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Are you a Highly Sensitive Person? This might help…

During the past few years there has been a lot of research done by doctors and scientists on what they are calling, “Highly Sensitive Persons.”

They now know that between 15-20% of all men and women are “Highly Sensitive Persons.” 

This is true in all cultures.

I think it’s so important to note that the conclusions are that this is not a mental disorder.

If you feel like this might describe you or someone you love, watch my video. It might explain a lot.

Does any of this describe you? Or someone you care about? It can make life a little more difficult, but it can be a relief when you figure out that this is what’s going on. 

We’ve helped people who are Highly Sensitive; if that’s happening for you, we can help 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 Retreat Guides will call you.
They’ll connect with you (or both of you if it’s a couples retreat) in deep conversation. Then they’ll custom design the perfect retreat for you, working with our Master Practitioners here in beautiful, mystical Sedona to.

Katrina says, “This was the best experience of my life!”


You are so welcome, Katrina! Isn’t that fantastic? Wouldn’t you love to feel like you can handle anything that comes your way? Do a Soul Adventure and grab onto that feeling!

Again, call us toll-free 1-877-204-3664 (or 01 928-204-5988) or click here and one of our Retreat Guides will call you. 

Wishing you a week filled with beautiful sensitivity!

During the past few years, there has been a tremendous amount of research done by scientists and medical doctors on what they are terming “Highly Sensitive Persons.”

The research that has been done has been fascinating: 

They now know that between 15%-20% of all men and 15%-20% of all women are “Highly Sensitive Persons.” 

This is true in all cultures. 

They even know that 15%-20% of all animals are highly sensitive

They know that particular areas of the brain (such as the amygdala) are activated differently for people who are HSP. 

I think one of the most important parts of this is that their findings show that HSP is completely normal. It is not a mental illness or a disorder.

A highly sensitive person experiences the world differently than others. Due to biological differences that they’re born with, Highly Sensitive People are more aware of subtleties and process information deeply. This means they tend to be creative, insightful, and empathetic, but it also means they’re more sensitive to stress and overwhelm. 

So on the one hand, it’s great, because they are more creative, insightful and empathetic. But because they are highly sensitive, they stress out more quickly and go into overwhelm more quickly. Plus, they react in a bigger way in certain situations. 

There is a fantastic documentary on this called “Sensitive,” based on the findings of Psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron. The movie is really fascinating and it features Alanis Morissette. Alanis Morissette had tremendous success writing songs that were the result of her being a Highly Sensitive Person – she is more creative and has more empathy. But in the movie, she talks about how this has also caused a huge challenge  for her because fame brought about so much attention, stress and overwhelm for her. When she finally realized that she is a Highly Sensitive Person, it changed everything. 

So how do you know if you’re a highly sensitive person? Here are some of the things Jenne Granneman talks about in her article about HSP: 

Overstimulation is a real problem for you. 

Because you’re highly sensitive, you react in a bigger way to lots of emotion, stimulus, loud noises, etc. 

You’re frequently emotionally exhausted from absorbing other people’s feelings. 

Highly sensitive people feel the emotions of others and are very affected by that, and by the end of the day you can be completely exhausted. 

Time pressure really rattles you. 

In school, timed tests would make you very anxious and it’s another form of overstimulation. 

You absolutely abhor violence and cruelty of any kind.

Everyone hates violence and cruelty, but if you’re highly sensitive you might actually get physically ill from watching it or hearing about it. 

You’ve always been super sensitive to what you wear.

Nobody likes Scratchy fabric or restrictive clothing, but for you – it drives you crazy.   

Your pain tolerance is less. 

Many HSPs are more sensitive to pain of all kinds — headaches, body aches, injuries, etc. — than non-HSPs. 

Change is extremely upsetting. 

Any kind of change, both good and bad, can rattle you. 

You get hangry easily. 

HSPs tend to be sensitive to changes in blood sugar levels, so they may get quite “Hangry” (hungry + angry) if they haven’t eaten in a while. 

Stimulants may be too much for you. Coffee and alcohol may just send you reeling. 

Because they have a heightened nervous system, some HSPs are sensitive to caffeine and need very little of it to feel its buzz. Similarly, some HSPs are also sensitive to alcohol’s effects. 

Conflict is your poison.

When there’s tension or disagreement in your close relationships, you feel it deeply. Many HSPs even report feeling physically ill during conflict. As a result, some highly sensitive people become conflict-avoidant, doing or saying almost anything to keep the other person happy. It’s because conflict hurts so much.

You’re a deep thinker and highly perceptive.

The cornerstone of being an HSP is you process information deeply. This means you do plenty of reflecting on your experiences — more so than other people. Unfortunately, this also means you’re more prone to negative overthinking. Sometimes you obsessively play events over and over in your mind, or spiral into anxious thoughts. 

Because you notice things that others miss, you’re seen as perceptive and insightful.  

You’re a seeker. 

HSPs seek answers to the big questions in life. They ask why things are the way they are and what their role in all of it is. If you’re a highly sensitive person, you may have always wondered why other people aren’t as captivated by the mysteries of human nature and the universe as you are. 

So as you can see, just as Alanis Morisette talks about in the documentary, there are some wonderful things and there are challenges about being a Highly sensitive Person. One of the worst things about it is that this is something that has just been recognized in the past two decades, so not everyone knows about it…so many Highly Sensitive People get misdiagnosed or mislabeled, or are having difficulty and thinking there’s something wrong with them, when all that’s happening is they’re highly sensitive and they need to really take care of themselves, especially around overstimulation and change.  

We had a woman here just a few weeks ago and we immediately recognized her as HSP. At first, she had no idea what we were talking about as she, like most people, had not heard about this. She told us her husband was constantly criticizing her for being overly emotional and he would get angry when she would say that a restaurant was just too noisy. 

She took the test and scored 24 out of 27. In her very first session, her practitioner used the specific examples of how this was showing up for her and did tapping around each one of these issues. (If you don’t know about Tapping, please watch my video about it, because it is such an amazing process.)  

Afterwards, the client said, “For the first time in my life, I feel understood.”

She said she felt relief and was excited about using her new strategies for her life, especially with how to use this with her husband.  

Maybe as I say in my book, there’s nothing wrong with you…maybe you’re just Highly Sensitive. You may need to find some ways to navigate that and we can help you with that.

I hope this helped, and if you got value from this video, please take the time to like it, share it with someone in your life who think might get something out of it, subscribe to our channel.

And If you want an even more direct path to having the relationship of your dreams, click here to get your complimentary copy of The Sedona Guide to Spiritual Retreats today.

Or if you’d like to talk to someone about doing a retreat that’s custom designed for you call us at (928) 204-5988.

You can have the life  AND the relationship you want – I know it.

