‘You should read this,’ said Hilary. We were sitting on the beach (yeah, yeah, in Greece) watching the waves. I looked at the book. Dying to be Me by Anita Moorjani. My first thought was that I didn’t like the cover (yeah, I’m shallow like that but really - it IS foul, isn't it?). Then I read the subtitle: ‘My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death to True Healing’ and my second thought was ‘Eeek, no way.’
I have a pathological dislike of cancer. Not because I dwell on getting it myself particularly. It’s probably a hangover from my father dying of it…maybe more of a habit now than anything else. But still.
And then, on the day I was leaving, I talked to Hilary again. One of those conversations where, for every word spoken, another fifty were unspoken but the meaning caught. It was a good talk/nottalk and, at the end, she said it again. ‘You should read this.’ I sighed.
Anita Moorjani was diagnosed with cancer in April 2002. In 2006, she was rushed to hospital as an emergency, as a terminal case. Her organs were on the verge of shutting down and, to cut a long story short, she went into a coma and did all the usual NDE stuff – watching what was going on; going off to the place of unconditional Love; realising being dead would be totally cool; being given the choice and deciding to come back to life. But she didn’t just come back – she came back healed, to the total stunned amazement of all the medics.
I checked her out with my sceptical cap firmly on but her story is pretty watertight and firmly backed by oncologists. It was a spontaneous and downright miraculous recovery. Which is great, of course, for her and her family…
But…for the rest of us? What did she discover, what did she discover? This is what I found really interesting – as often it goes directly against a lot of the perceived wisdom in handling cancer – and other diseases.
She felt that illness is often caused by suppression (and I have long had a suspicion about that link with cancer in particular): “When we judge some of our emotions as being negative and try to deny them, we’re suppressing part of who we are. This creates a blockage within us and prevents us from expressing the fullness of our magnificence. It’s about not being afraid to feel anxiety, sadness or fear, rather than suppressing everything until those emotions pass. It’s about allowing myself to be true to who I am.’
She says that she used to be terrified of negative emotions because she feared they would attract negativity into her life. “It’s about allowing what I’m actually feeling, rather than fighting against it. The very act of permitting without judgment is an act of self-love. This act of kindness towards myself goes much further in creating a joyful life than falsely pretending to feel optimistic.”
She felt that her cancer was her own unexpressed power and energy, turning inwards against her body, rather than outward. “I knew it wasn’t a punishment or anything like that. It was just my own life force expressing it as cancer because I didn’t allow it to manifest as the magnificent powerful force of Anita.’
She discovered that there is no condemnation in the ‘other realm’ because there is nothing to condemn – we are all pure consciousness. “I believe that people who hurt others only do so out of their own pain and their feelings of limitation and separation. In fact they need the most compassion – not judgment and further suffering in the afterlife… I realized in the NDE state that it was myself I hadn’t forgiven, not other people.’
She realized that there really is no time. “In the NDE state, I realized that every moment in all our lives, past, present, future, known, unknown, and unknowable – exist simultaneously.’ And that we can effectively alter our past by the moment-to-moment choices we make… “I feel that the present moment is the only point in time we have to create our reality.”
She learned that religion is immaterial. “It doesn’t matter whether you believe in Jesus, Buddha, Shiva, Allah, or none of the above. What matters is how you feel about yourself, right here and right now.”
She found that there is no one right diet, one right way to eat, drink, live, be. “I used to be paranoid about what I ate. I thought everything caused cancer. I used to eat very healthfully, but I did so out of fear. Now I eat what I’m drawn to. I enjoy chocolate and a good wine or champagne from time to time. I think that’s it more important to be happy than anything else. It’s no fun eating all the so-called right foods out of fear of getting sick and being miserable about it.”
Above all, she says, we should try to be kind – to ourselves. “We always attract the perfect results, and like calls to like. So the kinder I am to myself, the more outward events will reflect that. The harder and more judgmental I am toward myself, the more my situation will match it. The universe always proves me right in my opinion of myself.”
Bottom line? “Don’t take yourself or life too seriously. If I ever had to create a set of tenets for a spiritual path to healing, number one on my list would be to make sure to laugh as often as possible throughout every single day – and preferably laugh at myself. This would be hands down over and above any form of meditation, prayer, chanting, or diet reform.”