Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have


Book Recommendation: Life after near Death

Buy the book here:  or here:


I don’t know much German so Google translated the phrase out of curiosity. It translates literally as “Quick flees the time was ready” which I think may be better stated as “our time goes too quickly” or perhaps “Times flies before we are ready”. Sorry for the poor translation.

As a NDE (near death experiencer) this book is invaluable. I finally feel like there are answers to the questions I have had ever since my NDE in late 2000. The author has had her own NDE and interviews others including their experiences in her book. She comes from a research background so it’s not a book filled with ‘New Age’ concepts as much as personal stories and evidence based research (but don’t worry it is far from dry or tedious).

The book came out earlier this year and I just found it at my local library. It has given me a sense of peace knowing I am not alone in what I experienced and the after effects of the NDE. I even found myself thinking “aha! so that’s WHY I do/feel like that” and just generally feeling less crazy. Best of all is finding out about how all people who’ve had a NDE have muddy brown/black and white in their aura representing the trauma and shift in consciousness following the NDE. A friend able to see/read auras told me (before I found this book) I had a the black and white colours in my aura as described in the book. It really helped me feel better knowing everyone has that aura if they’ve had a NDE.

If you have had a Near Death Experience or know someone who has you should read this book! I’m not getting paid to promote or endorse or anything-I just want people to have something they can go to and find comfort/answers to some of their questions about the near death experience. You might find it in your local library or book store or you can order it on Amazon.

©Natalya for Reflections on Life Thus Far, 2016.




Discouraged. That pretty much sums up how I have been feeling lately. I think I am overwhelmed because I have been going through my possessions trying to become more minimalist; but in the process I have felt a mixture of emotions. Most recently, I parted with a garbage bag full of treasured books destined for charity and in doing so I wanted to pull some out and ‘save’ them…but I resisted. It feels like a loss to me because I love books and they’ve been my ‘significant other’ since I have never let real people close to me. So in parting with so many books I felt attachment to I went through a series of grief related feelings. Maybe not all of the grief related feelings/stages but definitely some anyway.

When you use books to satisfy your need for relationships giving away a large quantity of them feels horrendous. It’s not like I hoard books but I definitely value my books more than a person ought to. They aren’t historic relics suited to an archives department either so I don’t have any objective reason to view them so fondly. Perhaps it’s the fact I parted with books that had served as valuable references and comfort when I needed them; now I’m forced to either let go of anything I can’t remember or trust I will be able to call upon my brain to give me the knowledge when I need it. That’s scary given I dissociated for so much of my life to avoid pain. What if I can’t remember everything I read in the books I gave away?! Now I must trust myself to survive and have greater acceptance of my innate fallibility which also makes me face the fact I am imperfect. You see all these things connect to my sense of lovability and self-worth and that is terrifying territory. There’s little comfort in what I’m experiencing.

I want to crawl under my bed covers and not have to face the world. Maybe I am depressed but more than likely I am afraid of the fact I have nothing solid to stand on. All of my worldly identifiers are gone and I’m struggling to not concoct a new identity for myself knowing such a thing would be a production of my ego anyway. Part of the reason I fear social interaction is I’m afraid someone will ask me about myself and I don’t have any tidy, pat answers on tap to reduce my discomfort and the other person’s. The other reason for my social anxiety is I simply have trouble easily relating to everyone. Maybe most people don’t easily relate to others either and just hide it better than I do. Or maybe it’s a problem of ‘how’ I relate. I can relate at a human level but not at the social/surface level. After all, I don’t have a paid job, sports don’t interest me and I don’t have a husband or kids. So right there I am starting off from a disadvantaged position. Then again maybe I just overthink these things and should try to ‘relax’ more! Ha, if it were that easy I’d have done it by now. In some ways I have learned to relax about it a little bit but other times I get triggered by things like giving away some of my precious books. Who knew parting with a garbage bag full of my books would trigger me? Certainly, if I’d known it, I might have chosen to part with fewer books to ease the discomfort. The way I have done it feels like I just had a Band-Aid ripped from a tender sore spot. I suppose I shall have to go easy on myself. Trying to bulldoze my way through the pain won’t help me any if past experiences are anything to go on.

