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Feelin’ Carefree at Civana!

How can you forge a new path if you’re stuck between your old self and the person that you’re becoming? At some point, you have to decide to choose a direction. And the best way to do that is to heal—mind, body and spirit.

My Life had changed so much, so fast in the past 6 months that I barely recognized myself—and while most of the changes were good, I felt like I had emotional whiplash. I knew that it was time to get grounded and find my center. I needed to take inventory of how far I’d come, where I was currently in the present and where I was headed. So when someone on Instagram made mention of a wellness resort in a place called Carefree, Arizona, I was sold! 

Civana Wellness Resort and Spa is Four Diamond facility located just north of Scottsdale. It sits on 20 acres of land in the upscale town of Carefree, Arizona and is dedicated to the mental and physical health and well being of its guests through meditation, outdoor adventures, healing instructors, and an award winning spa.

I booked a 3 day getaway, flew into Phoenix, took the 45 minute drive to the resort and set out with an open mind to recalibrate in the middle of the Sonoran desert. The trek to the resort was serene. The red mountains, the sun and trees all gave me a preview of the peace Arizona had to offer. I arrived to check in and the lobby of the resort smelled like heaven. Aesthetically, it almost reminded me of a home decorated with a lot of love and patience. Spa water was on hand for guests to replenish their energy after being in the hot sun and the front desk reminded me about the dozens of yoga, meditation and outdoor hiking classes offered at the facility (many of them included in my stay). I decided that in keeping with the theme of stepping out of my comfort zone (which is what I’d been doing for the past year or so), that I’d book my first reiki session and aerial yoga class.

The resort grounds were gorgeous. There were butterflies everywhere! I saw it as a spiritual omen that I was on the right path toward personal growth and transformation. There were lots of cactus trees, manicured landscaping, bright buildings and a relaxing pool centered at the property. My room was simplistic with neutral tones and a huge balcony that allowed me to watch the sunrise over the mountains from the comforts of my bed and meditate in the mornings. I also received a complimentary water bottle in my room to carry to my classes and refill at the various water stations throughout the resort.

The first thing I did after settling into my room was shower and set out to get food. The resort has two restaurants: “Seed” (for breakfast and lunch) and “Terras” (for dinner). The dishes at both restaurants were very light, healthy and mostly plant based. In retrospect, it was exactly what my body needed, considering I had been overindulging before my trip. The portions were small and filling, but could use a little more flavor. The cocktails were tasty though. They even offer a “mindful mixology” class for $35, which was really cool.

It was my first full day at the resort and it was time to do a full tour of the grounds and prepare for my reiki session. Reiki is a Japanese form of energy healing. Practitioners use palm or “gentle touch therapy” to promote the consistent and unblocked energy flow to the body. It also helps to reduce stress and anxiety. I arrived at the spa dressed in leggings and a tee and was escorted to a small room for my session. I was instructed to lay face down at first and covered with blankets to ensure that I was warm and comfortable. The practitioner began to move her hands over my body, then lightly touching areas that corresponded with each of the seven chakras. I was instructed to turn onto my back as she repeated the same process. I remember her focusing her energy over my solar plexus and random thoughts began to surface of buried pain from my past. I received clarity on how I needed to reframe my past failures in order to heal and move forward. It was truly powerful.

The following day, I woke up early and headed to the yoga studio for my 8:30 aerial yoga class. I was greeted by a sweet young woman who assured me that she wouldn’t let me break anything while hanging from the ceiling upside down! Three other women joined us and I was happy that it was such a small class due to Covid. It also put me at ease to know the other women hadn’t done aerial yoga either and that I wasn’t the only “newbie”. We started with stretches, some of them included using the silks. Then, it was time to get down to business! We experimented with the “superman” and other inverted aerial poses and all I could think to myself was “This is HARD!” My entire body hurt! But I felt so exhilarated knowing that I tried something new and difficult and actually did pretty well. I guess it was all a metaphor for the journey ahead of me.

Later that evening, just before the sunset, I sat with a group on the lawn for a gratitude session. We were asked to each say one thing that we were grateful for. Some people were grateful for having a new job. Others were grateful for getting together with friends for the first time in years. It was my turn and I remember getting choked up as I expressed gratitude for the courage to begin again. I told the group that after nearly 20 years of being someone else’s employee, I decided to quit my job, become my own boss and work to inspire others.

When it was time to head out, I was not only rested and thankful for my experience at Civana, but I had a clearer picture of where I was headed. I was aware of what I still needed to work on and I knew that no matter how difficult the task, I could handle it. Sometimes a reset is just what you need to start fresh.