As I prepare for shoulder surgery (the 26th) I am also working on my newest venture, Physician, Heal Thyself. It’s a story of reincarnation, soul mates, lost love found again and forgiveness. Here is one of the latest completed chapters.
The light, soothing scent of lavender filled the air of Ann’s office mingled with the pungent aroma of chamomile tea. The butterflies in her stomach were going nuts. Was he as nervous as she was? The leather of her desk chair was cool and soft as she leaned back and closed her eyes, breathing in the essence of lavender in an attempt to calm herself before he arrived. As she finally felt the tension leaving her body she was startled by a knock on her office door. Her eyes popped open, “Come in,” burst from her mouth as she jumped to her feet.
Ted, apprehensive, acknowledged her with a simple, “Hi” as he closed the door behind him.
“You didn’t have to knock.”
“I didn’t want to interrupt anything.”
Gesturing to the conversation area Ann asked, “Shall we sit over here?” At Ann’s request Ted sat in a Queen Ann wing chair. “It’s a recliner so you can relax.”
“I’m not sure relaxation is a possibility.” Before joining him Ann locked the office door. Ted’s face brightened with mischief, “Locking the door. Are you planning to take advantage?”
Ann blushed a bright red, “I just don’t want anyone barging in.”
Unable to stop grinning, Ted’s only response was a raised eyebrow and, “mmm”.
She hurried to the side board and with her back to him asked if he wanted tea, he said yes. While she continued her preparations a slightly awkward silence fell over the room broken after a few minutes by Ted.
“Is that lavender I smell?”
“Yes, it has calming properties.” She turned holding two china mugs.
“Calming properties, huh?” He paused for effect. “Apparently you didn’t see the study that the fragrance of lavender and the aroma of pumpkin pie arouses men.”
Once again a blush rose in Ann’s cheeks and, she imagined, a far deeper red than she would have liked as she placed the mugs on the table separating them, then she sat on the love seat.
Ted reached for the delicate vessel and brought it to his lips, inhaling the fragrance of the brew. The mischievousness danced across his features, “Good thing it’s not Constant Comment.”
“It has the same spices as pumpkin pie, who knows what that might have done to me.”
As her face flushed for a third time in a matter of minutes she pleaded, “Would you please stop? You’re making me blush.”
His smile went from fun to warm, “I see that. It’s quite fetching.”
Taking a deep breath Ann changed the subject, “How is Sara?”
“She’s calmed down a lot. Still ticked off that I didn’t tell her what was going on but seems to have accepted your explanation about my needing to be in control.”
“She seems to understand my failings better than I do.”
“I noticed that.”
Ted chuckled, “Sometimes it feels like she’s the parent and I’m the child.”
A smile lit Ann’s face, “I’m not at all surprised.”
Ted returned the smile, “No, I don’t imagine you are.”
Ann smiled and took a sip of her tea and asked, “Did you have the dreams last night?”
“Yes. It’s pretty much every night to some degree.”
“What do you mean some degree?”
“Sometimes it isn’t the whole dream just flashes.”
“Was last night the whole dream or flashes?”
“The whole dream, it’s so emotional that I’m drained by it.”
“That may be a blessing.”
“If you’re tired you won’t be able to fight the hypnosis as hard.”
“You expect me to fight it?”
“Because I know you.” She put her mug down on the table. “My plan is to use self-hypnosis.”
“I don’t know anything about self-hypnosis.”
“I know. I’ll guide you, talk you through it. Eventually you will be able to do it yourself. But in the meantime I’ll lead the way.”
He smiled, “You know I’ll follow you anywhere.” Ann blushed a very pretty pink. “How does the regression work?”
“I contacted one of the professors who taught me hypnotherapy and he told me that we need to take you back to your childhood and infancy, your time in utero and then to whatever came before that.”
“I don’t understand the question.”
“I’m supposed to remember being in my mother’s womb?”
“They say everything is there somewhere, my job is to find it; whatever and where ever it is.”
“I must say that I’m having a real problem with this.”
“I’m not surprised knowing how you feel about hypnosis.”
“Hypnosis is less the problem then the regression stuff.”