On a more positive note I did manage to dust my computer desk and tidy up my messy cords from my electronic devices. Well that’s it for now. Tomorrow I see my counsellor.

©Natalya, 2014. Reflections On Life Thus Far®

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Day 18 of 30 Day Challenge

Cover of "Please Understand Me II: Temper...

Cover via Amazon

Question/discuss: A book you could read over and over again and never get sick of?

This one took me awhile to think about because lots of books are wonderful enough to read a few times but I have read few that I could read countless times and not be sick of. So the book I think of when asked this question is The Kiersey Temperament Sorter Please Understand Me II. It’s more of a reference kind of book but I get sick of fiction if I read it too many times. If you enjoy Myers Briggs then you might enjoy this one because it’s based on it. Kiersey does something unique with their temperament sorter by grouping types and giving them descriptive names. There’s also a test in the front of the book if you aren’t sure of what type you are. You still get the 16 types Myers Briggs has but they are given more descriptive names for each type and the one of four groups they are in. So an INFP is a Healer type in the Idealist group. Or the ENTP is an Inventor type in the Rational group. There are 14 more types and the other two groups are the Artisans and Guardians. Idealists (INFP, INFJ, ENFJ, ENFP) are intuitive feeling; Rationals (INTJ, INTP, ENTJ, ENTP) are intuitive thinking; Artisans (ISTP, ISFP, ESFP, ESTP) are sensing perceiving; Guardians (ISFJ, ISTJ, ESFJ, ESTJ) are sensing judging.

As you may have guessed I enjoy personality typology and the like. 🙂

©Natalya, 2013.


Fun With Archetypes

I found an interesting website based on Caroline Myss‘s book about Archetypes recently released. It’s informative and fun. There’s a quiz you can do that tells you your three top archetypes in order and a bunch of information available. I only came across it today but really enjoy the archetype info. My top three in order are: intellectual,spiritual, and caregiver. The first two are actually tied. You can visit the site here that shows my info but you’ll get to see your own too once you take the quiz:

©Natalya, 2013.



Feeling Sad…. :(

A book I’d ordered through the inter-library loan program arrived today, Mother-Daughter Incest: A Guide For

Sadness (Artist Unknown)

Helping Professionals by Beverly A. Ogilvie. Now I’m feeling sad and had a few visual flashbacks but just felt sadness, no other emotions. I paid $10.00 to have it shipped and to feel crappy!  Maybe I’ll read the other library book I got today on trauma…you know because that’s much more positive than maternal incest!(being facetious here).The part about treatment looks like it could be useful though (in the book on MDSA).

My second last career decision making workshop was today. I explored the labour market for the various occupations I have an interest in. The ones I’m interested in say they have average growth in my location, yet I am not sure because I don’t see that many openings in my area(location). Writing is my strongest interest and the labour market claims it is average but I don’t know how people actually make any income writing, like an income you can live on. So my backup plan is to be a librarian or something similar like an archivist or even an assistant. Considering I got accepted into the Masters degree for Library Studies I think I’m okay but I need money! Money, or lack there of-is the reason I couldn’t attend school in the first place in 2011 when I first got accepted, then in 2012(after deferring admission for a year-that’s all they allow)I still didn’t have the tuition because of various factors. So I’m not in school at all now. My biggest hurdle is paying the money to Student Loans they think was an ‘over-award’ before they’ll lend to me again. It really stinks, as it’s not just a few hundred dollars, I don’t want to post the amount because it’s depressing and I don’t want to explain the mess.

