Growing up with a mental illness I know all too well the crushing effects of diagnoses. You are handed a set of behavior patterns, personality traits and future predictions based solely on your label. You define yourself as such and create your life in line with it. In the process self-exploration ceases, bigger dreams of achievement dim and your self-evolution gets narrowed down to managing your illness. I lived from this limited perspective for years. I took consolation in that I had achieved a stable emotional state but deep down I knew there was more to living then stability. Empowered by a holistic psychiatrist at age 20, I began to explore who I was beyond my diagnosis and to develop more life-affirming aspects of myself. An amazing sixteen-year journey followed which was filled with healing from self-judgment, cultivating self-awareness and shifting my life target from surviving to thriving. What did I learn along the way? Question everything. Never settle for what someone tells you is so. Seek out those with useful information who empower and inspire you; but know that you are the only one with the power to change your life. And most importantly, things are not always what them seem.
You’re Not Crazy. You’re Remembering.
My belly flutters. I wonder what we’re going to explore today? As I sit in Dr. P’s waiting room I remember my hesitation at seeing a therapist again, but my chiropractor suggested I come. My neck adjustments aren’t holding and she thinks it’s because of unresolved emotional issues.
So I consent to go and quickly discover that Dr. P and her “Energy Psychology” are very different from the talk therapy I did for years. I don’t run circles in my mind anymore. Instead, something very different happens here.
My reflection is interrupted as Dr. P opens her office door, “Lauren, I’m ready for you.” Her red curls bounce as she turns around, inviting me to follow. I smile as I enter her office. Between the orange leather couch and shag rug I feel like I’ve stepped back into the ‘70s.
“How’s it going?” Dr. P asks.
“Okay. I’ve been thinking a lot about my need to stay hidden. I always thought this came from having a bipolar diagnosis. I didn’t want people to know I was crazy. I thought if I hid I would be safer from judgment. I’m really ready to change this. I don’t want to stay hidden. Can we clear this?”
“Of course we can. Let’s start with some NET and go from there.”
Dr. P uses a variety of different tools in our work together. NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) uses muscle testing to tap into my body’s knowledge. It helps us identify—and release—the emotions I’m holding in my body, from the past decades and even from past lifetimes!
This approach is a real stretch for me: past lives? I had learned about reincarnation in yoga and even though this is weird, I’m seeing shifts already in our short time together. My mind is more relaxed and I’m discovering that my body is really wise.
Dr. P also uses tools from Access Consciousness™. In our first session together she introduced me to something called the “Light/Heavy Tool.” She asked me questions and then invited me to tune into the energy in my body and in the space around me: did I feel light or heavy? A “light” sensation is a ‘yes’ or a truth for me. A “heavy” sensation is a ‘no’ or an un-truth.
After decades of seeing doctors who claimed to know more than me and told me what was going on with my body, I’m now learning how to listen to what my body and I know. I’m being asked the questions. I’m the one finding out what is true for me. I’m becoming my own expert on me.
Dr. P sits next to me and invites me to hold my arm out straight. Using the NET technique she alternates between asking questions and gently pressing down on my arm. My arm either stays in place or it falls down. This is the NET version of the Light and Heavy tool.
“So repeat after me, ‘It's safe for me to be seen.’” I repeat this statement and she pushes gently down on my arm. My arm falls.
She asks more questions and we discover that all of this is connected to a past life where it wasn’t safe for me to be seen.
“So what comes up for you? What are you aware of?” Dr. P asks.
“Mmm…,” I pause. I have a sense of something, but it’s not from this lifetime. How could that be? Am I making it up? I share with her what I’m aware of, “It feels like I was killed or sent away when I was seen.”
“Okay,” Dr. P nods, as though all of this is very normal and not make-believe. “Were you doing something or being something you weren’t supposed to?”
I smile at the answer that pops in my head. Do I dare say this out loud? “I was a witch. Or at least they thought I was one.”
“And what happened?”
“I was sent away.”
“So what happens when you are seen?”
“I get ostracized and sent away.”
We sit in silence for a moment, looking at each other. Then Dr. P continues with asking questions, testing my arm strength, and touching specific points on my body that help release the blocked emotion and memories from this past lifetime.
We continue on for a while and then she has me say again, “It’s safe to be seen.” This time when I repeat the statement my arm stays strong. Finally, I’m willing to be seen. No more hiding. No more being blocked by this past lifetime.
“How do you feel?”
“Good. Lighter. It’s still strange for me to talk like this: about past lifetimes and being aware of different energies, like we talked about last time. But so much of what we talk about is also so familiar…” I pause as I realize how all that we have talked about is so “light” and true for me.
“But every time I told the doctors about these things—the whispers and the wind and even that experience with the thunderstorm I told you about—they told me it was all part of my craziness.”
Dr. P looks right into my eyes and says, “Lauren, you weren’t crazy. You were remembering. There’s a difference.”
I stop breathing; the certainty of her words grab my breath away. I wasn’t crazy. I was remembering. This feels light to me.
“So I was remembering…?”
“Yes. You were—and are—remembering the gifts you had from past lifetimes. You once knew how to communicate with these energies and ‘whispers’. You once knew that communion with the trees and land around you was natural, instinctual. You once had capacities—or skills—for hearing the truth of what was going on for someone beyond the words they said. The mismatch between those—the words and energies—probably had you feel crazy in this lifetime!”
“You weren’t crazy though. You never were. You were remembering all these gifts you had but you didn’t have any way of knowing how to use them. It’s like you were a sculptor with all these blocks of clay—all this raw material—but you had no tools to shape it or work with it.”
“Wow,” I whisper. This is so different from what any of the other doctors has ever told me. Yet it feels so light.
“I’d like to learn more. I kind of want to go and get a book about witches.”
“There are bookstores full of this stuff, especially in San Francisco. I say go for it, Lauren. No one hunts witches anymore. No one will come and take you away. It is safe for you to explore. It is safe to be seen, remember? Why don’t you go check out some books and see what you find out?”
I float out of her office, knowing exactly where I’m going next. With her permission, I’m going to explore.