Tricia Barker experienced a profound near-death experience during her senior year of college, and this experience guided her to teach overseas, in public schools, and at the college level. Her near-death experience story has been featured on I Survived: Beyond and Back, Season 1, Life to Afterlife: Death and Back, National Geographic Magazine, Simple Grace Magazine, Women’s World Magazine, Coast to Coast AM, GAIA, and The Doctor Oz Show. Tricia’s memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation, is available as an e-book, paperback, and through Audible.
Tricia is a graduate of The University of Texas. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Tricia is a professor, author, medium, theta healer. Tricia also interviews other near-death experiencers, mediums, researchers, healers, spiritual teachers, and mediums on her YouTube Channel.
Please enjoy my conversation with Tricia Barker.
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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 122
Tricia Barker 0:00
And we lost both engines and the people next to me. were freaking out. We were in crashed position. I was like, Look when we hit the ground guys, we're going to leave our bodies.
Alex Ferrari 0:09
I've been able to partner with Mindvalley to present you guys FREE Masterclass is between 60 and 90 minutes, covering Mind Body Soul Relationships and Conscious Entrepreneurship, taught by spiritual masters, yogi's spiritual thought leaders and best selling authors. Just head over to nextlevelsoul.com/free. I'd like to welcome to the show, Tricia Barker. How you doin Tricia?
Tricia Barker 0:52
Hi. I'm doing great.
Alex Ferrari 0:54
Thank you so much for coming on the show. I really, really truly appreciate it. I'm really interested to hear your your journey, your spiritual journey, what what happened to you all those many years ago and how it changed you. So my first question is, how was your life prior to you having a near death experience?
Tricia Barker 1:12
Oh, well, we were just talking before the show about how you and your family have moved to Austin. And so I was a college student at UT. And it was a big deal for me to get accepted into UT. I grew up in the country and grew up kind of poor. And it was an honor. And it was like my whole life goal to be successful. I was very materialistic, really driven. I dreamed to go into the law school in Austin. And there was a lot that was weighing on me though, psychologically, so had turned away from religion and didn't really feel like it did my family any good. And I didn't like the judgment. And so it was very science minded, very rational, and agnostic who I say, you know, held out hope for some sort of, I called it Walt Whitman s concept consciousness that might float it through the grass and the leaves. And you know, we might continue on but I really didn't spend much time thinking about it or caring much about spirituality, even though there is this whole yoga culture and this wonderful culture there. And Austin was totally unaware of it. I was partying, meeting people go into classes, and that was that. And so a spiritual awakening was not at the forefront of my mind.
Alex Ferrari 2:25
So then what happened? Tell me about your near death experience? What happened? Because it happened to you fairly young, correct?
Tricia Barker 2:31
Yeah, I was 21. And it was my senior year, I was a few weeks away from graduation. And literally, the Austin 10k was the morning of my accident. So I was going to run and I'd been running really hard, trying to train for this and, and having a little bit of fun with it. So it was in great physical shape, which I think probably saved me on some level, I had a head on collision. And I'll never know if it was my fault. I think the other guy must have jumped the gun or at least didn't slow down and rolled through the intersection pretty fast and it was curved, and we hit each other almost head on a little bit of a curve. Luckily, he was in a suburban and didn't get hurt very badly. I was in a small Honda Civic and older model, and it just crunched up. In fact, later, I look back at death reports of 60 miles an hour and faster, and most said incident death. So I was in bad shape. I had a lot of internal injuries. My back was broken in three places. I was slumped over to one side, screaming out the window at this intersection Lamar and Guadalupe if you know Austin, and three cars pass by without stopping, and it was Sunday morning, and I know one of them was going to church. And I was like I hope they're calling when they get somewhere. This is terrible. And then a nurse stopped her and her boyfriend called for the ambulance and she stayed with me and said don't move. And then they loaded me into the ambulance. I waited 1718 hours until I went into surgery. So there was a shortage of neurosurgeons and I didn't have health insurance. So I was waiting for someone to take my case. And I didn't have a lot of time to think and cry and I lost feeling and one leg and before went into the operating room again, this kind of half hearted prayer like oh God, if there's a God, please help me. I've got a walk, you know, I don't want to live this way. And I went into surgery. And then my life changed dramatically. And during that surgery, this is when the near death experience happened. And it was nothing like a dream, Alex, the only thing I can say is the minute I was outside of my body. I was so at peace. I just knew that that consciousness that I was experiencing was far greater than what I experienced in the body that I suddenly just understood so much more I felt more awake. Then a sense just more alerts I could see with this 360 degree view Vision, can see the whole operating room looked down at my body didn't feel any connection really to the body other than that's where it was, I didn't feel this the way we're in the body right now, you know, it's us. And yet in that realm, it was no longer me. It was just this thing bleeding out on the table. And I was what continued on my soul, my spirit, who I am. And when I looked up at the surgeons, I saw that there were these light beings behind them. And that's, that's why I called my book angels and or it's not really a religious book. And I think sometimes people who are highly religious are very turned off by my book, because it's really just a near death experience. And then a story of, of the awakening that that ushered in, and the changes that ushered in, but these light beings were enormous, like eight feet tall, and they sent this healing light energy through the doctors threw their hands into my body, I felt very much at peace, that they knew what they were doing, that they were higher beings, so to speak, they were highly intelligent, and they communicated with telepathy with me. So this whole time, I was at peace, I knew what was going on, I understood this realm, because of their energetic health. And then the monitor flatlined. And I remember thinking, Oh, well, the angels just told me I'm going to walk and run. So I'm coming back to this body, that means they have to revive it. I don't want to see this, what's out there. So, you know, I went into the hall saw my stepdad get a candy bar, which later became this verifiable