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What is a soul? What is it comprised of? Does one soul stay the same forever? Does the soul keep evolving? Does the same soul get born again and again into new bodies and if so, why can't we remember our past lives more vividly? If and when we participate in a past life regression, why don't we get the whole picture? How can more than one person lay claim to being a reincarnation of a famous (or not so famous) historical figure?


These are some of the questions that I often asked myself and basically they have remained unanswered until I had a vision during an early morning meditation. It was a an amazingly beautiful vision made up of many moving colors that gave me a new perspective on what I call "my soul."


Up to this point I had always thought of my soul as being made up of one energy, so to speak. My soul was fully identifiable as "me" for this lifetime. My vision opened a doorway that enabled me see it differently. What I saw was a tapestry made up of millions of beautifully colored threads. These threads all came from the same source. As in a tapestry some of the threads are woven together for a short period to form a "picture" and when the picture is complete the threads separate and weave with other threads to form a new picture. This continual interweaving is what makes the tapestry alive and vibrant.


Now, imagine that each soul is made up of many "threads." When it is time for a new being to come into physical form, many soul threads agree to weave themselves together to form the "life force" of that individual (a picture in the tapestry). These woven threads comprise the "soul" energy of that individual. Each thread is God-force energy in and of itself, However, for this particular incarnation, certain threads form a community, an agreement to experience themselves together in physical form.


As I pondered this vision, it occurred to me that if indeed each individual's life force is made up of many soul threads, then when one or more threads have served their purpose they may decide to "leave' the community. New threads may come in to take their place. This can happen with very little fanfare as the individual grows and reaches new levels of understanding and consciousness.


However, there are times in our lives when we experience major shifts — when all of a sudden we see things completely differently or when our lives take a new direction. Often these major shifts can happen with a great deal of "fanfare' (and to our conscious mind might look like a trauma). We have all heard stories about people who go into a deep depression or experience a profound trauma and come out of their experience with a "new personality." We've also heard stories of people who have been in a coma waking up with a new skill or talent they've never had before. These occurrences seem explainable if we think of our soul being comprised of many threads. During the so-called traumatic episode perhaps a large percentage of the soul threads are exchanged for new threads who have agreed to carry the individual on to his or her next level of human experience and expansion.


The tapestry idea also helped explain why many people may have the similar past life "glimpses" into being a particular historical personality. Perhaps some of their current "threads" helped comprise that historical personality whose soul was also made of many threads. This theory can also serve as an explanation as to why most of us don't have a conscious or clear remembering of our past lives. Our soul threads this time around have all been re-woven with other threads to make up our "current' soul community. Each thread has a fragment of a memory, but not the whole picture.


When I was first introduced to the concept of "walk-ins" I was fascinated with the idea that someone's soul would voluntarily leave a body after making an agreement with another soul to take over. People who claim to be walk-ins usually have undergone some type of physical or emotional trauma prior to their "walk-in" experience. Many have said the experience felt like a death (and, indeed, this is understandable if we think of "death" as a time when someone departs from us). When the new soul took over many of these individuals underwent profound personality changes and became, in effect, completely new people with little connection to or memory of their life prior to the trauma. Many leave their marriages and/or their friends and family. They seem to no longer have a connection.


A friend of mine believes she is a walk-in. Many years ago she underwent an "emotional breakdown" and she believes at that time a new "soul" took over her body which enabled her come out of her depression with a new zest for living and a new direction. Although I never judged her experience one way or another, it was interesting to me that after her "walk-in experience" she remained completely connected to her family and husband of over 30 years. All of her memories of their childhood romance are very vivid and when she'd reminisce, you knew by the way she told the story that she was reliving a wonderful experience. How could she do this if she were now a completely new soul?


Well, I feel the tapestry perspective can also be used to explain this phenomenon. If some of the threads have completed their agreement and it is time for them to leave the community to make room for new threads, the personality can go through a trauma (emotional breakdown) that may feel like a death. When the new threads are in place giving the individual a new direction in life, there are still enough original threads that remain to carry the memories and keep connections to the friends and family.


