One year ago, I spent a weekend in Sedona, Arizona, with three strangers who would become friends, mentors, and soul mates. (You can find my recap here). That retreat helped me tap into the core of who I am, and led me on a journey I’m still on today, peeling back the layers of who I think I am as I search for my truth.
One year later, I found myself back in Arizona, this time with a different inspirational women: my mom!
We spent a beautiful four and a half days in Arizona, traveling to the Grand Canyon, through Flagstaff (where we got to have lunch with my Wildbride sister) and Sedona, my heart of hearts, where my soul is full.
The Grand Canyon was an experience I’ll never forget. The way the earth opens up, sharing all it has, is breathtaking. My mom and I were lucky enough to catch both a sunset and sunrise at the Canyon, and I’m glad I got to share those moments with her, despite the cold and wind.
Around every bend there was a view more beautiful and breathtaking than the last. We kept pointing and staring and taking pictures and saying ‘ooooh look!’. We climbed the Desert Watchtower, a tribute to the watchtowers of native tribes that live in and around the Grand Canyon. The artwork, weaving, and culture is so rich even in what I used to think of as a barren desert.
The truth of the matter is, there is an incredible amount of life in the desert. Even in the harshest of conditions, the incredible heat, the dryness, the chill and wind of the winter, life survives here. Trees, succulents, birds of all kind, we saw so much in our few days here. It is easy to dismiss a place as dead if you aren’t willing to take a closer look.
We also walked through the Tusayan ruins, an ancient Pueblo settlement where a group of 25-30 people lived. There weren’t many people around, so we could really move slowly and take our time imagining people walking through the desert forest foraging for food, looking for medicine, playing games, and celebrating the view they had of the sacred San Francisco mountains.
And then there was Sedona. A place that will always hold a piece of my heart. The red rock mountains of Sedona couldn’t be more different than the San Francisco peaks in Flagstaff. They seem almost soft when you look at them. We stayed in a wonderful airbnb, and experienced another mesmerizing sunset after a hike in the desert. After a dip in the hot tub with a glass of wine, we hit the hay so we could get up early for a morning hike.
While in Sedona, I had a dream that spoke to me. It was a dream about something that really happened, but in this dream, I took control of the situation, I didn’t passively stand by and let the situation play out. And while the true ending of what happened worked out well for me, having this dream in a place that holds such powerful spiritual energy for me one year after starting this journey of self-honesty, it spoke to me, and meant that I am listening to myself, taking charge of my life, not sitting by and watching it pass.
My mom and I had some incredibly beautiful moments on our trip. And some really great guacamole and margaritas. It was interesting to be in the same place one year later and assess where I am in my life, how much I have learned to trust myself, and still recognize there are places I can grow.