Courageous Souls

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Courageous Souls: Do We Plan Our Life Challenges Before Birth?

Book by Robert Schwartz 

I liked this book because it helped to answer some of those tough questions we have like, “If there is a God, why would he/she let this happen?” 

Often a session with a talented medium can trigger a profound spiritual awakening for a person. It’s often the key component in opening the floodgates to remembering bits and pieces of why you are here. In turn, this keeps us moving forward and attacking and completing tasks, projects and relationships that we really felt uncomfortable with.  A good reading allows us to see the bigger perspective of our seemingly difficult lives. 

For me, all my study into metaphysics has led me to an expansion of faith and trust in the greater Universal system. When things get rough, I say to myself, “God, I don’t really see the good in this, but I believe in You and I know that all is in Divine Right Order, so if you can please show me the bigger perspective, that would be awesome.” Until then I just trudge forward and do what I have to do, making the best of the situation and giving gratitude for what I can as I make a practice of focusing on the positive. 

We are all born with claircognizance which is an inner knowing, often in the form of feeling. If we just keep focusing on what feels right, we more easily see the signs along our own path. Meditation is a way to quiet our minds so that we may listen to our spirit guides more easily. 

Robert Schwartz ( worked with several mediums over a three year period to compile and collate readings from several participants who had multiple readings using different mediums specializing in pre-birth readings to explore their individual life path. 

Robert writes about pre-birth planning and how these participating mediums explain that we have chosen some of our challenges to help develop our own soul and to support the soul’s journey of others. 

Here are some excerpts: 

Soul Planning (page 15): “Prior to birth, we have in-depth conversations with our spirit guides and the other souls with whom we will share our incarnation. We discuss the lessons we hope to learn and the ways in which we will learn them.” 

Pre-Birth Planning (page 22): “the feeling of déjà vu is often accurately attributed to a past-life event, but many déjà vu experiences are memories of pre-birth plans. When we enter the Earth plane, we forget our origins in spirit. We know prior to incarnation that we will have such self-induced amnesia. The phrase behind the veil refers to this state of forgetfulness.” 

(Page 24) “While we are in our physical bodies, our souls communicate with us through feelings. Feelings like joy, peace, and excitement indicate we are acting and thinking in ways that are consistent with our true nature as loving souls.” 

Note: If you’ve been reading my newsletters long enough you would know that I often include an Abraham-Hicks quote ( as part of the inspiration section. These teachings are very much in alignment with the Courageous Souls findings. 

On Karma: (Page 29): “Typically, we have karma with members of our soul group—others at the same evolutionary stage with whom we have shared many lifetimes. In those past lives, we have played the roles of husband, wife, daughter, son, brother, sister, mother, father, beloved friend and mortal enemy to the same souls.” 

Robert discovered through his research that there is no punishment, simply a desire to balance karma and that most souls plan life challenges to be of service to others. All blueprints for life are based on love, even when the soul has agreed to play a “negative” role to stimulate another soul’s growth. Self-love is one of the main lessons that humans focus on. 

I see this in my own practice when I muscle test what Spiritual lessons the client should be focusing on. Unconditional love of self, worthiness and self-esteem/boundaries lessons come up more than 60% of the time. If we focus on what our soul is here for, and consider other things in our life as just distractions, I think we can accomplish more per lifetime. 

Let’s give an example from the book having to do with a sexually transmitted disease. 

Physical Illness:  Jon, a Methodist/Baptist, Caucasian, homosexual who was ostracized from a very young age, was diagnosed with AIDS. He has asked the medium Staci Wells ( why this disease was happening to him and what could be learned from it.   

She says, “For Jon his disease is part of the pattern of shame that he witnessed or experienced in a past life.” AIDS was the perfect dis-ease for him to work through the issues of shame. There was no way around it and even when he was very sick, had a Near Death Experience and could choose to pass over to the other side, he chose to stay. He tells the medium: 

“The best way to treat your fears is to kiss them on the nose, and they disappear. Almost dying helped me to realize that They—with a capital T—don’t have any power over me anymore,” said Jon.   

Jon’s reading with Glenna Dietrich ( revealed that he chose AIDS as a way to learn self-love and to stand for truth. It’s OK to be a nonconformist. You don’t have to live your life to please others because sometimes you find it impossible to work on your own life lessons. 

By choosing AIDS Jon might adopt the beliefs of those around him and conclude that he is in fact not worthy of unconditional love. The soul repeats these lessons until it is healed. The soul seeks to balance the light with the dark sides so that it may experience all aspects of a lesson which is why Jon did not choose an opulent life filled with unconditional love as a way of learning the lesson of worthiness. 

Glenna tells Jon in this reading, “. . .the highest frequency in the universe is that of love. And so to hold that frequency for yourself as long as possible, whenever possible, is the secret.” 

(I was reminded of Max Lucado’s story of Small Wooden People. We often let society dictate how rotten we should feel about ourselves. What a bunch of hogwash.) 

And this is somewhat challenging to Christians who believe there is a judging God up there. (Page 121) “As souls we do not judge one another. The only judgment in the realm of spirit is the self-judgment that may arise during the life review. We judge ourselves, and we are the only ones who do so. Our spirit guides sit with us as we review our lives and occasionally point out moments at which we could have expressed greater compassion. . .” 

On breast cancer: (Page 67): We bring on certain illnesses by the way we think, feel, and the things we say. 

“Certain parameters we set in motion. Think of a lever in an elaborate mechanical piece. We set a balance piece on that lever which could either be held in place by positive thought and acceptance or dislodged through toxic thought and feelings. The toxic thought and feelings changed the biochemistry and awoke the possibility of the cancer.” 

Every day we have the ability to make choices. If we choose thoughts and things that are less healthy, the next day we can choose different thoughts. It just takes awareness, patience, and practice to keep our thoughts and deeds on a positive path. Of course we need to tip that scale on the side of health consistently to be in the realm of optimal health. 

On parenting handicapped children (page 90): “Souls of vastly different ages incarnate on Earth. As a general rule, younger souls design incarnations in which they explore third-dimensional subjects like power or survival. Older souls, by contrast, in the physical world tend to be less interested in conquest and more interested in emotions.” 

Corbie Mitleid ( tells Jennifer, the parent of two handicapped children, “Honor them and their choices. . . It’s not punishment. Remember, there’s a fully functioning soul in there that does not have speech problems, doesn’t have spina bifida, can see, can hear, can think. They chose a very ill-fitting suit with a seam sewn wrong, but what inhabits the suit is purpose.” 

Jennifer is fulfilling the soul’s desire to be of service in a way that she has not experienced. 

Corbie says of her situation: “Although I don’t yet see the two boys in her planning session, I have the awareness that she knows them but hasn’t talked with them yet. They are a part of her soul group. Her soul group is a rather evolved one. These are souls who live by higher ideals and like to take on great challenges.” 

Other topics discussed are deafness, blindness, drug addiction, alcoholism, death of a loved one, and accidents

We do not know why each soul chooses the experiences they do. What we can learn from this book is that life is designed around a master plan based on wisdom and love. Each of us has a divine purpose for being. Seeing how this unfolds from a variety of perspectives often helps us to move through life with substantially more grace and ease. 

I recommend you get a copy of the book. It’s just a sample of a different perspective, but maybe this will open some doors for you all so that you can view your own situation through someone else’s eyes. Enjoy.  Denice 

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