The Corral: Past Lives
An Unusual Cranial Sacral Treatment
With Nancy Paul, March 21, 2014
Cranial Sacral Therapy is a gentle way of helping the body release whatever tensions or blockages it itself is trying to release. By feeling the various pulses in the body, the therapist senses where the body is trying to let go of restrictions and puts light pressure there to help the body’s own effort. Ultimately, the membranes and fluid surrounding the central nervous system from the head/cranium down to the bottom of the spine is the area most affected by this healing. A wide range of physical and emotional problems can be released through CST, allowing health to flow. I’ve been receiving this therapy from Nancy Paul for two years. She adds her own excellent intuitive skills plus training in the healing methods of Zero Balancing, a gentle touch therapy to clear energy blocks, and Reiki, a type of spiritual energy healing. Nany is also able to facilitate whatever is happening with the spirit as the body releases. I often talk as she quietly works.
The thoughts going on in my mind this March day were a hodgepodge. I had just read a short review of a new book by Eugene Gendlin on using the body to interpret dreams. A recent discussion with a friend had also revealed that we both still felt unfinished with some old conflicts in our lives and unclear about how to resolve these in our hearts. Upon arrival at the CST office, Nancy shared briefly that she’s finishing a book by Brian Weiss, well-known past life regressionist. All of these coincidences seemed to set the stage for the unusual experience of this day.
One factor you must know to understand my experience here is that much of my world-view is based on the writings of a personality who calls himself Seth, channeled through the psychic Jane Roberts. Seth’s unusual ideas on the nature of reality have made sense to me and matched my experience, resonating more than any other worldview. His concepts of what we call past lives, plus probable selves and aspects of our larger eternal identities, emerged here on this warm table in this dark quiet room with Nancy’s fine facilitation.
As I lay down comfortably on the warm table in the dark room, Nancy asked if there was anything particular on my mind that I wanted to explore while she did the bodywork. I shared about my conversation regarding unfinished conflicts, noting that some people seem to haunt my mind when business is incomplete.
At first I shared what I was experiencing, then I fell into silence. Appropriately, Nancy didn’t ask me to continue talking. She was very active with my body treatment, moving herself around as she sensed changes happening.
Some of these people from the past who haunt my brain began to show up again. I saw myself with a giant eraser and tried to erase one of them to see what was behind. What would it feel like if this person were truly absent from my mind? Then I did the same with the others. This put me in a beautiful scene, but alone. These people were like markers that keep me in my life, in my identity, for better or for worse. Also my house, my possessions, and my many “projects” that feel so important, all the people positive or negative and the memories of all the experiences I’ve had positive or negative, were all like a fence, a corral, that enabled me to stay familiar to myself. Now, out here in this very large landscape all by myself, I still looked like myself though my back felt straight, my body slender. So even my physical handicap and characteristics are part of the corral! Are these optional? Here I experienced myself as it’s said the dead experience themselves once free of their bodies – at their best physically.
The landscape was a wide-spread valley in front of me with a broad mountain range beyond. The sun was shining, the grass was green everywhere, it was all lovely, though unfamiliar to me having grown up in the Midwest, a familiar part of my personal corral.
I notice being alone, but presently sense that someone is beside me. This seems to be an angel, wings and all. She lovingly takes my hand and we slowly begin to float upward. Still holding her hand all the time, I begin to sense how to move myself around a bit by my own intention. She leads me downward into the valley. It’s an interesting sensation but now I can’t see the sun. “It seems darker,” I say and so she brings me back to where we were. Then she leads me higher up and over the mountain ridge.
On the other side is an even larger view. Gorgeous, expansive. There are several little villages below, none that are familiar. In front of me the sun looks enormous, brighter than I’ve ever seen it though I can look straight at it. The Sun is beautiful, the scene is beautiful. My guide is still beside me.
