Monthly Web Columns

LIFE 101


By Coach Cary Bayer

We have the 12-day Cannes Film Festival in the south of France, the Sundance Film Festival for 10 days in Park City, Utah, and now we should have the Reincarnation Film Festival. It should be at least nine lives long, and be held perhaps on the astral plane. (To get tickets for the festival and your airplane flights perhaps pick up your latest issue of Astral Travel & Leisure Magazine.)
         Jokes aside, there are plenty of motion pictures on life after life to fill such an event. A Google search for “Films about Reincarnation” yields no fewer than 142 motion pictures ( While I’m no film fest curator, I do have a clean dozen that barely scratches the surface.  Here are a couple of handfuls with a couple of toes on one foot thrown in for good measure.
 1. Made in Heaven (1987), the Alan Rudolph-directed fantasy-comedy starring Timothy Hutton and Kelly McGillis.  (See chapter of this book for a full review.)
2. On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970), the musical comedy drama fantasy, so rich in past lifetimes that it cuts across four genres of movie styles.  It stars Barbra Streisand and Yves Montand under the direction of Vincente Minnelli, singing the songs of Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane.  Montand plays a psychotherapist who uses hypnosis to send his patient (Streisand) back to different lifetimes.
3. Dead Again (1991) Kenneth Branagh in the director’s chair working with his wife Emma Thompson, Derek Jacobi, and Robin Williams.  The director stars as a detective (Branagh) who helps an amnesiac (Thompson) discover her identity through the use of a hypnotherapist. What is discovered is a previous lifetime in which Thompson was murdered and Branagh was convicted and put to death for the crime.
4. What Dreams May Come (1998), starring Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding, Jr. with Vincent Ward in the director’s chair.  In this reincarnation love story, the great comedian plays Chris, a doctor who dies, and finds himself in Heaven guided by a former medical colleague (Gooding) who is, in reality, the reincarnation of Chris’s son who died in a car crash.  The intricate plot includes a descent to Hell, back up to Heaven, and the reincarnation of Chris and his wife who meet in a future lifetime as young children.
5. Cloud Atlas (2012), directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski and starring Halle Berry, Tom Hanks and Susan Sarandon.  The complex plot demonstrates how what we do in our lives has influences on others in this life and future ones.  Lifetimes are set in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
6. Little Buddha (1993), the Bernardo Bertolucci drama starring Keanu Reeves and Bridget Fonda.  The story centers on Tibetan Buddhist monks who search for the reincarnation of a great deceased lama.
7. The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975) lensed by J. Lee Thompson and starring Michael Sarrazin and Margot Kidder.  A college professor (Sarrazin) has nightmares of a murder, sees sites from the dream in a TV documentary, and goes to the city in Massachusetts, where he finds the woman in his dreams (Kidder).  In time, he discovers that he is the reincarnation of the woman’s husband who was murdered.  He marries her daughter, and eventually dies yet again as he did in that previous lifetime.
8. Goodbye Charlie (1964) comedy starring Tony Curtis and Debbie Reynolds under the direction of Vicente Minnelli once again.  Reynolds plays the reincarnation of a philandering Hollywood screenwriter named Charlie who was murdered by his paramour’s husband.  And proving that a writer, like a leopard, doesn’t change his spots, and gets murdered yet again for fooling around yet again—and this time gets reincarnated as a dog.
9. A Dog’s Purpose (2017), directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who works with a host of canine actors and human stars Peggy Lipton and Dennis Quaid.  A must-see for all dog lovers, this delightful film focuses on different canine lifetimes lived by a most devoted soul, who sees his purpose as to reunite with his human master.
10. The Three Lives of Thomasina (1963) Not to be outdone by reincarnating dogs is this film about a cat who reincarnates twice to live three lives—just a third of her feline allotment.  Patrick McGoohan stars under Don Chaffey’s direction.
11. Chances Are (1989), a romcom starring Cybill Shepared, Robert Downey, Jr. and Ryan O’Neal under the director of Emile Ardolino.  This wild plot features a man (Downey) falling in love with the daughter of who he was in a previous lifetime.
12. Somewhere in Time (1980) romantic fantasy, directed by Jeannot Szwarc, and starring Jane Seymour and Christophers Reeve and Plummer.  A playwright (Reeve) is haunted by the photograph of a young actress who, eight years earlier as an old woman, gave him a pocketwatch and told him to “Come back to me.”  He becomes obsessed with time travel to journey back through self-hypnosis, to that lifetime where he was her lover. 


