Update 2013 – Part 4

(Continuation of the first post from Jan. 8th, Part 2 on Jan. 11th and Part 3 on Jan. 17th)

If you are just joining or reading this post for the first time, this is a continuation of my original post on January 8th where I began telling the story of my “Learning 2 Love” updates for 2013. Last year turned out to be quite the year in my spiritual journey but I also experienced an amazing shift in my spirit during a trip to Sedona, AZ. This is Part 4 of my story where I share the completely incredible sign that came my way as I left the resort in October. There simply are no words to explain the lining up of the universe, pieces of the puzzle that came together for what was about to happen in my life. And I truly believe, it was a sign to my calling or at least a calling for now that will lead to something in the future. What I am about to explain (or attempt to explain) is very emotional and I am hoping I give proper credit and justice to what was felt and experienced….here it goes…

Leaving Sedona…

It was 4:30am on Monday, dark, chilly and I had not slept much at all. My mind was busy absorbing all the events of the weekend, the treatments, the letting go, the relaxation and my spirit was busy rejoicing that I was finally on the path that was calling me – to be more connected and to find my purpose.

Everyone else was still sleeping as they were all staying until Tuesday but I just could not take another day off work. Trying to be as quiet as possible, I got dressed, gathered my bags, grabbed half a bagel and waited for the concierge golf cart to pick me up. I was on a 5:30am shuttle to the airport. And from the way my shuttle experience went when I arrived, I was honestly expecting the same delay and crazy trip back to the airport. My flight was at Noon and we were only less than two hours away but here I was at 5:30am getting on a shuttle. I imagined a handful of other people all getting on a freezing van for the long ride.

To my surprise, as we pulled up to the front desk, I saw a black sedan waiting for me. I was in total shock.  “Is this the shuttle”? I asked. And the staff told me that I was the only one heading to the airport at this hour so I had the car to myself. The driver helped with my bags, introduced himself as Don and off we went.

Now, before I continue with this story, which still amazes me to this day, I also need to explain that both in my life and during the weekend in Sedona it is clear to me that there are signs all around us. Signs of loved ones being near, watching over us, signs of angels guiding us on a path to take or people coming into our lives for a reason – these signs can either be recognized or ignored but either way – they exist! And I have seen them and felt them more than once in my life.

So, on this cold Monday morning, when I got in the car and heard the song that was playing on the radio, my jaw must have hit the floor. My first instinct was to say to myself “Okay Dad, I get it. I am paying attention”. The song on the radio was the theme from the movie “Somewhere in Time”; Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini”, which was one of my Dad’s favorite pieces of music and all-time favorite movies. The details of why is another story all in itself that perhaps I will tell someday. But after the weekend I just had, to hear that song playing as soon as I got in the car to leave was really quite unbelievable and was a sign to let me know that he was near…and I was ready.

The driver got in the car and explained the traffic situation and estimated time of arrival at the airport. We started on our way and began chatting about the cold morning, desert weather, etc. I gave him a brief explanation as to why I was visiting the resort which started a discussion about our lives. Don was about the age my Dad would have been now and seemed to contain some of the same qualities I loved so much about him. Later, I would find out why. But I can still remember feeling very close and connected to this person I just met in a strange sort of “I’ve known you forever” feeling. I was comfortable, awake and listening…

I really have no words to convey the intriguing depth of conversation we had aside from giving you word for word dialogue but I will do my best. We started talking about our backgrounds and I mentioned I was a military brat – turned out he was too. And when I mentioned all the places I had lived growing up, well, he had too: Washington, Germany, Missouri and on. How crazy is that? We both were in a little “awe” moment as we saw the similarities in our youth. We talked about how our dads were strict and traditional while pushing us to succeed. Then he asked me about my dad’s military career and I explained he did three tours in Vietnam and all the medals he had earned from Purple Hearts, Meritorious, Bronze Star to Combat, Service, etc. Now, this is where the story gets so shockingly good…I mean really good!

