Lessons from Your Last Life: and How They Can help You in This One

Lessons from Your Last Life: and How They Can help You in This One

by Diana Scanlan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504304726
Publisher: Balboa Press Australia
Publication date: 10/19/2016
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.25(d)

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Lessons from Your Last Life

and How They Can Help You in This One

By Diana Scanlan

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2016 Diana Scanlan
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5043-0472-6


The journey begins

Fear. Why is there so much fear? I hear my mother's heartbeat but all I sense from her is fear and resentment. Is it fear of the birthing process? No. There is something more. But what? And why this powerful resentment? Questions with no answers - yet. I curl up in her womb as if to protect myself but I know the time is drawing close when I must leave this warm, safe environment. Is my life's purpose to save humanity from themselves at this time when they are poised on the brink of self-destruction? No. Is it to awaken and enlighten them with love and inspiration? Why in this time of war and hatred? But of course, universal timing is never wrong. Humanity is hungry for this information.

Lessons from your past life can help you in this one. I came into this world kicking and screaming and very much aware of my mother's fear. Fear for her life and the life of her child. I hear bombs falling all around me and the noise is deafening, only muted by the sound of my cries. Until recently, this trauma has lingered with me through the years and I still have an aversion to loud noise. How badly I wanted to return to my previous life. There I had experienced peace, love, and support from my mother, father, and extended American Indian family. I remembered so vividly, the closeness of our small community and my strong connection to source, Spirit, God, and All That Is and to Mother Earth and Mother Nature.

With shock and disbelief, I instantly remembered how I left that life. At age twelve, I had developed peritonitis. The shaman had tried in vain to heal and save me, casting spells and using herbal poultices on my pain-ridden body. I remembered how his eyes met mine and conveyed intuitively that I would ultimately reach my potential as a healer and sage, but not in that life. At times, my past life as an American Indian child has been more real than this one. I see my mother standing above me. Her culture had created too strong a woman to show her grief at my impending death. I see my happy childhood, where I learnt to live with this simple, yet profound culture. I remember how my mother stood over me as I left and how I felt her love so strongly, little knowing that I would meet her again in my next life - this one.

Although my childhood home in this life was a few miles from the city, it was targeted because of its industrial centre and weapon-making factories. There were two bombings that narrowly missed our little row of houses. On the first occasion, I was sleeping with mum under the stairs (as she did every night, especially when my father was working night shifts). I woke with a start at the horrific sound. I felt the house shake and the sensation of being held in a tight grip. It almost took my breath away. I felt my mother's heart beating wildly and heard both our cries of fear. The huge hole, barely more than a few hundred yards away, was an irresistible magnet. As a young child, I was drawn to its edges, even though I knew that I was forbidden to enter its mysterious depths. My father was frequently angry and violent. I hesitated to venture in, for fear of inviting his anger.

It was not until many years later that I was able to completely forgive my father for his behaviour towards my family. How light and free I felt after I had done so. It was like putting that chapter of my life behind me and finally having the freedom to move forward with joy and gratitude. In my meditations, I subsequently saw my father (who had long since passed on from this life). I clearly heard him say, "I'm sorry." In that moment, I watched a rare smile light up his face, and we both experienced healing and intense love, such as is seldom felt or understood.

I was blessed indeed in this life to have spent my childhood living in the English countryside. My memories consist of a love of, and connection with, Mother Earth and Mother Nature. Of playing in the fields, climbing trees and exploring the streams. When I was quite young, I began to be obsessed with what others called red Indians. I would gather feathers from the fields, tuck them into my headband and dance around a make-believe fire.

I loved recording finds from nature. A certain flower, or sighting a kestrel or an eagle. Even at that age, I felt an affinity with eagles which has persisted throughout my life. Many times, I have felt their presence. When I looked up, I would see one flying directly above me, and the experience was one of such joy. A mentor later encouraged me to be as an eagle, fly above the clouds and shake off the crows that harass me. Translation: Cast off the cares and worries of this life by your unceasing positivity and persistence.



Even though I remember few light-hearted moments in my home as I grew, my mother was a continual source of inspiration. Her patience and protection were a source of wonder in my childhood. She was always there. What a restricted and isolated life she must have led. She was a steadfast lady who possessed inner strength beyond my childhood understanding. Her black hair and olive skin were inherited from our Indian subcontinent ancestry. Although not tall in her youth, she seemed to shrink as she aged, as though the burden of her difficult life had weighed her down.

Then came the end of the war. Flags of celebration appeared in all our neighbours' homes. I stood on our handkerchief-sized lawn and marvelled at them fluttering in the breeze. Shortly afterwards, my brother John was born. I saw mum's attention move away from me and felt a certain sense of isolation and envy. How could this tiny, red-faced bundle be the cause of this shift in her affection? My child's mind told me that to win back her favour, I needed to find gifts (of course, from our own garden). I proudly presented her with caterpillars, a butterfly chrysalis, and numerous small insects. Not surprisingly, none of these met with her approval. More the reverse, "Diana, take them outside! Don't bring them into the house", was her stern rebuke. Little did I know, she actually understood my motivation. She softened the words with a much-appreciated hug and read one of my favourite stories from The Wind in the Willows.

