What defines you?

“You have this syndrome, but it is not going to define who you are…”

The story of this girl is incredible. She was born with a severe syndrome that, among other things, prevents the gain of weight. Despite all the obstacles and challenges she has faced during her entire life, she has become one of the most beautiful and encouraging persons I’ve ever heard. An extraordinary lesson of strength, love and gratitude.

How do you define yourself – Lizzie Velasquez

Past life regression

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Teilhard de Chardin

Some people live several times similar experiences, sometimes painful and destructive, without understanding the reason and despite the fact that they do every effort to avoid them. It can happen, for example, that they attract always the same type of partner or fall in the same dynamics with their head or colleagues, even if they change repeatedly their work environment. Why does this happen? And above all, is it possible to interrupt this repetition of unwanted situations?

Photo by Guy72125. Creative Commons license

“Repetition compulsion” is the name given by Freud to describe the reiteration of emotional, typically dramatic and painful experiences, that occurred in one’s past. His work showed that bringing the initial trauma to consciousness, accepting it and integrating what has been felt and learned, can have positive effects on someone’s present life.

A person who experiences past life regression is guided in a state of relaxation and concentration that favors memories to emerge from the past. It is not one’s rational and logic mind to choose what to remember, but the deep and innate intelligence of his/her life, that knows what the person needs in that moment of his/her life and which difficulty he/she is ready to overcome and release. This same intelligence will not bring to awareness a traumatic and grievous event if the person hasn’t developed yet the necessary tools to manage it.

Memories often go back to childhood or adolescence, but other times they refer to events happened in a time a lot more distant, even in past lives. This is an experience that many patients of Dr. Brian L. Weiss had. Dr. Weiss is a scientist, researcher and medical doctor whose courageous and precious contribution to this field has been recognized and appreciated worldwide. Graduated at the Columbia University and to the Yale Medical School, Brian L. Weiss directed for years the department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Center of Miami

At a certain point of his career he met a special patient, Catherine, who would have deeply influenced the rest of his life. During a hypnosis session she remembered with precision events of her past lives, spanning from the second millennium b. C. to the half of the twentieth century. This happened in numerous other sessions and provoked a radical change in Dr. Weiss. Its initial reaction was understandably of large amazement, incredulity and skepticism. Nevertheless, the reports of Catherine were so precise that they could not be invented. Together with other scientists, Dr. Weiss was able to recognize their authenticity.

Despite the fear to be struck off from the psychiatric community, Dr. Weiss had the courage to write a book about Catherine’s journeys, followed by others describing the experiences of several other patients. His texts are full of authentic wisdom, deep humanity and the sincere desire to help people to open themselves to dimensions that go far beyond the physical world to which we are used. They are precious gifts that changed the life of many people. Reading these texts and meeting Dr. Weiss contributed to a fundamental turn in my life.

Is it necessary to believe in the existence of past lives to benefit from regressive hypnosis?

No, it is not. Dr. Weiss found in numerous occasions that whoever can benefit from the therapeutic power of this technique, irrespectively of the religious faith and the fact to believe or not in the existence of past lives.

Somebody who chooses to experience hypnosis may be interested to verify whether the remembered events really happened or were imagined, but this is not necessary for the therapeutic success of regressive hypnosis and depends only on the curiosity of the person.

Is it necessary to remember past experiences to resolve them?

It is not necessarily so. When the subconscious needs to have access to a memory or an emotion to change a belief, it will do it. However, this is not indispensable.

Everyone is different, special and unique. The inner wisdom and the innate intelligence will guide the person to remember and feel all that is appropriate and needed to move forward. Sometimes a clear and precise memory arises. Other times the person feels an emotion, has an intuition or simply lives a moment of great wellbeing and harmony. All senses are involved.

The best attitude is to have no expectations on the “result” of the session. Curiosity, simplicity and an open mind help to embrace the experience without judging it and improve its effectiveness.

Can we get other benefits from past life regression?

Sometimes remembering the past helps to accept, release and definitely resolve more or less painful experiences that may still influence our present life. But there is more than that. During this or previous lifetimes we have developed talents, creativity, intuition, wisdom and learned important lessons of love, compassion and gratitude. We may have forgot them, but they still exist in the subconscious mind. Through past life regression a person may become aware of these talents and realize that they are still available, waiting to be reactivated. Past experiences can then become a source of wisdom, strength and knowingness to improve our present life.

We are far greater than we think we are. If we allow ourselves to go beyond the filters and limitations of the logic, rational mind, we discover the richness that is in life.

Past, present and future

Human mind conceives time as a linear succession of present, past and future events. From this perspective, things that have already happened cannot be modified. However, Einstein’s relativity theory suggests that time does not exist in itself, but only as our subjective perception.