detail that researchers love to talk about. But to me, it was important, because my mom and dad verified it later that he came in with this candy bar, and they were certain I died. And I feel like there's a biological connection, a spiritual connection between families, and they just understood at that moment that I'd left my body, and they were on the floor, praying, crying, you know, asking that I live. And that was the very moment I was dying, and going out into the stars and feeling this oneness with everyone I'd ever met in Austin. And just felt like every barista, every person who'd hand me a bagel, you know, like, they were my friend. And every person I'd seen in class, my professors, everyone I passed on the drag, I was just like, I love you all, have a great life, you know, I'm going on. And the further I got away from my body, the more I didn't want to come back. So I started feeling these downloads, as we call them today, the way it looked to me was just light coming towards me and filtering into my consciousness. And I would hear actual words like love is all that matters. It's all that you take with you, when you leave, remind them to go to nature, remind them to be kind to one another, here's a moment in your life where you could have done better. And so I started seeing these life reviews, and better was being more connected to others not being judgmental. That was where I was off track, you know, I was met with much judgment as a kid and I met others with a different kind of judgment. It doesn't make it right, you know, but that's how it all begins. And so I considered myself an intellectual. And so I looked down on people who weren't in college or weren't doing the same things I was doing. And I saw how silly that was that there were great people. And here, it was not looking at the heart, I was looking at outward things. And I realized, Oh, you have to look at the heart and soul of people to know who they are. And I want to show my heart and soul and I want to always look for that and people and and then I transitioned into this realm, which most people imagine heaven to be like, you know, rolling green hills and beautiful skies, and there was no death, everything was just alive, you know, how you look at nature. And sometimes the grass is dead, and part of the tree is falling off, everything was perfect, including my grandfather, who was over there in that realm, who looked about 35. And I hardly recognized him because he had died of leukemia and was very thin, pale toward the end and, and he just looked strong and beautiful. And I was like, Well, of course everyone wants to be their strong, beautiful self like, like the nature that I see no errors, nothing. Nothing arrived everything full of light. And so I felt very peaceful with him. And at some point, though, he we spent some time interacting, but he turned towards me and said, Do you want to go on? And I knew on MIT closer to God. And I was like, yes. And my soldiers like leapt forward. And I was going through this wind, which was like a bunch of prayers. So I began to hear everyone's prayers. And I think that should give people comfort because even if I had died, even if someone dies, they actually do hear and feel your prayers and your love for them as they're leaving. And, you know, they know that you care. So If you didn't get to say, I love you to someone, and they transitioned, they felt your thoughts, you know, they really felt your energy. And so that was beautiful to me. And then I got closer to God. And I just felt all the wounds of childhood, any abuse, any verbal abuse, anything that had really dim my light and my my self esteem over the years, I just felt like, Oh, it wasn't me, it wasn't me, all these wounds weren't me. I'm loved, I'm cherished. I'm like a child of God. You know, like, and I heard earlier, be like a little child. And I knew that that might be open to wander, be, be easily to forgive and let go of things and be in that moment of joy. And then I felt like I understood that love is all that matters, and are finally felt okay. And I didn't want to come back. Like that was the point where I was like, oh, no, I don't really care about that anymore. I want to stay here. And that's when I was stopped as many near death experiencers are there, they feel like they hit a wall, or they just can't go on energetically. And I felt this loud, booming voice which vibrated through me say looked down. And somehow magically, I was able to look down through the clouds. And it was just this vision of a river and people walking along this river. And the light said, some people will be full of fear. And some will be in the light of spirit. And you remind everyone to stay in the light and your mind everyone who has fear to let it go and to find the light. And, and it was you know, more complicated than that. But that was the gist of it, that there's just fear and love, which we learn from the Course in Miracles, and which is kind of a basic tenet of many teachings. But they're it looks so simple. Here. It looks so complicated. And so there I was like, okay, that's fine. How am I going to do that? Oh, you're gonna be a teacher. And I was like, No, that was the one moment I remember who I was. And I was like, I'm sure I hate public speaking. And I really want to make a lot of money. So this is absolutely the wrong choice for me. And I want to do anything non traditional, but not that for a woman. Just not that. And it was like God laughed at me somehow. And I felt my whole soul kind of hurled almost like a softball or something like I was crunched up into a softball and thrown back into my body. And it was horrible. Being back in the body. I was immediately changed though. There are some near death experiencers, who, you know, it's submerged for a time. And then they remember it. I knew exactly what had happened to me. And I did not feel like I was fully back in my body nurses were after that massive surgery where they repaired part of my spine and put in rods, metal and all kinds of stuff. They were asking me by name. And I felt like I was I filled up the entire room. I felt like I was a part of everyone. And I still was in this we kind of mentality. So I was like, Oh, her name? Yes, I remember the individuality of this person. And I believe her name is Trisha. And now I have to come back and be her. And they're like, You sound a little out of it. You're gonna need another blood transfusion. And I was like, my name is Trisha, I'm okay. But there was really a disconnect. Like, I didn't feel like me. At first, I felt still outside of my body. And so lots of after effects happen even in the hospital. But you know, the coming years was very different than it was before.
Alex Ferrari 13:41
So what's fascinating about about this, many things, obviously are fascinating about your story. But the the I'm assuming you felt all the pain when you came crashing back down?
Tricia Barker 13:54
Yeah, I had my little morphine drip. But I would still, you know, be in my consciousness, and then obviously altered by the morphine. So I still I I didn't know initially if I was going to lose the near death experience, because they were giving me so many drugs. So you know, there was there was a time I was worried.
