Journey to Sedona and more
November 23, 2019
I hesitated to write this article about myself for fear of bragging. But bragging isn't what this is about. My intent is to share with you an amazing journey intertwined with insight and "aha" moments. When I turned 70 I thought getting older was the end, but it's not. Aging is only the beginning.
First let me tell you about my book "The Wisdomkeepers, Tehachapi Women of Substance." I have so many incredible friends here in Tehachapi and I wanted to document their stories. Everyone has a story and much of the time we think our story doesn't matter. But it does. As an art therapist, I have found that in sharing our journey we help one another. "The Wisdomkeepers" tells the stories of women who have lived "ordinary" lives in extraordinary ways. Because everyone, whether they believe it or not, has something wonderful to offer. We each come with our own gifts and talents, and more often than not we diminish the value of our contributions. Hopefully the biographies in this book will inspire you to live your life fully and embrace the authenticity of your true essence. Copies of "The Wisdomkeepers, Tehachapi Women of Substance" can be purchased at Tehachapi Treasure Trove.
And now for my journey to Sedona. Several months ago, I was approached by Anna Pereira, founder of the Wellness Universe, and was asked to present at the WU conference in Sedona. So last week I shared the Healing Power of Art with everyone at Soul Treat. It was and still is an amazing journey. My mission is "to facilitate empowerment through creative expression." I am a firm believer that exploring and experiencing the creative process changes lives. That's why I teach art whenever I can and that's why I call myself an empowerment coach. At Soul Treat in Sedona not only did I share but I received as well. There were lots of workshops at the convention and each one offered something special. I came away empowered and filled with amazing takeaways. I look forward now, more than ever, to continue sharing art and empowering others.
So I've shared about my book and about the conference. What about Sedona you might ask?
Wow – Mother Nature did herself proud in Sedona. The main attraction for many are the vortexes. Travel website http://www.visitsedona.com describes them like this: "A vortex is believed to be a special spot on the earth where energy is either entering into the earth or projecting out of the earth's plane. Some say Sedona's vortex energy is so powerful that you can actually feel it and that it is powerful enough to help people take giant leaps with their spiritual development. Whether or not you believe that energy vortexes actually exist, one thing is for certain, there is 'something' about Sedona that has made people travel here for something more than just its incredible beauty. Time spent in Sedona is more than a vacation; it's also a long-term investment in wellness. Long regarded by Native Americans as sacred, Sedona continues to be recognized as a place of healing and spiritual renewal."
Unfortunately I am out of shape (my bad) and I wasn't able to hike to the top of the red rocks, so I sat on a ledge at the lower levels of the vortex and just felt the essence of everything around me. It was still wonderful. We also visited the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park located at the base of Thunder Mountain. It is designed to be a place of spiritual renewal for people of all faiths. Stupas are an ancient form of sacred architecture. Practitioners believe that by meditating and walking around the stupa they can find healing and peace. Another sacred site is the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The Chapel is a Roman Catholic church built into the red rocks of Sedona. The site's peaceful atmosphere is the main reason to stop no matter what faith you profess.
There are a multitude of tourists and a lot of commercialism in the downtown areas, which isn't really fun, but for artists and art collectors Sedona is the mother lode! Galleries and art festivals abound. We were able to experience the Dia de los Muertos festival, which was most exciting. The costumes, music, food and even fire dancing were amazing. The festival celebrates the Mexican tradition that honors friends and family who have passed on.
And that's my adventure. It didn't stop in Sedona. We visited Prescott and Jerome and even stayed at the Loi Loi Mai campgrounds for a night. What did I glean from it all? Just like in my book about the wisdom keepers, the third age can be accompanied by not only new vision and reinvention of the self but also acceptance of what has been, what is now and what is to come.
Judith Campanaro holds an MA in Professional Counseling and Advanced Graduate Studies in art therapy. She is active in promoting the healing power of art through workshops and motivational speaking. She currently teaches at the Treasure Trove.