Why is This Happening to Me? Body Karma Explained

We always have free will in how we choose to deal with our body karma as it arises, and this choice determines our destiny.”

After doing thousands of psychic readings and past-life therapy sessions dealing with the health of the physical vessel, I’ve decided it would be helpful to elucidate some of the basic premises which have become abundantly clear from my decades of experience in this area.

Firstly, whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, most of us have had several dozen to several hundred past incarnations, and the details of these lives are stored in our psyches’ cellular memory.

Consequently, if we think of all the injuries and shocks to the system that our bodies have sustained in just one life and multiply this by all the lives in our cellular memory bank, we can begin to get an idea of the pool of unresolved body issues that may be coming up to be healed in any given incarnation.

In addition, when we think of all the lives in which we didn’t die peaceable in our sleep with no regrets or unresolved emotions, these may also come up to be healed at pre-programmed times in our karmic story-line, also known as fate.

What about our genetic heritage? Our souls choose their genetic predisposition as the tip of the karmic iceberg to reactivate the body karma we’re here to heal─just as we choose our parents, environmental factors and personality potentials as part of the perfect karmic activation package.

So, when my clients complain that years in psychotherapy have still not resolved their issues, I remind them that this life is just one chapter in the soul’s story and that, unless one goes into the previous chapters, it’s almost impossible to fully make sense of the root causes of our challenges.

That’s also why, when I get the question I’m most commonly asked of, “Why is this happening to me?” I’ve found that attaining clarity from a higher perspective and becoming willing to embrace all levels of healing involved are the pre-requisites before the most successful and long-lasting results can be achieved from any physical protocols.

For example, one prevalent body karma theme has to do with being overweight in a way that doesn’t allow one to be fully accepting and loving of their body just the way it is.

There are a multitude of past life reasons for this. One that’s common is a form of balancing karma from lives in which one died from starvation during times of famine and the last dying wish was to be in a heaven of unlimited earthly delights in the form of food. One woman whom I regressed said that her dying vision was now her and her husband’s greatest joy: “We roam through the aisles of our local all-night supermarket filled with abundant food.” Unfortunately, the husband’s obesity-related diabetes has caused him to become impotent, so food had literally become the source of all that is blissfully orgasmic for them.

With karma, the old saying “Be careful what you wish for” is certainly true. In fact, all unrequited desires, sooner or later become manifested. However, because it can take many lives, in certain cases, by the time we get what we wished for, the circumstances may be so different that we feel victimized rather than empowered. Cosmic humor, indeed.

I’ve also done dozens of past-life regressions where women have become overly-attached to a large and voluptuous body type because at various times in human history─bigger was literally better. They were considered the most attractive at their largest and, now that they have the same body type and it’s out of fashion, they have a challenging time coming to terms with themselves just the way they are. What’s a girl to do? 🙂

For men, many large and seemingly over-sized guys have had past lives fighting woolly mammoths in ice age conditions where large was good, bigger was better, and furry was an added plus in frigid temps. But since we’re not in an ice age at the moment, they might appear as throwbacks, attached to their big bodies for survival when it doesn’t serve their highest good anymore.

Other large men (and women) are attached to their body-type because as warriors their bulk in times when food was scarce allowed them to win half the battle before it even started because they appeared so intimidating. NFL players, as our modern-day gladiators, are remnants of this body archetype.

In all the above cases, there’s a need to become aware of the root causes of the karmic attachment to food or body type for survival or attractiveness and, from this, one can then more clearly choose to bring the relationship with food and the body into balance without the heretofore unconscious fear of death or lack of love inhibiting the karmic healing in this area.

For more on this, please view my TV Episode entitles “the Weight of His Past” on this exact karmic issue, which was healed through past-life regression therapy: VIDEO

On a more personal note, in the case of foot karma, I’ve written a whole chapter about my body karma in this area in my memoir, Cosmic Sugar, entitled “The Concubine Chronicles─The Foot Binding Unwinding.”

After many lives in China of being hobbled by having tiny tulip-shaped bound feet as my ticket to survival, attractiveness, and more I’m dealing with many ongoing painful foot problems in this life. To open up my feet, so that I could ground my psychic energies to the earth, I’ve done standing chi gung daily for over 20 years as well as having much healing work and deep massage done.