Time is equal to eternity. This has been the teaching of many enlightened spiritual masters, of different ages and cultures. Present, past and future are fused together in an eternal Now. We use to think our life as a line segment that goes from birth to death. The present moment is a point on that line, the past a point before and the future a point ahead. In fact, there is no line segment. The point is all there is. It is the Here and Now. The past and the future exist only to the degree we put our attention on them.

What does this practically mean? It means that the only power we have to create or change anything is here in the present. If it does not exist in some form right now, it will never exist. The change begins inside us, with the pure intention to want it.


Your ideas become your thoughts.

Your thoughts become your words.

Your words become your actions.

Your actions become your habits.

Your habits become your values.

Your values become your destiny.

Mahatma Gandhi

Photo by kslyesmith. Creative Commons license

I think that hypnosis can be a useful tool to improve some life’s aspects, if it is used correctly and at the right time in one’s inner growth.

Many people are afraid about hypnosis, mostly because of misconceptions coming from what they have seen in movies, shows and television. For this reason, I would like to dedicate a post to this subject, to try to distinguish between what hypnosis is and what it is not. Here is a long-standing question…

Is it possible to change long lasting beliefs and habits?

Yes, it is possible! Many people think they are born with certain tracts of their character that cannot be changed during the course of their life. In this way of thinking there is a complete identification with the idea that a person has (and/or others have) of her. However, this is an illusion. We can all change and every moment is the right one to make this decision. It is not so important what we have been up until now as much as what we decide to be from now on.

The thing is that we have often tried to change, making many efforts without success. We wanted to fall in love but we did not attract the right person. We wanted to be rich, but we have not become rich. We had dreams and passions but we have not been able to realize them. The list can be long. Therefore we conclude that things will continue this way because we cannot behave differently. This is how the rational, linear mind perceives reality. However, this way of thinking does not consider that the conscious (rationale) mind influences our reality only by 5%. We are not aware that beliefs deeply anchored in the subconscious influence and forge our life to an extent far greater than our conscious desires and thoughts. And often time unconscious beliefs do not arise from our direct experience. We rather absorbed them by the environment, either in this life or in previous lives.

Is there coherence between what we feel in our heart – desires, passions, dreams – and our way of thinking, speaking and taking actions? Are we satisfied of our life? If this is not so, we can turn our attention inside and become aware of limiting thoughts or habits that do not serve us anymore. We can let them go. There will be space to let intuition, solutions and ideas come to us. The outside world will change accordingly.

This does not mean we have to analyze and understand all the experiences we lived. This is not necessary. Being in contact with our wounded parts, observing emotions and feelings with no judgment, starts a process of transformation.

It does not really matter how long we have taken old beliefs as our truth, consciously or unconsciously. We are like a computer, which keeps running the same, old program, if it is the only one available, even when it becomes outdated. If we download a new one, more appropriate, the latest version will be used and the old one discarded.

Hypnosis: some history

The practice of inducing trance states, which is now called hypnosis, can be traced back to ancient times, when it was mainly used in religious or healing practices. Egyptians, Greeks and Romans as well as many shamans and healers in other cultures were proficient in these techniques.

Hypnosis lost importance in early Christian times, when people were led to believe that it had to do with black magic and that the a person experiencing trance processes was under the power of devil.

The modern era of hypnosis started with Franz Mesmer (1734-1815), but scientists of the Academy of Science and the faculty of Medicine in Paris discredited his theory and the use of trance states was relegated to the area of mysticism. Nevertheless, several medical doctors continued using hypnosis to alleviate the pain due to surgical operations. This lasted until the advent of chemical anesthesia in 1848. The general use of hypnosis decreased after that time but continued to play an important role in wartime, when anesthetic agents were often unavailable.

Psychiatrist Milton Erickson (1901-1980) is considered as the father of contemporary hypnosis. He reconsidered the power and importance of hypnosis as a useful tool that can be taught and used as a support for other medical therapies. The British Medical Association (in 1955) and the Council on Mental Health of the American Medical Association (in 1958) approved and recommended the use of hypnosis as a valuable tool in the field of medicine.

Dr. Erickson’s extensive work influenced significantly Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the cofounders of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) in the early seventies. They tried to understand how the way people interact, behave and communicate influences their life and the achievement of their goals.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a state of focused concentration that many of us experience every day. When we are relaxed and our concentration is so intense that we are not distracted by external noises we are in a state of light hypnosis. One example is when we are so absorbed by reading a book that we do not pay attention to stimuli around us. Another common hypnotic state arises when we drive our car in an “automatic mode”, getting to the place we wanted to go without realizing how we got there.

Contrary to a common idea, people experiencing hypnosis do not lose control. There is absolutely no danger in hypnosis. Nobody can remain “stuck” in a hypnotic state. In fact, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, meaning that the person has the control and can stop the process anytime, simply by opening his/her eyes. The role of the therapist or operator is only to facilitate a relaxed state using an induction procedure. Although there are many hypnotic inductions, most of them include suggestions for relaxation, calmness and wellbeing. Some persons are very responsive to hypnosis, other less, but in general they describe the experience as very pleasant. It is a kind of meditative state.

