Anita Moorjani - Dying to be Me
Interview by Renate McNay
Renate: Hello, and welcome to Conscious TV. My name is Renate McNay and my guest today is Anita Moorjani. Hello Anita, nice to have you here.
Anita: Thank you! Thank you for inviting me here.
Renate: We are going to hear a remarkable story. Anita was diagnosed with cancer of the lymphatic system - Hodgkin’s Lymphoma - and her doctors gave her less than 36 hours to live but instead of dying she woke up to her True Nature. That is incredible! Anita wrote a book about her story ‘Dying to be Me’. I received it two days ago and I hear it will be available from March 5 (2012) and I can assure you, if you start reading it you cannot put it down. It is just amazing. OK Anita, let’s start by telling us a little bit about yourself. Who were you before you got cancer - before you were diagnosed?
Anita: Before I was diagnosed, I was somebody who was very, very fearful, but I used to fear a broad spectrum of things. Everything from being disliked, not fitting in, not being good enough. I used to fear I was not spiritual enough. So I always felt I had to work hard at being better at being more spiritual, at being liked, I also used to fear things like, for example, eating the wrong foods. I used to fear illness, fear cancer. I feared all the things that I believed caused cancer - so I used to eat a lot of healthy foods like wheatgrass shoots, supplements. Lots of supplements… and I was a vegan for a while. But I did all those things out of fear, not for a love for life, for a love for my body. But it was because I feared getting ill.
Renate: Who put this fear into your head in the first place? Where did it come from? How were you raised? Were you raised with a lot of fear?
Anita: I think the fears accumulated over time. My parents were very loving, but I think a lot of it is circumstantial because my parents are Hindu. I grew up in a Hindu environment at home. I went to a British school where my class mates were all British. I grew up in Hong Kong, where the local people are mainly Chinese people. So I was exposed to a lot of different cultures and even though my parents adored me, very often I felt that I didn’t live up to Hindu expectations. I felt I didn’t fit in anywhere, like in school, I wasn’t British so I wasn’t always accepted by the British kids. Generally in Hong Kong, like being out in the streets, joining clubs, I felt I didn’t fit in because I am not Chinese. And then when I was exposed to other Indian people, Indian kids - my parents took me back to India - I didn’t feel like I fit in there either because I had lived abroad my whole life. I wasn’t very Indian either. I didn’t meet the expectations of Indian people. So I felt that I was constantly working at trying to fit in, or trying to belong, or trying to be liked. That started from a very young age.
Renate: And where you aware then of how un-free you were?
Anita: No. You know it is funny because it is all you know. So I wasn’t aware of it at all. And it is only now looking back that I can see what it is. And it is today that I know what to tell my ten year old self, or my fifteen year old self. But at that time I didn’t know. I wasn’t aware of that at all.
Renate: Right. And so you grew up in Hong Kong and I think your father… he was still alive then?
Anita: My father was alive until I was engaged to be married. Yes he had always wanted me to have an arranged marriage.
Renate: Yes, I remember that was the thing to do. And you resisted it.
Anita: I resisted. I really resisted and then I met my husband and interestingly he was Indian. I told my parents that I would not get married to an Indian person, and to be prepared that he was not going to be Indian. And interestingly I met an Indian boy, man, whose parents are from the same part of India as mine are. So that came as quite a surprise to both families. Because my husband, it turned out (we had so much in common), also grew up in Hong Kong and went to a British school, but not the same one as mine. So I didn’t know him until we were adults; we shared so much in common where he also felt he didn’t fit in anywhere. We immediately just clicked and had so much to talk about.
Renate: And then there was the point where your very close friend was diagnosed with cancer.
