As a licensed marriage and family therapist and former psychology professor, I have spent years telling people that we all make sense when properly understood. Our lives are like a puzzle and we just need to understand the various pieces of our past to understand where we are today. But when I began studying hypnosis, a whole new world opened up for me, literally. I discovered that this lifetime is just one piece of a much bigger puzzle that includes many lifetimes. Hypnosis can help us access those other lifetimes. In the past-life hypnosis session included here, Ken* returns to a previous life where he focused mainly on work. At the end of that lifetime, he wonders if he might have missed out on something. Then he connects with his spirit guide who tells him that his task in this lifetime is to focus on love.

Ken emerges in 1880 as a medium-built 40-year-old man with tan skin, short dark hair and dark eyes. He is standing in a countryside of rolling hills, outside a village, in the United States. In this 1880s life, Ken is particularly proud of his business, which involves “construction … building something.” His wife, Mary, is the most important person in his life. She is a white woman with brown hair. He can see her laughing. A very important moment in Ken’s life is when Mary gives birth to their son. Ken is the only one there with her. He describes the scene as “very loud” and himself as “very nervous.” He doesn’t know what to do. But, he says, “She’s got it under control. She’s the strong one.”

As Ken is nearing the end of that life, he reflects, “I didn’t do enough. I would have liked to have been there for her more — meet her more halfway because she was giving me a lot and I didn’t give her enough back.” After that life ends, Ken says, “It feels good. But maybe I missed something.” He feels “relief, clarity, regret.”

Once that life is over, Ken is able to communicate with his spirit guide and to share with me the messages he is receiving. I ask how Ken did in that lifetime. Ken relays, “He was honorable.” According to Ken’s guide, his main purpose in that lifetime was “survival on his own” and he did “very, very well.” His guide explains that the reason Ken was shown that particular life is because he’s struggling with those same issues today. His current life task is “to do more, to do the things he didn’t do before — show the love he was afraid to show with her (Mary).” Ken is reminded that he learned how to survive during that previous lifetime. Now, he is instructed to stop worrying about that. He is told to “Live an honest, rigorous, loving life. Show love and be present.” Ken says, “Do the things I’m afraid of.” His guide’s advice to help him do these things is to love himself.

After Ken’s past-life session is finished, he shares that the most important message he received was that he has been focusing on the wrong thing. He already knows how to run a business. He needs to focus on his relationships.

I checked back with Ken a couple of months later to find out how the session impacted him. He revealed that for the last several years he has been obsessing about his business — constantly working on it and trying to fix it. But since his session, that pressure has all been lifted. Work is easier now and he trusts that everything will work itself out. He realizes that worrying about his business was actually a distraction, a way to avoid the “relationship work,” which is scary for him. Ken believes he has a mandate to focus on his relationships, to take emotional risks — not just with his wife, but also in his friendships and in his relationships with his siblings and his parents. He wants to be more present, “to get more out of that part of life.” Ken was initially skeptical of past-life hypnosis so I asked him what he thinks of it now. He said, “It’s an extraordinary gift for those who buy into it. It’s great. It’s amazing.”

Not everyone will buy into past life hypnosis. But for those who do, it can be life changing.

*”Ken’s” name has been changed and he has granted permission to share his story.

Vondie Lozano, Ph.D., is a Ventura resident.