Not only did Don’s childhood resemble mine but take a guess who else’s life he took after? My Dad’s! Don explained that he had been a pilot in Vietnam the same years as my Dad. I couldn’t believe it. That’s when I told him my Dad was a paratrooper for the 173rd & 82nd airborne brigades and guess who flew helicopters for the 173rd & 82nd in Vietnam, yup…Don! Just the thought that he probably flew my Dad back when he was so young gave me goose bumps all over and again as I am typing. We both just kept smiling, laughing and tearing up from time to time about the extraordinary similarities and connections in our lives.

Don spoke of three women he loved in his life and my Dad had three wives. I told stories of my Dad’s heart and how my sister and I had the same parents but we were a mixed family. My dad’s third wife had a son from her first marriage, now my brother, and my other brother was a friend of his that came over for dinner one night and never left – but to my Dad, we were all HIS kids. That’s how he was. And when I told this to Don he smiled and said “sounds like a Motley Crew” – I couldn’t believe what he just said! My Dad used to call us that all the time when all four of us kids were together and being rowdy. When I told Don, he said he had never used those words before in his life but they just “came” to him. “Are you kidding me?” I thought to myself. I mean, if you don’t think my dad had anything to do with Don and me meeting or he was not with us in that car – then I am not doing a good job of describing this story. And it goes on….

I briefly told Don about how my Dad came to marry my stepmom, my dad’s third wife. (and this is a very short version of the whole story but…) They were actually together when I was two when my parents separated but then he was stationed in Germany so he and my mother (full blooded German) got back together. When I was thirteen years old they found each other again and got married when I was fifteen. Then Don asked me “Did your Dad ever see the movie Somewhere in Time?” – ummm…I could not believe he actually asked me this question. I said “YES, it was my Dad’s favorite movie”. I told Don the theme of that movie was playing when I got in the car. I told him it was the same song playing when my stepmom walked down the aisle at their wedding. Don just nodded his head in disbelief and then explained that he named his daughter after the actress portrayed in that movie, McKenna. Wow!!!!! Neither one of us could believe what was happening.

I talked about how my dad retired from the army after 22 years and became a correctional officer at the local jail. I told him how my dad believed inmates still deserved respect as human beings and I think that’s why the they had so much respect for my dad. Now guess how this relates to Don’s life? Well, he had his own experience with the jail system (which you can read about his book “A Matter of Time”). He also spent time working with the correctional facilities in our country and started an organization called “Return to Honor” to help inmates integrate back into society – all geared around this idea of respect and honor – some of my dad’s favorite words and strongest beliefs.

Now, remember my big question I wanted answered on this trip to Sedona? To find my purpose, my calling. And sitting in that car having this heart felt, deeply connected conversation with Don, I got a glimpse of what I am meant to do (at least right now). As I mentioned above, Don was a writer. He was published and hoping to make one of his books into a movie. Then he asked me “have you ever thought about writing a book about your Dad’s life”? Wow…I actually had thought about it. But I really didn’t think I was a writer. I have written poetry here and there but I don’t know how to write a book. And I was telling him all this when he said “the words will come, just start researching about your Dad, ask friends and family to tell you stories and see where it takes you”.

“Okay dad, Okay! I get it” – is all I could say to myself. And the fact that Don was feeling connected to my Dad as well just proved that there is no such as a chance meeting or coincidence. Don even offered to help me in any way he could and to stay in contact with me. I felt so honored and blessed. We continued to talk and more scenarios came up that were just more incredible signs that my Dad was guiding me. This would be way too long a story if I shared them all. But I was blown away again and again.

My heart, my soul was so happy riding in that sedan talking about my Dad and our life. I was almost sad when we arrived at the airport and it was time for me to go. Don said he would help me anyway he could and gave me his business card. He helped with my bags and when he hugged me goodbye I felt like I was saying goodbye to a dear friend. As I walked away a few tears came to my eyes – not of sadness but of the overwhelming love and support I felt from my Dad, my angels and from Don. I stood in the luggage line outside the terminal just recalling our conversation and I was in awe of the universe, God and everything that brought Don and I together that morning. Oooh…Goosebumps again…

Once I was inside the airport, I called one of my dad’s dear friends in San Diego and told her a brief version of this story and she gave me great advice, as always. I have started writing a few pages and find that I have so much to say that I just type and have no idea if the thoughts are leading into anything but the words seem to be coming from somewhere. What is that saying “when the student is ready, a teacher will appear”? Well, I was ready and my teacher was Don and my Dad. I don’t know where it will all end up and I believe I still have way more to do in this life but I simply cannot ignore the calling that morning to write about my dad and I am excited to see where it takes me.

