(Dedication: to the women who have paved the way before me, the women who walk along side me now and to the women who will follow, so many of you have opened your hearts to me and met my spirit with yours, for this I am eternally grateful and blessed. Your courage inspires.)
Gosh it’s been nearly a month since my last post…but if you ration out the number of new siblings I wrote about in the last post, divided by unwritten weeks past, you’ll find the formula fits for consistency. (4/4 = 1, as in 1 post per week).
Last night I had the privilege of attending a group mediation called “Feminine Rising” lead by Dianne Tharp, who was once a resident of Quesnel and worked with locals to bring healing through mindfulness and spirituality. She continues this work still, through her worldly travels and returns here from time to time. I had only heard of her legend, until this weekend, when I was gifted the opportunity to share space with her and other truly amazing women at Dragon Studio.
So what have I been doing, if not writing these past 4 weeks? I have been exploring other creative paths, but have missed this (writing) so much. I am yet again trying to balance out my scale, it’s messy and a bit chaotic, but no less a priority. Which is why I made time for mediation last night, and a walk and ice cream with my son yesterday afternoon, an hour of yoga and a walk with the new pup this morning, and a brief preview of the last three photo sessions I’ve completed in the past week. Sorry, what was that? Photo sessions? Yup…this is where I am currently at.
Not only do we have a new puppy, our old dog Lucy is recovering from recent serious, surgery (and doing well), our seven year old had a gastrointestinal virus the past few days, I have been dealing with my own cough and cold, and my husband has made some very significant discoveries and connections with his own paternal side of the family; I, apparently have begun Sarah Guest Photography.
It has been an exciting time, but I am wading cautiously into these waters that I believe are not shark infested? The only thing I may need to fear is my ability to swim, rather than sink. I can’t help but hear my ego breathing whispered doubts into the cracks of my psyche, who do you think you are to start up your own photography project…you are going to crash and burn AGAIN…you aren’t good enough, professional enough, have the right equipment…you are so erratic right now! And guess what my soul does in return? She sits and listens, but does not believe. She instead calmly replies, She has a passion and her heart wants her to follow it…she is fumbling through to create the balance she needs day to day…I will remind her to stop, get up, forward fold and downward dog, breathe deeply in, exhale slowly out, drink some water…she is good enough, she is professional, it isn’t about the shiny equipment, it is about her heart who sees others and through her lens is able to capture those reflective moments of joy, peace and love between human beings. This is not erratic…it is flourishing growth. It is being. She is in flow with what is.
Dang soul…I was just gonna say shut up you egotistical asshole and hit the mute button?! Well played.
You may wonder how on earth I came to this course of action and so therein lies the story portion of today’s post.
A few days after my last post, I found myself finally driving south to meet with Glenys. A few months prior to that, I had completed two of Brian Weiss’s books about regression therapy and treating trauma and chronic pain. I wondered if there was any way for me to access this type of treatment in the province so I googled it of course. The first regression/hypnotherapist who caught my eye was a woman practicing out of West Kelowna. I thought how convenient, it’s right on the way to Penticton (our second home, where we lived for nearly 20 years). Upon sending an email of inquiry, she was quick to respond.
She explained that she was quite booked and wouldn’t have an opening for me for a few months but went on to explain that she is originally from Quesnel, and was planning to move home once she found the right house. This gave me pause. Again…was this the universe sending me a cosmic connection that was needed for this given time? Ya, I wholeheartedly believe that.
So May 10th at 2pm, I arrived to meet the next significant character in my story, Glenys. She was warm and welcoming, which made her feel safe and familiar. As we began to talk, I couldn’t stifle the feeling that I was actually sitting with Brian Weiss, her foundation so fundamentally similar. Although she wasn’t directly trained by him, she was trained by another regression therapist who continued much of Weiss’s research.
As I sat in the oversized Laz-y-boy chair, we went over my health history and she compassionately remarked, “No wonder you have pain in your body, my dear!” Together we set the intention for the session and I was eager to surrender to her treatment.
I initially was quite specific about what I would ask of my subconscious, just days before our session. I had talked with my biofeedback specialist about the upcoming session for guidance, excitedly telling her, “I am going to ask my subconscious to make me sleep on my back, because sleeping on my side makes my pain worse!” I thought I was brilliant! She smiled and suggested something broader perhaps. Erica reminded me that the subconscious already knows what you need, being narrow with your request may be too specific and thus, less effective for healing. She offered, “What if you asked your subconscious to show you what you most need to know to help you out in this lifetime?” I felt a bit silly. This was so obvious! Why would I micromanage one tiny aspect of my life in a long shot to relieve some of my pain? “Ya, that is a good one…I will go with that thanks!” I replied.
When Glenys and I set our intention, she had the same sentiment and essentially the same words. We were set and ready.
