Lessons from Sedona

Last Tuesday Robyn asked me to share my insights or takeaways from my trip to Sedona with our Rockstar Coaching Collective ladies. I did tons of self reflection during the trip, but as soon as I got back to NYC I jumped into a full weekend yoga training at The Studio and didn’t truly have time to process the experience and my thoughts around it.

As I’ve shared before, creating time and space to “digest” experiences is just as important as creating time and space to digest your food. It’s all connected.

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In addition, verbalizing any reflections, goals, visions, worries or fears with someone else is powerful because it allows those things space to live outside your head. With the more positive pieces (visions, dreams, wishes, intentions), sharing allows others to see those things for you and sort of “co-manifest” - once they know your goals, they can see where they might be able to help you out, hold you accountable, or simply remind you of whatever it is when something else distracts you.

With the fears and worries - divulging helps dissipate the energy, and also allows space for compassion, empathy and support from others. SO often the things that bring us down the most are things that we keep inside, and once we say it out loud we realize “Oh, it’s not that bad!” or we realize that it’s okay to ask for help.

Because my experience last week with the Rockstar women was so powerful (for both me and the women in the group), today I’m sharing some of of the insights I had on my Sedona vacation.

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Insight 1: Don’t underestimate the importance of personal space (especially for my highly sensitive peeps!)

I know how important personal space is for me, but it seems like I’m constantly put in situations (or I put myself in situations) where I have an opportunity to learn it again (and again and again).

Some of you may have seen on Instagram, but our first few nights in Sedona I was sharing a studio room with my parents, where I was sleeping on a pull out couch adjacent to their bed and the kitchenette. For some people this might have been okay, but for me it was not.

There was no where for any of us to go if we wanted privacy or quite time, and no boundaries between any of the spaces (their space, my space, the communal space).

Again, for some people this tight space might have been okay. For me, with my parents (and likely with MOST people) it’s not. I need my own space, when it’s anything longer than a weekend. NOTED for future.

How I tried to create personal space with couch cushions in our tiny studio. We moved to a bigger room half way through the week and it made SUCH a big different.

How I tried to create personal space with couch cushions in our tiny studio. We moved to a bigger room half way through the week and it made SUCH a big different.

Insight 2: There’s not always a lightening bolt moment.

Sedona is known to be a magical, healing place. Pretty much everyone who had visited told me “You’re going to have the BEST time. It’s such a magical place.”

I think I was expecting to show up and physically feel this life-changing vibration, but I didn’t.

The stuff going on in my family didn’t miraculously shift. The challenges going on in my own brain didn’t either.

And I realized healing doesn’t always happen in a miraculous way, just like insights or big ideas don’t ALWAYS come in one dramatic flash. Change can happen in small ways, over time.

Sure the dramatic moments exist: Love at first sight, lightening bolt AHA moment, a song that triggers a memory and a wave of cathartic tears. But most of the time it’s small, gradual shifts that create real change.

Those small changes are what I noticed on this trip. He acted differently. I reacted differently. She said something differently. There wasn’t a 180 with anything, and that’s totally okay.

Insight 3: Nature is so healing

Healers and healing practices (like yoga or meditation) are great. But there’s something so fundamentally healing about nature - maybe it’s the space, maybe it’s the quite, but simply BEING with trees (or sky, or sun or ocean) is sometimes enough.

So note to self: MORE NATURE IN MY LIFE!

Me feeling calm and clear after a hard (but beautiful) hike!

Me feeling calm and clear after a hard (but beautiful) hike!

Insight 4: When you feel safe in your body you’re able to handle the harder situations.

This was less of an aha moment, but rather an aha that dropped IN.

I teach people to treat their bodies as their homes. To take care of this place, to be comfortable in it, to make peace with it. But this still isn’t something I feel all the time myself.

I KNEW it in my head, but it hadn’t dropped down into my being until this trip.

One night of the trip (while still in the small space) things were hard. There was an argument, some not nice things were said. I was hurt and angry.

In the past, I’d choose to escape - go for a run, watch a show, make food, work, etc. Avoid the feelings for fear that they were too much for me to handle.

