Over the past 6 months, many of us have been in a state of uncertainty against the coronavirus. Having to quarantine has left us feeling disconnected from others however, it has allowed the space to truly connect with ourselves individually.
Although vacations have looked a little different this year to most, I decided to fly to Sedona, AZ for one of my best friends' bachelorettes. I was nervous to fly under the conditions, but we took the proper precautions and were tested for COVID-19. Prior to travel we also had to test negative to attend. I didn’t anticipate what began as major anxiety to travel across the US, became a much needed wellness trip amongst a group of strong and talented women.
The trip started at the Grand Canyon and it was nothing but spectacular. When I say that the beauty was unreal, I mean it! I felt small amongst the vast landscape that spanned for miles and miles. At this moment, I was present to clean air that filled my lungs as a mask was not needed since we were well over 6 feet apart.
We began the next morning with a meditation under the cool morning breeze. This was my first group meditation that I led and it was a moment I’ll never forget. Being present was the theme of this entire trip. That afternoon involved an intense hike up to Cathedral Rock. This pushed our physical bodies to the extreme, climbing vertically up the crevice of two massive rocks at one point. Constantly stopping along the one and half hour hike up for water, there were points that the group felt like quitting. Each of us became one another's coach and pushed our way to the breathtaking top. Conquering the hike both mentally and physically was the greatest feeling!
That evening we celebrated with a personal vegan chef since we could not go out to the public restaurants. If bringing the restaurant to you is the new normal, I’m loving this change! The chef prepared a beautiful vegan cheese and fruit spread with delicious grilled vegetables and a medley of couscous. Dessert was a vegan lime custard topped with fruit. It was unreal! The dinner was a wonderful experience to celebrate the hike that morning and nourishing our bodies with local produce.
The last day we began at the Chapel of the Holy Cross which was a quick 3 minutes away from our Airbnb. It was known to be one of the largest vortexes in Sedona. For those who do not know what a vortex is, it’s an area that radiates energy from the earth and is said to conduct healing and meditation energies. We all felt the vortex once inside the holy church. It was a very spiritual moment for us all to experience!
We ended the trip with an unforgettable Sedona sunset hike at Bell Rock. The view at the top was mesmerizing, it was almost fake. The group of us sat down in awe as we watched the sky and rocks change color from a light rust tone to deep burgundy and purple hues. I led a final breath exercise focusing on the present moment and then reflecting on our trip in its totality. We didn’t want the trip to end but knew that coming home we would feel rejuvenated and full of gratitude.
This year has been tough for most in many different ways, but I encourage you to take a few days or heck a few hours with yourself or your family to rejoice in the present moment and give thanks to what this slow down has shown you.
I wish you and your family happiness, health and safety throughout this pandemic and beyond.