A Sedona Story

“I’ve come here to find god, be swallowed by a vortex, and discover my purpose in life.“

I said as our friend’s station wagon carried us through the Red Rock valley from Cottonwood to Sedona. “I have a week, where should I start?” “You should try Center for the New Age” our driver suggests. I’m intrigued; Dennis sinks in his seat, succumbing to the inevitable.

We’re on this Sedona trip because I love the woo woo, meditation, visualization, mind body spirit brand of thinking that Sedona sells. I also find Dennis’ skepticism of my new age thinking a challenge. “People are going to believe what they want to believe,” he tells me. Besides being a Tom Petty lyric, I think it’s a cop out.

The group of us land in a lavish adobe façade lined plaza that twinkled with art, jewelry and spiritual resources. Dennis loathes shopping. I find a purchase.

This purchase is frankly the single greatest purchase anyone should make on a visit to Sedona. It is also the second cheapest souvenir worth buying. For merely $5.60, you will get yourself an eighteen page, pocket sized guide full of New Age prose that teaches you to “Rise above whatever it is.”

“SMILE. Uplifting your mouth uplifts your spirit…” I read from my new book as the group wanders into the Oak Creak Brewery. We enjoy cheese and beer for the afternoon. As it turns out, cheese and beer also uplift the spirit.

The Center for New Age was the only building not painted one of Sedona’s customary hues of reddish brown and it intrigued me.

It wore a decade old, third eye hue of purple paint and flashed a cathedral sized mural of earthly beings engulfed in god-light. Thankfully it also had RV parking.

“Jeanette, what are you getting me into?” Smiling, I open the door and set off an orchestra of chimes. A whiff of earthy sweet Nag Champa attacks my nostrils. We cross the threshold.

Gently we squeeze between narrow isles of book stacks, draped doorways and peering deities. It’s difficult to remain unnoticed. Our sneakers say New Balance but our aura apparently says otherwise.

“You can have your chakra aligned between one and four o’clock today, if you’d like.” A friendly voice sounds from the center of the room. Dennis distinguishes a short breath to assure I understand his disinterest.

A sign over the door reads “Aura Photography.”  Tempted, but I schedule us a “Chakra Realignment” and a “Find Your Spirit Guide” meditation class.

GIVE Give Give. Whatever You Want, You Have To Give First. – Andrea Smith

”Helloooo.” A petite woman emerges and peers through her Paul Stanley head of hair. A velvety emerald gown floated beneath her. “Come on up.” We follow the ethereal voice through the maze of stairs into her heat-filled chamber.

“Something tells me I should offer you a past life regression meditation instead.” Her smile invites questions. We look at one another in silence our faces twist in uncertainty. Dennis raises his brow with a Buddhaesque nod and says; “ I’d like to focus on the now, rather than in the past.”

The 13” tube TV plays a recording of pixelated color streaks and blinks a subliminal message. We stare into the screen. I try to focus but all I think about is what Dennis is thinking. She counts down from seven.

“NOW. NOW. NOW. Be Present – bring your Awareness into the Moment. Let the non-existent past and the imagined future go. Most of what we worry about never happens.”

I drift into the guided meditation scenery she’s describing. “You’re looking across a wide open field, you notice a bright light….” her low voice brings us to the meeting point. I picture the ball of light give birth to my spirit guide.

I hear the heavy rise and fall of Dennis’ breaths. He’s sleeping! I’m distracted and can’t concentrate on my spirit guide anymore. This is not going as planned.  At this point I think it would be quite alright if Dennis is in fact sleeping. Our session concludes. Dennis confesses that he practically fell asleep. I’m pretty sure he probably did.

His next confession knocks me out of balance completely. “I could see the meadow, the forest and the glowing white ball-thing…” The healer and I looked on in anticipation. “Then, when I tried to see my guide, I didn’t want to make anything up. So nothing appeared.” My excitement deflates. He’s such a realist.

I tell of my guide encounter. For a brief moment it’s totally acceptable to indulge in this behavior. In another place, another room, another center, I would be prescribed medication.

 EVERY “BODY” On Earth Is Having The Human Experience. Love Is Universal And We Are All Interconnected. We Are More Alike Then Different. We All Suffer, We All Have Joy.

“We’re thinking of taking a hike this weekend to a local spot, you guys wanna come?”

The offer from our friends is inviting. The universe pushes against me and our direction is momentarily lost.

GO WITH THE FLOW. What We Resist-Persists – So Let Go. Practice Preference Not Insistence…

Dennis is not actually indecisive, he’s just worry free. I, on the other hand am driven, goal oriented and I have every intention of making the Grand Canyon this weekend even in the pipe freezing weather.

Because of my new little book; the single greatest purchase anyone should make on a visit to Sedona, we ended up right where we needed to be.

Aboard our friends’ station wagon once again, somewhere between Cottonwood and Sedona.

We found our way to the Broken Arrow trail head and embarked together on a journey. The Red Rock peaks and folds swallow us. The cacti drip neon green. I come to realize that intervention is the surest path to enlightenment.

 To Have Peace Within While In This Body, We Have To Know What to Ask For. We Get In Our Own Way Because Sometimes We Don’t Know What We Want.

Oh and if you’re wondering about the other cheapest Sedona souvenir, well, I’ve already snatched it up. It was possibly the last sand colored Sedona branded coozie, circa 1989 left on the shelf and I scored it for only three bucks. EnLighten Up, you can borrow it.

An extra special THANKS to our new friends Brendon, Britta, Brian, Maria, Ernie & Buddha for making this destination unforgettable.

Planning a Trip to Sedona? Get the Book.

All the cool pull quotes in the post are from the book EnLighten Up. A huge thank you to Andrea Smith for creating something so tangible and right on.

Get your very own copy of “EnLighten Up”  by Andrea Smith





3 responses to “A Sedona Story”

  1. […] read about our New Year’s Eve Antics, White Sands Adventure and our Enlightening Time in Sedona. stLight.options({ publisher:'f34682df-4b99-41fc-ab60-93a39ffcaee7', […]

  2. Kim Hansen Avatar
    Kim Hansen

    Hi, We saw you on I-10 in Texas close to Van Horn. We met you in Las Cruces at a Happy Hour next to HFH office. Your yellow chairs are what tipped me off that it was you. Imagine my surprise to see you guys. Happy travels for the Illinois folks – Kim, Andy and Audrey.

    1. JJ Avatar

      Hi Kim- we loved seeing you too, hanging out your window, smiling and waving! How fun to have a drive by sighting! Cheers. ‘Till next time.

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