Let’s just say that the best plans are those laid aside.  We had an absolutely wonderful week and I apologize for not giving you the play by play I promised, but I honestly found Canyon Ranch to be more consuming than I ever expected.

It turned out to be a place where people really unplug, so about the only thing I used my cell phone for all week was to check the time – Hubby and I used the iPad to watch a movie on the flight out and then never turned it on again.  The Ranch itself actually has a “no cell phones” rule, except in specified areas, so you don’t see much technology beyond what the staff uses to help you manage your experience and, even then, it seems minimal – what stands out most when I think about any interactions with staff is how focused they were on me and making sure I had whatever I needed.

Hubby and I took full advantage of the services – health analysis, exercise motivation, nutrition advice and spa services (oh yes – LOTS of spa services 🙂 ).  I also took advantage of some of the more contemporary services – healing touch, detoxification, numerology, I even spoke with a clairvoyant – which was a first for me and an incredible learning experience.

The desert simply blew me away!!  I expected cactus, intense heat and lots of brown, and that was definitely part of it, but there was so much more.  There were flowers blooming everywhere I looked, birds singing, water flowing, and the biggest, bluest sky I believe I’ve ever laid my eyes on.

The ranch sits at the foot of the Catalinas in the Sonoran Desert and, while it was definitely hot in the late afternoon, the weather wasn’t all that bad.  I honestly think it’s hotter here at home this week than it was there!

I had the opportunity to go on a hike early Friday morning – out in the “actual” desert.  There was plant and animal life everywhere!  I accidentally tangled with a cactus (trying to take a picture of course) and had to pluck about 25-30 little spikes out of my arm where the cactus fought back (and won – I made sure I kept my distance after that).

During the hike, I also saw the rattlesnake in the photo above (definitely zoomed for this – I was getting NOWHERE NEAR that sucker) – we’d just topped a hill and were coming down the other side.  The guide, Kim, was about 8 or 10 feet ahead of me when I heard the rattle and looked up just as he stepped over a Mohave Rattle Snake crossing the path.  I was so shocked I couldn’t even shout for him to be careful – I just stood there with my mouth hanging open!!  He hadn’t even seen it, so thank goodness nobody was hurt!!  It was very exciting to say the least and, interestingly, I found out later that in Native American lore, a rattlesnake is considered powerful medicine – meaning transforming poison and, oh my, did I ever do that last week!

Health wise, I feel like I have a new lease on life.  I’m excited about eating more healthfully and I learned a TON about how to make healthy foods that look and taste delicious.  I also got some amazing advice on ways to bring cardio, strength and flexibility exercises into my life that feels totally doable – maybe even a little bit fun!

There were art classes too!!  I took a needlepoint class and made a little bookmark, I took a watercolor class and painted a dessert sunset that I’m in love with, I took a pottery class and made a funky little platter (shown above – added sky blue glaze later) and I took a terrarium class and made a tiny little desert terrarium.

I actually lost three pounds over the course of the week, but that’s sort of incidental to the way I feel right now – grounded, clear, motivated, and ready for whatever comes next.  One of the biggest things I brought home was the idea that “perfect is the enemy of good” and I’m taking that to heart.  This post is pretty unedited for me – just putting my thoughts out here without worrying so much about how it sounds or what anyone might think or any of that.  I feel like my energy has shifted dramatically because those kinds of shoulds and need-tos and must-dos seem a whole lot less urgent.  I suddenly seem to have permission to just live my life.  And that feels really good.