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Anita Moorjani's journey from Stage 4 cancer, to near death, to fully living her calling!

I had the honour to interview Anita Moorjani several years ago and she shared with me this message from her father: "Go back and live your life fearlessly". 

This message helped her decide to come back into her body after a near-death experience which happened while her organs were shutting down and she slipped into a coma due to her stage 4 lymphoma that had spread throughout her body.  In the video, she talks about the importance of living authentically, being our true self.  She feels that she got her cancer because of her fears and her loss of identity.  Before her cancer she was living her life to please others. Her advice is to start by loving ourselves unconditionally.  She stresses the importance of following our emotions and doing what makes us feel good - not what makes us be liked by others. Her final message in the interview is: "Be yourself - who you are is absolutely magnificance!"

Her book Dying to be Me is now out, the foreword was written by Dr. Wayne Dyer.  Please use this link or click below to listen to the video interview:

I also wrote two article after my interview with Anita. I hope you find them thought-provoking and helpful in some way on your journey to shifting from fear to living fully and loving openly!

Part 1 of a 2-Part Series

Do you believe someone can heal from stage 4 cancer in a matter of days? I was skeptical too. I interviewed Anita Moorjani last fall and learned that while in a coma, Anita had a near-death experience (NDE) that awakened her to a new view of life and of herself, thus facilitating a miraculous recovery from stage 4 lymphoma. After the interview, the questions ‘how could she recover so quickly?’ and 'what can we learn from this?' kept running through my head. My rational mind needed an explanation. In these articles I explore possible explanations for her unbelievably rapid recovery, including how Anita explains the miracle of her healing. I also outline some unique views on how and why deep healing takes place. I put forth the notion of the role, or the higher purpose, disease can play by helping us to discover what we need to do in order to expedite the healing process and render the cancer extraneous.


Anita Moorjani’s story is an amazing one and includes how she both contributed to and then healed from her stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. During my interview with her (, she told me about being taken to the hospital after going into a coma as her organs started shutting down due to the cancer ravaging her body – including lemon-sized tumors in her core and lesions all over her skin caused by toxins that her body was releasing. It was during the coma that she 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! Think about it, less than a week after her NDE the tests showed that she was cancer-free. The doctors could not even find lymph nodes large enough to biopsy! In order to better understand the context of her recovery I am going to start with what led up to her cancer diagnosis.

Living in Fear

Anita openly admits that she was driven by fear in many aspects of her life, “I was fearful of not being good enough and of not fitting in”. In terms of her health, she talks about her obsession with eating the right foods and doing the right things in order to avoid cancer and other illnesses. Anita realizes now that there was not enough focus on finding pleasure in what she did to take care of herself. Her focus was on avoiding what she feared rather than finding healthy and enjoyable ways to support her well-being. As we all know, fear can be a crippling emotion. It can monopolize our thoughts and leave us feeling vulnerable or even powerless. It can also wreak havoc in other aspects of our life; disturbing our sleep, our moods and resulting in elevated levels of stress. Over the long term, this negative stress can weaken the immune response and affect our ability to stay healthy.

Pleasing Everyone but Herself

Anita was also a self-confessed people pleaser. After coming out of her coma and NDE, she realized that her life had been centered on doing things for others in order to feel accepted and to not be of any trouble to anyone. There had been little concern about what would please her. She laments, “I thought it was selfish to love myself”. During her NDE she said that she felt heightened awareness of her own feelings and emotions. This was an unusual sensation for her and helped her realize that throughout her life she had been out of touch with her emotions. Growing up, her individual needs were not valued. Like many of us, she was not taught to really listen to, respect and love herself.

Taking Responsibility for Her Cancer

According to Louise Hay (cancer thriver, metaphysical lecturer and teacher, author and publisher), the underlying cause of all disease is a lack of self-love. In her book You Can Heal Your Life (Hay House Inc. 1984), which has sold over 35 million copies, Louise links lymph problems to the need to re-center the mind on the essentials of life – love and joy. This notion supports Anita’s premise that in focusing her energy on pleasing and looking after the needs of others, she neglected the key ingredient of self-love. The lack of self-love, combined with her overwhelming fears, led her to the conclusion that she actually brought on her cancer. Those who believe in the law of attraction would likely agree. This law purports that what we focus on expands and becomes more present in our life. So even if Anita was concerned about avoiding cancer, her fear and other negative thoughts were unconsciously feeding and energizing the notion of getting cancer. Using the law of attraction to our benefit in a situation like this would mean consciously focusing our attention and energy on joy, love, health and well-being instead of falling into an avoidance or fear-based mindset.

This does not mean that she, or anyone else with cancer, has to feel guilty or blame him or her self. It is not about blame, it is about acceptance and ownership, which play an important and somewhat surprising function in the healing process - they are actually empowering. If we can see that we played a contributing role in bringing cancer into our life, it follows that by changing how we think and act, we can contribute to our own healing.

