Thirty-five women walked in silence for 10 minutes – and seamlessly, deer came to feed almost at our feet. The river flowed nearby over small rapids fed by the snow above and the aquifers below. We were hiking down from the Vortex at Cathedral Rock where we had sat for a guided mediation which was truly transformative.
Sedona, Arizona is the land of enchantment, electro magnetic energy fields —-some measurable and some not. This is the land of vortexes and magic, of psychics and scientists. The red towering rocks and cliffs are everywhere and life is lived in 360 degree technicolor. The horizon is infinitely far and the light casts shadows and heat in extremes. The trees hold secrets – the Sycamores trees talk to the Pinon trees and this was the backdrop for 35 women to come together on a 5- day trip created by our leader Sue Shale and facilitated by Rabbi Jamie, the Adventure Rabbi from Boulder,
Felice talks with Sue Shale about her Spirit of Sedona Trip
And within that setting, these 35 women arrived unsure of how this mission would unfold. They came with their doubts and stress from too much isolation, shut down and protected from too much Covid-style living. But here in Sedona, connection and sharing and singing re-energized us and life began to open up for everyone.
Last summer an email started circulating about a women’s trip to Sedona organized by a woman from the Boston area who I had met a few times and totally connected with— Sue Shale.
When I read the description of the trip’s mission I knew it had my name on it. The mission was to experience the mountains and the natural energy of the place with a group of women over 50. Coined, the Spiritual Sedona trip, it would be facilitated by The Adventure Rabbi — Rabbi Jamie from Boulder, Colorado. Rabbi Jamie has guided groups for over 20 years in the great outdoors. She weaves the stories of our biblical past while immersing in nature through song, story and meditations. She has written several books about her spiritual philosophy.
There would be limited space so when I got the email I jumped on it. We were in a Covid lull so it was easier to sign up last August. Omicron would come a few months later and miraculously, ease just 2 weeks prior to the trip. Nevertheless, a leap of faith was required to sign up.
I’m so glad I went. The women were amazing, they were badass on so many levels. Each and everyone had a concern prior to coming, and this trip reminded all of us to say yes and get out of our comfort zones.
Here’s some of the concerns about signing up for this trip that a few women shared with me:
This is the first time I’ve left my apartment and flew anywhere in 2 years;
I haven’t been to a hotel since Spring 2020;
I never thought I would sign up for a retreat with 35 women… that’s so not my thing!
I thought I would feel like an outsider, so many women knew each other;
I’m not that spiritual;
I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the hiking.
And here’s how the trip worked out for a few of the women I spoke with on the last day:
Carolyn…I had no expectation. This trip has been transformative. Every day i had.another spiritual experience.Meeting 35 women isn’t my thing but it wasn’t over whelming at all. I loved listening to others stories.
Once I got here I realized i was carrying a load of baggage from these past 2 years of Covid. I’ve been living with blinders on just trying to cope. This trip allowed me to regain myself and the desire to explore my creativity. I could see my way forward.
Happy…I was hesitant, all the people know each other so well. I was anxious about doing the hikes. I tell my kids to jump in and try new things so my son encouraged me to practice what I preach.
And, I’m thrilled I came. I feel more confident and a greater sense of comfort realizing I’m not alone…all my thoughts others had too. My whole mood feels lighter.
Linda…When I signed up for this trip, it was to be with like minded people and to be outside in nature. I was excited about this adventure but I’m surprised that it was even better than i could have expected. I am going home with renewed sense of community and self.
Amy…I was expecting drama in the desert because 35 women together seemed like a lot. I was expecting women high school drama. I wondered if I would even feel spiritual. I thought, maybe this is going to be just a little too woo woo. But none of my concerns were realized and there was absolutely No high school drama on the trip.
I feel I like can take inspiration from this experience to enhance what’s next for me.
I had a chance to create space and I even practiced a non-reactive technique I learned here and realized i could pivot and get out of the heat of the moment and —- make the situation better.
Pam …My guard came down. It felt very real immediately. It made me feel happy to be here .
Wendy…Rabbi Jamie brought the group together. Even if you came on this trip with a friend, it was easy to feel connected and it turns out everyone was seeking that out.
Abby …The nature was so powerful. I felt I was at one here. Sedona is a spiritual place. I felt the power of this place. Sitting in the canyon imagining being at bottom of an ocean, I felt an incredible release …a letting go… I was at peace.
Toby…I’m celebrating 30 years cancer free from Leukemia. I’m in my early 70’s and I am embracing new experiences all the time. Love the whole concept of finding God in nature.
What a gift this trip was to all who joined. Many said they would go back on their own to hike and experience the place. I know I will too.
As of now no new trip is planned with this group. We were lucky to have jumped in when the opportunity arose. We hope you will take advantage of new adventures and share your stories with us and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS: Our Lodging was at The Enchantment Resort.