We had the good fortune of connecting with Nora Stefanescu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nora, how do you think about risk?
When I was sixteen and a half years old I left my hometown in the heart of Transylvania and went to Bucharest, the capital of the country. Not only is Bucharest the largest city in Romania but it is also a jungle, metaphorically speaking, compared to a small town of forty thousand citizens. Culturally, it was a shock and integration wasn’t easy. I was by myself, and socially and culturally in a completely different environment than what I was used to. It’s like going from Yellow Springs, Ohio to Los Angeles, California; two completely different worlds. Your mindset has to change in order to survive. But I wanted so badly to expand and that was the only way I saw possible at that time. I graduated from high school in Bucharest and then I went off to college. I studied Foreign Languages and Literature with an emphasis in German Linguistics and Literature. While in college, I decided I wanted to study abroad, so, I took a leap of faith and left for Tuebingen, Germany, with 400 Euros in my pocket. I needed to support myself financially so I got a job at a bakery. I would wake up at 5am open the bakery at 6am, work till about 12pm, then go to school till 5pm. Go home, study, write on my graduation dissertation till 3 am in the morning; Get up at 5am and start all over again. I did that for three months until I finished my paper. After graduation, I ended up spending five more years in Germany. I went on to study graphic and web design in Stuttgart, while I was also working in an advertising agency. Those were two of the most difficult years of my life. After graduating with an Associate’s degree in Graphic and Media Design I worked for Mercedes for a year. Then I decided it was time for me to go to America. This had actually been my dream all along; this was my driving force since I was a little girl. Shoutout LA – Here I come!! I left Europe with 600 dollars in my pocket. I landed in Los Angeles on a beautiful, sunny, hot spring day. I was quite scared and disoriented. I spoke English but I didn’t think I was that good. Well, turns out that I was good enough and looking back, I see that I got to Los Angeles with an arsenal of skills and knowledge but I was lacking friends, people who would cheer me up and a whole lot of self-esteem. While I was still in Europe, whenever I told people that I would go to America, they’d laugh at me convinced I’d return to Europe fast. Well, I didn’t. Fourteen years later I am still here. I am a risk taker and I put myself in situations where I have no choice but to grow. I don’t think one can truly advance without taking risks or a leap of faith. For me, the more I see of the world, the happier I am. The more I grow and expand, the more I learn, the more I challenge myself, the happier I am. That doesn’t mean I have not had hardship. Quite the opposite. Can you imagine living in a foreign country where you are not allowed to work but you need to make money to survive? Where there is a will, there is a way. I am proud to be an American. Playing safe is good for some situations but nothing can substitute experience. That is why we are here. Life is a series of experiences that we choose to live. Like Muhammad Ali said: “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Today I am a board certified clinical hypnotherapist and a healing facilitator but I am also an artist and a property manager. I consider myself a multipotentialite; having many interdisciplinary interests, and diverse aptitudes. When I was growing up in former communist Romania, I wasn’t taught to follow my heart. I don’t know who was?! I was taught to be a good student and an athlete. In retrospect, I am grateful for my education and for my path. I had the privilege of attending a German kindergarten, German elementary school, German middle and high school. So I grew up bilingual with German and Romanian. Then, in 5th grade, I started taking foreign language classes for French and English. By the time I graduated from high school I was fluent in these languages. Sadly, I lost most of French because of lack of practice. But I speak Spanish now having lived in California for fourteen years. Since I was formally trained as an Art Director and UI + UX Designer I had my own design and advertising business for eleven years in the United States. My first client in Los Angeles was someone who now is a famous motivational speaker. So it looked promising, but my career as an Art Director and UI + UX Designer in Los Angeles was definitely not easy albeit interesting. In the beginning, I didn’t know where the next dollar would come from. I lived in survival for a long time. I was on a spiritual journey, and the experience of financial insecurity was part of it. I had to go through that strife in order to learn to rise up from my own ashes. I came to this country by myself and left my family behind. That lesson alone taught me a thing or two about letting go, about non-attachment, but also about being shut down and distant from people. I had many limiting programs running my mind and my life on autopilot. And no matter how hard I tried to break those patterns, some were just too hard to crack. Every personal development training I did, brought me a step further, opened me up a bit more, allowed me to shed off more of the old skin. After my best friend committed suicide in October 2015, I felt like I needed to do something different, I needed to help people. It was as if my friend was guiding me. I needed to learn something new and to expand, and she was showing me the way from another dimension. I was in therapy at that time and asked my therapist if they knew of a good a hypnotherapist. After the first session with a hypnotist, I felt like a different human being, I felt lighter, more self-assured. By the end of the third session, I decided I wanted to study hypnotherapy. I attended a one-year intensive full time training in