I shared Part 1 of my recent solo journey in this space a few weeks ago, but I really want to share Part 2 as it was the this part of the trip that has sparked a deeper knowing in me, one that I hope to continue to cultivate. Now that I’ve been home a couple of months, I can see how the gifts of allowing myself this time away from home, alone, for an entire week in the AZ desert for mind/body/spirit and soul care was vital to my growth as a mother, a wife, a human being.
I journaled constantly while I was gone – something that I haven’t done consistently in years. I share some of those entries below in hopes of sharing the full story of what I received, what I had trouble receiving, and what was awakened. I share it in hopes that it encourages you to take care and nurture pieces of your own soul, however that might look. I am learning that many of us make the mistake of not creating sacred time for ourselves to access the deepest, highest, wisest parts of ourselves. This trip awakened in me that I’m not getting to that place enough, but when I do, I am most at peace, at clarity, at ease.
I am utterly exhausted. E-course just launched, and its success makes my heart beam, but I have poured all of my inner well into it, and I’m feeling like I need to recharge. We are in the midst of moving homes, another dream awakened, but right now it feels like another depletion of energy. I am cranky. I am tired. I am grieving. I am not myself. I have recently hired a biz manager to help me get more support in place in my biz. I’m desperate to get ahold of my life. It’s so good, so full, but I’m out of inspiration, steam, and energy. I must recalibrate, and soon.
John took me on a lunch date and while complaining about my inner state of being, he implores me to take a week and go to that spa in the AZ dessert that I’m always dreaming about. He says I deserve it, that I’ve worked really hard, that I need some time to refuel. I decline. I have too much to do. He suggests that I look at why I insist on martyring my well being. He’s right, I think. Exhausted by my stubbornness, he picks up his phone, googles “Miraval Resort” and calls the registration desk right there as we are sipping our drinks. “He’s crazy,” I think. As soon as someone at Miraval answers the phone, John shoves the phone at me, insisting that I talk to the receptionist.
So there I am, and before I know it I’m making a reservation for an entire week at a place I’ve dreamt about for years. I don’t have my calendar in front of me. I haven’t researched where this resort is exactly, or what it even offers really, or even if I can afford it. I just throw out some dates into the phone, give them my credit card info, make the reservation, and end the call. I figure I can cancel later when John’s not looking.
When I hang up the phone, I look down and notice the perfectly heart shaped light beam on the table next to my drink (photo above). It’s a sign, I think. Source/God/Spirit/Light has just informed me that I made a very good move in the right direction. I don’t dare cancel the reservation, and months later I muster up all my courage and concerns about leaving my family, my to-do lists, my obligations, and I practically force myself to board the plane and go on the solo retreat. Best decision I’ve made in years.
I made it to AZ. And the very first cactus I examined up close (because I have not seen plants like this in 15 years and they are extraordinary) had a huge heart shape leaf (is that what you call them?) waiting for me. Not only did it remind me of the heart-shaped light beam/sign I received the moment I made the reservation to come to this place, but it felt like the universe saying, “Girl, you made the right choice. Despite all the barriers and gremlins, you made it here. Welcome to YOUR week.”
I am doing something I’ve never done nor dreamed I could. I am spending an entire week at a gorgeous resort spa with a focus on mind/body/spirit (Miraval). And I am doing it ALONE. My intention? To rest. To revive. To silence the noise. To unleash my joy. To lean into deserving. To honor my introvert spirit that has dreamt of doing something like this for years. To stretch. To listen. To JUST BE. Yesterday after the Oprah event was over, I cried my heart out (release, gratitude) and today I’ve been here at this place for just a few hours and already the happy grateful tears have come. I just cannot believe my fortune. I will honor it with an open heart this week.
The littlest things….the bright starry night sky last nite, the softness of the bedsheets, the simplicity of the yogurt breakfast this morning with ginger/lemon tea, the walking paths and gorgeous landscaping. It all seems so precious. I woke up ready for whatever the day had in store.
I did a challenge course today where I climbed up a pole and tried to walk across a tightrope while holding onto vertical, dangling ropes. It was super challenging physically, and I thought it’d be MUCH easier than it actually was. I learned a lot about myself when it comes to setting expectations too high, that my natural enthusiasm and optimism to accomplish something doesn’t quite match what is realistic for what my current life is capable of holding. It’s why I keep finding myself in a cycle of burnout. It also made me think about how small adjustments in life, like the slightest shift in feet placement up high on the wird, can have the biggest impact. I’m often fearless, not afraid to make big giant moves, but this challenge taught me that not everything has to be a big move, that the tiniest of steps can make big changes. Loved it.
As the day ended (only my 2nd full day here), I found myself leaning into what this experience might be offering up. I can feel the realignment of my soul. And I know it to be true not just by how I feel but by how all the mysterious coincidences and signs that used to be present in my life all the time seem to be coming back. I have missed these gentle companions of found hearts in the rocks, feathers in the paths, and coincidences galore. So glad John made this week happen for me. And I’m so glad my higher self accepted the gift. I am receiving it with a grateful, full, humble heart.