I was lucky enough back then to connect with Jorge Luis Delgado, our shaman and guide. Jorge is a master and as everyone in all my groups always say, they can’t imagine doing Peru without Jorge, that it quite simply wouldn’t be the same. That’s a photo of my fabulous 2008 group.

On my first trip in 2008, I met his wife and son, who at the time was 14, a gangly teenager, and he spoke great English. He and I started talking and sat next to each other on our bus ride from Lake Titicaca to Juliaca.

We started talking about American politics, as the 2008 election was in full swing, and Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton were slugging it out in the primaries. He asked me if I thought it was possible that Obama might be nominated and possibly win, and we had a very spirited and enjoyable conversation.

Jorge told me later, “It’s so strange, I’m not sure how this happened, he’s so interested in American politics and all kinds of things from other countries.”

Over the years, I’ve always asked Jorge how his son was doing and the news just kept getting more and more interesting. He did very well in school, went to University, then ended up living and working in Japan, spent some time in China, and learned to speak Japanese and Chinese fluently. Now this year, he decided to return to Peru and he’s working with Jorge!

He was working with a Chinese group and he came to the airport in Cusco when we were about to depart for Lake Titicaca, and we got to spend some time talking. What a joy to see and feel what an incredible young man he has become.

I asked him why he had returned to Peru and he told me, “I want to really learn all the spiritual teachings.” Isn’t that fantastic? This gangly little kid I met 11 years ago, has become a worldly, accomplished man interested in all aspects of the world, including spirituality. He said he plans to stay here for about two years and then he’ll be off to some other place in the world.

It’s reminiscent of my godson, Anthony, who I also got to see on this trip and what a joy that was. Back in 2008 when we went to Amantani for the first time (a very rustic, beautiful island in Lake Titicaca where at the time they had no electricity and no running water), we did a very special ceremony and we spent the night in the home of his family.

Anthony was 6 months old at the time, a tiny, adorable baby.

I spent a large amount of that evening holding him and at times I was crying gently and processing. His parents, Juana and Joaquin, don’t speak English, but in some way we really connected.

It turns out that two days later they were doing a ceremony with Anthony that is somewhat similar to what we know as baptism.

They asked Jorge to ask me if I would like to be a godmother for Anthony because they felt I had such a strong connection to him. They said they didn’t want any obligation from me, just the spiritual connection. I was honored and the ceremony was very beautiful.

After that, I would see Anthony every year and I’ve also happily contributed to the family and Anthony’s education. This photo is from 2014, when I brought him some blowing bubbles. At that time, Anthony was six and he told me he wanted to become a doctor. He also said he was learning traditional Peruvian dance and he enjoyed that very much.

Starting in 2015, Anthony started going to boarding school on the mainland so that he could receive a really good education, so he was never at home when we would spend the night at Juana and Joaquin’s home on Amantani. But this year, what a surprise. They brought him, along with his sister, to Chiquito where we had a reunion.

He showed me his school Certificate of Excellence and his parents told me what a good student he is. One of the members of our group interpreted (thank you, Rhonda!), and he told me again that he wants to be a doctor and how much he still enjoys dancing. But now he also really enjoys football (soccer).

To think that this boy from a small island, where they have almost no electricity or running water and when you take a walk you continually run into people who are herding sheep and donkeys, is going to become a doctor…this reminded me of Jorge’s son. Anthony’s energy is so sweet and pure, yet he is also a determined little boy and I can’t wait to see how this unfolds.

Another really fun thing we do every year is to go to Seminario Ceramics in Ollantaytambo. Pablo Seminario is one of the premier ceramic artists in the world, his works are displayed in various museums around the world, including the Field Museum in Chicago.

When I brought my first group in 2008, when we were returning from Machu Picchu by train after a very long day, Jorge asked me, “Would you like to go to the ceramics place?” Not having any idea of what an incredible place this was, I said no because everyone was tired.

One of the members of the group, Jennifer Watt, overheard us and said, “What are we talking about?” and I said, “That we’re not going to the ceramics place.” She said to me in her usual very direct way, “Who made that decision?” and I responded that I did. I then said if she wanted to go, we’d go and I am so glad I did. His work is so incredible and over the years, I’ve brought many of his pieces to my home and each year he speaks to our group and we have a wonderful interaction with him and his wife Marilu.

After that trip, Jen and I became great friends and in 2010, I asked her to lead my Peru trip two years in a row (I had Egypt in March, Peru in April and Bali in June, and it was becoming too much to handle), she loved Peru and she had experience leading groups. She did a fantastic job and from that, got a job leading trips to Peru, especially for high school and college students and teachers.

She has now been to Peru 54 times! And one of the things she has incorporated into the tours is an intensive piece of learning about traditional ceramics through Seminario! She, Pablo and Marilu have become great friends.

So when we were there last week, we took a photo of all of us to text to Jen saying, “Wish you were here.” Jen had just been in Sedona the week before visiting us at our home and we showed Pablo this photo of Jen and our friend Ranjita (who had been on the Peru trip with me in 2008 and again last year).

I told Pablo this is the view from our home, and he and Marilu should come and visit us in Sedona. He said, “If Jen will bring me, I will come to Sedona!”

So it’s so incredible to me, all these connections that started with this first trip and have woven their way through my life, and all these other lives, through the years. Not to mention the other close friends I have made through these trips, people who came on the trips, people I love who are a huge part of my life.

Because at the end of the day, all of this is not so much about the sites (although they are absolutely incredible), it’s about the amazing people we share them with and keep connecting with.

This year again, our group has bonded in such a beautiful, special way. One of the women said to me yesterday, “I can’t believe how I love everyone in this group and feel so close to them. Doing this with other like-minded people has just been so wonderful.

Are you codependent? And what can you do about it…

When I first started on my spiritual path, I first discovered how incredibly codependent I was. In all of my relationships – not just my love relationship – but with my clients (I was an attorney then), my family, my friends…pretty much every relationship I had.

If this is something that affects you or someone you care about, I hope this video helps.

If this is something that affects your life, please call us – we can help.

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 Retreat Guides will call you.
They’ll connect with you (or both of you if it’s a couples retreat) in deep conversation. Then they’ll custom design the perfect retreat for you, working with our Master Practitioners here in beautiful, mystical Sedona to.

Michele says “Before doing my Sedona Soul Adventure, I was stuck, unhappy, angry and sad. Now I feel more peace, contentment, joy and hope than I have felt in years.”


Give yourself some peace. Give us a call.

I started on my Spiritual Path back in the 80’s and during that time, everyone was talking all the time about Codependency.

I read Melodie Beatty’s amazing book, Codependent No More, but I found I could only read it for about 20 minutes at a time, because it was making me so depressed. At the very beginning of the book, she has these listings with bullets of “if you do this, you might be codependent.” With almost every single one, I was reading and going “yeah, yeah, yeah, I do that. Yeah, I do that.”

