Sedona, Arizona

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Sedona, Arizona

“Wow Even the rocks in Sedona meditate!” Ilchi Lee

Plan to be amazed.  As the sun started to set, the red rocks started to glow in the light.  We sat on the hotel terrace restaurant with Mexican food and margaritas, watching the color of the sky change with rocks. I would have forgotten that there was a Corona virus except for the masked waiters. 

As you drive through the mountains to enter the town, you can clearly see the outlines of Sedona because of the distinct shift between the typical brown/beige desert surroundings to the intense red color of these rocks.  

 We had a very different  trip planned the week everything closed for quarantine in March to the Mii Amo spa in Sedona.

This time we were masked and social distancing so the spa was out of the question for us.  Everyone else was using it. The most dramatic red rocks of Sedona’s Boynton Canyon  set the tone for an experience beyond compare.

  Enchantment Resort is a little pricey but there isn’t a more beautiful hotel to stay in.

When we arrived it was crowded and no one was wearing masks, except the staff. It felt unsafe as far as the virus was concerned. All the rooms have beautiful views of the red rocks so just hanging out on your terrace is amazing. The rooms are “casitas” and have both a kitchenette with a table and an outdoor table and grill. You have different options for  room service both cooked and ‘raw” if you want to do it yourself.  Somehow with all the different hikes, spa treatments and activities that they have,  we were able to avoid crowds of people and eat in all the restaurants at off hours, hike, walk and feel safe.  Doing yoga, qi gong and meditation on the terrace facing the red rocks was a spiritual experience.

  The Bf was off hiking and mountain biking.

The activities at Enchantment were limited because of safety. There were no large classes or group hikes. You had to hike on your own or hire a private guide.

Our guide was George, a 76 year old Apache who started the mountain biking experience and cut many of the trails that people hike on.

There was no one more concerned with masks and social distancing than George – except for me. He was horrified by all the hikers who don’t wear masks.

With his Apache spirit he guided them away from us and made us wait for the air to clear when a group passed by.

It was a special treat to see “The land of the red skin” with him.

And then there are the stars. Sedona has strict rules about lighting at night because the skies are ablaze with stars. Being a city girl, the night skies are one of the marvelous splendors of the area. 

We will definitely come back to Sedona to have the full experience when this is over. But during these uncertain times, finding beauty is a necessity. 

Stay safe,

JAZ

Things I Have Learned from Yoga, Qi Gong and Tai Chi

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Things I Have Learned from Yoga, Qi Gong and Tai Chi

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. “Eckhart Tolle

There are many studies about how Yoga, QI Gong (a form of Tai Chi) and Tai Chi can improve your health. People have been doing it for thousands of years so it must have some benefits. I’ve been doing it regularly in quarantine and have not had any of my usual health problems so there might be something to it. Here is what I have learned so far.

Look at everything-not just one thing.
Did you ever notice how people can look at the same thing and see something totally different? Learning to see something from all sides, without judgement, to see beyond our own assumptions is something to strive for – especially the way the world is now.

Change hands-change responsibilities.
You can’t change your circumstances but you can change how you look at them.

Is a balance posture strength or submission?
We look for balance to live a life of quality. A balance posture requires steady feet, a steady mind and a sense of weight control. It isn’t one thing. It takes both strength and letting go to balance in the posture and in life.

Your speed does not matter. How far forward you can go does not matter. Forward is Forward. Your speed at doing anything is personal. Sometimes a slower pace will get you further. There’s always a pace you’d rather be experiencing, but it might not be what’s really happening right now.

You are not going to master every movement in one day, master what you can in a day and just keep doing it. Persistence is the only guarantee to master anything. Feeling defeated is also part of mastery.

Focus on the movement not the results. Whether good or bad the focus is always on the action itself. As humans we are not always satisfied with our present circumstances. We believe that only through results can we secure a pathway for a better future. Things in life may not actually turn out the way you want to. Be happy that you are working to achieve your goal.

Breathe in and out and be available to what unfolds.
We don’t always have to have a plan.

Move slowly with intention.
It is true that ”slow and steady” wins the race. You won’t miss out on anything by doing it mindfully.

We do the same thing day after day. Each day is a different day and each side is a different side. There is always more to be found by exploring the same thing over and over.

Where can we let go? Sometimes you have to let go because things are too heavy to carry with you. It can take just as much strength to let go as to hold on.

When two or more gather together, the practice is more powerful.This comes from the Bible. “When two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” We find it in Mathew 18:20 .The idea that is commonly promoted is that if there are two or more people gathered together who agree on something, and they ask God for it in prayer, then he will answer their request. Sounds like a plan. We can use all the help we can get these days. We are better, together.

