(Click here for more information or to schedule a session with her)
Interviewed By Savarna Wiley, Certified Life Between Lives® Hypnotherapist (USA)
I first came to know of Sanela during a Zoom session when she spoke about her upcoming role as Director of Strategic Planning and Policy for The Newton Institute. She shared that she had lived in the former Yugoslavia and that she was a teenager during a time of war. Though she did not speak very much about it, I got the sense of the deep impact this experience made upon her. Because of this, I thought it would be especially fruitful to interview her in this issue of SOTA as we are focusing on the theme of forgiveness.
In my practice in the US, issues of forgiveness are usually related to the realm of personal relationships. These of course, can be challenging enough, but how to work with forgiveness when a whole people and culture and land is impacted by violence? I appreciate that Sanela points to the fact that coming to forgiveness is a process born out of decision. While each person has their own path to follow in this, an LBL experience can give a perspective that can open the door.
Savarna: I’ve heard fascinating stories about how LBL practitioners have come to doing this work. What prompted you to begin offering LBL?
Sanela: Ever since I was very young, I knew that we don´t live just once. When my mom passed, I started searching for answers, trying to understand what happens with the soul when the physical body dies. One evening, while searching for answers, I came across the title of the book Journey of Souls, by Michael Newton. That book changed my life; it brought me peace and understanding of what happens with our souls when we die.
While reading Journey of Souls I knew that I wanted to do this work, and help people find their own answers through LBL.
What in your background prepared you to do this work?
I guess that my entire life prepared me to do this work. Everything that happened, everything I experienced, learned, explored, brought me in alignment with my soul mission.
What was it like for you to have your first LBL?
It was beyond anything that could be explained by words. It was reconnecting with my soul, mission, purpose, finding the truest answers of all, beyond comprehension of the rational mind. For me, it was coming home. We imagine “home” as a place but for me it is reconnecting with my own soul, with my own essence and with all that is. That is home.
Experiencing Oneness, understanding why I chose my country, my parents, this body, and all that will have happened to me on my way to an ultimate realization, was a confirmation of answers I was receiving throughout my life.
In LBL, we can learn so much about such things as our soul nature, the activities of the spirit world, our personal lessons and contracts with others as well as a wider perspective about humanities evolution etc. Tell me about some your own LBL experiences…What teachings have you received that have been especially impactful?
The theme that was present in all LBLs I received was Oneness. It was a confirmation of my work and mission this time on Earth.
There are so many different worlds out there, so many different life forms. And, regardless of one´s own origins, I found out that the Journey of Soul is the same for all. This is another confirmation that we are all one, all connected on the soul level, experiencing life in so many different ways and when our time in the physical body is over, we return home.
Humanity needs to always strive for balance, and there needs to be balance in everything we do, say or think.
Please share more about what you refer to when you say balance? How do you find it for yourself? What are the results of living from this place of balance?
If you look at nature you can see the expressions of balance. All life moves in cycles and where one cycle ends another begins. When we breathe, we usually don´t observe the breath but it still happens and even if we don´t realize it all the time, we do breathe. The balance is the ability to continue breathing and to know that you are actually doing it.
This issue of SOTA is focused on forgiveness. I am curious about your own experience. I know you have lived through a time of war. Would you share about your own journey and if LBL has helped you in any way in regards to forgiveness?
I can say, now, that I lived through two wars, there were two aspects of the war that I was going through: one was physical, outside, full of hatred, uncertainty, fear, and the other was an emotional, inside, finding my own place, trying to understand the madness that was raging on the outside and where I fit in. Many people lost their loved ones, their homes, country, lives. In a moment like that it is hard to even think about forgiveness.
Forgiveness seems like an abstract concept one cannot even begin to grasp. So many things need to unfold before a person is ready to even think about this concept, about forgiving. It is a journey, and we all are entitled to decide whether we are going to take it or not.
Yes, I think you are very wise to acknowledge that it is a process and to honor that the journey towards forgiveness is a personal one. Would you like to share more about this?
“Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you forget; It means that you don’t want to be carrying anything with you that will make you a victim.” Dr. Edith Eva Eger, holocaust survivor, author, and leadership mentor.
For those who managed to grasp the concept of forgiveness, they had to go through a very personal turmoil beyond the established beliefs and rise above all becoming someone new, someone who could see beyond this reality.
I understand you wrote a book about your experience. What motivated you to do this?
Libro de mis horas (Book of my Hours) is about my experience of the war when I was 15 years old. It has been in the making for many years, but the decision to publish it came when I started working with teenagers who were going through their own personal “war”, not being able to see a better future.
