My Bucket List Journey to Sedona Arizona was Truly The Single Most Spectacular Healing Experience of My Life
This was only day one of our week of travel on the journey of a lifetime of training and healing to the majestic Sedona, Arizona. Visiting Sedona was an experience that I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams; it was nothing short of spectacular! Let me first say that this has been a bucket list trip for me as I'm on a never ending life healing journey. My life started out as a broken child in the midst of dysfunction and abuse. Leaving that home of dysfunction and abuse, I find myself no longer one broken child, but two, as I would spend my next 22 years with the love of my life who is also from dysfunction, and broken. We then became three, with our own child, trying to learn from our elders mistakes and doing the best any two kids can do to raise a child in a loving, caring home, trying to teach our son the opposite of all of our own painful lessons in life. Through many trials and tribulations, we fought our entire lives together to become the best version of ourselves, healed and whole, while maintaining the love we have for one another, and trying to show our son the magic of what life could be and helping him be healthy and whole. For all of these past 22 years, I've continued to try to heal me which brings me to this bucket list journey, to the magical Sedona, and I will be forever grateful to have experienced it with the love of my life.
Ironically, Dave and I had a conversation the day before about how sometimes, while he is very much about getting to the destination, I'm the person who likes to take my time, bask in, and enjoy the journey. Throughout my life, I've found that the actual excitement of the destination, whatever it was, was never quite as wonderful as I thought it would be in my mind's eye. Enjoying the journey path of learning and healing is what this trip was about for me, and I was blessed enough to have Dave come out of his comfort zone to enjoy getting through the journey from waking up to go to the airport to ending up back in our home on the last day. We truly experienced every minute of it. Sincerely, it was about each moment, each experience, and each inner healing to be had through our time in Sedona.
Believing that everything happens for a reason, I was drawn energetically to Sedona Sacred Rocks, so that is where we booked this trip. Sedona Sacred Rocks is a metaphysical B&B, a former Buddhist Retreat Center which rests on two secluded Red Rock acres adjoining two thousand acres of the Coconino National Forest. Meaghan and Rick, the owners, healers, and guides of this beautiful land were wonderful hosts and the beauty in them as well as their land is beyond what words could ever describe. I cannot even begin to explain the journey of my personal inner child healing I did there but I'm going to try.
First up, the medicine wheel. We met Meaghan raking the medicine wheel and Rick was cleaning up after the horses. The energy from both of them was wonderful and loving. I did explain to Meaghan that lately, my release of past pain has been in the forefront, so she should expect some tears. And tears there were! The ceremony began with the smudging of Dave and me, and she asked that I then smudge her. Meaghan started by letting me know that her guides told her to tell me that I'm using my gifts of healing correctly. This meant more to me than words could ever describe. All I want for me, my family, and everything in the world is to be healthy and whole, and to hear that I'm doing the right thing in helping to heal others, speaks volumes in my heart. So for that, Meaghan, I will be forever grateful.
While chatting with my husband later that day, we talked about validation in my life, and how I always needed to be validated. I knew growing up that I was very different because I could feel and hear things not everyone else could. And I had no one to explain this to me or let me know that it's very normal and ok, so I always thought that something was wrong with me because I was different. Because of this, while growing up and even in my adult years, I felt the need for validation of my choices by someone else just so that I could believe in me. It wasn't until very recently that I was able to start practicing the much needed self love and not worry about what others think. Today, I speak openly about my passion of alternative medicine, because I feel it's what saved my life! Today, I can speak about what I do without any hesitation or care about what people think. This for me is huge, and I'm very grateful to have gotten to this place in my life, but I won't lie....the validation from Meaghan, while not needed, was music to my ears!
After each of us is smudged with sage, we begin praying in this medicine wheel to the North, South, East, West and to all of the things that symbolize these directions. Meaghan incorporated all of her ancestors and teachings because we are all, in effect, one! I cannot even begin to describe the feelings that ran through me during this ceremony. All I could do was to feel the emotions and hopefully release them fully with loving tears.
For the direction of the North, which is Air/Wind, we prayed for all of the elders, the elders' elders, and for their spiritual health. Nothing really popped up at this point yet, emotionally, but it was very serene.