Eventually we rise up and move backwards over the mountain ridge again. I see my corral and slowly, softly, float down and lie flat on the ground in the middle of it. The posts of the corral are the people who hold my old identity fast. I realize a hammer can pound them flat into the ground. They may pop up part way and I can leave them there or pound them into the earth again to reduce their effect. Now knowing what it feels like without others defining me, my identity feels somewhat freer.
Still lying flat, I’m aware of Nancy working gently on my body, helping it release tensions in different areas. Awareness begins to come of some of my past lives. These I’ve learned over time, some in dreams, a couple were dreams that led into waking awareness, one was encountered under hypnosis. I feel that I’m in the bodies of these other lives, one by one. They are experiencing lying on the table here being worked on. The men, in particular, find it odd and wonder “What’s going on?” But each one of them seems flexible and willing to have a positive experience of this.
The wrestler, a short stocky, quiet, black-haired man whose life is particularly connected with mine, is particularly present. He’s surprised to find himself on this table with someone moving his body here and there, this way and that. I allow myself to feel his strong back, his largeness, though I can’t quite feel my arms as muscular and large as his. He doesn’t move as freely as I, but he allows himself to be moved some. I realize that because of me several of my other lives have body problems related to mine that are mysteries to them. He also has psychic experiences and vivid dreams and doesn’t tell anyone about this. He’s looking, waiting, for the right person (probably a woman) with whom he can share about these strange experiences that come to him. He’s a semi-professional wrestler, in addition to some other kind of work. He could be professional but chooses not to walk that path.
Nancy does some energy work over my throat chakra (chakras are energy centers in the body). Immediately I’m aware of my life as a very large, quiet shy man in Iceland. I know the ending of his life after an accident, and because of Nancy’s work here his experience changes. He’d had to pay more attention to people after his accident, because he needed help. During this chakra energy work, he finds himself talking more. First he listens to what others say more attentively (he’s fixing fishing nets), then after listening awhile he begins to talk more and more, to his own surprise, and others find his thoughts helpful.
I’m aware of a life as an actress in England or perhaps France, blond, in some rowdy time period, with four children. She finds this experience of lying on a table with someone working on her body unusual but not difficult. By practicing the profession of acting, she gained a lot of flexibility in personality and is not as defined by others as I seem to be.
Then I feel myself as one of my Probable Selves. Seth says that no energy dies. When we make a difficult choice in this life, the energy that wanted to go the other way, does! This is an aspect of what we simply call “past lives” but a larger world view in which time doesn’t really exist, all things are actually happening at once and affect each other. Probable Selves are aspects similar to past lives, closely related to our own conscious experience, but moving along the path we think we didn’t take. One of my Probable Selves who is a university professor of literature here in the Midwest, same birth name, and we share the same history up to a point. It feels to me that she is here now and finds this cranial sacral experience especially helpful, having the exact same back problems in both lives.
It has seemed clear to me that I have a future life as a dancer. Somehow her life follows mine, even though time is said to be an illusion. Wondering about her seems to open a door and suddenly she’s here on the table. Her back feels much more flexible than mine; bending forward and back over and over, slowly she moves her spine, vertebrae by vertebrae. I feel her flexibility in my own body. She loves to spread her legs and leap, jump, run. This feels so healing to me. She’s very aware and careful of her physical self because of all I’ve learned living in my difficult body.
All this large experience with other lives gives greater flexibility to my own identity. It seems like I’ve experienced what the dead must experience – a larger sense of themselves. I realize what an enormous and varied amount of memories I have here within all these many lives. The memories of this particular life as Marti now feel more temporary, with less power.
As this session ends, my back feels very different, more flexible than my body has been in ages. And my spirit feels more powerful, my voice even sounds different! The corral seems more illusory and less infuential. I can allow it to hold my current identity if I want, or if I’d like more freedom I can ignore or pound the corral posts out of sight. One really cannot function without some identity, to recognize ourselves to ourselves and for the sake of the plot we’re living forward with other characters. The corral posts offer me stability, a point of view, a location in this world, but they needn’t be a prison.