I Stepped into the VORTEX

(9 minute read)

I traveled into the vortex. It may sound like the start of a science fiction novel. Maybe you are envisioning a tunnel of spinning bright lights swirling round and round. Or perhaps you have a son like mine who has shown you fractals on his computer screen that remind you of looking through a kaleidoscope, patterns of colored shapes repeating indefinitely. Is this the vortex that your mind is conjuring up? Maybe you are remembering the movie Twister and the vortex of wind pictured inside the center of the tornado that can suck up a cow or automobile, or the time traveling Scottish stone circle in the Outlander series. Perhaps your travels across the globe have brought you to places like the Great Pyramid of Egypt or Machu Picchu in Peru, where the vortex phenomenon is invisible but mysterious. A vortex of energy. Transformative energy.

     It was not necessary for me to fly to the other side of the planet to find this vortex, just across a few states from Virginia to Arizona. The trip to the vortex in Sedona was indeed an energy transforming excursion. From what I learned from the abundant literature for tourists visiting Sedona, a vortex is believed to be a special spot on the earth where energy is entering into and projecting out of the surface. This spiritual energy is supposedly healing and transformative. Some even say a tingling sensation can be felt if one stands still inside of the vortex. People travel from afar to not only witness the majestic beauty of the high desert mesas, but also to check out the vortex energy. Who doesn’t want a little positive energy, right?

    Leading up to my trip my energy was anything but positive. I was a nervous wreck about flying and driving through an unseasonal winter storm that happened to be sliding right over the Sedona region for the duration of our stay. Winter weather advisory, hazardous road conditions, low visibility, flights cancelled, etc… None of those words are comforting to hear when packing for a trip you planned months ago when you envisioned hiking in shorts and short sleeves in 65 degree afternoons. Having lived in Virginia and Connecticut, I should not be so nervous in the snow; but that is because all it takes for me to cancel plans and stay in pajamas all day is a little snow flurry. I was one of those who ran to the grocery store for milk and diapers if a Nor’easter was coming our way. Needless to say, my energy was off the chart negative, stressed out, and riddled with worry. Just the way one should travel into a vortex if they are in need of transformation. I also did my part in spreading my negative energy to my traveling counterparts. My sisters in California tried to stay upbeat and tell me I was worrying for no reason, that 90 percent chance of snow left a good 10 percent chance that the storm would miss us. I did my best and was successful in bringing them into my own negative energy vortex. A great start to a transformative weekend.

   Guess what? The storm did not arrive into Sedona as all the weather forecasters warned. In fact, the skies were a brilliant blue and the sun came out to warm the high desert to a comfortable 50 degrees. We hiked in long sleeves, peeling off our outer layers as the temperatures rose. It was fantastic. We were surrounded by the most amazing red rock mesas. Agave (which I learned are related to and look like asparagus) and prickly pear (that taste great in a pink Cadillac margarita) were scattered here and there across the red clay soil. There are not enough words to describe the scene. Awesome is a word I use pretty liberally (since I am originally a California girl); Sedona is most deserving of the word awesome. With names like Devil’s Bridge and Cathedral Rock, how can they not be awesome?

    A strange thing happened the moment we stepped foot onto the Teacup Trail next to Coffee Pot mountain across the street from our rented vacation home. A shift in my mood. I kept expecting the storm to move in any minute as the blanket of clouds seen from my airplane window hovered somewhere above Arizona. It was biting cold, even in our coats, hats and gloves, as we just walked a little bit to take in the scenery after our long day of travel. We passed by a man that was barefoot and standing still with his eyes closed in a meditative state. I laughed inside, “Here we go. The granola hippie energy seekers I expected to see.” About a hundred yards further up the trail I stopped and turned around to look back down the trail. It hit me. Out of breath from the altitude. But also a shift in my energy. I made it here safely. I was standing in the most beautiful natural topography our country has to offer. I was with family and friends. An openness and optimism I had not felt in days washed over me.

    From that point on I embraced every new experience on the trip with eyes wide open and a willingness to check it all out. The New Age store with crystals and stones, the massages, the hiking, the crossing a creek by stepping on rocks, and the wild Pink Jeep ride.  I leapt into each unfamiliar activity without trepidation. (Did need a bit of Dramamine for the bumpy jeep ride). I laughed my tail off holding on for dear life as we defied gravity up and down those steep rocks. The jeep took us to the top of the mesa, where I should have been scared (as I am of heights). Instead, I stood there with the wind at my back and circle around me, strong enough to blow off my cap but not enough to sweep me off of the rock into the deep canyon far below. I was not afraid. I felt open to the positive energy. The rock formation in front of me was called “Two Sisters” and on the other side was “Cathedral Rock.”

    Earlier that day we were on a short hike to find the vortex. Our tourist map had shown a strong vortex near the tiny Sedona airport. We walked and kept wondering, “Are we there yet?” Finally we decided to simply find a spot to sit in silence and see if we could feel the vortex that we were supposedly in. I sat on a flat rock and closed my eyes (even though the view was gorgeous looking down on the Sedona valley below). I did not feel any tingling sensation. I felt relaxed. I did not feel worried or concerned about the upcoming travel day or the forecasted snow for that upcoming travel day. I simply felt at peace.

  We asked a local about the vortex later that day. “Where is it exactly?” He said that there are certain spots where some people say it is felt stronger, but that the energy vortex is actually considered to be present in all of Sedona. It is described as a state of relaxation and openness. Supposedly the benefit of connecting with the vortex energy can have lasting impact long after leaving Sedona. It is real. I am living proof that transformative energy inside that vortex exists. I am keenly aware of activities that lift my spirits or provide me with peace and balance: sitting out with my chickens on the bench, walking the dogs without listening to anything but the rustling of leaves, and reading by the fire under a fuzzy blanket. So I am certain that my energy transformed. I did not need the $10 mood ring from the New Age store to tell me that. I felt the impact of the Sedona vortex deeply.

   This blog piece was written about a special trip celebrating a special person. My sister turns 60 on Thursday. She gathered together several of her close friends and sisters to meet up in Sedona. What a fitting location to enter into this next decade of her life. Susan, I love you and wish you long lasting positive energy from what you soaked up in the Sedona vortex!


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