hypnosis and hypnotherapy at the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in Tarzana, CA, which is rated as the best hypnotherapy school in the country. So I transitioned from design and marketing to hypnotherapy. As an artist and graphic designer, you have an eye and a fine sense for detail and an ear for listening to your client. So when I became a hypnotherapist, I was able to combine my talent for listening with the one for keen attention to what was going in my client’s life; Looking for how I could help to modify their behavior, or break destructive patterns. I love seeing the shift in my clients when they leave my office. With the Muse Method I help people unlock themselves. I have clients who have started their own business through our sessions, clients who have found new love and got married, and clients who found their passion and pursued it. Hypnosis is very effective in all areas of life because it accesses your subconscious mind and tweaks exactly what you want to change. It is very targeted. Sometimes, we need to first work through some other issues before we get to the core. It’s all a process, not a destination. I am a neuroscience nerd. Neuroscience and hypnosis go hand-in-hand. My commitment is to make hypnosis and hypnotherapy more mainstream. Most people still associate hypnosis with stage hypnosis and fear that the hypnotist can make them do something against their own will. But that is virtually impossible, because your subconscious will block it, if you do not want the change. Clinical hypnosis is a method to break a habit or a pattern, or to modify a behavior, then to integrate and implement a new habit, a new pattern or a new behavior. It’s like replacing CD’s in a player. We are programmed machines. I’ve learned that everyone is hypnotizable. In fact, you are hypnotized right now, as you read this. Your brain is riding on certain brain waves, is in a certain state of receptivity, in which it is absorbing information. It is a focused state in which one becomes very suggestible. For instance, movies are hypnotic, music and art are hypnotic, but also watching the news is hypnotic. In fact, people get programmed and reprogrammed through the news – anything that creates a sensation in you, when you can dive into it and are being taken on a journey – that’s hypnosis. There are different degrees of hypnosis. Clinical hypnosis is a heightened state of awareness, when your body is relaxed, which allows the hypnotist to work with your subconscious mind. You are moving from beta brain waves, which are typical for a state of alertness, to alpha – more relaxed and calm state to theta, which is deep relaxation. This is one step before reaching delta brain waves, which usually defines deep sleep. In essence, we hypnotize the body, because that is where we store emotions, trauma, memories, and therefore experiences. It is fascinating to see people become freed up from their limitations, see them being hopeful again, and smiling with glee. I’d like the world to know that I am here to assist as many people as I can on their path to healing and self-actualization. We are the creators of our life and when we truly get that, we hold the power to create anything we want, to live a fulfilled life. One’s healing is everyone’s healing; because we do progress together. Similar to when a world record is broken. After one person does it, others follow. During the pandemic I started painting again. Painting is therapy for me and a form of self-expression. I paint what I call layered abstracts. My paintings take you on a fluid journey. My painter / artist name is @isabell.dupuis
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The beach in Santa Monica, The Venice Canals, The Marina. Then go hiking in Malibu and eat on the sand at the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe. Hike to the Griffith Observatory and in the Pacific Palisades. Hike the Gabrieleno Trail in Tujunga. I love being out in nature. I would take them to the farmer’s market. Love supporting the local farmers. Then visit the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Arrive early 1) Walk around the area and the building 2) take photos 3) Go to a concert. I highly recommend the organ concert. It is a magnificent and absolutely divine experience. I love Abbott Kinney in Venice. Just strolling down the street is fun. An Espresso at Tom’s Flagship Coffee Shop midday sounds lovely. First Friday was always so much fun. Hopefully next year we’ll experience that again. I would also take them to a yoga class at Soulplay yoga downtown Culver City. That’s my usual studio. Nathania Stambouli is an amazing yoga instructor. She recently launched Yogi Flight School on facebook. I did my yoga teacher training with Nat. She inspired me. Next, we would go to Cafe Gratitude in Venice, Margot in Culver City for great food, delicious cocktails, fabulous music, and gorgeous views. Perhaps go shopping at Eataly in Century City; Eat at one of the restaurants there, have gelato and a Latte. Then end the night at the rooftop bar, Terra. Listen to 88.1 KJazz in the car. Get some sushi at Nobu in Culver City. I’m a west side girl in case you haven’t noticed. 😉
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people that had a tremendous impact in my life and supported me on my journey. It would be unfair to name just one or to name a few and miss the others. I am in the process of writing a book and when it will be published, I will then thank everyone who supported, mentored, and encouraged me along the way. Until then, here, I will name the book that pretty much catapulted me on my journey to America. In 1999, I read Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist”. I felt recreated and heard in that book. The line: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” had a clear transformative impact. This line anchored me in the believe that I wasn’t alone in this world; That the universe was indeed having my back and would support me while I would go after my dreams.