The Younger Version of Me

The most beautiful pastel winter flower bouquet Candace brought over today

Every therapist has the experience of seeing a patient with whom the similarities are so striking that this person feels like your doppelganger.
– Lori Gottlieb Maybe your Should Talk to Someone

I often tell people that I hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up until I turned 40. And once I did figure it out, I realized I have a huge passion for helping people find clarity about their gifts. So, when I read Candace’s intake form, I got a smile on my face. She had written: “I have issues determining my gifts and how to use them. I have never found clarity in what I am supposed to do in this life and I struggle to thrive in the ways that I know I should be able to.”

On the Suggestibility Questionnaire, she volunteered some additional information: “I easily feel embarrassed and uncomfortable, particularly in a group setting. I feel more at ease in a one-on-one setting and can be very open and affectionate in these instances. I would categorize myself as an introvert and prefer when the conversation is instigated by others. Once I feel that someone is open with me then it is very easy for me to be open and chatty with them in return.”

I could relate those sentiments to myself and I decided to be that person for Candace. When she came in, we sat together and went over the one-page sheet that I printed from her intake form. I nitpicked some of the languages she had used – such as “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do…” In that phrase, people give their power away – She began eagerly nodding her head, quickly getting the point of my nitpicks and agreeing with the perspectives I was sharing. Even though we were wearing masks in the office and couldn’t see each other’s entire face, we fell easily into rapport.

Soon, we were laughing out loud together. This was good because humour is a great way to release any layers of confusion about the “gifts” — to borrow Candace’s own word—that we are all born with.

On the intake form, Candace had written, “I have not committed to a career path…” Her occupation was listed as an office administrator. I asked her, “Your career is office administration, is it not it?”

“Absolutely not,” Candace replied without hesitation.

When someone says “absolutely not” so forcefully, it means that person absolutely knows inside themselves the falsity of the statement. I pointed to my heart, “The ability to know what’s not, means that you do know what is, even though you don’t know it here yet.” I finished the sentence by pointing to my head. “But you do know.”

Candace looked surprised and a little delighted. I looked down at the printed note again where she had also written, “I have not lived in another country even though I have always wanted to. I never know where I should go…” It made me smile and I jokingly told her I had a feeling I was sitting with a younger version of myself.

She opened her eyes wide, “Exactly! When I was reading the About page on your website, I thought you were like me! I thought I had to see you!”

I told Candace that when I first came to Canada, people often asked me what brought me here. I told them it was because I was born in China. If I had been born in Canada, I’d probably be living in China today. Living in another country seemed to be my destiny.

I also shared that I was seriously considering stopping seeing clients in person at the end of 2022. From 2023 on, I’d only see clients online, so I could be more flexible in travelling and living in different places in the world.

“Do it!” Candace said. She didn’t seem to have any confusion about other people’s choices, even though most of my in-person clients don’t quite like the idea of me switching to online sessions only.

Half of our session time had passed. I remembered what had drawn Candace to see a hypnotherapist was the prospect of doing a past life regression. Candace said she had only heard of past life regression two months previously, but instantly became interested when she did.

Even though our focus was where Candace was presently at and where she wanted to go, I felt past life regression may actually offer her greater insight into her soul’s journey, especially when I asked her what stopped her from living in another country and we identified fear.

Candace quickly went to the life of a Jewish male named Joseph. Joseph grew up in a small town with a happy loving family of five: his mother, father, brother, sister, and him. When he was old enough, Joseph moved to a bigger city to study medicine. His dream was to become a doctor, so he could heal people. But before Joseph could finish his studies, when he was 23, the Second World War broke out. After that, Joseph had to hide, and found himself constantly moving from one hiding place to another.

After the war, when Joseph stopped hiding, he started a business fixing people’s shoes. He had lost his passion to heal people. He said he didn’t care anymore. He ultimately got married, had a son, and continued to live a quiet and uneventful life.

Joseph died at the age of 77, still a cobbler.

The war had changed Joseph’s career path and diminished his dream. Before I brought Candace out of hypnosis, I gave her the suggestion that sacrificing one lifetime not pursuing one’s passion was enough. Now, as Candace, living in a peaceful society, there was no reason not to find her passion and live it to the fullest. In this life, it was time to care, to continue on with what Joseph abruptly stopped. I didn’t mean necessarily going back to medicine, but there are many ways to help people heal. I invited Candace to follow what excites her the most in any given moment, and to act on that excitement, without thinking much or having attachment to the outcome.

Candace opened her eyes with clarity and the realization of that past-life hangover. She said she knew what to do. It was not about a specific career path, but about how to go and find it.

After we finished, as I was seeing Candace out, when she reached the doorway, she turned her head back to me and said, “I think I will see you again online then!” I laughed. That was a great indirect suggestion, exactly something I’d give to my clients on departing. She reminded me so much of myself. I knew that she was going to live her best life, no matter what she did.

Within the month, Candace contacted me again and told me that she was seriously looking into studying hypnotherapy and maybe becoming a hypnotherapist!

Here’s a video clip I made two years ago on finding “life purpose”.

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