For the direction of the East, which is Fire, we prayed for birth, our inner child, our children, our children's children, and their mental health. This was such an emotional direction of intention for me personally that I couldn't even try to contain my tears. They were tears of sadness, first for my own inner child, and then a sense of sadness for the child that we've created, wondering what emotional pain our wounded psyche's brought into his life. I had a lot of realization through my tears in this direction. I'm very proud of how we raised our son and all that we taught him. Even so, whenever something strikes sadness in me on the inside, and knowing that hurtful things that happened throughout my childhood were not intentional, I feel the sadness of knowing that I've also brought unintentional pains to my own child. Although I don't sit in that pain, sadness, and guilt like I once did for long periods, because I realize that it doesn't serve me, its that realization is what keeps me honest and always try to be a better person. The realization that although I may not entirely understand why pain was brought to me as a child, none of it had anything to do with me. I only know small snippets of the unintentional pain that was brought to my parents. That is what helps me to remember where I came from so that I can forgive any and all unintentional hurt brought to me.
One thing that most people don't understand is that forgiveness is not for the person who's wronged you, it's for you and your own personal freedom; to give you the strength to move on in life and not carry that pain with you throughout the rest of your journey. No one really likes feeling pain in life, myself included, but I can genuinely appreciate the fact that as long as my head doesn't stay in that place of pain and hurt, I know it's what made me who I am today, and the person I am today loves so fully and completely so that I can make a difference in peoples lives.
For the direction of the South which is Earth, we prayed for all of the adolescence and their physical health. That they may become wonderful, loving, and giving people of the earth. Here there was an emotion of absolute pride in our son and the young man he's become! A sense of pride and gratitude that we were able to do the best we could to create a loving environment for our child through each of our own individual chaos. And knowing that we did, like many parents do, bring unintentional pain to our son at times in his life, he still very much understands how rich one can be without having a large bank account. I know I'm very biased, but he's brilliant and makes me so very proud! While one would always love to have a large bank account, my son learned that the smallest of things, mostly people, love, and fun in this world are the most important. Again, more tears, but happy tears of the heart! I just couldn't contain all of the emotions I was feeling in this wheel energetically.
For the direction of the West which is Water, we prayed for our parents, our parents' parents, and their emotional health. As soon as the words were spoken, I felt an immense sadness for our parents. I felt sad for the awful things that they may have endured in their life that would ultimately be brought into our lives unknowingly. Woo, those emotions cut right through me, and here come more tears. At this point in the medicine wheel, I had already recapped thoughts on both sets of our parents in my head that I truly thought I was all cried out. Nope, more tears, more release of pain, and so very much gratitude!
We also prayed to the heavens, to the Divine; all that is within us, our inner knowing, harmony, balance, and beauty. We then took all of the rocks that we had collected along the wheel, filled them with our prayers and intentions, and deposited them into the Stupa. Since this land was a former Buddhist retreat there was a Stupa, which is a Buddhist commemorative monument usually housing sacred relics associated with the Buddha or other saintly persons. This was a beautiful round structure made stacked large clay rocks and a clay pyramid on top. All around the Stupa were crystals and relics that had been left there from prior ceremonies.
Holy wow, is all I can say! This was an amazing ceremony which will stay with me always and I will be forever grateful for the healing and memories made during this ceremony. For me, it was very emotionally charged and very powerful! For this, Meaghan, I thank you for allowing us to be a part of it!
We had a quick bite of lunch before we did the Horse Alchemy that I scheduled. I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this one because Alchemy, being by definition, is a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination. So somehow, these horses were going to heal us. I was just so excited to be in a place of such healing and magic, that I had no idea what was coming next. We started this Horse Alchemy in the Ti pi with Meaghan, and it being a sacred space, we took our shoes off before entering to sit inside. Meaghan started the ceremony by burning some sage and tobacco as an offering for the healing that was about to occur. Again, she prayed for the help and guidance from all of her ancestors and guides so that we may experience the most healing from this process. This Ti pi up close and in person, was filled with magic in it's own right. We sat in the Ti pi for a bit while she prepared the horses outside for us.
Alchemy was medieval chemists' attempts to turn base metals into gold. Horse alchemy is similar in the fact that working with horses is all about healing emotional relationships, exploring thoughts, feelings and behaviors, which is much more enlightening and powerful than any possessions you could gain. The shear beauty of the horses, their power, and being more grounded in the earth's energy because they have 4 legs, they have their own healing ability with that energy. Meaghan came in to bring us out to the 5 horses, where we would choose one, bond with them, brush them, and then paint them. It is during this experience and bonding time that you receive their energy medicine to restore our soul to its original divine blueprint of health and wholeness, much like the Reiki energy transmitted through a Reiki Session. She explained that each horse had it's own personality and healing ability so the one we chose would have to do directly with whatever healing it was that was needed.
