Pros and Cons of Being On My Own

IMG_2168I signed up for Rita’s Sacred Earth Walk, a guided stroll designed to help people experience the magic of the desert. Rita Faruki is a teacher here in Sedona who views her work as helping people come back into balance and harmony with Nature. (1) Besides walks through the desert, this remarkable teacher gives sessions in drumming and Shamanism, practices she learned while living as a school teacher with the Navajo. I feel so fortunate to be here, at this time in my life: a time when I’m attempting to find a new way of life, one that’s just right for me.



On this particular morning, I find Rita waiting with an American couple. The three of us will share Rita’s guidance. The woman, like me, has a lung condition. We are a compatible trio. At the end of our walk, I offer to sit with her while her husband gets the car. She is beyond exhausted by our gentle pace.

The two of us take a seat at a picnic table overlooking the distant red hills. I mention to her what Rita said to me about lung disease. In Chinese medicine it’s believed to be caused by sadness and frustration at not being able to do what you are drawn to in your life. When Rita first said that to me I thought of all the trips and experiences when I had wanted to take in events that didn’t interest my husband. When you travel with a spouse or another being, you have to compromise.

As I said this, the woman doubled over in shocked recognition of her own situation.

“You’re so lucky to be free to do whatever interests you. I’m so frustrated. My husband just yawns and shrugs at most of the things I want to do. This walk is one of the few things we both agreed on.”

Oh, oh, I think to myself, what have I set off? I warn her that my sort of freedom also means being alone. I wouldn’t want to leave her with the impression that freedom comes without a cost. Her husband seems like a caring partner.

Actually, although there is a price to pay for picking and choosing my personal interests without regard for another, I’m still glad I’m on my own. I’m free to explore Medical Qui Gong, relationships with trees and the famous Sedona Vortexes without having to deal with someone else’s disapproval and skepticism. My own Inner Critic’s resistance to these opportunities is trouble enough. 



Another Sedona teacher I’m learning from is Julie Engsberg.(2) Julie introduced me to Medical QuiChong. Medical Qi Gong is related particularly to wellness issues. I wonder if it will benefit my lungs. Western medicine considers my condition chronic. QuiChong offers routines for whatever ails you. It promises to increase the Qi (Chee) flow to my lungs and, thus, improve my breathing. What’s the harm, I ask myself.

I really like the QiGong routine that’s said to help the aging brain. This “medicine” balances right and left brain by moving Qi through the brain. Is it my imagination or is it real? I feel smarter and my memory seems improved after following the prescribed practice. Long ago, when I was a trauma therapist, I came to believe in the healing power of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a therapy that became main stream because it worked. At first, it seemed just as strange as medical QiGong. What’s more, medical QiGong is available on the internet. You don’t need a practitioner to benefit from it.

To contact either Rita or Julie:

Rita Faruki, (928) 963-1146:

Julie Engsberg, (928) 399-9631:

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