Updated: Feb 22, 2022
There is a sacredness to getting lost within ourselves. We avoid this great freedom by busying ourselves with meaningless tasks and prioritizing things that don’t add value to the luxury of life.
In the quiet of our mind, and within the silence of walking and observation, the feelings and sensations in our bodies join together to form a singular voice; our souls song. When we are busied and have outside distraction, that voice is fragmented. When we can find quiet, mindful connection, the fragments become clear and singular. Our body responds to this unified voice and begins to move to the chorus and rhythm of this song. This is how we find our way to our passion, our calling, our souls work.
When we first begin to listen, the feelings that come can be uncomfortable and new. It may stir emotions that feel foreign and difficult to process. We can shift focus and self sabotage so we don’t have to look at the discomfort. Avoidance will only make the lesson harder to learn and this shift more painful. Trust the process. Release and lean into it.
Sedona, Arizona has been a place that I frequently go back to because of the energy and pull I feel from the land, its otherworldly majestic beauty, and the history of the people that once lived here.
The mountains that surround this mesmerizing landscape hold secrets of an ancient people and loss of water that is clearly evident by the deserted rock-filled streams and byways.
The ancient ruins that exist in and around Sedona are up in the hills and not easy to get too. They were once occupied by the ancient Sinagua and Ancestral Pueblo people. These ruins can be see up close along with cave paintings and remnants of broken pottery. Tucked under the rock face, these dwellings continue to exist because of the dry climate and limited exposure to rain. Being up close and personal with these ancient structures and cave paintings is liken to taking a walk back in time.
As I hiked these magnificent mountains with my companions, we took opportunities to meditate and journey, to connect with the land and the secrets it holds.
Those moments, together on the land, and connecting with its long forgotten people, will forever be etched in my soul. It was a homecoming.
Prior to our travel to Arizona, I did a lot of research on the trails, mountains and canyons that I was called to explore. When we arrived, I quickly realized that my research paid off!
Our first hike was to Boynton Canyon with a side trek to ancient ruins and Subway Cave. This 7-mile journey was our first walk back in time and started us on a 4-day spiritual deep dive. We climbed up to the ledge of an ancient cave dwelling and meditated. Our descent from that cave gave us a new perspective for the purpose of this tucked away place and the people who congregated there.
Our second day hike was the start of a photoshoot with the amazing Visual Brand Strategist Julie Gile and Model Misty Nagen. We hiked Soldiers Pass to take advantage of the open landscape views and get access to the Seven Sacred Pools.
The path leading to the pools was full of cactus and agave, deep orange/red packed dirt and a path of stone that was smooth from water that once covered the landscape. All around us the peaks of mountains with graduated bands of color created an otherworldly backdrop.
That evening we hiked to the Airport mesa for the glowing light at sunset. THIS is the place to take in the STUNNING sunsets of Arizona and the full Sedona skyline.
It was here we drummed, rattled, got painted and felt the embrace of the land and wind of the sky. It was emotion filled... drumming over the mountain and feeling the wind answer, “we hear you…we see you”.
Our final hike was back to Soldiers Pass and Brim Mesa Trail. This is where we were guided off trail by the spirit of the land which brought us out to our own private mesa via a dried riverbed. (Video Below)
This tucked away mesa is not obvious to hikers and we would have walked right past its entrance had it not been the for the sprit of the mountain and its people telling me to “stop” and redirecting my focus.
When I turned my body to look in another direction, I clearly heard “this is the way”…and began to follow the voice. My amazing companions fully trusting, followed. It was incredibly powerful to be guided and brought to our place of ceremony. It was a wonderful lesson in trust that ended with tears of gratitude and love.
The hike on that final day was a total of nine miles with a 1200ft elevation climb. It is a hike of endurance and stunning landscape. We were all tired by the end and welcomed the beautifully curated and natural food of the Chocola Tree (a favorite of Julie’s). There is something quite special about eating food that is made with intention in a space curated for the spiritually minded.
The Video from our walk with Spirit
On our last evening, we each made a Despacho to show appreciation for our journey and the many lessons during our stay in Sedona. These beautiful bundles were burned and given to the Divine, Pachamama, the spirit of the land, its ancestors, the great mountains that surrounded us and wonderful guidance that showed us the way.
As we packed our bags to leave, we made a final stop and said our goodbyes by meditating and connecting at Amitabha Stupa Peace Park. It was in this place we individually had a moment of prayer and meditation and then came together to meditate and chant in unison.
I recorded the sounds and my personal chanting from the Amitabha Stupa Peace Park and uploaded it to my podcast. If you are curious, you can check that out here...Breaking Beyond- Guided Meditation.
When I feel the emotion stir and the direction I am supposed to move begin to shift me, I pause. Fear and self sabotage are my greatest enemies. They like to remind me of past hurts and “what if” scenarios. *deep sigh* I have learned that I have to ask for help and I must listen to the guidance coming from within. (Feel your body! It speaks truth.) The chanting that morning and feeling the conclusion of my journey, brought me peace in the emotional chaos and solidified the “who am I?” questioning in my mind.
I feel blessed to have the consistency of great friendships and family who hear the chorus of my souls song… sometimes better than I do. When you connect more deeply within, your energy expands and you begin to connect to the teachings of the lessons and the energy around you assisting. Embrace it!
My calling in this life is to be a Shaman. A person who walks between this world and the world of spirit to bring healing. The land, our ancestors, the elementals, and the great guardian spirits have so much to teach us. They are only waiting to be asked. My hope, for each of us, is that we can each find a way to listen to our soul's song, connect to it and find our way home.
Divinity lives within us all. We just need to listen.
Many blessings, Jill
Photo credit: Julie Gile Photography, Misty Nagen, Brenda Matthew, and myself