I woke up the other morning with words vividly etched in my head…”never defeated, always empowered.” Those words echoed in my heads and stuck with me like a bottle of Gorilla glue! I thought intently on these words thinking of my current life circumstances. So many wonderful changes but there IS still a major life decision I am working on. It is about being fearless and going for it, not allowing old perceptions of having to live a certain mold or expectations that don’t meet up with the person I am now. It’s that voice in the back of your head that says, “make a move, come on sista, don’t be scared – you can do anything you want!” So, with that being said, it takes me back to my story of healing from that nasty Epstein Barr virus and my vision of a more powerful…but peaceful, Zen me! Three weeks after kicking this virus’ butt, I flew off to Sedona, Arizona for a meditation retreat and tour of the beautiful, majestic red rocks that before were only pictures in a book to me. This retreat was set up through my yoga practice in New Jersey, so it wasn’t like I just figured it all out by myself, but I have to say the image of “Eat, Pray, Love” passed through my head many times (the first few chapters of that book did eerily reek of my old life I hate to say). So, off to Sedona I go, wondering who my roommate might be out of the over 300 people I had heard were heading off to this same retreat. Getting off the plane in Phoenix, I met up with two of my Masters from the Center in New Jersey. We boarded our shuttle to Sedona and, just as Chun Ae, my Center’s master and a mentor of mine, had warned me, I had many breath-stopping moments as the regal red rocks came into view. I had no idea how truly affected I would be by this scenery. “A gift from God” is all I could think as we made our way closer to our destination in this beautiful new land. As we arrived at the hotel, I remembered taking a deep breath as I exited the shuttle ready to meet my new roommate and excited to finally be able to “breathe” and let it all go for a few days. Ya know, when they say everyone comes into your life for a reason and nothing is coincidence, this would be one of many meetings in the upcoming next year that would confirm this saying to me. I knocked on the door to my home away from home and was shocked to see my roommate. It was like instant sistahood, that moment of recognition with someone like you knew them forever and how, out of over 300 people, could this be the person I would be roomed with? Was the Universe that tuned in to our needs? We just stood there for a moment in amazement of this connection and then started chatting like we left off from a conversation we had yesterday. We were like glue… people even commented that we looked like sisters!
As our days in Sedona ticked off in time, we shared many pivotal moments. Walking the retreat grounds with the red mountains in the background, group practice and meditation, awesome vegetarian food all grown on the property, long walks, exploration of Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock, feeling the energy vortexes of these “sacred” places and again, the awe of what the Divine had created just for us. The bond of friendships and love from everyone participating in this sacred time would forever be etched in my heart. I even thought of packing it up in NJ and moving to Sedona to dive into a new life of community service and peace mentoring. It sounded good anyway and I realized it was part of the healing, the journey that would take incredible twists and turns in the next few month that would change my path forever in such a profound way, I truly would never be the same. My friend Paula, did I tell you her name, well, we clicked and we truly are soul sista’s forever. Our friendship and bond are a beautiful example of all the good that comes to your life when open to it. I was sad to get on the plane to leave the peace and love I had obtained while there, but it dawned on me that I wasn’t leaving anything, I was taking it with me to share with others. It was such an “aha” moment as the plane taxied down the runway toward the East Coast, that I had come extremely far in my life and in my healing. It could only get better from here and it has. “The future depends on what we do in the present.” Mahatma Gandhire depends