Looking for A Gazelle

When Tim and I met at the Jazz Festival, one thing that had kept us glued to that blanket was the topic of travel. And since we have been together, we continue to travel the world extensively, exploring new countries and discovering new regions every year.

– Chapter 21 “It Doesn’t End”, Carol’s Lives

It was the Lonely Planet guidebook that told us about the existence of this prehistoric stone carving of a gazelle, when we were in Tafraoute, Morocco. I suppose there is no street number and address to mark where it is, in the land of rock formation and wilderness.

Following the guidebook, Tim and I went to a campsite. One gardener-like man speaking Arabic and half French said he didn’t know what we were looking for, never heard of it, but over there in that camper, there were people who could speak English.

Before finding the gazelle, we need to find the campsite

We went over, and before I could knock on the door, the camper door swung open. It looked like our arrival interfered with someone’s breakfast, in this place where strangers were not commonly seen. Two couples sat inside the camper by a small table. Limited space, but cozy. On the table it was full of Moroccan goodness: jams, butter, bread, honey, olives, and maybe even Argan dipping oil. The gentleman by the door greeted me. I showed them the page of the Lonely Planet guidebook. He took it seriously, even though very soon it was obvious to me he had no clue what I was looking for therefore needless to say, where it was. However, I felt relief to meet these German people. They speak very good English.

The gentleman tried looking for it on his own paper map, and his GPS, which was very slow to boot. I knew I wanted to say “Never mind. Bon appetite!” as, I knew he couldn’t really be of help in this matter, but I let him try. He almost took great pleasure to try to help.

Finally, he had to look up at me, and shrug apologetically. I said, “Never mind. Thank you. Bon appetite!”

We drove along the road. On the left, we saw another RV campsite. “Maybe the guidebook meant THIS campsite,” I told Tim.

We turned in. This is a bigger site. I showed the guidebook to a man coming out of a small office-like house. He exclaimed, “Ah! Gazelles!” He took me out of the camp gate, pointed his finger, and spoke French, “Over there, about 1 kilometre…” He then said many more words, but I didn’t understand the rest.

It was enough to know “over there, about 1 kilometre” and somewhat to the left. We drove along very confidently.

As we were entering another yet beautifully designed RV campsite, we started to look at the RV license plates – Where do those people come from? Many from France, some the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain… There was one man working on his vehicle with a jug of water or oil. We stopped the car. I walked towards him, asking for the Gazelles. He stopped his pouring action, raised his head, paused for a moment, and shook his head. Never heard of it.

The campsite

I took a deep breath. Not wanting to give up, but didn’t know what next I could do. Where we were should be close, according to the office man. “Ga-ZE-lles. You really don’t know?” I tried to pronounce the word in an exaggerated “French” way.

It worked. “Ah! Ga-ZE-lles. Oui…” He pointed me in a direction. Blah-blah-blah, blah-blah, and blah-blah-blah a little more… but I understood his hand gesture: Over there in the group of rocks, you climb it, and over that big rock, you’ll find it.

We parked the car, walked to the group of rocks, and climbed the big rock. Tim became impatient, “There is no way we can find it, not knowing what we are exactly looking for.” The initial on-a-whim curiosity was wearing out for him, and all these insistences of searching of mine started to make no sense to him.

But I could feel we were on the right track. “Common on. We do know exactly what we are looking for:  The Gazelles! You told me it’s antelope. That’s what we are looking for.” I insisted, though not familiar with the difference between an antelope or a gazelle. If the prehistoric carved gazelle could telepathically play the Hot or Cold game with me, he was telling me, “… warmer… warmer…” I could feel that.

That was when I looked back and up. Right there, without even an angle, right in front of me, so close, the carved gazelle, on a piece of flat vertical rock, looking over a cliff.

My heart skipped a beat. I had to take a breath. The gazelle might have been waiting for me, through all those hours and days and years and centuries and millenniums. 

If we filter through the thick beard and the horn, the gazelle has a small face, standing on the rock for thousands of years.

