An epiphany is like a key is turned in a lock inside you, and you’re free.

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Jenifer Chilton is a senior lecturer at the University of Texas at Tyler and co-coordinates the community health program there. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in nursing and plans to graduate in the spring of 2012. Her current research focus is on epiphanies and wellness. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Austin, a bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Kansas, and her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Tyler. She resides in Jacksonville, Texas, with her husband and three awesome kids. (

the interview

I launched in August 2009. A few days later I received an email from Jeni explaining that she was a nurse researcher completing a study on epiphanies and how they impact wellness. She thought I might be interested in her findings, and of course I was! It is a complete fluke that we are both from Texas, and fortunately it was easy for me to meet with her a few months later in Tyler, Texas. In addition to learning more about her work trying to facilitate epiphanies in the realm of medicine to promote healing, I discovered that it was her own epiphany that prompted her research. I asked her what her epiphany was, and she was hesitant to tell the story at first—she had never told anyone about it before. I feel privileged that she felt comfortable enough to share her experience with me and agreed to let me include it in the book.