Stepping Out

Continued from Jay’s Lesson

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” -William Butler Yeats

I was insatiable… I attacked Amazon to find more information on people who had written about past life memories. I read Carol Bowman – a psychologist whose son was having conscious memories, Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Michael Newton, and Reliving Past Lives by Helen Wambach. These were quick reads for me, validation for everything I had learned on the mountain and additional fodder for my brain as I tried to imagine myself helping people by using regression therapy.

I thought back to the time that Francis – about 4 years old, pointed to a building and said – “that’s where I died mom, when it was on fire”. The building in question was actually new and under construction. I had to admit that it did look – at night – like a burned-out shell of an older structure but it was brand new, maybe half way completed. Fortunately, I never poo-poo’d his thoughts or comments. My mom’s next door neighbor was an eccentric, wonderful woman who had been extremely involved in ARE (the Association for Research and Enlightenment), a non-profit organization founded by Edgar Casey in 1931. Meme was a grand old soul and believed in things I had only just begun to explore. Back in the day – we thought she was ‘out there’ but now, I had a new appreciation for her and wondered just how close to being ‘out there’ I was becoming! Meme was always allowing for possibilities and so, when Francis began having these ‘spiritual’ moments, I simply accepted them as feasible, regardless of the probability. Francis went on to tell me that his wife was sad but that she had gotten married again. (!)

I stayed in touch with a woman who lived about an hour away who had also been ‘on the mountain’ with me and we got together a couple of times to keep our hypnosis skills honed by practicing on one another. In one session, I had a difficult time coming ‘out’ of the mist as I would complain of being nauseous; not feeling well. Then finally, she suggested that I just ‘push through it’ and I did to find myself spinning. I was about twelve or thirteen and I was with a young boy, in a field of grass on a sunny day. We were elevated on a knob or knoll and we had been spinning around and then falling to the ground to watch the clouds move in circles… we were laughing and having so much fun. I really liked the boy I was with; we were comfortable together but I didn’t get the feeling that he was a brother. When asked to look at my feet I burst out laughing because I was barefoot and my feet were filthy dirty – covered completely in dirt.

I was a girl and I was close to home so she had me go there. As I walked, I could feel the warmth of the sun on my back and I knew I was holding hands with the boy but it was in fun – not serious. We walked into a farm yard of sorts, seemingly it was in the early to mid-1800’s and I could only see one, small house but there was a large barn and I noticed that most of the ‘yard’ was actually dirt. The door to the house was open and I knew I could go in. What struck me most was that the floor of the house was also – dirt. The furnishings were sparse and wooden and I thought I could smell something ‘earthy’ like beef or meat cooking. There was no one in the house and so I went back outside.

I didn’t see any people at all but I ‘knew’ they were there somewhere. I knew I was a part of a family and I sensed that I had a sister, a younger one. The land was relatively flat in most directions with only that small knoll behind the house. I could see corn – everywhere. Mature tall stocks blowing in the wind – I could feel the wind – or at least I could sense the wind against my face.

She advanced me in that life – asking me to go to another time and I saw myself in a room with a pot belly stove in the center and I knew that I was in a schoolroom. I was a teacher perhaps and I was Alice. There was an absolute knowingness to that. The room was empty but I was writing something with chalk on a blackboard. I wore my hair up and I was thin, with a long skirt. I knew I was married, I could ‘sense’ my husband as a large, burly man with dark hair and a beard. She asked me to ‘go home’ and so I found myself walking in a city, down a street of row homes like brownstones to the door of my house. It was on my right as I approached and there were two steps to walk up to a big door.

And then it was over…

Sometimes, a regression is in full swing and then the clock stops – we run out of time or we can’t access any other information. It’s quite difficult to explain the ‘knowing’ piece unless you experience it. It generally feels so clear – the information is just there.

I briefly considered bagging the whole grad school thing to focus on regression therapy and then realized that this whole process started with the idea of ‘credentialing’. THAT was the goal. I had developed this core belief that if I was to be taken seriously – I had to have the basic competencies, verified, and validated. And with that… classes began.

Consider The Possibilities

Continued from Digging Deep

“Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.” – George Carlin

There was no doubt, none, zip, nada … that the person looking back at me was one in the same as my current day brother Pat. It’s another of those unexplainable ‘knowing’ things that don’t fit any logic or rationale. It doesn’t fit into the paradigm of what we can see, hear, or touch but I knew it as strongly as I know my feet are on the ground… and it was weird, comforting, nonsensical and intuitive all at once. I didn’t want to leave that scene. There was so much solace in that room and I wanted to be there longer, to know more. The hypnotist was bringing me out of a trance, misreading my tears apparently and as I came grew into awareness, I was dumbfounded to realize that he had been traveling with me – through time. It made perfect sense to me now.