My inner vision opened up. One day, on the same land and in the same nearby village, a gazelle ran through the dry land in the anti-Alas mountains for miles and miles, until he came to this cliff, as if it was the end of the immediately available land, he came to a halt, looking ahead, pondering, or even hesitating. That pause in itself became an incredible view for a young man in the nearby village. The rock, the sky, the animal coming far away, all were so inspirational for this young man that they turned him, right there, into an artist.

The next thing this young man knew, was that he picked up some chisels, went to the rock right below where the gazelle was standing, drawing and engraving the picture out of his memory, and transmuted it onto that rock.

The next thing that I knew, was that I was standing here, feeling exactly how that young man felt, as if no time has ever passed.

And without a shadow of a doubt, I knew I was that young man in that prehistorical existence.

A Free Parking Lot in Downtown Vancouver

Even though I practice hypnoTHERAPY, occasionally I get a phone call from someone who needs some other interesting services.

A man called me one early morning. He wanted to book an appointment as soon as possible, meaning, “Now!? Please!? How soon can you see me? I can get to your place within 20 to 30 minutes if you’d like.”

I replied, hoping there was no panic sound in my voice, “No, I would not like it.” I checked my calendar and decided that I could see him in two hours. “What’s the hurry?” I asked, curious what case I was dealing with here.  

“I want to find out where I parked my car… It’s a long story… My friend said I could call a hypnotherapist to help me so I googled… I need help. I don’t remember where I parked the damn car…”

He spoke fast, and I was trying very hard to process, or to make sense as I listened. I asked him a few more questions to slow him down. And the whole picture finally came to me: This man wanted to find out, or to remember, where he parked his rental car in downtown Vancouver two nights ago.

It was his first day in Vancouver. He had flown in from Calgary in the morning, checked into his hotel room in Burnaby in the afternoon, picked up his rental car, and drove to downtown Vancouver in the evening. It was his very first trip to Vancouver. He came to meet someone – A business meeting, he told me on the phone. Later, when he felt more comfortable with me, he said it was actually a date. Google map helped him get into downtown. After he saw he was close enough on the map, he parked the car in a covered parking lot, and used the same Google map to walk him to the meeting place, a restaurant.

A few hours and a few drinks later, for the life of him, he couldn’t find where he parked his car. After searching around on foot for a couple of hours, he gave up, and took a cab back to his hotel.

The next day, he thought daylight could help him locate the parking lot better. He went back to downtown Vancouver, first walked, and then hired a cab to drive him around and around. Neither he nor the cab driver could find the mysterious parking place or his car. “That was the only time I wished my car were towed.” He said dry humorously on the phone, “Yesterday and this morning, I kept calling the towing company every hour, but oddly enough, the car was not towed. I mean, how can you park in a downtown parking lot for free for over 24 hours?”

A friend in Calgary suggested that he see a hypnotherapist for memory recall.

So, I became his last resort. The poor man’s trip was becoming very costly. He asked for a guarantee from me. I told him I understood his situation and could guarantee that I would do my best to help, but what I couldn’t guarantee was his own mind. “It is your mind that I have to work with,” I told him, “Subconscious memory recall is like tracing a footprint. There must be a print first for this to work.” I felt the challenge in this situation – He had never been to Vancouver before. It was nighttime. His mind was preoccupied when he was driving. But also, I felt a genuine curiosity in me and a sincere desire to help – I mean, what else could he do?

Now he seemed to be so desperate. I told him that I was going to take $80 off the service, “Because,” I told him, “I am intrigued by this myself now.”

He showed up on time, eager to get right into the process, despite an old concern that associated being hypnotized with mind control. I also realized, being new to the city, he wouldn’t be able to tell me street names such as Dunsmuir, Howe, Robson, Seymour, West Pender…. Even though in regression, he would be able to recall he turned left, and saw that sign, and then right…. Spatial thinking is not my strong suit. From a map to a real location I normally lose myself in translation. Even if he could tell me those street names, I’d still be quite easily confused. All I had was regression skills, and all he had were unconscious memories of how he followed the Google map. Two confused people could unlikely lead each other to the desired destination.

We needed someone else to put it all together.

My partner Tim came to my mind. The whole streets in Vancouver downtown are on his mind map. I often thought he could make himself a decent cab driver. And he has this spy-like detective mind too (If you don’t believe me, read Chapter 14 in Carol’s LivesA Spy in the Sky”).