I wanted to share my experience, and the message that there is always something better coming after the “storm”. They shouldn’t be afraid, just need to learn to navigate through the storm until they can see the clear sky. Even if things seem rough and bad at the moment, all that will subside while they grow and prepare for life. My LBL helped me understand the reason for all what has happened and that way, by closing the circle of understanding, I found my balance.
Can you say more about ‘closing the circle of understanding”?
All my existential questions were answered; Who am I? Why am I here? Why did I choose this country? Why did I choose this specific time? And, when, after years of search and exploration one finally understands all this in a fraction of a second, that means to close the circle. Some call it the aha moment. For me, no matter what you call it, it is a miracle.
When we observe souls interacting with their soul group, we see that it is not uncommon that a loving soul friend may volunteer to present a challenge to another soul in the next incarnation. They may betray or hinder or even cause harm in order to help a soul learn forgiveness, for example. Have you seen a way in which this understanding of pre-birth planning has helped a client find forgiveness and by extension… peace?
Indeed, and it is so beautiful to see these learnings unfold that help them understand the “bigger picture” and continue living more fulfilled lives. Once this understanding takes place there is no room for any negative feelings towards that particular person since they were doing what both, or more souls, have agreed upon long before coming to this life. And as of that moment, a deep transformation is happening in that person´s life.
Yes, as we often say in this work LBL helps a person to go from the idea of being a victim to creator of their experience. Beyond the topic of forgiveness, in working with others do you see a trend in what is being offered to people these days? Anything particularly surprising?
I can see that more people are looking for answers about life purpose and mission. As the whole planet is going through the pandemic many people are looking inwards asking themselves what they could do to make a change and how to lead a fulfilled and peaceful life. People are ready to work on the issues that have been bothering them for a long time and that way release all they no longer need and find that special “freedom”. When we are at peace, we project peace and this is what the planet and every life form on it needs right now.
Absolutely! Projecting peace is a powerful force. What do you think are important characteristics for someone to be a LBL facilitator?
First of all, I believe that a person needs to feel the calling. Secondly, they need to have an open mind, an open heart and be a good listener. Thirdly, to always bear in mind that they are not only working with the person but with a soul. Facilitating Life Between Lives session is holding a sacred space between someone’s current self and soul self. It is a reconnection with one´s own soul, one´s own essence. Facilitating Life Between Lives session is accompanying one’s soul back home, allowing all the experiences, learnings and understanding to unfold in a safe and loving space.
What would you say to someone interested in learning to facilitate LBL?
If someone is interested in learning to facilitate LBL, I would congratulate them. It would mean that they are on the path that their souls chose and that they heard this calling. And of course, to study, practice and enjoy the journey.
I know that you are relativity new to MNI but that you have already jumped right in and served in our research department and soon will begin your time as our Director of Strategic Planning. First, thank you for offering your service to us. Please share a little about what you are hoping to see as we evolve as an organization.
It is an honor to be here! 21 years have passed since Michael Newton trained the first LBL facilitators and since then the Institute has grown to over 230 members from more than 40 different countries. We all are the Michael Newton Institute, and we all are the thread that connects both worlds and brings this connection to everyone who is looking for answers. We can reach so many more people and awaken the lights of those who feel lost, searching for the meaning of life, searching for the higher purpose.
I see the Michael Newton Institute as the leader in spiritual and expanded consciousness. Our members have strong backgrounds in many fields and by bringing everyone together in this joint goal to be the leader in spiritual and expanded consciousness we can expand throughout the globe and bring the expansion to so many different countries and people. I see the Michael Newton Institute as the beacon of light, and our work as the ultimate connection between both worlds, present life and soul home.
The world is in a big time of change and challenge right now. Is there any teaching that has come through a client or session that you think is particularly helpful for humanity at this time?
The teachings that came through my clients are that this is a very special time, and all of us chose to be here at this specific time. The pandemic is an opportunity and the tool for raising people´s awareness. The Earth is shifting as we all are.
MNI Research Committee has conducted a survey about the pandemic impact on humanity and planet and my dear friend and colleague, Patricia Fares O´Malley, Director of Research Committee, has written a beautiful article in this SOTA issue. Humanity is evolving and shifting together with our beautiful planet, and the pandemic is a catalyzer of that huge shift.
Sanela, thank you for sharing your wisdom and perspective with us!
Sanela Covic is an LBL Facilitator in Madrid, Spain. Click here for more information or to schedule a session with her.
Savarna Wiley is an LBL Facilitator near Santa Cruz, California, USA