Along with the concept of reincarnation is the postulation that we reincarnate within ‘soul families’. Depending on who you read, there are different methods of explaining this and various ideas of what constitutes a ‘family’. The best description I’ve heard is that of a LEAF. I don’t recall who first stated this but its description highlights the basic premise well. As a soul, we are like a leaf on a tree – and on that tree, the leaves on the twig with us are the closest although we are also intimately connected to the other leaves on the branch and of course, the tree in general. We may even have some connection, if only in proximity, to other leaves on the surrounding trees but we can’t possibly be connected to leaves on the other side of the forest…

I believe that Pat is a leaf on my twig. We’ve all had the experience of meeting someone where the connection is immediate and easy. It may be your best friend, your partner, a work colleague, or a school buddy… most of us know the sensation of ‘I feel like I’ve known you forever’ thing. It may be because your soul recognizes that person’s soul… perhaps because you’ve been traveling through time for millenniums.

Dr. Weiss shared stories with us about patients and their discoveries and the book Only Love Is Real describes the most bizarre and amazing experience when he realized that two of his patients were portraying the exact same regression – people who didn’t know each other!!

By week’s end, I was relaxed, in awe, and conversing freely with most anyone who looked my direction. I had ‘woken up’. I don’t know if I should attribute it to the cleaning of my chakra, the consequence of being surrounded by so much love, or a realization that I was wasting my ‘moments’ by not being present. In any regard, I was sitting in a common area on the last night there when Michael and a group of others from our seminar walked in. I got up and went over to their table, asking to join them. I had grown some courage in a weeks’ time, or perhaps just gotten to know them well enough to take down my shield. The conversation moved toward parapsychology and people were sharing stories about mediums and clairvoyants. Michael (the guy I sat next to all week) looked directly at me and said “I’ve been wanting to tell you that you’re going to meet a man soon. There is something about Christmas coming through, so maybe around that time.”  All I wanted to know is if he was going to be tall, so I asked… “tall I hope?” “Tall and blonde” he said.

Hmm… my roommate had just predicted that I would meet someone around the holidays. She wasn’t here anymore – I don’t think they’ve met since she was in a different workshop… was it possible that they were picking up on something? The temptation to give in to the anticipation was overwhelming but there were more exciting, more present things to be excited about and I stayed focused on the work we had been doing all week.

I was one of the few people there who was still a student. I knew I had much more to learn and I was genuinely excited to begin studying counseling; how to help people regardless and potentially those who may be affected by past life experiences. It was time to consider grad schools.

On the way home from the mountain, I wanted to call and tell everyone I knew about how mindbending my week was. It’s a hard discussion, though. In order to discuss the impact of past lives, you have to be open to the idea of have had one – or at least that I did. Even if it isn’t a ‘real thing’, there is a need to be open to the lesson or message – even if it is only from your own voice. I didn’t know many people in that arena. I did call Pat, though… he was on the same page and I knew he would buy into my enthusiasm. I didn’t tell him about my regression, though… I wanted to regress him and find out if he might see or remember the same time. I told him only enough that he was eager to go under.

I made a decision about Grad school too. As chance (?) would have it – I received a phone call on that drive home from one of the schools I had been considering. They sold me hard and I agreed – on that phone call – to go ahead and register. The only problem was that they hadn’t yet received their CACREP accreditation… it was in process they said. There was a slight risk by enrolling in a program that was new but I believed in the details to student success that they were purporting. I would start in just three weeks time.

I felt as if I was on fire. I was excited and charged, eager to practice the skills I acquired during my week on the mountain. I let everyone know that I was ‘open for business’ so to speak; that I was offering regression – free of charge – in exchange for the practice. A few people took me up on it immediately.

One of those people was a man in my family – remaining nameless – who, under regression, found himself in a cave, alone and afraid. He was an Indian who had been sent out on a maturing mission, a rite of passage. He was trapped, though. In a shallow cave being monitored by a mountain lion and he knew that he would never leave that cave alive. He was emotional and recounting the experience as if he was describing a football game… he was detached and yet he summarizing the situation clearly and acutely. When he came out of hypnosis, he was clear about the ‘message’ of the experience and he said that the validation was helpful. Validation for the fact that sometimes in ‘this’ life, he feels alone even though he knows he is not… now he knows where this ‘energy’ belongs and can stop second guessing. He expressed a sense of relief.

It was amazing and I stayed excited, reading everything I could find about reincarnation – especially academic material that had science behind it – if only a little bit. Since Hindu’s believe in reincarnation, much of the academic work centers there and there are more… amazing stories. I encourage anyone with an interest to investigate Dr. Ian Stephenson from the University of Virginia. His entire career was dedicated to paranormal research and is meticulously researched with incredible evidence.

Open yourself up to possibilities!

Digging Deep

Continued from Transcendent Study

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.” ~ John Banville

If you’ve never spent a week with people focused purely on love and transcendence, you’ve missed an extraordinary experience. It was easy to wake up and shower in a two-foot square cubicle knowing that my day would be spent in a room full of that amazing energy. I got better at talking to the people sitting in my immediate vicinity but I ate most of my meals alone – only because it was the comfortable thing to do in the absence of someone else specifically encouraging me to join them.

