“I’m desperate,” he said. That’s how Susie’s husband, an oncologist, hematologist who practices at Cedars Sinai in Beverly Hills introduced himself.
“How can I help you?” I asked.
“We’ve tried everything! Years of well-meaning psychologists, psychiatrists with all their damned, addictive drugs. You name it, we’ve tried it, and nothing works.”
“What’s the problem?” I asked.
“My wife has an insane aversion to knives. Any knife sends her into sheer panic. Even butter knives or steak knives in the kitchen. She’s a research scientist, and she’s not crazy, but she can’t even walk into our kitchen! She’s ready to try anything, even something weird like what you do – a past life regression!
Now you might think that I would take offence at a comment like that, but I don’t. People say things like that to me all the time, and I understand it completely. Because I’d be more than a little skeptical myself, if I hadn’t been “pushed” into doing this work. And, believe me, I was pushed, and pushed hard from the “In Between.” Like off a high cliff.
Ten years ago, my darling, sexy, soul-mate husband died in my arms, but then he “came back,” and connected with me from the Other Side, or In Between, as Buddhists call it. And he led me into doing this powerful, transformational work. I tell the full story in my book (which got itself published, by the way), “Love From Both Sides – A True Story of Soul Survival and Sacred Sexuality.” And if you’re interested, you can read four chapters online at my website – www.StephanieRiseley.com.
Just to give you a bit of background, I didn’t start out wanting to be a hypnotherapist who does past life regressions. No, I started out determined to be a doctor – but that was forty-five years ago, before I nearly died myself. And it was before I was forced to find a way to cure myself of systemic lupus, which is what had almost killed me. At the time, my heart attacked my lungs, my lungs attacked my kidneys, and my joints were at war wherever my connective tissue touched, and that would be just about everywhere! Lupus is an auto-immune disease where your body makes anti-bodies to destroy itself, so I was in searing pain at all times. But that was a long time ago, and now I see my lupus for what it was: my teacher and a gift.
Because now I’m extremely healthy and I’m doing the work I was destined to do: I help people get healthy, happy and plugged into their soul purpose. And I do this using many techniques, among them – Past Life Regressions.
To continue with Susie and her fear of knives: Because my background is from UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute, (I worked there for four years doing the research that became the DSM III-R in the 1980s), I’m extremely familiar with the physical symptoms of true panic attacks, and I take them seriously. Susie had them all – the heart palpations, the sweaty palms, and stomach problems, just to name a few. In order to achieve the desired state of “focused concentration” (hypnosis), a client has to trust me, and because of that, I won’t do what I call “hit and run,” Past Life Regressions. I work with clients who are serious about healing and know that it takes more than one session. And Susie was fine with taking the time that it would take.
Here’s what happened, in Susie’s own words:
“I came to see Stephanie because I’ve had fear of knives all my life, and it made even being in the kitchen a highly unpleasant experience. Yes, I knew it was insane, but that awareness didn’t help me get me over it. I’m married to a doctor, and he suggested we try a past life regression, so I thought, Why not? In the session Stephanie explained what she was going to do, how it was going to work. She said that it might feel as if I were making it all up, because that was the only way my brain had to show me the information I needed to help me heal. Fine, I thought.
Once we got under way, she led me back in time to a childhood experience, because she wanted me to see how my brain ‘remembered things.’ I began to cry at once because I ‘saw’ my pony die. I hadn’t thought of that in years, but Stephanie didn’t let me stay with that grief for long before she led me to where I needed to go – to the life that was the source of my phobia.
She led me down some stairs in my mind’s eye, told me see different doors, and to choose a door, and so I did. Then she said, ‘Look down at your feet!’
‘I’m on fire!’ I said. ‘I’m walking on coals.’
Stephanie was calm, and got me out of there, then asked me to go back to an earlier part of that life, and poof! I was a four year old boy, on a farm in New Hampshire; it’s the late 1800s, or early 1900s. My mother is standing in the kitchen, and I hug her legs, then I go outside to play, and I see a man with a knife. He comes in and I see him kill my mother, and so I run away, terrified.
Then I see that I’m 15 or 16 and now I’m working on a farm. I’m a farmhand, and the owner is mean, he hands me a huge knife, and he orders me to kill a cow. But he knows that I love this cow, and I can’t kill her – I won’t kill her. So I run away, and I feel confused, and ashamed. Then I felt myself transported to the trenches – it’s World War I, and now I’m cold, and I’m terrified. Everything’s burned out – it’s surreal. I’m holding a rifle with a bayonet on it, and we’re ordered to charge – and I kill another man with the bayonet. I look into his blue eyes, and I kill him anyway. Horrible.
