A note on Authenticity

If I were to tell you that the journey of Norma Sunshine began the moment I was conceived, would you open your mind to that notion?

I am reading a book called The Mandala Book by Lori Bailey Cunningham- to put it simply, it is a study on sacred geometry and how shapes, numbers, and patterns are life itself. So, imagine a container- a space as infinite as we can imagine, and a point somehow entering the container- the point, or spark, of life around which all the infinite space now has capacity to grow and transform. At least, that’s how I understand it. Once my body sparked into earthly existence I became the point around which life could manifest.

It feels like a huge concept, and an even greater realization of responsibility for my own life.

If you were to meet me on the streets of Manhattan say, three years ago, and then today, you wouldn’t recognize this woman standing before you. For many years, I was angry, entitled, selfish, pushy, abusive; the list could go on but I’d rather not delve into all the things I’ve been working to transform in one post.

Then one day after finishing an 8 hour argument with my former fiancé, and he said to me “You know Norma- every day you wake up and have a chance- you can either lie to yourself and continue doing what you do, and live in that lie. Or you can change it.”

Until that point, I had always thought that life was happening to me, that I had no control over anything (except the amount of handbags I could buy, and the mirage of normalcy I could portray), that the only happiness in life was to find a man, get married, have a career, and a house. You could sum all that up into one word: stability. And boy, to the chaos in my mind, stability sounded like the answer to my feeling of emptiness.

As life would have it, the next day I called my friends cell phone without realizing she had gone home to Geneva after visiting her sister and niece in Santa Cruz, CA. Her mother picked up the phone. We began by talking about the intense, crowded energies of cities and how neither of us enjoyed it. Then, somehow, I began talking about patterns in my life- how every relationship was reminiscent of the last, and my actions never seemed to change. She suggested hypnosis as a way for my strong, elusive, mind to step back and allow my subconscious to open and express why the patterns were there and how to shift them.

The same day I found one of the best hypnotists in Manhattan, we’ll call her Sarah, and within a week I began my conscious journey toward self healing. I say conscious because I had been preparing myself for this work my entire life, but didn’t see it at the time. How often, when we are living in something, does our awareness of truth sit behind the jabbering mind-talk of daily life? I know for me, it has become a constant practice to remind myself to see both grand and minute details of my life and appreciate where I’m at, especially past the mind-talk. My dear teacher, Merlin, said that I have to acknowledge where I’m at, even if its painful, or scary, or embarrassing, if I ever want to change it. Being honest with oneself as much as possible is the best way to become who one truly is and wants to be.

But he comes into the story later, so let us shift back to the moment I began hypnosis. Sarah and I worked twice a week, her approach was gentle and she always wanted to ease into the work, which at first I truly needed. My subconscious had been slammed behind a gate of stone and wrought iron and it took a while for the gate to lower, disappear, and finally for the wall to disappear. My mind always took me through a forest, and always with an animal guide who I later realized was my spirit animal and dear friend. I’d rather not say what he is because he is too personal for me. But I’m pretty sure we all have animal guides and if you’re curious enough, your own will come to you.

With the magic of hypnosis I was able to begin the long journey of building a platform upon which my true self could speak- and she has a lot to say!- Before I knew it, six months had passed and I had learned eft, and many other techniques to slip into hypnosis on my own, and I was beginning to have questions. Because while I had begun this, I had not truly committed to healing. I was still living within the fear of letting go of my former fiancé, and no matter how much work I did outside my apartment, once I walked through the door to my 5th floor walk up in the village, and saw him, playing Call of Duty, smoking pot, garbage laying all around him like a red carpet, I’d get mad. And me mad- not pretty!

My questions became more spiritual and along the lines of everything you see in a new age bookshop. I wanted to detach from the anger swelling within. Her intuition guided her to give me a book called Diary of a Psychic by Sonia Choquette. With that, she said Sonia would answer some of my questions. I began reading.

I read up to the point where Sonia wrote about biofeedback and how she had learned it to enhance and control her body during times of stress so that she could continue her psychic work without allowing her emotions to overtake her. In that moment I knew biofeedback was my answer.

So I began my research and came across Merlin, a man who would ultimately change the course of my life.

I know. That’s a big statement. And one that could only be backed by the proof of what stands before my mirror every day: Me.

It’s amazing really- to see the value of experience, and to earn the trust, and respect of myself. In other posts I will begin to share some of the wonders of my life, and there are many, but to conclude this one I will bestow one of the very first gifts I learned from Merlin:

My relationship had worsened so much that at 22 years old, I was embarking on couples therapy with a pompous older man who I’ll affectionately call Bozo. During one of our sessions he had basically said that I should trust his word over my own gut feeling that the relationship had to end for me to live. The next day I went to see Merlin for our third or fourth session. After we worked on breathing without raising my shoulders, and decompressing my neck, I told him about the therapy session with Bozo.

He then said to me, “Norma, I am highly educated in many fields and aspects of life. I know a lot, but I will never know Norma as well as you know Norma.”

And that, world, was my first lesson in authenticity.

So often in my life, one thing leads to another and then to the next. And in those no-longer-rare moments when I recognize a correlation, a sequence of synchronicities that brought me forward, I think about that point I started at, the point that is me, that creates life around and within me and I feel glorious. I am empowered by the choices that only I could’ve made along the way, and eager to evolve with even better choices.

I leave you with this- everything that has happened in your life, every choice you have made, has led you to this point. Do you like what you see?


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