Stay safe,

JAZ

The  Best And Worst Thing About Quarantine With A Little Help From My Friends

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The  Best And Worst Thing About Quarantine With A Little Help From My Friends

“The best way out is always through.”  Robert Frost

BEST: I’m doing qi gong, yoga and meditation and a beach walk every day. It is helping my anxiety and I sleep great. WORST:  I cancelled two trips and I’m not traveling.  JZ

BEST is cleaning my desk, watching great tv and finally finishing a series. WORST is not being able to hug & kiss my kids, missing my friends and working out in a gym! EH

BEST is being with my dog 24/7. WORST is cooking three meals a day for my husband. SR

 BEST is that I don’t have to get dressed up and put on makeup to go to work. WORST is not going out to eat, to the movies, a play or concert with friends and not having home cooked Sunday dinners with my kids.  Oh and not having my housekeeper!  JL

BEST is pretty easy.  My immediate family and girlfriend are here all day.  WORST is my fears for people who are facing huge problems  and also some personal health fears.  Just thinking about the worst list makes me sense my blood pressure increasing.  LA

BEST is catching up with friends and relatives virtually. Also more time for reading, Spring cleaning and watching Netflix. WORST is not going to movies, the Grove, shopping, church, and hugging friends. EM

BEST:  As an extrovert, I was delightfully surprised to find that I no longer suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), because there’s not much to Miss Out on.  Instead, I can be fully present and do one thing at a time. WORST: My husband has “underlying health conditions” that make true isolation necessary for him, which means I have to be extremely careful, too.  So my time outside is limited. LM

BEST is getting a lot of sleep, having the time to try new recipes and beauty products and catching up on movies.WORST is being alone, stuck at home and not seeing, hugging or kissing friends and family. It is worrying about losing jobs, money and the future. NC

BEST is remembering what I am thankful for.  WORST is thinking that I will never travel again.TN

BEST is eating good food and watching good movies and TV shows.WORST is not seeing my friends and getting fat. DB

BEST is the confirmation that I definitely married the person in the world I would most like to be quarantined with. WORST is the constant low-level non-specific anxiety.  LO

BEST  is that I am finally getting rid of shit in my house.WORST is that I can’t spend time with my mom.This Sunday is her 95th Birthday. SF

BEST  is spending all this time with my boyfriend, just the two of us.WORST  (aside from missing personal grooming – Brazilian wax, fillers etc) is not getting together with friends for a meal. CL

BEST is getting to sleep later in the morning  and reading the whole NY Times. I’m even doing the Friday and Saturday crossword puzzles.  Also, having the time to reconnect with people in my life that I haven’t seen or heard from in a long time.WORST is that I miss seeing the people in my life. Zoom just doesn’t cut it after a while. HM

BEST is slowing down and having time to do a new project.WORST is isolation. MU

 BEST is that life is way simpler and more meaningful. Time is slower and faster and I am more aware of how precious life is and that what really matters most doesn’t need a new pair of shoes, dress or anything else to make it special.WORST is not being able to touch, hug and kiss family and friends. My daughter is pregnant and I worry about her. DG

 BEST Being with my family all the time.WORST Being with my family all the time MA

BEST is learning to cook.WORST is having the Corona Virus. AA

Thanks for the help.

Stay Safe,

JAZ

Covid 19 – The Best Thing That Has Happened To My Dog

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Covid 19 – The Best Thing That Has Happened To My Dog

My dog  has waited his whole life for this moment in time. His dream come true is that we now have the same life and spend every moment together. 

We sleep in.

We have breakfast together.

We go for a walk every morning. 

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We do Yoga.

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 We get a new Corona hair style.

We meditate/nap.

We do sports

We  cook at home and have delicious table scraps every night. 

We get into bed and watch TV.

We go to sleep.

We start over again tomorrow.

Stay safe,

JAZ

 

 

Stay safe,

JAZ

Corona Days

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Corona Days

“She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring.”  Zelda Fitzgerald

It is twenty something days in. I often lose track of what day of the week it is as every day is the same. I’ve developed a bit of a corona schedule for my day. They are not always  in this order and sometimes I mix it up – nor do I always get up at 8. 

8:00  Breakfast and internet time. I try to work on my blog for a bit but not traveling makes it more difficult. Play some scrabble. 

9:30  ZOOM Yoga every Friday with Michelle Azar Aron or her face book yoga  on other days.  I haven’t done yoga in a year and a half and I can feel it. I try to switch off every other day with Pilates so it doesn’t hurt so much.