This time instead of avoiding my feelings, I chose to go IN to the discomfort and pain. I did some yoga (mostly child’s pose) and connected to my breath.

I heard the mantra: I am safe in my body. And more than heard it, I FELT it.

And I realized I was safe. I could feel the tough feelings, but not let them consume me.

Insight 5: Sometimes people or situations are meant to teach us how not to act or what not to do in the future.


This is a cliche saying but I GOT IT. There were some pieces of the trip that didn’t go as planned or how I would have liked. Instead of getting resentful or angry, I allowed myself to see the lesson.

In the future, I won’t book a flight like this.

In the future, I won’t agree to these sleeping arrangements.

In the future, I won’t eat that food.

Instead of stewing on the less than perfect present moment, I saw the thing that felt off and THANKED situation for it’s lesson, and thanked myself for being able to see that lesson.

I didn’t listen to my gut and this meal didn’t settle right. NOTED for future.

I didn’t listen to my gut and this meal didn’t settle right. NOTED for future.

Insight 6: There’s a BIG shift happening within me.

And it’s TERRIFYING. But it’s also so precious and I don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to get clearer on who I am and what I want out of life.

I’ve been feeling this for a few months now - like there’s a re-working of my insides happening. I know that some big changes are coming in my life this year, but right now it feels more like the shift is happening within me.

The outward direction of my ship isn’t completely changing, but the inner compass is recalibrating… and the destination will be different over time.

This became even more clear to me on this trip, and it’s why I’ve felt the need to disconnect from social media, to have more quite time, and to spend more time with ME.

Insight 7: I AM tuned into myself.

Towards the end of the trip I met with a psychic. She was recommended by a friend and *almost* everything she said felt spot on but nothing was WOAH OMG.

After sharing this with the Rockstar group, I had the insight: Wow, cool, I AM tuned into myself.

I do a lot of self work, I spend a lot of time journaling and being introspective. It’s cool to see that that works and that I can trust my intuition and myself.

I know myself! Cool!

I know myself! Cool!




Well there you have it folks - my 7 insights from 7 days in Sedona.

I’d love to hear if anything I shared above resonated with you - leave a comment below and let me know!

And if you’re curious to read more about what I did on the trip, check out this post: Sedona Travel Guide.

 

Healthy Travel Sedona

Last week I spent 7 days in the magical Sedona, Arizona with my parents. It was an epic trip on many levels - if you were following along on Instagram you know we were in a studio room for the first few nights so that was interesting (or an “opportunity for awakening” as my therapist would say) to say the least.

I’m excited to share some of the highlights from the trip here with you!

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getting to SEDONA

There’s a small airport in Sedona, but most people fly into Phoenix and then rent a car to drive the 2 hours to Sedona. We stayed the night in Phoenix which I highly recommend to split up the trip - there are plenty of hotels and cute AirBnBs not far from the airport.





Tip: I also recommend making a pit stop at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West (about 40 minutes from Phoenix and just under 2 hours from Sedona). Whether you specifically love architecture or not, Frank Lloyd Wright was quite a genius - you can see this in his work but also in how he created a school of architecture that required more than just drafting building plans.



where to stay

We stayed at The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort - my mom was gifted a week stay from someone who has a timeshare with Diamond Resorts. This resort was perfectly comfortable (after we moved out of our studio room that is) and very quite.

Where we were was about a 20 minute drive south from true Sedona center, which wasn’t bad but it did make for more time in the car. If I visited in the future, I’d probably choose to stay a little closer to town, likely in West Sedona as most of the food spots and hikes I enjoyed were on that side of town.





I will note that while we were visiting, the resort’s spa was closed. The pool and Jacuzzi were operating, but it was a little disappointing not to have a sauna / steam room on site as MOST hotels and resorts in Sedona include these and it’s one of the biggest perks of choosing a resort over an AirBnB.

 

what to do

  • HIKE! - In my opinion, the nature is WHY you visit Sedona. Yes, it’s cool to have a crystal shop and psychic in every shopping mall, but the real magic of this town is the nature. There are SO many trails within a few minutes of the center of town, and something for every level of hiker. I recommend downloading the Hiking Guide: Sedona app - it gives good descriptions of the trails and how to navigate to the trailheads.