Ironically, I chose Kosmo, a brilliant, beautiful, larger than life, black horse whose healing I was told is of 'Alpha', or of the father. To many that know me, this is quite ironic because I grew up with a father that was never really present except with alcohol and abuse, so for years, I adopted many of my friends' fathers as my own. I truly thought, through the fathers of others and the love they had to give, I had long ago gotten past that pain of abandonment from the man I called Dad. Me being a person that believes in synchronicity, and not coincidence, had no idea there was still some feelings that needed mending in this area. Thank you Kosmo!
Also, ironically, Dave, having just had shoulder surgery, chose Colby, who is the horse they call the 'Wounded Healer'! Dave is very respectful of the sheer size and magnificence of horses so he's not huge on wanting to ride them or do anything to upset them. He did a bit of painting but mostly just talked to, brushed, and loved on Colby. When his experience with Colby was through, he walked around to each of the stalls petting the other horses and admiring them.
Kosmo and I, on the other hand, had an experience that I had truly not expected. I was brushing him, admiring him, and becoming one with his energy. At one point I felt like I mindlessly painted a green heart with light beams of green energy from the heart. I say mindlessly, because it wasn't until after I looked at all of him that I noticed what I had done and didn't really set out to do. This for me was very enlightening because normally I feel like I'm not very creative, unless I'm writing. It wasn't until after doing this, I realized that there was some healing needed after all, so I was unaware of until it happened. I felt so many emotions pour into me from out of nowhere, and it became so overwhelming that here came the tears, again. I felt the devastating sadness of my inner child without a father, that I had searched for, for many years of my childhood and even a few years of my adult life. There was first tears of sadness, then tears of love and forgiveness that I had never felt before. The forgiveness was for the child that thought she was at fault for not having the love of her father, and then tears of forgiveness for the father that wasn't there when needed.
Ok, so this experience taught me immediately, why I had come here and what this journey was about. Again, I'm forever grateful for the lessons learned here and the feeling of the torn apart bits and pieces of my soul, feel mended and whole. At the end, I was able to walk Kosmo out to take pictures with him, and wow, here was the realization of what a beautiful majestic animal he is! I thanked him and loved him for the lessons taught here. So this is my version of horse alchemy, that which I couldn't have imagined would end in such magnificence and wound transformation into love!
As if this wasn't enough healing magic for one day, we ended our healing for the day with singing bowl healing. This was about an hour of meditation or in and out of consciousness for me while Meaghan did her singing bowl healing therapy.
There were 7 quartz crystal singing bowls, one to balance, harmonize, clear, and then recharge each Chakra. Quartz Crystal is known as the “master healer” and will amplify energy and thought as well as the effect of other crystals. These stones absorb, story, release, and regulate energy. And boy were these bowls absolutely beautiful! Meaghan also made us each choose a Mystic Arts Medicine Card by Cher Lynn. We were instructed to not look at it until the end. I ended up pulling 3 cards accidentally, which she explained were all of my cards now and that I keep them until the end, when she would read what each of our cards meant. So for now we just listen.
We started out laying down in a comfortable spot with a blanket, and she started with the bang of a drum which sounded much like the heartbeat would sound if you were in the womb. She explained that this is a healing that will go where the healing is needed for each individual, just like what I explain while doing a Reiki Session. The first beat of that drum hit me right in my neck, where I have a herniated disc, and immediately soothed that pain that I've just grown accustomed to. Afterward, Dave explained that the vibration immediately hit him in the shoulder that he just had surgery on. He explained that it was so very painful at first that he almost told her to stop. He said that then the pain had faded away which I'm sure of because while she was playing the sing bowls it felt like I was fading in and out of consciousness and I could hear Dave snoring at times. In between the playing of the bowls, she would play the drum, and this was so soothing. I remember coming into consciousness at different times during different sounds of the bowls. So, while I can't quite describe what happened during this hour, at the end I was very much feeling relaxed and somehow re-energized.
This healing session touched me personally and taught me so much about the magic in the power of sound. After researching sound therapy and the vagus nerve, I knew deep down that sound as medicine is starting to become more and more buzzed about, but I needed to experience it personally and feel it so that I could decide for myself if this was something I needed to bring back to my friends, family, and circle of those in need of healing; all so they too may understand and personally feel the the magic and power of sound. What I felt and learned here with these bowls, in my mind and body, is that vibrational therapy through sound can bring you to an altered state of consciousness, much like meditating and the healing benefits are amazing! Today, when I'm doing a sound session for myself or others, I usually walk away feeling very charged and tingling; it's pretty spectacular!