Anita: Yes my best friend. I had known her for many years since childhood, and when she was diagnosed with cancer, that came as an absolute shock to me. And that really made the fear more intense because when I watched what she was going through, when I watched how she was deteriorating… and she was having the best treatment that money could buy, I mean her family stopped at nothing to put her in the best possible hospitals and give her the best treatment. It was the most advanced, most innovative treatment and yet all I saw was that she was still deteriorating. She was just getting worse and worse. And it was very, very difficult. It started to get very difficult for me to see her, to watch her deteriorate and it was during that time that I was going through a lot of fear. Fear around cancer that it could happen to somebody my own age someone who had so much to live for. And then one day I felt a lump on my collar bone, here. I went first to the doctor to have it check out, what happened was that the doctor looked a little bit concerned, but she said, let’s hope it is just your body trying to fight off an infection. Let’s hope it is just a swollen gland. So she gave me some medication, and she said take this for a week and if it doesn’t go down in a week then come back. And every day I was like willing it to go down, but it wasn’t… it wasn’t. It wasn’t disappearing. So a week later I went back to her and I said, it is still there, and it is still the same. So she sent me to another doctor, a surgeon for a biopsy. And after they did the biopsy my husband and I went to his office for the results and he said that it was Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which is a form of cancer. And then what they do, is to send you for the scan to see how much it has spread.
Renate: The moment the doctor said that you - how did you feel?
Anita: I just felt it was a death sentence. The moment he said cancer it was like I froze, it was like somebody had just handed me a death sentence, because during this time I was actually watching what was happening with my friend. And my husband’s brother in law, in the interim had also been diagnosed several months after my friend was diagnosed, with another aggressive form of cancer. So I was watching him as well. When I heard the word cancer for me, immediately I thought, oh, this is a death sentence and in my mind there was no other alternative as far as I was concerned because that was happening around me.
Renate: No other alternative than to die.
Anita: Than die yes, that’s what I felt. Because I could see both of these people’s bodies deteriorating; my friend all her hair had already fallen out and she was really looking very, very poorly and as I would watch her, I would just assume that the same fate was in store for me. And after I got diagnosed, it got harder and harder for me to look at them especially my best friend because she was someone I used to spend a lot of time with. So when I had the cancer, I had a lot of trouble dealing with just watching her deteriorate the way she was. And I dealt with a lot of guilt at that time too. I was holding a lot of guilt about not spending as much time with her because she was, of course, at that point much sicker than I was.
Renate: In that case you also were somebody who liked to make other people happy, and please other people and that was more important than facing this.
Anita: Yes, I was always that sort to of person. I was someone who was a real people-pleaser and I used to always feel that I had to work hard to make other people like me. So I would go out of my way to please people and putting myself last, even if I was tired, even if I was exhausted. If somebody wanted something from me, I could never say no. I just never said no. I would be giving and just giving and giving until I was drained. So now here I was, dealing with my own cancer and it was scaring me so much to see what my friend was going through knowing that I had cancer too. It made me feel terrible not being with her, so it was like I was caught between... yes double hammer. If I spent time with her I felt awful and scared and fearful, if I didn't spend time with her I was just full of guilt. Completely and totally full of guilt that I should be with her, should be doing this for her as she is sicker than me.
Renate: So the next step was… you were told you had cancer and then you had to go for an MRI scan, I think, the following Monday.
Anita: Yes, right.
Renate: And what did the doctor say then?
Anita: After they called me back to get the results of the MRI scan, the doctor told me I had what they call a stage 2A which means - stage 1 means it is local, it was just in that lymph node. Stage 2 meant it had spread to the up quadrant, but 3 would mean half your body and 4 would mean a full spread. So it was a 2A, so there is ‘A’ and ‘B’. Those are the symptoms. ‘A’ means that you have no other symptoms yet, other than those you are experiencing. ‘B’ means you have a lot of other symptoms which for me started to come later, like night sweats itching, low grade fever; those are what they call the ‘B’ symptoms.
Renate: Right. And what was your take then? I think that you wanted to try alternative medicine and not radiation or chemotherapy.
Anita: Yes, so the doctor told me that the only option available to me was chemo, chemotherapy and radiation and he said we would probably do a combination of the two. But I said, no, I don’t want it, because I know it doesn’t work. In my view it doesn’t work because here I was watching two people who were getting worse not better, from chemotherapy. And so I said that if chemo is supposed to cure you then it would have cured them. So I would rather take my chances.
Renate: Yes, so you went to India and had Ayurvedic treatment? And it seemed to help.
Anita: Yes, it seemed to help, because I was in a completely different frame of mind. Now I was pulled out from that situation of having to deal with the cancer all around me, so I was pulled out of having to deal with doctors and hospitals and with my best friend; I found that I had improved quite dramatically.