Well…that is the end of my 2013 update. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did experiencing it. My journey in “learning2love” is still happening so I plan to continue this blog and my adventure. I hope you will continue to follow my blog through this year – I have a feeling it will be a doozie!

As an end note, I would just like to say that I was and still am so impressed with Don, his life, his compassion, his heart, his strength and his openness. His book, which I am reading now, is amazing! And I truly believe his organization can have lasting change on so many lives. I am so honored to know him and so blessed he has stayed in contact with me. For more information about Don Kirchner, his book and his organization please visit the sites below.

Stay tuned…

May you find your calling and truly live it!

Blessings,

Victoria

About Don Kirchner:

http://www.amatteroftime.org/landing.cfm/2552,About%20Don,QX3

Don Kirchner’s Book: A Matter of Time:

http://amatteroftime.org/

Don Kirchner’s Organization: Return to Honor:

http://www.returntohonor.org/

Sedona, AZ - I will be back!

Sedona, AZ – I will be back!

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Update 2013 – Part 3

(Continuation of the first post from Jan. 8th and Part 2 on Jan. 11th – this is a huge stretch for me and so, so personal…yikes! But I just have to share…)

I truly believe that my willingness to be open during this trip and my strong desire to move forward with my calling, my purpose was the corner-stone of why I felt so connected and inspired in Sedona. From reading the previous posts, it is clear that I was on this trip to gain insight to my life, my purpose, my heart, my spirit. And I left Sedona with more than insight. I left Sedona with a sense of peace and with hope…

So…what treatments did I book and how did they impact me? Well, honestly…writing part three of my story has been a bit challenging as there is so much to say that finding a way to narrow down the details to the core elements and key lessons took some time. How do you sum up two days filled with “aha” moments at every turn? Well…here is the scoop…

From the moment I arrived at the resort, I felt a “draw” to my surroundings and my senses seemed to be heightened. The first morning, when I walked to the spa, I was keenly aware of the crisp morning air filling my lungs, the birds flying and chirping, the breeze rustling the leaves, the sun shining on the red rock mountains and I couldn’t help but smile, breath deep and take it all in. I felt so calm and energized at the same time.

My first treatment started at 8:30am and I was actually ahead of schedule, which is unusual for me as I tend to run late for everything. So I walked around the spa and got a handle on where everything was and had some breakfast – which by the way was healthy, fresh and totally amazing! My first appointment was called “Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultation” which is a science of life established in India more than 5,000 year ago. I was amazed at how much the “therapist” (for lack of a better word to describe the amazing facilitators at this spa) knew about me and my life just by answering some basic questions. This treatment was not over the top amazing for me in terms of connection and answers like the rest of my treatments but I do believe it paved the way for me to be open and aware of things I see, hear and feel. I did learn how to be more balanced in my life and how some small changes in my routine would have a huge impact on my daily stress. This session certainly set the stage for what was coming…so now it gets good…

For more details about Ayurveda, please visit this link http://www.chopra.com/our-services/ayurveda

After my first appointment I had some time to spare so I decided to take advantage of some options the spa offered that were free. I entered the Crystal Grotto, a round room with dirt from the desert as the floor, a skylight, a large salt crystal in the center and a round sofa around the room. Basically, a meditation room where you are supposed to take a deep breath, walk the room clockwise and sit where and when you feel led…close your eyes and see what comes to you. Now let me tell you…I was skeptical…a room that I just sit in…for what? For how long? But I wanted to give everything a try, especially after my first appointment. So I walked the room, sat down with my hands in my lap and closed my eyes, took a deep breath and waited. And waited, and waited. After what seemed like at least 20 minutes…I had a vision of myself sitting in a dark space and suddenly a white glowing ring surrounded me and the ring was actually all the family members that have passed on holding hands in a big circle and I was in the middle. Tears slowly filled my eyes as I saw their angelic faces…even faces of people who were “hard to love” in this life…all together smiling at me. I remember feeling this overwhelming sense of peace and love. Suddenly I felt a “knowing” that all the crap of this life didn’t matter – the arguments with family, the anger from past hurts, the worry, the fear…all that mattered was the love I felt with them and that they were with me. Guiding me. Helping me. I left that room so amazed and ready to be open for my next treatment.

