Are you on a journey of spiritual development? If you’re looking at your life thinking you need something more, something deeper, then I urge you to read this post. It’s meant to give you a broader perspective into your soul growth and provides exercises that will support your quest for self-realization.
Self-Realization: In Search of the Bigger Perspective
There are many ways to achieve self-realization, self-actualization, self-awareness, and enlightenment. The most effective ways will include facing uncomfortable self-discovery and taking difficult steps. As the saying goes, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it!
I’ve set about doing some deep personal work, and as a teacher and spiritual counselor, I want to share my insights and encourage those of you who are ready to join me. My personal pathway includes a lot of past life recall as a primary method of knowing myself. In my 30+ years of experiencing and facilitating past life regressions, I find that this process is the most direct in delivering self-knowledge.
There is an important point about past life memories to share with you. They are no different from “this life” memories, except that we forget them more easily. It is as simple as that. We are now understanding that all time is happening right now; all the moments of our existence sit in stasis like frames on a filmstrip.
No one takes them away. We weren’t created with some secret vault to keep us from accessing our memories. No one stands guard to keep us away. And, it is not a sin to remember who we are and what we have done. (I’ve actually heard that. Funny thing is, it came from someone who claimed they didn’t believe in reincarnation, but also believed that remembering one’s past lives would be a sin. Do you sense a contradiction?) Moving on….
Our soul desperately wants us to be fully aware, evolved, conscious, and authentically expressed. It speaks to us, pleads with us, through pain, illness, syndromes, anxiety, depression, addiction, frustration, boredom, and on and on. It’s screaming “Wake Up! Wake Up!” “Be Magnificent! Be Whole!”
It reaches out to us, as in Michelangelo’s painting, Creation of Adam. We simply have to do our part to complete the connection.
But we do this to ourselves. We forget, we block, we put up walls. We work so very hard at it, and it costs a lot of energy to keep this shield in place. We also spend a lot of time simply not paying attention. How much of this present life has already been forgotten or has not even found a place in the memory banks because we weren’t present at that moment anyway?
Think in terms of the opposite of mindfulness. If you are not mindful of the events and environment of this present moment, how are you to recall it at a later date, especially if that later date is a few hundred years in the future?
We are each one soul having a continuous experience. We have one existence, separated by the transition gates of entering or exiting the physical experience, but remain a living soul throughout it all, even the time in between. Yet, the result of this lack of awareness and forgetfulness is disastrous for our souls. And why is that, you might ask?
- Forgetting keeps us fragmented and small, thinking that this little me here on planet Earth, in this time frame defined by this one gateway of birth and death, is as good and as powerful as it gets.
- We are separated from the whole of our Being, alone, floating, untethered. It is like being one facet on a diamond, and not participating in the brilliance of the whole stone.
- We lose the wisdom and knowledge gained in all those other aspects of ourselves, all the hard-earned lessons wasted.
- It is harder to have any clear and true sense of purpose and mission.
- We lack the grander perspective of our role in history, our character, personality, relationships, talents, and lessons.
- We forget that our enemy in this lifetime was once our best friend or beloved child. We don’t understand the undercurrent of animosity with a loved one, because we are unaware of the lifetimes when they betrayed, killed, or abandoned us….or worse, we did harm to them.
- And most importantly, we fail to know ourselves.
What steps can you take to prepare yourself for deep transformation and soul growth? Do you feel disconnected, fragmented, untethered? Have you forgotten your Self? Do you long for self-realization and a strong connection to your greater soul?
- Write a journal entry on what you sense about your connection to your Higher Self. Is it strong? Weak? Missing? Blocked?
- How much do you know about yourself, your past lives, your soul purpose?
- What reasons or emotions do you know of or can imagine, that contribute to the walls that prevent you from fully remembering the details of your past lives? (Fear, playing small, hiding, don’t want to feel pain or negativity, others will judge you, don’t want to look at harm you have caused, could misuse your power, too much may be required of you, you would have greater responsibility….)
- What could you do now to prepare yourself for a positive transformation that would take you to a grander perspective of yourself and your purpose? (Strengthen your courage, for instance.)
- Write a list of all the fears you have that prevent you from stepping into greater transformation.
