I knew I wanted to return to Sedona.
A year ago, on the second day of my Meditation Teachers' Intensive training at the McLean Meditation Institute, I found myself asking the assistants at my training about coming back to help and I hadn't even been through the full experience yet.
That was somewhat surprising to me. Not the wanting to assistant teach part, but that the desert was such an enormous draw for me. I never thought of myself as a desert type, whatever that might be. What I mean is that I really don't much enjoy the heat (dry or otherwise) so, the desert (any desert) wasn't high on my list of places to visit.
Yet, I loved Sedona - maybe it's because I visit in the winter. But I love Bonaire too, where I've had the good fortune to go scuba diving for many years. It is also a desert (island) complete with cactus fences, but Bonaire is another story.
When I got home from my certification training in the first days of March, I knew I wouldn't be able to go back before the fall. So I planned for the November Intensive, but November didn't work out. Then I set my sights on the January training. I very much wanted to go.
However, as January approached, I kept running up against obstacles and my own self getting in the way with all the reasons it wasn't a good time for me to be away.
With each reason my inner voice said "Go." To the last protest my mind offered, the voice said emphatically - "GO ANYWAY."
So I did.
Ten days in the high desert. I'm thrilled I followed my original desire to return and especially that I listened to that voice when the obstacles would have made it easy to stay home this time.
This week has been a wonderful experience. For me, classes are always a learning experience whether my role is student or teacher, or as it is this week, "assistant." It reminded me of my group from last year and I missed each of them.
I learned much from watching this group of soon-to-be teachers go though the process. Getting to know them a little and watching them bloom and grow. Their students will be very lucky to benefit from their experience and insight.
Of course it also was helpful to refresh the material and listen to Sarah and the guest teachers from my new perspective as a graduate of the program having already taught the material. But I also learned a lot about myself that I'm pleased to have realized. Perfect timing and all things I needed to know or have reinforced just now.
The week was challenging in some ways, although less so than last year as a student. It is called an intensive for a reason. It was definitely an intense schedule with little free time in this most beautiful place, but I came for a different purpose this trip and it was rewarding on so many levels.
I met wonderful people, made new friends and connected with other friends I hadn't seen in a year. Catching up on what they've been doing was great.
For me, December and January already have been filled with special time with friends, many of whom I hadn't seen in a while. Each of these was so delightful, I plan to be sure to have plenty of time with friends for the rest of the year as well.
My inner voice doesn't steer me wrong when I get quiet, listen and heed its advice. My regular meditation practice helps me immensely with this. I hope you'll cultivate a strong trust of your inner voice and learn to follow its advice too, if you don't already.
I was glad I had come back to Sedona from the moment I arrived. I suspect I'll be back again, sooner rather than later.
Because it feels like Sedona isn't quite done with me yet.