three of my past lives
Workshop leader Nina, who was also a qualified hypnotherapist, made sure that we were comfortably seated and then led us through a gentle relaxing meditation until we reached a deep, almost trance-like state. The only sound was Nina’s voice, which seemed to be coming from a long way away.
She invited us to picture a corridor with many doors along it, all different. Behind each door, she told us, was a different life that we had experienced and she told us to choose one of the doors and when we were ready to open it and go through.
In my first ‘life’ after passing through a heavy door, I immediately found myself on a flower-studded hillside, picking a posy and enjoying warm sunshine. To Nina’s gentle promptings I looked down at myself and saw that I was bare-foot and dressed in a simple cloth garment that was tied at the waist. I knew I was a young girl – perhaps twelve years old, maybe a little older.
I came over the top of a grassy hillock and looked down into the valley where I could see my village, but there was much more smoke than usual gushing from the roofs of the primitive dwelling houses that comprised it. I started to run towards my home but a sound stopped me and I looked round to see a boy that I knew waving wildly.
‘Don’t go down there!’ he cried, ‘The invaders have burned the houses and killed our people. We must wait until dark.’ He signalled me to follow him and we made our way further up the hill along with the flock of sheep that he tended. We crept back after dark, and as he had warned, we found our people lying dead among the smoking ruins. The boy set about dragging the bodies to the river and cast them in while I looked around for food.
The next day we hid again as voices could be heard approaching, but it was only a group of survivors from a neighbouring village that had also been plundered.
The scene shifted to a much later time and we had made new friends of the strangers and rebuilt some of the houses. The women taught me to cook and sew and I found that I was pregnant with the shepherd boy’s child. When it was time the women helped me deliver the child and all in all I found motherhood a very happy experience.
However the story had a very sad ending because one day I had left my child asleep indoors while I went up on the hill to gather berries. A ghastly repetition of the previous attack began to replay and I could see a band of men riding through our village setting fire to the dwellings.
Cowering behind a bush I watched as they set my own home alight before galloping off in a cloud of dust. I hastened back to find my worst fears realised – my baby was dead and all my friends and family were gone. I was alone. I opened my eyes then, and waited for the rest of the group to do likewise.
Nina came round to us in turn and when I described my experience she told me that, sad though it was, reliving this experience would somehow mark an end to the guilt I had been living with for being a survivor after my son’s fatal accident. She told me this was a very common emotion after the death of a loved one. The message I had learned was ‘It’s OK to survive.’
the poor child
After a break we came back to our seats for the next session. This time I found myself once more barefoot and ragged, but on a cold, wet cobbled street. I was a skinny pathetic child with a tray of matches which passers by bought for small dirty brown coins. Hanging onto my arm was a very old, blind man, hunched and crippled, with a stick in his other hand. When my tray was empty we made our way down a narrow grimy alleyway to a dark, smelly and dingy room where the money was taken from us in exchange for a bowl of thin, tasteless but steaming hot soup. I fell asleep on a pile of rags before waking up and found myself back in Nina’s room.
When it was my turn to describe my experience Nina suggested that I had reached my present life without releasing what she called ‘poverty consciousness’, but that it was now time to let it go. I realised that I had indeed always suffered from a fear of being penniless, even though I had never been poor. This had often deterred me from enjoying myself through worrying about how much I was spending.
I was delighted to bring this subconscious hang up to the front of my mind and release it. From that day to this if I find myself asking ‘can I afford that?’ I immediately remind myself that the Universe will provide me with whatever I need! And never again have I felt the fear of being broke.
the peaceful end
In the previous two sessions one or two participants apparently experienced their own deaths although I had not. I reasoned that perhaps I was scared of the thought, so I had avoided it. I wondered if I too would experience my death from a previous life.
In the final session after lunch I again found myself as a young girl but this time I was well dressed in a dark green velvet riding habit. I was standing in a forest glade beside my beautiful white pony and with me was a handsome young man, also in riding gear. I was flirting and laughing and I knew I was completely smitten by him!
But when I got back to my beautiful home I was sent to my room and could hear voices below talking about me. I knew that I had been forbidden to see this man.
In the next scene I was being taken by carriage to a nunnery. After the great doors closed behind me I was stripped of my fine clothes and given a plain, coarsely woven gown to put on. Being sent there had clearly been a punishment for defying my elders and I lived my whole life behind those doors.
However I found peace and happiness with my new lot because other girls were brought to the convent and I was always the one to help them. I became a wise and respected counsellor in that place and as I grew old I gained the love and respect of everyone in the convent. In my old age I eventually became the Lady Abbess.
At the end of my life, as I lay on my death bed I was surrounded by people who loved me and I slipped away into my next life a content and peaceful person.
My fear of death gently floated away during this experience and I now see it as a time when I will be reunited with all my loved ones who have gone before me.
I tell those who scoff at such an idea that they will get a lovely surprise when their time to pass over comes.