The Psychic Massage was the most incredible “connected to Spirit” experience ever in my life. To this day, when I think of this session, tears come to my eyes. Not of sadness but of joy, amazement and relief. The therapist only asked me one question: is there one particular reason you booked this appointment today? To which I responded, “yes, I feel like something is holding me back from knowing my purpose”. She then explained the process and off we went.

As she gently massaged my muscles she began to tell me things about myself that truly shocked me and I cannot begin to describe the connection I felt to Spirit as I heard her voice and felt her touch. During our time, she said so many amazing things that touched me deeply but this post would be incredibly long if I shared it all. So to narrow it down, there were three “topics” she talked about that were monumental for me during this session. She said: (1) You have so much unconditional love in you and you care very deeply for those in your circle. The love you give to your daughter is boundless and you need give that same love to yourself (…yikes). (2) You are so hard on yourself. You hold onto every mistake you have ever made and beat yourself up over it again and again and again. It is time for you to let all that go…it is not for you to carry. (3) You are a healer. There is nothing you have to do or say. Just by being who you are you will have a healing effect on others around you; which is why people are drawn to you and confide in you. (this is so funny because even new people I meet start telling me their inner secrets and problems).

Needless to say, the tears started falling from the moment she said I needed to love myself and then when it came to being hard on myself…well…the tears just gushed so hard it was difficult to catch my breath. Then with much love and caring she said “now honey, don’t be hard on yourself for being hard on yourself” – wow, she really knew me! I felt as though God, Spirit, my angels were all speaking through her, that they were seeing ME! The ME that only I and God know. The ME that never gives myself a break. The ME that struggles with painful memories and mistakes. The ME that doubts. The ME that doesn’t accept myself or love myself nearly the way I do others. The ME that holds on so tightly and is so afraid to repeat the same mistakes or make new ones. I felt like God saw ME….and loves me, just as I am. I felt relieved. (okay, tears are coming as I write this)…

I left this appointment with so much peace, so much gratefulness and so much excitement that I could barely contain myself. The therapist hugged me and said “you were such a pleasure to read, thank you for sharing your spirit with me”. She was so gracious and amazing…I knew that I needed to hear everything she said and I will never forget one word.

That afternoon I caught up with the girls and told them about my experiences with the treatments. A few of the girls wanted to book the same massage I had and others were skeptical – but I knew what I felt and I was holding onto it. That night we all went out to dinner, had some girl time, went in the hot tub, laughed and connected – it was so much fun!

At this resort, when you come back to your room, they have the beds turned down and the TV’s in every room tuned to a spiritual channel that plays the most amazing soft music – so comforting. You can’t help but feel relaxed. The next morning I was up early again as some of the girls were doing a hike or sunrise stretches that again I could not join due to my knee injury so I went back to the spa and relaxed in the hot tub until my first appointment.

