Was There Real Transformation In Sedona?



They say when the student is ready the teacher appears.

As a recovering planner, overthinker, and perfectionist, I can say that has absolutely been true throughout my life.

I don’t do things that I truly don’t want to do. I also don’t do things that I feel I’m not ready to do. The latter is a problem because it has kept me from taking action on multiple occasions.

I wrote in my journal that I wanted to visit Sedona, Arizona. A good friend (who is a licensed clinical social worker/private practice therapist soon let me know that she had just been moved from the waiting list for a conference for mental health professionals in Sedona and asked me if I wanted to tag along. Absolutely!

I planned to work 2 days and explore the land at the end of the day. There are no televisions in the rooms, but I also had no cell service and no wifi in the room. I could get wifi in the business center which was also a 24-hour lounge, water and tea area, restroom location, and attached to the gift shop and welcome center. There was no way I was taking any virtual calls there. Work was out. In fact, during orientation, we were told that they intentionally made it hard for guests to work. I decided to accept God’s gift and just be present. I decided not to try to video, photograph, or journal every experience and revelation. God knew best – I was able to freely explore this beautiful land and all its spiritual gifts.

Although we are both in our forties, my friend and I realized that this is a powerful part of our journey to be who we are authentically. We met new people and tried new things. The knowledge learned both inside and outside the classroom is life-changing both personally and professionally. More importantly, we were given pieces to our individual puzzles, but elevation requires execution.

I have done professional development and training for years and I no longer hoard knowledge. I didn’t attend a single professional workshop or training session, but the knowledge I gained was not just life-altering, it was life-affirming. This experience was so much more than I could ever have imagined. I can’t NOT be transformed by it. Now the real work begins!



Nicki Sanders, MSW, ushers high-performing women of color in mid-level social work and human services leadership through promotion to senior leadership. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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