Then I go forward in time, and see I’ve survived. Now I’m back at my own farm, and I have a wife and son, but it’s four in the morning, and my barn is on fire! And I run out to save my animals, but they’re terrified. They won’t leave the barn – and so I die in that fire, trying to save my animals. And I felt so relieved, because I felt as if I died like a hero.
And after that one session, my fear of knives evaporated – completely.”
So that efficient and dramatic healing is only one of many that I’ve done. The technique allows a client to re-experience the source, “see” the event, understand the origin of the problem, then helps that client release it, without going through years and years of costly therapy or taking toxic, mind-numbing, addictive drugs.
Susie did other regressions to find out how she and Bob were connected, and because their story is so romantic, I’ll add a bit of it here. Susie continues:
“Now, I felt so good that I wanted to do another past life regression, because I wanted to see where my husband and I ‘connected.’ I also had a fear of dying that I wanted to release. This time when I went back in time, I saw myself as a young girl in ancient Greece, very near the ocean, just south of Athens. I was gathering mussels for dinner, when a man with a beard came and talked to me – I had a clubbed foot, so I wasn’t married. Stephanie asked me to look at his face, and said, ‘Do you know him? Is it anyone from this lifetime?’
I looked at him and said, ‘Oh, it’s Bob!’ That’s my husband in this lifetime. He made me feel so beautiful, even though I wasn’t perfect. And then I saw us out on the sea, fishing together, so happy to be with each other, but a huge storm comes, and a wave washes us overboard, but it all felt okay, because as we go under water, as we are swallowed by the waves, we hold hands, and we die together. It was beautiful.
Then I went to a life in London, the early 1700s, where I’m a girl, maybe 18, an orphan. I work as a seamstress – I’m filthy, because I only have one dress. All the girls who live with me are filthy too – we’re all very poor. But there’s a doctor who cares for us all, and he walks me home sometimes. I like him very much. Stephanie asked me to look at his face, ‘Do you recognize him?’
‘It’s Bob!’ He’s the doctor in that lifetime, and my husband in this lifetime. Then I saw myself having a horrible wound, a huge cut from the shears, but I think I’ve done it to myself so that the kind doctor would come. And he does, and he wraps my arm, and he’s kind to me. He’s married, but he’s so kind to me. He’s the only person who’s ever cared about me. The next scene I see, I’m dying of TB, but Bob is there with me – he holds my hand as I die, and I know I won’t be alone. And now, because of seeing these past-life regressions, I feel no fear dying anymore, because I’ve died so many times before.”
Everyone dies and everyone loses loved ones. Healing from the loss of a loved one takes time, but getting a different perspective on the life just lived together can help soften the searing pain. For instance, just last week, I saw a beautiful, forty-two-year-old lawyer, Nancy, the mother of two small daughters, who had just lost her own beloved mother. Her mother died of complications from diabetes and heart disease, and Nancy felt that both might have been preventable with good diet and exercise. (She was still in the “I’m angry at you for dying” stage of mourning. I know that feeling well. I wanted to kill my husband for dying!)
Nancy wanted to know how she and her mother might have been connected in a past life. And because she’s always had a weight problem, she also wants to lose about thirty pounds. Nancy represents abused children in the family court system – that’s her work.
In her third session, Nancy “went back in time,” and I asked, “Where are you?”
“I’m a little boy, Simon’s my name. Maybe seven or eight. I’m in the woods, gathering twigs. It’s the 1800s, Pennsylvania.”
“Go to where you live,” I said.
“I live under a house,” and she started to weep. “I live like an animal; I’m hungry, I’m so cold, so alone. Nobody loves me.” She described this life where she’d been abandoned by her mother, whom she didn’t recognize, but saw was not okay. “Weak,” she said.
When I asked her to look at the people who lived in the house above her, she recognized an uncle she doesn’t like much now, and her own grandmother, a woman she also didn’t like in this lifetime. Soul groups often travel in groups, and many times people see many of the same people they’re connected to in this life, expressed as different kinds of connections in other lives. For instance, a brother can be a former husband; a father can be a former best friend, a sister or wife. In my own life, my best friend was my daughter in my direct past lifetime, where I was a Rothchild rich, extremely successful Jewish doctor in Berlin. (I died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, not pleased at all, to say the least!)
“Let’s go to the next pivotal experience,” I said.
“I’m dying,” she said. “Winter. I’m freezing to death.”
