I got the most beautiful message on Facebook last week from Cyndi Ambriz, who came to do her first Sedona Soul Adventures retreat in 2002! During our very first year of doing retreats, 13 years ago! Cyndi posted on Facebook:
“I used to think working in a law firm I couldn’t be spiritual. That being “spiritual” was something I did after hours and on the weekends. The first bit of great advice I received was from Debra during a retreat in Sedona. She said “bloom where you are planted.” That was back in 2002.
That shifted everything for me. I began walking down the halls looking for the presence of God, seeing IT in the people I work with and working with ITS laws.
My experience at work transformed and I was now being used by Spirit. Being spiritual is my full time gig and no job is too small for God to use. Bloom where you are planted.”
Since that time, Cyndi has come back to Sedona to do more retreats and she also went to Egypt with me. She’s so beautiful and exotic looking, that the Egyptians thought she was Egyptian!
I wrote to her after I saw this beautiful message, thanking her for her beautiful words and asking about her work. Because in the past few years, Cyndi has become a Licensed Spiritual Practitioner through the very famous Agape Spiritual Center in Los Angeles (Michael Beckwith is their amazing pastor). She is still working at the law firm and she is bringing much needed light and consciousness to an area that really needs it. Cyndi wrote back:
“I am seeing clients now and the core of my practice is spiritual counseling. I am an “Agape Licensed Spiritual Practitioner.” The course of study is New Thought Ageless Wisdom and it is pretty inclusive of great mystics, ancient traditions, and New Thought.
I am loving what I get to do now and it has been quite the journey. Thank you sooooo much Debra for helping me become and prepare myself for this amazing life. I know it will only continue to expand and there is nothing more gratifying to me than being of service.
And now it turns out, Cyndi is coming to Sedona again in a few months and this time she’s bringing her boyfriend! I can’t wait to take them out to dinner!
I love the idea of “Bloom Where You’re Planted”. We can’t always control everything in our lives, there are situations in different areas of our lives that may not be to our liking. The one thing we can control is how we react to them. We may not live in the place of our dreams because we have a job that is located in a particular place. We might not love our job or feel that it is our life purpose, but you can certainly know that, at least for right now, this is where you’re supposed to be. You may not be crazy about your mother-in-law, but you can decide now to have a better relationship with her and take steps to make that happen.
It’s all about dropping the resistance to what is. If you don’t like where you’re living, you have two choices — move somewhere else, or decide to get happy and excited about where you live.
If you don’t like your job — either decide to get happy about it or start to take steps toward doing something else.
If you are having problems in a relationship — you need to do something about it.
I know it’s easier said than done, but the alternative is to live a life of regret and disappointment. I promise you, at the end of your life, that’s not what you want.
You can bloom wherever and however you’re planted. Right now, you can make that choice. Are you going to bloom? Or are you going to wither and die?
If you find you can’t just flip on the switch and start blooming, I want to invite you to come to Sedona and do like Cyndi did, do a Sedona Soul Adventures retreat. We can help you bloom — we’ll dig out the mud and gunk that are holding you back and we’ll help you plant the seeds of your new life and give you tools that will continue the growth process. We want you (and your life and your relationship) to bloom!
Click here and one of our Angel Guides will call you. Or if you’d prefer, call us toll free at 1-877-204-3664 (US and Canada). For our friends outside the US and Canada call 01 928-204-5988 or click here and one of our Angel Guides will call you. They will talk to you (or both of you if it’s a couple) and in that deep conversation, they’ll figure out the blocks that are holding you back and design a retreat that will bring you into the life and relationship you’re craving
Wishing you a week filled with many blossoms,
Debra Stangl / Founder
Sedona Soul Adventures – Transforming Lives One Soul At A Time
Connect with 5 Balinese healers (Balians) during our amazing Bali Sacred Spirit Tour, Sept. 12-25
In addition to seeing the amazing temples, visiting with artisans of all different types of art and dance, doing meditations, gentle yoga, staying in fabulous hotels, and eating fantastic food, another one of the most wonderful parts of our Bali Sacred Spirit Tour is that you’ll get to connect with 5 amazing balians. Balians are Balinese healers who are steeped in ancient traditions of healing, including energetic clearing, chakra balancing, bone knitting, removal of entities, ceremonial healing and hands on healing. We’ve seen some pretty amazing things happen over the years. You’ll also meet with and receive a blessing from Ketut Liyer, the balinese holy man who was Elizabeth Gilbert’s teacher in Eat, Pray, Love. Join us! Click here to download a brochure that has all the information (including pricing) or Click here to read about everything on our web site.
