My Takeaways: Canyon Ranch 2017

Hi guys!

I wanted to check back in and write a little bit about my recent trip to a resort called Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona.

When telling my friends that I was going to a resort for spring break, I described it similar to the one in High School Musical 2; the Lava Springs. After my trip, I noted that the main difference was that there weren’t any wild Javelinas strolling around Lava Springs. At Canyon Ranch, it wasn’t unusual to witness a Javelina scurrying across the path to join its friends while they were snacking on some freshly fallen Mesquite beans.

It’s hard to believe how much we did during our three day stay. We took Zumba classes, cardio workouts (deadly), yoga, meditation, boxing, cooking classes, drumming, and art classes. I know, what a variety! All I can say is, by the end of this trip, my muscles ached but my mind was a ease.

I had tried some meditation at school before (my photography teacher made us meditate for the first five minutes of each class), but I had never really felt centered while meditating. It was mostly just more time for me to continue stressing about the math test I took the period before.

From going to some classes, I saw what meditation really was and I experienced its benefits.

A lot of people think that meditating is the absence of thoughts. While this is quite intriguing, it’s not completely the case. Meditation is about noticing the thoughts that come into your brain, acknowledging them, and letting them go.

Thoughts are natural, and aren’t meant to be looked at as a bad thing in meditation.

Something that really helped me with centering mediation was breathing, and focusing my attention to each breath and how it felt. In my head, I thought of the words rising, for inhale, and falling, for exhale.

Another option is to visualize scenes in your head while you meditate. It’s nice to think things that go well with the words, rising and falling, such as tides in the ocean. Of course, this is not the only way to meditate, and I would encourage you to find out what works for you.

Although meditation may seem intimidating, it really isn’t. It’s just a time that you can set aside to relax and de-stress. And remember, thoughts are not bad, acknowledge them, and move on.

On another, more upbeat note, my mom and I tried ZUMBA! We had so much fun that we’re planning on taking more classes back at home.

It was refreshing to bust out our most crazy-funny moves, and nobody was judging us. In the end, people were more focused on their own reflection in the mirror.

My mom and I ended up taking a total of four different art classes! We learned how to make whimsical paper flowers, how to draw realistically (or somewhat realistically), how to paint with watercolor, and how to make collaged jewlery.

With the brush in my hand, a set of watercolor paints, and a white page in front of me, I let my imagination run wild and put my own creation on paper.

But first, if I’m being totally honest, I actually felt quite anxious. The questions of what I should do and how to make it look good ran through my brain. I didn’t know where to start. Once I realized that I could make mistakes, and whatever I was creating was my own creation, I let the brush do its work.

A few strokes turned into an outline of a hill in the distance, and then soon enough, I created a finished desert landscape.

I didn’t know that I could make something like that with watercolor, and now I’m definitely inspired to do some more watercolor back home!

Although I’m by no means a pro, here’s a tip for any newbies to watercolor.

TIP: Make sure to have a blow dryer in hand to dry your piece during the painting process. Dry each layer before adding another if you don’t want the colors to bleed into each other or blend.

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When my mom and I saw collaged jewelry in the class selection booklet, we knew we had to go!

I’ve always been interested in jewelry making, but I never knew how to make it. This ended up being a perfect jewelry craft for beginners, and it’s great craft for a party.

TIP: If you’re trying to re-create these necklaces, make sure that you don’t use magazine paper! My mom’s design totally bled from the glue 😦

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This trip was packed, literally with classes every hour, and we only took breaks for meals (which were super healthy by the way…they don’t use added salt!). I’m happy to come back home with a bag of new things that I’d like to try, and a new perspective on caring for my well being.

Healing comes from listening and loving your body.