On our walk yesterday, I asked my husband, “Do you think I should write about it?” I was half hoping he’d say yes, half expecting he’d say, “I’m not sure,” which means no. Instead he responded, “Yes, but it’s definitely the most out there thing you’ve done, yet.” Then he laughed and repeated, “yet.”
No other blog post has given me such fits. Are people going to think I am loony? Are they going to be offended if the topic doesn’t jibe with their religious beliefs? Can I write about this experience in such a way as to be clear that I am not espousing what I am sharing? Do I care? Yes.
I believe there’s more to life than we can touch, see, smell, hear and taste. I am on a mission to uncover the mysteries in life. To go deeper. To see if there’s more to life than what exists on the surface. So I try new things, and then I write about them. What am I here to do? I’m still not sure, but I suspect it’s more than plan my next trip, outfit, furniture purchase or restaurant outing.
This journey has taken me many places, literally and figuratively, and I’ve met some fascinating people. To a ranch in Tecate, Mexico, where, under the watchful eye of Mexican armed guards on horseback, I met Candace Bergen-lookalike and ski-instructor-turned-Watsu-therapist Erin. To a vintage cottage tucked away in the Houston Heights, where, once a week for the past six months, I’ve learned proper posture (and so much more) under the trained hands of Alexander Technique teacher and professional oboist Andrea. Andrea turned me on to Richard Moss, from whom, in the magical Great Space in the desert foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, I recently learned to be a little more present.
Much of what I’ve learned has been common sense, tangible enough (providing enough evidence) for me to feel comfortable judging it for myself. This last experience, not so much.
So enough preamble. What I am about to share I found intensely interesting and thought provoking, but I will say up front I am not here to tell you it’s truth. Even my truth.
Three months ago, on the very beach pictured in my Late Bloomers post, I read a book recommended to me by my friend Gina, who comprises the other half of our informal, two-person book club. The book was Your Soul’s Gift – The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born by Robert Schwartz, who (according to the book jacket) “offers spiritual guidance and hypno-therapeutic regressions to help people understand their life plan.” You’re spot on, Gina, how could I not read that?
Schwartz asserts that our souls plan our lives, before we’re born, in order to evolve and heal. In his book Your Soul’s Plan (the precursor to the one I read), he states, “So often, when something ‘bad’ happens, it may appear to be meaningless suffering. But what if your most difficult experiences are actually rich with hidden purpose – purpose that you yourself planned before you were born? Could it be that you chose your life’s circumstances, relationships, and events?”
He goes on to share several case studies of individuals with whom he worked to reveal their life plans from “the other side,” channeling their spirit guides and even their souls through professional mediums. (I know, out there, but stay with me.) These case studies involved seemingly normal people who faced some incredible challenges and hardships, including the loss of loved ones – even children, through suicide, incest and rape. In each case, it is revealed that these challenges were planned by their souls, in a sort of karmic pre-planning session with other souls, some of whom were their relatives in former lives. The goal was to plan a life on Earth that would help them, their souls, evolve and heal.
To write this makes it seem so outlandish, but I find the concept intriguing: Our souls are everlasting, incarnating into our bodies at conception for a purpose, then letting those bodies go until the next tour of duty.
As I was reading the book (and flagging down the waiter on the beach for another Painkiller rum drink), I fantasized about learning about my soul’s plan for my life (assuming this stuff is true). After finishing the book, I visited Schwartz’ website where I found he offered various types of one-on-one sessions, including a Between Lives Soul Regression, or BLSR. I couldn’t resist. After signing up, I told a couple of friends (including, eventually, my husband) about it, each time adding that it might be a total waste of money on the one hand, or a life-changing experience on the other.
After I registered and pre-paid (sucker?) for the session, I received an email from Schwartz, now “Rob,” with comprehensive instructions. I was to complete the BLSR intake form and release agreement, which asked for basic info (name, address, age, marital status, occupation, alcohol and drug use), my goals for the session, current non-romantic relationships, current life issues, spiritual beliefs. Then it asked me to list up to ten people or animals/pets (either living or deceased) who are important to me and about whom I would like to learn more in my BLSR.
The session, which I was told could take up to three and a half hours, would be conducted via Skype. Unlike the case studies in his book, in which he used mediums for channeling, in my session Rob would put me in a hypnotic trance allowing me to regress to reveal my past and between-lives states. I was to share what I was experiencing with him during the session, which he would record and provide to me for playback afterwards.
To prepare to be hypnotized during the session, I was to meditate at least ten times in the days prior using a pre-recorded meditation provided by Rob. The purpose of this, he said, was for me to get used to the sound of his voice, which, frankly I found a bit creepy. But wanting to give this the best chance of success, I obliged.
The session took place just three days after I returned from my Lone Pine experience, so I was already in a fairly relaxed and open-minded state. I dutifully meditated just prior to the session, and in the minutes leading up to call, I hit the loo, just to be safe.
Then the phone rang, and we began.
It was indeed Rob’s voice, not so creepy sounding as the pre-recorded version. After about 10 minutes of introduction and set-up, in which he asked me to allow any sensations, sounds, images or feelings to occur, without judgment, I had the sudden urge to pee, even though I had just gone maybe 15 minutes before. We paused so I could again relieve myself. For the record, I have no bladder or incontinence issues, so this was strange, but I chalked it up to nervousness.
Back at it, Rob began to hypnotize me, speaking in a measured and calm, almost mechanical, voice (akin to the creepy recording). As I lay there with my eyes closed, he moved me through a tunnel, at the end of which was a bright light, moving back in time. Counting down, moving backward, counting backward, through time. After the countdown, I was to be in an important scene in a past lifetime. When he finished counting, he asked me to describe where I was, what I saw.
Although I didn’t literally see anything, I imagined myself in a room, sunlight streaming through high, dormer-like windows. In a shop of some sort, with work tables or benches. I was the only one there. A woman. Rob asked me to look down at my feet, to tell him what I was wearing on my feet. And the answer that came to mind was brown boots, and looking up from there, white knickers and a work apron.
Back to the tunnel and another time. I was riding a horse in a vast green pasture and approached a small cottage, white with dark brown trim, where I lived. No idea where I was or in what time period. But it seemed a very long time ago. And finally, and to me most strangely, I found myself, in my imagination, on an airfield in Germany, circa early 1900s, a Zeppelin made of silvery-gray material looming overhead, blocking the sun, tethered to the ground. A small group of people clustered about. I was a man, and I was assuring another that everything would be alright.
After that, Rob shifted gears and suggested I summon my spirit guides to help me learn about my mission and about the roles the people (no pets) on my list were to play in my life. If the past lives part of the session had been fuzzy and inconclusive, this part was even more so. What I took away from this part was that I was to share my story and those of others, for the benefit of others. To be authentic. That word, authenticity, kept coming up. I got no read on what the people on my list were here for, or how I was meant to interact, support or shape them.
Strangely enough, shortly after we began, I had that overwhelming urge to pee again, which lasted throughout the two-hour session, distracting me the whole time. I had not had any urgency issues prior to the session. They lingered for a few days, then disappeared. I find that most odd.
So, net/net, I am completely on the fence about the real-ness or value of this session, of this experience. Were those imaginations of my past lives true? I have absolutely no idea. Could I spend time and money on “real” mediums to simulate the experiences Rob described in the case studies in his books? I could but probably won’t. Would I recommend this particular experience to a friend or loved one? Probably not. Would I recommend Rob’s books? I would, to someone who wants to go deeper, someone who is interested in different hypotheses about what is, beyond what we can see.