“Frankly, I’m not entirely comfortable doing it so if you’d prefer to go elsewhere, I have no problem with it.”
He smiled at her, “You aren’t the problem; it’s the whole past life thing I’m having trouble with.”
“If I hadn’t experienced it myself I’m not sure how accepting I’d be either, however we have eliminated all the other options but if you have a theory I’m open.”
“That is the problem isn’t it? I have no idea what’s happening so I have no theory.”
“Maybe it’s best to remember that you’re doing this for Sara.”
“You’re right.” He took a sip of tea. “Let’s do this.”
“One more thing before we start. I thought background sound might be helpful. I have rain, ocean and babbling brook because I know you like water.”
“You’re the one who likes moving water.”
She smiled, mostly to herself because he remembered. “But you like the ocean and rain storms.”
“I’m surprised you remember that.”
“So have you a preference?”
“The brook would be nice.” Ann got up and turned on the cd. As she went back to the conversation area she said, “First of all, I’d like you to recline the chair.”
“Hypnosis is deep relaxation, if you are reclined then, theoretically, relaxation will be easier.”
“You’re the boss.” He pulled the lever on the side of the chair and pushed back, putting the chair in a reclining position.
“And close your eyes.”
“Focus on your breathing and try not to think about anything.”
His shallow breathing was indicative that he wasn’t relaxing so she suggested, “Imagine black velvet, feel it, sink into the darkness, the softness. Allow it to caress you.” He smiled thinking that he’d much rather she was caressing him and not black velvet. She saw his smile. “You’re supposed to be thinking about velvet.”
He raised his head and looked at her, “How do you know I’m not?”
She shook her head, “You keep forgetting that I know you. Now lie back, close your eyes and think about black velvet.” He did as he was told.
She began, “Take a deep breath.” He turned his head and looked over at her, a playful grin curling his lip. “Do you not want to do this or not?”
“Yes, yes. Sorry.”
Ann took a deep breath then began again. She spoke, the sound of a mountain stream under her low, even tone, “Concentrate on your breathing allowing yourself to go deeper and deeper into a relaxed state.” She paused as his breathing finally deepened. “Relax the muscles in your face. The jaw is the location of much stress and tension so concentrate on relaxing your jaw.” Ted stretched his jaw, Ann smiled. “Neck and shoulder muscles also harbor a lot of tension so concentrate on relaxing your neck and shoulders. Allow the muscles in your arms, hands and fingers to loosen to the point of almost melting into the chair.” Ann waited a few moments before continuing, “Breathe deeply and relax the muscles in your back, chest and abdomen. Keep breathing going deeper and deeper.” After a few minutes she continued, “Allow your legs to relax completely, first your hips,” softly and slowly she added, “now relax the muscles in your thighs,” after a short pause, “now your knees, your calves and feet. Go deeper and deeper into that completely relaxed state.”
The soothing tone of her voice was calming so he was actually relaxing. His feet started to tingle and he felt himself drifting, almost floating.
“There is a light above you and it’s going to enter your body, allow your heart to gently pump the warm and healing light throughout your body.” She waited. “The light surrounds you now and helps you go deeper and deeper into a serene place where you are at peace.” After a few minutes she asked, “How do you feel?”
“I’m going to count backward from ten to one and as I do you will attain a deep peace and with each number back you will go deeper and deeper into that place of peace and tranquility.” A look of calm contentment spread across his face and she could see he was completely relaxed. “I’d like you to visualize that peaceful place, a cottage garden perhaps.”
“A secret garden.”
A knowing smile curved Ann’s bow-like mouth although Ted didn’t see it. The Secret Garden had been one of Ann’s favorite books as a youngster and when the film came out in the early 90s, she and Ted fell in love with it together. “Does the garden have a wall?”
Even in his deep relaxed state he smiled, “Of course, it’s a secret garden.”
“And a hidden door?”
Ted chuckled, “it wouldn’t be a secret garden if it didn’t have a hidden door.” He paused and got a quizzical look on his face, “There are three other doors; a weathered one and two painted doors, red and green.”