Perhaps the best part about today was I realized how much I enjoy library and information studies and writing. Well I

Simply a pretty picture I like (Artist Unknown)

knew I loved writing already but never thought of it as a career because it’s very challenging keeping a pay cheque coming in. Realizing I genuinely enjoy the thought of being a librarian or archivist and going back to school also encouraged me. Prior to today I’d been exploring many different occupational possibilities and couldn’t see myself in the positions. But I never had any difficulty imagining myself as a librarian. If I figure out how to make writing viable monetarily then I’ll do that, until then I’m not holding my breath! So have you ever taken a career leap? Changed your field and not known where to go next? Do share! I love hearing I’m not the only one going through this.

©Reflectionsonlifethusfar, 2012.


Personality Variations as Seen Through the Lens of Soul Level/Type

I’ve been read a book called The Instruction: Living the Life Your Soul Intended by Ainslie MacLeodthat

Cover of "The Instruction: Living the Lif...

Cover via Amazon

details how our soul age influences our personalities in this life. The author goes over different fears associated with different soul ages and types, as well as various ‘missions’ or lessons. It’s a unique way of viewing the people in your life-including yourself, as it addresses variances between people in a way that hopefully engenders compassion from the reader.

Certainly, for myself, I found that I was having lots of ‘aha’ moments where people’s previous irksome behaviours seemed to now be “forgivable”. No longer can I think of myself as being superior or inferior to others. Instead, I look at people through this new ‘lens of awareness’, if you like, and understand better why what annoyed me before about people doesn’t so much now.

It’s hard to be annoyed by someone if you know they can’t help it!  Of course I still get annoyed but it doesn’t last when I remind myself that I am no better because I have a soul age “past all that nonsense”; as I was once in their shoes too. If I view everyone through this enlarging lens it allows me to have easier access to compassion. I find myself listening to the news or reading something and the people involved correspond predictably to their soul age/level in their actions and beliefs.

It helped me to understand why some people think acts of violence, including war, are acceptable; whilst to others, including myself, it’s abhorrent. So I’m not judging people so much now thinking in some sort of smug way that I’m enlightened, whereas war mongers and proponents of violence are neanderthals. I guess I’ve given up my throne of moral and ethical superiority and decided I can have my views but am no better or worse for them.

What are the soul ages or levels? you must be wondering by now. Well they go from level one to level ten. The level one souls are the youngest and level ten the oldest. Everyone else is in between somewhere. This isn’t something scientifically verifiable so any skeptics who absolutely require evidence for everything in order to believe won’t be pleased. However, if you’re open minded and interested I’ll share the descriptions here (my descriptions are very brief so I don’t advise trying to figure your type out with any seriousness until you’ve read the book).

Young souls correspond to level one through five, whilst old soulsgo from level six to level ten. The young souls are

Younger souls have not been around forever but can still have past lives

characterized by a need for simplicity which comes through clearest at level one when they’re still new to being human. Levels two, three and four want to belong socially and are concerned with fitting in, not standing out too much and supporting the status quo. Acceptance of violence being normal and unavoidable are strongest when one’s soul is still young. By level five you find people being very exciting and dynamic wanting to push forward with everything. You can thank level five souls for new forms of transportation and “discovery” of “new” territory and lands. Many political rulers are also level five souls, as they enjoy holding power. Desire for keeping up with others will be strongest when one is still a young soul-perhaps not materially but in values. Race, gender and class are also most likely to cause problems at the young soul levels. A fear of death is also strongest in young souls.

By level six the soul enters into the old category. Level six, seven and eight souls start seeing through the illusion of materialism and physical world preoccupations. Starting at level six there is a great need for introspection but uncertainty about where to find happiness. Thank level sixes for trade unions and cooperatives because they value what’s best for the community instead of only themselves. Level seven and eight are inventors, innovators and highly creative and curious. Many of the world’s great artists and inventors belong to level seven and eight souls. Environmentalists also belong to these levels, as they become concerned for the future of the planet. By level nine and ten you’re nearing the end of your journey in human form so illusions fall away more readily and souls of these levels will want to tie up any unfinished business from previous lifetimes, including addictions, phobias and any issue that’s been clinging on for the ride.Self absorption can become a problem at level nine when resolving issues becomes a preoccupation; however level tens are much less self absorbed and try to contribute to society and live quiet lives.

