The Unconscious Mind Listens – Ancient Voices and Past Lives
This is a continuation of my article Adopting Carl Jung and Milton Erikson’s Take on the Uncious Mind. It’s a poignant example of how the unconscious mind listens and responds to everything, even the barely heard. And no matter what professional or personal hat we are wearing, in this case mine was hypnotherapist, this story also exemplifies how intuitive intelligence guides us to find solutions and heal.
Kay was the eldest child of three girls, and shortly after the birth of her younger sister, Kay’s mother became severely depressed. She was hospitalized and remained under psychiatric care thereafter. Recurring bouts of depression landed her mother in the hospital many times as Kay grew up. Because Kay was the oldest, her father relied heavily on her to help with the other two children and with chores. Kay graduated from high school and attended a college close to home so she could return there on the weekends. After college, Kay found work through temp agencies and, although she was an extremely efficient and valuable employee, she was emotionally drained and disenchanted with life in general. She was in her twenties and the idea of falling into a depression scared her and motivated her to seek professional help. She was determined to discover why certain patterns in relationships were repeated both at work and in her personal life. That’s when she started coming to see me.
Kay said, “I want to be a free star to do the things I love, like dancing and acting.” She was so direct and clear. Years of caring for her family and tending to her needs shaped and shaped Kay into a highly skilled caretaker, motivator, and organizer of…others. In a relatively short period of time, Kay began to process her experiences differently and to transfer some of her abundant resources to herself. She enrolled in acting and dance classes and began auditioning for roles.
One night, Kay came to the session very upset. An apartment deal fell through, and disappointment brought other issues to the surface. “I have to move out of Stan’s apartment because I have to prove to myself that I can take care of myself!” From all that she indicated in previous sessions, her relationship with Stan was one of mutual respect, caring, and support. I asked him what else was going on. “I’m afraid of becoming totally dependent on Stan like my mom did when she married my dad.” “Your mother’s circumstances were very different.” “My mother got married and had children. She never pursued any of her own interests,” Kay continued. “You sound disappointed and angry with her.” “I remember when I was about ten years old my mother would pick me and my friend up from school. She didn’t like to stay home all the time and would often put me and my sisters in the car and drive aimlessly for hours. She did the same thing that day, but my friend was in the car! I remember hating her so much and wishing she would die and leave me alone. I couldn’t take her craziness anymore. Being raised Catholic. I knew I had made a mistake. It’s a sin wishing for this. But now I consider myself spiritual and eclectic.”
“Many times children carry the burden of their family’s problems inside. If no one talks openly and honestly, children think that these problems should be kept secret. Telling a family secret is like committing a sin. Your mother obviously suffered from an illness mental”. and I suspect your father just didn’t know how to talk about it with you and your sisters,” I said.
“Do you believe in past lives and the afterlife?” she asked. “I am open to these possibilities” I replied. “Would you like to do an NLP and hypnosis exercise that helps you release and transform your fears and guilt from the past”? “Yes” she said.
Here’s an edited version of what happened next… I asked Kay to close her eyes and begin to relax, settling down and calming down. I decided to put some music in the back and randomly selected Paul Winter’s “Common Ground” album. I chose a song, “Ancient Voices,” which features an African thumb piano because I liked the sound of this instrument, turned the volume down so it wouldn’t be distracting, and said, “Now go back to a time in your life when you think you made a mistake.” sin. Point a raised finger at me while you retrieve this memory.” Kay raised her index finger. “Let your voice speak comfortably and describe what you are seeing.” “I’m running into a fence. I’m running from my husband! I’m pregnant and I’m running away,” she said…
Confused, it took me a while to realize he wasn’t talking about the present. It became clear as Kay continued that she was describing another life. How did this happen? What had she inadvertently said to send her back to a past life?
While reading this, did you pick up any clues?
I continued. “Sometimes we witness other lives to give us an idea of the current one. Find out how this past experience applies to your life in 1985. Feeling elevated, release your fears to the wind and return to the present with insights that will renew and transform you.” ….
“I didn’t expect that to happen” Kay said when she opened her eyes. We talked briefly about what she saw. He wasn’t interested in discussing why she thought she had a past life memory. Whether you believe in the notion of past lives, here’s what Kay discovered. I implicitly respect this unconscious process. It was very powerful and she wanted to leave it intact, whether it was a symbolic metaphor or a scene from a life her soul had lived before. “You escaped from an abusive situation and saved your unborn child. How powerful” I said.
Later that night I ran the session in my mind. I pulled the album off my shelf and started reading the inside cover that describes each song. Ancient Voices is based on a classical African composition by the Shona people of Zimbabwe for an instrument called the mbira. This instrument is used in a formal ceremony called a Bira. Family members come together to ask for the support of their ancestors. The mbira is believed to have the power to project and attract ancestral spirits to the earth.
I had never taken the time to read the inside cover or listen carefully to the lyrics of this song. What I read amazed and amused me by reminding me how impressionable and impressive the unconscious mind is. And here are the Ancient Voices lyrics that led Kay on her way. Note that the stereo was low and my old rickety stereo only had one speaker working…
Ancient voices sing forever guide me on my way.
Take me back from far away to the dreams where I’ve been.
Take me back to where I left off with my eyes open again.
I remember morning suns promising the day.
Turning the rotating circle that ends life begins to play.
Eagles fly past your back from faraway places.
When this land is free again, you will return to stay.
Ancient voices sing forever guide me on my way.
I moved to California in late 1985. Kay kept in touch with me for a while and told me that she and Stan got married, formed a production company for aspiring playwrights and actors, promoting off-Broadway plays. She is living her art fulfilling her dream of a happy and healthy marriage.
“Sharpening your intuition safeguards your future and opens the doors to the extraordinary.”
alternative stephanie rachel