maximize our humanity here, with whatever talent gifts, whatever you have, whatever you can do extremely well that no one can do. If that your whatever that talent is, is to is to contribute to mankind to make the human experience for everyone, as wonderful and as beautiful as possible, also understand the duality of the human spirit because our body, our soul, our essence, if you will, Kristin is energy. We’re all energy. So the religious, Christian, the religious sect may call it your spirit or your soul. But as is energy, we’re all energy. So we possess positive energy is also negative energy. And everything exists in the same consciousness. That energy that we feed the most is the energy that will be the most dominant. And in this space, on this side of the plane, and this body that we have right now, for those that are now aware of this energy of their consciousness, you make a conscious effort every day to feed one energy versus the other. Because now you are aware of it, you’re able to recognize negative energy, negative thoughts, negative feelings, negative emotions, and you can say, hey, you know what I see this, this is, this is not feeling good. I don’t like the way I’m thinking, I don’t like the way I’m feeling, I have a choice to deal with this in a different way, and pivot, and focus on something more positive, because now I understand the two forces at work, that we truly do have choice, we truly do have control over that. So that’s one of the things that that whole experience taught me was that, you know, God is love. The experience that I experienced was pure love and joy, I want more of that, on this side of the plane, I’m going to focus on that. And I’m going to surround myself with other positive energy to create a more beautiful experience. And so now I live my life that way, I, I just surround myself with as much beauty as I possibly can. Surely I’m in the space where I see negative things happen all day long. But your focus where your focus goes, that’s where your focus grows, you know, it’s like the Four Laws of focus are in effect, you know, what you focus on grows, what you focus on, you find what you focus on seems real. And what you focus on you become. So all of that energy, whether it be a negative or positive, it can work for you work and work against you. Now, I have this understanding and this an awareness. See, when you have a near death experience, you have another level of awareness that most people don’t have, you have another level of knowing that people don’t have, I know God is real. But unless you have that experience, you just have to believe that God is real. You have to have faith. I have a conviction, because I know. So is it’s a difference. So my posture is a little different. I don’t getting involved in arguing with people about this or that. Everyone has a choice to believe, whatever you want to believe. Johnnie, how do you know that that was God? How do you know it wasn’t luck? I don’t subscribe to that. Man had done. And I say man, I’m talking about my wife, the firemen, the EMTs. And the doctors played a role. Everyone played a part in me being here today. They have exhausted everything that they knew how to do. The one thing I know that man cannot do is manufacture life. They can’t manufacture a spirit, right? They can’t breathe life back into something that is no longer living. So that is beyond man’s understanding. They have done everything that they could do. And God took over and said I’ll do the rest. I and I’m and I’m perfectly at peace with knowing that I’m perfectly at peace with knowing that there are things that are beyond my understanding. I’m just living in a space of gratitude. Thank you for seeing fit. For me to be given a second chance in life, I’m not going to waste my time trying to figure out exactly why I’m not going to waste my time feeling guilty about me being in this space and time versus someone else who didn’t, because I’m not in control of it. I’m not the manufacturer. Yes, I’m an architect. I don’t get to say, who lives and who doesn’t. I’m just living in a space of gratitude for me to say thank you. So I can now touch as many people as I possibly can, with my words, with the message of hope. Because there’s so many people that are hopeless, they want to know what happens to your soul when you die, and want to know what happens to your spirit, and so on and so forth. And I just share exactly what happened with me. And if it kind of gives you some, some some sense of release a relief, in terms of, you know, suffer from that anxiety, of being afraid to die, like I’m no longer free. I’m no longer afraid to die. Because I know that it’s a beautiful experience. We just missed the people here. Because as a human being in this body that we have, we have the ability to now experience emotions, we have a consciousness, and we’re conscious of the fact of how we feel, we can love. We can we can feel pain, we have all of these emotions, we have our senses. But your spirit is not aware of any of that. Right? It is not connected to any of that. Your spirit is not connected to anything, material. So all of the things that we chase, we spend our entire lives chasing money, chasing houses and cars and things that define us, that gives us gives us some sense of, of self worth. Your Spirit has no need for that. And when you’re when you’re on the other side, you don’t even miss it. Yeah. And when you’re on your deathbed, that’s not the thing you’re thinking about. You know, when you’re on your deathbed the most. Let me tell you, when I was on my deathbed, the thing that I focused on the most Kristen, I just wanted more time. I didn’t want a bigger house. I didn’t want more cars, I didn’t want more money. I just wanted more time. I wanted more time. So I can be here for my wife. I wanted to hear my my sweet mom was voice. I want to be here for my family. And I wanted some time to do the things I had done. So me time. Time is the most precious. Yeah, come on.