Alex Ferrari 14:15
So so when you were in the near when you were inside the the experience, you had a kind of a life review, or was it a full it wasn't a full life review or just kind of a life review. I mean, you only were 21 at that point. So you obviously didn't have a long life at that point.
Tricia Barker 14:33
Yeah, it was kind of highlights of what I'd done well, and what I needed to improve on. And so what I'd done well was like playing in nature and being kind to animals. Like I saw a lot of childhood moments where I was really just in alignment with God and peace and joy and happiness. Even though in my mind I was like, Oh, I grew up poor. It was terrible. There were many moments. I was just a kind child and that was good. It was just Schmitt, which I'd carried on in high school in college.
Alex Ferrari 15:04
Did you have any other than your grandfather? What other beings like being spirit guides? Anybody else did you see?
Tricia Barker 15:12
You know, it was mainly the angels at the first and my grandfather and everything else was communicated through light. And when I was doing the life review, it was like this light was coming from far away, almost like circles of light that were descending and kind of hitting me. And oddly enough, some of those images from the James Webb Telescope, the one with the pink, in the sky, look very familiar. Like that was somewhere like that just way out there. And in space, and, and then almost like a hologram parts of my life are being projected into the night sky, for lack of a better way.
Alex Ferrari 15:51
Was it? Was it more three dimensional or two dimensional, three dimensional,
Tricia Barker 15:56
But it was it happens in in such an interesting way. It's like, you know, you're given messages and you see something, it happens in a way that's hard to communicate here, because we don't really have the technology or have the ability, a lot of it's through telepathy.
Alex Ferrari 16:13
So what's interesting about your nd E is that you happen to so young, and many of the years that I've spoken to are older, you know, in their 30s 40s 50s or older, when this happens to them, so they're more psychologically prepared to handle it, because they have life experience, they understand a bit more about how the world works, quote, unquote. How did you deal with the psychological effects of this experience at such a young age? Because I mean, I 21, I was a complete idiot. So I would I don't even know what I would have done. So I'm curious to see what you dealt with.
Tricia Barker 16:52
Yeah, you know, I was a pretty big Indian, myself. I had a year I had nine months and a body cast to set and process it. So in some ways, like older near death experience, or sometimes they're back at work two weeks later, I had a full year before I went back to college. So I read people like Deepak Chopra, and Marianne Williamson. And, you know, Carlos Castaneda, I read all these books from spiritual people thought about what was happening, read some psychological material, and meditated a lot. So I think that helped me psychologically was still remaining in contact with my angels, and still believing that they were helping with the healing. And I was reading about manifestation. And I had set goals for myself. So I stayed in a very positive place. And I also was given messages, one of the things that angels would not let me do is they would not let me take painkillers. So that was really rough. But I know how many people get addicted to painkillers, and I had a bit of an addictive personality. So it was just like, a big no. And I had to take Tylenol, and, you know, just basic over the counter stuff. But I took my recovery very slowly, you know, I learned to walk slowly, when the body cast was off, I learned swimming as a way to build strength back to the body. And, and I learned yoga and stretching and you know, I was just in this totally different space, but I was in mature, and there were people who took advantage, you know, that 21 year old, you know, full of light and friendly and open and, you know, so there were, there were comical things, you know, there were older men who were pretending to be friends and I didn't know better and, you know, just, you know, just all kinds of weirdness because I was a very closed off judgmental, cold person, you know, in some ways. So in that, that way, I've kind of kept people away from me, you know, is this judgey you know, 21 year old with an attitude but then I was like I level people
Alex Ferrari 18:56
Became a flower child, you became a flower child.
Tricia Barker 19:00
So boundaries were hard first and, and then a lot of near death experiences, even when they're older, regain a certain innocence. And they are taken advantage of in business because there's this, you see the best in people, which is a great, great ability when you're a teacher, you know, you should see the best in your students and help them rise up to that level. But maybe just walking around hugging psychopaths all day. It's not it's not the best choice, you know, so I had to toughen up,
Alex Ferrari 19:31
As well. Yeah. So was obviously you changed from before to after? How did the people around you deal with the new flower child emerged from this experience?
Tricia Barker 19:44
You know, this is a sad subject in some ways, but it's an important one to go ahead and discuss. You know, in many ways my mother and stepdad were accepting of of me I stayed at their house during their recovery. You know, my mom was interested in how I was changing. And I think even to this day, she'd say that, you know, I'm more outgoing. And I love teaching. And there's certain parts of my personality that change because of that moment, but they go to the type of church and honestly, lots of near death experiences, including me, get attacked by people all the time, just got a terrible review on Amazon from someone who is like, if you're looking for Christ, this is not the book you need. This is about a girl who does drugs. She did not shoot found the devil, she did not find Christ. And I'm like, I was like, oh, you know, I'm not gonna reach people like that. And ultimately, you know, my mom and stepdad, listen to their minister. And they said, because I didn't see Jesus in that, that they believed that my experience was of the devil. And they gave me this pamphlet. And the pamphlet, like burst with fear, and anger. And I couldn't even hold the energy of the pamphlet. I was like, oh, and it was all these stories about near death. experiencers. One was about this woman who left her Baptist minister husband after her nd. And they're like, see, it causes divorce. It causes people to lose touch with their families, it causes some people to have, you know, to commit suicide. And I was like, no, no, that would just had an awakening. And she saw life differently from her. She was happy. She, he was he was judgmental. And I was like, I used to be judgmental, and now you're being judgmental, let's just know, we're all loved. And it just, it didn't really work out that way. You know, so it's, it's been tough. But really, the people who accepted it the most were kind of acquaintances who were spiritual. Like they were the ones who, you know, I had a Reiki worker, neighbor, and he was really great. And his roommate was spiritual and open, and they became my new friends.
