∼ 4 minute read
Anita Moorjani was supposed to die on February 2, 2006. After a four year battle with lymphoma, a cancer affecting her lymphatic system, Anita was in a coma. The last of her life was siphoned by numerous large tumors the size of lemons that covered her neck, chest and abdomen. Her muscles had deteriorated significantly and her lungs were filling constantly with mucus, making breathing a struggle. She withered down to about 80 pounds making the act of walking impossible. Her body was also covered in open skin sores. On that fateful day, the doctors told her family that her organs were shutting down and that it was time to say their last good-byes.
Unbeknownst to anyone around her, Anita had entered an extraordinary state of consciousness. She was aware of everything that was going on around her. She noticed her distraught husband by her side holding her hand. She could also sense the physicians working to suction her intubated lungs to remove the mucus that made it difficult to inhale oxygen.
Anita describes her expanded awareness with phrases such as “I felt great clarity,” “I understood everything,” “I understood why I had cancer,” “I felt connected to everybody,” “I felt what they felt,” “I could feel and understand the resignation of the doctors, their distress but without getting sucked into their drama.” Guided by someone she recognized as as her late father, she was told it wasn’t her time to die.
But Anita couldn’t find a reason why she would want to return to that sick and dying body. “I was suffering, I was a burden to my family, there was no good reason to go back.”
However, she also realized that now that she knew why she had that cancer she also knew that, if she were to go back, everything would be different and she would heal easily and readily. With that awareness Anita decided to live.
“Now that you know the truth of what you really are
go back and live your life fearlessly.”
It was in these moments that Anita woke up from her coma. Her family was so relieved to see her open her eyes. The doctors couldn’t explain what has happened. Within 5 days her tumors had shrunk by 70 percent. Five weeks later she was released from the hospital completely cancer free.
Her life after cancer was completely different. It changed her view of the world. She realized that: “When you flash your awareness on something it becomes your experience.” Nothing else exists for you even though there are so many other options that could be realized instead. Given that viewpoint, Anita points out the negative impact of “cancer awareness campaigns” instead of “wellness awareness.” Or the focused and sustained attention on war rather than peace for instance.
Anita learned from her cancer-experience:
- Self-love! ‘The most important lesson Anita learned from lymphoma was that she realized she didn’t love herself. When you love yourself you have no need to bully other people or control them, nor are you allowing other people to control or bully you. She points out that when we love ourselves, we teach people how to treat us.’
- “Live life fearlessly!” “I used to fear everything, I used to fear cancer, I used to fear eating the wrong foods, I used to fear displeasing people, I feared failing…” ‘And people think that fear keeps you safe, but that’s actually not true. Love keeps you much safer than fear does. When you love yourself, when you love others, you’ll make sure you keep yourself safe and you keep others out of danger.’
- ‘Humor, laughter and joy are more important than any other spiritual activity.’
- ‘Life is a gift. Most of us live life like its a chore but it shouldn’t be that way. It took me losing my life to realize the value of my life.’ “Even your challenges are a gift.” “When I had cancer that was the biggest challenge I had.” “And if you’re in a challenge and it doesn’t feel like a gift yet it means you haven’t got to the end yet.” ‘ I used to think the cancer was killing me but I realized that I was killing me before the cancer saved my life.’
- Be yourself. “Be as you as you can be.”
I loved watching this remarkable woman tell her tale.
Her experience is echoed loudly by research from mind-body medicine and cannabinoid research alike. Both show that for deep healing to occur changes need to be realized in the body and the mind.
One of the fathers of mind-body medicine, Lawrence LeShan, Ph.D., developed an integrative therapeutic model that has helped many cancer patients to not just survive but also thrive. Over the last five decades, no matter what biological healing methodology his patients ended up choosing, his success rate approached fifty percent. Considering the much lower success rates of treatments without a mind-body approach the positive outcomes with his methodology are huge and significant.
Mirroring many of Anita’s lessons, he writes for instance that the most reported common denominator of cancer survival including end-stage cancers is a sense of emotional authenticity. A state of mind where all emotions are expressed appropriately especially those hitherto deemed intolerable or impossible.
The good thing is that we can learn from Anita and other cancer survivors and realize profound biological, mental-emotional, as well as spiritual benefits without inviting severe challenges such as cancer for example. Of course, if you have such a challenge by all means learn from it; transcend it.
But, the point here is you don’t need a shout, such as a life threatening illness. You can use the invitation of mild or stubborn symptoms to realize similar results. You can use the little daily challenges, those chronic, stubborn things that keep showing up in your life. Take the frequent colds, constipations, anxieties, painful menstruations, or headaches and learn, heal, and thrive to realize the joy of deep healing.
You can use mindfulness techniques that are right for you or you can use a properly-dosed cannabis experience to invite and achieve such revelations. Both are natural means that can set the stage to help you take the first steps.
Step 1. Experience the pleasure of deep relaxation. Induce a relaxation response that shifts your system from one filled with stress hormones and fear-based neurotransmitters to a biology of expansive emotions and their corresponding molecular counterparts of love, joy, and gratitude.
Step 2. Experience the wonder of a safely altered state of consciousness. The mindset that made you vulnerable to the chronic issue is not the mind that is going to heal you. A new way of thinking and feeling as well as a new internal architecture of mind are necessary to produce deep change.
Step 3. Experience the fun of positivity. Shift toward positive affect to produce an internal environment where both the body and the mind can thrive.