Kristin Taylor 42:58
Yeah, I thank you so much for sharing that. That is truly why I wanted you on the show. You know, I listened to you on Lee Witting’s, NDE Radio. And I was incredibly moved because you went exactly where you went now and I want more people to hear this. You not only know the experience of profound love, and safety on the other side on a soul level. But I’m also hearing that you are so much more fully alive, connected to love, in choice to connect to positive energy, and to not get lost and mired in the priorities that really should never be priorities. I’m also curious as we go into, you know, the last few minutes here, I’m really curious to hear learn about how the experience changed you in terms of your own awareness. For example, often I hear people are just, they’re more in tune, they might be more intuitive. It’s almost like they their senses in terms of like being dialed in, in a different level of consciousness gets dialed up. Did you have any of those experiences? Yes, you did.

100% 100%. You know, I often tell my wife I say I can see that. My sense of empathy has been heightened tremendously. I can literally feel the pain in the world. I can feel the pain that a person is if you’re going through a troubled time and I’m talking to you or next to you and it’s like I’m feeling exactly what you’re feeling. And I can feel it the everything has been heightened. My inner seeing in terms of being able to determine, like, who’s a good person and who’s like, some energy that you need to avoid? Do you ever meet you ever meet a person? And you just can’t quite put your finger on it, but there’s just something just kind of just throws you off about this person? Nobody? Oh, yeah, the vibes. Oh, you know, or dogs, dogs and babies have a heightened sense of that as well. Because it’s all about energy. It’s about the energy. So sometimes you see the animals come to you, oh, my gosh, he never comes to anybody. He’s just laying at your feet, or you have a baby and the baby time, but then when they see you, they’re like coming to you. They want to hug you. And oh, my gosh, she never goes, Uh, he never goes to anybody. Yes. So for me, it’s like I’ve kind of regressed back to that state of having that heightened level of energy awareness, I call it and people. And I am I’m dialed in. And I oftentimes I find myself, you know, I don’t watch the news, though. That at all, because it’s just just so filled with negativity and garbage. But every now and again, I’ll see something on my phone. And I’ll see how we as human beings, how are we treating each other? And it just makes me so sad. To the point where I told my wife, I said, I am so bored with humanity. Yes, I’m done. And I sometimes I want to believe that we’ll figure it out. But I’m just done. I’m like, wow.

Kristin Taylor 46:35
God, God, I get you. Wow, was right.

Johnnie Davis 46:39
You know, and I just said, We’re just so lost, where people man is so lost, because he is unaware of who he is.

Kristin Taylor 46:50
That makes me go back to where you started as a child. And this idea of old souls versus young souls. And when I see people doing things that are so atrocious, so cruel, that they’re in the illusion that we’re all so separate, that I think of it as maybe they’re just young souls, they don’t know any better. But it it hurts my heart, because I do feel that energy as well.

Johnnie Davis 47:09
Yeah, yeah, it’s just, it’s just, it’s just really hard to put my finger on. And. And I know that the reason being, is most people do not know. They have no idea of who they are. They don’t understand the essence of the energy, they don’t understand how in control how much control they truly do have, I think, oftentimes, we get shaped by our environment. And we become victims of our environment. But I told you early on, I was I grew up in a really bad area in North New Jersey, one of the worst projects. But there was a there was something already in the incident, there was a light and energy, a love that I had in me. And I think people have that, that sense of that light, that love in them. But it’s something that they choose not to feed. Or the environment that they grow up in is not an environment where a seed like that can thrive in that environment. And so they become a victim of whatever they’re exposed to. But it really is just, it just makes me really sad to see the things that we do, because we have the infinite capability, Kristen, to do some of the most beautiful things. Yes, I’m with so much. In the world, we can, yes. But at the same time we have equal, we have the equal capacity to do some of the most heinous things that you’ve seen. And it just really my heart, my heart literally screams out. Yeah, when I see that, yeah, when I hear those things, yeah. And it just makes me sad.