Alex Ferrari 21:56
Yeah, it's I asked that question. Because I, I always, I always like to ask that question from from people who go through this experience, because not everybody around you is going to accept the new EU. And that goes along with everything, whether if you're, you're you're very heavy, and then you lose 400 pounds, certain people are not going to accept the new EU, or you know, you become this or you become that or you go into this spirituality or do something else that the people around you want to hold, you hold you into the box that they feel comfortable in with you in it, and they don't accept change and things like that. So the reason I asked is because a lot of it's a lesson that a lot of people can learn from, from a conversation like this, regardless if you've had a near death experience or not. And someone so young is also very interesting, because you didn't have I'm assuming at 21, you didn't have a wealth of, you know, old friends and things like that, that really, it was basically going to be your family, and maybe some close friends that would either accept or not accept the situation.
Tricia Barker 22:56
Yeah. And you know, that I waited 25 years to publish my book hidden some of those agnostic friends from college who were very rational and intellectual. And, you know, we still get along on that level, but not so much on the spiritual level. They're like, Oh, I believe it's, it's real for you, but it's not real for me. Yeah. That's, that's the way they look at it. They read the book, and one woman said, you know, what, it did make me sit around for a day and really question what happens when we die? And you know, what, what really happens? You know, how do we interact with, you know, a realm outside of ourselves? Or is there nothing? Is it like a dream? Like, you know, she spent some time thinking about it. And I was, I was grateful, you know, at least in my experience has made people contemplate an afterlife.
Alex Ferrari 23:46
Now, did you? When would you when you were when you went into this experience? You were saying I want to make millions. I'm very driven. I want to be materialistic, all this stuff. How did that change in your perspective, when you came back?
Tricia Barker 23:59
Well, I was humbled. To be honest, I was grateful to walk and I was humble enough to just go get my teaching certification and try to figure out why God wanted me to be a teacher. I was like, what's going to happen? And then it all made sense. I prayed in the bathroom before my first class. I was like, Alright, if there are angels, will you please just help me with this day? I don't. I don't know why this is my career. But let's do it. And I was guided to tell my near death experience story to every group of students I've ever taught. And so maybe school districts don't appreciate it, but but I do it just to share with them why I teach and, you know, it, it brings up great discussion. Some of them have had experiences with ghosts, some of them believe in UFOs. I mean, you know, like there's, there's all kinds of discussions that we have because of my story that we wouldn't have otherwise. And some people are shocked, you know, and they don't say anything and some people are probably offended. Like, I never wanted my story to offend anyone who's religious, I just wanted it to, I guess, open their minds to the possibility that, you know, I heard some messages that could have been from Jesus be like a little child love is all that matters and all that we take with us that that consciousness of love can be many different things that that meets us at different places, and that I had the experience I needed to have and that they might have the experience they need to have with the afterlife. But there's great compassion and mercy. And there's just so much more compassion, freedom than I could have ever imagined. And,
Alex Ferrari 25:42
The people, the people that are offended by your story, or any near death experience or story, I find that if they're super religious, that they're kind of stuck in the dogma of religion. And again, religion, for some people is wonderful. And they find great joy in it. And they're good people, and they help people and they actually do what, you know, let's say Jesus said, because most people, I think it was Paramahansa Yogananda, the great guru said, Jesus died on the cross in one day, but his teachings have been crucified for the last three days.
Tricia Barker 26:18
Yeah, people have really gaslit him.
Alex Ferrari 26:23
So it's fascinating to me, when Christians aren't very Christian, like, don't act as Christ, or, or Judaism, same thing, or any of the major religions, you know, they don't actually go to the core teachings. And they're so kind of locked in, and they can't open their minds to other ideas that can't open their minds to another possibility. You know, if there's a billion other people who do something else, maybe there's something valid in that. If there's another billion people who do something else and follow another god, maybe there's some teachings and maybe if you study all of them, you can realize most of them are all saying the same thing. In many ways that the core ideas of Jesus and Buddha and Muhammad, they're similar. Love, be kind to each other. That's basic stuff, right?
Tricia Barker 27:15
Yeah. That's the way I felt kind of before even as a kid. And then after my near death experience, I mean, I remember my main argument, as a kid with parents and you know, elders was, I just have never gonna believe that kid in India and a kid in China and a kid in Africa, die of starvation or an accident that they're going to hell, you just cannot convince me that that's not that's not God's like. And the religious answers seemed really silly, like, well, maybe a missionary just talked briefly about Jesus to the kid. And so the kids, okay. I don't like that. That can't be correct. What about? No, no, there was I had problems. As a kid,
Alex Ferrari 28:03
It was, it was fascinating to me. When I was first grade, they taught me about I was elbows raised Catholic. And they told me about hell, and I was terrified. I was like, what is that ethic? Which is the point of hell. And, and then as you get older, you just go, I have I'm a parent now. And I don't know if you're a parent or not, but But you have kids, you teach all the time? Yeah, obviously. But as a parent, you would never wish anything, even if they, I mean, you could see the mothers of serial killers in the courtroom going, Bob, he was a good boy. Yes, he ate people. But he was a good boy, he doesn't deserve this. So I mean, there's this, this unconditional love of a parent. And it's just doesn't make any even logical sense or spiritual sense that a source of God, whatever you want to call it, would dam somebody from mistakes that they made in our land in a lifetime, to everlasting it just doesn't make any sense to me. So that's why even as a Catholic I was just like, this is not this is not connecting for me that that the dots aren't connected.
