Hi there, my name is Sulis Sunrise. Thank you so much for finding my pages on the magickal Tulsi Rose Garden, my healing work and the gifts from the garden. The name Sulis found me after years of pursuing ways to heal myself from severe trauma. I am a singer, a healer and a gardener. Raised on a flower farm on the North Shore of Boston, I am of the lineage of the rising sun which called to me from outside my window from birth. I grew up making up songs out of mystery languages that would come to me before I fell asleep at night. I was the golden child, literally first born with the gold hair. I was well loved when I was a little girl and I could feel it palpably, but I didn’t stay in that position for long. I know what it’s like to have a feeling of security and strong sense of identity and also to lose that which is most dear.
A couple things happened in my early life that spun me in ways that I didn’t think I was supposed to spin, but ended up making me stronger. First my grandfather passed when I was 3. He was some of the glue that held my father together. Not only did I lose my papa who loved me so much, but after that my dad turned his addiction to alcohol way up and he and my mom divorced when I was 5. I’m sure those events alone were traumatic for a little girl, but that’s not why I’ve spent my life pursuing the path of the healer and figuring out how to heal myself. Those events are not why I’ve fully embraced the name Sulis. No, when I was 6, my mom left me with a man who she thought I would be safe with. . . but the scars from that encounter at that young age have profoundly effected me. It’s never okay for anyone to be molested at any age, but when a child is that young the nervous system cannot deal with all of the sensory input and some wires can become disconnected. . . so I’ve become a detective, searching for the ways to reconnect the wires. Back in those days, the 1970’s, we didn’t really use words like PTSD or rewiring neural patterns. We didn’t know as much about trauma as we do today. Anyway, this is one of my stories that I’ve been working to change my belief system around. My work as a CranioSacral therapist and my work with the Tulsi Rose Garden as well as dance have shown me ways to reconnect to my body and be here now.
The road has been a little winding. I spent a large chunk of my adolescence taking care of three babies, my sisters. During high school I pretty much focused on sports and academics. . . I was mostly a science nerd who hung out in the lab at lunchtime. After high school I took a year to explore the arts: vocals, piano and saxophone before I enrolled in college at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Although I wanted to switch my major to music, a tragic event caused me to choose the status quo. I graduated with a bachelors degree in Journalism with a concentration in science writing. This was not my passion, so after graduating, I took some art classes and fell in love with clay. I moved to Frederick MD where I apprenticed with sculptor Joyce Michaud at Hood College. Working with clay was a very healing experience and exactly what I needed to help soothe the wounds from my traumatic experience at the end of college. I fired kilns, taught children’s clay classes and developed a body of work of porcelain sculptures. At my Saturn return around the age of 28, I moved back to Massachusetts to take care of my grandmother who was like a mom to me. I did a lot of caretaking during those years as she lived with my octogenarian grandmother and also worked in a housing program for at-risk children. I learned a lot about compassion during this time and also did a lot of meditating and dancing & singing with the Village Circle Band of the Newburyport Sacred Circle Dance Community, where I eventually started facilitating sacred circle dance.
When my grandmother passed in January of 1999, I wasn’t sure what the next step would be, so I volunteered at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in the Berkshires. It was here that I developed a closer relationship with my body and started to unpack the effects of trauma that I hadn’t been able to process on my own. I eventually found that through my connection to my body through yoga, dance and movement that I was able to open up a dialogue with myself that wasn’t available before. I started teaching Sacred Circle Dance and Danskinetics at Kriplau. When I settled down in Northampton, MA my healing arts practice blossomed. For 12 years I practiced massage therapy and CranioSacral Therapy in Northampton. Now I’m practicing in Shelburne Falls. My main focus these days is Singing, The Tulsi Rose Garden, working with the plants and flowers, and developing a curriculum for empowerment classes for women to access their voice through the Sing Your Sacred Soul Song workshop and Goddesses in the Garden: the healing with the plants program.
For my blog on healing and social issues, go to SulisSunrise.com