Even later: more walks, more delicious food, and another night in the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in.
This week continues to blow my heart wide open. I thought I was coming for new adventures and self-care and all that remains true but I didn’t expect the depth of healing, soul recovery, energy shifts, and the LEARNING of new things and what I am capable of with my energy alone. This horse. As fortune would have it, I got to hang with her for a couple of hours. She liked me and I really liked her. Her name was Fancy and she had a heart shaped scar an over her right eye (not even kidding).
I learned how to use nothing but my energy and body language to communicate with her. When I told her (without using verbal commands!) to walk, she walked. Turn, she turned. Gallop, she galloped. Stop, she stopped. When I centered myself with a deep breath, she did the same thing. It was remarkable to see and experience how horses mirror our energy. I learned how I am very good at energetically creating safe spaces for people but not so much commanding and communicating my needs and what I want. Once I did that, she obliged my commands. Also, horses are boundary masters. They will always take care of themselves first and they expect you to do the same, responding to commands only once your boundaries are shored up and made clear what you want. SO COOL.
One of the best parts of this week has been the time to finally dive into this book I’ve had forever. I deeply believe in divine timing and I can’t believe how aligned this book is with all that I’m soaking in this week when it comes to mind, body, spirit, and soul. I have never devoured a book so much. I have never underlined and written in the margins so much! I love that it’s so well loved by millions, that it resonates and speaks to the highest parts of ourselves. I feel like this book has lifted the veil on so many of my questions in the pursuit of being awakened. Love, love, love.
Later in the day I went to see Brent Baum, a trauma specialist who uses Holographic Memory Resolution to help resolve emotions and physical symptom of trauma. Truthfully, I heard a woman in the dining room talking to her girlfriends about her session with him with such gratitude and awe that it peeked my curiosity, thus my session. I’m so glad I saw him. I learned a ton about trauma, how we all have it, how our body stores it, how our minds cope. Like so many others, I had significant trauma in my early years, and then later after giving birth. Although I’ve done a huge amount of personal work to clear and heal it, I found this session with Brent to be transformative, like a peaceful closing to chapters long gone. At the end of the session, he gave me a warm hug and then told me that I had a lot of “heat” in my hands. He said I was a healer, that I should consider Reiki training, that it would serve me well in motherhood. I leave, astonished, curious, awakened. THAT was interesting, and will definitely go into my woo woo files.
Today was my 5th full day here. I miss my family but this feels really meaningful, important to be here. I will return home changed, a better partner, mama, friend, boss.
During this trip, I’ve promised myself to remain curious and open, to say yes to anything that might feel nourishing. So in addition to the everyday activities they offer here (yoga, massage, healthy food, meditation, horses, challenges courses, etc), I also had the spontaneous session with Brent, and today I had another extraordinary session with another intuitive healer, Tejpal.
I saw her speak a couple of times during the week, floored by her wisdom and her ability to “read” people, channeling their essence. I felt enormously called to have a private session with her, and it was the icing on the cake for me, the perfect ending to what has been a transformative week of spiritual reflection and body rejuvenation. In my session with Tejpal, I learned that I was a yogi in a recent past life, that I am an old soul, like a large oak, but I don’t get to my center near enough. She told me my path to my most centered self is through my body, and after doing some complicated breath work together, she practically jumped out of her skin with excitement for me. Although I had never done any breath work before (I’m a newbie to the world of woo woo), apparently I impressed her with my abilities! She encouraged me to seek out Kundalini Yoga when I returned home, that I am perfectly suited for it given my natural ability to drop right into this kind of breath work and meditation, like someone who has been doing it for years. Really, I ask? REALLY, she says. Something shifts inside, and all of the sudden I deeply believe her. As our session continues, I get more clarity and direction from her, especially around my role as an artist, and she is enormously helpful around giving me some tools to let go of old anger. I leave our session in awe. I feel a deeper awakening, and stronger commitment to exploring the deepest, highest, most sacred pieces of my soul. I am inspired.
I am heading home today. My heart is full, my body nurtured, my spirit enlightened. I am going home with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to my spiritual practice and body wellness. I have learned so much and all of it unexpected and welcomed. I can barely believe my good fortune of being here and I am grateful for all that showed up in service of my soul.
Since returning from my trip in Nov, I’ve continued the path of seeking. I’ve been devouring spiritual books, journaling, opening my mind further, going to my local healers (energy, acupuncture, massage, astrologer), doing some guided meditation, and paying more attention to how I use (and don’t use) my energy. Although I haven’t started a formal yoga/meditation practice yet, I hope to soon. I have a real sense that my trip to AZ was a pivotal moment in my life. It came at a time when my spiritual practice was already awakened, and this trip deepened that awakening, calling me forth to keep going, discovering, and seeking. I. Am. So. Grateful.