… how to live life!
‘Death is the only certainty in life’
‘Death is a process starting at your birth’
Foreword: ‘Death’ is a very sensitive subject, and I am honestly had paid great attention while writing this blog to not offend anyone. This article is to illustrate how I perceive death, based on my personal life experience, without any intention (of course), to offend or upset anyone. If this article will touch you in any way, I would be pleased to hear it.
Thank you – Enjoy 🙂
I was born on a very hot summer’s day in 1973. My mum had a slight flu while I was in her and so I was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. When I was only four hours old, I had my first encounter with ‘father’ death. The nurses took me away from my mum to the baby’s room, even though, due to my handicap, I should have stayed with her – let alone for observation.
So after a couple of hours, my mum had a feeling that something was not right, and left, still under anaesthetics, with all her strength her room. While she was walking closer to the baby’s room she could see from afar a baby’s head turning blue.
As I was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, my palate was totally open, like there was a hole right there. So I was swallowing my tongue – as you do when you are a baby. So I slowly but surely suffocated to death. My mum, as a professional GP, stormed into the room, put me upside down and pulled out my tongue. Needleless to say, she didn’t leave me from her side after that.
Obviously, as I was a baby, I consciously cannot remember anything, and only describe you the event from my mum’s telling. I believe, however, it has shaped my relationship to the darker side of life, to the colder side of being, hence to death.
It might have even been the start of the greater picture, creating a profound perception and familiar relationship to death without fear but with comfort and even love.
When I was eight years old my family and I went for holidays on a lake. As a child, you just want to run around, jump into the water and have no fear of anything. My older sister was always a bit of a hero for me, my example. Especial when I was little. I think it’s normal to hang onto your elder siblings. So by then she was eleven years old, so much bigger and very brave. And I just followed her. We were at this lovely lake, and my mum had to get the caravan ready for the night as well as she had to prepare dinner for us all. So she sent us children to the lake, and there was a little wooden pier. My sister would run and jump while I was with the fairies. But then I became brave, and decided to go onto the pier and jump into the water from there.
The pier was made of wood, which was old. And at the front of it one wooden board was broken. I guess, because my sister was bigger it never affected her. But I had smaller feet. So I ran up to the front and in the moment I wanted to jump, my food got stuck in the hole and I was hanging upside down with my head in the water. There was no way for me to get up on my own. I can’t remember how long I was under the water. Luckily my mum came just in time and pulled me out from my misery.
She told me one minute more and I could have been gone forever.
When I turned eleven, my grandmother, who I greatly loved, died on a heart attack. That was the first time I felt grief. I was absolutely heart broke, like the rest of my family. It shuttered my world.
Then puberty arrived and I was a right rebel. I smoke my first cigarette when I was 14 and a year later my first spliff. And it was super funny, it was hilarious. I think I must have laughed for hours. It also opened another way of thinking and seeing the world.
School was hell on earth because I never fit in. I wasn’t ‘pretty’ enough and my speech impairment didn’t really help. You know how it is when you are young; you need to be in some sort of group, right?! Of course I had friends but mostly outside of school. I would skip school, go shop lifting for fun (seriously!), drink…all these ‘bad’ things you do when you are 14-18 Years old.
This obviously caused massive troubles at home. My mum’s surgery was right above the bus stop, which I had to use after school. Her patients saw me and my friend smoking and ‘grassed’ on us. Uhhh I made a big scandal in the village (LOL).
And the final straw was me growing Marijuana, ganja on the roof of our house. My room was in the loft and the roof provided the perfect sun. We had a big fight, my mum cut the plant in the middle of the night, I cut my dad’s bonsai and the next morning I was on the street.
This event was a major turning point as it was very clear, that my highly educated (both doctors) and I had a complete different opinion about smoking and growing weed. And I was stubborn, of course.
With 18, I took my first LSD paper trip – it was a Hoffmann and they are legendary. This experience opened a complete new channel for me to the greater universe. I absolutely got it. I was outside the matrix. It showed me how wrong the society was going with capitalism, cold war, Vietnam, banks and massive pollution.
One day I had dinner with my parents, we had another fight, and I stormed out dramatically shouting while ‘stealing’ a pack of voltaren painkillers.
I felt utterly misunderstood and sorry for myself and washed all the pills down with a bottle of wine, while moaning about my ‘shit’ life to a friend. We would leave the park in order to go to our famous bar. Right in front of the bar I collapsed and shouted ‘I am going to stay here until I die, and when I am dead I will stay here because I am dead anyway.’
As you can see, this was rather a pathetic attempt of suicide, and apart of being totally wasted, nothing major happened. Nevertheless, it changed my perception of life and death – after all the intention to die was real, so I thought I was invincible. From this moment on I would push life to the limit – testing how far on the edge I could go.