I have no recall of the long, wet days or storm-ravaged nights of an English winter. My memories are imbued with sunshine, black-berrying along the lanes and in the small woodlands which surrounded our home. It filled my senses with the fragrance of a summer day that is unique to this part of our beautiful planet. This was followed by the baking of apple and blackberry pies. Hours of jam making and bottling the precious fruit in readiness for the long winters ahead.

A tiny ball of fur of a kitten was my first pet. Well, I called her mine as I walked home carefully cradling her in my arms. I was six, and she was six weeks old, barely old enough to be taken from her mother and her siblings. She was loved and cared for in our home, mostly by my mother. I loved to give her food and watch her kitten playfulness. I named her Stripey as she was a tiger lookalike, but that was inevitably shortened to Pusspuss. There followed a guinea pig whose name was Guinea and a budgie whose name I don't recall. I was later told that I had a gift for healing animals, although at the time I wasn't aware of it.

As a young child, I was often sick. First, I contracted the usual colds and flu. I then went on to develop German measles, chicken pox, whooping cough, measles, and scarlet fever. With the exception of scarlet fever, I generously passed each on to John. I was six years old when my mother suffered what was probably a nervous breakdown resulting from stress and anxiety, not to mention the extra workload the accumulation of these illnesses caused her. A holiday was planned to help her recover. Off we set in my father's small car to the Cotswolds, with Nanna, my grandmother, in tow.

I should mention here that my father and my maternal grandmother had never seen eye to eye. They had an active dislike of each other which resulted in their avoidance of contact wherever possible. At this time, they were thrown together in their joint concern to help restore my mother's return to health and normality. During this tense time, there were the occasional spats. As if with swords drawn, they battled for the right to make the decisions needed to best restore harmony in the family.

We stayed at a rambling farmhouse and market garden which had been converted to accommodate guests for bed, breakfast, and evening meal. The meals were all prepared from fresh produce. Fruit, vegetables, and warm brown eggs. I was allowed to help collect them from the hen's nesting box (or wherever they chose to lay them throughout the garden). My outstanding memory of this holiday was seeing a paddock filled to overflowing with golden buttercups. I stood mouth agape in wonder. What sort of heaven was this? I wanted to remain here forever. I experienced such happiness, the kind that still resides in the recesses of my memory. I was also invited to watch the cattle being milked by hand. Along with my grandmother, I was given the opportunity to try this new skill, one I was unable to master. However, I enjoyed the closeness of their warm bodies, the sound of their chewing on the hay bales and watching the fresh milk filling the bucket. Golden happy days.

This break seemed to be what my mother needed and as we returned home, life appeared to gain some normality, although I began to sense the undercurrents of an unhappy household. I felt I could slice the tense atmosphere with a knife. It was also during my sixth year that I contracted scarlet fever and was confined to my small bedroom for six weeks. My brother John wasn't allowed near me for fear of him also coming down with it. As my body's immune system fought for control, my father sprayed my room each day and indeed the whole house in an attempt to contain the virus.

At last, I was well enough to get out of bed and peer at the outside world. I had a lovely view of our tiny lawn and the fields opposite. John and I were at last able to communicate as he played in the front garden. The smell of newly mown grass after a morning shower, the sight of red and orange dahlias lifting their faces to the summer sun and watching the wheat ripen in the distant meadow were all a joy to my starved senses. Then came the day I was finally well enough to venture down our narrow stairs and into the fresh air. How large everything looked from this new perspective and how good it was to feel the earth beneath my feet once more.

I was unaware of the food shortages that plagued us for many years following the end of that war. When my mother proudly brought home a pound of bananas (which she had queued for forty-five minutes to buy), I took one look at this alien, strangely shaped fruit and flatly refused to even take a small bite. How disappointed she must have been. However, my aversion receded over the years and I became very fond of this nutrient filled delight. I look back now at these childhood memories and smile, but these were difficult years not only for us but for a large part of the population. Many foods were rationed and much more were totally unavailable.

It was during one of those idyllic berry harvesting excursions that I experienced what I recall as the first lesson or insight from my life as an American Indian child. The luscious and enticing berries brought back a memory of a similar time when gathering the fruits of nature into a small woven container. The lesson told me, "eat the pure fruits of nature for they will nourish and sustain your body, mind, and spirit." It was instantaneous and fleeting but powerful enough to remain in my sub-conscious these past decades.