Renate: And then you came back. And all the symptoms started to come back.
Anita: The symptoms all started to come back. Also, my friend and my brother in law, both passed away; when my friend passed away I was just shattered. Absolutely, that really sent the fear riveting through me and then when my brother in law passed away as well, that was very, very scary. And then a lot of people said to me, ‘So have you gone to the doctor, have you had chemotherapy?’ And I said no, and they would say, ‘Oh I think you should, and are you crazy? You have got cancer and you are not treating it!’ And so the doubts started to be eating away of me - the fears. There was a lot of fear and doubt.
Renate: You became insecure. You didn’t know what to do.
Anita: Yes, very. And so I started to get weaker. I started to get very, very fearful and I weaker. My body started to deteriorate. And I would go to doctors. I would go to my doctor, generally for a check up, like say… for a scan, and he would suggest a blood transfusion because my level of iron was dropping. And at that time I was refusing the chemotherapy, but he was doing everything else for me. I started to get fluid in my lungs and so he would drain the fluid - he was doing everything else except the chemotherapy. I was in so much fear that my health just continued to deteriorate.
Renate: And it did.
Anita: It did, it did. And so in December 2005 - I was originally diagnosed in April of 2002 - I went to the doctor and he did a full body scan. He told my husband that I had three months to live at best. He said that would be the maximum.
Renate: Were you already bound in the wheelchair by then? I think you were in a wheelchair, you had oxygen and…
Anita: I had oxygen and I had open skin lesions because the toxins were coming out of my body through the skin lesions and I had a low grade fever all the time, just running a low grade fever and I had fluid in my lungs, I could never lie flat. I had to sort of be a little bit tilted upright. If I lay flat I would start choking and I was getting all of what they call the ‘B’ symptoms like the night sweats and my skin was always very, very itchy. And I didn’t even last the three months that the doctor had said. The doctor had said that I had three months.
Renate: How was that for you, to know that you had three months?
Anita: In fact they didn’t tell me.
Renate: Oh they didn’t tell you!
Anita: They told my husband and my husband didn’t tell me. He stopped going to work and already he pretty much stopped going to work long before that. He was absolutely amazing, he was there by my side and caring for me and…
Renate: And you also had a full time nurse I think?
Anita: We had a nurse that would come in all day, every day and she would leave at about 10 at night.
Renate: So you couldn’t do anything anymore for yourself.
Anita: My mother was there as well. I had lost my appetite. I wasn’t really eating any more, so I had lost a lot of weight and my arms and legs… my limbs were skeletal. I had the nurse there to administer things like pain killers and other medications like that. I was in a lot of pain at that time and a lot of discomfort.
Renate: Why? I thought lymphatic system cancer is not painful.
Anita: It was because now the skin lesions had opened up so they were oozing and had to be bandaged all the time. The fact that I couldn’t lie down was very uncomfortable. I would call it more discomfort than pain, but it was a lot of discomfort. You know, I couldn’t sit in one position - my lungs were filled with fluid and it was heavy, the lungs felt heavy and I was very weak - very, very weak. My head felt heavy, my neck didn't even have the strength to hold my head up so my head was down like this the whole time. I was in a tremendous amount of discomfort. I had oxygen and was breathing with an oxygen tank; I would find myself choking and coughing, I would be very tired and I would want to lie down. I would start to lie down and then I would start choking and then I would have to sit back up again. So it was very, very uncomfortable. And of course I couldn’t go out any more. I had stopped going out for a long time because, even when I was able to go out, as soon as I started looking really ill people treated me differently. People look at you and I started to feel very uncomfortable so I stopped going out even in the wheelchair..
Renate: Right. And there was one evening; I think the nurse gave you morphine and what happened then?