Playing Hide and Seek with Yourself
“It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” – Marianne Williamson
As self-awareness is a cornerstone of spiritual growth, it will require that we see and embrace all parts of ourselves. Some of you have surely experienced the feeling of disconnection, fragmentation, and being untethered from your soul and purpose. So why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we separate and forget who we are?
Hiding from Yourself
Have you ever said something you really wish you hadn’t? Have you ever hurt so bad that you just want everything to go away? Have you had a relationship go bad and wanted to just forget it ever happened? Have you been so focused on one thing that you forgot all about something else?
We know that the answer to those questions is a rousing YES! Most lives have good times and bad times, so the key is to be strong enough to face whatever is there—pain, grief, embarrassment, betrayal, lack of character and virtue, poor choices, obsessions, and distractions.
Awareness: Seeking Yourself
Self-awareness is the pathway back to the god-head, your Higher Self, the completeness of your Soul.
Ignoring the negative only allows it to grow way out of proportion to reality. It becomes a monster that must be avoided at all costs, too raw and tender to touch, too dangerous to even acknowledge. It’s the bully on the playground who would back down if you would simply stand up to him. But you don’t, and it grows into an ominous presence.
Avoiding the negative aspects of yourself keeps you from connecting fully to your higher consciousness and becoming integrated with your greater soul.
If you don’t feel strong enough to face the truth of all of who you are, then that’s where you start. Just like any journey, you simply start where you are and take the first step. As scary as that may seem, I can assure you the alternative is far worse, as not facing yourself can lead to:
- Maintaining the status quo––and we know how that has been going…
- Not ever really achieving enlightenment or even really waking up
- Not having good intuitive skills––how can you if you only allow yourself to see half of the truth?
- Having all sorts of quirks and illnesses show up due to your subconscious effort to get you to see things
- Letting your soul wither away and your consciousness shrink. Remember that the entire universe is in a process of entropy, even your soul. Unless you put in enough effort to not only keep up with entropy but overcome it, your soul is indeed withering and shrinking.
- Being blown around, untethered, directionless, and lacking purpose
The anecdote to separating from your Self is to embrace all of you.
Admit that you are flawed, confess that you have no doubt done some evil at some point. Realize that each of those deeds was the result of a decision point, based on some perspective, philosophy, emotion, or reaction that needs to be revealed and resolved in order for you to not repeat it again and again. The pathway to becoming Whole is to work through it, not try to skirt around it.
As hard as it is, facing the truth is a richer, more rewarding journey. It’s about walking the path to your own purpose, to gain your own rewards of self-awareness, connection, and wholeness. We know that it’s easier with a guide, a companion, a peer. We all need someone in our lives to “bounce things off of”, hold us accountable, and bring a different perspective into awareness.
A valuable way to start the process of opening up to realizing more of you is to create a Book of Shadows. The purpose is to admit, reveal, expose, and confess, both the shadows and illuminations of your character. Feel free to keep it very private. This is your solo work, and your soul work.
Here are the instructions for creating yours:
- In a journal, create a list of your Shadows. Take a hard and merciless view of your weaknesses, failures, and deficiencies. Such entries may include jealousy, hatred, vindictiveness, gossiping, indifference, laziness, uneven temperament, breaches in integrity, contradictions in philosophy, hypocrisy, giving away too much of yourself, being nice rather than honest, or putting other things ahead of your integrity, etc.
- Create a list of your Illuminations. Again, objectively list all your successes, strengths, and positive attributes. These may include enthusiasm, courage, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, achievements, boundaries, sacred selfishness, generosity, values, virtues, etc. It is important to elaborate on these lists, adding to them whenever new characteristics are observed.
- The full extent of the advantages of this exercise will only become known through experience.
What have you learned about yourself? What surprised you? What are you determined to change about yourself? ….and when?
Exposing and witnessing these darker aspects of yourself is the hardest part of gaining self-awareness. And sometimes it is just as hard to honestly admit your illuminations. Ease into it, or jump into it, and know that it gets more fun from here.
Remember: You will be able to read my experiences of discovering my past lives, but you don’t get the real fun of personal growth for yourself if you aren’t willing to do the work that goes with it. I didn’t make this rule––it’s just what it is.
