Still a little embarrassed by my inability to read a calendar, following my leisurely afternoon tucked into a fantastic place boasting exceptional eats, I was happy to hole up in the hotel hosting said conference and wait for the appointed hour (and date) to arrive. When I let Flight know of my scheduling OOPS, he mentioned I was welcome to stay at his college friend’s place (compound, really) where we’d be parking Davista for the week. For some reason, I felt like I wanted to be alone to marshal my thoughts in preparation for hearing Dr. Weiss speak (I really had no idea what to expect) and stayed on points with a local Marriott. I didn’t feel ready for visiting yet – I just wanted to gear up to be present and soak in everything I could.
The next morning I made my way to the conference and was delighted to find myself amidst many other seekers. Dr. Weiss gave the impression that he had delivered this talk some eleventy billion times before, meaning he exuded a confidence that sidled up to bored arrogance, a trait that tends to make me bristle. Maybe he was just uninspired by the material and had to dig in deep to earnestly deliver it freshly to a new audience, but, after giving some background on an overview of reincarnation practices, he finally got to the meat of the presentation.
Permit me to back up and share some of the history of reincarnation. First, the idea of experiencing multiple lives is a belief that is as old as we are and there is some root of reincarnation in all major religions. Frankly, I don’t know how I feel about reincarnation, but I know enough to know that there’s a lot that I just don’t know. I’m also finding that as I age, I am settling in to being comfortable with not knowing – that doesn’t mean I don’t continue to seek, it’s just that my seeking has a less fervent, frenzied, answer-driven pace.
I remember when I had three back-to-back miscarriages between Keeper’s arrival and Firebolt’s. As I was grieving and coming to terms with potentially being a flight of only three, a fellow Navy recruiter friend of mine said two things that stuck with me. First, she said, “Maybe your child is just waiting for the right body…” I have since reflected on that and have noticed that Firebolt is a young lady who has always liked to have things just so. My friend also said, “People say that God created humankind in God’s image. I think that what they’re referring to is the soul that is created in God’s image, not the flesh and blood of our bodies. Who’s to say that a soul doesn’t need to experience multiple lifetimes to learn?” Again, I’m not sure exactly how I feel about reincarnation, so I entered into this discussion with eyes wide open.
Dr. Weiss’ preamble to the group session involved a disclaimer that maybe one in three people would experience a past-life regression while we engaged in our group work. He mentioned that it took him months of daily practice to be able to do it on his own and assured the audience that this was not something easily done, appropriately setting expectations. I heard these words and, perhaps I was sidling up to cockiness myself, but I assumed that I would be part of the 33% and was eager to get to the work at hand.
I should probably back up and share a little bit about my own journeying. I come by being “a wee bit fey” honestly, as they say in the old country. Fey is a term the Scots have always assigned to those who see beyond what is seen and it manifests differently for each person. My mother used to have visions that foretold death or maiming and, after several wrestling with several visions coming true, she clamped down on that gift (curse?) and, understandably, did not wish to see what she could see. As a result, she is no longer plagued by such premonitions of disaster. Yet, when she tells me not to light candles or drive carefully, I always listen. We have recently talked about whether or not she is now in a space in her life where she might be interested in seeing more and I think she’s still sitting with that…
My own sense of being fey has ramped up throughout my life, or perhaps I have become more open to it as my portfolio of life experiences has grown and evolved. Although I distinctly remember a dream I had at Girl Scout camp when I was 10 where I awoke with a deep knowing that I would marry a blond haired, blue-eyed boy whose first name happens to be Flight’s, I think surviving a near-death experience amplified my openness. While in the hospital following our near-fatal car accident, I knew I was going to heal in Utah and unexpectedly received orders three weeks later to teach Naval Science at the University of Utah. During my pregnancy with Keeper, Flight and I opted to keep his biological sex a secret until he arrived and I woke up at some point during my second trimester and told Flight that we were having a boy and that I’d seen him. In my dream he had these beautiful blond curls and, with a hand on the banister, was taking the first of the flight of steps in our house in Anacortes (it wasn’t until Keeper was about 16 months when he went to the stairs and I realized that was the vision I had had…).
In the wake of three back-to-back miscarriages, I did the first of my Reiki training sessions and had a vision of a late-pregnancy ultrasound showing the spine of our sweet child who was healthy and strong – and I knew we would welcome another beautiful soul into our family. We learned we were expecting Firebolt the following month.
For those readers who are not familiar with Reiki, it is a Japanese style of energy medicine (Rei meaning divine and Ki being life force energy (same as Qi or Chi in Chinese Medicine)) that anyone can learn and is a beautiful way to maintain whole health. Fast-forward a few years later to my being in the thick of East Asian Medical School and learning acupuncture as a varsity method of directing the energetic flow of Qi when I simultaneously completed my training to become a Reiki Master, which involved a focused intent on doing this work from afar. Although such work may seem outside the realm of possibility, healing energy can be employed to span decades and continents as it is not bound by time and space as are we creatures of flesh and blood. Using the scaffold of meridian theories that underlie East Asian Medicine, I often combine the fundamentals of Reiki with my training as an acupuncturist to help energetically rebalance systems from afar. I share all this to say that I am accustomed to journeying across time and space and assumed that my ability to go to the time before my current walk would not be frustrated by doing so en masse.
And journey I did. Here’s what I immediately wrote following our session:
Reddish brown rocks surround me. My feet are bare, although sometimes I may wear sandals. I am a man and have no idea how old I am. I saw the face of one person with whom I (routinely) conversed, but am unsure of who that is. I am profoundly sad. I have lost my partner and our children. I am alone. My village has been reduced to no more than 20. There is no hope. I die utterly alone, overcome by grief and hopeless.
After my death I was met by a creature I could not conceptualize. She (I pause for I know not if she is a she…) morphed into my Oma (my father’s mother who died before I was born). She loves me deeply and, not for the first time, I can’t help but wonder if I had been my Opa. I’m not sure how to quantify those feelings.
I see Oma and she tells me it will all be okay, that the anguish I feel is only temporary. It is a loss like nothing I’ve ever felt. Perhaps this is the root of the foreboding I sense in my family life. I try not to let it paralyze my actions, but I strongly feel like I’m holding this feeling back by intellectual strength.
I was working to capture more when another woman in the audience approached me and interrupted my thoughts. She shared with me that she had a near-death experience at age five and has since been charged with advising Indigo children on their respective journeys with the guidance of her guardian angel named Fidgal. She told me my aura spoke to her and handed me a card. Before she disappeared into the surrounding crowd, she let me know she was always available if I ever needed her (or Fidgal’s) guidance. Not sure what to make of that, I attempted to go back to sharing space with my vision, which was frustratingly elusive. Understanding that no more would come at this time, I closed my notebook and reseated it in my backpack. I vaguely heard Dr. Weiss’ discussion closing out our time together and shifted my thoughts from the before time to rejoining my family at our friends’ compound.
My big take away from this experience (and life in general) is that there is so much that I just don’t know. Frankly, I am not sure where to file being so at home amidst these red rocks, the profound loss I felt in my core, recognizing bare feet that are no longer my own, or the stalwart presence of my Oma throughout the day’s events. Cautiously embracing the unknown, I will admit that I am curious how the inexplicable sense of foreboding I have that surrounds my immediate family may evolve (and hopefully dissipate?) perhaps through recognizing its possible root in an experience from the before time. Most of all, I look forward to further exploring the red rocks of the West to see if any familiar outcroppings present themselves and beckon me home.