Sedona: A Single Woman’s Soulful Journey
By Melanie Nayer
What started out as a girlfriend getaway ended as a journey of self-exploration.
Sedona, Arizona, is known to have mystical powers. It’s said that the ‘magnetic’ pull of Red Rocks in Sedona create a spiritual effect that helps heal visitors to the area. I don’t know if it’s true, but I know that during my long weekend in Sedona, I disconnected from emails, phone calls and text messages, and spent time focused on me – a spiritual journey lost on many single women.
The adventure started in Boston with my closest girlfriend, a married mother of two who hadn’t been on vacation in 15 years. The last time she boarded a plane was pre-Sept. 11, when she used to travel between Boston and Washington, DC, on the shuttle flights to file contracts with the government. It was time for her to get away. As for me, I needed a weekend getaway to explore a section of the country I fell in love with five years during a brief trip to Arizona. I longed to get back to the beauty of Sedona, and with the help of the Hilton Spa & Resort in Sedona, I was on my way to the desert for a weekend of girl-time, and spa time.
We checked in early-morning to a room with a beautiful view of the Red Rocks. With a few hours to kill before dinner, we made our way to Tlaqueue, a small shopping village filled with Indian and Aztec art, jewelry and pottery. After a dinner of steak and wine at one of Sedona’s finest restaurants, Shugrues, we called it an early night in anticipation of our spa day the next morning.
The spa day started at 10 a.m. Upon entering the zen, we were given our locker keys, robes and slippers and made our to the locker room. For the first time all weekend, the cell phone reception kicked in and my friend received a text message from her 14-year-old.
“Mom, I miss you. Dad can’t cook.”
A chuckle later, she turned off the phone and made her way into the waiting room, where a technician came to her for the 80-minute facial she was about to receive. Lesson to the kids: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich goes a long way.
My spa morning started with a private yoga session, led by Sherry Kennedy, an instructor at the Hilton Sedona Spa & Resort. The 60-minute session was a combination of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, infused with moments of meditation. The intensity of the movements and the solidarity of the class was a magical combination: I found myself intimately involved with each one of the poses, yearning to hold on a little while longer in hopes of discovering something new. Each stretch tended to a different sore muscle, or released a painful ache I’d been carrying around for days or months. I breathed deeply through each movement and found that I flowed naturally from one warrior pose to another, saluting the sun, standing tall as a tree, and worshiping my space. The release of the built-up tension, anxiety, and stress was an emotional stir, and when the bell rang after five minutes of silent mediation at the end, I opened my eyes and discovered I had been crying. I had released the toxins and re-energized my soul, and it felt wonderful.
I ended my spa day with an 80-minute Vortex massage from Vicki. The combination of hot stones and aromatherapy oils created the perfect environment for relaxation. She dug deep into my muscles and wondered why my back was in knots. The stress of life had made its way into my back and neck and I relied on Vicki to dig deep enough to release the tension. As the massage ended, she reminded me, “If you carry the weight of the world on your back, it’s bound to break.”
After a few hours of complete pampering, I handed in my keys and robe and thanked the staff for providing me the day I so very much needed. As I was leaving, Sherry approached me, offered me a hug and said quietly, “You are a glorious and glamorous woman -this will be a very transforming year for you.”
I believe she is right.
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