Tricia Barker 29:12
Yeah, you know, and I, I've actually interviewed some near death experiencers, because I was curious, who had the hell experience like Howard storm and I had to ask him, I said, Well, did your consciousness need that experience in order to come back to your body and change? You know, was that part of what you created, you know, on some level with your consciousness, and he was like, probably I wouldn't have changed otherwise that that was so you know, intense for him. You know, and so I look at it like, well, Howard storm should story shouldn't give everyone some hope. Because even if you have a consciousness that creates that, just remember, you can get out like, like there's a way out. And there's a way to experience something different kind of like, you know that saying, I think it's from Carlos Castaneda, the mind can make Get a hell of Heaven or a heaven of hell, you know that, that a lot of times that's what we're doing here. And in the afterlife is like part of it is co creation part of it isn't an intelligent sort of freedom that's meeting you. But it's partly your individual individuality. It's like you become one with everything, but you still remain you, you feel this energy of, of a greater creation, but you still remain you, your individual soul.
Alex Ferrari 30:28
So do you when you were in that experience? You felt connection to everybody you said, like, everyone you've ever touched, met even crossed paths with, you felt like you knew them, you felt your connection to them? Is that an analogy for what we should all be understanding of ourselves, uh, we are all interconnected, we are not individuals, by ourselves on an island, as much as our ego, we'd like that to be the case. When we hurt someone else, we truly are hurting ourselves. Is that a good message to put out there?
Tricia Barker 31:02
No. And it's a little overwhelming. Like, I get involved with environmentalist and people who do service work and people who try to, you know, make a difference and the suffering in humanity. But I think as a near death experiencer, there have been moments when I've felt the suffering of humanity. So in such palpable ways that I mean, I did things like I quit, one year, I just didn't buy any clothing or anything from my house, because I didn't like, you know, the environmental impact. And I was like, you know, really just kind of got deep with my consumerism and how to cut down and I also got really deep with what, what freaked me out the most about the human beings on the planet, and this culture, and what needed to change, you know, suffering needs to change, like trauma needs to be healed and society, you know, there's so much more we could be doing for, you know, people are trafficked all around the world, and makes me so mad that conspiracy theories have contorted and distorted that, that understanding, but people are trafficked in low income areas into work and the sex library and all kinds of things, just mining a mountain, you know, they're told it's work, and then they're just under the hammer of human trafficking. And I just think we should all agree, no one should be enslaved, you know, in any country that all human beings should be free. You know, and it, it's just overwhelming, I think, some problems that we don't realize, like, let's fix this one. The amount of money that Americans spend on potato chips, could end all human trafficking around the world.
Alex Ferrari 32:38
And arguably, you also have to start a hunger around it, it's it's I mean, that's a deeper conversation, we have more than enough resources and technology and ability to to end that, but we don't for some reason. It's such a it's such an interesting thing. Why? Which brings me to my next question, I'd love to hear your perspective on it, you know, the world is, is in a really interesting place right now. There's so many different things hitting us from 1000 different directions, whether it's a pandemic, environmental, political, economic, there's all of this shift happening in our societies and in our, in humanity. What do you think, from your perspective, is happening to all of us right now? And what is this kind of great shift?
Tricia Barker 33:26
We'll start with all the good news first, you know, thank you, I appreciate after the pandemic, and coming back to the college classroom, my students had a language for spirituality in maths that they've never had before. So what I do and what I talk about, is really kind of common knowledge to most of them now. You know, they've tried meditation, lots of them have tried mushrooms, or lucid engines, you know, like, there's this awakening of it not being criminalized in certain states. And so there's, people are talking about spirituality at younger ages, which, when I was 21, I didn't have that. Like, there were a few of my friends who are generally older than me, you know, who were interested in it. But for the most part, it was like, quote, the older hippies that I'd made, you know, we're into spirituality. But not now. Like, you know, there's an awakening people have looked into themselves and looked at healthy ways to address anxiety, how to make a difference in this world, there is a more connectedness, you know, at that younger age level. So I think we're evolving. So whatever it is that society has thrown at us, and in various ways, we're evolving, and that's hopeful. And as far as all the negative possibilities that exist, all we can do is be the light that we are and try to bring light in the ways that we do and try to envision a different world and try to move into a different world with belief in ourselves. was and others. And this new way of being. And it's a little daunting to create something new from something that's falling apart on some level. But we have to, you know, we have to create different business models, different ways to be in sync with the environment, but also give people things they love colorful clothes and great food and great experiences. But it doesn't have to be done in the same way.
Alex Ferrari 35:28
Right! Yeah, exactly. We're still holding on to so many ideas and systems and incentives of the past of the industrial revolution, not the information, informational period that we're in right now, which is basically we buy and sell information is much more than building out giant steel plants and things which we all still need. But it's not the main driver of our economy, and all these other kinds of things. But you're absolutely right, I think if you could just be the change you want to see in the world as as lame as that might say. It's so true, it's so true. And then try to spread that light to as many people you touch as possible. And that slowly will help everything.
Tricia Barker 36:10
And that bigger perspective that near death experiencers bring of we're all connected. So within every cause within every movement, the higher perspective is non violence and is peace and His love and teaching connection where there is none and it hurts the ego and the beginning. Because you want to say you know, my call it it doesn't matter, your cause matters. But so does connection to everyone and teaching bringing people up to your level, and you're not going to help anyone else evolve by fighting with others. So, you know, that's the hard, hard lesson, is it? You know, if I could I totally understand it, you know, like, there's a part of me that that, you know, understands anger understands protest, you know, but I still try to move students toward, why don't you hold a vigil or a meditation, you know, why don't you sit in the middle of the road and meditate, you know, like, and stop cart cars that way, you know, like, let's, let's really try to shift this into a discussion, you know, not not anger.
