Bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush found 10 miles north of Llano on Highway 16. Contributed by Tommy Snow/Lake Somerville State Park

I told myself I wasn’t going back. The last time I spent a week drinking wheatgrass juice and eating plates of sprouts sprinkled with seaweed I said I was satisfied. No need to return. I’d find some other way to cleanse my body and mind.

But here I was. Back again. The chance to join both my best friend and my life coach in warm weather while winter overstayed its welcome in Nebraska was irresistible. A taste of the Texas beauty I was about to experience in the week ahead first appeared on the drive in the country from the airport to the health institute.  The awe of the Lady Bird Johnson led legacy of planting miles of roadside wildflowers over 50 years ago met us at each turn.

We spent our days in education, meditation, and contemplation. A single slice of cucumber to garnish my green drink breakfast was cause for celebration.  I’ve been known to eat a bowl of cherry tomatoes faster than I gobble my fun size bag of buttered popcorn at the movies. But one morning I spent fifteen minutes admiring the little red orb adorning my glass before I gingerly nibbled it for desert, closing my eyes to take in the sweetness.

As a return visitor and graduate of the classes on everything from the function of the small intestine to conscious breathing, I skipped a lot of classes. Instead I enjoyed walks, learning the names Texas bluebonnet and Indian paintbrush.

There were about twenty of us. We took our “meals” together, intentionally chewing our lettuce and focusing on the healing properties of the organic if not tasty nutrition.  I met Nikki who’d come for a rest from reconstructing her home after a devastating flood. I met Denny, a construction contractor who’s business motto was “Don’t live it. Love it.”  I met Obayo, an African American filmmaker professor heading to New Hampshire to a new post.

And I met Angie. Angie sat on the edge, observing through her large dark rimmed classes. We saw one another at our 7:20 daily exercise class, but we had never exchanged more than a smile and a good morning. Unlike most of the other participants, it was late in the week and she had not yet shared what brought her to this week of focus on health. And then she did.

Angie was a trauma surgeon and a cancer survivor. In a few days she would interview with a group of physicians far younger than her, hoping to convince them she was the right and perfect doctor to be accepted into a residency program to become a breast surgeon. 

As my own mind and body became more clear with each passing day, I could see more clearly the beauty surrounding me.  Nikki, a devoted wife struggling to overcome perfectionism. Denny, a businessman called back to his earlier life in a seminary.  And Angie, the healer who was healed and ready to heal anew.

I told myself I wasn’t going back. But beauty called and I’m grateful I answered.       

Coach Koenig

  • What challenge in your life might hold a beautiful surprise?
  • What beauty surrounds you that you aren’t seeing?
  • How do you allow healing into your life?