I love aha moments.I live for that kind of profound knowledge—golden bits of awareness or clarity that come through an experience or conversation; a piece of information you get at a lecture; something your coach tells you when you’re ready to hear it, and the light bulb shines on. Brightly.Aha!!!We are in the business of creating aha moments at Miraval Spa and Resort. As Medical Director for Integrative Wellness, my goal is to give guests the chance to experience as many light-bulb opportunities as possible. What you see so many times at Miraval, is that people’s lives are changed from these moments: a challenge event that redirects your fear; having a horse teach you about the feelings you project (even when you don’t think you do); receiving a massage or spa service that makes you break down and cry. These key experiences provide us not only with clarity and awareness—they also give us an opportunity to transform.We just might change when we see the world in a new kind of way. And with this new knowledge, our lives may never be the same. Change becomes a must instead of a should. We decide to do things differently because if we continue doing the same routine, there is a realization that part of us will die or wither away.Cancer and disease often does this. Fear grabs our attention loudly. It makes us realize where we are and the direction we are going if we continue along the same path.Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to get sick to have an aha?Or what about when we do get a bit of clarity, only to let it slip away?The challenge is that aha moments often hit us when we’re too busy to let them grab our attention, and they pass us by. Or we get floored by an experience and we’re going to change only to get swept up by the pace of life; there are just too many things to do. We get moving in the right direction until one more obstacle knocks us down into the dirt and stops us in our tracks.That’s why Miraval is such a special place to come to—it offers an interrupt from the distractions and expectations of the world. In this place, you can experience life-changing moments of clarity with the freedom to process them, digest what they are about, and begin setting up a plan to act on them.It’s my job to send you home with the right tools and tips to optimize that plan.Here are a couple of principles and practices that are simple and strategic enough to keep you searching for those powerful moments:

  • The unknown is my friend! Eureka moments never come from the same old routines. Stretch yourself—look for new things to learn, try or join. Remember that FEAR = False Expectations Appearing Real. Get on the other side of worry with daring choices and decisions.
  • Be cool with conflict! Don’t seek out obstacles; they’ll find you soon enough. But be all right with negative emotions—anger and frustration can sharpen your focus and bring about creative solutions you might not otherwise find.
  • Be mindfully present. This is where mindfulness practices come in handy. Being with negative emotions in a calmer meditative state can allow you to observe them, allowing their intensity to dissipate, and be able to hear the whispers of wisdom they can impart.
  • Get into the wild. My favorite mindfulness practice is a walking meditation out in nature. The wilderness gives me a focus and clarity that helps me sit with all that’s happening in the present moment, including my predicaments. It helps me become aware of the miracles of life going on before my eyes. The beauty of nature offers perspective.