My Spirituality – Why I don’t fear death (Part 3)

Now that the background of my religious/spiritual progression has been discussed, and my belief in reincarnation explained, I can now proceed with detailing my past life regression experience.

When I called Carol Bowman initially she of course wanted to know what my main purpose in having a session with her was for. Beyond the normal curiosity and wanting actual proof, I had an issue that I was hoping to find the background on. Without going into tons of detail, basically I had struggled with “abandonment” issues since high school. I had more than one close best friend who for seemingly no reason stopped caring about me. One in particular I spent nearly 2 years trying to regain ties with or at bare minimum understand why our friendship ended seemingly overnight. It just seemed to be a pattern that I would get so close to a person and then they would just stop caring and never provide me any closure as to what happened. I have been plagued by many dreams about being abandoned, related to one person in particular, where I would be crying or screaming, just trying to find answers. They were, and still are at times, the most emotionally charged dreams I’ve ever experienced. I really believed something had happened in a past life that caused me to struggle with this reoccurring issue in my current life. Carol thought it was something we could resolve with a session which would come to $400 for a 3 hour session. Having spent about $100 an hour for regular counseling in my life I felt like while it was a large sum, it was one that would be worth it.

The first hour of my session was very much like a regular counseling session. Carol asked me to describe the abandonment issue in detail and probed to see if there was anything in this life that may have caused the problem. As I’ve always had a great family life (no parent leaving me when I was a child or anything), she agreed too that the issue probably stemmed from something in my past. The second hour began with a few minutes of relaxation. She had me close my eyes and focus on individual body parts, releasing tension and such. One misconception I had from reading Michael Newton’s books was that I would be put into an actual “hypnosis” where I wouldn’t be aware of what was going on around me. This was not the case; I was still conscious of everything, but in a more relaxed state of being both physically and mentally than I had ever been before. At this part of the session Carol put on a tape recorder to record my session so that I would then have a copy to take home (I still have yet to listen to it since my session) which I think is a nice perk.

Another misconception I had was that in experiencing a past life I believed I would see the images in my mind clearly, almost like watching a movie, but again that was not the case. Carol calls the images “impressions” and it’s kind of like when you’re having a dream and you can’t fully see where you are, but you just innately know where you are. It actually took me some time before I saw anything. Carol probed me by having me repeat the mantra “Why did they leave me?” and focus on what I was feeling rather than try to force myself to see anything.

An image slowly started forming, and I told her I was sitting on a floor with a wood table beside me and my legs felt numb and my feet were cold. The image of the kitchen slowly filled in for me and she asked questions on if I was there alone (which I was), what I felt, if I thought I was male or female, etc. All her questions focused on what I felt and saw, it was nothing like a psychic where you hear them say things like “Oh I see a young boy in your life” to kind of prompt you to say things; she just guided me and let the images and feelings come to me.

I realized I was living in like the era of Laura Ingalls Wilder, which we figured to be around the 1890s, in a log cabin that had a barn beside it and land but with trees all around it.  For awhile I got no sense of anyone else being there, but finally I had an impression of a young adult male standing inside the kitchen door in a military uniform.  I actually recognized him to be my current boyfriend Jason in this life, and he was my older brother in that life.  I know that probably sounds really weird (my sister was like “Ew you’re dating your brother!”), but it wasn’t like that to me because I had already learned about souls taking different roles in a person’s life each life, and was fully comfortable with the concept.  She asked me what happened to our parents but the answer never came to me (she said the rest of the story may fill in through dreams or visions in days, weeks or months to come).  I told her he left me, I didn’t think to go to war, just that he had a job to do.  She asked if he was coming back and I said I think he was supposed to.  She asked how I felt when he left and I literally started crying.  The emotions were real; I felt the abandonment, my stomach was upset/sick, and I was crying real tears during our session.  I said how he left me, he didn’t care anymore, etc.

She asked me to go in my mind to years later when I was soon going to die, and I said I saw myself on a rocking chair on the porch as an old lady; he never came back, and I had lived there all alone waiting for him to return. She said to go to right before I died and I said I saw myself standing upstairs.  She said to envision my spirit leaving through my head and what it did after; I said I was hovering above the house feeling sad, that I couldn’t leave because I was supposed to wait for him to come back.  She said to focus upward and on what I felt, and I said it felt like a vertical wind pulling me upward.  As I moved up I felt calmer and relaxed.  She told me to look for my brother in the spirit world and an image of his face came through to me, not totally clear but enough that I recognized it.  She said to ask him why he left and didn’t come back, and I told her he said I needed to learn to take care of myself, to be self sufficient and that he loved me.  I said I got the impression he had met someone and got married and had kids and just started a new life which is why he didn’t come back.