I pulled the lever on the left side of the chair to lift my feet from the ground and slope my body into a comfortable, reclined position. All I remember of going under was how she worked backward through the alphabet…once she got to W, my memory checks out for a bit. The next thing I recall was the sensation of a light switch being flicked off as my body went to sleep, leaving my mind awake and active; subconscious ready to banter with the conscious (and moreover, the ego). Actually it was the other way around. My subconscious sent all types of visual images allowing me to describe what I was experiencing in words to my hypnotherapist. My conscious mind somewhat driven by ego, naysayed the entire time with, this isn’t happening…you’re making this up…well duh, you were just in England so of course this is what you see…and on and on she droned. I began to filter her out ever so slightly. As I did, my vision became stronger and more vivid, like my wedding day or the birth of my son; just another memory.
But not just another memory, because this one was from (get your hat and hold the fuck onto it) a past life. Glenys and I also agreed to do a past life regression; to ask my subconscious to show us the life that would most help me in this lifetime now.
Let me say this, a year ago I would have been fitting myself for a custom straight jacket to be having this experience and non-believers will rationalize along with my very own ego, this was a dream of fiction not an actual reality from another time in history. But spoiler alert: whatever it was, fact or imagination fabrication, in the end it did not matter. That wasn’t the takeaway. The essence was to find a source of resolution and healing, perhaps remove some obstacles that were creating hesitation in my life right now. Did we succeed? A. Resounding. Yes.
Read on, if you’d like the details of my past life regression. If you’re not into this hooey, skip to the last two paragraphs to get the point with much less storytelling and vulnerability (Borrrrring).
I dropped into a scene of picturesque beauty. The back of a female form standing on a hill top of green grass. A blustery north wind sweeping her auburn locks to the South, she stood stock still watching the fjord below like a hawk awaiting her prey to surface. Mist hung in the air, the chill of cold wrapping its arms around her body, as her own arms held opposite elbows just a bit too tightly.
Glenys asked, “Is this you…what are you wearing…what do you see around you?” giving me time to process and answer each question slowly.
It is me! I feel myself drop into this body, once mine long ago. I look down and feel the fabric’s crude, rough knit, it reminds me of a potato sack used for funday races, but larger and longer. I wear simple shoes on my feet made of animal skin. I look to my left and see the hill recede to a small village below in the distance. I turn to my right and note a small round hut made of blackened stone with a thatched roof of stick and grass. There is a door and a tiny window, it is only one room. I am alone, but I am waiting for something, I’m not sure what.
Glenys asks me to move to a significant point at an earlier time in my life.
Suddenly I am in the village below. Sitting in the dirt, again outside another stone hut that I recognize as my childhood home. I am seated next to a ring of stones, a fire burning at it’s centre where my Grandmother cooks our food. I am about 6, my hair is fair and again I am clothed in simple garments of scratchy fabric. I hold a stick in my hand to draw in the dirt.
Glenys asks what I am drawing. Flowers and trees and birds, anything I see. I love to draw. She encourages me with a how nice! Then she asks about my family.
I explain my Mother and Father are not there at the moment, Grandmother watches me mostly. Then I stop, my heart feeling a pang of loss. I have…I mean I had a brother but he died. She acknowledges this painful realization with how sad, I’m sorry for your loss. Do you know what happened?
A tear slips from the corner of my eye as I tell her how he was lost. I was suppose to be watching him, he was only 4, he went in the water and I couldn’t save him, he drown. Then a heavier realization sets in, sitting directly on my chest like a 100 pound burden, making it difficult to breathe. My little brother is my son now in this lifetime! The slow drip of tears turning into a cascade. She kindly places a tissue in my right hand, to mop up the mess I feel accumulating on my face.
The guilt, shame and fear of this loss has followed me into this life now. (In hindsight, I’ve always carried this idea of impending doom of suddenly losing my son, this makes more sense to me now). Glenys asks me if I can understand how this wasn’t my fault, it was an accident and I was only a 6 year old child. She asks if I can forgive myself. With a bit more compassionate coaching she convinces my soul to leave this pain behind, knowing my son is safe with me in this lifetime now. I finally agree to leave that bag where it should have been left all along.
Still crying, she implores me to move to the next significant event. I am back on the hilltop. I look down and see a swollen belly. I tell her how my back aches and my first baby is due soon. My husband is close by and I recognize him instantly. It is my brother from this lifetime (ego, “ew, that’s gross”/soul, “it’s their souls, not their genetic makeup and body”). We care deeply for each other and anticipate the arrival of our first child. He is a fisherman, his name is Aeon. He has a simple wooden boat he mans alone to bring fish to feed our family and to trade in the village below for other goods. I like to draw still, I use charcoal from the fire, sharp rocks or sticks dipped in watery flower petal juice…anything I can to make marks on surfaces like stone and bark. She interjects, that’s nice you are an artist, what do you do with your work? Sheepishly, I explain I do nothing with them, they pile up outside the hut or I throw them into the fire as fuel. I am interrupted rudely from my Madonna revelry by the bleating of a goat.