The Reiki Healing (addresses imbalances, aura cleansing and healing) was a very powerful session for me and really catapulted a shift in my spirit. The leader of the session said sometimes people will get visions during this treatment or just feelings will come over them but whatever shows up for me is a sign that I need to let it go. (There it is again, letting go…) With the burning of sage and lemon grass, she started a process of simply putting gentle pressure on my chakras and breathing deep. As she started with my feet and legs, some feelings of being sad came over me, and as instructed I asked that these feelings leave me…and for those first few minutes it was all seeming a bit too easy. I remember thinking “this is what a healing is about…I thought it would be more difficult”. But then she reached the part of my back in between my shoulder blades. As soon as she applied pressure on this spot, tears started falling. She said “just breathe”. As I took a deep breath, visions of various moments in my life started coming up. It was almost like I was watching myself – kind of like watching Scrooge when he is visited by the Ghost of Christmas past. It was getting harder to catch my breath as these visions came so quickly, and the therapist calmly said “just let them go, whatever is being shown to you is not for you to carry, just let it go”. There are no words to explain the small bits and pieces of moments in time flashing in and out. And there were some that I didn’t even realize I was holding onto. I saw myself around 7 or 8 years old when we moved to Missouri and how scared I was the first day of school. I saw moments where kids teased me and picked on me in school. I saw arguments with family and break ups with boyfriends. And the final vision that was so huge for me and so hard, was the moment my Dad passed and I was holding his hand. There just are no words. Through all these visions I would just breathe deep and try to imagine these thoughts and feelings floating away.

When the session was over, I felt so connected and free…it was an incredible feeling! Now, what is important to note is that I didn’t suddenly feel like all those feelings and visions were completely gone and bang I am healed…but I felt like somehow I was on my way. Like a path was opened for me to walk down that was previously unseen. I knew I had more work to do but I now had hope that I was finding out what has been holding me back. After this session, as I sat in the Crystal Grotto again, I could see how these 3 appointments so far were linked. How they each played a part in the way I was now seeing the world. What has been holding me back? And the answers came quickly: fear, pain, hurt, anger…I am holding on too tight. Okay, but now what?

I had time to hang by the pool, have lunch and think before my last treatment. I felt so incredibly blessed to be on this trip at this time with these girls. Like it all came together for a purpose and I was meant to be with these therapists in these treatments at this spa. I started connecting the dots of my life…how I went from job to job, relationships, residences, friends and I could see the lessons I learned from them all. A crazy and uplifting feeling…

Finally, it was time for my last treatment, Releasing Stress which was described as assessing stressors and ways to reduce their effect on the body with nutrition, visualization, etc. So I fully expected to talk about my job, routine, daily schedule, perhaps my eating habits, etc. Which we did and the therapist gave me some incredible tools and strategies to help with those daily stressors. But what I didn’t expect was the meditation she guided me through. She explained that I was forcing all my stress inward, which oddly enough was the same thing the therapist in the very first session told me. She suggested we do a meditation which not only can alleviate stress but often gives us answers to the questions we have. So, we turned off the lights in the room, put my feet up and as I closed my eyes I just took deep breaths to relax.

After a few minutes, she asked me to visualize a candle burning deep inside the pit of my stomach surrounded by darkness and as I saw the candle burning to visualize a door appearing just beyond the candle and when I see it to slowly walk through the door and tell her what I see. I told her I saw a beautiful huge tree with large branches covered with leaves in a meadow filled with flowers and I was sitting under the tree. She said “okay, let’s just stay here for a moment and see what comes”. Several minutes later she asked me if I saw anything or heard anything. And I did see something…I looked up from under the tree and I could see three beautiful white angels floating around the top of the tree in a circle – so calm and so stunning. She asked if I heard anything. And after a few seconds, tears started falling down my cheeks (again with the tears). She asked “what do you hear”, and I said, “I hear my Dad’s voice saying let go, let go, let go…” (there it was again) and then she asked “can you do that?” and with a shaky broken voice I said “no”. She asked me why. And I said “I don’t know how…I have held onto this crap for so long”. She suggested to just pose the question to the angels in that space where I was so calm but crying at the same time. And when I did the answer came so fast…”just ask, just ask us and we will take it”. I sat in that calm space for a few minutes and then she told me to just breathe deep and walk back through the door to the candle burning and when I was ready to open my eyes. We talked about the meditation for some time and she suggested I try this meditation several times on my own as she felt I had more things to let go of and more questions to ask. She hugged me and wished me well and offered her email to keep in touch. There are no words to describe the feelings I had leaving that session. I was feeling overwhelmed so I decided to go back to the Crystal Grotto, which became a haven for me, and sat quietly for a few minutes and reflected.

