I arrived by Uber car at 223 Jay Street before my 2pm appointment. I hate being late so I made sure to be early. I called Herve, (Er-vay) the hypnotist I was there to see. He came down to greet me at the door. He was tall, thinner than I expected, with a kind face and expressive eyes. His voice was already familiar from a phone conversation we had a few days prior.
He brought me to a little office in this really interesting older building that he described as a “maze”. I felt like there were random staircases and hallways leading nowhere and back to each other, like that weird painting. Yeh, you know which one. The room was comfortable, it had good energy. The chair I was meant to sit in was less daunting than I thought it would be. It literally spoke to me with it’s cushiness, ‘come in, sit down.’ So I did.
Herve felt comfortable with my level of understanding of mind, spirit and hypnosis in general. I only had one prior experience that I even acknowledged and I remembered that with an air of disconnect and uncertainty. But he was calm, thoughtful, and he was a good listener and he relieved any pressure or nerves I had about what to expect. I needed to trust myself, as I always have, and I was supposed to be open, open to whatever came through. So I was.
We started with a small exercise. He held up a pendulum and immediately we both had the same thought, his was in jest, of course. ‘Is he going to start swinging that thing in my face saying ‘you’re getting sleepy?” I thought. But alas to my relief, he did not. He acknowledged the moment jokingly and said, “No I’m not going to do what you think, but you are.” He handed me the pendulum and asked me to hold it eye level and imagine it swinging like the pendulum in a grandfather clock. Easy enough, except that immediately the thing started swinging back and forth rather than side to side! He asked me to imagine in my mind, the clock pendulum swinging side to side, but this time I made the thing swirl into a circle. He thought that was good. After several attempts, the pendulum continued to swing, more vigorously, back and forth, until I literally made a concentrated effort and a small grunt which sent the thing spiraling into a frenzied circle that landed in a perfect side to side swing. I was fucking amazed.
“We use those same micro-muscles when we are under hypnosis,” he explained. And that I should trust the process, trust my mind, and trust what I saw. Even if it felt like I was ‘making it up’ it all stemmed from my subconscious mind, which is what we wanted to access anyway.
We did a short 15 minute test that felt like 3 minutes. I visualized a happy childhood memory of my cousin James arriving for a visit and then he led me to visualize my mother’s womb, and what I heard and felt there. Muffled voices and warmth. And then I visualized my birth. In hind sight, and after speaking with my mother, what I saw was accurate and we had a moment of ‘holy fucking shit!’ while I recovered on my couch at home.
In my birth visualization I could see the doctor, masked and covered up to his eyes, holding me up like a prize and babbling inaudible words with a cheesy grin. Probably something like ‘there you are little baby’ and it was a silly thing to recall. Herve asked me who was in the room and if my mother was holding me, but my response was obviously unexpected by him. There wasn’t anyone in the room with my mom and I was immediately whisked away while she laid in the bed motionless. I saw one nurse, and she was black and the other I did not ‘see’ but knew she was there.
My mother confirmed this. She had a Jamaican nurse whom she loved. She had told my mom, “We’ve had boys all night, but you’ll be the one who has a girl.” And she was right. The fact that the woman was black was a detail I didn’t share with Herve, it didn’t matter much at the time, until I recalled the visions to my mother and mentioned it as more detail became clear. My mother launched into another ‘Holy shit!’ and told me about the wonderful Jamaican woman who took such good care of us in the days after my birth. That I was whisked away after the doctor pulled me out while my mother was asleep! My father wasn’t in the room either but commented later how the doctor was so serious before I was born, and then he was delighted and cheerful, just the way I saw him laughing as he held me up. Well then, we must be on to something here.
Next Herve said we would dive right into a past life regression which was the purpose of my visit. I wanted to find the source of my books, the source of the sadness I feel in my heart and the unknown person I mourn who has been missing from my current life. I wanted to find a life in Ireland or Scotland or confirm that I was a gladiator in Rome as I always suspected or a warrior king like Alexander the Great, who maybe I fought with. But you have to be open to whatever you find and trust yourself to show you what you need to see.
Herve asked where I was, what I saw. My conscious mind stayed fully aware and active and became like the peanut gallery, reacting to what my subconscious mind brought forth like a skeptical mother in law. I wanted to blurt out, “You’re not going to believe where I am.” But instead I just laughed, because I couldn’t help it, as the beautiful Palace gardens of Versailles materialized around me.
FRENCH!? Yes, go with it!
I was 14, I was wearing a beautiful white and gold gown that someone had lent to me. I had no jewelry which told me immediately that I was not a princess, nor anyone royal or even rich for that matter. I didn’t belong there and felt very out of place. I wanted to hide behind the giant hedgerow and swirling green topiary. Herve asked me to find my reflection so I peered down into the fountain water and saw I had golden blonde hair twisted and pinned up like crown on my head. I had pale white skin and was very thin. Not in a chic way, but in a malnourished sort of pathetic way. But I was very pretty and I knew that was why I was there.
Herve asked me my name. I said Alis. (Ay-lease)
He asked me what year. “17” I said. “What’s the next digit?” he asked. “7” I said. “Try to find the last number if you can,” he said. ‘6’ my mind whispered but it couldn’t be. I doubted this now and thought I had regressed into a high school lesson about the revolutionary war! But that was America not France! “It might be another 7,” I said, “Or maybe a ‘1’” as if taking it forward or back a few years would change the truth.