Anita: On that evening I really wanted to just go to sleep, so I told the nurse could she give me extra, a stronger shot of morphine so I could really get some sleep. So she did. She gave me a strong shot of morphine and then she went off for the night and I went to sleep. Even then, even thought I was sleeping, I wasn’t lying flat I was just a little bit propped up with pillows. In the morning I didn’t wake up. My eyes were closed. My husband woke up and then he was waiting for me to wake up and by nine o'clock my eyes hadn't opened. And he was shaking me to wake up and when he moved the blanket he noticed that my arms and legs were swollen, very, very swollen. He started to panic and called the doctor right away. The doctor knew immediately what was wrong. He knew right away that they were symptoms of organs failure, that I was suffering from organ failure and that this was the end. The doctor didn’t tell him that over the phone. The doctor just said, bring her to the hospital right now and he told my husband which hospital. I had never been in this hospital before because I had just been going to the local clinic until then. I was rushed to the hospital and the doctor was already in there. He had already called the oncologist on duty to say that I was coming in and as soon as I arrived I was in a gurney and wheeled into a room, the nurse and the oncologist took one look at me and said to my husband, ‘It is too late, I cannot save this lady. Her organs have shut down’. The doctor said this immediately by looking at my limbs, by looking at the open skin lesions. So they hooked me up to their oxygen tank and everything. My mother was with me as well, she had come from India to care for me. So it was my mother and my husband and the doctor and now the oncologist and the hospital people. And then they wanted to do a pet scan, like a full body scan there at the hospital; they said they need to know how bad it is and even though they had the scans from my doctor, those scans were from 6 weeks earlier and they wanted one now. Every time they put me to lie flat and go into the machine, I started to choke so every 30 seconds they had to pull me out again and basically, I mean till today I have the report taken on that day which shows that I had tumours, huge tumours the size of lemons from the base of my skull all the way down under my arms my chest my abdomen - all the way down, all through my lymphatic system.
Renate: Wow. I know now something really exciting is going to happen. You were lying there and the doctor actually said to your husband...
Anita: Yes, the doctor took my husband aside and basically said that these were my final hours. She then called another oncologist and said, 'I don’t usually deal with patients at this critical stage’. So she called another oncologist, a more senior one who arrived a little while later and they told my husband and my mum that these were my final hours. Now, even though I was in a coma, I was aware of everything that was going on around me. I was aware of every conversation they were having, every thing they were feeling, everything they were saying. I was just completely aware of everything and it was… I felt incredible!
Renate: I think that is how your book starts. With the sentence, 'Wow, I feel so free! Great!' So, so what happened? You heard the doctor and your husband talking at the other end of the corridor and you understood everything they were saying. Did you see them?
Anita: Yes, I saw them. When I say, I saw them it is very interesting how it is. Because I wasn’t limited to physical body, so I am not seeing them through physical eyes but it is more like I became aware of them. It is almost like energetically I can feel everything they are feeling, I can hear and I can see them, I am so aware of them. I knew the distress they were feeling, my husband, my mother - they were really, really distressed and I wanted to help them. I wanted to…
Renate: You still wanted to comfort them!
Anita: I wanted them to know that ‘I am OK. I am free. I feel great’. I felt amazing. I felt like I was, as though I was encompassed in… I can only call it unconditional love, but even that word is so limited that it felt for the first time in my life, I felt like I was loved unconditionally, and that I didn’t have to prove myself any more. For the first time I let go, I was relaxed. I felt that I didn’t have to work at being more loveable, or being liked, or being more spiritual. I was loved regardless. I was just bathed in this energy, this amazing loving and magnificent energy.
Renate: And you also described that you felt at one with everybody and everything.
Anita: I did, I felt connected as though at a consciousness level we are all One, we are all connected.
Renate: Actually your experience.
Anita: Yes exactly, I felt like as though I merged with my husband and even with the doctor, the nurse, my mother. And then I was aware of things that were seemingly miles away, but to me nothing was far away because it was like I was connected to everything. I sensed my brother who was actually in India, rushing to get on a plane to come and see me. But I sensed his… he was frantic to get to me on time.
Renate: You didn't actually see them, it was more a sensing - can you describe it? I know you tried to translate something into words which can only be experienced.
Anita: I saw them like I saw my brother on the plane coming to see me, yet at the same time I used the words 'saw' loosely because I wasn’t seeing with eyes. When you see with eyes you are focused from one point, and so from one point it is wherever my vision can reach. But without eyes, without a physical body, without physical limitations it was like I spilled out and spread, and just expanded, and expanded. And I encompassed it.
Renate: Could you see that awareness was seeing? …awareness was looking?
