This Story Will Change Your Life
Diet, sleep, brain health, cancer, self-healing, mindf

(Approximate reading time 4 minutes)

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I have always believed the power of self-healing, and that our body is a miraculous machines we know little of.  Over the years, I’ve read many self-healing stories of people recovering from cancer and other seemingly irreversible conditions.  None has impacted me as much as the following one.  Not only my understanding of healing, but my understanding of the whole human experience have taken on new dimensions.   Now I wonder if we are just our physical bodies, if there is much more than what meets the eye, if the the physical illness and wellness are just a manifestation of what’s happening in the other realms of our existence that we cannot see or touch.

Anita Moorjani is ethnically Indian, but she never lived in India.  Born in Singapore and raised in Hong Kong, she was immersed in three different cultures early on: Chinese (being in Hong Kong), Hindu (her parents’ culture origin), and British (attending a British private school).  Along with the richness of cultural experiences, this also brought a lot of struggle.

Her parents tried to bring her up the traditional Hindu way, by having her attend weekend Hindu schools and instilling in her traditional Hindu values.  They also limited her socialization with her British friends and classmates.  Anita found her traditional culture suffocating, where gender inequality is rife and women are expected to be subservient.  Yet she did not want to disappoint her parents.  Growing up, she constantly had a sense of “not being good enough”, and being inadequate: “I was completely disconnected from who I was and what I wanted because everything I did was to win approval.

In 2002, at the age of 43, Anita was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.  She just witnessed her best friend die from cancer, and was adamant about not doing chemo.  She tried every alternative therapy she could find: faith healing, meditating on mountain tops, yoga, Ayurveda, chakra balancing, forgiveness, energy healing, etc.  She tried vegan, and read all the cancer books she could find.  All this only helped marginally.  Sometimes she would get better, but eventually would get worse.  Over the course of 4 years, her health continued to deteriorate.  In the beginning of 2006, her condition took a nose dive in a span of two to three weeks.  Her breath became labored.  Her appetite completely went away.  Her body stopped absorbing nutrients.  Her muscle got so weak she could no longer walk.

Then on February 2nd 2006, she went into a coma.  Her family rushed her to the hospital and was told her organs were shutting down and only had a few hours to live.  What happened next would defy your understanding of the world as it is and any doctor’s medical knowledge.

According to Anita’s own account, unbeknownst to the doctors and her family who were trying the last ditch effort to prolong her life, she went into another realm of reality: her NDE: near-death-experience.

Though appearing to be in a coma, she was acutely aware of all the things unfolding around her, not only in her immediate surroundings, but also at places beyond her earshot: her mom’s crying, the doctor hooking her body up to machines, all the procedures administered to her, and her husband’s conversation with the doctor in the hallway.  She could see the lifeless body on the bed.

But she did not feel any attachment to her body.  Instead, what she felt was “free, light, liberated, and unencumbered”, and “Every pain, ache, sadness, and sorrow was gone”.

Then she felt something else:

I then had a sense of being encompassed by something that I can only describe as pure, unconditional love, but even the word “love” doesn’t do it justice.  It was the deepest kind of caring, and I’d never experienced it before.  It was beyond any physical form of affection that we can imagine, and it was unconditional - this was mine, regardless of what I’d ever done.  I didn’t have to do anything or behave a certain way to deserve it.  This love was for me, no matter what.

During her near-death-experience, she also felt the presence of her dad and her best friend, who both had passed away.  Eventually as she expanded further and further into the other realm, she felt she was given a choice to continue further or come back to life.

Anita’s account is similar to a lot of NDE experiences I have read over the years.  One theme that all these experiences share is the sense of encompassing love.  But her experience stood out from others in two ways.

One is the complete clarity she suddenly gained during the experience.  She finally saw herself and her life clearly, and understood why she had cancer, and that life is a gift, that she is much more powerful and magnificent than she ever knew, that everybody is very loved.   At first, she did not want to come back to life, the painful life with cancer as she knew it.  Then with the realization that the newly gained clarity will enable her to recover quickly and she was meant to do something with her life, she came back to her body.

The other is the knowledge that her decision whether to come back to life or not will change the test results.  If she chose life, the test results would show her organ functions were functioning normally.   If she chose death, the test would show organ failure as the cause of death.  This one is really difficult for me wrap my head around.  Yes, there may be some other dimensions or realms of this world that we did not know exist.  But the results of the medical exams that have already been performed?  It seriously warps one’s understanding of the linearity of time.  

Sure enough, when Anita came back to life and saw the actual test report, it showed the diagnosis as “organ failure’, but in the body of the report, it stated “There is no evidence of organ failure”, because the test showed all her organs were functioning normally.

Her body recovered miraculously.  Within 5 days on chemo medication after she came back from the coma, the tumors shrank by 70%.   After 5 weeks Anita walked out of the hospital with no trace of cancer.

As you can imagine, her story went viral quickly.  This is a case with verifiable details.  Many doctors have scrutinized her medical records.  Some skeptics may attribute her recovery to chemo therapy, but nobody could explain how the chemo had zero side effect on her and how such complete recovery from the brink of death was possible in 5 weeks.

Often asked why she thinks she got cancer, Anita put it into one word “fear”: “I was afraid of failing, being disliked, letting people down, not being good enough. I feared illness, cancer and treatment for cancer. I was afraid of living, and I was afraid of dying.

Anita shared her story in a book titled “Dying To Be Me”, detailing the whole experience, and how it has transformed her life.

Anita’s story has had profound impact on me.  Growing up in a country that almost equates religion with superstition, I have only believed in things that I can see and touch.   Over the years, I have turned from an adamant atheist to an agnostic.  Anita’s book has further strengthened my agnostic view.  The advancements humans have made in scientific and technological fields have cultivated a sense of arrogance in us believing that we know a lot. While in reality, human capacity of understanding the universe is extremely limited.  We try to understand the world around us in a 3-D and 5-senses framework, because that’s the only way we know how.  What if the world is more than 3-D?  What if we have more than 5 senses?  What if we are more than our physical bodies?  What if there is so much more than what we can see?

My view of disease has also shifted.  While in the NDE experience, Anita realized something:  “I then started to understand how illnesses start on an energetic level before they become physical.

Good health is much more than what nutrients we put in our body.  What is more important is how we feed our soul and spirit.   Am I at ease with myself?  Am I comfortable in my own skin?  Do I truly value and love myself?  Do I have joys in my life?  Can I avoid having suppressed emotions toward myself or others? We should all strive to have a “yes” answer to all the questions above.

My view of life in general has also undergone some change because of her story.  Too often, we live our lives with many constraints attached without even realizing it.  We try to live up to our parents’ expectations, we try to be a person that we think we should be, we try to win approval and fit in the norm of success.  As a result, we squander too much time in worry, stress, anxiety, self criticism, and jealousy.  Anita’s NDE jolted her out of her default state of fear and trying to be somebody she is not, but we don’t need such a drastic experience to appreciate life more and love ourselves more.

Before she came back to her body, Anita heard her best friend telling her: now go back and live your life fully and fearlessly.  That’s a message we can all take home with.

Life is precious.  Life is a gift.  Let’s live it fearlessly.