Many years ago, my close friend Tariq took me to Sedona, Arizona for the first time. Thanks to his generosity, I was able to experience the beautiful red rocks I’d only seen in photos, awe-inspiring hikes, energy vortexes and the coolest, most evolved people I’d ever encountered. It was long before Sedona became a tourist attraction; many of the roads were still lined with red clay and there wasn’t a pink jeep tour in sight.
Through the years, I’ve returned to Sedona and Phoenix several times and it has always been an adventure. From Wayne Gretzky asking me to snap some photos of him and friends in the Coyotes dressing room to time literally stopping for hours on a hike through Oak Creek Canyon, the trips have always involved an essence of the surreal. The other common denominator between my Arizonian adventures was that I wished my mom was there…okay, maybe not literally in the Coyotes dressing room, but on the trips in general.
This was partly due to my suspicion that she’d love the southwest, which she had never experienced, but it was also because we almost moved there. When I was in high school, my dad was offered a promotion/transfer to Phoenix, which he considered but eventually declined. Each time I’m in the area, I wonder what life would have been like had we moved. I always feel close with my dad’s spirit in Phoenix and imagined my mom might also. When I was last in Sedona in 2011, I vowed next time I returned, I would bring her.
I put photos of Sedona in my mind movie, with the affirmation, “I’m so excited I can afford to take Mom to Arizona this year!” I spent time considering which hotels and restaurants she would like best and researched low impact hiking options. I did visualization techniques and started talking with her about going this autumn, even when that seemed like a monetary impossibility. At first, she was like “Yeah right.” After a while, she stopped protesting and began to humor me.
In early October, I was overjoyed to board the flight to Phoenix with my mom. My treat! This was the first time in many years I was taking a trip that wasn’t paid for by someone else, and the first time since college I was paying for a vacation with actual cash. I was overcome with emotion that this had actually become possible. A year ago, I could barely pay my rent! Now I was treating the woman who kept me afloat back when I couldn’t afford to buy myself a cup of coffee to a nice vacation. I was determined to say thank you by saying no thank you as often as she offered me money toward the trip. It was time for her to learn to receive, and for me to return to my true nature as a giver.
As I set off to enjoy the present, the voice of the past, which still subscribes to scarcity, attempted to generate some future-based fear. “Couldn’t you have stayed in cheaper hotels?” it scolded. “You don’t have a client paying for this trip, remember? In fact, why are you taking this trip at all? This is money you should be doing more responsible things with, or in the very least saving for a rainy day!”
The voice lectured me until it lost its voice. I just witnessed it, watching the thoughts come and go, so as not to get hooked into the fear.
We were en route to Arizona; it was pointless to contemplate how much money I was spending or what I “should” be spending it on instead. So I promised myself I would enjoy every minute and look for opportunities to bask in prosperity thinking.
My mom fell in love with the desert and the trip was worth every penny long before our first sight of the red rocks. As I drove closer to Sedona, I watched the expression on my mom’s face, excited to be experiencing that newness again through someone else’s eyes. Not that I need to: I cry every time I make that drive, completely awestruck by the magnificent beauty. My mom described the experience like landing on another planet.
When we arrived at The Penrose, I was welcomed by the surprising sight of Bell Rock. I recalled driving to Bell Rock last year and thinking how nice it would be to stay in that area, instead of the ever-increasingly busy town. The Penrose is in a quiet area, nestled into the magical rocks and while Tariq had taken me there on our second trip to Sedona, I’d forgotten how amazing the location was. It probably didn’t stand out as much then, since Sedona was still not the tourist attraction it has since become.
I’d also forgotten the layout of their largest room. It was not a “suite” as I’d remembered. I don’t require much sleep in Sedona, due to the heightened energy of the environment, and I didn’t want to keep my mom up past her bedtime or wake her while getting ready for my sunrise hikes. The Penrose offered me an additional room at a rate of $50 per night based on availability. Since no one else came to claim it, it was mine for the remainder of the trip at this incredibly discounted rate. I felt like I’d won a lottery jackpot.
I immensely enjoyed our stay at the lovely Penrose, starting with delicious outdoor breakfasts next to breathtakingly beautiful backdrops and ending with tea and scrumptious snacks on the terrace as we looked at thousands of stars.
Of all the wonderful places I’ve been blessed to travel to and stay at, The Penrose is an all-time favorite. I can’t say enough about owners Whitney and Christie who make you feel like beloved members of their family. They treated my mom like a rock star and I will forever be grateful for the smile they kept on my mom’s face throughout our stay.
Since my last post, I have truly learned to see that money is only the value we assign to it. To see my mom as happy and relaxed as she was in Sedona was worth its weight in gold, and then some.
I will return soon with more about our trip and the powerful lessons in prosperity I encountered on it and upon our return. In the meantime, I leave you with this:
Today’s Prosperity Process
If you could take one person in your life anywhere in the world, who would it be and where would you go? Why? If it’s somewhere you’ve been, imagine yourself there again, experiencing the sights and sounds and aromas, basking in your loved one’s excitement and appreciation. If it is somewhere you’ve dreamed of going but haven’t yet visited, do some research online and plan your trip. Don’t limit yourself with prices; find the places that most appeal to you! Pretend you have unlimited resources to take this trip and that the money can only be spent on this vacation; you can’t use it for anything else. Where will you stay? What restaurants will you dine at? What activities will you engage in?
Have fun with this. I look forward to seeing who the first person will be that will write to me and say, “Nancy you won’t believe this! I did that exercise you suggested in October just for fun…and now I’m on my way to my dream destination!”