“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us.
Between the two stands Resistance.”
~ Steven Pressfield
Resistance. You know that feeling. That internal clutch that engages when someone tells you to do something you don’t want to. When you fight that “should” voice in your own head that says it’s time to do chores or go to the gym. We all experience it from time to time. I’m even experiencing it as I write this blog entry.
Whenever we feel resistance, we can look to the value of doing vs. not doing the task at hand. There is always a secondary gain on both sides. Later in this post I will teach you a simple exercise to resolve a lot of resistance.
In the last blog, I chose my focus for my sabbatical in Ireland and Scotland⏤to find clarity about my purpose with the hopes of achieving integration of forgotten past life skills. As I examined my resistance to writing this installation, I realized that resistance was reflected in this next leg of my journey.
After gathering the group in Dublin, we headed out to our first stop: Malahide Castle.
About 8 miles north of Dublin, sitting near the banks of the Boyne River, this castle was continuously occupied by the Talbot family from the late 1100’s until 1973, except for a short period when they were displaced.
I sensed this property held many memories for me, lifetimes of memories. I wanted the memories to flood in, but there was some unconscious resistance. Relaxing into the experience, I asked myself why I would want to hold back from knowing my experiences at this property? Were the memories too difficult, sad, and hurtful? Were they so lovely it would be painful to miss those days? Would I not trust the information that I might get?
Soon bits and snippets filtered in, with a surprising twist at the end.
Standing by an ancient wall, looking toward the ruins of the adjacent chapel, I could suddenly hear the long-ago clip-clop of horse hoofs behind me. I looked around.
With my eyes, I only saw the present day scene. And with another visual sense, I perceived an overlaying veil of a marketplace. As I let the images develop, the pavement turned to a muddy cart path. I saw small wood and thatch huts along either side, with people selling their fruits, meats, and handiwork. Dogs, chickens, children scurried around. It was a bustling environment, dependent on the needs of this castle household for their livelihood, while the occupants of the castle were dependent on the vendors for their wares. It was a symbiotic relationship that worked well for all concerned.
With that in the background, I turned back to stare at the chapel ruins….and nothing. I knew there would be a connection. If I had lived here, I would no doubt have spent a lot of time in the chapel. Sundays, holidays, ceremonies marking the beginnings and endings of life. Yet, I couldn’t quite make the connection.
So I walked the winding path past lawns and gardens, to arrive at the castle entrance. Looking out at the expansive lawn in front of the castle, my mind passed through many views of changing landscapes like time-lapse photography, showing how it had looked at various periods in long ago times, before the trees had been cleared and pristine grass planted.
Entering the castle, I personally found it hard to listen to the guide and look at everything, while also trying to place myself in a past life. At the end of the tour we were free to wander the property, and I finally had a better opportunity to conjure up my memories.
It should be noted that resistance is quite natural for people while exploring their past lives, though it isn’t often discussed in books on past life regression. I hear from clients who think they must be doing it all wrong because their experience doesn’t match the seemingly easy flow depicted in case studies on past lives. When writing about past lives, it is hard to demonstrate the long pauses and processing during a session. Plus, clients who have a harder time remembering are usually not the ones included as case studies for past life regression.
I retraced my steps past the chapel ruins and on to the secret garden beyond. What a treasure! Yet still few memories. While I could recall certain memories of gardening, I could not be sure I had come upon specific memories of this garden. Another stumbling block that can occur in recalling past life memories.
Making my way along the path toward the castle again, I suddenly saw myself in a long dress and bonnet, scurrying through the marketplace trying to go unnoticed. I felt myself wrap my cloak tightly, keeping my head down and my face obscured. I just wanted to get to the castle undisturbed. I scanned myself for my emotions. Was I embarrassed? Keeping a secret? Not wanting to engage in conversation or have someone try to sell me something? Why the secrecy, the desire to be invisible?
I realized later that I was bringing a message of political importance to someone at Malahide. I didn’t live here at that time. I was a guest. I didn’t want to be seen and have rampant curiosity and rumors flying around among the townspeople.
From this path I diverted into the West garden, and the memories of another life when I was a guest. Finding a bench to relax on, I could gaze upon the castle and let my mind wander freely.
I quickly started to see and feel a friend of mine as the mistress of the house during one of the generations of the Talbot family. I realized she had been my sister then, one of many siblings. I came to this house to stay during my pregnancy because my husband was in the military and was concerned for me in my condition.
Sweet memories of staying here flooded my mind. There were engaging intellectual conversations about the latest developments in science, and discussions on politics. I enjoyed plenty of leisure time with my sisters, walking the gardens, or sitting around the fireplace planning social events and talking of love, nature, spirits, and looking into the future. It was a pleasant and loving household.
I began to think about my pregnancy, moving the timeline up to the moment of birth. Suddenly I was high in the air, looking at my lifeless body, splayed about on the blood soaked bed. It took me a moment to realize what I was looking at. To integrate that into my awareness. I took in the scene. My sister, who was the mistress of the house, sat to my left holding my baby, and my other sister, who was known for her work with herbs and healing, sat near my right foot. She had delivered my baby, and had tried desperately to stop the bleeding…to no avail.
I searched my emotions. How did I feel about departing this life so young, and leaving my newborn child? I searched for horror, longing, or grief, but felt only peace and wonder. I had resisted dying and leaving my baby, but now it was over. All was quiet inside me. This scene was just a fact along my personal timeline.
There are things, like death, that are worth resisting, and then there are parts of life that we resist, like past life memories, that would be valuable to access and integrate.
In retrospect, I realize that I only thought I was resisting the memories of my past life in Malahide Castle. In actuality, they flowed fairly easily—except at the chapel ruins. Now I understand that it would have been out of context had I seen that I was buried there before I remembered having lived there. My resistance at first protected me so I could see the early part of the lifetime and be prepared to see the end.
As for the resistance to writing this post, it lifted as I put pen to paper. Once I committed to writing, it was enjoyable. And having given birth to this post, I am at peace.
What are you resisting? Is resistance serving you in a healthy way or blocking you from moving forward?
Here is a process you can use when you feel resistance:
Being as thoughtful and honest as possible, ask yourself:
What is the benefit of resisting this?
What is the detriment of resisting this?
What would be the benefit if I did not resist this?
What would be the detriment of not resisting this?
This will likely uncover some deeper motivations that you may have for feeling resistant, blocked, or stuck.