Ever since we came to Sedona we have had many stories shared with us that remind us of our connection to the spiritual web of life. They remind us that there is no separation between the physical and spiritual because, in truth, all life is connected and whole. The actualization of our spiritual connection may come in many forms -through nature, our own inner guidance, through other people, in books and in sacred places like Sedona. These stories show it is best for us not to judge and limit the way in which Spirit works for us because Spirit is boundless and, as we open ourselves, we will find messages come to us in a myriad of ways.
These are stories of spiritual healing because it is indeed healing when we realize that we are never alone and that our connection to Spirit is always alive and well in our lives. Sometimes we receive messages when we are actively seeking them and sometimes we get those messages when we are down and out and need some reassurance. These stories are given to you to open you up to the beautiful possibilities available to us in everyday life.
The Butterfly Story
A few years ago I took out a couple from North Carolina. The woman was a recently retired school teacher and, as I normally do on tour, I gave them the opportunity for some quiet time during a tour. I noticed how, as she stood overlooking Sedona, she began to cry. I asked if she was o.k. and if she wanted to talk, but she wasn't ready. She said she would get back to me in the future.
Well, six months go by. I'm driving down Hwy 179 in my work jeep and a yellow and black butterfly flies into the jeep and sits on my chest as I'm driving 30 mph down the road. Then it landed on my foot before flying off.
As I got back to the reservations office, I received a letter from the woman. She explained that, upon retiring, she had placed her mom in a nursing home only for her to pass away shortly thereafter. She had felt and carried much guilt over this. Her husband suggested they take a vacation to Sedona to clear their heads. As she was looking out at Sedona that day during the quiet time, she felt as if her mom was standing next to her so she asked her for forgiveness. No sooner had she done that when a yellow and black butterfly landed on her wrist and she said she began to cry because she felt that butterfly was a sign that her mom had forgiven her.
What are the odds that the same kind of butterfly would land on my arm right before I received her letter?
The Long Island Story
One of my favorite stories to tell on the spiritual connection of life was told to me while out on tour a few years ago. I took out Arnie and his wife, Elsie. They are from Long Island, New York.
Arnie and some childhood friends of his all went to grade school and high school together. As we all do, inevitably, they all went their separate ways, yet kept in touch. One of Arnie's friends, Joe Dixon, became a pretty bad alcoholic and eventually succumbed to his illness, leaving a family behind.
Arnie and Elsie went to the funeral and, just before they entered the church, a bird pooped on Arnie's arm. He suggested to his wife to go find a place to sit inside. He would clean up and meet her. When Arnie went in, he couldn't find his wife so he ended up sitting behind Joe's two sons. While the service was underway, Arnie began to cry - not for his self, but for the two boys who would only know their dad as an alcoholic.
He felt like he needed to talk with them so, after the service, he pulled the two boys aside. He told them of the time when he got into an accident as a child and how Joe came to visit him everyday that summer. He told them how their Dad always wanted to be great and that their Dad was great because he had these two wonderful boys who would go on to do great things.
A few weeks later, Joe's oldest son was away at camp. He jumped into the water and, as he approached the bottom, there was a girl struggling to swim. He pulled her to the surface, found some help and they were able to rescue her. She had survived and Joe's son had indeed done something great!
Not long after, the mother of the rescued daughter called the boy's mother to thank her and her son. As they got to talking about their children, the mother of the rescued daughter told how she was nurse and recounted the tremendous love that a recently deceased patient of hers had for his sons. She had spent much time with this man listening to stories about his sons in his final days and lamented that he wouldn't be there for them. Her patient was none other than Joe Dixon!
The Doves Story
One morning while up at Airport Mesa for sunrise, I met these two ladies. They shared with me their Sedona story. A year back, on New Year's Eve, one of the ladies was walking around at night when she passed a church. Life was not working out as she had wanted. As she passed the church, the bell rung for midnight, she looked up and three doves were flying overhead and, as this happened, she said she got an inspiration to move to California.
She had the courage to honor that idea and moved with what little she had. When she got to California she had difficulty finding a job. One day, stuck in traffic, she asked God if she had made the right decision and, no sooner had the thought occurred, when three doves flew around her car. When she got home there was a job offer waiting on the answering machine.
She came to Sedona and was hanging out by the Oak Creek. She was watching a dad and son fish and when she turned her head, there were three doves flying around them. She said she then knew that Sedona was a special place and that God was always with her in the form of the three doves.
One day I had taken a group of brothers from the state of Washington out on a tour. I could tell most of them weren't really into the things I was sharing. One of the brothers came up to me during some quiet time and wanted to share his story. He told me he was a mechanic and, up to this point, he and his family had a pretty tough life. The day before, he went out on the Sedona trails by himself and told me he felt unconditional love for the first time in years. Not from a person but from nature!
This man had a moment in nature. One of the best ways for me to recharge my batteries is to go on a walk alone out on the trails and do my best to notice the natural world around me. Almost every time I will come back feeling refreshed or with a new perspective on life. So many of my guests will come to me and share how their private moments in nature were some of the most profound memories in their life.
One time, on a tour, we were talking about how nature speaks to us. We were talking specifically about animals. One of my guests said he likes to sit outside on his porch and watch all the birds in his backyard. One day he noticed a robin's nest was on the ground. A second later a baby robin came hopping along, landed on his foot and then kept going. The next day his youngest daughter told him she was getting engaged and was going to be moving out of the house. A message indeed!
