The following is excerpted from an article to be published in the June issue of Living.Well Magazine. The full article will be the first in a series of three which summarize the highlights of my extraordinary interview with Anita Moorjani, author of the best-selling book Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer to Near Death to True Healing. You can listen to the amazing conversation here.

Let me tell you a little about Anita Moorjani. She is kind. She is generous. She is warm and supportive. She is funny. She is incredibly wise. She is gracious. She is respectful. She is someone with whom I would love to have talked for hours. (And very nearly did, thanks to a technology breakdown during our across-the-globe call and her generosity in making up the time we lost…and then giving me even more.) If Oprah still had her talk show, you can bet Anita would be a sought-after guest.

And that’s because her message is so profound and inspiring. It is also elegantly simple, and our busy, complexity-loving minds might be tempted to dismiss it as simplistic. Yet it is a message that, as we let it sink into our hearts and minds and the very marrow of our bones, can literally transform our lives

Here it is: We are magnificent beings whose very essence is love. Our forgetting of that truth gives rise to all that we would consider unwanted in our lives and in our world; our remembering of it restores us to wholeness and joy.

This is where Anita and I started our conversation. She spoke with great clarity and passion about the realization she gained, during her near death experience (NDE), that she was loved unconditionally – and that she deserved this love just because she existed. She understood with complete clarity that we are not here to work or perform or prove ourselves worthy, and all of our efforts to do so are futile: there is no need to prove what is already given. In her words, “Because you have been put on this planet, you are deserving of good things coming to you.”

This may be a message you have heard before. (I hope so.) It is certainly one that I have heard and embraced and shared with my students and clients. And yet hearing it from Anita opened me to feel it more deeply, to know its truth with greater certainty. From my perspective, her very presence – and her generous, loving commitment to share her realizations with the world – affirm this potent message in a way that helps us embody it more fully.

Anita came to this understanding during her extraordinary NDE. She recognized that her cancer was not some karmic punishment for past wrongdoing, nor was it her “fault” for having made unhealthy choices. She saw clearly that her cancer was the manifestation of her own magnificence that had been repressed. In effect, her magnificence had been turned inward, which was an unnatural state; it was meant to radiate outward. And she knew with equal clarity that, in returning to life in this physical dimension, her magnificence expressedwould heal her body.

As she explains so simply and eloquently in her book and interviews, it was fear that had repressed her magnificence – fear that she wasn’t good enough (and, later, fear specifically of getting cancer). Like so many of us, she grew up feeling inadequate in many ways and thinking she needed to change in order to be liked or accepted. Her story is one of both racial and gender biases, yet the conditions giving rise to any of us feeling inadequate are many. Anita said during our conversation, and I would agree with her, it’s likely that most of us feel inadequate or “not enough” in some way – and nothing could be further from the truth.

And this gets to the breathtakingly simple heart of her message: it is in realizing, or remembering, who we really are that we open ourselves to vibrant health and joyful living. And how might we do that in the absence of something as dramatic as a near death experience? This is the really good news: we open ourselves to remembering our magnificence by cultivating genuine self-love.

Since our very essence is love, it is through self-love that we connect with our authentic, magnificent selves. And in being our authentic selves we live the joy-filled lives we came here to live. In fact, this is where things get really juicy and fun. As Anita said during our conversation, “The more authentic you are, the more you attract what is really yours.” We talked about the pure creative power of being, of allowing and attracting into our experience that which we desire.

More on that later. For now I’d like to leave you with the heartfelt message that Anita shared at the end of our conversation. She said, “Find your joy! Listen to your emotions and do what makes you happy.” We may be tempted to dismiss that as impractical, but honoring this truth is what restored Anita to full health and vibrancy, and put her life on a whole new trajectory. What could be more practical than being healthy, happy and successful

And we can begin that new trajectory in our own lives by committing to loving ourselves, right now. Let’s be willing to be amazed at how magnificent we really are.

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