Alex Ferrari 37:13
Now, we're, what were some of the lessons that you brought back from your end at some major things that you brought back?
Tricia Barker 37:18
Yeah, so one of the most important things was to remind people to be the light of who they are. So whatever that is, you know, like, what brings someone joy? What brings them you know, authentic joy in their life? How can they do more of that. And as an instructor, I just believed that I'd be assisted. And sometimes I'd hear from their ancestors, sometimes I'd hear from an angel, you know, I did get help sometimes to help certain students really find what's going to bring them joy. And it wasn't always academia, you know, it sometimes it was starting a food truck or becoming an automotive designer, you know, like, there were, there were just other things that people sometimes wanted to do. That didn't tie to education, but sometimes they did. And sometimes that was just such a beautiful thing to help people accomplish goals believe in themselves. I think we forget how many students even when they have great homes, still might have self esteem problems, because of all the advertising that's out there. And all the comparison and, you know, just to help people feel good about themselves in their lives is is important, no matter what job you're doing. And I think, you know, we forget how, how fragile so many people can be at different moments in life and how a kind word can really help someone?
Alex Ferrari 38:37
Did you bring back any gifts or any unique abilities from your near death experience? I know a lot of people want some are painters and can write music, other people have become more psychic more connected into that world. Did you bring anything back?
Tricia Barker 38:53
Yeah, you know, the psychic abilities and mediumship and ghost interactions were kind of profound at first, and, and the psychic abilities were what I really didn't know how to make sense of in the beginning, they were overwhelming. You know, I'd know what songs were on the radio before I turned it on, I'd see a flash of the next 10 minutes before it happened. And they just felt very jarring, like I was outside at time. And I didn't understand why that would be important. The first ghosts that I encountered in different places I cleared, you know, I just kind of automatically knew how to show them the life that I had experienced and help them move on and transition. So never did I encountered ghosts before that moment. You know, before that. I mean, like I became someone that I made fun of like in the past, but it just was very natural to me. And I'd hear from my grandfather, and other people I would know in the family when they were kind of ill or when they you know, I could just get this sense of oh, they're getting closer to the light. And it was funny. My mom's mom, my grandmother. I told told her that about her brother was like, Oh, he's very close to the light, then he died a month later. And she's like, don't tell me when I'm close to the light. shoe and we just went to her funeral. So she lived a very long life. So I didn't have to tell her.
Alex Ferrari 40:15
Good. Good, good, good. Now you mentioned connecting to or being the light inside of us or being true to the light inside of us, is there any advice you can give to us about how we can connect to our higher selves,
Tricia Barker 40:28
Meditation, it's like the mantra, I think of all spiritual people and near death experiences, but committing even 10 minutes before bedtime, you know, I learned to lucid dream after my near death experience as well. And not that I can do it all the time. But I know I'm in a good flow, and a good space when I take that time to not look at technology to be really peaceful before bed, meditate. And then many times my dreams become something I can work with. And so I would encourage people to meditate to be in nature, that was one of the messages from my near death experience and to believe that they have the ability of mediumship I mean, I've done many medium readings, I love doing workshops with people that how to connect more themselves because you know, other cultures talking to your ancestors is normal, I think we've just kind of made it commercial in this, this culture. And I'd like everyone to if they get a medium reading with me to feel like they can do it, you know, after afterwards that they really hear or feel or sense a loved one near them that they know how to interact with their loved one. So I would say learn from other spiritual teachers, but practice it, you know, spiritual experience is something you can't take away from anyone and don't give up if it doesn't happen right away. Because people in grief can sometimes take five years before that opens up, you know, it can be a very physical experience. And sometimes getting over an illness can be a really long process. But don't give up on treating yourself with kindness of believing that there will be connection that there will be healing at some point.
Alex Ferrari 42:14
Your your experience of being close to source to God, whatever people want to call it. Is there any advice you can give us to how we can get closer to, to source to God, while we're here?
Tricia Barker 42:28
Yeah, you know, sometimes I meditate and pray in nature. And it just I don't know, you know, when we talk about all the ways that we can not get along and humanity can we all agree on when it rains we get wet. Trees. Give us a lot of oxygen.
Alex Ferrari 42:45
First of all that whole wet and rain thing fake news. It's honestly not it's I'm not even think it's real anymore. They really get wet. I'm not sure. It's insane. We live in an insane world. It's getting crazier and crazier. What was the sky is blue? Is it though? Is it? I think it's purple? I think really, it's
Tricia Barker 43:07
There's too many theories. I know. And, yeah. And so can we agree and I'll try to get my students to agree on this too. We go outside, and we meditate and I have them write down. If they feel better outside, you know, if their stress level has gone down, and generally it does go down for most people. But I would say if you are in emotional pain, especially around other people or relationships, know that you're only seeing your perspective and kind of give it to God and almost imagine an energy clearing. So say something like, this is what I learned from Theta Healing, but you know, everything that is not me, that is someone else's projection, you know that someone else's stuff, please take that from me God and send them healing, you know, just send that up to your light because I don't know how to forgive that you work on it and give that back to them in a loving way so that they can grow in anything that I've done, you know, in energy that I'm holding on to others. Please take that from them. Wash it clean and your unconditional love and let me be in my own force. Don't let other people take my power away to do goodness. And don't let me do that to others. That's kind of my basic prayer is you know, like, hey, remind me of my soul's purpose and keep me protected and so our walk through life every day and I think people can do this especially if they're you know out there publicly and anyway, is every day just imagine God washing away all the energy of others and giving you back your essential energy you know, that you came here with and, and the same thing in the morning just a quick prayer of cleansing and protection and then moving forward. But I was shocked sometimes how it really wasn't me and I was so relieved because like the minute I prayed and gave it to God, I couldn't even remember some people's names. It was like Her whole that whole interaction was just gone. And I was like, Oh, that one wasn't me.
