I met a shaman in Utah

Red Mountain UtahDuring my quick trip to the Red Mountain Spa in hippy-dippy St. George, Utah, I had a one-track mind: to visit their shaman who I’d heard so much about from my friend Diana. Betina was a calm soul with a smile that lit up the room. I enjoy trying these spiritual treats and never turn down a touch of magic. (This was just a few months after trying hypnotherapy for the first time.) So I walked into Betina’s suite with an eager, open mind. The sweeping southwest landscapes were the perfect backdrop for this kind of adventure– being surrounded by miles and miles of untouched earth put me immediately into a peaceful state of mind.

Like most women in their 30s, I’m willing to bet, I am interested in being lighter, of scraping away the bitterness that comes from too many bad dates and working too hard for too many years. Betina likes to visualize this by explaining that you still have the “child you” inside, and when things don’t go right, when you get dumped or fired or whatever else, she’s the one who takes it all in. And so I went on a journey to save my inner child and feel lighter and free.

Red Mountain Utah

Red Mountain’s round buildings are barely visible on the peaceful grounds.

I actually found this especially interesting because I have indeed been talking about my younger self recently. During my two years of unemployment, I worked on a dating book that ultimately didn’t get off the ground. But the research was fascinating — and my friend and I were focused on learning to date like the carefree women we were in our early 20s, but with the knowledge we know now.

While I was living in Costa Rica, I did a lot of reading on intention and changing the mind to get what you want. Upon my return, I unpacked a letter I had received during my confirmation at church, when I was just 13. The reading was almost exactly what I had been studying so furiously.

If only it had sunk in more when I was younger!

Red Mountain Utah

Taking a break under the red Red Mountain.

I’ve also been doing yoga now for more than 10 years, and one of the main parts of class is always your intention. So I am always thinking of what I want in life, of that day, of the near future, usually starting off with someone along the lines of “I hope that.” But Betina had me take that one step further:

Every single morning for 28 days I am to show gratitude for the things I want as if they have already happened.

This made me have a flashback to some class at church, and I have no idea what age I was, of being told to thank God every single day for not only what happened that day but for what is going to happen — because God has already viewed all the days of our lives.

Once again, I was re-learning what I already knew.

I greatly enjoyed this trip down memory lane. What a reminder that whatever spiritual journey you are on, we really are on the same path. I’ve been on somewhat of a spiritual rampage these past few years, dipping into any- and everything. And yet, the ideas and concepts are the same.

Red Mountain Utah

We are all on the same path.

Furthermore, Betina said I was sharpening a sword getting ready for something huge. So look out, world!

What future gifts are you grateful for today?

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. what a gorgeous post, Abby. I love the message of giving thanks for 28 days for things you want as if you already have them. And so true about the child in each of us watching us as we each go through our own trials and tribulations. All wise people seem say that bliss is always just one thought a way for any of us, and that we are all far more connected and powerful than we know. Love this!

  2. … and yeah, we all seem to have to learn the same lessons over and over. I’ve got theories on this.. Let’s go visit some red rocks sometime and we’ll talk all about it 🙂

  3. YES, let’s!! Thank you — I am so happy you liked it. I can’t wait to hear your theories!

  4. Betina is amazing. You are amazing. I am so glad we were able to go up there together and you were able to meet with her. 🙂 You have such amazing things coming up!!! xoxoxo

  5. Beautiful, Abby!

    Intention and gratitude are two things I try to be aware of each and every day. When I’m successful, it has a dramatic impact on the vibe I bring (and, therefore, the outcome of the day).

  6. Reminds me a little of Rhonda Byrne, the author of The Secret, I haven’t read the book but a friend of mine is religiously in admiration. I definitely need to do some mental exercise, I think I would handle my everyday stress much better than I do now..

  7. We sometimes foget about the beauties and all that has been given us! it’s easier to complain rather than to be grateful for all that we have! Luckily there is someome who remind us about it! You’ve been very lucky Abby! Have a great time!

  8. Thoughtful comments to wake up to. 🙂

    Angela, it did totally remind me of the Secret!

  9. I’ve read about the philosophy that says to be grateful for something that hasn’t yet happened, firmly believing it will happen. Interesting – but very easy to forget on a daily basis. Nice reminder, Abby 🙂

  10. I’m one of those people who do yoga, but without the intention or meditation. I know that I’m missing something. Thanks for the food for thought in this post.

  11. I’m so glad I read your post today. You always have such inspiring and positive words. I wish I could remember to do the daily thanks like it has already happened, but sometimes I let the negativity take over. I think I’m in serious need of meeting your shaman. Utah is just a short flight away!

    This sounds like such a great experience for you and I’m really happy to see that you are doing well. 🙂

  12. Sounds like an amazing experience and a lesson many should assume. I’m so glad for you – and for this chance you had to meet a real shaman!

  13. I’m so happy you ladies were as inspired by Betina as I was!

  14. I like this hippy dippy place, I have no sense of US geography to figure out if I could incorporate it into my road trip this summer.

  15. Is Vegas included on this road trip???!

  16. Sounds like the perfect experience at the right time. By the way, that is a great photo of you.

  17. What a beautiful experience. I feel better just reading this 🙂 It’s funny how simple it is sometimes. I’m going to try the 28 days of gratitude. I’ll let you know how it works out.

  18. Thanks, Stephanie! I never feel cute in “sporty” clothes!

    Pete, I think that’s wonderful. 🙂

  19. Great post. Intention always needs to be sincere for it to work. And you have accomplished that well. I admire your open mind and I hope you carry that on with your life. Good luck with everything!

  20. Sadly I think my younger self was just as focused and uptight as my current self! But in theory this sounds like a relaxing and freeing trip 🙂

  21. A lot of good spirituality in this post!

  22. You are so brave and courageous to keep trying new things like this. 🙂 I love it!!! I am looking forward to a healed relationship with rellies of mine. That (would) WILL be precious to me. 🙂

  23. I would one day like to be a shaman. It probably pays more than blogging.

  24. Oooh I’m really excited to find out what big thing is coming up in your life. I would love to go to a shaman like that. It sounds so enlightening.

  25. Lovely post Abby! I do think it makes such a difference to your life when you start viewing the glass as half full rather than half empty – just recognizing the things we already have and being grateful for those. Because the reality is, once we get what we want, most of us set our sights on the *next* thing we want – meaning we’re *never* satisfied because the goal post keeps shifting. So the whole gratitude thing is really key if you ever want to be happy!

  26. What a fascinating journey – I would love to try something like this. Such a great gift to yourself =)

  27. I love how you always have such an open mind going into these kinds of things and you’re always willing to try new spiritual adventures like this!

  28. What a cool experience! I would love to visit a shaman and interesting how we need to keep re-learning the same lessons over and over again. I’m grateful for so many things, 2012 is turning out to be my best year ever for travel for which I am incredibly grateful.

  29. I loved this post! Sometimes we need to grow or mature before certain lessons really sink in. I’d never thought of expressing gratitude for things you want but don’t have yet…that’s a very cool concept. I bet it feels weird at first, but I’m willing to try it!

  30. Wow – beautiful post – You talked of the desire to be lighter and I can relate to that so much. I love the idea of being grateful for things as if they have already happened. It is so easy to become overwhelmed by wants and desires and disappointments that everything becomes jumbled up and confused and I think doing an exercise like that would help to clarify things a bit, help to keep focus on what needs focus to grow.

    thanks for your words – they were a great reminder to me.

  31. Gratitudes help to keep me grounded keep the crazies (worry, insecurity, fear) away. Lovely post.

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