If there is one thing that I learned on the day after my 35th birthday, when I had my near death experience from a brain haemorrhage, it is that life is so precious. To quote my 97 year old aunt, “Life is so short, dear, make sure you live a long and happy one!” How right she is. This is why I wrote my book Taking Heaven Lightly. I am passionate about sharing the beauty of the light that I experienced in a way that readers can connect with this Eternal Light – Solas Siorai of our ancient culture – in every day life. I experienced that day, that each and every one of us is so much more powerful than we can begin to imagine. So if I am to give one key tip about writing it would be to follow your passion, write from your heart, share something beautiful that will enhance the lives of others.
On a bright spring morning in March 2013, I met with Dr. Bruce Greyson, one of the leading medical experts in near death experience research in the United States. I had flown from Ireland to meet him at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, in search of the answer to one question: did I have a near death experience when I had had a brain haemorrhage nine years earlier? I wanted to know if the extraordinary event which had such a profound impact on my life and my whole way of being, was indeed a near death experience. I had discovered on that fateful day that I am, as each and every one of us is, more powerful than we can begin to imagine.
Exactly nine years to that day, on March 22 2004, my life had been transformed when without any warning, a sharp pain shot through the base of my neck and ricocheted throughout my skull. My head wrenched backwards in excruciating agony, pulled by a severe spasm. At home alone, I managed to call the ambulance and was later admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the neurosurgical department of Beaumont Hospital. The physician told me, “You are having a brain haemorrhage. There is a high risk of dying, having a stroke and being paralyzed, and an operation may be required with all the potential dangers of neurosurgery.”
Later, while in the ICU, I felt isolated, overwhelmed and terrified as it slowly dawned on me that my life was in danger. I had been my 35th birthday the day before and I was fit, able to salsa dance for hours on end, didn’t smoke, and hardly drank any alcohol, yet, there I was in a life-threatening situation in the ICU. I thought, “Well, this certainly isn’t the best day of my life!” and then I began to question: “Is this the last day of my life?”
WHOOOOOOSH…suddenly, in one instant, I was drawn out of my body and surrounded by a brilliant light which refracted everywhere into tiny glistening sparks of ignited energy. Simultaneously, I became enveloped by a love that was so real, pure and blissful, oh so blissful…Mesmerized, I realized that “I” still existed, even though I was not in my body. Yet, I felt more alive, and this place was more real than anything I had ever experienced before. I remained there free-floating, weightless and serenely peaceful. The experience of this euphoric love was so enticing, so incredibly enthralling, that I found it extremely difficult to come back.
Sitting in Dr. Greyson’s office, nine years later, with the early morning sun streaming through the windows, surrounded by rows of beige filing cabinets all stacked tightly together and filled to the brim with research he had complied over forty years, I continued to explain that after that day, my whole life was turned upside down, or to be more accurate, right side up! Everything which I thought was real before, paled into insignificance. My former work as an expert in privatization for the European Bank, my home, car, even mobile phone, they were all totally irrelevant when I was stripped of everything material. I did not even have my body any longer. What I did have was a knowledge that this powerful source of eternal light and sublime love is my deepest truth, as it is of everyone.
After speaking together for long while, Dr. Greyson smiled as he leaned forward and said, “You have something valuable to share with people who are searching to find a meaning in life, a reason why we are here and a purpose for our existence. Many people are looking for something deeper: wishing to find more joy and inner peace, maybe even yearn for a Divine connection which at some level we know exists but seems to be elusive and beyond our grasp. Through the journey of your near death experience you can share how this unconditional love and powerful eternal light is the truth of who we really are.”
I discovered that ‘Heaven’ lies within each and every one of us. Through connecting with this light we can create joy in our everyday lives. Imagine what your life would be like if you could feel and experience this powerful light and pure love in your everyday life? Or if you are going through challenging times with health issues, work stress, bereavement, financial worries, by allowing yourself to connect, reconnect and stay connected with this infinite eternal light, would this give a strength and courage to navigate life’s trials and tribulations? Each one of us is more powerful than we can begin to imagine when we connect with this eternal light, the only question is: how brightly do we wish to shine?
I love to write early in the morning, when my thoughts are clear and my writing flows easily. This writing is always straight from my heart and I find that readers connect with these words. I also find it handy to have a diary close by – whether I am at home or out and about – I like to jot down ideas and thoughts as they come to mind, also noting where they fit in to the flow of the overall book. Describing a near death experience is so challenging because we simply don’t have the words to share the beauty of this light, the feeling of the pure unconditional love and the profound sense of peace, so I chose to relive the experience to the best of my ability, using all my senses to recreate the atmosphere and also use metaphors as a tool to share this with readers.
One area that I thoroughly enjoy is researching. It was fascinating to learn about the theme of light in our myths and also the megalithic sites around Ireland. Fortunate to work with some of the eminent archaeologists, including Prof George Eogan the leading expert in the Boyne Valley region for the past 50 years, and Dr John Carey an expert in Irish myths from the original medieval texts. Their insights shone a bright light onto my own understanding of our heritage. The challenge here was that a lot of the texts were very academic and the way the information was presented would not be interesting to the general public. I worked hard to bring this to life (and to light) because I wished to share this ancient wisdom in a way that is relevant for our modern lives.
My passion in sharing the light kept me going through the whole process, so follow your passion and shine your light as brightly, brilliantly and beautifully as you can in this world!
(c) Roisin Fitzpatrick
Roisin has recently published her book Taking Heaven Lightly with Hachette Ireland as both a memoir and a guidebook providing clear, practical tools and techniques to be able to connect with this eternal light in everyday life, to create our best lives, here and now. Please see RoisinFitzpatrick.com.