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Many people are unwittingly held in relationships of all kinds by promises made in the past (whenever that past may have been). These promises may have been to another person: “I’ll always love you”, “always be there for you’’, “never let you go’” and so on; or to yourself: “I’ll get even”, “I’ll never forget” or “I’ll never let him/her go”, and so on, all of which are equally debilitating. You may also have made a soul contract in the between-life state that holds you fast but which is no longer possible or appropriate. Promises in other lives bind the souls together throughout many lifetimes and may be exceedingly inappropriate in the present life. But such vows work equally potently when they have been made earlier in the present life, you do not need to believe in reincarnation to be affected by earlier promises. People may also be held by old vows such as to celibacy or poverty, which can create difficulties in a present life relationship. Vows that were made to you may also be inappropriate and may need to be dissolved or renegotiated.

Exercise: Renegotiating a vow: the quick method

Hold your crystal and breathe gently and evenly centering your mind. When you are relaxed and ready, say firmly and clearly, out loud, “I hereby rescind all vows, promises, pacts, arrangements and soul contracts that I have made in this or any other life, or in the between-life state, that are no longer appropriate and no longer serve me. I set myself free. I also set free anyone from whom I have exhorted a vow or promise anywhere in the past.” Clap your hands together loudly to signify the end of those vows. Stamp your feet firmly on the ground, and walk forward freed from the old vows and promises.

Renegotiating a vow: the more specific method

Allow yourself to relax and focus.

Now picture yourself back at a point in time when you made a vow, a promise or a soul contract (if you are unsure of when this was, or with whom, ask to be shown). Rerun the scene as it happened but do not become involved in it – see it as though on a screen. Observe, do not take part. Notice who is present and what you are saying. If it is someone you do not recognise, ask whom that person is in your present life.

Look carefully at that vow, promise or contract. Is it still appropriate? Is it something you want to continue? Does it need to be reworded, or rescinded? Is it something from a past life that has inadvertently been carried over into the present? Have you demanded a vow from someone else that is still holding them to you? If appropriate, ask for an advisor to come to discuss the matter with you. If it is a promise made to a soulmate, have them be with you outside the scene to join in the discussion. Check whether it needs to continue. Check also whether you made a promise to, or have a contract made with, a soulmate between lives.

Then see yourself in that scene using new wording. Be firm and clear: “It is for this life only”. If a soul contract cannot continue, set out why it is no longer appropriate. Or state clearly: “I cannot do that” if what you are being asked will fetter your soul unreasonably. If the promise has to carry over into the present life, or if it has been made for or in the present life, set out the conditions under which it can operate, or state firmly that it will be released. Make it clear that if your soulmate, or the other person, does not stick to the agreement, or if circumstances change, then the promise will no longer apply.

When you are sure that the scene has been reframed or the promise or contract renegotiated to your satisfaction, let it go. Bring your attention back to the present moment. Take a deep breath and be aware of your body once again. Picture yourself surrounded by a bubble of light to protect you [you can use this bubble during the visualisation if you feel the need for energy containment or extra strength during the reframing]. Then, when you are ready, open your eyes and get up and move around.

If you are non-visual: Hold a cleansed and dedicated piece of Pietersite or Leopardskin Jasper and state that you are now released from all former vows, promises and pacts that you have made in this or any other life.

You can follow up this exercise by using positive affirmations. Tack up where you will see it frequently a note saying: “I am free from the vows and promises of the past” and repeat this regularly. If the promise was made to a soulmate or someone with whom you are in relationship, discussing it allows change, and may bring hidden issues to the surface for exploration.

Crystal for releasing from vows and soul contracts (place on soma or past life chakras): Pietersite, Leopardskin Jasper, Pyrophyllite, Dumortierite