Focus: Deeper Insights through Past Lives
As I covered in the early part of this post, a direct route to self-realization and awareness is through past life regression. We’ve also covered why we forget parts of ourselves and worked through exercises to reveal and reconnect to even more of who we are, courageously and honestly.
So, now it’s time to revisit the exploration of your past lives. There are many ways to approach this quest, so let me share a little about how I went about preparing for a major past-life sabbatical in search of meaning, purpose, and my Self.
In my preparations for my sabbatical, an excursion to Scotland and Ireland where I connected with many of my past lives, I realized that I needed a focus. If I were to simply download all memories, it would be a massively overwhelming mishmash of data.
Imagine for a moment that you thought about cooking, and immediately every single fact, measurement, recipe, and ingredient in your entire consciousness flooded your mind all at once. It really wouldn’t be that helpful. When you are cooking and want to make a masterpiece apple pie, your mind chunks it down to just the relevant ingredients, tools, and techniques that you will need to accomplish that task.
In the same way, if every detail about every moment I have ever experienced were to flood into my consciousness, it would be overwhelming and not at all useful. Plus, it would take lifetimes to sort it all out.
Realizing I needed a focus, it was important to use my innate filtering processes which we all have and use, plus my conscious direction, to hone in on a more specific area of my life. In this way, I was not going to get a flood of memories about all the times I swept the floor, drank a pint, sharpened a sword, or stubbed my toes. I really am more interested in other more important events in my personal history.
So what would be my focus? What would be most valuable to my life and soul?
For each individual, this will depend on the hierarchy of their personal values.
A couple of years ago I had participated in a retreat where I discovered and explored a past life that fascinated me. The essence of that memory was as follows:
I saw myself as a two-year-old girl, running up and slamming my body against my mother’s knee, giggling, and wanting to be included in the conversation she was having with her mother, my grandmother. They were both healers in the Middle Ages who used their herbs, tinctures, and energy to heal, deliver babies, and perform other such needs in the community. I watched them plant and dry herbs, and observed as they diagnosed and treated their patients. I was inspired and, over time, given more and more tasks to assist them.
I grew up in this educational environment and developed my own abilities. Not only did I learn to heal as they did, but I also developed a way to read and heal on the astral, etheric, and spiritual levels, as well as on the physical.
As I was considering what to focus on during my trip to Ireland and Scotland, my first thought was to clearly recall those abilities that I had in that Middle Ages lifetime. I wanted to not only know that I had those abilities, but to bring them alive in me once again, and thoroughly integrate those skills into my work here.
There are two ways we can explore our past lives:
- Observation: A sightseeing tour of a past life to collect data about events, relationships, occupation, and so forth.
- Integration: A deeper examination that allows the knowledge, wisdom, emotions, and experiences to change the nature and perceptions of the person, increasing density in the auric field and wholeness/oneness with the greater soul.
While I was eager to regain those past life skills, I had to ask myself: for what purpose? Why did I want that to be my focus? I don’t identify myself as a healer, so while I wanted to regain those forgotten skills, I was also curious how that fits into my soul purpose.
When we use the word focus, it implies honing in on a singular point. While we often find that we have two contradictory thoughts, two opposing values, two divergent foci for energy and intention, those make us a divided house.
I went back to the drawing board and reconsidered my focus.
During that same retreat years ago, I identified three core themes of my other known lives. This was a concern for me, too, as it was not one, but three.
Was I divided? Was I less potent because my lifetimes took me in different directions with various foci and intentions? The answer to those questions would unfold for me after I returned from Ireland and Scotland, and I will reveal it to you in due time.
Hub and Spoke Aspects
First, let’s define “aspect”. Countenance, appearance, to look at or observe. We use it in this context to capture the essence of potentialities stretching through lifetimes. It reveals your character as it is carried through various sets of circumstances that are presented in each life, showing facets of your character.
For instance, imagine you, with your character and values, living in ancient Egypt in 1500 BCE, and then in Ireland 300 CE, and then in France in 1500 CE, and again now. Same character and values navigating through a wide range of circumstances such as politics, rules, society, plagues, wars, parents and families, class, and even different genders. The more we explore ourselves in these various circumstances, the more we realize the details and nuances of our character.