I was using a lot of drugs, to stimulate my ‘pain’ and disappointment with the world and society. I was a misfit, and so was everyone else in the drug scene – we were the outsiders, the ‘scum’, the losers and a torn in societies’ eyes.
After a lot of hassle, sweat, argues, tears, fights and anger I finally completed school with the school leaving exam in 1997. I hated the thought of spending more than 8 years in university to study something. So I decided to move to London to study Business management & communication – a BA course for 4 years.
Back then crack cocaine just started to hit the European market, and I knew before I went to London I would try it.
London, back then, was certainly the hardest teacher in my life. London put the mirror into my face and called me to wake up. I left Austria, but I took my ‘demons’ with me. I thought I could just leave, away from the ‘control’ of my family, being free to do what I wanted to do, without realizing that it was me causing my own circumstances. Looking back, I certainly suffered from a kind of depression, having low self esteem and especially had no self worth.
If it hadn’t been for my BA college course, god knows if I had survived to be honest- the course kept me to a certain extent grounded.
London is expensive and I was living in a tiny bedsit in Brixton. It was extremely hot in the summer, so I went off for a walk to Coldhabour lane – famous for being a drug exchange place. As you know, I was pushing my luck to the limit so I went there to get me a crack cocaine rock.
The drug dealer invited me to his house and ‘taught’ me how to smoke the rock – the first hit, I swear to god, was the most amazing high I had ever experienced – I met my maker – no kidding. But this was it – I never ever had reached this high again. At the same time, I was aware that this was a real drug – forget about cocaine or heroin, crack was the real deal. It makes you prober addicted and having had low self- esteem already, I felt very very low.
During the day I went to college studying while during the night I would get high on crack. The crack scene is a horrendous cruel, heartless, corrupted and brutal place to be. Especially while hanging out in Brixton, which back then, was dominated by the Jamaican mafia. I had a gun to my head and a knife to my throat – because of some crazy crack paranoia. BUT this was not the worst –no. Because I had such a low self esteem, such a massive dislike for myself, such an inner hatred for myself – I was ‘clinging’ to some older drug dealer/ pimp, thinking this was ‘love’. Obviously smoking crack totally clouded my judgement and somehow I was just numb and dumb.
So one afternoon I would go to this guy and we would get super high on crack. Crack makes you super numb. The guy was massive, by the way. Big and very strong. After a few pipes of crack, he lost it. He started to accuse me on cheating, which of course I ever did. And there was no reasoning with him, and so he hit me. Then hit me more, and in the end just beat me like hell. As I was super high, I just saw the devil himself going at me. I didn’t feel any pain, I guess I was too much in shock or too high or the both together.
The next thing I know, I was gone… I was falling into the dark. I was unconscious floating in the dark. I believe my soul left me for a moment. And then I woke up like I literally was revived. I was gasping for air, my eyes wide open and only then I faced the fact that I almost didn’t make it. While still on the floor trying to come back to myself, understanding what just had happened and realizing that the guy wasn’t around, I managed to get up and was legging it. I think I never ran so fast – literally as my life was depending on it.
This event was a massive wake-up call. For the first time in my life, I saw consciously how quick I could die. And how I actually valued being alive. And the most important acknowledgment was that it was all my own doing. I didn’t have to hang out with this guy, or go there or smoke crack. There was no one telling me how I had to lead my life. This was my first vague step into my deeper self. Into discovering, how I could have ended up like this and most importantly how to get out of it.
At this time I referred it to my subconscious playing with me- and of course the crack smoking. And truly it is our entire subconscious – if we are not present, aware of ourselves, the subconscious will always manipulate us – leading us a straight, until – like in my case- the worst will reveal itself in the most horrendous form and shape.
A year after I ‘ran’ off to Brazil. I had been off crack for more than a year (I never again used crack in my whole life), but the terror, the fear of seeing that guy again and the ‘demons’ following me were just too unbearable – I had to leave.
Brazil was very healing in so many ways. I got married, and my ex-husband really did his best to get me out of my low self-esteem. But I was hopeless. I couldn’t really enjoy paradise as my mind was just playing me up all the time. Telling me stories, which were not real. And my insecurity just nailed the final nail into the coffin, destroying my marriage.
So I had to come back to Europe. No money in my name; the only way was to live with my mum and start from absolute zero again. Looking back, I needed this to happen, as I was so self indulged in playing the victim, that I needed to fall on my face big time.