“My sacred journey to Bali with Sedona Soul Adventures was nothing short of miraculous.” – Debra Bradford
Venus goes retrograde on Saturday July 25 and stays retrograde until September 6. I find a lot of people know about things to look out for when Mercury is Retrograde, but not a lot of people know about Venus in retrograde. There are lots of things going on during this time, so it’s a time to be very consciously aware and present.
Venus retrograde affects two of the biggest things in your life — love and money. Let’s talk about the love part first, but keep reading because the money part is really interesting.
When Venus is retrograde we’re being called on to really look at the value of the people and things in our lives.
Venus is the goddess of love, so of course, Venus retrograde will have a big impact on your relationships. This, however, is not a bad time for relationships, instead it’s a time to be very reflective about the relationships which are in your life. In your love relationship, is this truly the person you should be with? Is this your life partner? Is this person helping you to be all that you can be or do they thwart you? Do they build you up or do they tear you down? If they’re not helping you to be all that you can be, what needs to happen to change that around?
This is NOT a time to end relationships, instead it’s a time to go within and reflect on what you have and what you want.
This is not a good time to start a new love relationship, as there will be too many unknowns in the equation that won’t reveal themselves until Venus goes direct in September.
This is also a time when people who are married or in a committed relationship but are not feeling loved or cherished can justify having an affair. If you are feeling vulnerable, having an affair is never the answer, but especially not now.
Interestingly, this is actually the perfect time for RECONCILIATION while Venus is retrograde. Back up, take a deep breath and really look at your part in what is going on. Overtures made during this time will be met with the most amount of open heartedness. Have you wronged someone in your past? Have you mistreated someone? Now is the time to extend an olive branch and ask for their forgiveness.
All of this is true not only with your love relationships, but with all the relationships in your life — friendships, family, even co-workers. Are all of your friends people who lift you up? Do they love all the parts of you? Do you feel energized after you have spent time with them?
Or do you have friends who are critical of you? Friends who are negative in their approach to life and bring you down with them? Friends who are doing things that are ethically or morally dishonest? A few weeks ago, one of my coaching clients decided that a friendship had run its course. She had known this woman for so many years and their friendship was based more on things that were in their lives 10 years ago. They had nothing in common anymore. Worse, every time they got together, this “friend” criticized her and she would leave every interaction in a bad mood, with her energy depleted. As the saying goes, “with friends like that, who needs enemies?”
Again, this is not the time to say good-bye to your friends, it’s the time to re-evaluate the relationship. What can be changed? Can it be revived?
Family relationships that don’t support you can be a little trickier – in most situations, you can’t just ditch them. But you can spend this time in active reflection about what you can do to shift the energy of the situation. Perhaps you need to look at them with more compassion. Perhaps you haven’t been as loving as you could be. Do you find yourself clenching at the mere thought of having dinner with them? If so, you’re allowing your past to dictate your future. You can make the decision to forgive them their trespasses and that you are going to change the energy around. This time when Venus is retrograde is an excellent time to think, reflect and visualize how things could be different.
And again, it’s the perfect time for reconciliation. Have you wronged any of your friends or family? Now is the time to make amends, because it will be received.
This is also a time where people out of your past could come back into your life, especially around August 31. So be on the look-out.
A most interesting aspect about Venus retrograde (and what most people don’t know), is this can be a tricky time regarding money. Not a bad time, just a time to be more conscious and aware and present. And, of course, we should all be more conscious and aware and more present all the time, but it’s especially important now.
Don’t spend money during this time on what you would perceive as luxury items. This is a time when something that you thought was the most amazingly beautiful thing when you bought it, will be something you will look at and say “what was I thinking?” once Venus goes direct. Beware of purchasing something extravagant that you really want that you cannot return.