As I was coming out of the session we focused on linking the lives, and I said I felt like he was always meant to come back, just not in that life, but that he’s back now in my life as my boyfriend and isn’t going to go away. We believe the reason I couldn’t overcome being emotionally abandoned in this life and felt more strongly about it than most people would is because I treated each abandonment with the same reaction as I did when I had been physically abandoned.  She said we don’t always resolve issues right away in the next life, that I probably lived lives between then and now, but that I could’ve been working on other issues and it was this life that was meant to resolve that abandonment issue from that life.

Since I had my past life session I am a firm believer in reincarnation.  While I still have the nightmares sometimes they are much less frequent and do not upset me nearly as much because I understand the underlying cause.  I admit it has desensitized me somewhat when it comes to people dying, though I have never grieved in what most would consider to be “traditional” anyway.  I’ve never needed to see a dead body for closure, and never saw a point in visiting people’s graves.  I view death as just the process of things; we live and learn and we die and get the answers that we never got on Earth and we live again.  I find a lot more comfort in this than I ever did in following Christianity.  I like knowing that I don’t have to “figure it all out” in this life and knowing that the clock isn’t ticking so to speak for me to do all that I want.  It helps me to know that I’ll find the answers to unanswered questions, and that it really is ok to make mistakes because that’s what we’re here to do – literally live and learn.

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My Spirituality – Why I don’t fear death (Part 2)

I didn’t mean for my last post to be such a “cliffhanger” but rather realized that I had more to tell than I initially thought.  To that point, I do actually want to fill in a bit more background information before I proceed in describing my past life regression session.

I never really thought much about the concept of reincarnation prior to reading Journey of Souls.  Sure I had heard about it through learning about Buddhism, but it never made much sense.  I think I was misguided by the stereotypes of “Oh I’ll come back as a butterfly in the next life” or “Don’t step on that bug, it could be your grandmother” to take the concept seriously.  In reading about souls reincarnating though it began to make much more sense both spiritually and logically.  One of the reasons I think people often fear death is because we’ve grown accustom to the idea of “only having one life to live”.  We fear the end because we’re afraid it’ll come before we’ve had time to do all that we’ve wanted to do.  We live with regrets, particularly when those we love die, because we think that we only had one chance to do things “right”.  With reincarnation though it’s not that way.  Our souls move to the spirit world after death and any questions we had about this life are answered.  Anyone we want to see we can, and everything that we didn’t understand in our life we will understand.  We are able to review all of our decisions, good and bad, throughout our life and see where other options would have led us.  We learn and as we do so, we prepare for our next life.

I often struggled with the idea of free will when I was a Christian.  How exactly could I have free will if God was all-knowing and knew what I would choose in advance?  Didn’t that mean if I was going to sin that God would already know about it?  Yes, Christians would argue, but I still had the choice in doing it.  If I really only had one option though – do not sin – then really where was the free will?  The idea of predetermination also came into play.  If God knew everything didn’t He have a hand in making me do certain things?  How often do we hear about people’s “miraculous” recoveries because God answered their prayers?  None of it ever added up logically to me.  Some would argue that’s why it’s called faith – it’s not going to all make sense.  After studying reincarnation though, I argue that I can make it all make logical sense now. 

How the idea of spiritual reincarnation combines free will and predetermination is this:  Before a soul reincarnates into a body back on Earth it is shown possible lives that it may lead.  It’s shown this through a “spiritual movie theater” if you will (this concept is explained in Journey of Souls – this is not my own creation) where a person can fast forward and rewind pieces.  Not everything is shown to them however.  They’re able to see where they may come to crossroads in their life, for example choosing to stay close to home when going to college or moving across the country, but they will not be able to know which they will choose.  They will also see what souls will be involved in their lives – most people that we are closest to reincarnate with us life after life.  These souls may take on different roles though.  In one life your mother may be your sister and in the next life your granddaughter.  The reason for this is souls are put in groups within the spirit world for learning purposes.  These souls work together in coming up with ways of learning lessons.  These lessons can be anything – experiencing hardship, learning empathy, expanding cultural knowledge, etc.  If a soul struggles with learning a certain concept in one life it may choose to again tackle that concept in the next life, or wait a few lives to try it again.  There is somewhat of a hierarchy of souls in the spirit world – those that have been around for thousands of years are often spiritual guides for younger souls.  