Hypnosis is a way to access the subconscious. What is the difference between conscious and subconscious mind? The conscious part of our mind is analytical, rational, critical and aware. With our conscious mind we evaluate, take decisions and organize our daily life. The subconscious mind stores all the information and experiences we have (and we had) and all that we absorbed (ideas, beliefs, judgments) by the environment (family, school, society). Using this information, it influences our behavior accordingly, although we are not aware that this happens constantly. It can remember everything, but it does not judge, it takes everything as true. Like a computer, it uses, automatically and impersonally, the programs that have been downloaded and are available. If our conscious desires are not supported by the subconscious mind, it may be difficult to realize them, despite our efforts. It is as if part of us wants to turn right and another chooses to go left. By learning to communicate with the subconscious mind we can change behaviors we do not like and build the life we aim for and deserve.

At the same time, the subconscious is a doorway to access intuition, creativity and wisdom that we have acquired. It is a source of answers and solutions.

How is a person “under hypnosis”?

Hypnosis is not a form of sleep, but rather a state of focused concentration. The person feels generally very relaxed and at the same time he/she is absolutely aware, alert and in full control of what happens. Physical relaxation facilitates the hypnotic process, but it is not a necessary prerequisite for hypnosis to occur. Since hypnosis is a state of concentrated attention, one can be anxious and still be focused. Once the session is over, the person remembers everything she said, listened and experienced.

Are there cases in which hypnosis is not recommended?

It is not advised to use hypnosis with people suffering of serious troubles of personality, psychosis, maniac depressive states, schizophrenia, paranoia, borderline states, serious depression.

Goodbye to David Servan-Schreiber

I’m glad I brought values that I’m deeply attached to, such as the vital force to bring back our power.

David Servan-Schreiber

Extract from the Los Angeles Times, written by Kim Willsher:

“Armed with his will to live and a belief that the human body had little-known cancer-combating capacities of its own, he set about looking into the way we understand and battle the disease.

From his research came the successful book “Anticancer: A New Way of Life”, published in 2007, that sold 1 million copies and led to a sea change in how cancer was viewed and treated.

Servan-Schreiber’s near two-decade exploration of the science of cancer was a personal and professional journey that took him from the verge of death to good health and back again twice before ending in his death Sunday at a hospital near his family’s home in Normandy, France. He was 50.

Even when told last year that the brain cancer had returned and would almost certainly kill him this time, Servan-Schreiber refused to give in, continuing to promote the idea that, parallel to traditional medicine, healthy eating along with meditation, yoga and “a new way of life” could extend the lives of cancer sufferers.

David Servan-Schreiber was born in the wealthy Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine on April 21, 1961, the son of a celebrated French family with Prussian Jewish roots. David was the eldest son of Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, a respected journalist, essayist and politician, who died in 2006.

He studied medicine at a children’s hospital in Paris, finishing his medical degree at Laval University in Quebec in 1984 before specializing in psychiatry in Montreal and moving to a research post at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he earned his doctorate.

In 1991 he went to Iraq as a volunteer medic with the French-based Doctors Without Borders, the nongovernmental organization that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999, and later co-founded the U.S. branch of the charity.

The story goes that he discovered he had a brain tumor only when in 1991 a research patient failed to turn up for an MRI scan and Servan-Schreiber took his place.

He underwent treatment but had a relapse a few years later and began to seriously turn his mind and his work to the effects of diet and lifestyle on the incidences of cancer and depression.

His first book, “Healing Without Freud or Prozac,” titled “The Instinct to Heal” in the United States, was published in France in 2003, translated into 29 languages and sold 1.3 million copies. “Anticancer” followed four years later.

Certain critics dismissed Servan-Schreiber as a “new age guru” who proposed quack theories that more vegetables, more exercise and less stress were a cure for cancer. On the contrary, he was quick to admit that traditional methods such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy were the first and most important salvos in the battle against the disease. However, he believed the body harbored a number of natural defenses that could create a terrain in which cancer would find it hard to thrive.

Said Ursula Gauthier, journalist and coauthor of his last book, “We Can Say Goodbye Several Times”: “He wasn’t a great thinker, a philosopher or a mandarin of science or medicine. He described himself as a scientist and a human. He was a mixture of heart and head, intellect and emotion.”

Servan-Schreiber was told his cancer had returned when a brain tumor, which he called the Big One, was diagnosed in May 2010.

At the time he said: “Death is part of life. It happens to everyone. Profit from now, do the important things.”

“I am convinced that ‘Anticancer’ has played an important role in the fact that I survived cancer for 19 years when the first diagnosis gave me only six at the most.”

Survivors include his wife, Gwenaëlle, and three children.”