This is not the time to make substantial new investments, as things have a tendency to be overpriced or overvalued during this time. It’s fine to maintain investments that you already have, and this can be an excellent time to sell real estate or have a garage sale where you are selling things you no longer need.
If you are the type of person who does retail therapy (buying things to make yourself feel better), this is definitely NOT the time to do that. You’ll feel an extra sense of disappointment when Venus goes direct in September.
Venus won’t go retrograde for another 1-1/2 years. It’s an important time for two of the biggest things in your life – your love and your money.
The most potent thing we can do during this time is to reflect and really get at what’s going on in your life or your relationship. And certainly one of the most powerful ways of doing that is through a Sedona Soul Adventures retreat. Sometimes we can’t see what’s right in front of us. Sometimes it helps to have someone help us.
Click here and one of our Angel Guides will call you. Or if you’d prefer, call us toll free at 1-877-204-3664 (US and Canada). For our friends outside the US and Canada call 01 928-204-5988 or click here and one of our Angel Guides will call you. They will talk to you (or both of you if it’s a couple) and in that deep conversation, they’ll figure out the blocks that are holding you back and design a retreat that will bring you into the life and relationship of your dreams.
Wishing you a week filled with love and abundance,
Debra Stangl / Founder
Sedona Soul Adventures – Transforming Lives One Soul At A Time
Diane says she is “overflowing with so much peace… joy… love and light” after her Sedona Soul Adventures retreat
“My Sedona Soul Adventure – what an amazing experience to say the least! I never imagined I would be feeling so much lighter… clearer… and overflowing with so much peace… joy… love and light! I wish to extend to everyone at SSA and all the Practitioners who were all absolutely awesome that I worked with my deep love and warm-hearted gratitude! I will be back! Namaste”
Diane S., Vero Beach, Florida
Do you love yourself enough to give yourself the gift of our “Bali Sacred Spirit” tour?
Bali is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The energy there is the energy of the Divine Mother, cradling you in her arms and letting you know (on the deepest levels) that all is well. During our tour you’ll stay in luxurious hotels, you’ll have incredible body and spa treatments, you’ll eat fabulous food and you’ll meet with some of the most amazing healers that Bali has to offer. It’s truly a trip that excites all the senses and heals on all the levels – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.
The trip is September 12-25, 2015 and it is the ultimate indulgence. Click here for all the information on the Itinerary, pricing, etc.
Or Click here to download our beautiful brochure, which has all the information.
I’m reading a great book right now – “The Five Things We Cannot Change” – By David Richo.
So here are the 5 things:
1. Everything changes and ends.
2. Things do not always go according to plan.
3. Life is not always fair.
4. Pain is a part of life.
5. People are not loving and loyal all the time.
Wow! It really sums all of life up, doesn’t it?
What I really love is the subtitle – “The Happiness We Find by Embracing Them”. Because this is the real message. It’s not so much about what happens to us, it’s about how we react to it. It’s about whether or not we decide to go into resistance. Because it’s our resistance to what happens that creates all the trouble in our lives.
So let’s face it all —
1. Everything changes and ends. That’s simply what life is about. Nothing stays the same, not moving, not growing is death. Even things that we consider “good” are going to be shifting and changing and going deeper. And actually don’t we want things to continue to change and shift? We don’t want things to stay completely the same, that would be so incredibly boring.
2. Things do not always go according to plan. As the saying goes, “Man plans, God laughs”. We think we have control over things, the truth is we have no control over anything. Control is an illusion. The sooner we really realize that, and release the control we “think” we have, the better. There’s actually a kind of peaceful release that happens, because we spend so much time and energy trying to keep things “under control”.