After she finished playing the crystal bowls, Meaghan explained that each card pulled today has to do with each of us even though it may be a card you pulled. So after the hour was finished, we read our healing cards of Mystic Arts Medicine cards by Cher Lyn, and here's what was pulled:
Meaghan pulled the NEW GROWTH - “Blue Corn Maiden” card. The myth of the Blue Corn Maiden comes from Hopi Culture, an ancient peaceful people who lived under ground due to earth shifts ten thousand years ago with the sinking of Atlantis. Being able to communicate with nature and be guided by the Creator to plant seeds for New Growth. Plow the fields, plant your dreams, and watch your crops grow.
Blue Corn Maiden comes from the stars
To assist our growth and help us see who we are.
She spins her magic through the air
With the EAGLE and the CONDOR …
Her ancient wisdom is here...
If this card didn't resonate with both of us and where we are in our lives today, through the lessons learned from both of our pasts and in wanting to move forward, again healthy and whole.
Dave pulled “SISTER HEALING”. This card represents sisters who become bitter enemies of jealous rage, creating violence and destruction within their path. The advice here suggests that you begin to express your pain in a more compassionate way. Soften your heart and relationship with the feminine to help bring about your Sister’s Healing. As you do this, you are healing a myriad of pains between women for many lives.
We are truly learning through the pain in our lives to try to be more compassionate and see the best in people or things and to see their struggle as well.
The first card I pulled was “Higher Choices”, “Creations Child”.
What you do with what you've been given.
Turn away, or stay, play and listen...
Take a stand.
You hold your Destiny in your heart and hand.
This card is about the two pathways. One pathway is toward the light with the ancestors watching, guiding, and protecting. The other pathway leads to darkness...you decide.
If this card wasn't perfect for the journey we're on in this trip. Having grown up in the same sort of dysfunction, Dave and I learned very different things. I learned optimism and hope. He learn negativity and darkness, so he one thing I've always tried to do is to show Dave while growing up with him in our lives is to be lead toward the light in even the darkest of times.
The 2nd card I pulled was “Perseverance”, “Still I Rise”. This card is just what it says. Life can be hard with many painful lessons that sometimes feel they will never end. Just breathe and know deep down that “this too shall pass”.
This card is so very fitting in my world and ironically “this too shall pass” comes out of my mouth so very often.
The 3rd card I pulled was “Core Healing”
She does her best through intention
To become the will to live
To open heart and be the truth
To share God's gift, to give.
This card truly resonates for me because it's about the mask of a child's sad face falling off and underneath, the Core Healing, her whole spiritual self. Anyone that knows me knows that for many years I was enthralled with masks because the child that I was almost always wore a mask to cover my intense pain and suffering during that time. The symbolism of masks is so very strong for me that my first tattoo, ironically, was of theater masks. It wasn't until recently, that that very child found her voice and took off the mask. Today, I'm happy to say, I wear no masks!
Truly, this was a day of healing my soul and I cannot thank Meaghan enough for the wonderful experiences she shared with us today. This day was nothing short of a magical transformation of the child in me that needed the love and release of all that was. I was feeling blessed to have been given such a gift and that Dave was able to experience this healing with me. After the days events, we had decided to go to the Elote Cafe, which came highly recommended by our tour guides and healers, Meaghan and Rick. We were told that this restaurant is one of the best in town but does not take reservations so we may want to go as they open, as people wait in line for hours just to get in.
The Elote Cafe, is an award winning modern Mexican & Southwestern restaurant which overlooks the Red Rocks of Sedona, and features seasonal, locally grown ingredients, along with the finest tequilas and mescal. While waiting in line to be seated, ironically, both the people in front of us and the people behind us were told the same thing. The food was almost as spectacular as the view. Being that they served the finest tequilas, I had a dirty tequila martini made of the Herradura Double Barrel Reposado...Wonderful! I do love tequila!
We made it back to the camper, our home away from home, just in time to watch the magnificent sunset overlooking the mountains behind us. The light show we saw was breathtaking from start to finish with the most vibrant golds, oranges, pinks, purples. And the stars that followed that amazing light show, lit up the sky far beyond any set of stars we've seen in other parts of the country. I felt like such the tourist taking pictures of everything, but I genuinely want to always have these memories with me and to be able to look back at them to bring me to the most memorable time of healing and growth in my life thus far. So what a spiritual, magical, mystical, and beautiful first day of our journey. It is time for sleep, because a jeep tour up the mountain is what awaits us tomorrow. I feel so very thankful and blessed to have had all of these wonderful experiences today, shared with Dave, the love of my life.
Day 2 - 5 to follow! In the meantime, live, love, & laugh every day, because tomorrow is not promised!!
My name is