Updated: Jul 24, 2019
Where do we come from? Where are we going?
Late one night in May I was on YouTube watching videos on spirituality and the Chakras, gearing up to lead a discussion on those things during an upcoming yoga teacher training session. By chance I stumbled upon videos about past-life regression, watching practitioners guide people to remember past lives while under hypnosis. It was fascinating to watch! They asked questions like, “look down at your feet. Are you wearing shoes? What do they look like?”. There was no baiting or interference—the practitioner simply acted as a guide to help a person remember who they were in a past life. “Okay”, I thought. This is something I can get down with.
If you’re new to this concept of past lives, the general idea is that we’ve all lived before. The term “old soul” implies someone who’s lived many different lifetimes, but in reality, we most likely all have. Dolores Cannon, who discovered and cultivated the QHHT (Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique) method for past life regression, had clients recall lives where they were rocks, trees, animals (one woman recalled a life as a chicken and remembered dying in a tornado!), and beings from other planets. The latter could mean that reincarnation isn’t just limited to earth, but may be a galactic process. Whoa!
There are a few different approaches to past life regression, but the one I feel most drawn to is QHHT, because it uses the hypnosis session as a tool to help you in your current life, and it acknowledges that this life is the most important—because it’s the one you’re living RIGHT NOW.
Before learning about QHHT, the idea of hypnosis freaked me out a little bit. When I was in my early 20’s, a date took me to a comedy club for a hypnosis show. The audience participants volunteered to go on stage and were made to cluck like a chicken or bark like a dog by the hypnotist. I didn’t like the idea that someone could have that kind of control over me. During my QHHT session it was reinforced many times that I could end the session whenever I wanted—that I was in complete control. My session was also recorded so I could listen to it afterwards.
Even though I was a little skeptical and nervous, I felt ready to take the plunge and book a session. After just one session I had amazing breakthroughs discovering the habits and beliefs that are holding me back right now. Some of the memories I uncovered explain the passions, joys, and challenges I face in this lifetime. The healing I experienced inspired me so much that I’ve signed up to take the Level One practitioner course this Fall!
The first half of my hypnosis session was spent exploring past lives, and in the last half he interviewed my subconscious. Say what? Yes, he interviewed my subconscious. Before my session he recommended that I come up with a list of questions I wanted answered by my subconscious. How cool is that?
The subconscious is the part of your brain you can only get access to through lots of meditation or being put under hypnosis. It remembers everything that’s ever happened to you in your life in perfect, unedited detail. We all have habits or tendencies that keep us stuck in patterns which result in suffering. Might it be possible to get answers from my past lives to be more at peace in this one? Some of the questions I asked included:
Why do I struggle with letting go of control in certain situations?
Am I on the right path? Is there anything I need to give up to fulfill my purpose here on earth?
What role do the creative arts play in my life?
Our session began with an interview and lasted over an hour. That part put me at ease about the impending journey! We reviewed my questions together, both as a way for him to understand what I sought from my session, and also to help my subconscious pick the best lifetimes that would answer my questions.
After our conversation, I got comfortable and was guided into a hypnotic state. Going under was fairly easy for me, and felt like being deeply relaxed in Yoga Nidra. Is that because I meditate and practice yoga? I’m not sure. But they do say the less active your “monkey mind” is, the easier it is to go under, and I know my yoga practice helps me with that!
In the spirit of vulnerability (not gonna lie…I’m nervous to share this) and in the hopes it might inspire you, the two lifetimes I visited are below. I experienced these with real feeling, emotion, and vivid imagery. Your subconscious may guide you to any life lived (not necessarily your earliest) so long as it helps answer your questions. In each life I made four stops:
move forward to an important day in that life
another important day
the day I died.
The “landing” bit is where you enter the lifetime you are visiting. You can arrive in any point in that life…as a baby, kid, or as an adult. It feels like a picture that comes together slowly, visually, in your mind. After that, the images pour in more quickly. Sometimes you’re viewing it from the perspective of yourself. Other times you see yourself from the outside. At the end of each lifetime, he asked me what the purpose of that life was, and why it was shown to me. I was aware of what I was saying almost the entire time. After you visit one life, you can choose to move forward or backward to visit another. In some sessions, practitioners lead you through three lives. I only visited two.
