Her eight-year marriage to a man older than she, of another ationality, culture, and religion, had never been easy. Now it was threatening to founder on the rocky shoals of severe financial strain and quarrels over in-laws. At age 29, she already had one child, a daughter nearly three years old.
She was pregnant again.
This time, Donna couldn't feel the joy so many other women experience on learning this news. She thought there was a distinct possibility that she could end up raising not one but two children by herself, and that thought terrified her. Should she carry the fetus to term? What about an abortion? The choice was overwhelming. Her husband didn"t make things any easier. He said the decision was hers and refused to discuss his feelings about the pregnancy, leaving Donna more isolated and in greater pain.
Then a friend suggested a healing circle. "I didn't realize you could do one for an unborn child," Donna recalls. She found contacted the Sattva Institute. Jana Simons, institute co-founder, agreed to conduct the healing circle.
Although her husband didn't believe in all this "metaphysical stuff," as Jana calls it, he accompanied Donna and participated in the session. A couple who were friends of Donna and her husband also took part. Both of them, accomplished professionals, had never done anything like this before.
One point about healing circles. You don't have to be a professional psychic, or even consider yourself to have any psychic ability, to take part in, contribute to, and benefit from a healing circle.
You need only know how to send love.
The little soul stands in the middle of our circle, undetectable to the five physical senses but perceptible to the four soul or psychic senses. Tousled dark hair spills out from under a tight-fitting, old-style aviator helmet. He--this soul clearly presents his form as male--is wearing a jumpsuit and a scarf. In the hand that he holds up is a model airplane that dives and loops and curls when he waves his arm. Next to him is what looks like an architect's model of an office building, almost as tall as he.
He is self-assured with a genuine sweetness. There is also a hint of mischief and of a very strong will. He knows what he wants for this physical lifetime. He wants to fly airplanes. He tells us he has chosen Donna's husband as a father partly because her husband is a licensed pilot with thousands of hours in the cockpit. He also says he's interested in architecture and designing things.
He has a very full agenda for his next sojourn on earth. He's so cute and bright and cheery that he moves some of us to smiles as we gather this information through our soul senses and pass it on to his would-be mother and father.
Then Donna blurts out a few jumbled phrases. She can barely put her feelings into words to explain to this soul why she is so reluctant just now to continue this pregnancy. Her painful quandary and distress are palpable.
The little aviator quickly understands. "I can wait," he assures Donna several times during the session. "If the time is not right, I'll wait."
Before the session ends, the little aviator makes sure we all understand one thing. When he finally does arrive, by golly, he wants to be known by his father's middle name.
The name suits him.
For twenty years, "Clara" suffered a wound that refused to heal. An elementary institute teacher, Clara was brought up in a small Russian Orthodox community in Pennsylvania. Her mother and father were first-generation immigrants in the days when it was not safe to proclaim a Russian heritage. Clara recalls being punished as a child for telling others about her Russian background.
"My mother denied her past and lived a facade," Clara recalls. When cancer claimed her mother's life, Clara felt she had never had the chance to say good-bye to her real mother. After five years, she turned to three years of daily psychiatric therapy and later tried psychotherapy again. The same thing happened both times. Traditional therapy could help her to a certain point. Past that point it was of no further use.
"I felt a pressure that no one could help me with," she says. "When your problems touch on the spiritual, traditional doctors can't do much. I had a spiritual injury that I couldn't ignore."
Prodded by her unrelenting need, Clara was open to an alternative approach. Her search for healing eventually led her to a healing circle through her daughter, Laura, who learned about it attending a class at the Sattva Institute.
When Clara found out about the possibility of contacting the dead, she asked for a healing circle, even though Laura had some doubts. "I knew the offer of a healing circle was right," Clara says. "I felt it."
Despite her confidence, Clara was taken aback by the proceedings. "It was shocking when I realized how real it was."
Through a healing circle, Clara finally made peace with her mother--20 years after her mother's physical body died. Through a healing circle, Donna was able to free herself emotionally to make a decision about her pregnancy.
Both women reaped totally unexpected dividends from their healing circles. Immediately after hers, Donna found that the nausea she had been experiencing in the early stages of her pregnancy simply vanished.
"My whole attitude changed. The pregnancy became something I accepted. It did something else for me," Donna says of her session. "It made me realize that even if my marriage didn't stay together, I still wanted the baby. It gave me more confidence in myself."
The little aviator touched down on planet earth the following spring.
"I'm so glad now I chose to keep the baby," Donna adds. "He came to help me with balance."
Following her session, Clara found that other areas of her life also were healed. She felt more at ease with herself and less compelled to be with other people just to avoid being by herself. Equally important to her was that she now had some terms for the psychic abilities that were always so natural to her and her parents.
"It was a tremendous eye-opener to realize the reality of life after death and that other people felt this way," Clara says.
Ironically, it was an unorthodox healing circle that reconciled Clara to the Russian Orthodox Church, which she rejoined. "The church is not open to this subject, but I'm in a whole different space."
Now, when Clara makes the sign of the cross and follows other rituals, she's aware of a much deeper, spiritual dimension to them. The ceremonies now hold a rich and very personal meaning for her. The rites are no longer just empty motions, done by rote and handed down as someone else's truth.
A profound and powerful sense of relief and release surrounds and embraces all participants during a properly conducted healing circle.
It's the kind of healing that transforms lives forever.