On the evening of February 2nd 2006, Anita Moorjani went into a coma, her family was told she had only hours to live. Her organs had started shutting down due to her stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer ravaging her body. Anita also had lemon-sized tumors on her abdomen and lesions all over her skin caused by toxins her body was releasing.
It was during the coma that Anita had a near-death experience (NDE), after which she came back and healed in a matter of days, astounding all her doctors and family members. Literally less than a week after her NDE, her test showed she was cancer free.
Throughout Anita’s life, outwardly she appeared happy but on the inside she felt that life had taught her not to truly value her own needs, to love and respect herself. She felt that she had lived a life of feeling ‘not being good enough’. Her focus was on avoiding what she feared, rather than indulging in what she truly loved. Anita realises now that this fear and lack of self love s is what primarily lead to her illness, understanding that all of the negative stress weakened her immune system.
During Anita’s NDE she was faced with the choice of staying in the utter peace she felt as life slipped out of her body into an other realm, or to come back into her diseased and dying body. The easy choice would have been to stay in that place of pure bliss, except that during her NDE she learned that her true essence is “pure love”. With this direct experience of “pure love”, she came to the realisation that only when she could love herself, would she be able to truly love others. She then received a message from her deceased father who told her now that she knew the truth of who she was, her body would reflect this truth and be healed, so she should go back and live her life fearlessly.
I’ve started this week’s post recounting Anita Moorjani’s dramatic healing story as a vivid example of how our health is much more than just a reflection of what we eat.
Since reading Anita’s inspirational memoir “Dying to be Me” I’ve been reflecting a fair bit on my own experiences working with people looking to restore their own health. One of the things that struck a cord with me about Anita’s story was that like Anita (prior to her NDE), I quite often come into contact with people who have pushed aside, or even forgotten how important and wonderful they are as individuals. Whilst presenting with obvious physical symptoms of distress, equally there is a toll being taken emotionally. I often observe though that the focus has been on the physical symptom(s) when the actual solution may primarily have needed to be to soothe the heart.
Most of us recognise that the state of our mind directly reflects itself in the health of our body but often we still forget that our most powerful pathway back to health is self acceptance.
From where I stand I recognise that the choice to do something like a “fast” and or undertake “cleansing therapy” often comes about at the end of the line, when you’ve become fed up with self indulgences, resulting in needing to do something pretty drastic! I certainly get that, and stripping things back to basics is often the perfect place to start, but I also often encourage people to see the whole process of fasting and cleansing as a gift to oneself (not just a way to do penance)!
The main point I want to make though is that we often impose guilt upon ourselves because of our dietary habits, and those “in the know” like to remind us that “we are what we eat” but you know what I see a lot of so called “very healthy people” who might not ever touch sugar, or refined carbs, coffee, alcohol etc but not all of them are a model of health either. How “healthy” we are is also a product of how we manage stress and stay happy. If an indulgence here or there makes you happy then it makes you healthy as well.
I like the 80-90% rule where you’re really good most of the time and have that 10-20% when you can indulge in whatever you want. The beauty I’ve found in this approach is that if you stay committed to a consistent manageable path, then you get hooked on feeling good, and your version of indulgent gradually becomes a healthier one ( for instance you start to enjoy raw chocolate more than cadbury chocolate).
In the meantime I believe your greatest health ally is maintaining a sense of self love. How do we maintain that? We do things we love to do for ourselves everyday. For some of us that might be exercise, for others it might be spending time in the garden, communing with a spiritual practice or engaging a passion for art, music or reading. Whatever it is, if it fills your heart with love, you owe it to yourself (and others) to gift yourself that, for your very health depends on it.
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Aaron Travers is author of “The Boda Fast – a three step plan to lower inflammation, maximise fat burning and restore vitality”. Aaron writes at www.thebodacleanse.com.au and shares his ideas and experiences on health and wellbeing from his personal life and through working with clients clinically and those doing his “supported fasting” programs. Every Friday he sends out his newsletter, click below to subscribe.
Moorjani, Anita. Dying to be Me, Hay House, 2012.