Anita: Yes, but it was total awareness and I could see everything, I could see everything at the same time and it wasn't limited by distance and it wasn't limited by time either, so it is like 360 degree peripheral vision but at the same time if felt as if everything was happening at once. It is not linear, like sequential, like the way when you are in the physical body. I think maybe our minds interpret time as being linear but when we are not expressing through the mind and when we’re just pure awareness, or pure consciousness it was like there is no linear time. Everything is happening all at once - all at the same time.
Renate: And when you looked at your body, was there anything going on?
Anita: I felt no attachment to my body at all. And because I was feeling so amazing and so magnificent and expanded like huge and powerful, my body just looked really small and weak and limp and lifeless just lying there. It was insignificant. And there is this feeling of how can that little insignificant thing house this… what I feel now?
Renate: Exactly!! It is a good question. But did you find an answer?
Anita: Well, slowly the understanding started to come. And this is the part that is quite hard to explain, simply because time is not linear so I felt that over there everything was happening at the same time, so now, coming back I have to figure out how to explain it in a sequence that makes sense. Yes, sometimes I struggle to make it all make sense sequentially. So, in that realm, it was as though I encountered my father, because it was as though I became his essence - I understood him. I encountered my best friend; I also sensed that my brother and I had some kind of link from another life and I sensed my husband and I had some kind of purpose that is linked to us being together. But here in this life, even when I am writing the book, I have to make it make sense to the reader - put it in some kind of sequential order. But in actuality it was as though all of this was happening at the same time.
Renate: So when you say, another life - this is not like 100 or 200 or 500 years ago - it is happening right now.
Anita: It is happening right now. So what I would normally interpret as my brother and I shared a previous life together, it didn’t feel like that in that realm - it didn’t feel that the life I could see was previous. It felt like it was happening right here and right now. Right now I am lying in the hospital bed, my brother is on a plane coming to see me, my mum and my husband are around me waiting for me to take my last breath - in another life I am with my brother in another scene where in that life he is my younger brother, whereas currently he is my older brother. It was happening as real as this one. So, it didn’t feel like it was a past life, it was as though everything, even what we call past lives are actually running simultaneously. That is what it felt like in that realm.
Renate: And you also mentioned that when you felt emotions coming through you, you were drawn away.
Anita: Yes, every time I watched the scenes unfolding of my husband getting very emotional because I was dying, and the doctors saying that I was not going to make it, and my mother being very emotional, I would start to feel for them. I would start to feel emotional; I would start to get drawn in. But as soon as I would start to get emotionally drawn in I felt - and it wasn’t me consciously doing it - I felt as though I was being pulled back and then an awareness would come in, that it is all perfect. It is all perfect in the grander scheme and then I would feel my self getting detached. And then there was like a knowing, a knowledge that in the bigger picture, in the grander scheme everything is OK, no matter what happens, even if my body dies it is still OK. And it could be because in the greater tapestry there are other lives like I was seeing the other life, so in this particular life, if my body dies, it is still OK. I seem to understand that the essence of who I am, never truly dies. And whatever the outcome in this scene is, it is still OK, it is still perfect - no matter how it looks like. So it is like the further you step back, the more you can see the order and the grander scheme, and it is still OK. Even though I understood that, my husband’s life is inextricably linked to mine, I seemed to understand that if I died he would probably follow me soon after. But I also realised that even that is OK. Even in the grander scheme of things, that is OK.
Renate: How long were you in this place?
Anita: About 30 hours. It was half way through the next day that I came out of it.
Renate: And was there a point where you felt you could make a decision to come back into your life, into your body, or not?
Anita: Yes, absolutely a point. So I started to become aware of my father and my best friend, it was…
Renate: Which was the woman who had died earlier; Sony I think was her name.
Anita: That is right. And it was wonderful connecting with her because I felt like a cathartic release of all the guilt that I had carried with me. All I felt from her was unconditional love, and so that was really beautiful. Then my father, who I always felt I had let down because I hadn't got married while he was alive and he had always wanted me to have an arranged marriage. All I felt from him was unconditional love, and I understood that these cultural restrictions and these cultural expectations, they are just part of our physical illusion. In the other realm, they don’t exist. The only thing that existed was our unconditional love for each other.
Renate: You also saw why you had cancer.
