Sedona Soul Adventures has been and continues to be a life changing experience for many, many people. It certainly was for Karen -- you've most likely heard us talk about it on this podcast.
We have the honor of talking to Debra Stangl, the Founder + CEO of Sedona Soul Adventures, where Debra has developed her own unique process to create deeply transformational, custom designed private retreats for individuals and couples, working with over 60 of the Master Practitioners of Sedona. You'll get to hear how it all came to be.
Plus, Debra is the author of international best seller The Journey to Happy-- How Embracing The Concept That ‘Nothing Is Wrong’ Can Transform Your Life.
She went from being an unhappy, stressed-out divorce attorney who was $50K in debt, in a bad marriage and 40 pounds overweight…to happy, $50,000 falling out of the sky, down to her ideal weight, doing the work of her dreams – and meeting her now husband.
Plus, we're talking about Enneagrams -- why this system of personality typing, may be the key that helps you navigate life a bit easier!
Debra’s sharing what worked for her and how you can apply all of that in your own life.
MORE FROM DEBRA STANGL
Robyn: [00:00:00] I'm Robyn Miller Brecker,
Karen: and I'm Karen Loenser. Welcome to seeking center. The podcast,
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Robyn: Sedona. Soul Adventures has been and continues to be a life-changing experience for many people. It certainly was For Karen, you've most likely heard us talk about it on the podcast. Today we have the honor of talking to Debra stengl, the founder, and c e o of Sedona [00:01:00] Soul Adventures, where Debra developed her own unique process to create deeply transformational custom design, private retreats for individuals and couples.
Working with over 60 of the master practitioners of Sedona, we can't wait to hear how it all came to be. Plus, Debra is the author of International Bestseller, the Journey to Happy, how Embracing the Concept That Nothing Is Wrong Can Transform Your Life. She went from being an unhappy, stressed out divorce attorney who was $50,000 in debt in a bad marriage, and 40 pounds overweight to happy $50,000 falling out of the sky, down to her ideal weight doing the work of her dreams, and meeting her now husband. Debra's going to share what worked for her and how you can apply that in your own life. There's so much to discuss. Let's get going.
Debra: Hi, Debra. Hi. You guys great to be here with you. Oh, we are
Karen: so excited. We've been waiting for this interview with you forever and we're just so happy that you're here.
Sedona is one of our favorite topics. [00:02:00] Robyn and I both been there. We've been there separately. We have to figure out a way to get there together,
Karen: magic of Sedona for people who haven't been there is just you can't even imagine. Can you start at the beginning of your own journey to Sedona and tell us what led you there and ultimately just to stay and create Sedona
Debra: Soul adventures.
I came to Sedona for the first time in 1999, and it was at a point in my life where literally everything was wrong. Every part of my life was a mess. I hated my work. I had just started my 20th year as a divorce attorney in Omaha, Nebraska. I was in an unhappy marriage. I weighed 40 pounds more than I weigh now.
I was $50,000 in debt because of some bad business decisions that had been made by my ex-husband. But I was responsible of course, because we were married. And for five years before that, I would pray, I would meditate and I would say, God, please tell me what to do. And I would hear this small voice that would say, you need to leave your law practice.
And I would immediately shut [00:03:00] that down and I would actually get angry. i would say. How can I do that? I'm $50,000 in debt. I'm our soul support. And at my lowest point, literally, I came to Sedona for what I thought was gonna be just three days of being quiet. And instead I did one session with one of our amazing practitioners.
And In that session, my high self came to me in a vision as isis, the winged Egyptian goddess, and she said, you either leave your law practice now or you are going to die like your mother did. And I was exactly the age my mother was when she got sick and died five years later from cancer. And I could see that I was on that exact same path of being unhappy, feeling stuck, Feeling hopeless, like there was nothing I could do. And so I went home. And that time hearing it that way, I finally got the message and I went home to Omaha and I spent two weeks with my lawyer brain trying to figure out how I was possibly going to leave my law [00:04:00] practice when we were 50,000 in dollars in debt and I was the sole support.
And then suddenly one day I went into this space of just surrender and it just felt like grace. And I said, okay, God, I am gonna do this, but I've gotta have some help. And just a few hours later I got a phone call from one of my former clients and he mentioned at the end of the call that he had just bought a business refinancing mortgages.