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/351065504?pwd=SnV3UzIxd2xVNS9ieUp0aGtHNkJWQT09

Meeting ID: 351 065 504 Password: 914811

11:00 Tai Chi / Qi Gong with Olivia Rosewood. Olivia is doing a 15 minute Qi Gong Tai Chi warm up which is a great way to start the day. 

https://www.facebook.com/oliviarosewood

11:30 if I can get it to work, I do another twenty minutes of QI Gong breathing  with Samuel Barnes on his face book page .

12:00  Spend time brushing my dogs hair because he is starting to get matted and dreadlocks are forming. After, we go out on the deck and run around. Today i spoke to a nice man at Mobile Groomers who told me what tools and shampoo to buy to detangle my dog and taught me what to do. This should be interesting.  He felt that cutting the nails and expressing  the anal glands was above my skill level. He was right. Soon I will learn how to color my own hair.

12:30 Lunch  is whatever we have in the house. It usually involves peanut butter.

1:00 I am taking this Yale class online.. It is an interesting time to be taking it but when do you have this kind of time? It is called The Science Of Well Being and I’m really enjoying it. I spend one to two hours a day on it.

https://www.businessinsider.com/coursera-yale-science-of-wellbeing-free-course-review-overview

2:00 This  is a good time to get  dressed or at least change into a different pair of sweat pants,  clean up the house and make the bed.

3:00 We go for a walk with the dog on the beach or  the Speedway. The Speedway is less windy but more crowded with bikers and skateboarders. It is easier to navigate the six feet thing there than on our less crowded but very narrow streets. Everyday we have more  and more quarantine gear. Almost everyone is wearing masks now. The bikers freak me out because they come so close. It feels good to get out of the house. 

4:30 Meditate for half an hour. 

5:30 Treadmill and some TV for half an hour. We don’t walk so fast because I have a little dog who likes to stop a lot.  I’m binge watching the Gilmore Girls- anything light  and mindless to avoid the constant corona virus news coverage. 

6:00 Check in on family and friends – some I haven’t seen in a long time but I find myself thinking about people and wondering how they are doing.

7:00 Dinner.  The BF has taken on the quarantine cooking challenge and our dinners are always creative and delicious. We have made it more interesting by comparing dinners with a couple of friends. It is not supposed to be a competition but…… We are also trying to support our favorite restaurants that are still open by doing some take out.

9:00 TV and Reading. Three seasons of Silicon Valley and Unorthodox. Now we are watching Top Chef.  I have read Angle Of Repose and currently Americanah. 

We have started Corona Catering for our respective kids. It is nice to do something for someone else during this time. There  is a lot of me time. But instead of hair, skin and nails it is more about calming my brain, being grateful and being in the present. I wonder what changes I will make in my life and what new habits I will  take with me when this is over. 

Stay Safe,

JAZ

Twenty-Five Things That I Want To Do In 2019

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Twenty Five Things That I Want To Do In 2019

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”  Helen Keller

Go to Sweden.

Go to Iceland.

Spend a day at the Blue Lagoon. 

Be a better friend.

Go to the Galápagos.

Plan less.

Read at least thirty books.

Go to the Amazon.

Take it bird by bird.

Drink one cup of coffee a day. 

Switch to Matcha Tea.

Go to Sedona.

Walk on the beach a few times a week.

Do a street art tour in Los Angeles instead of just taking photos.

See more of Australia.

Walk my dog every day.

Eat breakfast in Venice at least one a week. 

Go to the Faroe Islands.

Work on being fearless.

Give him a drawer.

Stay politically active.

See the Grand Canyon.

Always be grateful. 

Do more yoga

Meditate every day – maybe if I put it last I will do it.

Happy New Year and Fly Safe,

JAZ

25 Things I Wanted To Do In 2018 – Did I Do Them?

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25 Things That I Wanted To Do In 2018. Did I Do Them?

“Here’s an invitation to the whole wide world, from your brother to your sister to your best friend’s girl.” Aston Merrygold

Meditate every day. Maybe if I write it first I will have more luck. Nope but still trying!!!!

Do More Yoga. Maybe if I write it second……No but still doing yoga.

Go to Auschwitz. Yes

Go To Poland. Yes

Do a street art tour in Kraków. Yes

See the Schindler factory. Yes

Go to the Galápagos.. Not yet but I will.

Read at least twenty books. Yes

Follow a healthy diet. Yes

Spend some time in London. Yes

Peace in the house. Trying

Go to the Warsaw Ghetto. Yes

Go somewhere in Scandinavia. Not yet but soon

Go To Israel. Yes I went twice.