Kristin Taylor 48:59
Well, your message is really important to be part of the energy that contributes to people waking up, as you said, and I’m with you, my heart breaks, I feel like my heart breaks every day. And I have to be very careful of how I care for it. Because I see and hear people doing the most heinous things. I want to ask as we close out, if you’ve had one suggestion, and it may not be one, so you don’t have to be limited to one. But if you had some clarity around a suggestion, how do we up that positive energy? What practices do you engage in that you encourage others as they’re beginning to build that awareness of this energy and how they can contribute in a positive way in their own lives and sort of break the spell or illusion of focusing on the wrong things and recognizing the beauty of what we’re here to do?

Johnnie Davis 49:49
Absolutely. This is my mantra. And I wrote in my book, and it goes like this. It does not involve me, it will not involve me. And that goes for any and everything that you will do or come across in your daily walk. How does this conversation make me better? I this this relationship made me better? How does this particular scenario going here to this location of going to this location over here reading this book? Or, you know, engaging in this business deal with this entity over here? Is it going to make me a better person? Is it going to help me become more reach my full beauty? Meaning my fullest potential? isn’t feeling the direction that I want to go into? And if it doesn’t, then don’t engage in?

Kristin Taylor 50:52
Well, let me ask you this. So what if you find yourself in a difficult situation? Maybe you’ve been betrayed, or some business partnership is going awry, or there’s a difficult relationship, something that’s happened and you’re like, This is not evolving me. But you have to homage to the title of the of the podcasts how I made it through? Yeah, how do you find your way through when you are in darkness? But you want to move towards the light? Do you have any suggestions?

Johnnie Davis 51:22
Yes. As soon as you recognize that this is not something that is going to benefit you. You have to have the emotional maturity enough to say, I’m done. It sounds easier said than done. But this is why I say you get to a point of emotional maturity. And I think once you reach a certain age, and you’ve lived long enough to know when something is real, and when something is nonsense, when something’s going to be a benefit to me, and something is going to be a detriment to my existence. If it’s going to help me become this, this beautiful human being or not, you got to say enough is enough. So that means if this relationship, this business deal that you’re dealing with, that you’re in right now, it started off really good intentions were great, and everything started off wonderful. But if you see yourself becoming, you’re sacrificing who you are, yes, you’re becoming more sacrificial. And you’re now acting on a character and you can feel your light Demming on the inside, and you start to do things outside of your character now has now the emotional maturity has to come in and say, you know, enough is enough. I can’t do this anymore. And the reason why it is so vital that you do that as because your time on this planet is short,

Kristin Taylor 52:46

Johnnie Davis 52:48
It’s short. So if you have a specific goal that you want to accomplish, you only have a finite amount of time to do it. So every day, every minute, every hour, every second is valuable. And you start to see your life through that lens. So today, everything that I do, it has to support my overall vision for what I want to accomplish with my life. So I will help you create a vision, starting today, create a vision for your life, your life plan, that’s what the vision is create a life plan going forward, that you want to accomplish with the time that you have. Just think about however old you are right now, if God grant you another 20 3040 years, what do you want that to be like? Because you have, you know, for me, I’m 50 years old now. So I know that I have less time ahead of me. The hourglass is upside down now. So we have to become more intentional and more focused about how you live. And you start thinking about what do you want to be remembered for? The impact that you want to make? Do you want when someone remembers you to say, you know, Kristen, she changed my life. I had this conversation with her. And I was in a really dark space. And she blessed me with some information that really changed my way of thinking and put me on a completely different paths. He introduced me to some new information. And I was able to apply that knowledge. And guess what I was able to produce after that. I love her. I think that is a positive impact on someone’s life. Or do you think people gotta remember you for having a beautiful home and all the money that you’ve accumulated? And yeah, you know, Kristin, she, she had $10 million in her bank account and she had 10 cars and nobody cares about that. Nobody knows about that stuff. You will be remembered for the things that you’ve done in terms of the positive impact that you’ve made in the lives of people. And you really become more in tune with that when you have faith. See your own mortality? Yeah, it becomes very, it becomes a very real thing. I talked to my mother every day, I don’t take it for granted. I talk to my friends, I tell them listen, you know, I love you. Why? Because it might be the last time you talk to that person, you just start, you start to become more conscious of the things that you took for granted, and you don’t take things for granted anymore. And you’ve probably heard conversations been in conversations with people, before Kristen. And I said, you know, I just talked to this person yesterday, while I was just thinking about this person last month, and I was gonna call him or her but I didn’t. And now they’re gone.

