This year is a magical year for me - it's my 4th decade of life! And instead of making this a mid-life crisis as many do/have done, I want to make it the evolution of happiness in my own life. So I created a "Happiness list" - a list of all the things I'd like to do that make me happy and inspire me to truly LIVE and GIVE day after day. Before you ask, no this isn't a before I 'kick the bucket' list. I never quite understood why we have to be so somber about doing the things we've always wanted to do. And by the why is it a 1 time deal? I plan to continue to add to this list from now on - its the only way to FLY! The challenge of intentionally living to the fullest starts NOW!
Sedona is where happy people live!
Well that's the slogan on many articles of clothing and souvenirs. It might be the consistently hot/dry weather, the gorgeous red rock mountains or maybe the energy vortexes under the earth that according to the locals raises the energetic vibe of everything and everyone there. Either way I can tell you that I came back happier than when I left and with gifts that keep on giving. (more on that later)
Sedona has been a place I've wanted to visit for years now because of all those things and I opted to go alone because sometimes you get a calling. Do you know what I mean? It's the call of your soul wanting to know you better, go deeper, and grow more profoundly. Traveling in groups usually means you're at the mercy of the group decisions, likes/dislikes, and schedule. Being on your own, in a place you've never been, with an open mind and itinerary gives you FREEDOM. And that freedom let's you explore places and things you may have never tried otherwise. It tests your personal limits, openness and gives you an opportunity to know yourself a heck of a lot better. My goals: Be open. Be bold. Make friends.
And then there was Cathedral Rock... *gulp*
So I already told you that Sedona is home to the most beautiful red mountain ranges ever right? Well one of my goals was to scale one of these mamajamas, as far as I could go... and did I mention by myself? My lovely AirBNB host highly recommended Cathedral Rock for its most beautiful views but he neglected to mention that it was a much harder trail. So here I go, water bottle, snacks, camera, sneakers and the will to make this happen.
It was one of the best moments of the trip. My resolve was completely tested here as I went higher and higher up the mountain - no helicopter to save me in sight. 1,000's of feet in the air and no pillows to fall on. Was I scared - YES, was I going to do it anyway - YES! Luckily I made friends along the way, including a lovely couple from Philly. We took turns going up the mountain and inspired each other to reach the top. Boy was it worth it! The pictures don't do it justice, and the feeling of accomplishment, and reaching a personal best in hiking is something I will carry my merit badge in heart forever.
I also earned a few badges for bravery - not just because of the mountain but because I embraced new people, new ways of living (much healthier), and even went to places by myself where I'd likely be alone and have to fend for myself so to speak (a local karoake bar comes to mind). Even ladies from the Bronx get scared sometimes but I was a trooper and exposed myself to the new new, as one of my Spiritual Teachers says.
So what did I learn?
For one, always carry sunblock because if the locals say it'll take less than an hour to scale/walk, rest assured your vacation mindset will allow you to enjoy it for hours. And after all it's desert weather :)
Two, don't be so focused on capturing the moment in pictures that you lose focus on the moment itself. Sometimes you only get a second to feel true beauty in that time and space and if you're busy trying to grab it at the right angle... well you just missed it. Just breath it in first, pictures later.
But most importantly, mindset is everything. Going into this trip with an open agenda, mind and heart allowed me to learn what I'm made of. It - time and time again - tested my goals, my true level of openness, and my trust in life. Trust that you get the experiences you are meant to have, in the moment you have them and for a good reason. Then find the deeper meaning in them. Use THAT as fodder to move forward, love more and give often.
More HAPPINESS LIST check offs coming up! #5KRUN #40AndThriving #purposeWithpassion
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If over 18+ years in Corporate America, licenses in massage. energy work and purpose coaching, 1000's of client sessions and good old fashioned life taught me something, it's that life is worth living and living passionately!