Alex Ferrari 45:08
Very nice. I always love asking near death experiences is are you afraid of death anymore?
Tricia Barker 45:15
No, I'm so afraid of car wrecks, though. Like, I hate it's gonna
Alex Ferrari 45:21
I can only I mean trauma, it's a hell of a trauma to deal with. Of course.
Tricia Barker 45:25
Yeah. So I'm like, uh, you know, my husband jokes with me about it, because I'm talking about traffic, and I'm scared. And so I've tried so many modalities trying to get that trauma out. But know if we, whenever we're on a really high bridge, and I know that we just die. I'm cool. Like, if it's death, I'm fine. But it's it's
Alex Ferrari 45:49
The dying the dying part is where I have the problem, death, no problem at all. It's dying. Because there's a lot of there's a lot of open ended situations of the dying, it could go many different ways.
Tricia Barker 46:01
And on a serious note, you know, I kind of personally wish euthanasia would be legalized and because I don't want to suffer just to suffer. And to your question, I didn't have kids because I'm fused and most of my back and so I would have been on bedrest an entire pregnancy mountain for the most part. So it was just something you know, never even considered doing to my body. And yeah, so when I look at, oh, my God, just that possibility of instant death, I've been tested. And I'm totally cool with it. So I was in a plane that was going down. And we lost both engines and the people next to me, were freaking out. We were in crashed position. I was like, Look, when we hit the ground, guys, we're going to leave our bodies before we do, we're gonna get right to this light, it's going to be the most beautiful death experience. It's going to be so quick. You know, your loved ones will miss you. But you know, seem like nothing, no time at all for you. You know, just think about God, pray to God, you know, meditate on God. And so I had the two people I was in the middle seat, I was holding onto their hands, one guy and one woman and then the engine caught somehow miraculously. And we made it we're going to land in Seattle, we landed in somewhere Spokane, I think it was just emergency landing. And they were like, Who the fuck are you? Sorry for the cursing. But that was you know, their reaction. They were like, Why are you not afraid of dying? And I was like,
Alex Ferrari 47:36
Here's my book. Well, here's my book.
Tricia Barker 47:40
I had written it then. And you know, that was the only thing that crossed my mind. I was like, Oh, I'm an English major. I always thought I'd write a book, you know, or something. You don't live humanity. And I was like, I I read a couple of points. So well. I met some students
Alex Ferrari 47:55
That I mean, if you're going to go down into plan, I guess sitting next to you would not be a bad situation. To calm your nerves a bit. I have to ask you, when you're going down in the plane, you're like, is this the way did you really like I'm okay. Thank God, I'm going back. All right, I'm going back. I'm over.
Tricia Barker 48:14
I'm just like, my exact thought was, huh, I thought I'd love a little longer than this mission is complete. Alright, God, if that's all you need from me, I got it.
Alex Ferrari 48:24
I'm ready to go back is a much nicer. I'm much happier there than I am here. It's so interesting. And now tell me about your book and what you're telling me about the name of your book and, and the whole story behind it.
Tricia Barker 48:38
Yeah, the book. You know, as an English major, I put too much pressure on myself. And there was too much ego about writing great American novel. When really, if I could go back and do it over again, I'd read a very short book just about the near death experience because I think that's mainly what people want to know. But because I'm me, and I love books like Eat, Pray, Love. And you know, Jeanette Winterson is a favorite writer. And you know, so many different people who just wrote memoirs, I wrote a memoir, and I wanted it to appeal to maybe people who wouldn't necessarily pick up the near death experience or book people who were like, Oh, she was a college student. And she was kind of worldly. She had this experience. She didn't become over religious, but she was spiritual and had this teaching mission and, and really, my favorite parts of the book to write were about the students whose lives were changed. You know, I joke but I mean it seriously. You know, I feel sad for police officers because they see people in moments of trauma. I see people stop being drug dealers and become businessmen, stop being prostitutes and become nurses. You see people like in really dire desperate situations, go to Oxford, you know, get a full ride to Oxford or Stanford, you know, and they just, you know, that was like not Within the realm of their consciousness, when they first started at a community college, that they never in their wildest dreams sort of realized all that they can accomplish. And I play some little part in that. So, you know, just helping people get off drugs. And, you know, I had one student who was on meth, and you know, that's when you can't hide to it. So I was like, Girl, what is going on? One, you know, she just told me what was happening. And I drove her to a treatment center. And you know, there's just so many stories of really getting involved in students lives and seeing them get healthier, seeing them accomplish goals. It's a fantastic career, you know, just to laugh with students, you know, and on a Tuesday afternoon or Thursday afternoon, it's it's a wonderful job. And it's it's a wonderful profession, I feel rewarded, and so many different ways.
