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Healthy Self Care and Soul Nourishment

My Near Death Experience and What I Did After to Recover Holistically

By September 24, 2019October 20th, 201913 Comments

Yesterday I thought I was going to die.

I stared dead-on at a truck speeding out of control, knowing if it hit, it would be the last thing I saw.

And if this had been my last day, I would have been very proud of it. I’d been interviewed for a podcast that morning, passionately discussing all the things that matter in terms of my legacy on earth; what it means to be healthy and feel beautiful.

After I left the house to run an errand, and for whatever reason offered to bring my parents some treats from Starbucks — a shop I personally don’t frequent — but I know is a happy place for my mom.

So I took a selfie holding the reusable mugs I brought, to speak later on my social media about being personally responsible for simple, individual actions that impact waste and environmental sustainability.

This would have been the last photo of me.

My parents would have been the last people I saw, and I got to tell them I love them.

How My Near Death Experience Occurred

Approximately 6 blocks from home, I was about to turn left into my neighborhood from an intersection that’s already a bit a scary. Because as people speed, often over the 55 mph limit, down the narrow highway that’s pinned between two cliffs, it can be hard to gauge when it’s safe to turn, as they quickly appear over the crest of the hill.

As I got the green light to go left, a police officer sped up from behind driving somewhat erratically with his lights, but no sirens. So I wasn’t sure if I should just turn, or try to pull over right into the only other lane available, potentially causing an accident with the through traffic.

A series of confusing moments began and the officer jerked his car to a stop in the middle of the intersection looked at me intensely and seemed to motion for me to stay put.

I had no idea I’d be caught in a police chase.

Looking back, I wish I’d just gone left, but there I was stuck in the middle of an intersection. Waiting, just like the woman behind me who also seemed perplexed at this odd location to be stopped.

So there was nowhere for me to go when I saw a Budget rental truck about 70-75 miles an hour headed straight at the hood of my car.

It had an empty trailer attached to it that was swinging wildly behind, as the truck tipped from side to side, swerving around two lanes of cars and into the oncoming traffic to weave through the intersection I was trapped in.

The out of control truck was about 2 feet from hitting me head-on.

I wouldn’t have survived the impact.

In that moment I thought if the truck didn’t hit or topple over on me, then surely the trailer behind it would crash into my car.

The woman behind me wouldn’t have fared well either. I looked in the rearview, and she was grasping her mouth. We both knew we narrowly escaped something horrific.

near death experience police chase crash clackamas county

Photo from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s department when the truck inevitably crashed.

Then a seemingly infinite line of police cars with lights flashing, sirens blaring, and the loud push of engines grazed passed my driver’s side window.

Thinking the worst was over, a woman started driving into the intersection from the opposite side, but what she couldn’t see from her position was that another 10 or so police cars were coming around, over the hill, fast directly at me. The police almost hit her, and because of my position, locked midway in the intersection, they would’ve hit me too.

All I could do was sit and watch as vehicle after vehicle almost crashed into me.

The officer who stopped the traffic had also left in a flash. So no one knew what to do.

I rolled down my window and started flagging people to stop because I could see more officers racing down the road towards me.

Finally the cars stopped coming. The woman behind me and I were able to exit the intersection, and as we drove off she still had one hand clasped over her mouth.

What Happened Next

I wasn’t hit. But I did not feel OK.

As safely as I could, I raced over to my neighbor, a dear friend who listened and hugged me as I shook and cried recounting the story.

I took the day off from all the work I was eager to accomplish.

Lowering Cortisol Levels

I knew that with all that adrenaline pumping, the most important thing I could do for my health was to lower my cortisol levels. A high level of cortisol in the body for too long is very damaging to our systems.

Every muscle, and micro muscle was clenched as I waited to be hit over and over again. So less than 12 hours later, the tendons between my fingers and toes, the muscles in my hips, shoulders and neck began to hurt. They still do.
My vision worsened, my breathing became shallow and fast, I was super hungry, and my tummy was churning – all effects of adrenaline.

There are a number of proven ways to lower cortisol, and I decided to employ all the ones I could.