I was laughing at myself at the Lima, Peru airport last week, because I was NOT remembering this. I usually have really good flight karma, but something happened on this trip. We all take different flights and meet in Lima. On my flight to Lima, we were supposed to arrive at 10 pm, instead there were mechanical problems and we arrived at 4:30 am. I had to get up at 5:30 am for our flight to Cusco, so instead of enjoying our beautiful hotel and having a good night’s sleep, I settled for taking a nice hot shower. On the way back, we walked into the airport and all the United Airlines monitors were flashing “Flight 855 Cancelled”. Although I was first in line at the Premier counter, the agents kept taking the 25 American teenagers from a group that was on my flight. The conversation they were having with everyone was that we couldn’t get out of Lima until the following evening at 11:30 pm. Many of the teenagers were crying and talking on their cell phones asking permission of their parents to pay $2300 for an earlier flight.
As I stood there, I thought about how much I wanted to be home in my own bed, spending another 24 hours in Lima, getting a hotel room, my appointment in Phoenix that I was going to miss the next day and suddenly I felt my heart starting to race. I was stunned at how in the space of 2 minutes, I had kicked into upset mode. I was standing there quietly, but my heart was racing and I was seething inside. I took some deep breaths and started talking to myself about “everything happening for a reason” and “I can’t control anything”. I was telling myself to practice what I preach!
Finally after 30 minutes of the agents dealing with the 25 teenagers, I got to the counter, breathing deeply and surrendered to my fate of getting home one day late. Instead, they got me on another flight right away, I was only 2 hours later than planned and I had a massage at the new spa I discovered in the Lima airport! By the time I got to the counter I felt great and in complete acceptance of what was happening. As I left the counter, I felt a huge wave of compassion for the tour leader who had to deal with 25 upset teenagers for another 24 hours!
We have no control, we only have control over our reaction and when we release the need for control, amazing things can happen
3. Life is not always fair. It’s just so true, life is not always fair. But we also don’t always know what is fair until we have some perspective on something, don’t you find that to be true? If we stay focused on how unfair something is, we’re using our precious life energy on that, instead of using it on what can we do next? How can we turn these lemons into lemonade? Again, the faster we drop the judgment about what is, the faster we can move toward what is next.
4. Pain is a part of life. Again, I’m sorry, but this is a fact of life with which we all must deal. Life delivers lots of different types of pain – physical, psychological, spiritual. What I’ve found in my own life is that invariably, the most growth happens during the times of my deepest pain. All of those circumstances led me to who I am now and though they were painful, they were so incredibly valuable. As Goethe said, “what does not kill me, makes me stronger”. We can allow something to kill us or we can allow it to make us stronger. It’s always our choice.
5. People are not loving and loyal all the time. Why can’t people be more like dogs? My dog is always happy to see me, never lies to me and is always loyal. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get the same thing from our wives, husbands, lovers, parents, children, friends, etc.? Here’s my advice — desire it and expect it and forgive them when you don’t get it. Holding grudges is a huge waste of energy — release it and use that energy for something that helps you and doesn’t hurt you.
Again, back to the subtitle – how do we find happiness in embracing these things we cannot change? How can we possibly embrace pain or unfairness or being betrayed by someone we love?
Well, the answer lies in the alternative. We can either hold onto the pain and the sadness or we can choose to have it be something that makes us stronger. We can be the person who whines and moans or we can be the person who faces life with the attitude of “bring it on”. We can choose life or we can choose death. We can choose joy or we can choose unhappiness. It’s our choice in every moment.
I know that’s easier said than done. I know it’s easy to say “choose happiness”, but it can be difficult to actually do it. I know there have been times in my life when I’ve felt such despair that I didn’t know where to turn.
If you find yourself struggling with any of these 5 things you cannot change, I urge you to come to Sedona and do a Sedona Soul Adventures retreat. If you’re an individual dealing with emotional or spiritual pain or feeling that you have no purpose, we can help. If you’re a couple struggling with disloyalty or a lack of love in your relationship, we can definitely help. Your birthright is to live a life of joy and and peace and fulfillment — if that’s not happening, the time is now to do something about it.
Click here and one of our Angel Guides will call you. Or if you’d prefer, call us toll free at 1-877-204-3664 (US and Canada). For our friends outside the US and Canada call 01 928-204-5988 or click here and one of our Angel Guides will call you.
Wishing you a week filled with joy and contentment.