After a year spending in Graz, Austria, a friend convinced me to move back to London. There I straight got into touch with my dearest and best friend Deidre (Didge), who always accepted me as the person I am, even at times when I was high on crack. Deidre was the spiritual kind loving person, who would enter a room and just attract all people around her.
She was a magical special soul. We stayed in touch while I was living in Brazil. When I returned to London she was living near Oxford, but a year later moved back to London to study drama.
I have known Deidre since 1997, and she introduced me to the Buddhist way of living life. She introduced me to yoga, and I felt really odd at the beginning.
When I moved back to London in 2007, I was still utterly ‘depressed’ about my return from Brazil. I was under a constant dark cloud, and couldn’t find a way out. Deidre gave me some Reiki with her, at that time, boyfriend. I swore to god, the cloud was gone –disappeared – at least for a moment.
At that time I started to attend more and more Yoga classes, and there was this wonderful yoga teacher. For the first time, in a long time, I experienced pure bliss while being completely sober.
We had a spare room in the flat I was sharing, and it was just happening that Deidre needed a place to stay. From day one, she was ‘complaining’ about major head ache and that no doctor would take her serious.
I was partying almost every weekend and had my high times, getting a job at Goldman Sachs. But there were many moments, where my subconscious (of which I was not fully aware off, hence couldn’t control it) was taking me back to my ‘dark’ cloud. I had a lot of moments of moaning about life and would drive all my friends crazy with it, as I was ‘drowning’ myself in self- pity.
One day, my flatmate called me saying, that Deidre was not well at all and a few hours later me and her were sitting at the Homerton hospital, where she shortly after was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The second I heard the diagnosis my perspective on life itself has completely changed. In that second it totally hit me that the life we are taking so for granted can change in a second – can just fall to dust.
18 months later, Deidre left us and her journey changed my life for the better forever. It was her journey, which made me to work hard on myself, to become the owner of my thoughts.
It was through her that I started to fully appreciate life.
I was determined to be a happier, peaceful and loving person. I did lots of yoga.
One day I was introduced to a couple who are climbers and they invited me to join.
Through climbing I learned for the first time what it means to have a silent mind. If you think during climbing on anything else but climbing- you fall. With an absolute focused mind and the adrenaline I felt the thrill of life again. I was excited.
But it wasn’t meant to be for too long. I had injured my knee and lost a tooth, so I had to let climbing go.
Now I am getting the same thrill by riding the bike – also very practical.
As time has moved on, I had rediscovered my funny, childish joyful side through the art of Improvised theatre and clowning.
Parallel to it, I was introduced to the work of shamanistic healing. It opened my eyes and I was able again to see the world as I first saw it when I took my first LSD trip. The major different was, that I didn’t need any psychedelic drugs to achieve this higher consciousness. The only ‘tools’ I am using is a drum, rattle and my voice. This work is amazing as it takes you to places beyond time and space.
You also work with ancestors, spirits and you become aware of your entire environment. One part can be psychopomp work, which helps the death to transcend.
This work therefore, brings me closer to the ‘death’ on higher level and my perception of death, per se, has totally changed through it.
This perception fully showed itself this year, when I had lost one of my best friends, who never came out from a hernia surgery.
When he went into hospital, I already had planned a trip to New Mexico, in order to deepen my shamanic experience and skills.
When I was told that he had passed away, I just knew I have to live life even more. That I have to overcome all my fears and doubts holding me back to live life to the fullest.
Now we are in present day and my shamanic work is becoming deeper and more significant. It seems that my encounters with ‘father’ death are now having a beneficial meaning to it all. I am not scared of death, and I can see death as what it is – a part of life. Without my experiences with death, I probably would have become very depressive and never had learned to love and appreciate the beauty of life.
If it wasn’t for death I would have never looked myself into the ‘mirror’ and have taken on the journey to consciously and sober unplug from the matrix. If it wasn’t for death I wouldn’t be alive anymore.
It is sad to lose a loved one, but through my shamanic work I became aware, that we will meet again, just in a different shape and form. There is no hanging on as when the time comes we need to transcend. As even when we are ‘dead’ we have to live in order to contribute to the greater Good. We are all energy, connected to the greater creation of life.
If you are scared of death, make sure you live life to the fullest. Train your awareness and be present, so you fully appreciate what this earth life has to offer you. Try to go deeper within the all combining energy and feel connected. As death is, really, just another form of life.
‘Death. No I am not afraid of it. I watched my wife die of cancer. She found a way to let me know that she was fine. Even better, actually. No pain. No anguish, other than the realization of loved ones left behind. Also, no vision of “angels and harps”. As unhindered spirits “they” are able to be anywhere in the universe instantaneously. I realized in 1995, that there is a “Quantum Afterlife. This is just starting to be investigated now.’ Jim, USA