High above the clouds with my Sol Sisters.
Rancho La Puerta is a magical place for me. My interests growing up rarely involved exercise except for swim team. If there was a cheer leading squad, I was on it. When the latest film hit theaters, I was at opening night. My heart and soul belonged to Beethoven and Rachmaninoff; piano was my first true love. Astrology books I could never get enough of, especially Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs. At the time, I had no idea the Stars had a plan for me in Tecate, Mexico.
My mother died of lung cancer on the eve of my fourth decade. Newly married, my husband the heart healer gifted me a trip to the ranch the following summer. Having been a past guest, he believed in its magical powers and felt the week would be a healing one for me. Even though it was a hot July void of air-conditioning, I discovered my third love: Exercise. Poetry is a passion of mine, and the chalkboard quote I read on the way to my very first morning hike was from Rumi: “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” Nothing is by accident, and nothing has been the same since that first visit.
Strength in Numbers
15 years later I’m a ranch devotee. It’s such a pleasure to have boots on the ground and enjoy every move, experience, and morsel of food. My last visit was in December for a friend’s decade birthday. The time before last September, I was happy to be able to tell the founder how much the ranch meant to me and with tears in my eyes. The last time I heard her speak she urged us all to make younger and older friends. My list is growing on both ends. Every guest is different. I love routine and normally have my ranch schedule in place, but now and then I sprinkle in a new class. This year I took a Strip Tease and Hip Hop class. Note to self: A pole dancer I am not, but add these classes to my schedule next year!
Same Time Next Year
The Ranch has opened my eyes in ways that I could not have imagined. Each year when I visit I never go based on the week but when I’m called. And each time I await a new experience, from Water Watsu to interesting presenters such as Leslie McGuirk whom I became friends with and hosted a “Power of Mercury” book signing for her in San Francisco. Brooke Medicine Eagle I met two years ago, and she was of great comfort to me when my 15-year-old niece was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. My longtime friend Courtney got me hooked on a book called Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe. By weeks end, my mother had sent me not one but two signs, and I met my Spirit Angel in a recurring dream. How’s that for magic at the ranch?
New Year, New Experiences
As Oprah would say, this I know for sure: Each year a different experience awaits me, and the minute I leave the property I count the days until my return. Rancho La Puerta has taught me many lessons: A lifetime of health and fitness, and many ways to balance my mind, body and soul.