I figured out that I was codependent with everyone – not only in my love relationships, but with my family, my friends and especially with my work. I was a divorce attorney and most of my clients were codependent women and they had a codependent attorney.

So what exactly is c-dependency? The precise clinical definition is:

Codependency is a behavioral condition in a relationship where one person enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. Among the core characteristics of codependency is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity. 

I actually feel like this definition is giving two definitions – one for Enablers and another for Codependency, but certainly they are very related. The biggest thing that I’ve seen with my work with couples and in family dynamics is the last sentence:

Among the core characteristics of codependency is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity. 

And that seems to me to be the central theme. That you are so intertwined with this person and so wrapped into and warped into everything that is going on with them, that you lose your own identity and everything becomes about receiving your own identity from approval from everyone else.

One of the jokes one of my friends used to tell is, “You can tell you’re codependent when you wake up in the morning and say to your partner, ‘Good morning, honey, how do I feel today?’”

One of my therapists used to talk about how codependency would really show itself in a family, sort of like a mobile. If each piece of the mobile is a separate person, look what happens when one person drops out, or puts a big tub on the mobile. It disrupts all the other pieces of the mobile – all the other pieces are jerked around until some kind of balance comes back in.

When I first heard that analogy, it made me think about my childhood growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who, because of her love for my father, became a total enabler. I loved both of my parents, but it was absolutely astounding how every single thing in our family and in our household revolved around what was going on with my dad. Was he drinking, not drinking, what would you find when you came home? You never knew from one day to the next. If he wasn’t drinking, we would all be walking on eggshells, not wanting to set him off. If he was drinking, and perhaps sleeping it off, we would all be walking on eggshells, not wanting to wake him up.

And my mother spend half her life trying to make sure that no one knew our Dirty Little Secret. She covered for him, lied for him, even took over the support of the family when he couldn’t handle that anymore. And then the really crazy thing – and this is what goes on when there is dysfunction in a house – we never admitted that he was an alcoholic. He had “emotional problems that he dealt with by drinking.” Well, as I found out when I got away from home, that’s the definition of an alcoholic.  

John Bradshaw used to say, “The depth of your dysfunction is shown by the depth of your secrets.” When nobody is talking about it, or admitting it, you’ve got a problem. And if you’re going along with it, you are enabling it and you’re part of the codependency.

And it’s not just with addiction. Is there someone in your life who isn’t stepping up, as the definition says…

And is affecting your life and causing you problems?
Do you have someone in your life who is angry all the time?
Do you have someone in your life who is emotionally abusive?

This can show up in a lot of different ways.

The question is, what do you do if you find yourself in this situation? In a situation where there is dysfunction that you are actively a part of?

The first step is to recognize it and name it for what it is.

Are you in a relationship where the other person is making you wrong all the time…or blaming you for their problems? How does this make you feel?

Because that’s the second step: If you’re not feeling good, something needs to be looked at.

Your emotions are there to tell you something is going on and to notice it – if you’re feeling happy and joyful, that feels great. If you’re feeling afraid, or you constantly have a lump in the pit of your stomach, something is going on and it needs to be dealt with.

If you’re being yelled at, blamed or taken advantage of, stop and ask yourself:

What do I want right now?

When you ask yourself that question, a lot of answers can come in. Maybe you need to:

  • Leave the situation for a little while
  • Be by yourself
  • Do something else
  • Get some help

When codependent people start asking themselves those questions and getting answers like that, very often the first thing that happens is that the ego rears up and says, “Wait, you are being so selfish!”

And sometimes the person we’re wrangling with is saying, “Wait, you are being so selfish!”

Have you ever noticed that the people who are calling you selfish are very often the people who are upset because you’re not doing what they want you to do? Funny how that works.

It’s so interesting with how this shows up. We had a woman who contacted us a few years ago and told us that she was having problems in her marriage. When we dug a little deeper, we discovered that the problems weren’t between she and her husband, the problems were happening with the triangle that had developed with her, her husband and their 25-year0old son.

Like many young people in this day and age, he had graduated from college with a degree that didn’t guarantee a good paying job. His parents had always taken care of everything for him. When he got out of college, his position was that if he couldn’t find a job making at least $100,000 a year, he wasn’t willing to work. So he didn’t. He moved back home and had been living with them for over a year, with no plans or inclination to do anything. They had dipped into their retirement to pay for college for him, plus he had student loans, because he had gone to a very expensive school.  

Also, in the past year, he had started to really have problems. He was drinking a lot and they suspected he may have been doing some drugs. When they would speak with him about what his plans were, he would fly into a rage. The son was also depressed a lot of the time. It had gotten to the point where the whole household was in an uproar all the time – they never knew when their son might fly into a rage and she told me she sometimes felt a little frightened by him.  

The problems that were happening between the mother and father was that the father felt that it was time for the son to do something to stand on his own two feet. The mother was not wanting to just kick him out, which is what she thought the father wanted to do. The son was holding them all hostage and they were all walking on eggshells around him, afraid that he might fly into a rage.

After we spoke with her, we really got it that the problems were not between she and her husband; they had always had a fabulous relationship until their son moved back home. We started talking to her about everything that was going on and she kept telling us how her son couldn’t handle anything, he couldn’t get a job, he couldn’t live on his own, and how she had to keep on taking care of him.

Through her sessions, she finally started seeing how codependent she had become with their 25-year-old son. We helped her see that all of this was not only ruining her relationship with her husband, it was causing all kinds of problems for her son. She finally got it through her sessions that her job is not to live her son’s life.

She went home with a new resolve and they didn’t just kick him out, the three of them made a plan together. Her son got a job, albeit a low paying job, but he got a job and moved out two months later. She and her husband came out to do a couples retreat and their love was completely renewed and rock solid again. And then after that, the really great news was that their son came out for a Soul Adventure. His parents paid for it, but they said it was the best money they ever spent.

Their son was a little resistant at first, but we realized very quickly that he wanted to step up, he wanted to be an adult and act like an adult. We discovered he had some blocks that had come in from his parents doing everything for him. They loved him, they were doing what they thought was best in taking care of him, but they had actually made it difficult for him to move into adulthood by doing so much for him. We cleared out the blocks and it was replaced by an energy of “I’m enough,” “I can do this,” “I have confidence.”

He ended up getting a much better job and last year he got married. He told me that his parents cutting the cord with him and making him stand on his own two feet had been the best thing that ever happened to him.

They stopped the enabling, they disrupted the codependency, and they are all so much happier.

This is what it takes. We first have to realize and recognize the codependency is happening. Then we have to take steps to love ourselves and take care of ourselves. Then we have to draw the boundaries and maintain the boundaries.