One of the upshots is that my feet have expanded from a petite size 5 to a size 8 1/2 double wide in less than 20 years, and they just keep growing. My lesson is in letting go of any aversion or vanity in having to wear more functional footwear and just being grateful that I can still get around on my own and am now more fully rooted to the earth.

I’ve had many clients with severe energetic imbalances in their body which run the gamut from hyper/manic to lethargic/depressed, on all levels from the mental/emotional to the physical/sexual and sometimes both in an alternating current. Many of these have had karmic cycles of past lives of overindulgence on the sense level alternating with cycles of complete asceticism and denial of the body. Obviously, in this life the karmic healing would be in choosing to go for the middle path bringing balance to the being.

Until this is addressed, the extreme nature of the cycling can continue to escalate until some form of breakdown occurs, forcing attention to be paid. In this case, the karma can be healed at any point in the downward spiral when the individual chooses to go for the course correction. As they say in 12-step programs, “All bottoms have infinite trap-doors.” This is especially true with issues of body karma, because if the root causes are not resolved before the body is dropped, the karma gets carried forward.

In the case of phobias, any traumatic past life event, especially death, can create an activation in the cellular memory when similar circumstances trigger it. For example, in cases of OCD, many have had past-lives in which they died from some sort of plague, thus creating a fear of death from anything connected to germs.

Past-life injuries, from battles or otherwise, can come up to be healed in the same parts of the body, almost feeling like ghost limbs and where, in many cases, medical tests reveal nothing substantially wrong. Those who have neck pain may have been hung or wounded there. Asthma sufferers may have had lives of being buried alive. Those with fear of water may have drowned. Claustrophobia can arise from being imprisoned in a small space. Even certain geographical locations can trigger an irrational aversion if it activates a past life memory of a not-so-happy ending there.

Obviously, I could list literally thousands of case studies─but you get the idea.

With mental illness, including cases of arrested development or retardation, the karma carried can be from cycles of lives in which mental development was prized above heart or any other level of the humanness. Thus, the soul chooses to come in with one part of the mind handicapped, so that there can be a more balanced development in the fullest human range of the soul. Other times, mental challenges can be a form of karmic rut in the identity, past-life patterns of suicide being a common example, which the soul is here to overcome and grow beyond.

Before I get into case studies of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, let me say this: my Channels have defined pain as a signal tone from the Higher Self that a course correction is indicated. It comes first as spiritual pain, then as mental and emotional, until finally if we haven’t gotten the whispered message our Higher Self yells in our inner ear: “COURSE CORRECTION INDICATED!”we’re getting blasted by some level of physical discomfort. If that still doesn’t do it, then the unlearned lessons of choosing to go for the growth are carried into the next incarnation ad infinitum thus setting up the playing field for our present-day karma.

The most important thing to remember, especially when it comes to the physical pain that accompanies much of our body karma, is that we’re not consciously responsible on the ego/personality levels for creating it by anything we have done or not done in our present incarnation.

But rather, our body karma arises at the perfect time to get us to focus on whatever course correction is indicated in some aspect of our being, and that nothing less than what has manifested on the physical level would have gotten our attention enough to be willing to address it and take action. So, while we’re not responsible in this life for our illnesses and other forms of body karma, we most certainly are responsible to it, as our symptoms are speaking to us.

In cases of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, the karmic roots are too numerous to mention them all. However, ALL are chosen by the soul for karmic healing and soul growth where no lesser drama would do. Please remember that the personality NEVER consciously chooses such conditions.

In many cases, especially with breast cancer, the course correction is in placing the need to nurture Self first. This could mean pruning any toxic jobs, relationships, environments, addictions or unhealthy food choices that are a symptom of not putting Self-Love before any other.

Where other forms of cancer, heart disease or life-threatening illness arise, especially in men or yang-types, there is a karmic predisposition in the identity to be a giver, a doer, a teacher, and/or a healer. The severe nature of illness forces those who are challenged in the area of receiving love, aid, and nurturing from others to surrender to developing the softer, yin and more vulnerable side of their Beings.