The second lesson or insight occurred one evening, again as a young child during the years of shortage following the Second World War. I was introduced to the craft of making rugs for the floor of our small home by cutting my mother's worn out stockings (which were thick 40 or 60 deniers) into strips and weaving this into a base of open weave fabric. I remember pausing one evening, with a flash, recalling being taught by my extended Indian family, the art of weaving, "teach this to your descendants to enhance their inherent creative abilities for future generations." An insight of things to come, as I subsequently used these skills when sewing and creating small garments for my own children as they grew, when money was in short supply.

My first days at school were a total shock. The regimentation and the discipline, so alien to my nature, bore down upon me. I was unable to answer my name at roll call, shrinking down in my seat, hoping no-one would notice me. On the third day, I decided I'd had enough. As mum kissed my cheek at the school gate, I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. I was followed by my teacher (who had witnessed my flight) and mum, who had promptly abandoned John in his pushchair. I was hauled back into the hated classroom and duly reprimanded. Mum continued to walk with me for several weeks until she felt I had settled in sufficiently. The task was then passed on to Martin, who lived next door. He was six and I adored him. The feeling, however, was not mutual. He accepted this burden reluctantly. After all, I was just a girl. Often he ran off and left me to drag my feet slowly up the hill to the torture called school. I advanced with difficulty. I made a friend or two but was painfully shy. My contribution to class activities was non-existent.

My paternal grandfather's garden was a continual source of delight. How I looked forward to time spent with him, learning how to nurture the vegetables he grew and when to harvest them. He taught me how to dig beneath the potato plant to see if the tubers were just right for eating. Although as an Indian child I had already learned these skills with yams and other wild treats that Mother Nature provided, this was a truly great refresher course. I revelled in these visits.

Grandfather, whom I loved dearly, spent his retirement cultivating a garden filled with an abundance of fragrant roses, lily of the valley and a lilac bush. Helping to harvest the many fruits and vegetables was a joy. Picking peas (and eating many straight from the pod), watching him turning the fertile earth, retrieving new potatoes and loading them into a bucket. Raspberries, plums, apples, and pears were plentiful from the small orchard at the top of the garden. The sweet perfume and the beauty of the lilac tree, along with the pure white lily-of-the-valley, still linger in my memory. They are forever stored in what my friend and mentor, Helen, later called my Treasure Chest of Memories. Accessible at any time of stress or anxiety to calm and bring solace to my troubled spirit.

My paternal grandparents were given one (or more) American soldiers to reside in their home after the US entered the war effort. I have no memory of their names, but one in particular, took a liking to me and noticed my lack of toys. I had only one doll, whose name was Pearl. She was my mother's when she was a child. Lovingly looked after, she was sizeable, with a china head and a wistful smile. This soldier set about making a wooden doll's cot, a wooden box of bricks and a push-along horse with a seat and a set of wheels which I named Dobbin. Such a kind and thoughtful thing to do.


Gypsies and superstitions

My mother's side of the family was steeped in superstition, originating from my grandmother. She didn't figure very much in my life until I reached my teenage years. My mother stuck firmly to the superstitions passed on to her. It was bad luck to walk under a ladder. Sensible, as the workmen may have dropped something and caused injury. If you broke a mirror, then seven years of bad luck will follow. This one struck fear into my young mind and I became super-careful in my growing years and throughout my life not to cause such a catastrophe. If you spill salt, throw some over your left shoulder. To this day I'm not sure what dire fate awaited if I failed to do this. Crossing on the stairs was definitely banned. Yes, I guess you could miss your footing and fall. Always cross a Gypsy's palm with silver when they came to your door. If you failed to do this, very bad luck would follow.

It seems that choosing a day to cut your hair or nails will bode for you in the following way:

Cut them on a Monday, you cut them for health
Cut them on a Tuesday, you cut them for wealth
Cut them on a Wednesday, you cut them for news
Cut them on a Thursday, a new pair of shoes
Cut them on a Friday, you cut them for sorrow
Cut them on Saturday, see your true love tomorrow
Cut them on a Sunday, the devil will be with you all the week

There are a few variations on that rhyme, but in all circumstances, cutting on a Sunday is cutting for evil. Ah, imagine what they would have thought about Sunday shopping.


Excerpted from Lessons from Your Last Life by Diana Scanlan. Copyright © 2016 Diana Scanlan. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Introduction, vii,
Acknowledgements, ix,
The journey begins, 1,
Childhood, 4,
Gypsies and superstitions, 10,
Intuition, 13,
Teenage, 16,
Moving into my passion, 21,
College and beyond, 25,
The accident, 29,
Motherhood, 35,
Decisions, 41,
A new life, 45,
Love and miracles, 57,
Harmony restored, 63,
China and beyond, 67,
Psychic connection, 70,
Changes, 74,
Despair and joy, 79,
Desperation, 83,
Hugh's heart operation, 87,
The Gift, 90,
Insights and lessons, 95,
Epilogue, 101,
Mountaintop meditation, 105,
Biography, 107,

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