Alex Ferrari 50:54
Did you did you get access to your your life plan? Or you're kind of like what you're here to do? I mean, obviously, you're very happy doing what you're doing. It wasn't what you plan to do, which is generally the way missions work. Misses that when you're eight, you're like, teacher? Yeah. Or I want to be this or that. Or nurse? Yeah, like, That's not the thing. Generally, when you're younger, you want to be I want to be a rock star, I want to be a YouTuber, and then all of a sudden, you're like, No, I'm gonna help people get off drugs. So it's, it's really interesting how that works. Did you get access to any of that information during your near death experience? And do you believe in your life journey that the universe God source, spirit guides, what have you, kind of push you and pull you in the direction you need to kind of go towards and open up doors that you're like, go through this darkest, they won't push you. But they'll kind of like you over there over there. And the situation,
Tricia Barker 51:55
You know, what is really strange to me, and what I couldn't put into words is why was I raised really Uber religious, but when I was five, I had this vision of myself at the end of my life. And I was kind of like, I think I saw this woman who was an astrologer, and she had long white hair. And she was looking at the stars, and she looked very mystical. And I was like, I'm gonna be her. I'm gonna be this mystical person who talks about spirit and you know, how it interacts in our lives. And I had no idea how that's what I would be in my life. And so yeah, I think the near death experience had to happen to reorient to me differently. And the I didn't get information other than teaching, but I have felt interaction with spirit here. Since I've been a part of this. And, and honestly, like the last six, seven years, I felt a little lost. I wrote the book, because I didn't know what else to do. But about six, seven years ago, right when I had a health issue, I heard this loud, booming voice one day, just like in my near death experience, and it said, Hey, your mission is complete, you know, you've done what you needed to do. You're free to do whatever you want. And I almost cried because, you know, yeah, it was like, do I go back to law school? You know,
Alex Ferrari 53:15
Do I get that Porsche? I mean, seriously?
Tricia Barker 53:20
So like, a lot of time and a lot of school, I didn't want to invest it. I was like, What do I do? Well, I'll write a book. And, you know, business is tough. And you know, there's no money in books, no matter what people say. I mean, there's a little you know, but there's not a lot especially if you go the traditional route your publisher takes most of it
Alex Ferrari 53:37
Tricia Barker 53:41
Then you just get attacked by people who are like you sold out. I'm like, Oh, really, if it doesn't pay my electricity bill,
Alex Ferrari 53:49
This month, this month? Not the year this month, it doesn't pay my electric bill this month.
Tricia Barker 53:56
Like Yeah, forget about that. But I still loved it still love the journey. love working with writers love that possibility of someone writing something that takes off in culture, you know, I can't help but love it. I don't know other than perhaps to talk about this and remind people globally to really turn on their lights to enjoy their lives to live in a way that brings them joy and others joy and to live without as much judgment as possible. And if there's judgement Orient, to know how to be more of a community more of a instead of this you against me, you know, how can we understand one another even when it's hard?
Alex Ferrari 54:36
Now I'm gonna ask you a few questions. Ask them I guess. What is your definition of living a good life?
Tricia Barker 54:42
Ah, yeah, it's being in harmony with time with that vibration of love with really giving yourself compassion and love first and giving others empathy and love first and because I think a lot of times we just to judgment because we're judging ourselves. So it's like, hey, I really just feel compassion for what you're going through, give it to yourself. First, give yourself that love. And a good life is, you know, it's one where you have great relationships where you have a great relationship with yourselves environment, others pets, you know, where you're really cultivating joy?
Alex Ferrari 55:25
To know what is your mission in this life?
Tricia Barker 55:28
You know, I have so many that I wonder which ones I'll actually have time to accomplish. Sometimes they're really lofty, and I think it hit Oh, I'd love to open a meditation Zen Center, you know, like, in downtown Fort Worth, I'd love to open a container home park for homeless people. You know, like, there's so many different I'd love to just volunteer and help people who are traumatized at various places, whether it's right crisis center, or the veteran center, you know, just being in nature, like their trauma, through meditation, through yoga, through you know, there's so much I'd love to do to help others but if I had this summit up, I think it's just continue to leave my community better off than it was before I was here. You know, whether that's really just leaving what I own to a cause that I care about since I don't have kids or whether that is working in certain ways to help people live better lives.
Alex Ferrari 56:27
What and what is the ultimate purpose of this life?
Tricia Barker 56:29
You know, love, and I think that's what I had an people confuse what that means, but that can be love for your backyard love for your pet love for yourself love for each person you say hello to today. You don't have to have a great love. Love is romantic love is a wonderful experience brave and it's courageous. And it's scary. You know, it's many things but that's not the only definition of love if everyone I knew was killed somehow I think I'd still want to help in some way and be of service help someone else who is in pain, you know, otherwise my own life is stunted in some way if I'm not connected to others, so I think connections important
Alex Ferrari 57:14
And where can people find out more about you and the work that you're doing?
Tricia Barker 57:18
Um, I do have a website that I update sometimes and I do I do give readings here and there and, and connect with people so Tricia Barker, Tricia Barker NDE for near death. experience.com is, I'm on YouTube as well. Like, it's kind of hard to not find me the only way you won't find me is if you spell my name wrong. So Tricia.
Alex Ferrari 57:40
And is there a message you would like to leave us with?
Tricia Barker 57:44
Oh, just leave room and space. If you're wanting that spiritual connection, if you're wanting to feel your angels, your guides leave space for that to happen kind of organically. If you cultivate more peace, get more rest and really just meditate and leave space for it. It will show up at the the moment that you need it. And at your worst times. The people you love are very close. So just know that
Alex Ferrari 58:15
Tricia, it has been a pleasure and honor talking to you. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and hopefully it does some good in the world. So I appreciate you my dear.
Tricia Barker 58:22
Oh, thank you wonderful show. Thanks for your questions.
Links and Resources
- Tricia Barker – Official Site
- Tricia Barker – Contact and Readings
- Tricia Barker – Spiritual Community
- Angeles in the OR
- Listen to Audible
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