Young Girl in German Speaking Country, mid-late 16th century
As I landed in this lifetime, as I floated into it I noticed I was entering an old city situated in the mountains. I looked down at my feet and saw I was wearing shoes with pointy toes, and I was standing on cobblestones. I could see everything very clearly: I was a little girl in a market square and the buildings around me were all tall—half-timbered with reddish tile roofs. I felt very happy, playing with my friends, running in and out of different stalls where vendors sold food and goods. It was cool outside, and I was wearing a wool coat. There were no automobiles or signs of modern technology.
My home was located next to a canal, a tall stone building with a staircase that led to a door which to me seemed incredibly tall, probably because I was little. I walked through the front door and into a dark red hallway. There was no electricity, but there were candles. A big fire was built in the hearth, and I went into the kitchen to see if dinner was ready yet. A servant warmly shooed me away and, speaking in German, and said that dinner wasn’t ready yet! I went through the dining room—there was a big table that could seat 8-10 people, and the walls were covered in a dark brown wood with some ornamentation. In the next room over, my mother sat next to a window ( I said to my practitioner that “she looked very serene”—I’ve never used that word before!), peacefully doing needlework.
When it came time for dinner my father joined us. He had been upstairs working on scrolls and was wearing a very frilly collar. My mother and father were dressed formally. It later came to me that he was involved in government on some level, and also held the status of “count”. We ate a dinner of sausages, some green vegetable I was not fond of, and fresh bread.
Moving forward to an important day….
I was being given away on my wedding day. I felt nervous and scared…about 16 or 17 years old? It was an arranged marriage and I was riding with my mother and father to the cathedral in a carriage. Everyone was well-dressed and the men and women wore wigs. The men wore frilly collars and the women, big dresses. Everyone else seemed happy! I felt deeply nervous and hesitant. My groom was handsome though, and a priest wed us. I was wearing a very tight corset and was dying to take it off! It was so uncomfortable (When I was under hypnosis I could feel the tightness constricting my ability to breathe).
Moving forward to another important day…
My body felt much older. I was sitting in a wheel chair in a large room in my own home, with tall ceilings covered in artwork. Some were family portraits and others were of hunting scenes and still life. I was looking at the artwork in regret that I hadn’t continued making art after having my four(!) children. My hands could no longer paint or do needlework.
My dying day….
I was laying in my bed surrounded by family (I began crying while under hypnosis). This had been a very good life. I had a nice home, a family who I loved, and I experienced profound sadness that it was time to leave. I knew it was time to leave, but I was still very sad.
What was the purpose of this life?
To experience having a family and understand the dynamic of duty to family versus my own passions. I didn’t get to follow my dream of being an artist. I chose duty over passion.
Why was this lifetime shown to me?
To remind me how important art is in my life and to take joy in creating it, and to show me I had a family of my own at one point, and that its okay that I’m childless in this one.
Commander in the British Royal Navy, American Revolution
It was foggy. For a moment I was worried I had slipped out of hypnosis and into nothingness. My practitioner asked me to look down at me feet and tell him what I saw…then I saw boots! My body felt male. My boots were leather and, and I was wearing a long, dark blue coat with shoulder pads. On my head I wore what I called a “triangle” hat and it was itchy! I was on a boat heading somewhere to check on something. At first it wasn’t entirely clear to me if I was a merchant sailor or in the military, but after walking around on the boat, it became clear that I was in the Navy.
I had a small private cabin on the boat with a bed, desk and a chair. There was a candle on my desk next to some papers and books. I was in my late 20’s or early 30’s. I knew I wasn’t a crew member, but I wasn’t the commander yet either…my rank was in the middle.
Moving forward to an important day…
This scene opened in a port town, I’m guessing 5 years later? I felt very frustrated (my voice dropped in the recording and became very masculine). The people in this town were rebelling, and my orders as Commander was to restore order. There was chaos and people injured, and buildings on fire. I felt conflicted—upset on one hand that I was made to use violence to restore order, but also a deep sense of duty to my country. It was intense!
Moving forward to another important day…
I am so much happier now and in my early 50’s, retired and sitting in the garden with my wife in the English countryside. We have a nice small house and I feel very content with this simpler way of life. I’m still involved with the Navy but only as a formality. I have a daughter in her 20’s, and an older son in the military, but we aren’t very close because I traveled so much for duty. The regret I carry for that is palpable.
My dying day….
Not long after that day, I died. I became violently sick with some kind of fever and was in a dark room with people taking care of me. I remember there wasn’t anything anyone could do for me. They were just making me feel comfortable.
What was the purpose of this life?
To cultivate leadership, experience duty and hard work