Bringing Sedona Home

Oak Creek and Cathedral Rock at Red Rock Crossing, Sedona, Arizona. ©Nila Nealy

Oak Creek and Cathedral Rock at Red Rock Crossing, Sedona, Arizona. ©Nila Nealy

I spent a couple of nights in Sedona over a year ago. I was attending a conference in Scottsdale and thought a little R&R was called for as well. So I tagged on a few days for a journey north on I-17. Without an agenda, I wandered through the small Arizona town, following my curiosity to beautiful hikes, art, and conversations. My experiences among nature, the red rocks, the artists and the kind souls I met left quite a positive impression on me.

When I returned home, I was both energized and at peace. But as I faced the demands of work and family, I wondered how long the healthy Sedona glow would last. I began a secret internal campaign to spend more time in that special place. I even dreamed of moving there. As soon as possible.

I shared my thoughts with a trusted counselor who suggested that I not run away to Sedona but rather consider how I could bring Sedona home.

Now, more than a year later, I have returned home from Sedona glowing again. This time, I went with my husband for an entire week. Our seven days looked much like my solo two days last year. We hiked. We communed with nature. We browsed galleries. We chatted with locals (none of whom who were born in Sedona themselves). We read. We got full nights of sleep, got up early and took naps. We had good meals. The entire experience just felt good. Really, really good. 

Thinking back on that conversation with my trusted counselor, overlooking red rocks and green trees, I asked myself, “how can I bring Sedona home?"

Apparently I cannot pack a red mountain in my bag or install it in my backyard. I cannot bring home the low humidity (how I wish I could!). I cannot relocate the already relocated people here and expect them to be the same. I cannot bring the Red Rock Cafe to my neighborhood for the Cowboy Style Benedict and our trusty server Robin.

What I can do is bring home who I chose to be there and what I chose to do with my time and energy. The list looks something like this:

  • Indulge my curiosity. Follow where it leads.
  • Slow down, even just a little.
  • Choose to focus on what I want to focus on.
  • Spend time in nature, wondering at her splendor, the whole spectrum from tiny to massive. She’s everywhere.
  • Trust. Me, my body, other people.
  • Spend more time with my eyes on a book. And when I look at a screen, make it worth my life’s energy.
  • Create. Draw, write, think up ideas for marketing, or whatever create means in a moment.
  • Allow myself to contemplate without worry.

Having created this list, I’m now less inclined to worry about when I’ll get to Sedona next, though I do hope soon. I’m feeling good about being where I am. It took me a year to get that advisor’s point. While place is important, my mindset is a much bigger player in my happiness.