Sometimes it’s easier said than done, and more often than not, you’re going to need help… and that’s where we come in.

If you find yourself in a codependent, dysfunctional relationship, you’re going to have to do some things to get yourself out of it. You’re going to have to find the inner strength to do it. It doesn’t mean throwing out the relationships, it means figuring out how to have functional relationships that give you what you need and want.  

I hope this helped, and if you got value from this video, please take the time to like it, share it with someone in your life who think might get something out of it, subscribe to our channel.

And If you want an even more direct path to having the relationship of your dreams, click here to get your complimentary copy of The Sedona Guide to Spiritual Retreats today.

Or if you’d like to talk to someone about doing a retreat that’s custom designed for you call us at (928) 204-5988.

You can have the life  AND the relationship you want – I know it.

I was lucky enough back then to connect with Jorge Luis Delgado, our shaman and guide. Jorge is a master and as everyone in all my groups always say, they can’t imagine doing Peru without Jorge, that it quite simply wouldn’t be the same. That’s a photo of my fabulous 2008 group.

On my first trip in 2008, I met his wife and son, who at the time was 14, a gangly teenager, and he spoke great English. He and I started talking and sat next to each other on our bus ride from Lake Titicaca to Juliaca.

We started talking about American politics, as the 2008 election was in full swing, and Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton were slugging it out in the primaries. He asked me if I thought it was possible that Obama might be nominated and possibly win, and we had a very spirited and enjoyable conversation.

Jorge told me later, “It’s so strange, I’m not sure how this happened, he’s so interested in American politics and all kinds of things from other countries.”

Over the years, I’ve always asked Jorge how his son was doing and the news just kept getting more and more interesting. He did very well in school, went to University, then ended up living and working in Japan, spent some time in China, and learned to speak Japanese and Chinese fluently. Now this year, he decided to return to Peru and he’s working with Jorge!

He was working with a Chinese group and he came to the airport in Cusco when we were about to depart for Lake Titicaca, and we got to spend some time talking. What a joy to see and feel what an incredible young man he has become.

I asked him why he had returned to Peru and he told me, “I want to really learn all the spiritual teachings.” Isn’t that fantastic? This gangly little kid I met 11 years ago, has become a worldly, accomplished man interested in all aspects of the world, including spirituality. He said he plans to stay here for about two years and then he’ll be off to some other place in the world.

It’s reminiscent of my godson, Anthony, who I also got to see on this trip and what a joy that was. Back in 2008 when we went to Amantani for the first time (a very rustic, beautiful island in Lake Titicaca where at the time they had no electricity and no running water), we did a very special ceremony and we spent the night in the home of his family.

Anthony was 6 months old at the time, a tiny, adorable baby.

I spent a large amount of that evening holding him and at times I was crying gently and processing. His parents, Juana and Joaquin, don’t speak English, but in some way we really connected.

It turns out that two days later they were doing a ceremony with Anthony that is somewhat similar to what we know as baptism.

They asked Jorge to ask me if I would like to be a godmother for Anthony because they felt I had such a strong connection to him. They said they didn’t want any obligation from me, just the spiritual connection. I was honored and the ceremony was very beautiful.

After that, I would see Anthony every year and I’ve also happily contributed to the family and Anthony’s education. This photo is from 2014, when I brought him some blowing bubbles. At that time, Anthony was six and he told me he wanted to become a doctor. He also said he was learning traditional Peruvian dance and he enjoyed that very much.

Starting in 2015, Anthony started going to boarding school on the mainland so that he could receive a really good education, so he was never at home when we would spend the night at Juana and Joaquin’s home on Amantani. But this year, what a surprise. They brought him, along with his sister, to Chiquito where we had a reunion.

He showed me his school Certificate of Excellence and his parents told me what a good student he is. One of the members of our group interpreted (thank you, Rhonda!), and he told me again that he wants to be a doctor and how much he still enjoys dancing. But now he also really enjoys football (soccer).

To think that this boy from a small island, where they have almost no electricity or running water and when you take a walk you continually run into people who are herding sheep and donkeys, is going to become a doctor…this reminded me of Jorge’s son. Anthony’s energy is so sweet and pure, yet he is also a determined little boy and I can’t wait to see how this unfolds.

Another really fun thing we do every year is to go to Seminario Ceramics in Ollantaytambo. Pablo Seminario is one of the premier ceramic artists in the world, his works are displayed in various museums around the world, including the Field Museum in Chicago.

When I brought my first group in 2008, when we were returning from Machu Picchu by train after a very long day, Jorge asked me, “Would you like to go to the ceramics place?” Not having any idea of what an incredible place this was, I said no because everyone was tired.

One of the members of the group, Jennifer Watt, overheard us and said, “What are we talking about?” and I said, “That we’re not going to the ceramics place.” She said to me in her usual very direct way, “Who made that decision?” and I responded that I did. I then said if she wanted to go, we’d go and I am so glad I did. His work is so incredible and over the years, I’ve brought many of his pieces to my home and each year he speaks to our group and we have a wonderful interaction with him and his wife Marilu.

After that trip, Jen and I became great friends and in 2010, I asked her to lead my Peru trip two years in a row (I had Egypt in March, Peru in April and Bali in June, and it was becoming too much to handle), she loved Peru and she had experience leading groups. She did a fantastic job and from that, got a job leading trips to Peru, especially for high school and college students and teachers.

She has now been to Peru 54 times! And one of the things she has incorporated into the tours is an intensive piece of learning about traditional ceramics through Seminario! She, Pablo and Marilu have become great friends.

So when we were there last week, we took a photo of all of us to text to Jen saying, “Wish you were here.” Jen had just been in Sedona the week before visiting us at our home and we showed Pablo this photo of Jen and our friend Ranjita (who had been on the Peru trip with me in 2008 and again last year).

I told Pablo this is the view from our home, and he and Marilu should come and visit us in Sedona. He said, “If Jen will bring me, I will come to Sedona!”

So it’s so incredible to me, all these connections that started with this first trip and have woven their way through my life, and all these other lives, through the years. Not to mention the other close friends I have made through these trips, people who came on the trips, people I love who are a huge part of my life.

Because at the end of the day, all of this is not so much about the sites (although they are absolutely incredible), it’s about the amazing people we share them with and keep connecting with.

This year again, our group has bonded in such a beautiful, special way. One of the women said to me yesterday, “I can’t believe how I love everyone in this group and feel so close to them. Doing this with other like-minded people has just been so wonderful.

How to Turn your Partner into the Love of Your Life

Do you ever look at your husband, wife or partner and have a thought along the lines of, “What was I thinking?” or “If he/she says another word, I’m going to run screaming out of the house!”?

