Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.
Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.
The Navajo, or more correctly the Dine´, are a great people of knowledge who live in North America and have been residents of the great Southwest for thousands of years. Dine´ is not necessarily a religion, but is a culture. It is rich in shared stories, close connections, and spiritual quests. It is a way that deeply honors kinship and the spiritual juices that flow subtly in the everyone’s veins. Dine´ philosophy is about restoring respectfully and attempting continually to the balance in life. As a westerner, I know a little about balance, but not much.
I received lessons from my spirit guide during my near-death experience, which I share with you in this simple book. However, to be forthright, I carefully crafted this story and selected words to describe events, to the best of my ability. But, in the end, the message of this book still falls short with the actuality of what occurred. While it was my intention at the onset to share fully, completely, and honestly events that occurred in September, 2015, words are just mere shadows of the deep richness of the afterlife.
I think about the many Navajo and Hopi stories now. Native cultures are closer to the source than their western brothers and sisters. Native cultures express other worlds and westerners ignore them. The many, shared, and varied tales about the afterlife provide a tapestry that expresses the experiences of elders and shaman. In some way, in the West, much of today’s surfacing NDE literature can be viewed as a collective pool of writing that attempts to expresses the richness of the afterlife, especially from this limited dimension that we now exist in.
Before receiving the lessons, my life was out of balance. I was anxious, did not respect time and place, and rushed through life faster than I was designed. I sought success and wealth, status and importance, and was mostly unconnected to spirit. This was my way to bring my world into a semblance of balance.
I lived in Flagstaff, Arizona and in the great Southwest over the past few decades before I arrived in California. I left Flagstaff before September, 2015. And in September, 2015 I had a heart attack in Valencia, California. Yet, somehow I journeyed back to Flagstaff during the event and was later re-settled back to Valencia, California upon end of my spiritual quest. This will be made clearer in the up-coming chapters.
Flagstaff is in the Northern part of the great state of Arizona. It is a simply beautiful terrain of rough mountains, the orange-brown bark of the sparsely populated Ponderosa pine-forest opens to sunny blue skies and is carpeted by soft green native grasses. It is heaven. Flagstaff is one part of Arizona where a warm jacket and gloves are necessary for winter snow storms that blanket the Ponderosa pine forest, while an overhang is needed for the intense summer monsoon rainstorms.
Beyond Flagstaff, the Northern region of the state stretches away from the pines to parched desert lands where there are wide open vistas of mesa lands. The mesa lands edge into the four-corners area of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. This is big sky country of rich red clay and soft blue skies. Clouds shaped like bunny rabbits, dogs with long ears, and ancient ships that move overhead.
In this area, the Navajo culture supports the achievement of life-balance. It’s an individual call, but a collective experience. Balance in this region is represented by the four sacred mountains of Blanka Peak (Colorado), Mount Taylor (New Mexico), Hesperus Mountain (also in Colorado) and San Francisco Peak (by Flagstaff, where this story starts). The four sacred mountains signify four directions in life. Each direction, north, south, east and west, provide us with a unique vantage point, an aspect, where we can draw from the unique power of the particular direction. Also, representing the variation of power, the day is segmented into 4 distinct times and are shown by color, giving a unique understanding of the phases of the day and of each season. The direction and the seasons shape our lives.
As a non-native, I honor my visit to these beautiful lands. I am a clumsy dancer in this house of spirits. I am an interloper in the native American culture. I’ve awkwardly embraced a few native practices, and yet I’ve ignorantly misinterpreted a few others. This story is about my journey to death and back, with the help of my spirit guide.
It is my sincere prayer that you will find this book to be an offering to you. I pray that this book can provide you with a direction and a path to return to your original and authentic self. A way to ‘be’ in balance with life is possible. Our happiness is a choice we can regain and that we ultimately do control. Look to nature, the land, the sky and seek out happiness and joy. The intention will guide you!