Rev. Dr. Norma Edwards answers the question:

What is the nicest thing a non-family member has ever done for you?


Phil, that is a beautiful question. And I thank you for asking it, because now you are taking me on a backward journey in my life, where I have experienced so many what I call earth angels. So it was a little difficult to pick one from among the lot, but I think I have one for you. 

It was maybe 20 or so years ago, a long time ago. I had come back from a near-death experience, where I was struggling to put into perspective all that I had experienced, and everything that I had brought back with me. And then I experienced a divorce; I went through a divorce with five children. And as you can imagine, the trauma from the divorce and having five children, I found myself facing the question that I had purpose in life. Not only did I come to realize I had a purpose in life, but I was given what that purpose was.

And here I was divorced, raising five children, a full-time job, stepping into that purpose of stepping into prisons, and providing services to inmates and residents there. And at one point, I became extremely stressed. I was very stressed out. And a dear friend of mine — we have been friends now for over 40 years — she and her husband came to visit. And I was washing dishes; I was at the sink, and I was washing dishes. And she took one look at me and realized how stressed I was. So she came over to the sink, she turned the water off, and she led me to a chair, and she says, "Norma, you're exhausted, I can see you're exhausted. You are in need of some time out."

But in my mind, of course I know I'm exhausted, of course I know I need time out, but I can't afford to take it. And so she got on the phone, and when she got off the phone, she says, "This is what we will do for you." She says, "Do you have any time that you can take off from work?" And I said, "Well, yeah, maybe I have a week or so." And she says, "Well, my husband and I have just booked you into the Marriott hotel for four days and five nights. And we will come into your home and take care of the children. And what we would like for you to do, is to really just relax and rest and build your confidence back." She also provided me with a series in those days of CDs — beautiful, relaxing music that she felt would aid my winding down.

And I left, and I went off on that journey with so much gratitude in my heart, because I think if someone had given me a million dollars, it would not be the equivalent of what they had really offered — the opportunity to leave my children in the hands of a couple who were quite capable of taking care of them, to take care of my household, and to pick up that bill for four days and five nights, and a stack of beautiful, relaxing music along the way. And, do you know Phil, the most amazing thing about that experience is that there's a saying out there, "The timing is everything." The first two days and nights, I slept consistently. I did not realize how tired I was, until I took that journey for two days and two nights, and just ate and slept and listened to music.

And on the third day, believe it or not, the concept called Reprogram Your Life, which is a concept that is directed to assist people to release trauma and to become unstressed. I was given the outline of Reprogram Your Life, which has touched hundreds and hundreds of lives of prisoners and inmates in prisons and in halfway houses, which is a part of my purpose on earth. And so, while they provided the opportunity for relaxation, they provided the opportunity that I could distress myself. They also provided me the opportunity to clear the base, so that I can become very clear about what my clients needed. And, I think that's one of the most amazing things that has happened to me in my life.

Norma Edwards, D. Div., is a near-death experiencer, recognized change agent, spiritual therapist, and certified NLP life coach. She's an expert at merging spiritual orientation into clinical practice. A wisdom-keeper on the planet, Norma is noted for her work in the fields of realignment and life coaching at its very best, and is perpetually open to divine guidance.

Upon awakening from her near-death experience four decades ago, she embarked on a truth-seeking spiritual journey of transformation. Three continents, seven countries, and eight spiritual teachers later, she has emerged as a powerful change agent. Her 27 years of service on the planet has transformed hundreds of lives through her Reprogram Your Life coaching process. This process has been effective in her work around prison re-entry, where she worked first as a volunteer and later as a federal contractor, helping transform the consciousness of ex-offenders. In the private sector, she has brought sustainable change into the lives of many with her spiritual approach to life coaching.

Her journey of transformation led her to finding her purpose, which she is living out by way of transformational services in coaching and substance abuse intervention. Dr. Edwards, who was born in Guyana, South America, and now resides in South Carolina, is the author of the book Touchstones. She is also the teacher of “Spirituality 101," a 3-year course of study presented on VoiceAmerica.

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This article appears in: 2020 Catalyst, Issue 23: Beyond the Veil Summit