Inspiration From Dying to Be Me (Book review)

Inspiration From Dying to Be Me (Book review)

Imagine having advanced stage 4 cancer and after trying many alternative methods for healing nothing worked and going into a coma for thirty hours. During that 30 hours, you are still aware, but in a much different way. Your consciousness is expanded dramatically, you perceive past present, and future, are in a state of bliss with no pain, and gain amazing wisdom and insights into the realities of life, death, and infinite being.

Then your body recovers with a complete remission within days, the doctors are amazed, and you return to a healthy life with a mission to share your story.

Unbelievable?

This happened to Anita Moorjani and she describes her NDE (Near Death Experience) beautifully in her book Dying to Be Me - My Journey from Cancer to Near Death to True Healing. The audiobook was narrated by her so that you can hear her story in her voice as well as her words.

Anita has humility about her experience and is also down-to-Earth with her honest and compassionate descriptions of what she learned from the experience. 


Some of this information is so profound that I cannot even begin to describe it by memory. You will need to read or listen to the book to find out. At least read the book's description on Amazon or Audible, and a few reviews to make an informed decision.

The book was discovered when I was browsing Audible and they had a two-for-one sale with a large selection of various audiobooks. Not only was the title eye-catching but I recognized her name from when she visited the New Thought church, Mile Hi, in Denver when I was living there.

The inspiration from her book was a perfect way to start the New Year as I finished the entire seven hours of audio in two days. 


No surprise that the book has sold more than a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 45 languages. 


from Audible:

"Anita shares how after fighting cancer for almost four years, her body began shutting down. As her organs failed, she entered into an extraordinary near-death experience where she would realize her inherent worth and the actual cause of her disease. Upon regaining consciousness, Anita found that her condition had improved so rapidly that she was able to be released from the hospital within weeks...without a trace of cancer in her body! After years of struggling to forge her path while trying to meet everyone else's expectations, she had the realization - as a result of her epiphany on the other side - that she had the power to heal herself...and that there are miracles in the universe that she had never even imagined.

 

In Dying to Be Me, Anita shares all she has learned about illness, healing, fear, "being love", and the true magnificence of every human being!"

If you want inspiration that could last the entire New Year or more, wisdom that you may not know about, why self-love is so important and other wisdom from Anita's experience on the other side, then dive in with this book. You will not be disappointed.

Here's the link to Audible:

https://www.audible.com/pd/Dying-to-Be-Me-Audiobook/B09RXV6CC8?qid=1672853141

David Brown
January 4 2023


2023 Cheers - No Fear - Happy New Year

 Letting go of 2022. Adios.

What are we planning? Are there New Year's resolutions?

What were 2022 resolutions? I cannot remember mine !

What does the photo evoke?A leap of faith? A fear of falling? 

So cheers or fears in 2023?
Maybe it will be "an extraordinary process"...

I guess it's how we choose to be, our state of mind, our spiritual focus, and our choices about who and what we allow into our life. Is it or them feeding us or depleting us? 

Of course it is a not clear cut, black and white simplistic choice. It's an ongoing process. One thing is certain - we can let go of 2022. Adios.

For me, I will continue to write and hopefully add some inspiration to the content mix out there, and to whomever is reading this today, blessings to you and yours in 2023. Cheers ! No Fear. Happy New Year! Carpe Diem.

A year from now I will revisit this blog post and reflect on 2023. Stay tuned.

Here's a few photos just for fun 
Sand sculpture, David Bowie aging quote, woman with cigar, Mexico, Cape Foulweather, Oregon, My 1987 photo in Mexico next to a large Olmec head, enroute to Palenque,a Mayan site, last photo.
Today - December 30-2022 is my fifth year anniversary of living in Mexico. I had a one way ticket, carry-on, and check in bag. A digital nomad ready for a magical, mystical Mexico adventure. 





 








The Winter Solstice and Inspiration from Evergreen Trees

 The Winter Solstice and Inspiration from Evergreen Trees 

Evergreen trees have special significance, symbolism, and purpose, especially during the season of Winter Solstice. It is a mystical time of year for many traditions. It is a time of darkness and light, birth and rebirth, celebration and reflection, letting go, and restarting in a New Year. 

 

The most ancient trees on the planet (Redwoods) have witnessed this cycle for thousands of years. Even in the darkest and coldest time of the year, when all the other trees have dropped their leaves, the evergreens thrive and keep their life and color. They represent eternal life, that goes on even in the midst of Winter when all the other trees seem "dead."


Our Modern Culture Holiday Tree


For some, the traditional Christmas tree name has been replaced by the name Holiday Tree. Another name could be Sacred Tree. Whatever name you choose freely to call it, the evergreen tree as known in our modern culture can be very inspiring, without even knowing the ancient roots. 

 

The warmth of a lighted tree decorated with ornaments, special items, small gift cards, and an assortment of things that are meaningful to our families and us can be a centerpiece in the living room for all to enjoy. 