Emotional and Spiritual Skills for Success-  #4 in the Love Yourself,
Lose the Weight series

by Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D.

Have you ever used your weight as an excuse not to participate more fully in life, not to have a relationship, to avoid sex in the relationship you’re in, not to look for a new job? Are you willing to let go of your excuses? They are just a way of not loving yourself.

Mirror work- talking to yourself while looking in the mirror – is a powerful technique for learning to love yourself as you are making changes in any area. Look into your eyes and say to yourself, “I’m done with excuses. My weight is not the issue. I am willing to participate in life regardless of my weight.” Notice how you feel. Then tell yourself “I love and accept you just the way you are. I support you in all your new habits. You have been doing the best you can. It’s OK. I support you in making positive changes.”
Then tell yourself anything else that is important for you to know/hear.  You are claiming the wonderful being that you are. If you feel a lot of emotion coming up as you do the mirror work, that’s OK!  

It’s important to become aware of emotional triggers for overeating or making choices you know aren’t healthy. Almost everyone uses food to deal with emotional issues at some time or other. It’s how often you do this that determines if it’s a problem.

Starting now, every time you eat (especially outside of meal times), ask yourself first, What am I feeling right now? Can I resolve this feeling without eating? Take some deep breaths and acknowledge that you want to eat, “Yes, I want to eat now, but I can wait out this impulse for 10 seconds. I am willing to feel my feelings and deal with them.”

Here is an exercise to help you develop more awareness around emotions and eating.

Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and relax your body. Keep doing some deep breaths until you feel relaxed. Now, as though you are an observer of your own life, go back over the last two weeks and notice your eating patterns: when you ate, what you ate, where you were, and who was with you. Don’t judge or criticize, simply notice. When you ate for emotional reasons, what was going on?.......

Now go back even farther in time, letting your mind go to the time you first began overeating…. How old were you? What was going on for you? What feelings were you suppressing?  Accept that this was your way of coping at that time. Feel compassion and love for yourself. Go to another situation where you overate….. What emotions were you feeling then? Find a few others………… Then imagine you are looking at yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself, “I understand more now. I truly do love and accept you just the way you are.”

Bring your awareness back to the present moment. Take some deep breaths and stretch. Open your eyes.

If you found a connection between feeling stressed and eating, here are some easy ways to deal with that. Stress increases your metabolism and so you feel fatigued. This can prompt you to want to eat something like a candy bar for fast energy. Ultimately, this leads to more fatigue because your blood sugar plunges after spiking. First, as much as possible plan your meals so you eat on a schedule. Eat low fat, high protein meals to keep your blood sugar balanced. Second, have some healthy snacks available, like protein bars or veggies and a low fat dip. In other words, prepare ahead of time. Third, practice deep breathing exercises to help you reduce stress.

Learning to handle your emotions effectively is truly an ongoing process. If you started eating emotionally and gaining weight as a child, then talking to your Inner Child can really be healing.

 If you gained a lot of weight after some traumatic event in your life, you may need professional help in dealing with it. Look for a therapist who offers a spiritual approach as part of their therapy. In the US, you can find them advertising in spiritual newsletters. Or ask some friends for a referral. Affirm that you are guided to any resource you need to create a healthy relationship with food. 

A spiritual course, A Course in Miracles, says, “Guilt holds the behavior.” So if you are feeling guilty (or ashamed or embarrassed or even angry at yourself) for gaining weight and not losing it, it’s time to let go of the guilt and any other emotions associated with your weight. True, easier said than done. Begin with “I am willing to let go of the emotions that have kept me stuck.”

For some people, prayer is a potent force for changing behavior. Asking Spirit, God, the angels, or ascended masters to assist you in your desire for changes takes the burden off you “doing it all yourself.”

Are you willing to forgive yourself? At the highest spiritual level, there is no need for forgiveness, but in our human selves it is another piece of the foundation for permanent change. And sometimes that change can occur very quickly when you stop feeling guilty, forgive yourself, and love yourself right where you are at the moment.  Be kind to yourself. You are worth loving!

--Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D. studied personally with Louise Hay and, with husband Rick Nichols, is authorized to lead Heal Your Life® training programs in Louise’s philosophy. She is also the author of Ordering from the Cosmic Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Powerful, Nourishing Affirmations. and