In general, old souls will not be especially caught up in materialism and wanting fame and glory, nor will they be

I’ve been around for a LONG time!

religious or afraid of death. Many will be spiritual though and express their beliefs at an individual level or in smaller groups of like minded folk. Unconventional career choices and an inability to fit in tend to crop up in older souls too. Race, gender and class tend, in general, not to be concerns for older souls.

To sum up, the descriptions are as follows (copied word for word from the book):

  • Level 1: isolation, apprehension, simplicity and naivety
  • Level 2: fundamentalism, nationalism, conservatism, and discrimination
  • Level 3: church, community, conservatism and conformity
  • Level 4: religion, aspiration, morality, conservatism
  • Level 5: ambition, materialism, power and mainstream views
  • Level 6: unity, social justice, drama, and self-questioning
  • Level 7: complexity, curiosity, creativity and intensity
  • Level 8: sophistication, liberalism, environmentalism, and activism
  • Level 9: spirituality, self-improvement, healing and idealism
  • Level 10: altruism, connection, eccentricity and inertia.

After you’ve figured out what soul level you are you can find out what type you are. This is descriptive telling you what

Woman sitting with her dog

focus and traits are associated with your soul type. I shall give you the short version so if you’re interested I encourage you read The Instruction: Living the Life your Soul Intended. It’s an enjoyable read with no attacks on any particular type. Young souls and old souls are equal just different. Same goes for your soul type and mission (soul mission can be read about in the book).

Soul Type
Dedication, stoicism
Empathy, loyalty
Erudition, eloquence
Restraint, rationality
Sensitivity, idealism
Passion, playfulness
Determination, practicality
Charisma, wisdom
Compassion, spirituality
Inspiration, love

To determine which soul type you are look for the one that resonates strongest with you at an intuitive or gut level. Then look for your second strongest to determine your primary influence. Your secondary influence is your third strongest type.

There are ten missions too that further define how you will present in this world. I won’t go through the descriptions but will list what the missions are. You have a primary and secondary mission. The strongest is your primary mission. If you’re at all interested in what I’ve written I’d encourage you to read the book! 🙂

What’s your soul’s mission?

  • Change
  • Exploration
  • Examination
  • Flow
  • Control
  • Connection
  • Reliance
  • Healing
  • Avoidance
  • Love

©Reflectionsonlifethusfar, 2012.


A Book I Found Helpful During My Recovery

I’d like to share with you a book I found helpful to me during my time in therapy whilst still working on integration. I know there are some people here who read my blog that have a diagnosis of DID or a related disorder. Although I never specifically sought out the label for myself, I found reading the book I’ll share here in a moment very useful. It helped me to become aware of certain things that had confused me. With the help of my therapist I was able to address certain things in a way that normalized my dissociation. I did not bring up the word DID in therapy, only dissociation itself. Frankly, the diagnosis scared me and I did not feel like having it formally on any records of mine. So I addressed the dissociation as a symptom and worked on gaining greater control over the frequency of it.

The book is called “The Dissociative Identity Disorder  Sourcebook” written by Debrorah Bray Haddock. It is extremely concise and seems to have everything in it necessary to understanding the disorder. It really helped me to accept my reality better-even if I did refuse to raise the issue of DID to my therapist. I think we both were in agreement on wanting to normalize my experiences as much as possible. For some people this may not be appropriate but it was what I felt was right for me. I chose to view my reality through the lens of CBT(Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) because that’s what my psychologist used. She challenged my faulty beliefs and thoughts. So I agreed, in my head, to act as if I could be whole. It seems to have worked because I don’t dissociate much anymore and remember information a lot better than pre-therapy.

Ultimately everyone is different and has to find what works for them and their situation. One’s core personality is a major factor. I’m intuitive but quite cerebral so found CBT helpful. For someone else it might be an entirely different approach.

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.