Debra Stangl, Founder
Debra Stangl / Founder
Sedona Soul Adventures – Transforming Lives One Soul At A Time
Melissa says her “life changing” Soul Adventure gave her peace and clarity.
“I would recommend Soul Adventures to anyone who is looking for peace and connection. It is truly a life-changing experience that is so personal and so profound that I would urge anyone who is seeking personal growth to do this. I came away with so many gifts and insights that my life experience has truly been enriched and my perspective now comes from a place of peace and clarity.”
Melissa L., Averill Park, NY
As I write this, I’m winging my way back home to Sedona, a little tired but incredibly happy after our amazing Enchanted Peru trip. And it truly was enchanted! Perfect weather, incredible group, amazing synchronicities, fantastic ceremonies — the trip just keeps getting better and better.
I should have known how special the trip was going to be with the way it started. We arrived early to the airport for our flight from Lima to Cusco and I sat to have a cappuccino with Arta, a member of our group who lives in Spain (she’s an incredibly beautiful woman in every way). I was telling her that I’ve done the trip each year except for a 2 year period when we had all our 3 trips back to back (February, April, June) and for 2 years I had one of our wonderful grads guide the trip – Jennifer Watt, who had done a Soul Adventure and had gone to Egypt and Peru with me. Because of her experience in guiding those trips for Sedona Soul Adventures, Jen had gotten her dream job, guiding students to Peru. I had been thinking that morning how I hadn’t connected with Jen for over a year (other than on Facebook). As Arta got up to go to the restroom, another woman sat down at the table next to us. As I looked at her I thought, “It can’t be” and suddenly our eyes met in recognition. When she saw it was me, Jen screamed! We had an hour to talk and laugh and marvel how the Universe had brought us together in that most amazing way.
After a few amazing days in Cusco, we took the train to Machu Picchu. Three days at Machu Picchu, including the Solstice! Here’s me at Machu Picchu, beaming with happiness.
We did the most amazing ceremony at sunrise the next day, the Solstice. Look at this incredible picture of the mountain at first light.
Next onto the Sacred Valley, visiting Urubamba and the temples Ollantaytambo and Pisac. Unbelievably beautiful and sacred places. Here is a picture of the amazing terraces at Pisac.
Then we were off to Lake Titicaca. On our first day there, we took a boat to the Uros Islands. These are man made islands, made of reeds from Lake Titicaca. The islanders used to hide here from the Spanish in order to not be taken into a life of working in the silver mines. The people here live so simply, they are so happy, it’s so inspiring. We did the most beautiful meditation here, floating on a reed boat in the middle of Lake Titicaca.
We spent the night on the island of Amantani, in the middle of Lake Titicaca. This is always one of the highlights of the trip for me. The island has very little electricity, no running water, very rustic. We stay with the same host family each year, and 5 years ago their son Anthony was being baptized while we were there. They asked me to be his godmother and it’s so wonderful to see him each year, look at how much he’s grown! There is no light pollution here, so everyone got to see the Southern Cross in the night sky. What an experience.
The ultimate, however, is always the ceremony we do at the doorway of Amaru Muru. Jorge Luis Delgado, our amazing shaman and guide, discovered this place many years ago.
The ceremony we do here is other-worldly and this year felt especially incredible to me. This is me at the doorway.
We had such a great group and had so much fun together. Talking, eating, drinking, meditating – we were all in love with each other within 48 hours. On the last day, we realized that a bunch of us had a long wait at the Lima airport, so Juan, one of our intrepid travelers who was definitely the life of the party, found a Peruvian cooking class on Trip Advisor. It’s called Sky Kitchen (they have a fabulous view of the city from the balcony in their high rise in Lima) and they have 463 reviews on Trip Advisor, all 5’s! This was soooo much fun! We brought our own wine and there were 3 adorable college students from Germany who were also part of the class. The class was 3 hours, we did 4 courses, and I must say the food (especially the dessert) was a spiritual experience! What a perfect end to our adventure.
We’re in the process of planning our trip for next year. As always, it will be the final two weeks of June, so we’re at Machu Picchu for the Solstice. Think about joining us next year — I know it will be another amazing journey.
Debra Stangl / Founder