My plan of action to come down after a flight response:

1. Reach out to friends for support.

2. Allow the feelings to be felt. Release by talking, crying, and getting a long hug.

3. Lay down flat with the weight of a blanket on top to ground my body.

4. Accept long distance Reiki energy healing from a friend.

5. Make an anti-inflammatory golden milk elixir. You could buy this from Garden of Life or make your own like I do.

6. Take Ashwagandha, OM Mushroom Powder, Magnesium, L-Thenanine and Lemon Balm — all known for helping relieve body and brain stress.

7. Eat nourishing, grounding, comfort foods. (My neighbor gave me some vegan “meatballs” perfect for the pasta I was craving).

8. Take a walk in the grounding energy of nature.

9. Mediate focusing on gratitude.

10. Talk and write about the experience to get it out of my cellular memory stress pattern.

11. Get foot reflexology for grounding and moving trauma energy through.

12. Apply ice and CBD cream to sore areas.

13. Gently move and touch my body to release trauma in the fascia tissue.

14. Have a gentle adjustment with my trusted chiropractor.


What I didn’t do:


  • Get on the computer and start working.
  • Take the work call I had scheduled, pretending I was fine.
  • Numb myself with drugs (legal or prescription) or alcohol. (Ok – I did have a glass and a half of wine in the evening, but not at 1pm when it happened).

Watch a video I made about this incident, recovering from trauma, what self care means, and how it’s really been misconstrued in popular media here:


Feeling Protected, Safe and Loved

Some people believe in God, angels, or luck. This happened on the road to my grandma and grandpa’s home that I’d traveled so many times during this life. Both have since passed on, and I believe they showed up with an invisible wall of protection.

I was raised by a family of women who were strong – could survive anything – and plowed through to make it through.

My grandma miraculously survived some of the worst bombings during WWII in Nazi Germany. She always attributed her life being spared to the angels. She didn’t have the luxury of stopping to process her emotions, and make some golden milk. She just had to keep going to survive.

P.S. her story is incredible and worth the read. Get the book “Klara” on Amazon.

I’m fully aware that I’m not the only person to have stared down death’s door.

But, it’s not unreasonable to feel I couldn’t move on with my day like nothing happened.

I have the luxury to stop. I can pour love and gentleness and acknowledge my feelings. There is nothing wrong with that.

I’ve written about the effect of holding in emotions here and why healthy release is so essential.

Those of us who grew up in generations of the “suck it up” mentality, maybe don’t realize we’ve been chipping away our life force and vitality by doing so.

If all we ever do is power through, it’s no wonder why we look and feel so beat up or tired as we age.

It’s time to emphasize the importance of giving ourselves the spacious, loving process we need to honor, acknowledge and heal ourselves.

Do you resonate with this? Do you have other insight and wisdom about a similar experience you went through? Please share in the comments below. 

Kristen Arnett

Author Kristen Arnett

A makeup artist and green beauty educator helping you find the very best safe cosmetics. Teaching pro secrets for enhancing your natural beauty at every age, so you can be empowered to make healthier choices, and radiate confidence every day.

More posts by Kristen Arnett

Join the discussion 13 Comments

  • Monica says:

    Hello my name is Monica. I am now 52 when I was 47 I was on vacation and was a third car involved in a head on fatality car accident. I could see the whole thing coming driver crossing over the yellow line hit the car in front of me head on and we hit them in the rear. I am of the suck it up and move on generation. And that’s what I did. I did give thanks to the universe that myself and my husband were spared from severe injury . But that was about it as far as healing and Recovery . I did not realize that other than recurring Nightmares and the physical lasting effects of the accident that my body could hold on to the negativity from that accident.

    For something that happened years ago, is it too late to try to heal?

    • Kristen Arnett says:

      Oh my dear, Monica. I’m so impressed that you chose to share your story here with such vulnerability. There is always an opportunity to heal. Often what keeps us stuck are all the things we’ve buried. And the lingering feelings are just looking for you to acknowledge them, so that’s why they show up in dreams. Because the subconscious is a safe place to work through issues. In our waking state, we have to opportunity to hold ourselves with the love, kindness and compassion we most need in order to feel whatever needs to come up. I think doing that with a qualified (and highly recommended) therapist, healer or spiritual guide can give some safety in how that experience unfolds. I’ve found in my own journey of healing things from years ago, that the sooner you can work with it, the sooner you can feel better – and from there, everything gets better. I hope that helps. Sending you a great big hug!!
      Also, out of curiosity have you been following my work for a while or did you just find me somehow?

