Past Life Regression (PLR) #2: Hypnotic Storytelling to Promote a Healing Identity
You are not you.
At least not in the sense of your physical body and your ideas about the life that you perceive.
You are a story.
You are the story that you tell yourself about identity.
These stories are both positive/empowering and negative/destructive. If you tell yourself that you are successful in business, even long before you actually have a business, you are more likely to be a successful entrepreneur.
If the story you tell yourself is that you are a loser in love and unworthy of companionship, you will most likely go through life alone, or in horrible, demeaning, unfulfilling relationships.
We live our stories every day. We make choices in our lives that validate our beliefs about ourselves and reinforce these tales. Our fictions become fact through repetitive reinforcement.
What happens when we become bored with our story? Or, maybe more accurately, what happens when our story no longer serves our long-term goals? What do we do when we feel that there is something better, more fulfilling, for us in this life beyond the limits of our current experience?
Can we change? Can we improve our story?
My experience with my clients is that we can. By reframing limiting beliefs, my clients are empowered with a sense of opportunity to achieve, rather than diminished by perceived challenges.
This is not an overnight process. Hypnosis is not a panacea, but it is a useful tool in reframing the stories and beliefs that are stored in the subconscious mind.
Where does Past Life Regression have a place in this process?
As I mentioned in my previous article, it is not the purpose of this series to claim PLR as a fact, that decision is personal and is the choice of my clients. My intention here is to suggest reasons as to why stories of past lives can be instrumental to healing in this present life.
In this article on storytelling, Gregory Ciotti discusses how and why stories are important to us. Politicians and lawyers use them to help make a case for their policies and positions, salesmen use them to engage our emotions beyond the cost of a transaction. The embellishments of a story draw us in and expand our perception beyond mere facts. They help us imagine ourselves in a different circumstance.
Through this engagement, we perceive a different reality than one we may have considered prior to this exposure. If the emotional content of the story is strong enough, wemay even be moved to change our position on a topic.
Transportation is an interesting phenomena that occurs in the brain when we become immersed in a story. As noted in this article from Berkeley, “Once a story has sustained our attention long enough, we may begin to emotionally resonate with story’s characters. Narratologists call this “transportation,” and you experience this when your palms sweat as James Bond trades blows with a villain on top of a speeding train.”
So, if the process of transportation can cause us to have a physical response to a fictional character, could it not also cause us to create a change in our lives based on what we may perceive as another version of ourselves?
Let's consider a fictional client. This person faces a challenge in their life andthey have chosen hypnotherapy to help. Maybe they tried other means to change, maybe not. What matters is that they are here in my office now.
For sake of argument (and an easy, nearly universal) metaphor, let's say that they are unlucky in love. They cannot find the right person in their life and are repeating the same pattern over and over and over again. They are conscious enough of their pattern that the recognize it, but they feel they do not have the tools to change it. Initially, they place the blame for the ending of relationships on others, but eventually recognize that the only common denominator in all of these pairings is them.
After a series of protocols including suggestion therapy, parts therapy and possibly childhood regression, they've made some strides, but are still feeling that the problem is not solved.
The root for this may be that all of these protocols are based in the current life and the perceptions of it. The tools for reference are not in their toolbox. Much like if we were fixing a plumbing leak and found that we did not have a pipe wrench in our arsenal.
We may be able to make a suitable repair, but not a complete one until we had the proper tool.
We'd need to go to another toolbox.
In the case of our fictional client, this new toolbox is past life regression.
The initial answer is, if they client does not believe that they have the tools in this life to create the change that they desire, then we can discuss how this problem may have existed in another life. It is possible that they have already learned this lesson, or that they could gain new insights to help manifest change here and now.
There are factors that are important for the client to accept before we begin the session.
1. They must be open to the idea of past lives. If they are not open to reincarnation, we may be able to come to an agreement that the experience is just a metaphor and to accept it as a story to help them.
2. They must be willing to accept responsibility for what happened in this past life story. For example, if they are unlucky in love in this life, they may construct a story in which they were abusive to their partner(s) in a previous life. As uncomfortable as it may be, they have to accept that this event took place and learn from it.
We begin our session and they experience the story generated by their subconscious. As I mentioned in the previous article, (LINK) my role is one of facilitator. I do not help them create imagery or situations. My only question is, “What happens next?” The client is responsible for the construction of the story – it is THEIR story.
If, as we noted above, transportation creates a physical reaction in us to fictional characters, how much stronger may that process be when the character is us? How much more strongly relevant may the story be for us?
During a PLR session, the client may discover that in the tale of their previous life that they solved this problem already, or they may perceive the same situation occurring again. They are given tools to frame what they learned in that prior situation to apply to the current one. Ideally, they have found their new tools in this toolbox and can now make effective repairs to their life.
What are your thoughts on PLR? I'd love to open this discussion wider.