There is often so much more to a Road Scholar learning adventure than just the educational opportunities. Petra C.’s experience attending the Women’s Health and Wellness Healing Arts retreat in Sedona is just one example. Read on to hear about Petra’s adventure in her own words:
I had heard Sedona was a mystical place and went with my sister-in-law and my niece open to receive whatever it had to offer. On the very first day, my niece captured an amazing picture of energy escaping from Bell Rock and that set the tone for the trip.
Cheryl was our leader and I cannot say enough about how wonderful she was. The sessions were all amazing, but the ones that stood out for me the most were learning Qi Gong, Art Therapy and most notably the hike into the red rocks where I learned to meditate.
After our first Qi Gong session, my sister-in-law and I just looked at each other and at the same time said “Wow, that was absolutely wonderful!” We vowed to find classes when we got back home. It’s difficult to explain the feeling of physical and spiritual wellness we experienced. It was actually where I learned that maintaining one’s health is related to being in balance with the universe, which is something we need to strive for every day.
The women on the trip bonded immediately. Cheryl brought a local hair dresser to our hotel one evening and we all had “fairy hair” woven into our hair. We then called ourselves “the Sedona Shimmers.” Mine lasted for months and wherever I went people stopped me to say things like “I believe you are sparkling,” to which I would reply “Why yes I am!” It was all such fun and an amazing memory to make together.
We all shared stories about our families and realized we had much in common. When we had the art therapy class, we had to pick a picture card at random, look at it and then explain how it related to us personally. Most were pictures of flowers, animals or mountain scenes, but mine was a picture of an older man and woman in an embrace. When it came my turn to tell what it meant to me, it dawned on me that all the things that I worried about in this world, especially my children’s well-being, also concerned my husband and that I was not alone. It was a moment of self-realization that my husband was there to share my burdens, and that we needed to support each other rather than carry it all alone. The leader of the group said the card stood for commitment, and that I needed to recognize that my husband was as committed to our family’s well-being as I was. It was a beautiful moment.
Our last event was the hike into the red rocks on my birthday. While we sat on the rocks by the babbling brook, Cheryl had us close our eyes and she led us into guided meditation. I have never been able to free my mind long enough to achieve a meditated state, but in that environment with Cheryl leading us, I found myself totally relaxed and at peace. At one point, Cheryl took out a flute and played a haunting melody. It was at that moment I felt a sensation in my feet, traveling up through my body to my head. I can’t describe that fleeting moment but when I mentioned it to Cheryl, she explained that I was receiving the energy from the earth. It was amazing and life changing.
When I arrived home, my husband took one look at me and said, “Something’s different about you, you look healthier or something, I like it!” We laughed and I told him all about the trip well into the night. Actually I talked to anyone who would listen to me about the trip.
There are many Road Scholar adventures similar to Petra’s, with focuses on wellness and community. Gain insight on living a healthier lifestyle in a retreat setting, or join other Road Scholars on these adventures just for women.