Her Near Death Revelation 

It was on the night of Feb. 2nd 2006 that Anita went into a coma and her family was told she had only hours to live. During her NDE she was faced with the choice of coming back or accepting her imminent death. Her dilemma was essentially whether to continue on a journey towards pure light and love (in the afterworld we apparently experience feelings of complete love that are so overwhelmingly wonderful, like nothing we have ever felt before) or return to 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. She now says, “at our core, we are all pure love” – what a great belief for all of us to adopt! However, we can read these words and intellectually agree (or not) but the cool thing is that she truly experienced that state of pure love. In that moment, she made a major shift in consciousness – likely similar to what one would experience when one becomes enlightened. From this new place of consciousness, she claims that, “only when I love myself can I love others”. Her new perspective confirms that self-love is anything but selfish! Before deciding whether to return or not, she received the following insight from her deceased father, “now that you know the truth of who you are, your body will reflect this truth and be healed. Go back and live your life fearlessly”. So she made the courageous decision to come back into her body and to reclaim her life.

The NDE gave her newfound confidence because she was blessed with the realization of her own magnificence. She understood for the first time that she did not have to try to be anyone else but who she is. She now realizes that being her true self is her unique and wonderful gift to the world. In retrospect, she sees this concept as so simple yet to truly embrace such a profound truth is something that most of us find difficult. This truth gave her the courage to share her insights and experience with the world, which is a big part of her life purpose. She describes an important element in being able to fully embrace her purpose as, “to be myself, to be true to who I am”.

In part two of this article I will explore possible explanations, including Anita's views of her rapid recovery.

Part 2 of a 2-Part Article

Her Miraculous Healing

Now we come to the part of Anita’s story that is more difficult to wrap our rational mind around. How could the physical healing that Anita experienced happen so quickly? Her organs were shutting down, she had lesions all over her body, she had large tumors but all this healed rapidly (the lesions took a bit more time but they too eventually disappeared and she did not need the plastic surgery the doctors were recommending). 

A Course in Miracles (a manuscript of conversations Helene Schucman purports to have had with Jesus, published in 1976) puts forth some very interesting notions in terms of how and why miracles happen. The first principle of the Course is; there is no order of difficulty to miracles. The Course explains that there is no scale, no difference in the magnitude or ratings of occurrences – they are all the same. It also claims that; miracles demonstrate that learning has occurred under the right guidance. It confirms that; learning is invisible but what has been learned can be recognized by its visible or physical results. So if we apply this logic, we can see that during Anita’s NDE she learned what she was meant to learn about herself, about life and about love. The visible or tangible proof is the healing that she manifested upon returning to her body.

The Role of Disease

I find the philosophy from A Course in Miracles, of learning and then seeing the physical ramifications of the lesson, very interesting as it reinforces the importance of the insights one can learn from disease. It also helps explain how a shift in terms of our own perception can render the disease no longer relevant. It appears that when a disease no longer serves a role or a higher purpose, the body becomes free to heal itself, a process that is a part of the body’s innate intelligence or programming. I personally believe that disease can be a sign or a cry for help from the body. It is the body demanding a change in order to deal with an imbalance or an issue like; a broken relationship, self-neglect, a stressful or unfulfilling job, etc… in order to return to wholeness and harmony. The book - No Ordinary Moments, A Peaceful Warrior’s Guide to Daily Life by Dan Milkman (H. J. Kramer Inc.1992) talks about the Rules for Being Human, which state; since Earth is a full-time school, every person or incident is our teacher. It furthers suggests that; if we don't learn the easy lessons, they get harder and, we will know we've learned a lesson when our actions change. Anita’s stage 4 cancer left her no choice but to learn, or to die. I have personally seen many cases where disease helps people to discover and live their truth, to learn what they need to learn - to slow down or to reflect or rebalance their priorities and their lives. If we apply the Rules for Being Human notions to disease, it follows that unless the lesson is learned and the insights are integrated and acted upon, deep and lasting healing cannot take place and the disease will likely continue to progress in order to get our attention and facilitate (or sometimes force) change. It follows then, that even if a cancer tumor is cut or burned out or otherwise medically treated, if it still has a role to play, it will likely not go away completely, until the lesson is learned (i.e. our actions change).

Anita’s Insights

In talking about her own recovery Anita shares that she now understands that the real you is not your body, the real you is your infinite self (often called your Soul). Her new belief is that our primary reality is not the physical world but rather the physical world is the result of our consciousness. Given that consciousness is not confined to time and space, time and space no longer represent limitations, thus allowing things to happen instantaneously. Anita states, “it’s only because we are focused on the physical body as being our primary reality that we believe that healing takes time”. Below are some other principles from A Course in Miracles that I feel specifically support Anita’s explanation of how spontaneous healing can take place.

  • Miracles transcend the body. They are sudden shifts into invisibility away from the bodily level. This is why they heal.
  • Miracles reawaken the awareness that the spirit, not the body, is the altar of truth. This is the recognition that leads to the healing power of miracles. 
  • Miracles heal because they deny body-identification and affirm spirit-identification

Anita’s Message

Some of Anita’s most powerful messages for the world include, ‘we are all magnificent beings of pure love, love yourself so that you are in turn able to love others. Believe in your own magnificence and know that you only need to be yourself to serve the world in the most meaningful way possible’. Anita went through a lot of pain and suffering to learn these valuable lessons and I want to thank her for choosing to come back into her body after her NDE, to show us that miraculous healing is possible and to share her insights that are paradoxically simple yet so deep, profound and life changing.

Her book Dying to be Me by Hay House Publishing (March, 2012) is an amazing and thought provoking book with more great insights and inspiring words from this courageous woman!