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Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing (Hay House, 2012)

If you haven’t heard Anita Moorjani’s journey by now, it’s worth checking out. A woman born to Indian parents and spending most of her life in Hong Kong, Anita shares her life-changing story of surviving death. She also weaves in stories about her challenges as a girl and young woman, creating a moving commentary about gender, spirituality, and the power of fear.

In 2002, with advanced stages of cancer, she was given only hours to live when she went to the hospital in a coma. Anita experiences a remarkable Near Death Experience (NDE) and lives to tell about it. I highly recommend this life-changing story for a powerful dose of what is possible beyond our typical understanding of these human lives.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Dying to be Me, which puts into words my understanding of death after feeling the peace and joy I believe my life-partner experienced when she transitioned:

I no longer viewed death in the same way as others did either, so it was hard for me to mourn anyone. Of course, if someone close to me passed on, I was sad because I missed them – but I no longer mourned for the deceased because I knew they transcended to another reality, and I knew they were happy. It’s not possible to be sad there. At the same time, I knew that even their death was perfect and everything would unfold the way it was meant to in the greater tapestry.”

And from the audio version of the book (which includes questions people have asked and Anita’s replies), here is another quote that is dear to my heart. Yes, laughter can be a spiritual practice! I love that Anita learned this after experiencing what she did and making major shifts in her life:

“Finally, I can’t stress enough how important it is to enjoy yourself and not take yourself or life too seriously. One of the biggest flaws with many traditional spiritual systems is that they often make us take life too seriously. Although you know I abhor creating doctrines, 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 prayer, meditation, chanting or diet reform. Day to day problems never seem as big when viewed through a veil of humor and love.”

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