Ever wonder what your life is all about? Join the crowd. Every religion offers a reassuring (and/or frightening) story to rescue humanity from this existential question. But what if there is no universal answer, and each individual life is meant to align with a unique “arrow of destiny,” a chain of events starting long before you were born?
Becoming conscious of experiences that lie along your arrow of destiny may enable you to live your life in better alignment with it.
After 35 years listening to people relive their early childhood, pre-birth and past lifetime experiences, I’m convinced that we plan each lifetime in advance, the way we would design an elective course of independent study—with a clear intent and a specific syllabus.
Incarnating on Earth isn’t that easy. Besides challenging us with a chaotic planet of extreme climates, cultures and conflicting forces, human incarnation tops it off with an ironic twist: We have to figure out what we’re doing here while our family and society scream their own operating instructions into our ears from the moment we are born.
When we look deeper into ourselves to see beneath this conditioning, we may find the syllabus. Sometimes clarity comes only when facing death and everything except our true nature drops away. Many who return from near-death experiences change their lives afterwards, following a newly discovered arrow of destiny.
We don’t have to wait for a near-death experience to find our path if we are willing to listen to the signs of soul sickness in our bodies—to the numbness, tensions or aches that tell us we are veering off course from our true direction. A technique I call karmic therapy taps into these deep body sensations to help us re-experience and release unremembered fear and pain left over from crises long ago—in childhood, infancy, birth, prenatal life, conception and past lifetimes.
You don’t have to believe in reincarnation for this process to work. I have seen success with devout Christian patients who believed in Heaven and Hell and rejected reincarnation.
Exploring the vast tapestry of karmic experience, we can discover vows made at the moment of death centuries ago that are still running our lives—vows of revenge, remorse, gratitude, love—that must be reckoned with and resolved. We may come upon stuck relationships repeating the same patterns over and over, lifetime after lifetime, until a moment of clarity frees us from bondage to the past. We might find the source of gifts and callings that pattern through from one life to the next, seeking their full expression. Sometimes we get to eavesdrop while we meet with spirit guides to plan a forthcoming lifetime.
Occasionally we catch a glimpse of a cosmic purpose that brought us to Earth at the very beginning, a purpose lived out in many forms—as rocks, trees, animals, prehistoric primates and human beings from ancient to modern times.
Ready for a quick peek at your arrow of destiny—to catch a glimpse of the essence behind all the variations and complications? Here’s a little exercise for you to try. You can have a friend read the instructions to you, or record the text. Keep your eyes closed. Leave plenty of time for each step and be prepared to write down your experiences after you finish. If you freeze up at any point, breathe slowly and deeply. Here we go.
Get comfortable in your chair, take some deep breaths and relax.
Think back to three peak moments in this lifetime when you felt in complete harmony and at home in your own skin—one as an adult, one in your teens and one in childhood. What were you doing and what sensations were you having in your body during each experience? Allow a word to arise that expresses the common element in all three memories.
Now, keeping this word constantly in mind, connect your three experiences along an imaginary line and follow the line backwards to a time before you were born. Who were you back then and what were you doing? Feel it in your body.
Next, run the line forward to 10 years from today. Who have you become by that point? Finally, if you are very brave, you can follow the line farther into the future after your death to see where your destiny might take you.
If the exercise didn’t work for you, sorry. If it worked too well and left you feeling upset, contact me so we can discuss it. Remember, it may be just a fantasy – but it’s your fantasy.
Steve is an integrative psychiatrist in private practice in Salt Lake City and the author of two books about his work (Karmic Therapy and Big Heart Healing). This month he will conduct a workshop on the arrow of destiny. firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.karmashrink.com