• Michele

Restoring Balance and Recharging My Soul

It's taken some time to write my third and final Travel Diary Entry from my Miraval Spa & Resort Austin vacation. Not because I didn't want to share my experience, but maybe more because I've been struggling with how personal I wanted to get with my internal journey.

I ended my last entry, "Needed Rest, Unique Adventure, How About Both!" by describing the letter I received upon arrival and then closing with the words, "I am Worthy."

I'm sure we all can agree that COVID has been the rollercoaster ride that we wish ended quite a long time ago. The uncertainty, stress, and isolation can be core shaking. We all can agree that while the circumstance is the same, how we process and deal with the circumstance is quite personal and very different. For me, my ride started six months before COVID even started when I unexpectedly and rather quickly moved from a life I was comfortable with to a brand new, unknown life alone in my almost mid-50's. I definitely did not move for me. I actually moved to be closer to my aging parents. While this seemed like the right thing to do last Fall (and I know deep in my heart it still is for now), if I had a crystal ball I most likely would have waited. To move to a new city, start a new job, move into a new house and then have COVID lock me in my unfamiliar bubble unable to see my parents well, let's just say it's been a challenge like no other.

Before the pandemic, I was very much looking forward to scheduling plenty of meditation, mindfulness, and soul sessions to restore my inner balance. It was something I felt like I desperately needed. But when my vacation was canceled, and after waiting for an additional six months, I was not only ready but open-minded, and craving any soul searching experience Miraval had to offer.

My mindful sessions did not start until the evening of my first full day and were located in two areas on the Miraval campus. The crisp, white, and zen Yoga Barn ...

And the spiritual, nature solitude of Solidago.

As I attended each mindful class my mind, my soul, and maybe even my chakra began to open and I felt some transformation. I started my awakening at the Manifest Meditation Class. In this class we used visualization, thought work, and journaling to attract what was truly desired for our life. After meditating on it, we had to write down what it was. Obviously, this is pretty personal, but I can share that in this session I became not only very aware of what it was that I desire, but also what it was that's been holding me back. It was in the silence that I heard the words "I'm Worthy." This was the theme that followed me my entire stay at Miraval.

Later that night I had what turned out to be a private session at my most favorite location on the Miraval resort, Solidago. Sitting at the edge of the property and next to the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, this beautiful space feels sacred. Perfect for my Mindfulness in the Moonlight session which was incredibly soothing. Nighttime meditation on blankets while listening to the night sounds and looking up at the sky brought a much-needed reprieve from the stressors brought on by these times.

My second full day began by experiencing a floating meditation where I was gently elevated above the floor in a purple silk hammock and rocked to the soothing vibrations of crystal bowls. This was so comfortable that it had me almost considering getting rid of my bed and buying a silk hammock! I left there relaxed as I headed back to Solidago for my Shanti Pranam guided meditation experience for inner peace, to bring peace to the world around me, and as an offering for world peace. This was an extremely powerful session and it felt so appropriate with all the division that's been happening lately. I felt like I was doing a little part to help bring some balance.

My last mindful class of the day was Qoya. I actually had no real idea of what this class was about. This was a class where I had to be open-minded and when I was it felt so freeing. "Qoya is a practice for women that is based on the idea that motion and memory are intertwined. Beginning with breathwork and intention-setting, this class flows into movement using the wisdom of yoga, the creative expression of dance, and the power of personal reflection."

It was in this class that we chose a random card to reflect on. When I looked at the card I chose my eyes grew wide. I picked the Island Solitude card. This is exactly how I've felt ever since my move, and especially since March! I've been struggling with isolation and solitude and have felt like I've been living alone on my own island!

But when told to look at the card again, I noticed the beautiful tree standing tall and by itself. It was a reminder that even when circumstances appear to be barren and alone there is actually beauty and growth. The tree proves that even in the harshest of environments there is life. What a perfect visual and lesson in mindset!

My last soul searching class of my stay was Shinrin-Yoku or Japanese Forrest Bathing. This was a calming and restorative nature walk that opened our senses, honed my intuition, and helped me experience the outdoors in a whole new way. At the end of this session, we were led back to Solidago where we sipped tea and were asked to choose a crystal stone that we were drawn to. I chose a blue Sodalite and learned that this was the throat chakra stone for improved communications and abilities. I found this very interesting since during quarantine I have felt unrest in saying what I need to say, and at the right time.

On my mindful journey, I did receive one other message by selecting at random. This one summarized my entire Miraval Soul Journey and left me feeling hopeful even in a time of uncertainty.

I'm ready!

Oh, and those stone towers I mentioned in an earlier Travel Diary entry, they are called Cairn. Some places discourage creating these zen towers, but at Miraval they are allowed and are scattered throughout the campus. Typically these are used as trail markers, but if managed on private property they can be used to symbolize balance, quieting the mind, and bringing you to the present moment.

They are controversial in public, which I can understand. But at Miraval, they are a beautiful calming site.

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