So, I said to my anxious new client, “I’ve never done this before, but I’m going to suggest that I have my partner Tim sitting in this session, because…”

“Whatever it takes to find my car.” He didn’t let me finish.

I could almost assume that Tim would love the opportunity. Challenging this task might sound to everyone, but it suited Tim’s inquisitive mind.

Tim came into my office with a pen and a pad of paper in his hands.

I used hypnotic confusion induction to get this man’s conscious mind out of the way, so his unconscious memories could surface….

As they surfaced, very soon this young man found himself driving downtown. He described the traffic, the weather, his mood… Vividly he was reliving the moments. Only this time, my voice was with him every turn of the way….

As a regressionist, my job was to ask the right question at the right time. The Calgary man’s job was to answer my questions as the first thing that came to his mind. Tim started to draw a map on his paper…. The session went on for two hours, and the man went deep…

I finally brought the Calgary man out of the trance. Tim showed him his drawing map, and suggested a few highlighted areas to investigate… I looked at them, with a little more clarity but still uncertainty about where exactly he could find the car, or whether he could, based on Tim’s map. I knew I had given him my best shot, as I “guaranteed” him.

Still intrigued, I decided to volunteer Tim to go with him on his next search, with the drawing map in his hand. Tim had been involved this far, and his curiosity was piqued, so he agreed.

Carrying on my other appointments for the rest of the day, I didn’t have too much time to think about it. I could only imagine the best-case scenario: a text message from Tim saying, “We found it.”

It took them an hour. A text message buzzed in, from Tim. It read, “We found it.”

When I met Tim later that day, he showed me 80 dollars, and said it was a thank-you gesture from that Calgary man.

“Unbelievable,” Tim exclaimed, “Two days and two nights in that parking lot, with only paying for a couple of hours, the car was still there, no parking ticket!”

I think we have found a secret free parking place in downtown Vancouver.

The Journey May Have Started with Greece

This whole Journey with my work somehow started with Greece, a place that I have never been to, to this day when I’m writing this.

Some manifestations take many years to come into shape. But I was confident that Greece was a place worth waiting for. Even though I don’t actually know how long I have waited for it, maybe lifetimes.

Back in March 2009, I had my own first hypnotherapy experience, inspired by Dr. Michael Newton’s book Journey of Souls (details are in chapter 15 Onto the Promised Path in Carol’s Lives). That was before I knew I was going to become a hypnotherapist. I found a hypnotherapist in town doing Life-between-lives sessions. The hypnotherapist said to me that since I never had hypnotherapy experience before, she was going to relax and condition my mind first, so when I went back, she would have an LBL session with me through past life regression. In that “relaxing and conditioning” session, she instructed my mind to go to a personal relaxing space, so my mind took me to Greece. I imagined a whitewashed rooftop terrace on the cliff looking over the blue Aegean Sea. I had a hammock on the terrace. I was just hanging in there, literally, doing nothing else particular.

As you’d read in my book, I never went back to that hypnotherapist after the “relaxing and conditioning” session. And it was not her fault.

The next year, I requested a birthday gift from Tim: a digital photo frame (To the readers of my book: Yeah, that was before I took the hypnotherapy course). My imagination was that I was going to find many photos online, add inspirational words to the pictures, use an app that is called “automotivator”, and then load up the final poster style versions to my digital photo frame, so that I could bring it to the office desk, let the slide show of my beloved Greece and inspirational words brighten up my otherwise a little dull paperwork hours in the office at the time.

The brightening-up-office-desk-slide-show project didn’t last long. In the same year 2010, I left that office. No more dull moment. And the photo frame went into storage.

Very recently I happened to find the folder on my computer holding those pictures of Greece, that faraway dream of mine in the year 2009. Here are just a fraction of them.

This was how I started.

Looking back, these words have truly shaped me.

Still the words of wisdom

Still gives me goosebumps

Weren’t I cute?

And now grateful I am. The Greek dream is coming so close! Can you believe I’m leaving for Greece in less than 10 days? I wonder what my own photos of those beautiful islands will be like. Maybe I’ll post some of them here after my trip. Overly photographed as the Greek islands are, they never lose the amazing attractions to people like me.

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