In the forties, tuberculosis was still very much a dreaded killer disease. By 1950, at the tail end of my second grade of grammar school, my father was released from a TB sanatorium after having spent six years there, on and off, mostly on, and losing a lung and many ribs to the surgeon’s efforts to save him.
My mother collected my three sisters and me from various temporary housing with aunts and friends (and a Methodist children’s home) around the country where we’d spent the better part of five years while she had worked herself to desperation trying to support four small children and a very sick husband.
When Dad was released from the sanatorium, my mother, a registered nurse, brought us together in a new town where she could be within walking distance of her job at a local hospital. Our new home was a tiny one-and-a-half bedroom apartment over a dilapidated garage whose rickety entrance staircased off a back alley.
The problem arose for me, a sensitive, shy seven-year-old, in the fact that the dilapidated garage was on the back grounds of a splendid house on a street of elegant homes lining the Detroit River, some of which boasted maids and housekeepers. The town seemed overflowing with abundance to my young eyes, its lovely churches on shady streets and children with shiny patent leather shoes and ironed clothing in stark contrast to what I knew of the world.
As long as my new school friends didn’t know the condition of our housing, I felt safe. But one day when I was alone in the apartment, two classmates came for an unexpected visit. My shock was traumatic.
When I heard their feet on the squeaky staircase and their childish voices, I dropped behind a chair in the living room, hidden from the view of the open door. My friends knocked and called my name. I hyperventilated. As they turned to descend into the alley, they talked about our dump of a home, using language only kids can conjure up.
My life changed in that moment. I entered a probability that verified assumptions I held about myself that had no validity whatsoever. I heaped the old beliefs with new ones about my self-worth, my place in life and my apartness, that helped shape my reality for years to come. I didn’t see them as beliefs, I saw them as truths.
I battled with those truths for years, winning some skirmishes, losing others. I knew when I started reading the Seth material that I had to address my limiting beliefs once and for all, because they placed a lid on my potential just as tightly as the screwed-down top of a Bell jar.
Seth gave me knowledge. He told me there are many probabilities surrounding each event I ever experience, and any could have been chosen by me for actualization that day. I simply aligned with the one I did, based on my beliefs and desires of the moment.
Looked at neutrally, as all events could be, it was simply the expression of my thoughts, attitudes and feelings of the time. Other players came into my script, acting out their parts with so much conviction that even I believed them—and I’m the one who not only wrote them into my play, but directed the scene and became the audience who cried at curtain fall.
But, according to Seth, our directorship is open-ended, meaning we can rethink a scene whenever we choose to, and alter its significance dramatically. We can take a stumbling block to our happiness or fulfillment and make it the growth path to our future.
Seth says, “The fact remains that there are probable past events that ‘can still happen’ within your personal previous experience. A new event can literally be born in the past—now…. A new belief in the present can cause changes in the past…. When you alter your beliefs today you also reprogram your past.” At another point he says, “To rid yourself of annoying restrictions then…you re-pattern your past from the present.”
So, here’s what I did, and it may have been the most important process of my life. In an altered state of consciousness, or Psy-Time, I re-created the scene and played out the event just as it had occurred, except I inserted today’s self into the picture.
Today’s “me” watched from across the room as strong emotion coursed through my seven-year-old self. Then, after the other children had departed, I sat on the couch and waited for my younger self to become aware of me. Her reaction when she noticed me was shyness, but when I beckoned her to the couch, she joined me.
Then we had a heart-to-heart talk. She listened intently while I told her that her beliefs, beliefs she just may have brought into this life with her, shaped that event. And I told her those beliefs didn’t particularly hold any power over her; it was only her belief in their power that did. I told her she was quite capable of altering that event by consciously choosing another probability to experience.
Then I told her I was her future self, and I talked about some of the more special things we’d accomplished in our life, and that we had two fine children and a loving mate and a nice home. She smiled. She was starting to grasp that life didn’t end with that latest painful event, that it continued and indeed offered some choice morsels of love, security and happiness.
Then we laid a plan. She would create an instant replay of that event, but this time the ending would change—because she would change. She’d still live off the alley over a garage, but she’d be proud of it. She’d be proud of what her parents had been able to accomplish given their circumstances. She’d be pleased that they had moved her into a town where she could learn so much, such as how prosperous people acted and dressed and talked, and how they seemed to assume they had a right to the good things in life. And she would assume she had those same rights, because certainly she did.
So, here come the kids trooping up the creaky stairs once again. She hears them and, with anticipation in her step, reaches the door at the same time as they do. She greets them happily and asks them to come in. Her new friends from school thought enough of her to come for a visit, and she’s thrilled. Her home is not an issue with them because it isn’t with her. They talk awhile, and then the children head home, glad to have spent time with the new girl in town.
As soon as they leave, she and I whoop for joy. We’ve done it! We’ve changed the past by changing probabilities by changing our beliefs. And now the frosting on the cake: in walks OUR future self. She’s laughing and full of congratulations. We all sit down and talk. She tells us what’s happening in her life, about her home and career, about her happiness and how our changing made it all possible. We, her past selves, sit there, excited with the picture she paints of our future, because it is indeed wonderful.
I did this Psy-Time exercise over a period of a few weeks. It was never the same in that it took on its own character each time, but the result was always a feeling of freedom from limiting beliefs and a wide-open future just waiting to be experienced.
How do I know I altered the past? At first I wasn’t sure. Not that it mattered, particularly, because I sensed movement and change within myself. But then during a seminar Stan and I were conducting, someone asked me that question.
Almost instantly I had my answer, because the new ending to the event immediately flashed into my mind, remembered BEFORE the original one. My first reaction to the question was one of ease with the outcome. And then I knew that, in my field of probabilities, I had given it more strength, more intensity than the original ending. The other one was still there, but now it was merely dress rehearsal to the grand opening night.
Excerpt from the book Ten Thousand Whispers: A Guide to Conscious Creation, Chapter 8: Time Sculpting by Linda Madden Dahl