On September 9th, I headed to Seattle, WA. I knew that, compared to Atlanta, the Northwest tended to be cloudy, misty, and rainy. But, I wasn’t prepared for the magnificence of what I found – a lush North American rain forest.
Little did I know that the visual impact was just the tip of the iceberg. Soon, I’d find myself enraptured by my inner frontiers – ready to be explored, promising a lushness and magnificence beyond my wildest imagination.
Guess, I’d better start at the beginning.
Many years ago, a good friend gave me Brian Weiss’s book Many Lives, Many Masters. Brian is a traditionally trained psychiatrist (Columbia and Yale) and at the time, he was of the opinion that re-incarnation was folklore. Then he met Catherine. During hypnosis, she took him on the adventures of her past lives.
Since his first book, published in 1988, Brian has documented memories of thousands of individuals. The stories are fascinating, fully reminding us of the intensity of our human experiences, emotions, and spirits.
With the keen understanding of a psychiatrist, Brian also reveals how these memories, long ago recorded in our unconsciousness, impact our thoughts, emotions and actions in the present. A simple example will help.
When I was seven, I was sick with a severe infection and my mother took me to the doctor. The next thing I knew, a nurse came into the room; she had red hair and wore a white coat. She gave me a shot in the big muscles of my butt, it hurt like the dickens. As I cried, mother comforted me, and all was forgotten when we got ice cream.
The next 2 days, we had the same routine – doctor’s office, nurse, white coat, red hair, painful shot, comforting, ice cream.
Fast forward to me at 28, a systems analyst working for a large corporation. Our division had gathered to meet the new Vice President; and we were eager to meet her. Walking into the room, she had red hair and was wearing a white coat. I whispered to my friend “I’m not going to like her.”
My conscious mind had no idea. But, my memory remembered.
Brian, along with many scientists and practitioners, understand my reaction. They have seen the power of hypnotherapy to find emotional memories that have a much greater impact on our lives than my comment to my friend. And more importantly, they have created compassionate ways to transform past conclusions that no longer work for us, into new perspectives and choices.
In my simple example, my 7 year-old’s conclusion of “woman + red hair + white = pain”, in awareness, gets transformed into “Life is filled with new people and possibilities.”
Now, back to Seattle and the new frontiers. My curiosity, work, and passion led me to attend an intensive, seven day, training retreat to learn Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy at the Wellness Institute. Stepping off the plane, I knew I was eager to learn a new technique, tool. And, I felt an underlying curiosity wondering what I would discover about myself, and my life’s hidden stories.
As with all new frontiers, it’s the easiest to describe the outer one. The beautiful retreat center, the full days of learning and practicing, delicious meals, the range of what I learned, and, of course, the diverse group of new friends.
However, it’s the most difficult to put into words, how the inner frontier felt. The elation of learning. The trepidation of doing hypnotherapy for the first time. The deep trust and compassion for myself and others. The sheer joy of feeling connected to life. The peace of understanding. And, the ability to share me more deeply and to love, more.
Now, as I’m lost deep in feeling, I wonder “Where is my inner poet when I need her?” “Adventuring along the paths of the inner frontier,” she whispers back. And sends me to Rumi.
This is now. Now is. Don’t postpone till then. Spend the spark of iron on stone. Sit at the head of the table.
Dip your spoon in the bowl. Seat yourself next to your joy and have your awakened soul pour wine.
Branches in the spring wind, easy dance of jasmine and cypress. Cloth for green robes has been cut from pure absence.
You’re the tailor, settled among his shop goods, quietly sewing.
Rumi, the Book of Love, p. 24 Translated by Coleman Barks
Thanks for reading,