There was an older man with me in the palace garden, maybe in his sixties. He had taken me out privately to speak to me, to convince me of some thing he and my family wanted me to do. He was some military captain or important man of the court. I wanted to hide from him too. It didn’t make sense. Why did he want me to marry a well to do man, when I was a peasant, beneath him? I didn’t trust him, nor did I trust my family now either, who would benefit from my marriage to someone I didn’t know, let alone love.
There were other men in fancy coats, dignified military generals of sorts, having tea in the palace. I noticed an older man, the leader of them, who was loud and boisterous and sweaty. He spit when he talked but the other men listened and laughed in agreement. I didn’t know what they said, Alis was only passing them.
Herve asked me to move forward in time. I found myself in a house dress, I was 19. I never married the man I went to the palace to meet and I could feel my family’s disappointment and anger. I was supposed to save them. I was going to be their meal ticket, despite how unhappy I would have been in a loveless marriage. I was in my room alone. Alone became the theme of this life and I felt it right from this moment. I saw a mirror on the wall, my bed, my meager belongings. I had next to nothing and I lost my family too, who I could hear in the next room. But I couldn’t face them, so I hid away.
We moved forward in time again. I was in my 20’s. I was walking along shops and store fronts in a town or city. I was looking for someone. A young man my age. I liked him, it wasn’t serious or anything, but I wanted to see him. I wanted to smile. Instead I saw the boisterous man from the palace. He was shouting into a crowd of young men, poor peasants and I knew he was recruiting them for the army. I found the young man I was looking for in that crowd, listening to the boisterous one and believing him. He wants to go to war. I tried to explain to him, these are not trustworthy people. What do you think they do with peasants? They send them to die. But this young man wouldn’t listen to me. He had a sense of duty and love for his country.
Herve wanted me to move forward but I refused. “I am still trying to convince him not to go.” I said. I spent another few minutes there with him but to no avail. I knew he would go and he did. And I knew he would never come back.
I spent the next years alone. Estranged from my family. Our house burned down. Accidentally. I don’t know who did it, but it wasn’t intentional. It wasn’t me. I didn’t have anything anyway and it was almost liberating. So I wandered. I was homeless but I was still young and pretty, in my early 30’s. So people helped me but I was worried. I knew I wouldn’t be pretty forever and then no one would help me.
A building caught my eye. A beautiful white building in the sunshine with iron gates on the windows and flowers on each sill. It was curved so subtly, settled on a main intersection and corner. I was intrigued by the architecture, that they could make a building rounded in the front. I guess I thought houses had to be square like they are in the poor sections. I watched rich people come and go. Dressed beautifully, with horse drawn carriages and attendants. I envied them for a moment, wanting to live there. I realized, had I married, I might be living there now. It was the first time I felt regret for not doing what was asked of me. But I was strong of mind and didn’t care for those things then. I would have to keep surviving on my own.
Then I found myself in a cemetery. My mother had died. I waited for my family to leave before I visited her grave to say goodbye. I didn’t feel I had a mother anyway so the loss was not significant. She had been so angry with me for letting the family struggle that we never had a relationship after that. I didn’t trust her from when I was young. I took care of myself anyway, so I didn’t shed one tear at her grave.
I worked for a fat disgusting man, cleaning his house. There were kids there but not mine. I don’t know where their mother was or if they were his. They were very badly behaved. Running and screaming and getting in my way. The fat man would make a mess on purpose so I had to stay longer, clean more. He liked me, but of course, I hated him and wanted to get away as soon as I could.
Herve moved me forward again and I knew I was in a house now. I had moved in with my friend and her husband and her kids. I helped their family and they kept me off the street. She was my only friend and it was the first time I wasn’t alone.
Herve moved me to the end of my life. I found myself in my friend’s house, in bed with a fever. They said I was dying but I didn’t believe them. I was so strong willed I thought for sure I would be better soon. Herve asked me if I died there, “No.” I said. He asked me to move to my death event and I found myself still in that bed. Turns out, I did die of that fever. I think I was 43 years old.
Herve asked me what I felt, as I crossed over. Immediately I became very emotional for the first time during the session. “Sadness” I said. I was leaving a life of solitude and struggle. One without love or trust. One where I thought I was strong for not needing anyone, but it was the love of others I truly wanted. I didn’t realize until I left my body. I felt myself transition into spirit form. Herve asked me what I felt again. “Disappointed.” My spirit self was disappointed with Alis, for being so stubborn and strong willed and unwilling to trust and love. Trust and love was the point of all this. Love is the point of all.
I moved into a healing state where I continued through the feelings of emotion, disappointment, sadness, but also reflection and understanding. On the other side you shouldn’t have feelings like sadness, and if you do, you go to a place of healing. Herve asked me to find loved ones who crossed over but I couldn’t leave the reflection ‘room’. “They want me to stay here.” I said. “Who does?” he asked with renewed interest. “My spirit guides.” They wanted me to feel these things completely, so the lessons I learned as Alis resonate with Jessica. Jessica has the same issues now. Not needing anyone. Feeling strong and independent when in reality she feels very alone. The weight of the world is on her shoulders and she’d rather not bother anyone with her burden.
I wanted to stay in that healing space and reflect but it was already 2 hours into Alis’ regression and the 3rd hour of my entire first session. I was ready to come back to Jessica, to remember everything Alis had lived and to learn those lessons now.
“Forgiveness.” I said. Herve wrote it down. “I have to forgive myself when I don’t do the right thing. When I don’t make the right decision. It’s ok to make the wrong choice.”