sedona, az

beautiful scenery, great energy, and proof that I should never again rent a car.

Just in case you didn’t know, I consider myself extremely fortunate to travel as much as I do. I never take for granted a trip, or excursion that brings me to a new place. My most recent voyage was to Sedona, Arizona for a leadership retreat.

If I’m being transparent -which I try to be most of the time- I wasn’t exactly thrilled about heading to the desert at the peak of summer. But, I’d heard spectacular things about the Red Rocks of Sedona -and I never pass up the opportunity to travel- so I booked my flight and away I went. 

Stepping off the plane into 107 degree dry heat made me long, just a for moment, for the humidity of home. Luckily I had a full line up of amazing events to distract me from that dry life.

I’m one of those “worst case scenario” people in both travel and life. I seem to have an unpleasant gift for assuming the worst possible thing will happen while traveling. Fortunately with a decent amount of travel under my belt, my paranoia has lessened. I should know that when things are going uncannily smooth, that something is about to happen. 

Enter rental car.

Everything was perfect. We stepped off the shuttle to the rental location and I was first in line. They had a car pulled up, doors open, engine turned on, A/C blasting. AND it was a brand new hybrid with those fancy push starts -yes, I find those fancy- and a turny nob gear shifter. We hit the road ahead of schedule and I vocalize my brilliant idea to get Dutch Bros Coffee and stop at a grocery store for bottled water and snacks. 

It’s all going *so* smoothly.

And then, -PLOT TWIST- I turn off the fancy push start car and realize the rental agency didn’t *actually* give me the key fob. 

Oh, and we are a solid 30 minutes from the airport at this point. 

I’ll spare you the gorgeous details of phone conversations, negotiations, uber ride back to the airport, and traffic stories.

But how did we manage to make it THAT FAR from the airport without a freaking key? Needless to say, almost three hours later we made it to Sedona and I got to see those red rocks everyone gushes about. 

Do any of y'all know about Sedona and its hype?

I didn’t. And I’m on this kick where I don’t research where I’m going/what I’m doing because I was to just experience it in that moment -a bit crunchy, I know-. I did ask just about every local I met, to explain to me what exactly these energy vortexes were. If you want to know what the hell I’m talking about, here ya go.

Whether you believe in energy lay lines or not, it is beautiful here, but my goodness, driving into Sedona was visually uneventful. Like, tumbleweed, cacti, and meh hills, uneventful. But then BAM, there they were. So naturally, my brain goes about a million miles an hour wondering about how everything formed and just general nerding out (I apologize to anyone that was in the car with me during my musings). But honestly, what else is new. 

So, after an evening of excessive amounts of water and just one prickly pear margarita, I settled in to my room with one of my favorite people that inconveniently lives literally on the other side of the country. After 12 hours of travel,  I was spent and ready to pass the eff out.

The perk of having to be up early when you’re on pacific time, is that its not early because your body is on east coast time. So waking up at 7 -yeah, I consider that early- to get ready for a group hike, was a piece of cake. 

I was equipped with water, legit sunscreen, and my goPro. The 80 or so of us randomly grouped up in three to answer some questions (favorite part of nature, biggest fear, biggest fear in our business). We hiked up and around Bell Rock (aka gorgeous) for a few hours, then headed back for our first session.

PS. The whole reason I’m over here in Sedona is for ‘work’. Some of y’all know what I do, some think you know, and some don’t. The most important thing to actually understand about this ‘job’ of mine, is that it gives me a mess of freedom to travel, work from wherever and help others.  

A lot of people in my industry operate on teams. You may have seen #TeamAnchored over the past few years, this retreat in Sedona was actually for the team that Team Anchored is under. Feel free to think of it as an umbrella. An umbrella of awesome if you will. I am fortunate as hell to be a part of this. And because I have worked hard, I am one of the top leaders and income earners of this team. That wasn’t intended to be a egotistical comment, but just a fact to show that if I -in my quirky, slightly spastic, not everyone’s cup of tea- can be a success, anyone can.  This is my third year qualifying for this event. The previous two were in Phoenix and Spokane, respectively.  

Each year was so different and I spent sometime before falling asleep last night trying to figure out what *exactly* was the distinction between the past three events. I kept returning to the fact that I have changed and grown so much as a person and a business owner. What's more, we all seem more comfortable and confident. Less feeling of that need to fit in, belong, and impress each other. This is my own impression and I could just be projecting.

I make it my mission to only fill my life with people who add value to it. I have no desire to pursue relationships for the sole purpose of having another ‘acquaintance’. I mention this because these eighty-something women are all epic. The souls that stood in the front of that room brought their A-game (which is, most likely, the only game they know), and dropped some knowledge. What continually surprises me is that none of them told us anything we didn’t already ‘know’. To get to where we all have, you have to have a very firm understanding what it means to be successful in this business. Yet, somehow, I learned so much. Maybe it was the honesty and straight talk that each of these women brought. Whatever it was, this year was different and refreshing as hell. 

I loved having so much “free time”. This is where I find we do the most collaborating, have quality conversations and really get to connect. I particularly love strategizing with a margarita in my hand, floating in a pool, on a giant inflatable flamingo. But that could totally just be me. 

And the weekend just kept getting better and better. 

I was asked -along with one of my executives- to share what it was about this past year that caused the explosive growth on our team. I always cite freedom as being my favorite part of the life that comes along with this opportunity. But seeing the women on my team, ones that I know deeply and have watched grow personally and professionally, shine and lead others, trumps the travel and time freedom. every. single. time.

Because we hadn’t had enough fun, our last activity was to go with our table (ten women) and embark on a scavenger hunt around Sedona.  We had such a blast cramming in a bathroom stall, hugging strangers, making a human pyramid, climbing a waterfall, and laughing through it all. Sadly we didn’t win ::cough:: itwasrigged ::cough:: 😉 but it was the best three hours.

Sitting on the plane, recounting all the laughs, knowledge, hugs, and sass, I feel so full. And ready to share every bit of awesomeness with my team on our next weekly video call.

So, thank you Sedona for your bright sun and positively playful vibes.