The sound was so foreign it was uncomfortable. The feeling was so unexpected it was startling.  The incline on my “hike” to the “top” was so gradual I had insisted on jogging instead of just taking my time to absorb the remarkable forest thriving in the valley of mountainous red rocks around me. When I made it the clearing and sat still, the silence and fresh air was overwhelming me to the point of agitation. (Think about it, when was the last time you sat in absolute silence?) At this point, I committed to relaxing and waiting patiently. Finally, in one deep exhale, the sensation washed over me. Peace, that is. This is what it looks like, this is what it feels like, this is the magic of Sedona.

 

 

Camp for me was not a tent, but instead The Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo spa nestled at the base of the mountains. I know what you’re thinking, but experiencing nature doesn’t have to be about “roughing it.” I have found you can enjoy natural elements on many different levels in different parts of life, even your daily routine.

 

 

Rated one of Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” in 2011, Enchantment Resort is truly unique because the owners have captured the spirit of the Native American culture and give you the opportunity to use it to fuel your introspection. The understated, natural aesthetic of the property creates a comfortable environment so you can nourish your body, mind, and spirit in ways that might be foreign and even startling to you. See the video tour of my casa

 

 

With the backdrop of the massive red rocks and crystal blue sky, the resort itself provides anything and everything you could ever want to physically do to explore and relax. I tried mountain biking for the first time. 

 

 

Even though I’m adventurous and athletic, I was terrified of falling off the bike, eating a mouthful of rocks, and losing all of my perfectly placed teeth … to the point of screaming like a little girl. But of course, at the end of my ride, I felt satisfied in a way I haven’t in a long time. Next, I laid by the pool and escaped into a book I had been trying to read for months. Later, I decided I wanted more from the day and played tennis with another guest. 

 

I never got tired of the amazing views. Tennis, on the other hand, wore me out finally. At 6 p.m., a massage restored my muscles and allowed me to reflect on my day (before completely surrendering to daydream). Under a star-filled sky, I ended the day with the most unbelievably complex and satisfying quinoa dish these lips have ever tasted. You can try Chef Corey's recipe for Zucchini Rolls with Blackberry Compote (pictured below) for yourself.

 

 

Chef Corey Shoemaker at the Mii Amo café has truly mastered the art of cooking healthy without sacrificing flavor. Watch the videos for an easy way to peel citrus fruits and tips on how to brighten up meals you already love

 

 

Sitting outside of town on an Indian reserve, the property is completely different from the Hilton and other hotels I passed in town. Charming would imply they might have contrived the energy; enchanting truly captures their effort to enhance the beauty of the mountains and allow us entry to explore their glory.

 

If I had more time to spend in Sedona, I would have absolutely booked one of the resort’s three, five, or seven-day soul-searching journeys in the seclusion of the Mii Amo compound that houses only 16 rooms (above). I feel like I’m constantly running around and never able to focus on ME. When I saw the word “customizable” on the menu of journeys I was thankful they understood we all want and need different things.

 

 

Reading this article again, I realize words can’t fully describe why these activities I can do anywhere in the world have more meaning in Sedona … they say the majesty of the red rocks creates an energy vortex. The Native Americans idolize it; the locals believe it; as each day passed, I did too. I am thankful for the clarity of mind I found once I let go of myself and grabbed onto the Sedona energy. I’ll be back for that escape hopefully sooner rather than later.

 

If you waant to experience Sedona for yourself, here's the hotel info:

The Enchantment Resort

www.enchantmentresort.com

800-826-4180

525 Boynton Canyon Road, Sedona, Ariz. 86336

 

* * *

 

Mary Rambin is the founder of lifestyle blog, MoreThanMary.com. Follow her on twitter @MaryRambinFacebook and tumblr.