  • Amanda says:

    What a terrifying experience! I’m so glad you and the others on the scene are alright! An auto accident is one of my biggest fears. Thank you for sharing your experience and your methods of healing – very valuable information! And, I too must comment on your resemblance to your grandmother! What an honor!

  • Kelly says:

    I am so glad that you are here to tell your story Kristen. How incredibly frightening for you and that woman behind you! Thank you for sharing all the different tools you used and will continue to use in such a scary, stress inducing event. I admit I would have gone straight to the wine. Sending you a big hug and shedding some tests, but so grateful that you are still here! Oh and I am going to get your grandma’s book. She would be so proud of you!

  • L. Adams says:

    OMG, I can so relate even though what hit me was only a VW it had been going about 50mph down the offramp & it pushed me out into the oncoming lane of traffic! I didn’t know all the stuff you know tho’ so I’m the take charge one out there giving orders to get the damaged cars (4 of us) off to the side of the road, sending one to the store to call cops, exchanging info etc. And when the car got towed, walking the remainder of the two blocks to work! Where I called my mom to let her know she would need to pick my son up from day care & me from work…”no Mom, I’m fine.” Yeah right. A few months later I couldn’t even turn my head & I ended up having to go to a chiropractor.

  • Yvonne says:

    Oh Kristen, how terrifyiing that must have been!! Sending you a biiig hug also. So smart of you to know that you will need to release the emotional trauma. I was in a car accident a number of years ago (no one was hurt and the car was fixable) but I was terrified of driving afterwards. My chiropractor who was treating me for whiplash was able to help me. I don’t know the name of the modality she used but she helped me release that fear from my body. So I know how important that self heal plan will be to help you deal with the after effects. Thanks for sharing.

  • Andrea Giaudrone says:

    Thank goodness you are ok. What you experienced was incredibly intense and frightening. Take the time and care you need for yourself. Thank you for sharing. ♥️

  • Urszula says:

    Wow! Oh my gosh… I could feel the anxiety in me as you were relating the story that I was reading! Sending love and hugs your way! God bless you!
    I need #6. for sure!(Take Ashwagandha, OM Mushroom Powder, Magnesium, L-Thenanine and Lemon Balm — all known for helping relieve body and brain stress.) Wiuld live all these in a kit! Thank you!! And thanking your Guardian Angel! 🙏🏼💖

  • Cathy says:

    What a harrowing experience! You were basically left to sit there, you had no other choice. You had me scared just reading about this. Thankfully you were left unharmed and you have the knowledge of how to come down from this most stressful event.

  • Mauraborealice says:

    I get a cortisol surge just reading about it! So glad that you were spared actual impact. I have lived through an early life auto crash and it leaves one more vulnerable to even “minor” future stresses.
    Your Self Help protocols sound good. If open to more, I know a Cranial Sacral body worker who is particularly adept at releasing trauma from the body/psyche.
    It also reinforces the temporary nature of our lives….

  • Alexandra D says:

    Okay, first off, that family resemblance on the ‘Klara’ cover, wow!!!!!!

    I haven’t had a sudden trauma like that, but I did have a good cry a few months after my big surgery, realizing, Holy frap, I *could* have died.

    “If all we ever do is power through, it’s no wonder why we look and feel so beat up or tired as we age.”
    Totally on-board with this; I’m sure my youthful visage is the result of low-stress and taking time to recover from things. 😉

  • Paula says:

    Kristen, I’m so sorry you had that awful, frightening experience. 😢
    I agree that your loved ones who have passed we’re watching over you. I haven’t had a similar experience but I know we aren’t alone here. You’re a brave, intelligent woman. Thank you for sharing how you healed yourself. Best wishes always.
    Take care!

  • Barbara says:

    Sending you a hug Kristen. What a harrowing ordeal. I am so glad you are on the road to recovery from this event. Be well.

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