There she stands tied to a stake next to our hut a cream coloured menace, challenging every last nerve of patience as she punctuates our peaceful existence with constant blats and the occasional head butt. She is a necessary part of our life, giving us an integral part of our diet, but oh how I loathe that bloody goat and I go off on a tangent to Glenys about this pesky creature.
I am moved along, after a gentle chuckle about the goat, “the bane of my existence” were my choice words.
The next substantial stop on this life line has me back at the beginning of where I initially dropped in to meet myself. Standing alone on a windswept hill. My heart rate skyrockets. I feel like I’m having an anxiety attack. With context, I understand why I am witnessing this scene before me. The blanks are now filled in and are threatening to flood my entire body.
My breath quickens as I speak in short quick sentences. They should be back by now. I knew I should have said no. No to what? she implores calmly. He wanted to take him out on the water. I said he was too young. They should be back but they aren’t. Damn I wish the goat would shut up for just a moment! Tears of horror and frustration materialize again. I am reliving the loss of my baby brother whilst simultaneously realizing both my husband and young son will not return to me, in this lifetime.
I continue…the men from the village searched the waters, but the boat and their bodies were never found. What did you do?
I waited. I stopped everything. I waited and I watched. Everyday, this became my life. I felt so angry, guilt-ridden, depressed and isolated. I believed I deserved to suffer alone, so I did. Other than the Goddamn goat, she was all I had. Until…many years later…she died too. That stupid creature! But she was all I had. Tears streamed yet again as I mourned my final companion of this lifetime.
How long did you live like this?
The next two or three decades.
…She fast forwarded me to my end of life. There I sat next to the little fire inside the hut. It was a dark evening and I was an old woman (for those times), I passed peacefully, grateful to leave the regret and sorrow behind and be once again with my loved ones, even the goat.
Here is where her work really began. Glenys is trained to therapeutically manage the trauma of what the subconscious presents. She walked me through a series of screened archways so that I might shed the negative shadows and energy and only bring though the lessons needed from that human existence. I was instructed to leave behind the grief, blame, guilt, trauma, abandonment, hesitation and physical pain. I was asked to bring forward the joy, peace, forgiveness, enlightenment, love, connection, creativity and health. The most difficult archway was to leave my pain behind. I hesitated greatly, as my ego cautioned me, if you leave your pain behind who will you be? It is giving you the space to explore other options right now, do you really want to get rid of it? My honest answer, “Yes but No.” Glenys offered to take my hand and guide me through, and eventually I did, shedding one of its many layers.
When I came back into my body and this time, I felt as if the journey lasted about 10 minutes and was shocked to find I had been under for 2 hours! I felt all the benefits of hypnosis that many patients report: rejuvenated and well rested and completely relaxed. That alone was worth it to me!
But here is what has remained post-past life regression: The urge to create and interact with others to share my passion whether it be writing like this or my photography. These two things had been so challenging for me because of the self-doubt. That cloud has completely dissipated, leaving an open air horizon to breathe into. The patience of parenting my son has shifted. We were out on our kayaks on Mother’s Day (two days after my session) when he suddenly began to panic, my old self got frustrated and began to tell him to get over it, than my wiser self took over and remembered the water trauma, the light switch was flicked again and I told him it was okay and we took him back to shore, there he calmed down instantly and apologized. He wanted to be out there but there was something buried deep that was interfering and I respected that.
Last week when I picked him up from school, he jumped in the car and greeted me with the oddest words, “Hey Sissy!” I turned at him in shock, realizing just then, that he calls me this or “Sis” often. I just thought he was being weird, cause he totally is, which is why I love him so. Yet I now choose to believe his soul recalls something from our intersecting pasts.
I am definitely more open and just plain ok with not knowing what all is still to come. The abundance of blessings just seems to be streaming into our lives at a fever pitch and I can’t help but feel like I’ve done the work to be ready to go there and receive it. Feel and believe I am worthy of these gifts.
I have begun to let go of compartmentalizing my life into these tiny neat packages. Check this box and move along, check that box and turn the page, check this box and sign here. I am moving into a stage where possibilities feel bountiful and scarcity is only a smoke and mirrors act our egos use to keep us from growing, learning and facing our true selves. My scale keeps shifting from left to right, up and down again, but the less I impose through adding, subtracting and strategizing the more it seems to balance itself. My intuition has found its true north and I am pacing toward it. When another thing is added onto my scale I surrender to where it is placed and how it is positioned. The frame of how, why and what should be done in any particular critical move is either gonna flex and give or disintegrate once it is broken down completely, allowing me to be frameless.