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HCI Book Review: When Did You Die? 8 Steps to Stop Dying Every Day and Start Waking Up by Temple Hayes

Author, practicing shaman, and spiritual leader Temple Hayes has a unique understanding of spirituality and God that she has shared through her previous books and her nonprofit organizations. In her latest book, When Did You Die? 8 Steps to Stop Dying Every Day and Start Waking Up, Hayes explains how her eight-step program can lead readers towards a happier, healthier, and more spiritually fulfilling life. Chapters of When Did You Die? include lessons on “How to Put Your Whole Self into Your Life,” “How to be Reborn as the Real You,” “How to Allow Your Dreams to Become Real,” and “How to Live Awake, Full, and Present.” Hayes’ personal stories and insightful suggestions inspire readers to take charge and wake up to the miracle of life. 


Please enjoy this brief excerpt from When Did You Die?





We are walking our path in paradoxical times. We hear that the world is waking up, yet we read every day that another life or many lives have been taken by senseless tragedies. We evolve with technology, yet ponder how to stay connected. We have prepackaged foods, yet struggle to take care of ourselves. We have more knowledge, but seem to know less. We believe in dreams, yet have difficulty believing in our own. We long to believe in God or something larger than ourselves, yet we do not seem to understand that the way to God is by loving what is closest to us. 


We have more wealth, yet in so many ways we are still poor, and many of us are longing for a life of meaning, value, and purpose. We long to have a message and an understanding of life that allows us to be heard, recognized, and discovered for who we truly are. We long to matter, and as a teacher of mine many years ago always said, “We are here not to solve all the problems of the world, but to not be one of the problems of the world.”


We have become a “me” or “what about me?” generation, yet we do not innately understand that there is not a true me expressing in most of us. We are programmed and robotic rather than innately being who we are destined to be. 


All of us long to be appreciated and valued. We long to be seen and heard. Until we see and hear our own inner voices and callings, we will simply continue to die a little each and every day. 


I wrote this book because I have come to understand that our experiences and challenges play a major role in our development. I am the same person now that I was at five years old—a person who “survived myself” long enough to understand the difference between our earthly birth story and the magic and miracles of our sacred creation story. I understood that embracing my Creator offered me the crayons for the amazing coloring book of my own life. I somehow finally understood that the anger and disconnected feelings I had carried most of my life really weren’t anger with and disconnection from the Creator, but were anger with and disconnection from myself. 


The only difference between who I was then and who I am now is that I have given myself total permission to be vulnerable and real and not be concerned with what someone else thinks of me. I believe I was born to write this book, and from my living a little and dying a little (a lot of dying a little, actually), I have become more awake and a little wiser. I believe that life is simple, but that because of our inability to see how natural our paths are destined to be, we have made life hard and complicated. 


We are living in a time in our society when we need to move beyond scratching the surface by sharing platitudes and clichés and bumper sticker truths. We need teachings of depth and practical applications to show us how we can die many times in a lifetime and how, with our permission and willingness to do so, we can stop dying all these times and truly live. We all long to become fully present and alive. It is our true sacred creation story.


We often fear or avoid the call of death within our lifetimes, hoping that science will create a magic pill or potion so that we will not have to exit this go-round. Death will be our ultimate gift to the life we have lived. We can deny it, yet the key secret to life—the magic code—is realizing that being born and dying are not once-in-a-lifetime events.


We actually choose life or death on a daily basis. And while we are determined to avoid aging and avoid the truth that we will die, we miss out on the greatest performance of all time: not dying while we are living.


In this book you will learn how to choose life over death every day. You will learn to wake up, to celebrate your life, and feel the excitement you were born to express.




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