And I said to him, could you get my mortgage payment reduced? He called me back in 10 minutes and said, I can get your mortgage payment cut in half. And I can get you $50,000 in cash. Now, nobody knew that I was $50,000 in debt and I was ashamed of it. And so suddenly five years of worrying was gone and off my shoulders, just within hours of me just surrendering and asking for help.
So that was the first big sign. So I spent six months closing my law practice, and then I came out to Sedona for an entire month just doing my own personal healing work. And then I went back to Omaha for a month, and then I [00:05:00] came back to Sedona for another month doing more healing work with different practitioners that I was finding.
Then I went back to Omaha. And I did that for three years where I was going back and forth for a month at a time. And during that time I'd run into people and they would always say, so when are you moving to Sedona? And I would always say, I'm never moving to Sedona. And then two weeks before nine 11, I was in Sedona in the same room where I had done the other session and my high self came in again as isis.
And she said, it's time to move to Sedona. And I said, for what? and of course there was no response. And my experience is they never show you the whole thing. They only show you the next step. And so I went home to Omaha and sold my house. They told me it would take six months. I sold it in three days for more money than I even listed it for.
I moved to Sedona and sat here for six months going, okay, I did what you told me to do. Now what? And then I started having dreams about this. And what they were showing me was that it was working [00:06:00] one on one in private with these amazing practitioners who have been drawn here from all over the world to do their work and who are just masters at utilizing and moving the incredible transformational energy that's here.
And that's what had changed my life and they showed me how I could condense what had taken me three years into three days. And so that's what I did. And we started with 10 practitioners. We now have over 60, and it has worked from the very beginning.
Karen: Wow. . You had the courage
Debra: to do what you did. It's so funny because people say that to me all the time, and I have to say, there was never any point where I felt like I was being brave or courageous or anything like that. I look back now and I'm going, oh my God, I do that.
But at the time, all that it ever felt was that I was just following the next step I went. Now, the one thing I did do, I was, Listening and then [00:07:00] I was acting on what I was being told. And that was really the key. I do need to say, I never felt at any point like, oh, I'm being so brave, or I never felt that way.
And I think a lot
Robyn: of people are gonna relate to that. So thank you for sharing , because I think when you are in those situations of not knowing what to do, it doesn't feel very brave. But if you can be aware and listen and take
And I talk about this in my book where I say, just go into this quiet space. Take a deep breath and ask the question, and then listen to the very first thing that bubbles up. Don't let your brain get involved. Listen to the very first thing that bubbles up, and then write it down, because five days later you're gonna tell yourself you were told something else.
And so it's really important to write it down so you are really getting exactly what you were told.
Karen: You're right, because you're a logical brain. I think I also love what you said too, Debra, about how you just do the next step, that you [00:08:00] don't have to figure it all out. When you were looking at your
life and really changing your career and changing where you're living, it
ultimately led to what you're doing now, but you started with one step at a time.
Debra: And it's really so much, especially for people who are telling themselves, I'm not living my life purpose. I dunno what I'm supposed to be doing. I just know that I'm unhappy. And the biggest thing that you can do is to be bringing yourself out of the energy of frustration and upset and doubt, and bringing yourself into the energy of excited expectation and telling yourself things like, Oh, if I have this desire, the universe is gonna match that desire.
I am on the path, I am following the path. I am looking at what is the next step. So that was going, that's what was going on for me. For five years, staying in frustration. They were telling me what to do and I wouldn't listen. , I would do, please tell me what to do. And they'd say, leave [00:09:00] your law practice.
And I go, I can't do that. So it's this whole thing it's all about the energy. That's everything that we're doing with Sedona Soul Adventures is, moving out the old energy, bringing in the new energy, showing you how you can keep on doing that over and over again. And it's all about what do I have to do to stay in this higher energy, this higher vibration.
So staying out of frustration, staying in the vibration, and the energy of excited expectation. I
Robyn: love that phrase, excited expectation. That's gonna be a new staple in my vocabulary.
Debra: Yes. Debra,
Karen: what is it about Sedona, for people who haven't been there, can you just give your experience of going there and what drew you there?
And then what's kept you there?
Debra: Sedona is just a magical place. That's just all there is to it. And that is the simplest way of describing it. And it really is something that you have to experience. Now we are known around the world for our vortex [00:10:00] energy. And so then you get into this whole thing of what's a vortex and what is vortex energy?