In 1995 I underwent emergency open heart surgery for removal of a tennis-balled sized tumor located inside my heart. Doctors did not think I was going to survive. For nine hours following the surgery my life hung in the balance while the medical staff struggled to stabilize my blood pressure. During that time, Victor sat by my bedside whispering in my ear, telling me of his love, asking me to stay, and telling my body what it needed to do to stay alive. He then reached a place of "surrender" by saying to God, "Thy Will be done. It is my will that she stay here. Thy Will be done." Within minutes of his "surrender" the nurse came running in to tell him my blood pressure was stabilizing and shortly thereafter I regained consciousness.


I was in the hospital for 14 days. About the 5th day following the surgery I was still drifting in and out of awareness, but I have a clear memory of a South African male nurse ministering to me during the night. His voice was like a song as he spoke to me in soft, almost musical tones. When he saw me shivering with cold, he brought me blankets that had been warmed in an oven. When he saw I was uncomfortable, he turned me, adjusted my pillows and rubbed my back. He was like an angel and he seemed to be there just for me. Sometime during the night I remember he came to the foot of my bed and holding both my feet firmly in his hands he said to me in his beautiful melodic accent, "Mrs. Hansen, do you believe in miracles?"


"Yes, I do," I responded.


"Well, I want you to know that you are a miracle," he said as his hands held my feet even more firmly. "When you came out of surgery there was not one person on this floor who thought you had any chance of surviving. I was with you one night when I saw you leave your body and then I saw angels bringing you back. I want you to always remember that you are a miracle." He gave my feet one final squeeze and he was gone. I never saw him again. I still don't know if he was really a nurse or an angel who had come to take care of me that night and deliver an important message. I have also come to believe that by holding my feet, he was fully anchoring me back into my body.


I have come to believe that my surgery was a very important transition time in my life. It literally "opened my heart" to more love than I had ever previously experienced. I received hundreds of cards and letters from people all over the country and I know that thousands were praying for me through a prayer tree that had been set up. I also believe that during the episode, many of my soul's threads left — their job had been completed — and new threads came in to take their place, threads that would be better equipped to move me to my next level of work. I believe that this is what the nurse was describing when he said he saw me leave my body and saw angels bringing me back. There was an exchange of life-force energy taking place.


After coming home I went through a period of "readjustment." Everyday things looked different to me — brighter, more radiant. My life took on new meaning. I still had all the emotional ties to my family and friends, but I definitely felt a new direction in my life. Shortly after my surgery I left my three-year position as coordinator of a healing center (of which I was a co-founder) and began a new life — traveling, writing, publishing and facilitating seminars throughout the country. This was a surprise to me as prior to my surgery I would have never considered leaving the healing center — it was my "home and family." I believe the new threads that came in after my surgery gave my soul a new and expanded direction.


I recently read a book that described our soul as cosmic soup made up of "God-stuff". It went on to say that when we leave this physical life, our soul goes back into the "goulash" and when it's time for a new personality to take on physical form, God scoops out just enough of the soup to fill the new form. I smiled at this idea, thinking "yes, indeed, this could be how it's done." But then as I continued to ponder the soup idea it occurred to me that our soul would then be just an "accidental blending of ingredients." I feel that there is more "agreement" than that. I feel that each thread that comprises my life force made a conscious decision to be part of my human experience this time around. Each thread chose to be in community with the other threads to advance the growth and expansion of the whole. It is this communal commitment that makes growth and expansion of the soul possible.


My sense is that all of life's experiences in one way or another give us the opportunity to expand our awareness of our "soul" purpose. Our souls are the God-force energy that flows through us and gives life to our physical form. Our souls are our direct connection to God. If we allow ourselves to be guided by our soul, we can look on each experience as an opportunity to choose love, thus enabling the soul to experience its Godliness. This is our purpose on earth, to acknowledge the God-Self that we truly are, to take responsibility for that acknowledgement in our every thought, word and deed, and to enjoy the journey!

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