Anita: I understood exactly why I had the cancer. I started to understand that because I had always been so fearful and I had always put myself last and I was always so drained and also because I understood how amazingly magnificent we actually are. We are really amazing magnificent human beings but, in a body. I didn’t realise it. I was so caught up in the limitations, in my limitations, in my feeling the need to always prove myself, or work hard at being loved. I never realised that actually we are amazing, magnificent, powerful human beings expressing through these little bodies. I realised that it was because of that, because I had always forsaken myself and always put myself last and over the years all my fears had become pathological and had manifested as cancer.
Renate: Do you think all our illnesses have to do with denying ourselves, not treating ourselves well?
Anita: I suspect a lot do, and I have said this before and people feel… what about young children or babies or pets? I feel that children and our pets are very sensitive to the energies around them and the emotions of the people around them, so I do feel it is to do with… it’s not our fault, it is not our fault at all, but it is to do with how we feel about ourselves. We beat ourselves up, we wear ourselves down and we tear ourselves down. I feel that the environment in terms of food and toxins is secondary to that. I really do, because you can have two people who live in the same environment, exposed to the same toxins, but one will get sick and the other won’t. So whether we blame our mobile phones or pollution or whatever, you have people who use mobile phones, or live in polluted cities their entire lives. So I do believe that how much we challenge ourselves, forsake ourselves, put ourselves down, beat ourselves up… I do believe that really wear us down. Not only our immune system because it does that, but at our very identity. Our very reason for living wears down, it makes us feel purposeless and I feel that has a lot to do with it.
Renate: Yes, I think one of the big messages you brought back from ‘the other realms’, is never, never deny yourself, be always yourself, never feel guilty and so forth. But you know, it is not so easy to know how to be yourself with all the conditionings we have, and all the beliefs and fears. How do you know how to be yourself?
Anita: It is actually very simple. On the one hand, yes we have been conditioned a lot and a lot of us have moved very far away from who we are, but it is actually very, very simple. All we have to do is get in touch with our feelings that is all. So it is not about what should I do? Or will this please the other person? It is about: ‘How do I feel about this?’ ‘How does it make me feel, to do this?’ So we have to start asking ourselves different questions that is how I look at it. So now, whenever I am faced with choices - previously it used to be, which choice will please the most people - now it is which choice will please me, which one will make me feel better? Or happier, or more joyful? It is really about finding the joy in life again.
Renate: But we do have to do sometimes things we don’t like to do. We cannot only do what we love to do. There are certain things we just have to do.
Anita: It depends on the reason why we are dong it. When we do what we have to do, are we doing it because we feel we need to prove ourselves, or are we doing it because we want other people to like us? Both of which I don’t do any more. Or are we doing it because we need to do it to make our lives more comfortable? We need to go out to work, yes. Or are we doing it for someone we love - even though we don’t like what we are doing - we are doing it really because we love them, so we want to do it, but not because we want them to like us, or we want to be liked. So yes, there are things that we don’t want to do, but what are the reasons we are doing it? So basically it is really getting in there and start asking ourselves, ‘Why do I do all the things I do? Why do I feel drained all the time, who am I doing it for?’
Renate: That is true! So let’s go back and finish your story. You decide to come back, you open your eyes...
Anita: Yes, actually my father said to me on the other side… he brought me, he made me aware that I had a choice, that it was not my time and I had the choice whether to come back or not. At first I didn’t want to come back - not to mention that it was amazing on that side - you know the amazing love and everything I was feeling. But also the fact that my body was so sick and ridden with cancer, I knew that it would not only not serve me to come back, but that it wasn’t going to serve anyone else for me to come back in that body. But then the next thing I seemed to understand was that now that I knew the truth of who I really am, if I chose to come back and express myself in this body again, the cancer would disappear. I just seemed to know that. That it was my choice if I came back, because now I knew the truth of who I am and what I was supposed to express. And then, I reached a point where I felt that I couldn’t go any further. It was my father; you know it is interesting because there is no language; you don’t speak. It is like you just understand, yes there is just the knowledge and it was like I felt these emotions from my father… and what he was saying was, ‘This is as far as you can go’. Basically if I went any further, I would be severing the ties.
Renate: You would cut off the life line.
Anita: Yes. And then I felt that both my father and my best friend were saying to me, now go back and live your life.