Before she was able to begin the regression Ted sat bolt upright forcing the recliner into a sitting position. In a booming but lightly British accented voice that was definitely not Ted, he sternly said, “What evil spirit have you familiarity with?”
“What are you talking about, Ted?”
He almost screamed, “Ted! You dare speak to a magistrate of the court in such a way?”
Concerned that he might become erratic she reached over and touched his hand. Ted jerked it away. Because of the voice and look on his face Ann realized that this was the same man who interrupted her session at the Red Cross several months before. What had he said his name was? John Hathorne?
“How far have you complied with Satan whereby he takes this advantage against you?”
Ann tried to calm him but his reaction to her use of his given name was extremely volatile.
“You will not speak to me in such a way, wench.” He paused slightly, “How can you say you know nothing, when you see those whom you have tormented?”
Frightened by this last outburst, Ann got up and put her hands on his shoulders, forcefully he shrugged her off.
Afraid to use his first name again she tried, “Mr. Hathorne you must calm down. Please, lean back and close your eyes.” He turned and looked at her with such hatred that her stomach tied in a tight knot; but something took hold of him and she saw Ted return, he fell back into the chair and closed his eyes. After a few minutes his labored breathing became deep and even.
She blew out the breath she’d been holding and went back to her own chair. She sat for a few minutes and took several deep breaths but before she had a chance to gather herself or speak Ted opened his eyes.
Saying not a word, he casually put the chair upright again and stood, moving to the loveseat. He smiled at her as he sat on the opposite end of the love seat, leaning against the corner of it and stretched his legs full length until his feet were under the table almost touching hers. She moved as far away as she could get without leaving her seat. He lounged there, his left arm flung carelessly over the arm of the small sofa, his hand cupped as though it held a brandy snifter; with his right hand he pushed the hair off of his forehead. He raised a single eyebrow as he gazed at her.
The look she saw was one of evocative familiarity but it was definitely not Ted. There was an intensity that suggested power and control and it made her uncomfortable but fascinated her at the same time. She ventured, “Ted? Mr. Hathorne?”
Rubbing the crease in his chin with his index finger then resting his jaw on his fist, he watched her. The look in his eyes made a light pink blush color her cheeks.
With a Scottish brogue Ann had heard before, “Mr. Hathorne, Ted. I fear I know neither of these men.”
“Who are you?”
“Andrew Mcnaughton. Do you not remember me, Miss Hart?”
“We met earlier today.”
This was the man she met in her office several months ago. He thought they were on a ship that sailed from Scotland on the way to Antiqua if she remembered correctly.
“Yes, of course, nice to see you again Mr. Mcnaughton.”
A roguish grin played on his lips, “So, Miss Hart, what takes you to Antigua?”
While Ann tried to determine the best way to answer his question she was startled by the sudden motion of him sitting upright and pulling his legs out from under the table and in the earlier British accented voice said, “How can you say you know nothing, when you see these tormented people who accuse you?”
Hathorne was back. Knowing that she had to respond in some way but not wanting to antagonize him she said, “What would you have me do?”
“Confess if you be guilty.”
“I am not guilty.”
His menacing look changed suddenly to a softened, playful one. In the gentle Scottish voice, “Guilty of what, Miss Hart?”
Startling her Hathorne returned saying furiously, “Why do you hurt these folks?”
Andrew slipped back in with his soft brogue and intoned, “Of what are you not guilty, Miss Hart?”
Becoming more and more agitated John Hathorne stood, pointing at her, he angrily said, “We do not send for you to go to prayer. I demand you tell me why you hurt these people.”
Completely confused by this strange cacophony of back and forth voices, entities, past lives or whatever was happening made Ann jumped up and shouted, “Stop!”
Even in his agitated state her shout startled him and he quickly sat down. She could see that Hathorne and Andrew were gone and Ted was back.
“Close your eyes and visualize the garden, find a bench and sit down. Now take a deep breath.”
The room was calm for the first time in several minutes and Ann took the time to pull herself together. Having finally regained her composure she asked, “Ted?”
“I’m going to count backwards from ten when I reach one you will open your eyes and not remember anything that happened here but you will feel calm and refreshed.”