When I hear a high-pitched shrill of an ambulance blur by me on the street, I recoil, feel startled, anxious, concerned. My Irish Catholic background kicks in, moving my right hand involuntarily into the sign of the cross: center finger moves to my third eye, then to the center of my chest, to the left side, followed by a tap on the right side of my chest. As I touch my lips, I send out a silent prayer for the injured, “God help them.” 

But on the evening the siren blared for me, I saw not the red trucks, stretcher, oxygen mask, nor heard the gasping of the crowd in the Indian restaurant on a hot summer night. In fact, the anxiety that had been building within me for days had curiously vanished. 

August 2008 

Just an hour before the pandemonium, my husband, Dana, and I joined our two dear friends Ron and Moira. Celebrating my 40th birthday, I chose our favorite Indian restaurant for saag paneer, garlic naan, and mango lassis. A block from the bright lights and pulsating music of the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California, near where we lived. I tasted the salty air of the Pacific Ocean on my lips and knew it would be a magical night. 

Hungrily awaiting the arrival of our savory food, Moira, a world- class vegan chef, revealed from her purse, a chunky chocolate chip cookie in a Ziplock bag. “Since tonight’s a special occasion, let’s have dessert before our meal,” she announced as she divided the glorious delight into four pieces on a bright gold napkin. Ravenous from barely eating that day, I reached in, grabbed the thumb-sized crumbly piece closest to me, and gobbled it down. As it melted in my happy mouth, Moira cautioned, “I should’ve warned you, this is one of my special cookies.” 

Everything Moira touched turned delicious. I’d always enjoyed her culinary artistry. I’d only heard about her special cookies—sprinkled with nutmeg, cinnamon, and a pinch of hash—that might make you high. I’d never had one before that night — I thought they sounded harmless. Come on, an innocent dessert can’t possibly make you wonky. I scanned myself for any strange sensations incited by the morsel, shrugged as I thought, “I don’t feel any different.” 

As I savored each decadent bite of the sweet and spicy cuisine, I also soaked up every dollop of lively conversation, zestier than dinner. Eventually, our plates emptied, and the button on my pants tried to make a spring-loaded getaway. Then, without warning, the room began to spin. Orange and yellow sequined tapestry became blindingly bright and splotchy as the scent of curry burned my nostrils. Whirling words and laughter became a slow-motion surround-sound not-so-merry-go-round that began to spin progressively faster and faster. 

Panicking in response to the parade stampeding my brain, I felt like a juggler with more balls in the air than she could catch. Just beneath the flurry of a thousand butterfly wings flapping in my chest, I realized I was losing my grip. Veiling a kaleidoscope of color, it was as if a black blindfold slipped over my eyes, dropping a velvet curtain of darkness, shutting out the light. My will to fight deserted, leaving me with no choice but to surrender. 

My friends thought I was being lovey-dovey with Dana when my head fell to his shoulder, with my eyes closed and face turned away from their banter. They didn’t realize I was no longer there. Afraid for my life, I began chanting the only prayer I could muster, “God, God, God …” 

I don’t know how, but this desperate plea seemed to propel me through a cosmic birth canal. Once I popped out the other side, I was flung like a pebble from a slingshot, hurled across time and space into the center of the Aurora Borealis … free … light … expansive … then I slipped away. Life as I knew it was over. Relieved, I gratefully floated up. 

Eventually, as I was later told, Dana and our friends realized something was wrong when I didn’t respond to the conversation. They poked at me, then yelled at me to get my attention. Dana even shook me. Seeing my face become pale and cold, he sprung into a full-blown panic. Moira yelled at the waiter to call 911, while Ron threw his ice water on me, to no avail. I remained unresponsive because I was no longer in my body. 

The floodgates opened, no longer in charge, I was on the ride, going where it—whatever it was—wanted to take me. I was without a body, but aware I was still me. I had my thoughts, my perspective, my internal commentary, but I was liberated — at one with the swirling rainbow- colored light show of the universe. 