Kristin Taylor 55:37

Johnnie Davis 55:39
So you start thinking, Well, man, how are you going to remember me, or that I do enough that I tell them that I love them enough that I spend enough time nurturing that relationship with that person. Ah, you’ve a starts to eat away. So you kind of live each day, doing as much as you possibly can. And celebrating all of your small wins, and living in a space of gratitude. I think if people did more of that, just being grateful for all the things that are going right in your life, be grateful for all the things that you do have, don’t focus on the things that you don’t have no focus on the things that are not going right. But focus on all of the wonderful and beautiful things that you do have, and all the wonderful things that are going right in your life. You woke up this morning, you can see you can hear all of your extremities work perfectly. You can sing you can dance, you have your beautiful children have a beautiful home over your head, a roof over your head, you have money in the bank, you have your refrigerator is full filled with food and you have people that care about you and love you. You’re doing way better than 90% of the people that are out here today. Find love and joy and gratitude and just, you know, just just basking in the glory of that. And now you say okay, how can I bless someone else, it’s not gonna make someone better, in some way, shape or form. It may not necessarily be money, but it may be your time, it might be a word that you share with a person, it might you may take somebody on a trip with you, where you just you just don’t know. But if you if you live from that space of giving, and gratitude in love, you find that your existence will be so so much easier, so much better. And you will have that anxiety and you won’t be just like frazzled and arousal. And you will recognize when things are not is not where you should be. Because everything will come into alignment. And when you become focused on all of the resources, all of the people will just be attracted to you, you’ll notice that you won’t have to go out and find anyone. When you become really in tuned with that energy. you’ll attract all the people to you in a county. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s an incredible, incredible thing.

Kristin Taylor 58:05
I believe it and I’ve experienced it and you are a blessing. You teaching us in the way that you have with all of your heart. I mean, it just it’s so animated and just who you are in this moment. It is undeniable. I want more people to hear this message. And I want more people to know how to reach you connect with you learn from you. Where can they find you?

Johnnie Davis 58:31
You can find me at www dot succeed with That’s my website. You can connect with me there. I’m on Instagram, at Mr. Johnny Davis, all lowercase letters, and Johnny is spelt with an IE Atawhai. So as Mr. JJO Each in in IE D A B is you can contact me there.

Kristin Taylor 58:55
All right, wonderful. You are such a tremendous gift. And I am so grateful. Speaking of gratitude, that I got to have this conversation with you and more people can hear it. Thank you, Johnnie.

Johnnie Davis 59:05
Thank you so much. It’s been an honor and a privilege to be here with you today.

Kristin Taylor 59:11
From a place of gratitude, Johnny thanks God for seem fit for him to have a second chance at life. He says that he now lives in a place of deep appreciation and aspires to use the time he has left to touch as many people as possible with his message of hope. Johnnie he also knows is that everything is energy. My hope is that more of us can join forces and being connected to positive and loving energy. Rather than being lulled and seduced by the negativity that is all around us. He shares that his sense of empathy has been heightened, and that he is so much more tuned into energy awareness. Unlike too many others who he sees is so lost because they are unaware of who they really are. He says they don’t understand On the essence of energy, how much control they have over their energy over their focus. Our priorities should be finding the light and love within us. So we have infinite capacity to create such beautiful things. But we have equal capacity to do the most heinous things. The choice is always always ours. And it should not take dying to wake us up to this truth. As parting words, I’d like to leave you with this is creed one more time. If it does not evolve me, it will not involve me. If you’d like to contact Johnny directly, please visit him at www.succeedwithjd.comor follow him on Instagram @mrjohnniedavis. Once again, thank you for tuning in to how I made it through. And we’ll see you next time. Our theme song and sound engineering was provided by Shane Suffriti. You can listen to more of Shane’s music at If you have a story about making it through something that forever changed you or want to tell us what you think about our podcast, send me an email at If you enjoyed today’s episode, we humbly ask that you share it with others. Thank you for listening. We’ll see you next time on How I Made It Through.

EIQ Media, LLC 1:01:35
How I Made It Through is produced and distributed by EIQ Media LLC. Elevate your emotional IQ with podcasts and content focused on overcoming adversity, leadership, mental health, entrepreneurship, spiritually transformative experiences and more.