Man from Minnesota
I was doing a talk on the vortexes one night when a man from Minnesota got up and shared his story. He said he didn't believe in all this vortex stuff but, the day before, he had a profound moment in nature. He said that his life had been hard recently. The day prior, he was in Flagstaff amidst all of the tall ponderosa pines. It was really windy and the trees were swaying back and forth. He looked around to make sure nobody was looking and hugged the tree. As he swayed with the tree he could feel a sense of relief come over him and he felt as if everything would start to work out for the better.
The Cat Sisters
One day I took two sisters out on tour. It was just the three of us on a winter day. I remembered the sisters because I goofed with them and called them the cat sisters because they looked like cats to me. They both agreed and I remember us sharing a great day on the land.
Fast-forward about 6 months. I'm out with some other people doing a tour when a group of 7 people walk up to where we were. One of them was one of the cat sisters and we met at one of the very places we had shared earlier. She asked if I remembered her and I said I did - for how can you forget the cat sisters? She asked if I remembered what her sister said when the three of us were standing at that spot 6 months prior and I didn't. She said her sister wanted her ashes scattered right there and, in her arms, was an urn with her sister's ashes. What are the odds that I would be standing there when she came back with her sister's ashes?
As we were talking, a hummingbird came and flew right between us, hovering about a foot from my nose. It then flew around the both of us before making a circle around the entire group of people and landing up in a pine tree.
Her sister started to cry but said they were tears of joy for she was just given a message that her deceased sister was in a good place looking after her. I know that hummingbird was there for closure.
As my tour progressed, a lady who was with us on tour and, with whom I shared the entire story with, asked me if I ever witnessed anything mystical in Sedona. I didn't say anything to her but I thought to myself - what more of a sign do you want, ma'am?
The Ojibway Story
Many couples come to Red Rock Crossing Park in Sedona to get married under the magnificence of Cathedral Rock. If you look at the middle of the rock there are two fingers sticking up, which looks like a couple standing back to back. To their left is a tall rock that looks as if a head is on top representing the person overseeing the ceremony. The tall rocks on each side represent the rocks in our life - family, friends, spirituality, etc. The whole scene conjures up the imagery of a beautiful wedding.
I shared this sacred setting on a vortex tour with a couple who were of Ojibway Indian origin. They told me that the Ojibway get married back to back. Each person has in front of them a portion of the circle which is their energy and beliefs. If you were to stand face to face you could not see behind the other person nor could they see behind you. As you stand back to back and trust the other person's view on life you then form a complete circle from which you both can see the entire picture of life.
They went on to say that we attract people into our lives that have a piece of the puzzle we don't yet understand. If we can trust them enough to allow their learning into our life then we will be one step closer to wholeness. This story shows the importance of honoring the masculine/feminine duality within yourself as a key component of healthy living. Once you can integrate this, relationships become less about a power struggle for energy than they do a loving, mutual sharing of each other.
Doug from Pittsburgh
About seven years ago I was up at Airport Mesa with a tour of people. As we were talking a man approached us. His name was Doug. He heard what we were talking about and asked if he could share his story.
He was told he had an incurable disease. He said the doctor was very negative toward him so he flipped the doctor the bird and walked out of the office. He got home and decided to take matters into his own hands. He knew he ate poorly so he hired a nutritionist the next day to bring better habits into his life.
One day, while watching T.V., he saw a program about the energies of Sedona so he took it upon himself to visit. He met a man who told him about Airport Mesa and his first visit touched him so much that he began to take many trips to Sedona. Every time he came to Sedona, while out on the land, he did a visualization exercise he learned about where he envisioned an eagle taking his disease away with every breath he took.
Doug's disease went away and he said his doctors told him he was lucky to still be alive. He now returns to Sedona from time to time to give thanks for his remarkable recovery.
Lady from Tucson
A few years ago, I took out three people from Tucson on a private tour. One of the ladies shared with me her incredible story. In 1980 she was diagnosed with melanoma, which, at the time, there was no treatment for. She was given about a year to live.
Of course she lamented for a time but then she regrouped herself. She made sure she was always with her friends and family and she did all the things that brought her joy such as taking dancing classes, as she always loved to dance. Every night, before she went to bed, she would envision little pillows around all of her bad cells and have them gently leave her body. She did this day and night.
A few years later, she went back to the doctors for a check up and they were astonished to report that her cancer was gone. The doctors said it was miraculous and she is still with us today in good health.
I'm not suggesting that positive thoughts are a replacement for western medicine but they do indeed allow us to take part in our own healing process and show us the incredible amount of power we possess.
Story of Maia and I
A few years ago, my friend Maia and I were off searching for some Indian ruins referred to as the Lost City. Well, they were aptly named because we got lost and couldn't find them or my car. It was January and I was worried as it was twilight and about to get cold.
While searching for the car, we encountered a grove of juniper trees in the shape of a near perfect circle. As we walked into the grove, both of us experienced a feeling of lightness and peacefulness. As we looked on the ground there had been either some deer or elk hanging out there as we saw animal tracks. I immediately stopped worrying and we found my car shortly thereafter.
What did we walk into? I don't know, but I would call such a spot a power spot or vortex. Animals feel it as well if not better than us as they are more aligned with the natural world.