On February 25, 1969, Christina, a twenty-year-old administrative assistant in the department of political science at Pomona College in Claremont, California, went to the department’s basement mailbox to pick up her employer’s mail. As she touched a package in the mailbox a bomb detonated, hurling her across the room. Dust and soot filled the air; six-foot splinters of wood shot like arrows into the cement wall behind her. Flames from the explosion scorched Christina’s face, leaving her temporarily blind. The blast severed two fingers from her right hand and ruptured both eardrums.
Christina planned this experience before she was born.
And she knows why.
In May of 2003, I was leading an unfulfilling life as a self-employed marketing and communications consultant. Although I enjoyed some of my work, I did not derive deep satisfaction from any of it. I often felt that if I were to fall off the face of the Earth, my clients would hardly notice; they would simply plug someone else into my role. More important, my life was not a unique expression of my soul. A spiritual but not a religious person, I longed to make a contribution to the world that would be “uniquely me,” but I had no idea what that might be.
I had exhausted the usual routes one explores to find meaning and purpose. I was lost and floundering. Then, an inspiration came to me: why not consult a medium? Although I had a strong belief in God, I had never (as far as I knew) directly experienced the metaphysical. I felt I had nothing to lose. I researched mediums and selected someone with whom I felt comfortable.
My session with the medium took place on May 7, 2003. I remember the exact date because on that day my life changed. I told the medium very little about myself, describing my circumstances only in the most general terms. She explained that each of us has spirit guides, nonphysical beings with whom we plan our lives prior to incarnation.
Through her I was able to speak with mine. They knew everything about me — not only what I had done but also what I had thought and felt. For example, they referred to a specific prayer I had said to God some five years earlier. At a particularly difficult time I had prayed, “God, I can’t do this alone. Please send help.” My guides told me that additional nonphysical assistance had been provided. “Your prayer was answered,” they said. I was astounded.
Eager to understand the suffering I had experienced, I asked my guides about the major challenges I had faced. They explained that I had planned these challenges before birth — not for the purpose of suffering, but for the growth that would result. I was shaken by this information. My conscious mind knew nothing of pre-birth planning, yet intuitively I sensed truth in their words.
Although I did not realize it at the time, my session with the medium triggered a profound spiritual awakening for me. I would later understand that this awakening was really a remembering — a remembering of who I am as an eternal soul and, more specifically, what I had planned to do on Earth.
For the next few weeks I continued with life as usual, although the information from my guides was constantly on my mind. I did not know what to do with it. One afternoon I took a break from work and went for a walk — and had an experience even more profound than my session with the medium. I suddenly felt overwhelming, unconditional love for every person I saw! No words can adequately convey the power of this love. It was of an intensity and depth I had never experienced and did not know was possible. For each person — the mother pushing her baby in a stroller, the cab driver waiting for a fare, the child playing at the corner, the barber cutting hair behind the window of his barbershop — I felt pure, limitless love.
Though I had never before heard of such an experience, I knew intuitively what was happening: I was in enhanced, immediate communion with my soul. In effect my soul was saying to me, “This love is who you are.” I now believe my soul gifted me with this experience to facilitate the work I would soon begin.
I became obsessed with reading about spirituality and metaphysics. As I read I thought often about pre-birth planning. All my life I had viewed my challenges as nothing more than meaningless suffering and their occurrences as random and arbitrary. Had I known that I’d planned my challenges, I would have seen them rich with purpose. That knowledge alone would have greatly eased my suffering. Had I also known why I’d planned them, I could have consciously learned the lessons they offered. Feelings of fear, anger, resentment, blame, and self-pity would have been replaced by a focus on growth. Perhaps I might even have been grateful for the challenges.
During this period of intense study and inner exploration, I met a woman who is able to channel her soul and who agreed to let me speak with her soul about pre-birth planning. I had no knowledge of channeling and was taken aback when she went into a trance and another consciousness, one clearly distinct from hers, began to speak through her. I spoke with her soul for fifteen hours over the course of five meetings.
These conversations were thrilling. They verified and complemented my reading and study. Her soul told me in detail about her own pre-birth planning: the various challenges that had been discussed and the reasons some were selected. Here I had direct, specific confirmation of a phenomenon of which very few people were aware. Because the pain in my life had made me extremely sensitive to — and intensely motivated to relieve — the suffering of others, I was excited by the potential healing an awareness of pre-birth planning could bring to people. I knew that the information I had discovered could lighten their suffering and imbue their challenges with new meaning and purpose. As a result I resolved to write a book about the subject and to share its significance with others.
My enthusiasm for my new path was, however, tempered by the uncertainty of letting go of the old. Though unfulfilling, it was at least comfortable and familiar. Nevertheless, I was sustained — indeed, compelled to go forward — by the importance of the work, the opportunity finally to express myself in unique ways that would be of service to the world, and the certainty of knowing that came from directly experiencing my soul.
At first I thought the idea for the book had originated in this lifetime. In truth, however, I had simply remembered my own pre-birth planning. By working with several gifted mediums and channels, I discovered I had planned not only to write a book on this subject but also to interview at least one of the people whose stories appear on these pages. In all I had dozens of sessions with mediums and channels, during which I spoke with many wise beings in spirit about my challenges and about pre-birth planning in general. In this book I offer to you what they have taught me.
I now understand why I had planned certain challenges for myself: I wanted to take the journey those who read this book may also take. I, too, at times felt victimized by the universe and blamed others for the “bad” things that happened to me. I saw my challenges as pointless, empty suffering and doubted my worth when I did not rise to them in the way I would have liked. But with my knowledge of pre-birth planning, I now realize that an entirely different perspective on life challenges is possible. In writing Courageous Souls, I set out to teach what I had most needed to learn.
It takes a great deal of courage to live the plans you made before you were born. My desire, my most fervent wish, is that you recognize the tremendous courage you show in every moment of every day when, with each breath, you reaffirm your decision to embrace and learn from your own challenges. Within that recognition, you will find your soul.
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