Just moments before, I’d been confined to an ego prison inside an earth-bound body, white knuckles grasping the guide rails of my life in response to the stress associated with the stock market crash of 2008. 

We were in the process of downsizing from our home in the Hollywood Hills, and tightness and worry had become my norm. But, I was suddenly freed from my shackles, elevated beyond the myopia of my tiny world to a viewpoint that contained the vastness of the sky. 

Without the density of my body, I could suddenly soar through the universe — weightless, timeless, enormous, whoooooooooosh. I didn’t feel love, I was love — an entire ocean of it. All separation and suffering dissolved like a wave toppling over a sandcastle, blending everything into oneness. 

Rising from glory to greater glory, I realized there was no end to love, no ceiling and no walls. Just when I thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, there was more—eternities more—like thick honey pouring itself through my awareness in a never-ending expanse of bliss. 

I was filled with the absolute knowing that my struggles on Earth were ridiculous, for I am and always have been (just as we all are) more than my little teacup container. From my sudden big-picture perspective, I knew it was possible to treat life like the great adventure it truly is. I realized with 100% certainty that life is a wonderful dream, where I could savor every moment, relationship, sunset, kiss, accomplishment, and struggle — even amid financial distress, heartbreaks, and natural and unnatural disasters. Then, when the time was right, I could let it all go, freely moving on, without grief, toward the next magnificent experience, just over the horizon. 

I became aware of the commotion going on in the restaurant and around my body, tugging at me. I felt the urgency to reassure my companions that I was okay — more than okay … in full-blown bliss. 

But they could not find my wavelength nor receive my earnest attempts at telepathic communication. I felt guilty for having the time of my life while my husband and friends were in distress. Despite the heaven I was experiencing, my need for them to be okay took over as I willed my spirit back into my body. This was not an easy feat. It was like trying to fit the entire sky into a tiny teacup. 

After what seemed a lifetime (about fifteen minutes in Earth time), I found myself on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. I was on a gurney, with an oxygen mask over my mouth, about to be loaded into an ambulance. 

Back in my body, I grabbed the tan, muscled arm of the paramedic to my left, and directed in a robotic voice, “Check my pulse. I’m back. No need to waste a perfectly good ambulance.” Sure enough, my vital signs reemerged, and I gazed upon my teary husband and worried friends, saying, “Hey guys, what’s all the fuss about? Death is awesome! Or more accurately, life without the body is glorious and lo and behold, it’s still life!” 

Don’t get me wrong; I love having a body and being a part of this world. And I want to continue, as long as my physical form can healthfully do so. But, when it’s time to go or time for my loved ones to shuffle off their mortal coil, I intend to make transitions as much of a celebratory graduation party as possible. 

I’d had many glimpses of the heavenly realms over the four decades before this experience via meditation, dreams, prayers, dance, yoga, and visions but none quite as extensive and immersive as this. I later discovered that an experience like this is similar to the phenomenon of a high potency dream. Instead of its energy dissipating over time, it can gain intensity, and its message progresses, the more often we dip back into the feeling tone. 

A few weeks after this experience, I ran into Dannion Brinkley at the Conscious Life Expo. He’s the New York Times bestselling author of Saved by The Light. Dannion is infamous for dying four times and returning to tell the tale and is known affectionately as ‘Dr. Death.’ Curious as to what his opinion would be of my experience, I asked him how such a small bite of a special cookie could send me over the edge like that. 

He responded in his inimitable southern drawl, “Your guides must have wanted to show you somethin’, opportunistic little buggers. They found a window of opportunity, and they nabbed you. It wasn’t your time to go, so they let you come back. If you’re smart, you’ll take in the message you received, integrate it into your life, and share it with others. It is a gift when this happens. It can change your life.” 

