Miraval, at the edge of the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona, is a health and wellness resort focused on the physical and emotional wellness of its guests. This top-ranked destination spa was the location of my respite following my last day at work. Allow some of my post-trip zen rub off on you through these three things I learned at Miraval.
You need & deserve a break. Hyper scheduled work. Late nights. Overlapping commitments. News, email, social media and other alerts every few minutes. Crazy traffic interrupted by honking horns and a flashing middle finger. These are normal parts of our modern lives. We can reduce the chaos by changing notification settings on devices, better organizing our lives, and learning that NO is a complete sentence. There is no substitute for an extended, purposeful break, though. Take every single vacation day you earn.
Stay at home or travel near & far. Just make space for yourself. Go on a vacation where you live life in hyperreality experiencing sights, sounds, tastes and adventures uninterrupted. Retreat home or to your favorite place focused on improving your physical and emotional wellness by disconnecting electronically, resting completely, eating healthy, meditating, reading, exercising, and in other ways which recharge you.
We all make choices. Our lives are a series of choices made using an array of factors including our mind, body chemistry, environment, and direct stimulus from others. We can not control external stimulus nor our immediate physical & emotional reaction. Current research indicates, following an emotional trigger, the chemical reaction within our bodies which cause a specific emotion last only seconds to minutes.
As the chemical reaction subsides, we can mentally move in two directions. We can uptalk the situation creating a story that reinforces and extends the emotion (perhaps into a longer mood). Or, we can calm ourselves allowing the emotion to subside then move into a more rational thought-space to solve for the situation.
Rituals can be powerful tools. Imagine lying prone on a table as a licensed doctor conducts a healing ceremony combining Native American drumming, guttural chants, wafting incense, waving feathers, and acupuncture. That is my best pithy description of Dr. Tim Frank's Samadi Healing Ceremony at Miraval. If the words -- are are you freaking serious? -- come to mind, then I was with you to a point. As I relaxed into the flow of the ceremony, something changed. My crooked smile transitioned to a feeling of peace and lightness that I can not logically explain.
I believe there is amazing power to process, heal, release and accept through ritual. You can create your own rituals in life to move on, forgive, welcome love and acceptance into your life, and at other transitions. Write a note and prayer to someone you have forgiven and use a fire & burning ceremony to release and deliver that note to the universe as a way to move forward. Check out Creating Rituals: A New Way of Healing for Everyday Life.
Miraval is a bucket-worthy destination spa and resort, but Miraval is not the only place you can retreat and these three things are not the only things you can do to recharge. Find your own way. If you don't recharge yourself, how can you keep pouring yourself into your work, family and friends? Namaste.
You can view my Miraval photos on Facebook.