Dying to Be Me by Anita Moorjani

Ms. Moorjani reveals in the first part of the book details about her early life experiences.  She recalls her memory of overhearing an adult conversation expressing the disappointment in having a female child.  She shares with us that she had been the object of rejection and bullying in the private schools in Hong Kong she attended because of her Indian looks and Hindu religion and that she suffered feelings of rejection and fear. We learn that after many attempts by her parents to match her up with an acceptable husband, she finally found her true love,  a man who accepted her independent thinking.  She describes her fear of cancer because a closed friend and a relative succumbed to this disease after agonizing treatments.

In part two, titled “My Journey to Death and Back” she tells us about her battle with cancer.  We learn that these four years were a living hell of fear and anxiety except for a brief respite in India at an Ayurveda retreat, from where she returned in a improved state of health.  But the benefit was short lived when she encountered the negativity of her friends and family.  Within a few months she was rushed to the hospital unable to breathe or even lift her own head and soon lapsed into a coma.  In chapter 8 she talks in detail about her near-death experience and the feelings and revelationsCompare with Proof of Heaven associated with it. In this state she understood that her body was only a reflection of her internal state and that her inner self was aware of its greatness and connection with All-that-is.  She realized that all she had to do was to be herself without judgment or feeling that she was flawed.  She understood that at the core, our essence is made of pure love and that everything is perfect, just as it is.

She continues to describe how she healed quickly after coming back from the coma.  After the experience she felt a deep love and connection with everyoneCompare with Theosophy under Philosophy and felt that she had completely overcome her fear of everything.

She felt that she had come back for some greater purpose that was going to help others and it became clear that she had to share her experience with talks and eventually writing this book. At the same token she describes that she could not relate to many people or maybe that others could not relate to her, that she lost interest in news and politics and what her friends were doing.  But she was able to enjoy other things, lke a sunset and that she saw divinity in everything. She felt strongly that she did nor have to do or pursue anything for it to happen. She just had to be herself, fearlessly. That way she was allowing herself to be an instrument of love.  People were taking life to seriously, which is what she used to do. She felt incredible compassion, and the love was unconditional and she no longer viewed death in the same way as others did and it was hard for her to mourn anyone.

She found her path by listening to her inner voice and trusted her inner guidance.

She started to sit with herself, walked in nature, listened to music until she got to a centered place where she felt calm and collected.  Because of her experience she strongly believes that we all have the capacity to heal ourselves as well as facilitate the healing of others.

In part three of the book she explains what she has come to understand.  The main ides are that the reasons for people’s illness lie in their personal journey and are probably related to their individual purpose; that fear was the cause of her illness; that we already are what we spend our lives trying to attain, but don’t realize it, that many people do things just to get other people’s approval, that she did not know what was important to her. She realized that she was on the other side not in a state of thinking, but of being.  It was pure consciousness. She explains that awareness means realizing what exists and what’s possible without judgment and that awareness does not need defending. Her near-death experience was a state of pure awareness, which is a state of complete suspension of all previously held doctrine and dogma. In addition, the very act of needing certainty is a hindrance of experiencing greater levels of awareness.  In contrast, the process of letting go and releasing all attachment to any belief or outcome is cathartic and healing. She emphasizes numerous times the importance of self-love.

She believes that we incarnate to experience and evolve this physical universe and our own lives within it. All the answers lie inside of us. She felt strongly during her near-death-experience that we are all connected to the Universal energy and that we are all One with it. She always looks at the emotions behind her everyday decision to determine whether her actions stem from “doing” or “being”. Is it fear or passion? If everything she does is driven by passion and a zest for living, then she is “being”.  Despite her vision she does not feel the need to change anyone else, let alone the world.

She does not worry anymore about trying to get things right or complying with rules or doctrines. Whichever path we choose is the right one for us, and none of these options are any more or less spiritual than others. By following our internal guidance, we find what’s right for us. She finds meditation very helpful but one should do what resonates on a personal level. The feelings about ourselves are the most important barometer for determining the condition of our lives. It’s important how we feel about ourselves while facing difficult times. It’s about trusting the process when we face difficulties and 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. Because of this, the feelings will dissipate and occur less and less frequently. It is important to allow yourself to be in your own truth. It’s important to do what is uplifting to us.

She ends the book with a chapter of questions and answers.

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