We each have aspect fields. We are experiencing one right now, with a string of lifetimes (we call facets) that are revealing the various characteristics of who you are.
We also have what are called “hub” facets, like the hub of a wheel. That facet of you that is the hub would be the one who determines your purpose and direction, making the decisions and leading the way. Other lifetimes (facets) that relate to that purpose, energy, and direction are considered spokes. Those “spoke” lifetimes are meant to support that purpose and direction, yet sometimes they slack off or go in other directions.
I suppose you can think of this like either you are a team player, or you are rebelling, pulling away, cowering, wandering, resisting, etc. Of course, it is always best when all the lifetimes pertaining to that hub are moving in the same purposeful direction.
There can be more than one hub, although it would seem to be more advantageous to narrow them down to one purpose and direction, to focus all the energy of your soul like a laser with potency rather than disbursing it like an incandescent bulb.
As I relay in my account of the sabbatical in Ireland and Scotland, I identified what I considered to be three ‘hubs’ and discovered thematic names that resonated with them. These names and their variations had been given to me in many lifetimes.
- Sophia: philosopher, teacher, scientist, astrologer, wise man/woman, counselor, advisor, Druid, Buddhist, writer, strategist, inventor, doctor
- Mary: religious, devoted, pious, disciplined, nun, abbess, bishop, mother, leader
- Isabella: pagan, wild, adventurer, high priestess, energetic, sexual, gypsy, intuitive, psychic, outlaw, pirate, ruler, entrepreneur
I deeply resonated with each of these “muses” or aspects of myself, and had expressed these various faces at times in this lifetime. Still, I had some concern that they seemed to be going in slightly different directions. How could I correct this? How could I integrate and focus all my energy into the one true purpose?
As I continued to contemplate these hubs, I wanted deeper understanding, resolution, and cohesion. I wanted to be unshakeable in my knowledge of my true purpose so I would know how to more potently and succinctly guide my transformation and evolution.
I had found my focus for the trip: To find clarity of, and alignment with, my purpose. You can read a fuller recollection of my sabbatical in Ireland where I uncovered a series of past lives and the connections between them.
As you delve deeper into your own quest for self-realization and spiritual development, past life regression will be a valuable and necessary step. Having explored any reasons you may have for hiding from self-knowledge and then stretching yourself with your personal Book of Shadows, you are more prepared to capture your memories and experiences of long-ago times to witness and integrate even more of who you are. In turn, this will allow you to reshape and correct any part of you that no longer serves you.
- Meditate on the themes that continue to show up in your life. Perhaps you have clues from past life memories. You can also gain clues from your present life:
- What was your favorite character you pretended to be in childhood?
- What section of the bookstore are you drawn to?
- What events do you enjoy?
- What is your favorite topic to discuss?
- What are your favorite classes to attend?
- What else are you drawn to do?
- Can you identify one or more hub lifetimes in your soul’s memories?
- Do you think you are experiencing a hub aspect or a spoke aspect?
- Note: The pros of being a hub aspect include your ability to choose and perhaps even change the purpose and direction for your soul. The cons include having to take leadership and responsibility for the direction of your soul!
- If you had to pick one theme or focus for your day, today, what would that be?
- If you had to pick one theme for the recall of your memories, what would that be?
As you identify your focus, keep asking yourself “What is the purpose of that?” until you are satisfied that you are aiming at the highest and most potent goal.
Of course, beyond answering those questions, it will be important to indulge in many past life regressions. The more you do, the more that is revealed. The more revealed, the more you’ll realize you need to explore further to uncover even more fascinating, enlightening, and empowering facets and aspects of who you are and the purpose your soul has in store for you.
A primary and axiomatic step in spiritual development is self-awareness, a true relationship with reality, and the willingness to be moved and changed by what you encounter. Courage and conviction will be valuable assets for you. Denying any aspect of your true self only harms you and restricts your ability to grow, change, evolve, and access clear psychic abilities.
Enjoy the exercises I have given you. It is personal work and does not have to be shared with anyone. It is your personal relationship with your soul and the fostering of your consciousness.
If you would like guidance on your journey forward, please schedule your free 30-minute Discovery Call.