Thursday, October 21, 2010

How I Discovered I Love Working With Beads - Past Life Regression

I lived in beautiful California for many years in my 20s and 30s, where the mindset is freeflowing and progressive. While there I spent time exploring many new age concepts, which included various kinds of meditation, hypnotherapy, past life regression, alternative healing, etc.

According to Michael Newton, Ph.D., past life therapy is a wonderful tool we can use to tap into forgotten skills and talents (like beadworking) as well as to initialize emotional and physical healing. It's also a great way to find out about the history of the relationships you have with people in your life and to help you understand how to make good decisions about these relationships.

When I encountered Dr. Newton's material I decided the only way to really know if what he was talking about was true was to try it. So I started by doing meditations and regressions guided by several different practitioners, some with academic backgrounds, some degreed health professionals, like Marion Winisky RN, MA. And I learned a lot from others who have great information and materials available commercially, like Dick Sutphen and Sonia Choquette. Check out Sutphen's Web site and some of Sonia's information.

So back to how I discovered my hidden love for beadwork. I explored several different past life regressions over a period of several years, and one of these was, as these events usually are, surprising in many ways. I saw myself walking over a rainbow, this being a common method that guided meditation uses to get the mind to go within, and when I got to the other side of the rainbow I found myself in a beautiful wooded area, interspersed with large meadows. It was fall, and the sun was glistening through the yellow and orange leaves. I bent over to look at my feet, and found myself touching the soft tanned hide of the knee-high boots I was wearing (examining the shoes you're wearing is common method to "ground yourself" within a regression). On this hide were bead designs, with a lot of green and blue and white. I can still remember the tactile feeling of the soft hide and the texture of the beads as I ran my hand over them. The boots were comfortable and beautiful as well as functional in that environment.

As I stood up I became aware that I was a Shoshone female, with long black hair that grew past my waist. I was what would today be considered overweight, but in those days and in that culture, a plump woman was considered very attractive for childbearing.

I had on a fringed dress of soft tanned hide, and I don't remember much detail about the dress. After touching the boots I was wearing, I stood up straight and looked around. I noticed the trees glistening in the fall sunshine, their leaves shimmering in the wind. Then a sound came to my ears, the sound of others. I became aware that the women were working together and children were playing together, watched over by the elders. Much of the work was done by those who were neither very young nor very old, but strong and capable and well trained according to their interests.

I remember the feeling of my heart being flooded with love, a love greater than any I had imagined in my current life. It was the love of the whole community, where I had a place of honor. I was known as the one who took care of many children and my specialty was doing beadwork. The items I made were sought after over a wide region, not only in my own community.

What I understood during this regression was that during that lifetime, one of the things I had chosen to learn for my soul agenda was to live such that I would have a full understanding of the concept of giving.

At this point in the regression I understood what giving in a communal culture meant. I had a place of belonging, I held the respect of my community, I felt loved. And I loved, through my work and the care of the children, so I had an outlet for the love I wanted to share.

I was about to be married to a man I loved, and carried this sweet knowledge in my heart, looking forward to the time that this would come about.

As many regressions do, I learned during this one that there is more to know about giving than we imagine, and it surprised me. What happened is that I walked down the wooded path under the dappled sunlight towards a clear creek, the sounds of the water sharing their own kind of music, peaceful to my soul. But as I neared the creek, a warrior on a horse approached me very fast. He grabbed me around the waist and tried to pull me up with him on the horse. I struggled, and he slit my throat with a long, fat, sharp knife.

His arm loosened from around my waist and I slid down to the ground, limp, with the life flowing from my body though my mind was still very much alive.

In those moments I knew his thoughts, that if he couldn't have me, then no one could, and my own thoughts, that he could not hurt me for I was of spirit, and spirit is energy that is always alive.

In those moments the thought ran through my mind, "I release you I release you for you can do me no harm." And that was the end of that life as I knew it.

I had no fear during the regression, since we are somewhat emotionally unattached as we experience them, kind of like watching a movie.

Past life regression can teach us a lot about many things, and what I find with each one is that there is usually a gift that we can apply that has the potential to change our lives for the better, and also those around us.

What I understood after this regression was over is that when we think that we are controlled by another, we find out that we are, in the end, free to continue living, and the finality that we associate with death is only an illusion. My reaction upon my death in that regression was based in the cultural certainty and simplicity of love, spirit, life, sustenance, continuity, and cycles of that lifetime. The gift of the regression was the knowing that we are truly free if only we choose to be, and this can affect others in a good way because it supports cosmic law.

So in learning about giving I found myself giving all that I thought I had, including my life, only to find that because the cycles of life are circular and infinite, the life experience only continues and cannot be truly stopped by anyone or anything for any reason.

Cool concept.

Here's a little taste of Shoshone beadwork currently displayed at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

What's interesting to me about this regression is that in all the years I lived out West, I had never known that Native American women wore knee-high boots. After the regression I looked in every museum I visited, seeking some kind of substantiation for this, but found none. Then with the advent of the Internet I was able to research, and when I came upon some photos of the knee-high boots that Shoshone women wore, I realized they were very similar to the ones in my regression.The other thing that's interesting about the Native American beadwork is that if you study the different tribes and go way back, you can learn to "read" the beadwork, as the graphic designs represent various cultural beliefs/teachings. The symbols represent often universal concepts and "discoveries" about the frontiers of the mind and so many other things that we are rediscovering today. What's seemingly new is, in actuality, very very old.

The other thing that happened as a result of the regression was that I discovered a huge interest in beadwork. I found that the love and the interest stayed very much alive, and that the skills came very easily to me (carryover skills - yay). They also brought me more joy than anything creative I had yet encountered. I believe it's because they are a part of my spiritual history, which is likely longer than just this time around.

I understand that some of these beliefs are controversial. The only thing I can say about that is that we are all on our own paths, and I know that for each person, their own path is just right for them. I find mine interesting, certainly, full of surprises, and more rewarding than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams.


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