Why are you knocking on every door?
Go, knock on the door of your own heart

~ Rumi

How many moments do you recall when your focus and your thoughts are fully in the present?

For myself I find that even when I am reading, listening to music, or even in the company of others, a part of me has wandered off thinking something else or about someone else. At these moments, I have to remember to call my spirit back. It is an exercise that I am constantly working at, and I am aware that mastering it will take a devoted practice of mindfulness.

sedona-stairs

As the year ends I find myself craving this connection more and more. I find that stepping away from familiar surroundings and venturing out in nature helps bring back my focus to the present. There was no time to waste. I had been driving myself feverishly into ‘doing’ for so long and procrastinating long enough from actually living my life. And so I decided on a whim, to take a solitary trip to Sedona. I had been diligently visiting the city each year without fail, ever since I was introduced to it in 1999. There is something about Sedona, with the red rocks, the vortexes and the mesas, that are so soothing to the soul. Being there has always given me clarity and provided answers to my most pressing life questions.

As with every past visit to Sedona I decide to stay at the Mii Amo, in the breathtaking Boynton Canyon. Cloistered on the holistic grounds inspired by the rich wisdom and traditions of Native American people, and behind the gates of the Enchantment Resort, I felt safe here and cared for. The retreat and spa was nestled amid the red rocks that Sedona is famous for, with comfortable accommodations and healthy meals and spa treatments that were all part of the “journey”. Beautiful grounds and expansive greenery merging in with the natural rocky terrain, a labyrinth, and hiking trails where one is transported into a whole new world of total peace and tranquility. This is where spirituality merged with modern living, and infinite possibilities and insights became the norm.

sedona-deer

My days began very early at dawn with yoga practice as I watched the sun rise over the majestic red rocks. Then I would go for my morning walks, and sometimes hike in the red rocks, marveling at the beauty, and feeling the energy vibrating thru me. By myself, I spent time contemplating, finding balance and harmony, and would watch families of deer that were so comfortable and at home, grazing on the grassy knolls, with not a care in the world. I felt as if I was living in the furthest corner of the universe, where spirituality and meditation allowed me to delve deep into the inner recesses of my soul. As I sit in the quiet and calm, I am able to get clear insights of what I need and how it was up to me, as a powerful individual, to deliver it to myself.

Each morning I would attend the morning ritual in the beautiful and serene ‘grotto’ with the small group of people on a similar journey, all seekers, and we would be smudged with sage and blessed, and then go thru a guided meditation to set our intentions for the day. Mindful and at peace, I would invariably hear my soul whisper gently:

I am your moon and your moonlight too.
I am your flower garden and your water too.
I have come all this way, eager for you, without shoes or shawl.
I want you to laugh, to kill all your worries, to love you, to nourish you.

~ Rumi

There was nothing to do. Just to be. Lounging in my robe almost all day long, sitting and reading, or journaling and meditating I kept monitoring my thoughts and calling my attention back from wherever it had wandered off, to the present moment. It is one thing to spend a lifetime seeking solutions and being responsible for others, and it is another to stop now for these powerful moments to find formulas for my own life. Here I could immerse myself in an ocean of spirituality – living, breathing, speaking and eating with spirituality! This is where I felt the Divine closest to me.

sedona-cliff

I had so many questions about the path I was being lead to, about the future that was so uncertain, and the past that haunted me at every waking moment. Often I would leisurely hike up to the Kachina Woman, a vortex easily accessible on one of the hiking trails right behind the Mii Amo, and sit there and meditate for hours. Invariably a sense of calm would wash over me as soon as I sat down, surrounded by red rock views and tranquility.

I listened and I prayed. And I prayed.

I was at that point in my life when I was ready to dive deep into introspection, assisted therapeutically in the glories of Nature. This went on for more than a week. I did not give up. Without the integration of spiritual values in our life, we are human doings but not human beings. As I add a spiritual value to everything I do, I am able to give it more significance. It is not the external steps of success, but getting in touch with the real world and with nature, with a pure heart, that nurtures our soul.

And finally that ah-ha moment! A clear sense of purpose and direction, one where I could incorporate spiritual values into my daily ‘doing’ so that I am able to give more significance to everything I put out into the universe.

In ecstasy now I felt the strength surge in me and I knew my soul had come home.

This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First to let go of life; finally, to take a step without feet.”
~ Rumi

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