Last week I spoke with you about “How to bring in the love of your life,” but what happens if you’re already in a relationship or marriage and you’re not feeling it like you used to?

Well, help is on the way – watch my video.

Sometimes your relationship really needs a shot in the arm (or better yet, the heart). Call us and one of our Retreat Guides will speak with each of you separately, really getting at what’s going on, what are the issues and what do both of you want? Then they’ll put together the perfect retreat that’s right for the two of you.

Because each retreat is completely customized and because the sessions are all completely private (not in groups), you’ll get exactly what you need. It will bring you back into the Love and Connection you’re craving.

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 Retreat Guides will call you.
They’ll connect with you (or both of you if it’s a couples retreat) in deep conversation. Then they’ll custom design the perfect retreat for you, working with our Master Practitioners here in beautiful, mystical Sedona to.

Lori and Michio say, “Before our Soul Adventure, we WERE going to Divorce, after Sedona Soul Adventures, we are closer than we have ever been, we are forever changed” (and that’s 90 days after their retreat!)

I love it so much that Lori waited 3 MONTHS(!) to write that, because she wanted to see if the experience would last. I’m so happy to say, that’s exactly what happens with a Sedona Soul Adventure! It works and it lasts!

In the last video, I talk with you about “How to bring in the love of your life.” But what about all of you out there who are already with someone, and you’ve been together for awhile… and he isn’t exactly Prince Charming anymore…or she’s not exactly getting you all excited like she used to?

In other words, even if the bloom is off the rose, can you turn them back into the love of your life?

The answer is Yes! and it’s actually pretty simple…not necessarily easy, but it is simple.

It comes down to two things and after I tell you about the two things, I’m going to tell you about two processes you can use to implement the two things.

Here are the two things – and I promise they work. Most of you know that I was a divorce attorney for over 20 years and I’ve now done couples work at Sedona Soul Adventures for 17 years – I know what I’m talking about.

If your relationship is not making you deliriously happy, see what happens when you…  

  1. Stop focusing on what you don’t like
  2. Start being what you want

From my other videos, I’ve spoken so much about Quantum Physics and how things can be changed. I’ve talked about the ideas of Einstein and other Quantum Physicists, that…

Everything is energy

What we focus on, we get more of

We are all creating our reality in every moment

What we think about and talk about expands

1. Stop focusing on what you don’t like

So look at this in relationship to how you’re dealing with your husband, wife or partner. If you’ve decided there’s something “wrong” with them, don’t you find yourself just constantly noticing every little thing about that. If you’re telling yourself (and your friends and your mother) that your husband is a slob, do you see how every single time he even leaves a sock out that it makes you crazy? And then you berate him and he feels like he can never do anything right?

And if you feel like your wife doesn’t love and appreciate you, do you notice how often you notice that she doesn’t love and appreciate you? You’ll find it, sometimes even when it’s not there.

If you want your relationship to turn around, you have to do something to make it turn around… maybe even something to turn it on its head.  

Which brings us to the second thing:

2. Start being what you want

If you want your husband to be more romantic, you be more romantic. Bring him roses – that will get his attention.

If you want your wife to be more understanding, you be more understanding. Ask her about her day. Ask her how she’s doing, how she’s feeling. Ask and then just sit and listen. One of my practitioner friends says “For women, the most powerful aphrodisiac in the world is listening.”

Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

I’m not sure he meant it with regard to relationships, but I’m pretty sure he would agree. It starts with you.

I promised you two processes that will really help with this and they help because they actually start to move the energy. The first is the first process in my book: Change Your Story, Change Your Life.

For 30 days, make a decision that you are going to tell yourself a different story about your husband, wife or partner. If the old thoughts come up, just stop them and think about something else. Don’t say anything negative about your partner to anyone else, including yourself.

In addition to changing your story, during that same 30 days, keep a gratitude journal.

Every morning, take three minutes (that’s all!) and write five things that you are truly grateful for about the person. It must be things that are true for you. So, if it’s something about your mate it could be:

  • I love his/her beautiful blue eyes.
  • I love that he/she likes dogs.
  • I love that he/she is good at his job.
  • I love that he has things that he enjoys, like baseball.
  • I love that he/she loves our children.

After you have written down the “High 5,” take just a moment to close your eyes, take a deep breath and truly FEEL the gratitude for this person or situation. The more you can infuse Emotion into the process, the faster things will start to move. If you find you can’t muster the feeling, it’s okay – just breathe and let it go. As you move more and more into the process, it will start to come. Don’t force it.

Don’t tell the other person (or anyone else for that matter) that you are doing this. The magic lies in what you will start to see happening in just a short time — as little as three days!

If you do all of this for 30 days:

  1. Stop focusing on what you don’t like
  2. Start being what you want

and do the two processes:

  1. Change Your Story, Change Your Life
  2. Gratitude Journal

I think you will be absolutely amazed at how your partner has suddenly changed.

I have so many stories of how this has worked, both in people doing a Sedona Soul Adventure and in my coaching. I think my favorite is one of my coaching clients who was ready to leave because her husband would not help her with the children or any part of the housework. They both had very demanding jobs and she had begged, cajoled, yelled, screamed and threatened to leave, and nothing was having any effect on him. She would go on these tirades to him and to me about how selfish he was, that he was a male chauvinist pig, etc., etc. It took me a while to convince her to just stop with all of the arguing and yelling, but finally I got her to try it because she had tried everything else.

She changed her story and started telling her friends about how hard her husband worked at his job. She wrote in her Gratitude Journal the things she liked about him, and she kept having to repeat things because by this time she was down to just a few things that she liked about him. But suddenly, she started remembering more and more things that she liked about him and even loved about him, because he was a good man and he certainly loved their children. She suddenly started feeling all this love for him. And just as suddenly, within three weeks, he started doing the dishes. She hadn’t told him about the Gratitude Journal and she didn’t say anything when he started doing the dishes, except to say “thank you.” And then he started doing laundry. And then he started making meals. She just about fell over when one evening she came home late and he had already fed the kids and had drawn a hot bath for her.

She stopped criticizing and started saying “thank you” and “I love you,” and everything in their relationship changed. She told me last year, she’s never loved him more than she does now and he feels exactly the same way. He went from feeling criticized to feeling love, and we all react much more positively to love, I can guarantee you that.

And I can hear some of you out there saying, “But why should I be the one that has to do everything? I already have to do everything!” and I’m sorry to say, that’s exactly what’s gotten you into this loop that happens with relationships once they start to go wrong. Try this for 30 days, what have you got to lose? And let me know what happens.

I hope this helped, and if you got value from this video, please take the time to like it, share it with someone in your life who think might get something out of it, subscribe to our channel.