In many of these storylines, the karmic healing comes from getting the lessons inherent in being sick and not necessarily in healing from the illness. But rather, sometimes what needs to be brought into balance is through the healing that occurs within the dying process.

When one fully surrenders to what is, one may be gifted with the grace, nobility and true power that can spontaneously arise from this, then healing can occur up to the last moment of breath. Conscious dying then becomes the foundation from which no new karma on the themes of fear of death or imperfect humanness needs be played out again at this level.

Lastly, let’s look at aging gracefully. Did you know that over 50% of the human race that have ever lived to be over 65 are presently alive on the earth today? That means that as a race we have no cellular memory of how to age gracefully in an empowered way into our 80’s, 90’s and beyond.

This is one reason why there’s so much fear around aging. As a race we haven’t as yet learnt how to do it in a positive way, especially in modern western culture. So, it’s very exciting to be part of a new generation in the evolution of consciousness planting seeds in the racial cellular memory about how to live long, with health, vitality and no diminishment of power, but rather a continuous gathering of our forces and an ever-deepening wisdom. How’re you doing with that?

In closing, in the Vedic traditions of Ancient India, there are three levels of being bound by the wheel of karma: iron chains, silver chains and golden chains─-and some lives can be a combination of two or three of these stages.

Iron chains signify that one’s in a life of balancing karma from lives in which there were sins of comission from harming others. To the degree that we consciously choose to do no harm and come from the heart, we are released from this level of bondage. But body karma in the areas we have harmed others may be part of the healing of this karmic package through developing compassion for self and others.

Silver chains come from lives in which we harmed no one but ourselves (sins of omission). Releasing ourselves from these chains means placing the love, nurturing and empowerment of self-first. Here, body karma arises as needed, to inspire us with this lesson. 

And golden chains, ah golden chains, as good as they may sound they’re still chains! These come from lives of good deeds in which there was any level no matter how subtle─of ego aggrandizement from our benevolence. In this case, we’re pulled back on the wheel of karma into incarnations to reap the benefits of all the good we’ve done. In these lives, we need to learn how to receive our good fortune graciously. Body karma can still arise here, primarily as a reminder to maintain our open-heartedness and compassion, so there’ll be no backsliding.

Vedic philosophy teaches that the higher one’s consciousness evolves in the Divine game of Leela, Cosmic Play, the further one can fall. It’s exactly like a game of chutes and ladders. As one rises higher, the levels of misuse that can incur karma become ever more subtle.

To be free from the wheel, one needs to become completely non-attached to the fruits of one’s actions─like walking on sand and leaving no footprints. That’s why having a very long-range perspective on the human evolution of consciousness and recognizing that Leela is beginningless and endless is the most peaceful way to Be.

So, when next you have some body karma arising, as we all will sooner or later, rather than just asking “Why is this happening to me?” the most useful follow-up question is: “What am I supposed to learn from this?”

For a detailed description of the philosophy of Cosmic Play, please click here: LEELA

If you’d like a psychic reading with Joan to explore the full nature of your body karma and how to heal it:  CONSULTATIONS



Seeing the sicknesses as the teachers, pray to them.

Sicknesses are coming to you by the kindness of the mastersand the Three Jewels.

Sicknesses are your accomplishments, so worship them as thedeities.

Sicknesses are the signs that your bad karmas are beingexhausted.

Do not look at the face of your sickness, but at the one (themind) who is sick.

Do not place the sicknesses on your mind, but place yournaked, intrinsic awareness upon your sickness.

This is the instruction on sickness arising as the Dharmakaya.

The body is inanimate and mind is emptiness.

What can cause pain to an inanimate thing or harm to theemptiness?

Search for where the sicknesses are coming from, where theygo, and where they dwell.

Sicknesses are mere sudden projections of your thoughts.

When those thoughts disappear, the sicknesses dissolve too….

There is no better fuel (than sicknesses) to burn off the badkarmas.

Don’t get into entertaining a sad mind or negative views (overthe sicknesses).

But see them as signs of the waning of your bad karmas andrejoice over them. 

By Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa (1729–1798)

From Apparitions of the Self: The Secret Autobiographies of a TibetanVisionaryby Janet Gyatso (author)

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