One interesting thing that the book touched on was that our souls essentially have amnesia once they reincarnate.  All the memories of past lives as well as the spirit world become embedded deep within their subconcious.  That’s not to say we don’t experience things related to what we’ve seen and done in past lives or the spirit world.  Ever have deja vu?  In my belief, that’s likely because we’ve either done something before in a previous life or because we’ve had glimpses of our current life we’re remembering seeing that.  Ever meet someone and after talking for a few minutes you feel like you’ve known them all your life?  You probably have – they probably have been in almost all the lives you’ve lived. 

I’ve often wondered how people would recognize each other in an after life, but Journey of Souls explains this as well.  Because people have lived numerous lives and obviously have appeared as different people throughout those lives, when they encounter a familiar soul in the spirit world they can make themselves appear as how that soul remembers them.  For example, if you lived in Egypt as a slave in one life and later lived as as a cowboy in the Old West in another life and you meet a friend from your Egyptian life you can make yourself appear as that slave and if you meet a friend from your life in the Old West you can make yourself appear as the cowboy.  Souls are described, in the simplest terms, as a form of energy.  They do not have gender though they regularly choose the same gender when reincarnating.  The book does describe where souls come from – I’m not going to attempt to describe it as it’s rather complicated.  A lot of the book combines both psychology as well as physics when it comes to describing energy waves and light.  I’m much more of a biology fan, so I’ll leave the physics to the experts.

Anyway that gives a bit of a background on what seemed to really click and make sense to me as I read through Michael Newton’s books.  I think what also drew me in was the idea that he wasn’t preaching a religion, giving any type of set values, or telling me how to live my life.  He simply provided evidence based on case studies that proved our souls reincarnate after death. 

I’m trying to keep my blogs of a reasonable length to read – I know people have busy lives and don’t want to spend an hour reading my posts though at times I do feel like I could write for an hour.  Anyone who knows me well enough knows I can easily talk for an hour straight!  To that point though, yet again I’ve decided to create an additional part to this blog so look for my continuation later this week.  I promise I am getting to the retelling of my actual experience; I just find setting the background of what led me to doing the session will help it all fall into place more clearly.

My Spirituality – Why I don’t fear death (Part 1)

A year ago this month I had an experience that fully solidified my spiritual beliefs in regards to what happens after death.  I’ve been wanting to write about that experience for a period of time now, but wasn’t sure how I wanted to present it.  A close friend of mine recently lost her mother, and in offering her words of condolence it renewed my desire to express my views on death.

To provide some background first, I was raised Christian.  I went to a Methodist Sunday School and while my family wasn’t “hardcore” in terms of praying before meals or anything, I did follow the religion like the average person.  In high school I began attending a Lutheran church and became very involved in it.  I really accepted the theology of the religion, and worked at trying to improve myself to be a better Christian.  Everything about the religion made sense to me; the idea of sin and needing forgiveness in order to go to Heaven.  The only thing that never quite sat right with me was the idea of Hell.  It just always seemed like a scare tactic to me… “Oh better be good or you’ll be thrown into a fiery pit”.  I guess in my mind if God was as forgiving and loving as the Bible made him out to be, and if Jesus truly died for all sins, then everyone would find some way of ending up in Heaven.

When I left for college everything changed.  Well, maybe not everything.  I did, however, find myself with a lot of free time on my hands that resulted in me going for long walks around campus and the town of Annville.  During the walks I started to question what exactly made Christianity the “right” religion.  Who was to say that Judaism, Buddhism or another religion didn’t have it correct?  That train of thought ultimately led me ask what exactly made any religion right?  No one had solid proof of anything beyond what religious texts stated, and why should I feel obligated to spend my life trying to adhere to some book’s “rules” anyway?

I wanted to make my own mistakes and learn from them.  I didn’t want to feel “sinful” for listening to music like Disturbed and trust me, for a period of time I did.  Growing up I had a very innate guilt complex; I could feel guilty for nearly anything even if I wasn’t.  This didn’t work too well for me when it came to Christianity.  It seemed like any time I realized that I had “gone against God” that instead of just asking for forgiveness and moving on, I dwelled on it a lot.  How could a religion that was supposed to bring about “salvation” and “glory” cause a young girl to feel so down any time she made a mistake?