And If you want an even more direct path to having the relationship of your dreams, click here to get your complimentary copy of The Sedona Guide to Spiritual Retreats today.

Or if you’d like to talk to someone about doing a retreat that’s custom designed for you call us at (928) 204-5988.

You can have the life  AND the relationship you want – I know it.

I was lucky enough back then to connect with Jorge Luis Delgado, our shaman and guide. Jorge is a master and as everyone in all my groups always say, they can’t imagine doing Peru without Jorge, that it quite simply wouldn’t be the same. That’s a photo of my fabulous 2008 group.

On my first trip in 2008, I met his wife and son, who at the time was 14, a gangly teenager, and he spoke great English. He and I started talking and sat next to each other on our bus ride from Lake Titicaca to Juliaca.

We started talking about American politics, as the 2008 election was in full swing, and Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton were slugging it out in the primaries. He asked me if I thought it was possible that Obama might be nominated and possibly win, and we had a very spirited and enjoyable conversation.

Jorge told me later, “It’s so strange, I’m not sure how this happened, he’s so interested in American politics and all kinds of things from other countries.”

Over the years, I’ve always asked Jorge how his son was doing and the news just kept getting more and more interesting. He did very well in school, went to University, then ended up living and working in Japan, spent some time in China, and learned to speak Japanese and Chinese fluently. Now this year, he decided to return to Peru and he’s working with Jorge!

He was working with a Chinese group and he came to the airport in Cusco when we were about to depart for Lake Titicaca, and we got to spend some time talking. What a joy to see and feel what an incredible young man he has become.

I asked him why he had returned to Peru and he told me, “I want to really learn all the spiritual teachings.” Isn’t that fantastic? This gangly little kid I met 11 years ago, has become a worldly, accomplished man interested in all aspects of the world, including spirituality. He said he plans to stay here for about two years and then he’ll be off to some other place in the world.

It’s reminiscent of my godson, Anthony, who I also got to see on this trip and what a joy that was. Back in 2008 when we went to Amantani for the first time (a very rustic, beautiful island in Lake Titicaca where at the time they had no electricity and no running water), we did a very special ceremony and we spent the night in the home of his family.

Anthony was 6 months old at the time, a tiny, adorable baby.

I spent a large amount of that evening holding him and at times I was crying gently and processing. His parents, Juana and Joaquin, don’t speak English, but in some way we really connected.

It turns out that two days later they were doing a ceremony with Anthony that is somewhat similar to what we know as baptism.

They asked Jorge to ask me if I would like to be a godmother for Anthony because they felt I had such a strong connection to him. They said they didn’t want any obligation from me, just the spiritual connection. I was honored and the ceremony was very beautiful.

After that, I would see Anthony every year and I’ve also happily contributed to the family and Anthony’s education. This photo is from 2014, when I brought him some blowing bubbles. At that time, Anthony was six and he told me he wanted to become a doctor. He also said he was learning traditional Peruvian dance and he enjoyed that very much.

Starting in 2015, Anthony started going to boarding school on the mainland so that he could receive a really good education, so he was never at home when we would spend the night at Juana and Joaquin’s home on Amantani. But this year, what a surprise. They brought him, along with his sister, to Chiquito where we had a reunion.

He showed me his school Certificate of Excellence and his parents told me what a good student he is. One of the members of our group interpreted (thank you, Rhonda!), and he told me again that he wants to be a doctor and how much he still enjoys dancing. But now he also really enjoys football (soccer).

To think that this boy from a small island, where they have almost no electricity or running water and when you take a walk you continually run into people who are herding sheep and donkeys, is going to become a doctor…this reminded me of Jorge’s son. Anthony’s energy is so sweet and pure, yet he is also a determined little boy and I can’t wait to see how this unfolds.

Another really fun thing we do every year is to go to Seminario Ceramics in Ollantaytambo. Pablo Seminario is one of the premier ceramic artists in the world, his works are displayed in various museums around the world, including the Field Museum in Chicago.

When I brought my first group in 2008, when we were returning from Machu Picchu by train after a very long day, Jorge asked me, “Would you like to go to the ceramics place?” Not having any idea of what an incredible place this was, I said no because everyone was tired.

One of the members of the group, Jennifer Watt, overheard us and said, “What are we talking about?” and I said, “That we’re not going to the ceramics place.” She said to me in her usual very direct way, “Who made that decision?” and I responded that I did. I then said if she wanted to go, we’d go and I am so glad I did. His work is so incredible and over the years, I’ve brought many of his pieces to my home and each year he speaks to our group and we have a wonderful interaction with him and his wife Marilu.

After that trip, Jen and I became great friends and in 2010, I asked her to lead my Peru trip two years in a row (I had Egypt in March, Peru in April and Bali in June, and it was becoming too much to handle), she loved Peru and she had experience leading groups. She did a fantastic job and from that, got a job leading trips to Peru, especially for high school and college students and teachers.

She has now been to Peru 54 times! And one of the things she has incorporated into the tours is an intensive piece of learning about traditional ceramics through Seminario! She, Pablo and Marilu have become great friends.

So when we were there last week, we took a photo of all of us to text to Jen saying, “Wish you were here.” Jen had just been in Sedona the week before visiting us at our home and we showed Pablo this photo of Jen and our friend Ranjita (who had been on the Peru trip with me in 2008 and again last year).

I told Pablo this is the view from our home, and he and Marilu should come and visit us in Sedona. He said, “If Jen will bring me, I will come to Sedona!”

So it’s so incredible to me, all these connections that started with this first trip and have woven their way through my life, and all these other lives, through the years. Not to mention the other close friends I have made through these trips, people who came on the trips, people I love who are a huge part of my life.

Because at the end of the day, all of this is not so much about the sites (although they are absolutely incredible), it’s about the amazing people we share them with and keep connecting with.

This year again, our group has bonded in such a beautiful, special way. One of the women said to me yesterday, “I can’t believe how I love everyone in this group and feel so close to them. Doing this with other like-minded people has just been so wonderful.

How to Bring in The Love of Your Life

Would you like to have a love relationship in your life? Do you sometimes feel frustrated that it’s not happening? Do you tell yourself things like, “All the good ones are taken”?

If so, you need to watch my video.

Many of you know, I got married almost two years ago — let me tell you the story of how I brought in the love of my life.

And next week, I’m going to tell you about how to turn the one you’re with into the love of your life.

As I talk about in my book, it’s all about energy. How do you shift out of the energy of disappointment and fear and back into the energy of Excited Expectation? It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy.

Let us help. If there’s something in your life that’s eluding you – like a loving relationship (or satisfying work, or prosperity and abundance), come to Sedona to do a retreat. We’ll identify what’s blocking the energy, move out the blocks and bring you back into connection on all the levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. When you’re operating in connection, everything flows to you with grace and ease.