I just couldn’t believe everything I saw and felt and heard in the past 2 days. I could see how all the sessions connected. I immediately saw the same message or theme repeating…Let Go, Let Go, Let Go. I felt like I had the answers I needed to make a shift in my life. I now knew what was holding me back, I now knew that I had to work on letting crap go, to Let Go and Let God, and I also knew that I was loved and guided. Wow…I felt so blessed to have the experiences I did and I felt powerful somehow and at peace.

Sunday night was finally upon us and I had to be on a 5:30am shuttle back to the airport the next morning. And as if the treatments I just experienced weren’t enough to digest for the weekend, what happened when I left the resort is even more astounding as I was truly given a sign for my purpose….

(Part 4 is coming up soon…..)

** Here is a link to the amazing Enchantment Resort in Sedona – truly a magical place! http://enchantmentresort.com/

Many Blessings,

Victoria 🙂

 

Update 2013 – Part 2

(Continuation of the post from Jan. 8th, for background on this post, please read that post first if this is your first time to this page, thank you.)

In October (2013), I began my journey to the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, AZ. From the moment I told my Aunt I was going it was difficult to concentrate on anything else. What was I going to learn? What would I experience? What treatments should I schedule?

My Aunt had booked a package where you received one free treatment per day of our visit. Before booking my treatments I prayed that the right ones would come my way – the ones that would really help me figure out what was holding me back and what my purpose is  – the ones that would give me the answers I was looking for in my life. When I called to book the appointments, two of the sessions I was hoping to book were not available so I trusted the gal helping me and I booked my appointments: Ayurvedic Lifestyle Reading, Psychic Massage, Reiki Healing, and Stress Relief Assessment. I was set….

First, I have to say that I have not left my baby girl, almost 2 at the time, for more than 2 days since she was born and even that was only once. This was going to be a Friday through Monday – yikes! I had more anxiety about leaving her than anything else. But I reminded myself that in my heart I knew I needed this trip to essentially “save” me. Save me from the swirling, repeating thoughts that were keeping me up at night, save me from the “my life is running me syndrome” and save me from the daily grind that was not fulfilling.

The trip was upon me and I even packed minimally, which is new for me. But my goal was to reconnect, reconnect, reconnect and be open so I didn’t stress about anything I packed. My trip to get there is actually a very long story from a 2 hour flight delay to a shuttle delay to getting lost, etc. which was an odd way to start the weekend that I knew would change my life. But ironic at the same time…almost as if the universe had lessons for me right from the start.

From the moment we entered the property, I heard this soft music playing and immediately felt a strange calmness. When I arrived, the staff at the main check-in desk knew who I was as my cousin and a good friend were calling everyone to keep them posted of my VERY late arrival and ordeal. These girls are AWESOME!!! I arrived in the dark so I really had no idea how incredible the property was until the next morning. The staff drove me by cart to our incredible suite which even had a kitchen so the girls had dinner ready with cocktails – NICE! We sat together and laughed at my story about the crazy circumstances surrounding my arrival – and I mean crazy!

The next morning, with little sleep, I awoke with so much enthusiasm and excitement that I didn’t even feel tired. I walked out to our patio and I was in total awe of my surroundings. The red rock mountains surrounding my view, the cool crisp morning air, the sun gleaming through the fog ever so softly…I remember feeling this overwhelming sense that I was in the right place at the right time. I took deep breaths and felt so calm and excited at the same time as I began to think what I might learn about myself at my first appointment.

All the girls had booked early treatments or hikes so we were all up and rushing around. Oddly, I had hurt my knee the night before I left so I was not able to join the vortex hikes like I had planned – another twist that in the end put me where I needed to be…taking advantage of all the resort spa had to offer: pools, meditation rooms, sauna, hot tub, etc.

Now the remarkable, minute by minute details surrounding each treatment are far too long to explain here. This post is already very long. But so much happened that changed my life, I find it necessary to share the biggest lessons and details that lead to my current journey…

Part III coming soon….

View from our patio in Sedona, AZ, October 2013

View from our patio in Sedona, AZ, October 2013