Five years ago, I had a near-death-experience. During the intense hours between life and death, I experienced a ‘life review’ and learned a lot about myself. I was shown little movies from my life that illustrated how “Mind Loops” (repetitive, negative thinking) were causing the majority of my problems. It was this sudden realization about my thinking that caused me to shift the direction of my career. When I came back from the experience, I learned all I could about Mind Loops so I could heal my own, and then share what I learned with others.
In this B-Blog, you’ll learn 3 of the “Biggie Lessons” I was ‘taught’ during those precious hours of accelerated self-discovery:
Transformational Truth #1:
Tell the people whom you love that you love them.
Have you ever had the heartbreaking experience of wanting (and even intending) to say, “I’m sorry,” or “I love you,” or any of the truly important things to someone… and then they suddenly died? If you know what I’m talking about, you know the depth of that regret. Other than learning about “Mind Loops” in general during my near-death-experience, this is probably the most important “lesson” I received: Tell people you love them while you are both still here.
Now, I’m not talking about just a so-so expression of, “Hey, I luv ya, man.” (although that’s better than nothing!). I’m talking about opening your heart, becoming vulnerable, and really expressing specific thoughts and feelings:
• What do you specifically love and admire and cherish about them?
• How has their presence impacted and enhanced your life?
• Is there anything you need or want to apologize for?
I thought I had conveyed my love to those closest to me fully… but I learned that I was still holding back from the truest expression of my affection.
So when I returned from the camp where I had my near-death-experience, I made appointments with 4 people to tell them exactly these things.
Did I cry a lot when I told them how much I loved them? Yep. Do you think they cared? Nope. Do you think they teared up themselves while listening to all these beautiful things being said about them? You bet (even if some tried to hide it). Did it deepen our bond? Absolutely.
Don’t wait. Tell the people you love how much they matter to you and your life. Obviously you don’t need to go around being this intense all the time. But with the people most important to you, challenge yourself to feel this deeply, and be this open with them, at least one time. You never know when this ‘one time’ will be your ‘last time.’
Transformational Truth #2:
Say what you mean, and mean what you say (without being mean).
How often have you held your tongue in situations where you felt angry, frustrated or disappointed? When we do this, it’s like scraping our knee on the pavement and not washing out the wound. It will kind of heal over… but there’s a big chance it’ll get infected.
The same goes for when we hold our feelings in. Those unwanted feelings will kind of go away. But deep down, an infection called Resentment is growing. And it’ll not only infect your relationship with that other person, but it’ll infect you.
Resentments can cause astounding physical harm to the body – not to mention depression (anger directed inwards that needed to be expressed outwards).
Now, this isn’t your pass to be bitchy, nit-picky, or overly-critical. Ask yourself first, “Will this cause a resentment if I don’t speak up?”
Many situations lose their intensity when you ask yourself this question and discover it’s not really that important after all. So if it’s not that important and no resentment will probably be created, great! Just let it go!
However, if your answer is YES, then SPEAK UP.
Take a little time to calm down first if you’re really worked up. Then speak with honesty and openness and compassion. You goal is to UNDERSTAND the other person’s view of the world – not to critique them or make them the “baddie,” or “take the garbage out” on them.
You may feel a bit nervous doing this at first since most of us would probably rather drop a brick on our foot than deal with conflict! But keep in mind that in most cases, what’s going on is a misunderstanding. So a simple clarification is all that’s needed. You will be amazed at how much lighter you’ll feel, how empowered you’ll feel, and how much happier and healthier your relationships will be.
Transformational Truth #3:
Your relationships are even more important than you think.
At the height of my near-death-experience I was literally given the choice:
“Do you want to stay… or go?”
Translation: “Do you wanna get back in that body of yours and return to your life… Or would you rather try out what’s goin’ on… on the other side?”
You’d think the obvious answer would be to return to my body, but what I was experiencing in that “near-death” space was so peaceful and incredible, that the choice wasn’t obvious at all.
I decided to ask a few questions. One of the answers I received threw me for a loop.
I had blurted out, “Well if I go, what’s going to happen to all of my projects that are half done? What about my music?! I have another album 2/3 done! Do I just leave all of that stuff behind?”
There was a pause. Then the answer: “That ‘stuff’ doesn’t matter, Barbara. It’s your relationships that matter.”
What?! My music and projects don’t even matter? Wow, what a blow to the ego!
The explanation followed: “It’s not that your projects don’t matter at all; it’s just that the imprint you leave behind has less to do with your work than with how you interacted with others: Did you lift them up or bring them down? Did you pay attention to them, listen to them, truly care about them? Were you honest and clear with them? Did you express your affection, regret, apologies, anger? What word will come to their minds when they think of you after you’re gone? …So yes, your projects are all important – but mostly in how they help you connect with others, or them to others, or them to themselves.”
After my ego got over the shock, I felt strangely lighter. If I decided to return to my body, what a relief it would be to not feel like my projects had to be so darn important anymore!
Obviously, I decided to “come back.” And what has been fascinating to me is, although I still love to sing and compose music, after the near-death-experience, my primary direction shifted from music, to speaking about Mind Loops. I love both, but it’s the depth of connection with others that I’m focusing more on now.
Make a conscious effort to look for new ways to connect more deeply with people through your work and in your personal life. There is untapped joy and meaning to be found there – both for you, and for everyone around you.
I hope these 3 things I learned – which have brought such incredible depth and transformation into my own life – will serve you too.
To Your Happiness!
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2 thoughts on “3 Transformative Things I Learned From My Near-Death-Experience”
My heartbreaking experience occurred when my brother died. We had an argument that lasted about three years. He died the day after I decided to call him, but he never answered the phone. I kick myself daily, but I know I can’t change any of it.
Hi Will, I too have a regret like that. I have a sneaking suspicion that many people do. A BIG takeaway from my near death experience is that we have no idea when our “time will come.” Because of that, I now “sweep up after myself” as much as I can. I don’t want any other heartbreaking regrets. I have a feeling your brother would be very sad to think about you kicking yourself daily over this… If you look at it from that perspective, perhaps it’ll be easier to begin forgiving yourself. We all do the best we can! Thanks for your thoughts, Will.