It’s this space, this window into Heaven, that I call on every day (no bite of a special cookie required1) to remember what’s possible for me and for all of us. I access this space to bring what I believe is the best version of myself to life. It’s this space I’ve nicknamed Luminous Humanness.

I hope you read this as a cautionary tale, as opposed to a commercial for hash cookies. 

Why I Wrote This 

Way before the “special cookie incident, back when I was first finding my footing on my spiritual path in my early to mid-twenties, I’d have an occasional luminous day. I’d clutch the insights I gleaned, like precious pearls in my palm. Clinging tightly to the quotes or inspirational messages that elevated me from my cumbersome state, I’d pray the brightness would last forever. But then I’d fall asleep at day’s end and awaken the following morning in a state of amnesia about what I’d felt so spiritually tuned into the day before. It was as if the dawn itself was the thief of my higher thoughts. Without them, I was susceptible to the barrage of negativity from both the world outside and the swirling quagmire inside my mind. 

No matter how lucid my awakened state had been, it never seemed to be enough to sustain me. Like the movie Groundhog Day, I continually felt that I was back at square one, on the hunt for the next aha moment to elevate me from my funk. I was like an addict seeking a fix, never knowing when or where the next one would appear, or if there would ever be a next one. 

Thanks to the diligence and passionate seeking of my younger self, I inevitably reached a tipping point where the grace began to outweigh the drama, and I gratefully haven’t looked back. I still have ups and downs, but for the most part, my life is characterized by a buoyant levity and child- like (sometimes even childish) joy, regardless of the political hoopla in the news, personal and family drama, or the balance in my bank account. When I am triggered, I have the tools to alchemize my pain into pearls of wisdom, most often in a matter of minutes. 

It’s been twenty-five years since my days of deep struggle, and the book you hold in your hands is the one I wish my younger self had back then. Writing this book is a full-circle honoring of my past self, as well as paying my insights forward to you and your future self. I believe we only get to keep what we give away, so besides it being my honor, I feel it is my duty to share these inspired thoughts with you. My prayer is that you may enjoy, embody, ingest, and share them with your circle of life.

Why 365? 

Like it or not, we humans are habit makers, and our rituals form the foundation of our lives. Whether these rituals are writing down our dreams, sipping morning coffee, stretching our bodies in a yogic routine, or checking the CNN headlines, what we choose to do each morning, can throw obstacles in our path or grease the wheels of our most luminous lives. 

It’s my experience that where thoughts go, energy flows, and results show. With this in mind, I’ve created 365 insights, one for every day of the year that weave together like a magic flying carpet, to carry you across the universe, to a higher, more heavenly realm within yourself. These 365 daily insights are intended to: 

  • Percolate your awareness. 
  • Support your habit of being plugged into your higher consciousness.
  • Remind you of who you are, why you’re here, and how to fulfill your covenant for being on this planet at this exceptional time. 

_______________ May 5th _______________

5:5 Living and Loving in the Fifth Dimension

You know you’re living in the fifth dimension when you feel a lightness of being, a sense of connection to everyone, a sense of ease regardless of the calamity being reported on the news. When you make a habit of seeing through the eyes of your higher self, you realize this perspective is not wishful thinking. It is a more stable reality than the impoverished three-dimensional point of view you see played out in the media and your personal struggles. To arrive in 5D, allow yourself to see with a ‘five times more’ perspective, where everything you cast your eyes upon becomes five times more glorious than your ordinary five senses perceive. 


Fifth-dimensional living and loving is available to me at all times. 


  • Kelly Sullivan Walden, aka “Doctor Dream,” is on a mission to awaken the world to the power of dreams. Kelly’s known as one of America’s premiere dream analysts. With 10 bestselling books to her name, her most recent is Luminous Humanness: 365 Ways to Go, Grow & Glow to Make it Your Best Year Yet. To find out about Wild Women Wednesday Dream Circle and Kelly’s upcoming DreamWork Practioner Training…and a free dreamtime meditation to enhance dream recall.