I met a Shaman from Colorado who told me that my Solar Plexus (third) chakra (where confidence and the perception of who you are) was full of dark energy and blocked – basically confirming everything that I had been experiencing in my life regarding self-esteem. I was only vaguely familiar at this point with the chakra system with limited exposure to Eastern philosophies. Even with as much meditation, I had engaged in, I had learned it more as an extension of what I knew of prayer versus true Eastern traditions. How had he seen into my core by merely assessing my body’s energy?

He offered to clean my abdomen of the energy blockage and promised it wouldn’t hurt and so… I let him. I laid flat on the floor fully clothed as he moved his hands softly across my belly in a gesture that implied he was wiping something off and then he started a pulling motion. I have no way to accurately describe what happened next. He was pulling at air – not touching me – but I instantly felt nauseous. Within a moment or two, I wanted to cry and eventually tears flowed freely across my cheekbones and into my ears. I experienced a gagging or choking feeling and wanted to roll over to make it stop but he gently touched my forehead with a comforting stroke to keep me flat. He spoke soft and encouraging words in between others that was I unable to interpret. I have no idea of how much time elapsed while this happened, only that it felt like it was but a moment in one minute but an eternity in the next. I couldn’t stop crying although it wasn’t a balling, or a shoulder shaking cry. It was more like the remnants of that… an ending cry – the kind that comes when you know something is over.

Sometimes it quite difficult to believe in things so mysterious, the things we don’t understand and may not be able to see. And yet, we believe in God. There are people who believed in sub-particle physics long before it was proven and so, I chose to allow for the possibility that this man whom I had never met, could ‘clean’ an energy center in my body that would allow me to ‘flow’ and become more balanced. As the day went by, I distinctly remember how calm I felt. Perhaps it was psychosomatic but it didn’t matter, it was great. I again was intrigued by this new experience and I didn’t want it to end. I felt like such a baby – an infant in my lack of knowledge about these ideologies surrounding me. They were so far out of the mainstream of my Mid-Atlantic suburban existence that I was at a loss of how I would foster more growth. It was a challenge I was excited to embark upon.

We continued to practice our hypnosis training. Dr. Weiss demonstrated a number of induction techniques (getting people into a hypnotic trance) and had us practice them on each other. Hypnosis is simply a state of focused concentration and I find, highly misunderstood. Under hypnosis, you are totally aware – just not judging or questioning. It’s the purest state of ‘observing’ that I know of. And “no” – you will not take all your clothes off if someone directs it, unless of course, that is something that you ‘want’ to do. Your subconscious is still very active and you are still completely – you. If you wouldn’t do it in day to day life – you won’t do it under hypnosis.

It was time to break into small groups and do regressions. This time it was my turn to be regressed…

I came ‘out of the mist’ to see trees – everywhere. There was a river in front of me, actually… I was on the river but standing up high. I realized I was on a ship – I was on the upper deck of a ship on a river with vibrant dark green trees on both sides and I could feel the movement, a slow roll from side to side – very gentle and barely noticeable. I was directed to look down, at my feet and the first thing I became aware of as I glanced down is that I was wearing an open white shirt. It was open to my waist but … wait, I realized I didn’t have breasts… what? There was a lot of chest hair and I was sweating. I could see perspiration running down my skin. I saw my shoes and they were large, black, dirty, and they had buckles – square buckles. I noticed that my pants were short and I looked up again. I could see the ship now, the planks and banisters. The sky was blue with a few clouds and I could see birds – practically everywhere. I could hear their calls. There was a dock, seemingly way down there… people were unloading crates of something and I could see barrels stacked on the edge of the pier. There were a lot of sounds… voices, yelling, but no machine noise. I was asked to identify the year but it wasn’t clear to me.

Then, I was asked to move forward in time and suddenly I found myself in a small room. I could see it as if I was there, looking straight ahead. There was a huge fireplace to my right and I could see sunlight coming in from a window. It felt as if I could move my head and I saw two children sitting on the floor. They were sitting on a round rug – much like the rag rug that had been in my old house; a boy and a girl. The boy was young, maybe five or six and I couldn’t see his face clearly. The girl was older, perhaps eight or so – she had her back to me. I could see that her hair was long, past the center of her back and she had on a small print dress – something you might see in the 1800’s … I could see a taller woman, again her back was to me and she was also wearing a long dress, small print. She was off to my left in what appeared to be another small room although the doorway was large. She was wearing an apron, I could see the bow at her waist. Her head was bent down as if she was cooking, or working with her hands. I knew that this was my family.

The house was warm and I realized that I was in a rocking chair… now I could sense the movement – back and forth – back and forth. I realized that I felt tremendous satisfaction and comfort there. It was peaceful. There was a discrete awareness that this was my home. I believe the children on the floor were mine. The girl turned toward me and I could see her face. It was young but something tugged at me… there was a familiarity there – in her eyes. It only took a second but I knew instantly; without hesitation, I was immediately cognizant that I was looking at the same soul that I know today as my oldest brother.

I was so startled at this realization that a tear spontaneously formed and released.  The profundity of this understanding was instantaneous and resonated intensely and genuinely deep within my being.