Renate: It is like they guided you.
Anita: Yes, they did. They told me this was as far as I can go. And now I can go back and live my life fearlessly. Those are the words I carry with me all the time: ‘Go back and live your life fearlessly'.
Renate: And I think you came back and within four days all the cancer disappeared.
Anita: Within four days about 70% of the tumours had gone, they couldn’t even find them to the touch. I was still very, very weak and over the following days they started to do the biopsies, to take the scans and they couldn’t find a trace of cancer. Every test they took, they couldn’t find a trace of cancer.
Renate: What did they think about that?
Anita: They didn’t know what to make of it.
Renate: Did they think they must have made a wrong diagnosis?
Anita: Yes, that is exactly what the doctors said and it is very interesting because over the three and a half, almost four years that I had the cancer I have had so many tests and all of them said, ‘You have got to take the chemo, you are crazy if you don’t’. The cancer is spreading and then after it disappears the first thing I hear is: ‘Oh it might have been a misdiagnosis’.
Renate: Amazing. So how do you integrate your experience into this life? I guess there are certain things which completely shifted in your mind?
Anita: Oh completely, yes, absolutely.
Renate: Certain things you have to somehow remind yourself of.
Anita: Yes, I look at life completely differently now. Very, very differently. First of all I think that the way we are brought up - what we are brought up to believe - is to be fearful. Very, very fearful. Everything we do, everything we look at is from the perspective of fear; whether it is our health or... our medical system, whether it is our government, our legal system everything… we are basically a pathologically fearful society. All of us.
Renate: You are right and yet, how do we… how can we let go of this fear? It is in our cell memories. I mean you had a Grace happening and you were catapulted out of it, but a normal person who is ridden with fear… do you have any suggestion?
Anita: What I would say to any body who is ridden with fear, is start inwardly, like start getting in touch with your feelings. That is the truest place of yourself. Start getting in touch with your joy. I would also suggest to start finding things that make you happy. We have become also a society and a culture that takes life to seriously. We fear everything, we take even spirituality too seriously. We have forgotten to laugh, so a good place to start would be by finding things that make you laugh, that make you feel joyful. Moving on from there, also getting in touch with your feelings, rather than constantly living from your mind. Because the questions that come from our mind are very different from the questions that come from our heart. They are very, very different. Our mind always comes up with questions that make us want to look good, or be better than everyone else; our heart is only interested in feeling joy, that is all.
Renate: Was there something you found really difficult coming back into this world? What was the most difficult thing for you to adjust to?
Anita: Integrating back with people, people that were (let’s say) from my past because I had a completely different view of reality after my experience. I wasn’t afraid of the same things. I didn’t look at health in the same way. I don’t relate to it any more. People who are focused on illness rather than on health, I don’t relate to things like breast cancer awareness month. Why do you want to be aware of breast cancer? Why can’t we just be aware of health? I don’t relate to any of that any more. There is so much now, even on TV… all the time about becoming more aware of cancer. We are forced to become more aware of cancer - that is the worst thing we can do. If we put the same amount of effort and energy on becoming aware of being healthy we would be a much healthier society.
Renate: See our society is addicted to drama. If you watch the news that is the only things you hear. Drama. The same with people, you are completely right, in what you say. And I hope a lot of people hear this message.
Anita: My only intention is only just to help people. I feel it is our fears and the way that we look at life that has caused us to become so addicted to, as you say, to drama and has made us more vulnerable to illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes. I feel that it is our lifestyle, but not just in terms of what we eat, but also how fearful we are, how stressed out we are, and how little respect we have for our own self.
Renate: Yes that is right. Well Anita, what a beautiful story and message. We have about one minute. Is there anything you want to share with us in this last minute?
Anita: Yes, the only thing I would say is that I wish that each and every single person on the planet knew how magnificent they really are - I really wish that. If every single person knew it, I think that our rate of illness and cancer would go down. Our crime rate would go down, violence would go down, all we have to do is realise our own magnificence; that is all.
Renate: Wow, a big test! Anita, thank you for coming to us and sharing your story. I will just show your book again. It is Anita Moorjani, ‘Dying to be Me: My Journey From Cancer, To Near Death, To True Healing’. A wonderful read.
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