I am a subscriber to Dan Poynter’s newsletter and in one of the latest editions, I saw Robert’s book, Courageous Souls mentioned. I was very interested in the topic mentioned therein and I wrote to Robert to request a copy for the purposes of review. In the process I wondered whether Robert would be interested in an interview; he was and I must say, the information he has shared is very interesting indeed. Without further ado, I have great pleasure introducing to you Robert Schwartz
Aneeta: Robert, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Robert: You’re welcome. Thank you for your interest in Courageous Souls.
Aneeta: Tell me a little about your background. Where did you grow up? What was your family like and what do you do for a living?
Robert: I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio in the US. My father was a pharmacist and a businessman, my mother a homemaker. There was nothing about my family or in my background to suggest that I would someday collaborate with mediums to write a book about how we plan our life challenges before we’re born. No one in my family is a medium, nor has anyone as far as I know gone to see a medium. Around the dinner table, we didn’t talk about metaphysical subjects. We talked about what I learned at school that day, what my father did at work, how the lawn needed mowing. Nothing about Spirit or the soul.
From that conventional background, I went on to do conventional work. I was a journalist for a number of years, then a marketing and communications consultant. But I was spectacularly unfulfilled by that work. I always wanted to do something more with my life, but I didn’t know what the more might be.
Aneeta: I know from your website, www.courageoussouls.com, that you went to see a medium at some stage. Can you describe this experience for us please?
Robert: It was my dissatisfaction with my life that brought me to the medium. Once there, I was introduced to the concept of spirit guides. Not only was I introduced to the concept, I was introduced to my guides themselves. Through the medium, I was able to speak with them. They knew everything about me – everything I had done, said, and thought. They even knew about a prayer I had said silently and alone in the privacy of my home some five years earlier. As you might imagine, when you’re talking with beings who know everything about you, it gives them a fair degree of credibility. So when they told me that I had planned my life before I was born, I was open to the idea.
They said that I had planned many of my greatest challenges before birth. Naturally, I said, “Why in the world did I do that?” They explained that I had sought these challenges for purposes of spiritual growth. That made quite an impression on me. In the weeks that followed, I kept thinking about that concept. I realized that a knowledge of pre-birth planning could bring great healing to people. It could help them see their challenges in an entirely new light.
Aneeta: Let’s get right to it. Tell me about your book, Courageous Souls.
Robert: My book is a collection of ten stories of people who planned common challenges before they were born. These challenges are physical illness, having handicapped children, deafness, blindness, drug addiction, alcoholism, losing a loved one, and severe accidents. The information about their pre-birth plans was obtained by mediums and channels, including one who has the ability both to see and to hear the pre-birth planning sessions we have with one another. So, I was able to obtain actual conversations that souls had prior to birth.
It was an amazing experience. I often felt as though I had been transported to another world.
When people discover that we plan our lives and challenges, it allows them to completely reframe their lives. Often when something bad happens, we tend to see it as meaningless suffering. But when we realize that we planned our challenges, they become rich with meaning. It allows people to move beyond guilt, blame, and victimization and eventually arrive at a place of peace and even gratitude for their challenges.
Aneeta: Was there a specific technique you employed when narrating these tales?
Robert: Each story has three parts: an interview with the person, focusing on one specific challenge the person faced; then each interviewee has between one and three sessions with the mediums in which we ask Spirit, “Did this person plan this challenge before birth, and if so, why?”; then each story concludes with my commentary. In the interview, I try to step aside and let people tell their own stories. In so many books, the stories are told through the filter of the author’s mind. I wanted people to tell their stories in their own words. A first-person narrative has so much power to it. It’s much more visceral.
Aneeta: What has the response to this book been so far?
Robert: Very positive. I’ve heard from many people who say it’s helped them look at their lives in a new way. People have come forward and said, “I’ve always wondered about this.” People tell me that the book is much needed and that it confirms an inner knowing they have that life isn’t either random or meaningless, but rather filled with purpose.
Aneeta: As you may know, this website caters for storytellers. What advice can you give storytellers?
Robert: Feel the story you’re telling. An intellectual understanding is all well and good, but stories are truly powerful only to the degree they connect with the reader’s heart. You can’t connect with your reader’s heart unless you feel the story in your own heart.
Aneeta: Robert, this is all I have to ask of you. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Robert: I’m working on the second book in the series and looking for people who would like to share their stories. I would ask people to write to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and describe their life challenges. It’s an opportunity to help others who face the same challenges. And people are not required to use their real names in the book.
Aneeta: Robert, thank you.
Robert: Thank you.
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