Steadily Cheyenne (my dog) and I climbed the Soldiers Pass Trail, we rounded the corner and there were the Seven Sacred Pools. On this hot, dusty day there was no water in the pools. I sat and meditated for awhile, Cheyenne made friends and shared treats with a tiny dog named Zippy and rested in the shade of a scrub pine. As we headed back down the trail we encountered two women who had some questions. The louder of the two demanded to know how far the sacred pools were. I assured her the sacred pools were just around the next corner. She asked if there was water in the pools.
“Not this time of year”, I replied.
“Are you serious? I can’t believe we hiked all this way and there’s no water. Crap, they could have told us.”
“Who could have told you?”
“The people who suggested this trail, they could have told us there was no water in the pools.”
They stomped off to go see the “dry sacred pools”.
As I walked away I had to laugh, I wanted to turn back and say something sarcastic like, “Gee I’m sorry you haven’t seen any beauty today.” But instead I practiced sending loving energy. All around these two women were some of the most incredible, majestic red rock mountains, canyons and intense blue sky. About 1/8 of a mile away they would have hiked past Devil’s Sink Hole, a huge naturally formed sink hole. They had hiked from Jordan Road which meant they had been on several of the best trails in Sedona! What I realized was in their search for the “Seven Sacred Pools” they had likely missed the sacredness on their journey.
It reminded me of the weekend I went to a Women’s Spiritual Retreat outside of Tucson. On Saturday morning the leader told us to go out on the land and find our sacred spot. There we were to draw a circle to sit within and meditate. Prior to this I had a phone call from a client. He was very upset, demanding to know what I was doing to sell his home, what was my plan and where was I anyway. One of my better clients, we had become friends as well as business associates. He had never treated me this way and I was shocked, embarrassed, hurt and frustrated. I contemplated returning home early from the retreat. I chose to do my meditation and then decide if I would go home.
As I walked the land looking for my “sacred spot” I was lost in worry about my client. The conversation played over and over in my head, fretting and fuming I stomped along. Suddenly I heard the unmistakable sound of a rattlesnake. Similar to the sound of a locust, once you’ve heard a mad rattler you recognize the difference. I stopped in my tracks and looked around to determine its location. There about one foot in front of me, at the base of a large Saguaro was a coiled rattler, but she was the strangest looking rattler I’ve ever seen. Pale peach in color with light diamonds on her back she was an Albino, pretty rare even in rattlesnake country. I’m not afraid of snakes and rattlers are not particularly aggressive, so I backed up a step or two and asked her if she had a message for me. “BE HERE NOW!” ‘Be here now’?, I questioned. And then I got it. Wrapped up in my worry over the client, I was mentally and emotionally back in Scottsdale. My body may have been in the desert but my mind and heart were not.
The sacred experience I was searching for had been preempted by my worry and concern. Had I taken one more unaware step I would have most likely been struck by the rattlesnake. I thanked the Albino rattlesnake for her wisdom, came back into my body and moved on to find my sacred spot by the creek. For the rest of the weekend I practiced “Being here now”, enjoying the sacred circle, community meals, sweat lodge, beautiful music and songs, and my own deep communion with Spirit.
I hold the lesson of the rattlesnake in very high regard and think of her often when I succumb to worry or frustration.
- How much time do you waste on worry?
- How much time do you waste on making up negative stories?
- Have there been times you missed the sacred moment because your focus was elsewhere?
- What are sacred moments for you?
- How can you have more sacred moments?
- What can you use to remind you to be here now?
- If only for today, how can you BE HERE NOW?
- I invite you to gift yourself at least one sacred moment or minute or hour per day. YOU DESERVE IT! Spirit lives to gift you sacred moments every day!