 

Gifts are placed under the tree, so it represents a very special place of giving and love between family and friends. It is like an altar for the sacred season and can be like an object of worship for what it represents. Almost everyone loves having an evergreen tree in the living room.

However, just as holiday trees are cut and separated from their roots to be placed in a living room, has our culture been cut off from the ancient symbols of the evergreen tree? Have we been cut off from a connection to the roots and the living energy of the Earth?



Ancient Roots of Tree Symbolism


In the Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien developed tree symbolism in his writings, drawing from ancient traditions and myths.


Pre-Christian roots of tree symbolism, especially at the start of Winter connect with the Winter Solstice celebrations and traditions that are thousands of years old. These roots are still active in the astronomical and astrological significance of the Winter Solstice date, on December 21-22. 

 

In the Southern hemisphere, the Winter Solstice is precisely the opposite and occurs on June 21-22. The Summer Solstice in the Southern hemisphere occurs on December 21-22. It might seem hard to believe that there is a Summer solstice going on at the same time as the Winter solstice!


The Earth has both going on at the same time, as opposites, similar to the balance of the circular Yin-Yang symbol. Just like a full moon, the solstices represent a powerful shift in astronomical energy, the darkest or lightest day of the year, depending on which hemisphere you are in.

 

When we connect with ancient traditions and the symbolism of anything sacred, it can empower us to feel inspired that we are connected with the stories, the myths, the metaphors, and the archetypes of ancient tree wisdom in our DNA, our bones, our collective memory, and our souls. The redwoods are the most ancient of evergreen trees and can live for an average of 500-700 years and as long as 2000 years.

I had a profound experience with the redwoods and wrote a separate blog post about it > The Ancient Redwoods Spoke to Me >


What is the symbolism of evergreen trees during the Winter Solstice season that can provide us with reflection and inspiration?

> The evergreens represent eternal life, which goes on even in the midst of Winter when all the other trees seem "dead." Egyptians viewed evergreens as a sign of victory over death and brought greens into their homes during the Winter Solstice.


> The evergreen trees also are connected to the Green Man mythology and archetype, which honors the Earth, especially the plant kingdom.


> Trees in general and evergreens during the Winter Solstice season not only are symbols but contain their spirit connected to the Divine Spirit within all things.


> Holly and mistletoe are also evergreens that thrive in Winter, have their traditions, and are associated with using evergreen trees during the season.

 

Beyond symbolism, evergreen pines have been used as sacred medicine for thousands of years by indigenous tribes. In an article titled "A Winter Shrine to the Sacred Pine," different parts of the tree are described as having medicinal properties and provide some basic recipes such as pine needle tea. 

"What we don’t often realize is that pine, spruce, and fir trees are powerful native medicines that hold many gifts for our mind, body, and spirit. 

I was stringing up lights around our Christmas tree (a potted pine) yesterday when it dawned on me. Whoa, we’re actually honoring sacred tree medicine right in the middle of our house." full story>

(reference: http://www.thesacredscience.com/a-winter-shrine-to-the-sacred-pine/  )


In this sacred season, it is inspiring to acknowledge the deeper symbolism and meaning of evergreen trees. 

 




Especially at the Winter Solstice, the symbolism of evergreen trees can remind us to celebrate life, with inspiration, love, and gratitude within this season and all seasons.

inspiration from The Crab Nebula - A Supernova Remnant

 

The Crab Nebula - -a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula - is 6500 light years from Earth. One light year is 5.88 trillion miles. The distance that light travels in a vacuum for one year. When we reference "the universe", it is so far beyond what we can seem to imagine. The possibilities are infinite. The creation is amazing and awe-inspiring. Imagine what types of intelligence has evolved out there with technology 1000 times or more advanced than our own. Past-present-future merging into the eternal now. Other dimensions beyond measurable time. Consciousness expanding here and hereafter. And we think we have it all figured out 🙂

Inspiration from Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption - Review

Unbroken, based on a true story by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabisquit)

 This story, which I finished as an audiobook, was one of the most engaging stories I have ever read in my life. The inspiration was in the fortitude, courage, and creativity of Louis Zamperini.

“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.” (The Washington Post)

Zamperini went from a delinquent childhood to becoming a world record-breaking marathon runner, only to be drafted into the army and sent on missions as a bomber in the Pacific in World War II. 


The incredible but true story starts from there when he struggled to survive for 36 days on a raft against sharks, hunger and thirst, sun and storms, only to end up landing on an island and being taken to a POW camp.


What he endured there and in other camps was brutality that targeted him among others and he needed to survive this if he could. 


" Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will." - Audible  

 

As an audiobook, it was an extraordinary experience to listen to the story narrated masterfully by Edward Hermann. It's no surprise that on Audible there are 49,470 reviews with an average rating of 4.6out of 5 stars. 

                          

Unbroken is an inspiration and testimony to the resilience of the human mind, body, heart, and spirit that we all have to some degree within us.