I grew farther and farther from Christianity and religion in general.  I toggled between calling myself and Atheist and an Agnostic.  My boyfriend at the time was an Atheist, and when I stopped wanting to go to church my mom blamed my relationship with him for the reason I suddenly didn’t want to be a Christian.  It was always my thoughts, my choices, my mindset and questioning that made me turn away from Christianity and not look back.

The ironic part in my movement away from the church was that I developed a keen interest in studying religion and spirituality in general.  I took many religion courses throughout college, almost ending up with a minor in it, out of sheer enjoyment.  I liked learning about other peoples’ beliefs and trying to figure out why exactly they believed what they did.  I also liked learning about religion and spiritual ways of thinking that weren’t so traditional.  I took a course on metaphysical religion which covered topics like the Quakers.  I read about Satanism and debating buying a copy of the Satanic Bible purely for intellectual reasons, but had a feeling my family would think I’d gone off the deep end, so I decided against it.  A friend of mine had books on Wicca and I glanced through those from time to time.

In all my courses and reading though nothing ever really answered questions enough for me to decide that I wanted to follow a certain religion again.  I just never thought much about death and the after life.  Being young I of course was like many others in just thinking that nothing bad would happen to me anytime soon.  I was content to go through life with the moral thinking that as long as my decisions did not hurt those I cared about then I was living a moral life.

This mentality continued up until I moved north to live with my current boyfriend, and I picked up one of his books called “Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives” by Michael Newton.  In short, it is a book written by a psychologist who developed a way to put people into a “hypnosis” that allowed them to regress both back into former lives as well as the time between their lives and recount their experiences.  This book struck a cord with me.  Finally something seemed to make sense both spiritually and logically.  I also read two of his other books which deepened my interest and belief in what was being said even more.  Still, I couldn’t say that I had actual proof of anything.  Isn’t that what most people want after all in order to believe something?

So I did a search on the internet to see how close a past life specialist was to my area, and fortunately found that Carol Bowman was outside of Philadelphia, about a 2 hour drive from me.  I called her in Dec. 2012 and made my appointment for January.  That was the first step in my journey to find proof of my new beliefs.

To be continued…

Testing… 1 2 3

I just downloaded the wordpress app on my Kindle Fire and am testing it out.  It is great for reading the blogs I follow, but I’m not really digging using a touch screen keyboard to type.  It might be handy for short posts that I want to write in bed, but not really conducive to writing long posts.  Oh well, can’t complain too much about something when it’s free.

My Informal Resolution

I made an informal New Year’s Resolution to blog more.  By informal I mean it is a resolution I’d like to set and keep, but one that I feel as if I won’t follow through on therefore by making it informal I won’t count it as a failure. 

Everything I’ve ever read about long term goals says that you have to break them down into smaller ones to make them easier to accomplish.  I am fantastic at doing this with running goals.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been trained in how to set those goals since 7th grade, so even though the distance or pace may change I know how to tweak the overall plan and goal. 

The problem with my goal to blog more, however, is that I can’t really break it down into smaller goals.  Sure I can say I’ll blog 2x a week.  I could even pencil it into my planner like an appointment to keep because I’ve read that as a way to stick to a goal.  Blogging is a creative outlet for me though, and you can’t schedule creativity.  I like to write when “the moment strikes” and not feel obligated to do it.  Anytime I feel as though I’m obligated to do something more from requirement than desire, I find that I then resent it and view it as a chore.  I don’t want writing to feel like a chore.  I know the more I write the more I enjoy it and the more likely it’ll be that I write again sooner, but I just can’t force myself to do it if I’m not in the mood. 

It’s put me in quite a predicament as one of my hopes in having a blog would be that it’d trigger me to expand my writing.  I used to write poetry when I was younger though I rarely feel inspired to do so anymore.  Oddly enough sometimes I wish I still had the challenge of writing 20 page college papers.  It provided me a goal and forced me to commit to it (I would never skip an assignment), but still allowed me some creativity and flexibility in how and when to write. 

I suppose for now I will just keep my informal resolution, not making any set steps in how to achieve it, but hoping that maybe creativity will spark more often and be the push I need to write more.