A Wellness Retreat for All


I am not the Victim of the World I see* This past weekend I attended a spiritual retreat in beautiful Sedona, Arizona.

So many people get freaked out when there’s talk about spiritual awakenings and retreats.  I’ve heard some call it hippy-talk and immediately shut down. So I won’t go into vortexes, sacred spaces, chakras, nor any crystals or meditation stuff.  Maybe that’s just too far out for you.  But if you have ever watched the sunrise in respect, and contemplated life, then you already have some sense of the power that I experienced.  If you are interested in how this power can change lives, then read on.

Tonya in Sedona, Arizona

There’s so much to tell I have to break it into a 2-part series. I’ll share the amazing stories of synchronicity in next week’s blog, but this week I will share my key takeaways–

1. I am the product of my conditioning. Mindfulness or presence allows us to break those negative images that have been put on us.  Thoughts like I’m not good enough, I’m too fat, I might fail so I don’t even try.  Ever said any of those?  That’s conditioning.  Your true nature is love and success in all endeavors.

2. I can’t give what I don’t have. It’s important to continually work to shed the negative thoughts.  Let them wash off and go down the drain. You cannot effectively encourage others until you love yourself first. It’s like trying to give someone directions to a destination when you’re lost yourself.

3. Retain your joy. Understand that good AND bad things happen in life to everyone. Everything born must die. All conditions change and seasons come and go.  It’s the ebb and flow. It’s the law.  So stay even.  It’s all good in the end.

4. I create my own experiences. This is not MY life or YOUR life.  It’s just life.  Life is bigger than us.  It’s the totality of occurrences, so don’t take it personally.  It’s our experiences that make up life’s fabric.  But in the end, life is always FOR you.  Your job is to create experiences that are true to your purpose and passion.

5. My purpose is to receive love and to give love. I confess that my personality resonates light and darkness. I get depressed and self-righteous sometimes. Ultimately, my job is to focus on the light which extinguishes the darkness.  We have been conditioned to focus on the dark (see #1) through worry, and anticipation of failure. Make every waking moment in service to the positive, and surely it will come. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

6. The universe is always communicating with me for my best outcome. I am the only block to my success and happiness. The goal is to dissolve the blockages to get to happy…like now.  And then the next moment, which is now, until the next moment becomes now.  You see what just happened there? When I master this practice, I’ll just be happy. Now.

I may be the product of my environment, but I am not its victim.  I am the President of my own country.  The people in my life are my Congress.  I can vote them in or out of office.   This is just one of the great metaphors that Don Miguel Ruiz, the famous author of The Four Agreements, used to teach us this weekend.

I am a victor, not a victim.

Stay Woke.


*I am not the Victim of the World I See is from the workbook in A Course of Miracles.