As many of my readers already know, on January 26th, 2013 I went into septic shock and was medically induced into a coma. I spent 6 days in a coma and 10 in the intensive care unit at Shands hospital. I had a 1% chance of living, the doctors thought I was a loss cause. What happened, was a miracle. Now I want to share with you, the lessons learned from my near-death experience.
1. You matter.
When I was in the coma my friend and sister created a Facebook page for me called Good Vibes For Alexa. People from all over the world went on it to pray for me. To pray that I would survive and to tell others how I made a difference in their life. People I never even met sent me flowers and cards and told me how they prayed for me every night. It was overwhelming the amount of love I felt after I was discharged from the hospital.
It’s during times of tragedy that people gather and tell you that you made a difference in their lives. That you mattered to them. Although I wish we can all have that kind of support and love shown to us on a daily basis, that is not reality. No matter how alone you may feel, you are never really alone. There are people in the world that need you. Don’t wait for a tragedy to occur to know that you matter in this world.
2. Death is scarier for the people not dying.
I was never scared when I was in the coma or ICU. I didn’t fear death. For my family and friends though, that was definitely not the case. They were terrified of losing me. My mom hid behind a vending machine in a small corner in the ICU screaming, crying and praying that I wouldn’t die. When I thought I was dying, I was at peace. Don’t feel bad for someone who has passed away because it is you who is hurting more. Take care of yourself and keep living your life because all they want is for you to be okay. My fight to live wasn’t for my own life, it was for my mom, dad and sister’s lives.
3. Our mind is extremely powerful.
When I was in the ICU, I had a mask on my face, a tube down my throat, and I was hooked up to 9 different bags of antibiotics. I couldn’t move, speak or breathe on my own. All I had was my mind. I pictured my mind to be a pure healthy pink color and the rest of my body was black and rotting away. It was like my mind was the only thing working. So, I began using my mind to heal my body. I pushed down this pink healing color to the rest of my body. I pushed with every ounce of energy I had left. Four days later, I was discharged from the hospital. The doctors said it would take 6 months to get my heart beating back to normal, my heart started beating at a normal rate in less than 3 months after the hospital. I believe, with all my heart, that my mind healed my body.
There is a rapidly growing body of research evidence suggesting that everything that is taking place in our physical health is the direct result of what is going on in our mind. Remember, what you think, you become.
4. Your body wants to heal itself.
It is our natural condition to be healthy. Everything about the way we were built points to the direction of wholeness and health. There are billions of cells working every second, around the clock, to make sure you stay healthy. Think about it, right when you get a cut, your body begins to heal itself. Take care of your body because it is always taking care of you.
5. Always listen to your body before any doctor or expert.
After I got out of the hospital I had a compromised immune system, digestive issues and a list full of other health issues. I went to hundreds of doctors in Florida and New York trying to find someone who can help me. Every person I met had a different opinion of what they thought could help me each going against the previous doctors suggestions. I was letting other people tell me how to get better instead of listening to my own body. After almost a year of doing this, I was so overwhelmed and stressed over all the different opinions that I decided I was going to heal myself. I realized that my body had all the answers the entire time, I was just ignoring the signs. Once I started listening to my intuition I knew the steps I had to take to get healthy again. I went on a gluten-free vegan diet, began juicing every morning, and became more optimistic about my health condition. In a matter of two months, I healed my body this way and now know that before I listen to any doctor or expert, I am going to always listen to my own body first, for all the answers lie within.
6. You are not your body, you are your soul.
While I was in the coma, I was having vivid hallucinations. I remember it all, it was so realistic, almost more realistic than the life i’m living today. I was running in a field of grass with beautiful big red mountains in the background. The colors were so bright, brighter than any color i’ve ever seen in real life. I was running but it wasn’t my body that was running, it was my soul. I was a ball of light, chasing the wind. I was free and happy. To this day, this visualization reminds me that our body does not define who we are. We are a soul and I believe our soul lives on forever.
7. Life is meant for the living.
I’m going to make a generalization, we take life for granted. Now that may not be true for everyone, but for the majority of the population, it is. Before I got sick, I was waiting to live my life. It was my senior year of college at the University of Florida and all I wanted was to graduate and move to NYC to start my life. I stopped going out, stopped hanging out with friends, stopped going to football games and so on. I was over it and ready to move on to the next chapter in my life. Then when I got sick, the words “did I live?” rang in my ear. I had a bad feeling that I let the last few months of my life slip away.
If you want to do something with your life do it now. Don’t wait because now is as good of a time as ever to do it. Live each and every day of your life because you never know when your days will end.
8. Our collective conscious matters.
Aside from believing my mind had a significant part in saving my life, I also believe the collective conscious of everyone who was praying for me made a difference. There were thousands of people praying for me and together, they helped save my life.
9. Reliving the past will never create a healthy present.
For the year I was sick after I got out of the hospital, I continued to relive the past. I kept going over what happened; I couldn’t get the pictures out of my head and I continued to ask myself, “why me, why did this happen to me.” The thoughts alone could have killed me.
Sepsis took over my body out of nowhere and I was so terrified it would happen again. I developed post traumatic stress disorder and thought I would live in fear for the rest of my life, I couldn’t see a way out until I realized I was living in the past. Sepsis was in my past and I was living like it was my present. Once I realized this, I knew I had to take steps to live in the moment.
My favorite quote from Lao Tzu is, “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” This quote helped me realign my focus to the present moment and live each day as it comes, not fearing that the past might happen again nor stressing what the future may bring, just living in the now.
10. Everything happens for a reason.
It’s hard to believe everything happens for a reason when you are experiencing a tragedy but now that I have come out of the dark hole I was in, I have realized that I had to go through what I did in order to become who I am supposed to be. The experiences we face in life are there for a reason. We need to learn from them and move forward in our lives to create a better future for ourselves and for the world. I believe I survived for a reason and I have a purpose for being here. We all have a purpose, and once that purpose is fulfilled it may be our time to move on from our current being. Sepsis has led me on the path I am on now, working to heal people through nutrition and the mind and starting a non-profit to inspire people to love and believe in themselves. If I didn’t go through what I did, then I would probably be on the path I was headed, living in New York City working in the fashion industry.
11. Our breath is sacred.
Our subconscious mind takes care of breathing for us just as it controls our heartbeat. We don’t have to think about breathing, our body just knows to do it and because of this, we don’t appreciate what our breath does for us. My breath was taken away from me. I couldn’t breathe on my own for 8 days. When the mask was taken off and I was finally able to take small breaths again, I was so grateful. I was grateful for this breath of air, for this beautiful breath of air called life. Our breath is very sacred and every day we should honor it by taking a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth, feeling grateful for this moment.
12. What is meant to be, will be.
If I was supposed to die, I would have. It seemed like it was my time. The doctors thought I was going to die and the odds of people surviving from sepsis (1 in 3) verified it. But I survived. It wasn’t my time to go. This is why I believe what is meant to be, will be. Don’t stress over trying to control everything in your life, if it is supposed to happen it will happen and if it isn’t, it just means something better is manifesting for you to experience in your future.