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For a Reason or a Season

A few weeks ago I went to a past life regression event with some old Gymboree friends. It was an interesting night. As a Catholic, I am not supposed to believe in anything mystical or other life-ly. We die and go to Heaven. That’s that. It’s what I teach my religion students and my kids. But as a curious human, though, I’m not so sure what I believe. Why do we have instant connections with some and instant dislike of others? Why do we tend to run into people randomly again and again in our lives? Are they ghosts or spirits we have run into over and over again in past lives? Lots of people would say yes, this is the case.

Sometimes, I wonder myself, especially when crazy coincidences and weird random meetings happen. For instance, about two months ago I went to a middle school event in my town. I was feeling very down and sad. Also, dizzy. I needed a break, so I went to the bathroom. When I came back I caught the eye of the woman sitting directly behind me. She hadn’t been there before. Her smile grew wide as she recognized me. It was Jodi, a good friend I know from the time before I had kids.

We met when I was in my 20s. She and I carried our first kids at the same time. Our daughters were born only weeks apart. Soon after, I taught mommy-and-me yoga at her wellness studio. (An important milestone for me since it ushered in a golden age in my life — what I call the Gymboree years.) The friendship lasted until she closed her studio, moved away and lost touch. I ran into her again when I was pregnant with my second. I was searching for the HypnoBirthing educator I used the first go-around. When I dialed the phone number I found on the web my friend, Jodi answered the phone. How random! How weird! She rented a room to the educator, she told me. At the time, we marveled at how fate had brought us back together again, but we never ended up meeting up. Life was just too busy. She was pregnant again, too and lived pretty far away. And yet almost a dozen years later here she was sitting behind me again.

We started chatting and it turns out she lives on the same street as one of my close friends. More than 30 miles away! She was only at the event to support another friend. It’s such a small world, we agreed. And then I wondered: Why did we meet up again? What am I supposed to learn from her — or her from me? The universe thinks we have unfinished business, I assumed, so we exchanged phone numbers and promised to get together soon.

And that kind of thing happens to me a lot. People come in and out of my life for a season or a reason. Some may stick around longer than others, but they all have something in common. Those who make a difference or change me usually provoke something that others don’t– a feeling, a connection. I feel like we were meant to meet. They almost instantly feel like a member of my family. They are more than just friends or acquaintances. They are soulmates. This is probably why, when they leave my orbit, my heart breaks a little bit. And why I wonder if we were connected in another life or time, because how else can you explain such coincidences and feelings?

Getting back to the regression: That night I — along with about 20 other people — followed the directions given by the woman, who was a self-identified multigenerational witch. It was strange but during the regression I got a vision of myself living in Paris wearing wooden shoes and lots of rings and jewelry. I was wealthy and had two children — a boy and a girl. Later, as I sat there chatting with my friends in a tea room I wondered out loud if it was the power of suggestion coupled with the fact that I had just listened to quite a bit of historical fiction. Do I believe I lived before in France? I’m not sure, but it was a fun night with friends nonetheless.

And that brings me full circle. What’s your take on mysticism and regression? I’d like to know.

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