    These are the hikes we did in addition to the vortex trails listed below: Doe Mountain** (quick climb, spectacular views at top with plenty of space to explore), Templeton Trail (flat but great views of Bell Rock, the Courthouse, etc) and Devil’s Bridge (largest natural bridge in the area, some steep parts).

  • VISIT THE VORTEXES - Sedona is known for it’s vortexes. Vortexes are the powerful and transformational energy centers located at the intersections of natural electromagnetic earth energy. You can book a tour to visit the vortexes, which can be fun to get more history and be guided to feel the energy at each spot, but we decided to see them on our own. The four major vortexes in Sedona are Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Boynton Canyon** and Airport Mesa** - there are great hikes around all of these, but most you can also park near so you don’t have to do a full hike if you don’t want.

    ** = my personal favorites

  • SHOP FOR CRYSTALS - As previously mentioned, there is literally a store selling crystals and other metaphysical items in every shopping center in Sedona. Part of the fun of working with crystals is letting them choose you, which is why I always buy them in person rather than online. Especially if you’re a crystal newbie, this can be a great opportunity to visit a few stores and see if any particular stones call to you. These were the specific shops I felt had better energy and better quality goods: Mystical Bazaar, Peace Place Gifts + Crystal Gratitude.

  • HAVE A HEALING SESSION - It wouldn’t be a true trip to Sedona without at least one session with a healer or psychic! There are many different types of healing and energy work sessions to be experienced in Sedona: aura photography, energy healing, massage, reiki, tarot, psychic work, and more.

    A full post on my experience working with psychics is definitely overdue, but for now my advice is this: be open, but also skeptical. Trust your instincts. If you don’t get a good vibe from someone or something they’re telling you doesn’t resonate, you don’t have to do a session or believe what they say. I’ve had only positive experiences, but I’ve learned to only work with people who I trust and get a good gut YES from.

  • STARGAZE - Sedona is an International Dark Sky Community which means there are regulations on street and city lights, so the star gazing here is EPIC! With most things, you can surely book a tour or guided experience, but you can also just go outside on a clear night and LOOK UP. It’s wonderful, especially for us city folk who don’t see stars too often.

Here are some pictures from our activities:

where to eat

COFFEE, TEA + BREAKFAST

  • LOCAL JUICERY - Definitely my favorite (and most visited) food spot of the trip! Come here for epic smoothies, juices and other healthy eats. Make a point to get the gluten free waffles - they are literally the BEST I’ve ever had.

  • CREEKSIDE COFFEE - A popular bakery and coffeeshop. Open early for your pre-hike caffienation needs.

CASUAL EATS

  • CHOCOLATREE - Organic, gluten free and vegetarian eatery with tons of raw options, as well as a full raw chocolate factory and marketplace. Come for a hearty, healthy meal or just for chocolate and tea. I did both. Purchase a loaf of their gluten free and vegan bread to take home.

  • THE SECRET GARDEN CAFE - Quaint little cafe in the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts village. Great for ALL dietary preferences - there are gluten free and vegan options, but also burgers, pastrami sandwiches and lots of desserts.

  • THAI PALACE - A local recommended this Thai spot and it did not disappoint.

  • PICAZZO’S HEALTHY ITALIAN KITCHEN - The name says it all: healthy Italian (including gluten free and vegan pizza and house made gluten free foccacia). Come during happy hour for a meal that’s delicious and incredibly affordable.

NICER RESTAURANTS

  • CREEKSIDE AMERICAN BISTRO - One of the nicer dinner spots we ate at with gorgeous views of the red rocks and a fabulous outdoor patio overlooking the creek, when the weather’s right. Something to please everyone here from blackened salmon salads to decadent steaks.

  • DAHL & DiLUCA - Picazzo’s fancier sister restaurant. Similarly they have TONS of gluten free options, but also all the traditional Italian dishes.

Here are a few pics of yummy food I ate:

I hope to visit Sedona again some day - it truly is a magical place with healing energy… and THE best gluten free waffles ;)

 

 

Have you ever been to SEDONA? what was your favorite activity, restaurant or experience?

Share with us all in the comments below!