I asked her “to float above,” and understand what her soul needed to learn in that brief lifetime, and she said, “Family and community are important.” Now, because that death was traumatic, I did what I call psychic CGI – Computer Generated Imagery, like in the movie “Avatar.” So we “re-did” that death, and I asked Nancy to be under the house, and to just hold Simon, and comfort him as he dies. When Nancy came back to room awareness, she understood why she’d always had the feeling that she couldn’t get enough to eat, and also why she is so fiercely protective of children who are abused. Two huge “Ah ha!” moments.
Did we find her mother in that lifetime? No, but in her next regression she did find her mother. And that life was a wonderful life! She was a beloved Chinese monk, in a tiny village in ancient China. She also saw her “best friend” in that lifetime as the man she’s married to now. And both of her daughters were her devoted students. That lifetime was filled with joy, community and love.
Then to clear up any residual anger she feels at her mother, I asked her to ask her mother whatever she needed to ask. She asked her mother why she hadn’t taken better care of herself.
Her mother answered that she needed to be in pain in this lifetime to learn many lessons. And because of that, Nancy will now be able to let go of some of “anger” that comes when we lose the people we love. The “knowingness” that love never dies, and that only the body dies, will make her loss easier to bear. And the good news is that Nancy’s already lost five pounds, and now feels confident that she can reclaim her “sexy, beautiful body!”
Body image and weight are intrinsically interconnected, and over the years I’ve helped so many people understand their “resistance” to “owning their power and beauty,” by doing Past Life Regressions. Unfortunately, I find the source of many weight problems in this lifetime, and it usually stems from childhood sexual abuse or a sexual assault. For women, the need to “protect” themselves by gaining weight to hide their attractiveness, feels like a compulsion that can’t be controlled. I should know, because when I was fifteen, and the owner of a brand-new (to me at least) body – a beautiful, long-legged body, with ample breasts — a man I knew tried to rape me. After that, I ate compulsively, and within three months, I went from weighing 125 pounds to weighing 165 pounds.
I wish I knew then what I know now! Because I spend years and years battling my own weight until I found the key to letting go of all that excess weight, and discovered the tool-kit for all long-term weight loss: You have to love yourself lean, by creating habits of eating, living, and exercising, but most of all habits of thinking! And that’s what I teach my clients – how to change the negative, compulsive thinking that destroys the happiness of the moment.
When the source of weight problems is in a Past Life, however, I ask the question, “What stops you from owning your power and beauty?” and the responses can stun me. One client, for instance, whose four year old son had died two years ago, saw herself as mafia boss in New York City. “It’s the 1920s. I’m really horrible. I’m killing people. I just killed a kid.”
“Why’d you kill him?” I asked.
“He was a punk!”
“Turn him over,” I said.
She was quiet. Then she said, “It’s my son. My son who died.”
“What is it that your son needed to teach you?”
“What it feels like to be a mother and lose a son,” she said.
“And did you learn that?”
“Oh, yes. I always knew he was my teacher.” After that, she was able to see another lifetime where she and her son were together, as father and son, and in that lifetime, she used her “power” for good. And because of that, she was able to let go of the weight that deprived her of her considerable beauty – she’s stunning, a knock-out!
Some people, even my amazing teacher Brian Weiss, MD, claim that Past Life Regressions can heal almost everything. I don’t believe that – I believe that because there are so many other “issues” involved, it’s only a piece of a puzzle. It’s not a quick, easy “one size fits all,” answer to problems. It’s work, and sometimes it’s hard work. Sometime it’s heavy lifting! But for people determined to change their own lives, and take charge of the destiny they will have, the investment of time and energy reaps huge rewards.
For those who aren’t interested, or don’t want to change, well, that’s just fine, too! There’s always the next lifetime to learn the lesson that they refuse to learn in this lifetime. But, why wait? Why not take the opportunity available to you in this lifetime? The point of power is in the present, and each day you have the opportunity to change. So begin where you are. Look at the people around you, especially your relatives. And begin to have compassion, (even if you want to shoot your mother-in-law); begin to forgive everyone for their short-comings, the things they did to you when you were a kid, all the stuff that floats through your mind, constantly. Look at it, then forgive them and delete the “corrupted” file from your computer-like brain. Easy.
But most of all, look at yourself – and give your own darling self the benefit of your own compassion, unconditional love and forgiveness. Begin by believing (pretend, if you must!) that you are an Avatar, like in the movie, a beautiful spirit expressed briefly in flesh, and your mission on earth is to enjoy this lifetime, and leave the earth a little better than you found it!