Pay it forward. Yes

Cook something besides eggs. hmmm does salad and smoothies count?

Work on being fearless.  Still trying.

See the sunset on the beach every day when I am home. Most days yes

Sail through Peruvian or Ecuadorian Amazon. Not yet.

Go to beaches of Los Organos and Vichayito, Peru.  Not yet.

Walk my dog every day. I have to be better at this.

Be more politically active. Yes

Spend time with my god-daughter in Tel Aviv. Yes

Do the Graffiti tour of Tel Aviv.  Yes

Go to Garachico, Tenerife. Not yet. but I did go to Spain and Portugal.

Happy Holidays and Fly Safe,

JAZ

Twenty-Five Things That I Want To Do In 2018

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Twenty-Five That I Want to Do In 2018

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” Ursula Le Guin

Mediate every day. Maybe if I write it first I will have more luck.

Do More Yoga. Maybe if I write it second……

Go to Auschwitz.

Go To Poland.

Do a street art tour in Kraków.

See the Schindler factory.

Go to the Galápagos..

Read at least twenty books.

Follow a healthy diet.

Spend some time in London.

Peace in the house.

Go to the Warsaw Ghetto.

Go somewhere in Scandinavia.

Go To Israel.

Pay it forward.

Cook something besides eggs.

Work on being fearless.

See the sunset on the beach every day when I am home.

Sail through Peruvian or Ecuadorian Amazon.

Go to beaches of Los Organos and Vichayito, Peru.

Walk my dog every day.

Be more politically active.

Spend time with my god-daughter in Tel Aviv.

Do the Graffiti tour of Tel Aviv.

Go to Garachico, Tenerife.

Happy New Year and Fly Safe,

JAZ

 

Staying Sane In An Insane World

“The most insane things can become normal if you have them around you long enough. A mind can’t seem to hold anything too crazy for too long without finding a way to make it seem normal.” Deb Caletti

You can get used to anything. You think you can’t but you can. When I came home from New Zealand I had horrible anxiety every time I turned on the TV. There was another Presidential order that was always badly rolled out and more protests. There is way too much bad news bombarding us twenty-four hours a day.

A few weeks later, I just feel numb. I am becoming desensitized. Things were said today  that went almost unnoticed. A month ago they would have been front page news. What is going on in America is wrong and it takes all my sanity to get through the day. In the midst of all this I am trying to live a conscious life of kindness and intelligence. Just because America is going insane does not mean that I have to follow.

The cause of these external events have been a long time in the making. They did not just happen. There are no simple answers. Finding a scapegoat to blame sounds very fascist to me. It’s the Muslims. It’s the Feminists. It’s the Immigrants. It’s the Jews. It’s the NRA.  It’s the Whites. It’s the Blacks. It’s ISIS. It’s the Environmentalists. It’s the Left. It’s the RIght. It is so convenient to have someone to blame – especially when said in a confident, authoritative voice. It’s becoming really hard to separate the real threats from the manufactured ones.

Here are some real threats. There are 117 suicides in the U.S. each day compared to 43 murders. There are 129 deaths from accidental drug overdoses. Ninety six  people a day die  in automobile accidents (27 of whom aren’t wearing seat belts)There are 1,315 deaths each day due to smoking, and 890 related to obesity, and all the other preventable deaths from strokes, heart attacks and liver disease.

I need meditation and yoga in my life now.  I can’t exhale this out. Beaches and travel help. I allow a short time period to watch the news and take days off. It looks to me like all this fear mongering is illogical. We are the biggest threat to ourselves.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Twenty-Five Things That I Want To Do In 2017

 Twenty-Five Things That I Want To Do In 2017

“The moment you put a deadline on your dream, it becomes a goal” Harsha Bhogle

 Go to Waiheke Island because I’ve heard so much about it from my family.

Take a helicopter ride to the top of a glacier.

Meditate every day.

Do more yoga.

Go to Copenhagen.

See the sunset on the beach whenever I am home at sunset.

Go to Sydney Australia.

Drink less coffee.

Drink less Spanish Lattes and Thai Iced Coffee.  (I love condensed milk coffees)

Take more Ubers in the US.

Go To Sweden.

Be more positive.

Be better about making plans with friends.

Spend more time with my family.

See Auschwitz.

Go to Israel.

Pay more attention to politics and get more involved.

Go To Grouplove concert. (missed them so far this year).

Go to Poland.

Go to Over Film Festival in Oregon.

Be kinder.

Go to Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin again-they are amazing . Congratulations Trevor on the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame .

Think more before I speak.

Eat less sugar. (I put this one in every few years)

Fly safe and Happy Holidays,

JAZ