This interview with Anita Moorjani is continued from Part 1, which you can read here. In the second half of our conversation, we talked about fear and forgiveness and how her near death experience (NDE) has impacted her life.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What have you been manifesting so far in 2012?
Anita Moorjani: I am hoping that together, we can manifest a world without irrational fears! Although I understand that some fears may be healthy, as they may keep us safe from harm. But as a race of people, we have become pathologically fearful, and it is now a serious disease that is devouring us and our planet. Fear not only feeds illnesses like cancer, and wears down our immune system, but it is also at the root of our violence and terrorism.
We have become a fear-based society. Our behaviors and decisions are all based on our fears, rather than our passion or desire for a more joyful and fruitful life. Our medical systems, laws, governments, etc, are all fear based and fear driven, rather than stemming from a desire to do good for ourselves, our community, and the planet. Because of this, our emotions are constantly in a state of fear! I would love to be the catalyst that makes people aware of this, and makes people see things differently. Our only responsibility is to see it in ourselves, and change it in our own self. When we can do that, we will see the world change.
Jennifer Pastiloff: Can you tell us a little about your journey. Let’s say who you were 15 years ago as compared to now.
Anita Moorjani: 15 years ago, I was afraid of everything. I used to be a people pleaser, and would try very hard to fit in, and would be afraid to show my true feelings. I felt I had to work hard at being liked, and would not be considered a good person unless I did things to deserve it. I used to believe that I had to work harder at being more spiritual, a better person, etc. And I always felt I didn’t measure up to other people’s expectations. Now I realize that we are all spiritual, whether we realize it or not! How can we not be, as we come from spirit and return to spirit? And my only responsibility is to be myself, and if that’s my only responsibility, then I cannot fail! And if we are not being true to our selves, then the universe is deprived of who we came here to be.
I also used to be very particular about everything I ate, not because of a love for myself or a caring for my body. It was because of fear of what these foods would do to me. I was very afraid of cancer, and believed that everything caused cancer, from microwaves, barbecued foods, red meat, plastic containers, pollution, sunshine, etc. I now realize that it’s the emotions I feel about the food that has more effect on me than the food itself. I can choose to eat conventionally healthy food, and as long as I am doing it because I love my body and life, and want to live long and healthy, then that’s the effect the food will have on me. If I eat it out of fear, because I am afraid of cancer, I am just sending fear based energy through my body, regardless of whether the food is healthy or not.
Even if I eat a piece of chocolate or dessert, I eat it because I want to enjoy the sensation of eating it, and enjoy every bite.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What would say say about the theme of “Forgiveness,” a big one in my classes?
Anita Moorjani: For me, this is an interesting one. My NDE has really changed my focus on forgiveness. In that NDE state, the love for myself was unconditional, and I realized that I was one with everyone.
Prior to my NDE, I used to think that I had to forgive people if I perceived they had wronged me or hurt me in some way. I now realize that there is nothing to forgive. People don’t hurt others intentionally – they only do so out of their own pain. Or when we perceive hurt where there is none intended, we are perceiving hurt out of our own pain. If I am able to love myself unconditionally, and realize that we are all One, that is, part of the same Whole, then it becomes easier to love and accept others unconditionally. And when I can do that, I realize there is nothing to forgive. If we are One, then forgiving others is the same as forgiving myself.
And when I can live from a place of total acceptance for self and unconditional love for self, it becomes much easier to live from that place of unconditional love and total acceptance for others. And when we are in that place of acceptance for all, we realize that there is nothing to forgive. Everything is as it should be.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What would you say to the 16 year old Anita?
Anita Moorjani: I would say, “You are perfect the way you are! You don’t need to change for anyone else! You don’t need to feel that you have to do things to prove yourself! You are loved unconditionally. You are a perfect child of the universe, and your only purpose is to be yourself.” I would make sure that the 16 year old Anita feels that she is loved unconditionally, regardless.
Jennifer Pastiloff: I was most moved by the love of your husband. Can you share a bit about that?
Anita Moorjani: My husband has always loved me unconditionally. He really is a lovely man, and what I didn’t realize in the beginning was that all I had to do was love myself unconditionally too, and merely by doing that, I would be able to love him unconditionally as well! However, instead of just basking in his unconditional love for me, prior to my cancer, I had always felt I had to do things to make it up to him, for loving me so much! I was always trying really hard to make it up to him for loving me so much. I never realized that I just had to “be” rather than constantly focus on “doing”.
When I first got married, I had always thought that I, as a woman, would be the one to teach him about the meaning of unconditional love. But through my illness, I realized that he was the one teaching me.
My husband is my soul mate, and I am always grateful for him, and the way he cared for me through my illness. He believes that was his purpose in this life – to see me through that.
You can catch me teaching at Tadasana International Yoga & Music Festival over Earth Day weekend on the beach in Santa Monica, CA, April 20– 22. Click here to check out the festival website and purchase tickets.