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 Retreat Guides will call you.
They’ll connect with you (or both of you if it’s a couples retreat) in deep conversation. Then they’ll custom design the perfect retreat for you, working with our Master Practitioners here in beautiful, mystical Sedona to.

Anne says her Soul Adventure has brought in more “loving relationships”

Today I’m going to talk to you about “How to bring in the love of your life.”

Many of you who get my newsletters and have been following me for a while know that I got married last year. And no one was more surprised than I was, especially when I look back on what happened. Now that I look back, I’m seeing that this was another example of how flipping the switch and knowing that nothing is wrong can bring you your deepest wishes, dreams and desires.

In my other videos, I’ve told you stories of other times in my life where this happened so dramatically. I’ve told you how when I went into this space a number of years ago, that I suddenly released 40 pounds in 5 weeks without dieting or exercising. 

I’ve told you about the miracle of when I first came to Sedona over 20 years ago, how every part of my life was such a mess, including that I was $50,000 in debt. After coming to Sedona, I went into a space of surrender and when I flipped that switch, suddenly $50,000 dropped out of the sky. You can find these videos on our YouTube channel.  

So today I want to talk about how to bring in the love of your life and in my next video, I’m going to talk about how to turn the person you’re with into the love of your life.

So here’s the secret: it all goes back to learning how to flip the switch.

Let me tell you what I know to be true after 20 years as a divorce attorney and 17 years of doing couples work with Sedona Soul Adventures:

  • Everything is energy.
  • What we focus on, we get more of.
  • We are all creating our reality in every moment.
  • What we think about and talk about expands.

I’ve spoken about the science of all this in my other videos, including the teachings of other Quantum Physics teachers, like Albert Einstein.

If you are wanting to bring a loving relationship into your life, take a look at what you focus on, what do you talk about and think about.

If you are like most people that I come across, my guess is that you say things to yourself like:

“Where is he?”

“Why isn’t she showing up?”

“The good ones are all gone.”

“I’m too old to find someone.”

“I’m too fat to find someone.”

“Men are jerks.”

“Women are mean.”

“I’ll never find a spiritual person.”

“I’m afraid I’m never going to find anyone.”

I certainly understand where all those thoughts come from. I have been married and divorced, I’ve been hurt, I’ve gone out with a lot of frogs and I’ve had negative thoughts come into my head from time to time. I was on Match.com for 8 years after my divorce and I never met one person that I went out with more than once. I don’t even know why I stayed on for so long, except now that I look back, I see why.

It all comes down to this:

Whatever you want to bring into your life (a husband, a wife, a partner, money, healthy body, great job) you have to be a vibrational match for.  

Negative emotions, such as fear, anger or frustration keep it away. Excited expectation brings it faster.

So how does this work?

1. You have to get okay with you.

Do you love yourself? I mean really love yourself? Do you think you’re pretty much okay?  

If you don’t love you, how can anyone else love you?

2. You need to do whatever it takes to keep you out of fear, anger and frustration, and keep you in the higher vibrational emotions of excited expectation, hope and love.

In my book and in my other videos, I’ve given you lots and lots of processes that will help you with both of these:

Tapping
Deep breathing
Journaling
Change Your Story, Change Your Life
Meditation  

Anything you can do that will help you flip that switch out of fear and frustration, and back into excited expectation.

Here’s what happened to me…

After my divorce, I realized that I still had deep places of not completely loving myself. The divorce had triggered those insecurities and all kinds of fears around Is there something wrong with me? and Am I loveable?

I was actually kind of stunned that I was still having those kinds of thoughts after all the work I’ve done over the years, but I’ll tell you, it really is about peeling the onion… we keep discovering where these things are.  

After I moved through that and did a little bit of dating, I made the decision that I love my life, I love my work, I love my house, I love my friends, why mess any of that up? And the minute I went into that release, out of the blue I met someone who really opened my heart. That relationship didn’t work out, but it did make me realize that I wanted someone in my life again. So I did what I tell everyone else to do:

I made a list of exactly what I wanted – and it included 22 very specific items.

I would meditate and think about how I would feel when I connected with him. I kept myself in a state of Excited Expectation.

I was very strict about the process I call, Change Your Story, Change Your Life, which is one of the processes in my book. I didn’t talk about (or think about) how there’s no one around, or it’s so hard to meet someone or any negative chatter about men (and ladies, when we’re alone, you know how often that happens).

And then in the second half of 2016, I finished my book and it was published. I spent six months of just constant work on the book, so I wasn’t much thinking about anything else. The book came out in October that year and I remember on the day it hit #1, I thought to myself, “Okay, now I’ve got time to meet a guy.”

And literally four weeks later, he found me. On Match. All those years of staying on Match finally paid off. He sent me a sweet message and then I was bummed to find out he lived in California. I had an iron clad rule that I had developed over the past few years that if someone was further away than Phoenix, I wouldn’t even respond because it would always develop into this back and forth that I didn’t want to get into. So even though it felt kind of rude, I just wouldn’t even respond.

But when I got Richard’s first message, I was sitting in LA watching the sunset with my sister, drinking a glass of champagne. I saw his picture and read his profile, where he talked about his work and his spirituality, and showed it to my sister who said, “He’s cute!” I thought to myself, “I’m not going to be rude to this guy.”

So I wrote him back and said, “You look great, but you’re in San Jose.” He immediately wrote back and said, “I know, I saw the seemingly insurmountable distance, but I just wanted to let you know that there’s someone out here who sees who you are and admires what you’re doing in the world.” Because Richard is a total Silicon Valley computer guy and he had very easily figured out who I was – and he had even watched some of my videos – I showed his message to my sister and she said, “Good answer!” The rest is history.

As I look back on this now, I see that I did what I talk about in my book. I figured out what I wanted, but I didn’t drive myself crazy obsessing about it. I kept myself in Excited Expectation, knowing and trusting that what I wanted was on its way.

There’s an old teaching that says, “Whatever you want, wants you.”

You’re having these desires because there’s someone out there who’s desiring you. If you can come into that energy and stay in that energy, everything you want is on its way.

We had a woman come here for a Soul Adventure a number of years ago and she came because she said, “I want to find a husband, it’s time. I want children, I’m running out of time, I’m over 30, I want it and I want it now!”

We all spent a whole bunch of time with her, trying to get her to see this from an energetic standpoint, that the frustration and demands were negative energy that was keeping what she wanted from her. She is an accountant, so she’s very smart and very much in her head, so at first, this didn’t make sense to her and she was really resisting. Even worse, she had a lot of “I’m not okay” issues from her childhood, so we were also trying to help her with that and she was having trouble seeing how that was related.  