Critic's Rave Reviews

"Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it’s told. A better book than Seabiscuit, it manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety. [Hillenbrand has] a jeweler’s eye for a detail that makes a story live." (Newsweek)

"A master class in narrative storytelling.... Extraordinarily moving...A powerfully drawn survival epic." (The Wall Street Journal)

"Ambitious and powerful.... Hillenbrand is intelligent and restrained, and wise enough to let the story unfold for itself. Her research is thorough, her writing crystalline. Unbroken is gripping in an almost cinematic way." (The New York Times Book Review)

“[A] one-in-a-billion story...designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring.” (New York)

“Staggering...mesmerizing...Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page.” (People

“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.” (The Washington Post)

“Hillenbrand...tells [this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter’s pace.” (Time)

Unbroken is too much book to hope for: a hellride of a story in the grip of the one writer who can handle it.” (Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run

 GET THIS AUDIOBOOK AS A FREE  DOWNLOAD WITH A FREE TRIAL OF AUDIBLE >

Five Ideas for Inspiration for October

 Five Ideas for Inspiration in October


“There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne


October is a month of change, transition from Summer to Fall, from light to increasing darkness in the days, colder weather, rain, brilliant leaves that fall and sail with the wind, candles and approaching holidays, Dias de Los Muertos and Halloween traditions, Fall harvest, and more time indoors.

Here are five ideas for inspiration in October:


1) Start a creative project

A creative project can be anything that you've thought about doing and have not started yet. Whatever it is, creativity will be involved in how you plan it, have ideas about it, engage in it, and take actions to create it. This first act of creativity may be to start it. Once started, commit to follow through with it daily, and maybe set a goal to continue until the end of the year.


2) Celebrate Halloween differently

Besides the usual routines of visiting a haunted house, or pumpkin patch, or decorating the home, consider adding something different. For example, when I lived in Denver the Botannical Gardens had an amazing authentic celebration of Dios de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead celebrated in Mexico. Another idea is to carve pumpkins with unique faces that you can find on Google and display them on your window or front porch.

Scary movies and books are prolific, and if these have not been a part of the routine, seek out unusual experiences with both or either. I am listening to the classic novel Dracula as an audiobook for the first time. This is the original story and it is very engaging, building suspense in every chapter. It is a masterpiece and now I know why.

3) Listen to inspiring music every morning (or whatever time works)

Whether on YouTube or with headphones try adding one inspiring song in your morning routine or whatever time works in the day. By adding more music in October, the month will take on a different vibe, and may enhance your life in ways unknown until you try it.


4) Plants seeds of inspiration for the New Year

Whatever inspires you now take it to the next level and add something new. The New Year will be upon us soon and October is a good time to start planting "seeds of inspiration" or ideas that will inspire you through the rest of the year and into the New Year. In one year from now you might have a tree. 


5) Create and read an affirmation every day until the end of the year.

Here's a template to work with or create your own. By affirming this every day you are infusing the most positive thoughts about your life in a concentrated form. 
Today I am most grateful for ___________________________.
These are the reasons why I love my life or will love my life: ________, _________, _________, ______________.
I am continuing _________- a new project and committed to practicing it every day until the end of the year. I enjoy the love and connection with my family and friends, especially ______, ______, ______, ______, ______._________ 
 
October can be a month to be remembered this year, for those things that we started or created that provided us inspiration in the months that followed. 
 
Carpe Diem
 
 

The September Secret Revisited

If there was one secret that was revealed to you in September...

 
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” 
― Roald Dahl 


September 4 2022

If there was one secret that was revealed to you in September that had the effect of changing your life, or transforming the way that you viewed the world and universe, or inspired you beyond your comfort zone, would you be willing to receive it ?


We can easily get into patterns of thought, behavior, routines, habits, and even the seeking of new ideas in a way that the seeking becomes just as or more important than the idea or information itself. And it's all good. 

Sometimes we may feel as if we are in a box, even if we try to "think outside of the box". Sometimes we may feel that there is no box at all. 

Yet deep inside us we also know that there are many mysteries yet to be revealed. These may be hidden secret treasures. Secrets that are only revealed at a special time or place.

September is here. The seasons are changing. We don't know what may happen in our life  during this coming month. Is there a possibility that in this month, September 2022,  a secret will be revealed to you?

Be open to the possibilities. You never know until it happens.
--------------------------
updated notes:
Dear Reader, thank you for reading this blog.
When I published this original blog post in August 2018, little did I know that I would meet my future wife in September.  Maybe subconsciously I knew that something big was about to happen. Consciously I had no idea. Yet, I incline to be open to all possibilities, and that's a good thing, as we fell in love and were married in June 2019. Life can have its unexpected surprises. My hope for you is to have at least one, however big or small, in September.
Carpe diem. Seize the day.
In deep gratitude,
David Brown   

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"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine." - Ludwig van Beethoven