Anita Moorjani: “Dying to be Me - (a near death experience)
In February of 2006, I had end stage Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The cancer had spread throughout my body, my organs were already failing, and I was already in a comatose state, being kept bare
In February of 2006, I had end stage Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The cancer had spread throughout my body, my organs were already failing, and I was already in a comatose state, being kept barely alive with piped nutrition and oxygen. The doctors had told my family that this was the end, and that I only had a few more hours to live. What followed can only be described as a miracle for which I will be eternally grateful. No one knows exactly how to explain what caused my health to turn around in just a number of hours, leading to a total recovery of my health, with no trace of cancer cells to be found in my body, and no permanent damage to organs.
Needless to say, this experience has caused me to completely change how I view life and reality, as well as how I live my own life. It has of course, also completely changed the way I conduct my coaching. This experience has allowed me to see my true "self" as something that is separate from my body. My physical body is not me. My physical body is only an expression of the real me. It's only a reflection of my internal state. Therefore, if something causes a complete 180 degree shift to my internal state, my external (physical body) will start to reflect that shift also.
As a woman of Asian culture I was brought up to be somewhat submissive, and was rewarded for being so. There tends to be a level of judgment awarded towards women who are overly assertive, aggressive, or high achievers in my culture. That is because the primary role of a woman is to be a supportive wife and mother. Now however, my new way of viewing life has given me the ability to separate my true self from my physical self. This means that if my real self is not my body, then it also means that my real self is not my race, nor my religion, nor my culture, nor my beliefs. These are all just socially determined external values and rules, and we have taken these "rules" on as if they were truth. Whereas "Truth" is something much, much more. Truth is universal and non judgmental. How can anything that is absolutely true only apply to one culture and not another?
Because of my own experience with cancer followed by an inexplicable healing, I find myself now trying to stretch the limits of what is possible. During our life, what have we presumed to be truth, but in fact are actually just socially determined beliefs? I now look at everything I have judged to be negative in the past, and question it. Why did I judge these as negative? Is it purely cultural and social condition, or is it an absolute negative? It may have applied to me at some point, but does it still apply to me today? Does the belief still serve me today? Does it serve me to continue to believe a lot of what I was brought up to believe, taught to believe? In some situations, maybe, but in a lot of situations, the answer would be no.
So I now choose to live in the moment, making my decisions based on the situation at hand in that moment. There are no more permanent rules, restrictions or across the board judgments and values that apply to all situations. A certain reaction may work in one situation, but not another. So I have completely done away with across the board rules and judgments. Each moment and each situation is new and unique, and needs to be treated that way. A situation from the past may arise again, but it is a different moment, a different time, so the same rules may not necessarily apply. I am a different person today than I was five years ago. In fact, I may even be a different person than I was two weeks ago!! My situation, my circumstances, may be different.
Therefore, I no longer bring my past baggage with me into the present, and I no longer use my past as a gauge for the future. The past does not equate the future, unless you choose to bring your past with you. We always have the choice to look at each moment as a fresh moment, bringing with it new gifts and new experiences.
A 180 degree shift in thinking:
So, how exactly would I describe what this 180 degree turn around, or shift in thinking really is? In other words, how would I describe the difference in the way I think now, compared to how I used to think, before my cancer?
Here's the way I look at it. I describe the way I used to think before as an "outside-in" view of reality. The way I think now, I describe as an "inside-out" view of reality.
With this view, we give our power to the world outside, and external events have the ability to control us, our behavior, our moods and our thinking. Physical reality and external events are considered real, and our emotional reactions and feelings are not considered "real" because they are not tangible. These intangibles are considered to be merely reactions as a result of external events. Therefore, the external world and other people have the ability to control our feelings, emotions and moods.
However, I now have what I call an "inside out" view of life and reality. I now see myself as the primary observer, and nothing exists until I bring it into my observation. And I always have the choice as to what to bring into my observation, and what not to. My world is mycreation. I reclaim my power back from the external world, and bring it back to myself. I become the focal point of my world, and this eliminates the fear of anything external, for nothing exists outside of me, until I bring it into focus.
On the surface, it may sound like a more selfish or egoistic take on life. However, it is actually a view of life that brings us back to our authentic selves.
When our life loses direction and we feel lost, what it really means is that we have lost ourselves (our "self"). We have lost who we truly are and what we have come here to be. This tends to happen when we stop listening to our own internal voice, and give our power away to external forces (such as bosses, parents, society, teachers, peers, etc. etc.) When we feel lost, one of the first things we do is go searching outside for answers. We don't realize that we are actually searching for "self". So we go looking to find our answers in books, teachers, gurus, and so on, in the hope that they will have the answers. We end up in fact feeling more lost, because we are giving our power away again to others. (We have just exchanged one area of giving our power away for another).
However, when we realize that our happiness is not dependent on the external world, and that our happiness is inside us, then we realize that we can tune into our happiness at will. When we are able to do that, we synchronistically attract the right book, the right teacher, the right spiritual guru, with the right spiritual messages for us, at the right time! We are not dependent on any external events to trigger our happiness! And when we are attracting from this place, these externals will only serve to enhance us, and bring us to deeper understanding of our own inner power and strength.
Having an inside out view, I am now able to see my life as being blessed and guided, and I always feel provided for and surrounded by unconditional love. I don't need to wait for someone else to show it to me, or prove it to me. I know it is there and I know this unconditional love is mine for the taking. I exist, therefore it is mine. I don't have to do anything to deserve it.
Author of the best selling book: "Dying to be Me, my journey from cancer to near death to true healing"