I was starting to be a little concerned that we weren’t going to be able to help her and then suddenly, in one of her final sessions, she was doing a meditation out on the land and her Higher Self suddenly came in in such a way that she felt totally healed. She was filled with love for herself and everyone else.

She told me later that she literally felt the frustration and her demands that this happen now, just melt away. She said it was so funny that she came here wanting to figure out how to make a man come into her life and she was leaving with that obsession just released.

So of course you know what happened next. On the plane home, she met the most interesting, attractive man who was totally interested in the amazing spiritual adventure she had just had. They lived in two different cities and had a long distance relationship for a while, married the next year and now they have two children! When we release the obsession and just stay in the higher energies of excited expectation, that’s where the magic happens.

I hope this helped, and if you got value from this video, please take the time to like it, share it with someone in your life who think might get something out of it, subscribe to our channel.

And If you want an even more direct path to having the relationship of your dreams, click here to get your complimentary copy of The Sedona Guide to Spiritual Retreats today.

Or if you’d like to talk to someone about doing a retreat that’s custom designed for you call us at (928) 204-5988.

You can have the life  AND the relationship you want – I know it.

I was lucky enough back then to connect with Jorge Luis Delgado, our shaman and guide. Jorge is a master and as everyone in all my groups always say, they can’t imagine doing Peru without Jorge, that it quite simply wouldn’t be the same. That’s a photo of my fabulous 2008 group.

On my first trip in 2008, I met his wife and son, who at the time was 14, a gangly teenager, and he spoke great English. He and I started talking and sat next to each other on our bus ride from Lake Titicaca to Juliaca.

We started talking about American politics, as the 2008 election was in full swing, and Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton were slugging it out in the primaries. He asked me if I thought it was possible that Obama might be nominated and possibly win, and we had a very spirited and enjoyable conversation.

Jorge told me later, “It’s so strange, I’m not sure how this happened, he’s so interested in American politics and all kinds of things from other countries.”

Over the years, I’ve always asked Jorge how his son was doing and the news just kept getting more and more interesting. He did very well in school, went to University, then ended up living and working in Japan, spent some time in China, and learned to speak Japanese and Chinese fluently. Now this year, he decided to return to Peru and he’s working with Jorge!

He was working with a Chinese group and he came to the airport in Cusco when we were about to depart for Lake Titicaca, and we got to spend some time talking. What a joy to see and feel what an incredible young man he has become.

I asked him why he had returned to Peru and he told me, “I want to really learn all the spiritual teachings.” Isn’t that fantastic? This gangly little kid I met 11 years ago, has become a worldly, accomplished man interested in all aspects of the world, including spirituality. He said he plans to stay here for about two years and then he’ll be off to some other place in the world.

It’s reminiscent of my godson, Anthony, who I also got to see on this trip and what a joy that was. Back in 2008 when we went to Amantani for the first time (a very rustic, beautiful island in Lake Titicaca where at the time they had no electricity and no running water), we did a very special ceremony and we spent the night in the home of his family.

Anthony was 6 months old at the time, a tiny, adorable baby.

I spent a large amount of that evening holding him and at times I was crying gently and processing. His parents, Juana and Joaquin, don’t speak English, but in some way we really connected.

It turns out that two days later they were doing a ceremony with Anthony that is somewhat similar to what we know as baptism.

They asked Jorge to ask me if I would like to be a godmother for Anthony because they felt I had such a strong connection to him. They said they didn’t want any obligation from me, just the spiritual connection. I was honored and the ceremony was very beautiful.

After that, I would see Anthony every year and I’ve also happily contributed to the family and Anthony’s education. This photo is from 2014, when I brought him some blowing bubbles. At that time, Anthony was six and he told me he wanted to become a doctor. He also said he was learning traditional Peruvian dance and he enjoyed that very much.

Starting in 2015, Anthony started going to boarding school on the mainland so that he could receive a really good education, so he was never at home when we would spend the night at Juana and Joaquin’s home on Amantani. But this year, what a surprise. They brought him, along with his sister, to Chiquito where we had a reunion.

He showed me his school Certificate of Excellence and his parents told me what a good student he is. One of the members of our group interpreted (thank you, Rhonda!), and he told me again that he wants to be a doctor and how much he still enjoys dancing. But now he also really enjoys football (soccer).

To think that this boy from a small island, where they have almost no electricity or running water and when you take a walk you continually run into people who are herding sheep and donkeys, is going to become a doctor…this reminded me of Jorge’s son. Anthony’s energy is so sweet and pure, yet he is also a determined little boy and I can’t wait to see how this unfolds.

Another really fun thing we do every year is to go to Seminario Ceramics in Ollantaytambo. Pablo Seminario is one of the premier ceramic artists in the world, his works are displayed in various museums around the world, including the Field Museum in Chicago.

When I brought my first group in 2008, when we were returning from Machu Picchu by train after a very long day, Jorge asked me, “Would you like to go to the ceramics place?” Not having any idea of what an incredible place this was, I said no because everyone was tired.

One of the members of the group, Jennifer Watt, overheard us and said, “What are we talking about?” and I said, “That we’re not going to the ceramics place.” She said to me in her usual very direct way, “Who made that decision?” and I responded that I did. I then said if she wanted to go, we’d go and I am so glad I did. His work is so incredible and over the years, I’ve brought many of his pieces to my home and each year he speaks to our group and we have a wonderful interaction with him and his wife Marilu.

After that trip, Jen and I became great friends and in 2010, I asked her to lead my Peru trip two years in a row (I had Egypt in March, Peru in April and Bali in June, and it was becoming too much to handle), she loved Peru and she had experience leading groups. She did a fantastic job and from that, got a job leading trips to Peru, especially for high school and college students and teachers.

She has now been to Peru 54 times! And one of the things she has incorporated into the tours is an intensive piece of learning about traditional ceramics through Seminario! She, Pablo and Marilu have become great friends.

So when we were there last week, we took a photo of all of us to text to Jen saying, “Wish you were here.” Jen had just been in Sedona the week before visiting us at our home and we showed Pablo this photo of Jen and our friend Ranjita (who had been on the Peru trip with me in 2008 and again last year).

I told Pablo this is the view from our home, and he and Marilu should come and visit us in Sedona. He said, “If Jen will bring me, I will come to Sedona!”

So it’s so incredible to me, all these connections that started with this first trip and have woven their way through my life, and all these other lives, through the years. Not to mention the other close friends I have made through these trips, people who came on the trips, people I love who are a huge part of my life.

Because at the end of the day, all of this is not so much about the sites (although they are absolutely incredible), it’s about the amazing people we share them with and keep connecting with.

This year again, our group has bonded in such a beautiful, special way. One of the women said to me yesterday, “I can’t believe how I love everyone in this group and feel so close to them. Doing this with other like-minded people has just been so wonderful.

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