And depending on who you're talking to, you're gonna get different answers to that. So even scientists will tell you that this is a place where they've measured the energy that's here and it's weird and strange and they can't explain it. And then if you talk to the indigenous peoples like the Native Americans who are here, or even the indigenous people in Australia, because Uluru airs rock in Australia is another vortex place, and there's vortexes all over the world.
Not only here, but the great pyramid in Egypt, in Bali, Stonehenge in Peru. And so they believe the indigenous people, that these are places where the energy of the earth is very strong and that if you will just take the time to connect with it, that you can actually feel it. Now, after being here for over two decades, I believe, and this is just my own personal belief, that these are places around the world where the God energy [00:11:00] or the energy of the universe or the energy of all that is, whatever you wanna call it, I personally call it God, but I believe that these are the places around the world where the God energy comes on.
And that's why these places are so amazing and so incredible. And that's why, especially in Sedona, because the Native Americans talk about that, the energy that is here is energy that is for transformation. And also that the veils are thinner here, so that the connection to the universe or the other side, or whatever you wanna call it, that the veils are thinner so that the connection is stronger.
And so that's why whatever you bring here is amplified. So if you bring love here, it's amplified. If you bring frustration here, it's amplified. If you bring anger here, it's amplified. But that's great for us because what we are doing is working on bringing that energy up and out and releasing it so everything is amplified and the energy here.
[00:12:00] Is this very special energy of transformation. Now the other thing about Sedona, and this is what I call the Sedona Effect, and I talk about this in my book, is this incredible combination of all of this that comes to, in a way that really creates real and lasting change. So the first thing is you've got the vortex energy, which is this strong, amazing thing that is, this type is nowhere else on the planet.
Then you have these amazing practitioners who are drawn here from all over the world to do their work. And. Then you have the incredible energy of the people that come here who are seeking transformation.
It's really palpable. The first time I came here, I felt like I was ready to jump outta my skin. everything in my life was such a mess. I just came here with this deep desire of something has got to happen, and I had no idea what it was, but it was literally this big thing. So when you combine the amazing energy that's here, [00:13:00] these incredible practitioners who know how to utilize that energy, and then the energy and deep desire of the people who come here for transformation, when you bring those three things together, it results in.
Oh my God. Amazing stuff. And if you don't have all three of them, it doesn't happen. It's like a three-legged stool, that combination is just so absolutely amazing. Yeah. And I
Robyn: will say too, when you are just even driving in and you see the first formations of the Red Rocks there, There was something, and then it's almost like as you drive through something, it really is, there's like a veil
Debra: That's there. It just totally is. If you've read the the mists of avalon and that thing about the people who could see Avalon through the mist could go to it, but the people who couldn't see it, couldn't even go there. And it's so funny, in the first years that I was doing Sedona Soul Adventures had a guy come here who was from Brooklyn.
He was a bodybuilder. , just the [00:14:00] quintessential of what you would think about that. And the first time that I met him, he goes, Debra, I drove. Around the corner, I saw the red rocks and I burst into tears.
Robyn: Wow. Yes.
Debra: It's and it's so funny because it took me over a year of coming here and trying to make myself feel the vortex energy.
Of course, when you're trying to make yourself you just can't do it. And so it took me like a year and I would go and I would go, yeah. I'm waiting. And then my brother, I have four brothers. My younger brother he's a medical doctor. He's this straight western medical doctor.
And the first day he came for a visit, I took him to the top of airport vortex. We sat down and he goes, oh my gosh, my hands and feet are tingling. I'm like, you little brat.
Karen: That took
Debra: me a year. And you sit down and don't even believe in this stuff and you're already feeling it.
Robyn: And that actually brings up a question I have for you is with your journey to Sedona and in your previous life, in your growing up had you been exposed to any [00:15:00] of these types of ideas or spiritual types of
Debra: experiences? No, not originally, except that I was raised Catholic and I'm so happy that I was raised Catholic because Catholics are very mystical.
Think about it, they believe that. At mass, the priest is literally changing bread into the body of Christ and wine into the blood of Christ. And for a saint to become a saint, they have to perform three miracles. And those are usually incredible things in saving somebody's life and curing people and that kind of thing.
So I grew up in a very religious home, but also with this idea that kind of stuff was possible. but not at all. I grew up, I have four brothers, they're a doctor, a dentist, an engineer, and an investment banker. I was a lawyer, and when I left my law practice, they were all like oh no.
what is she doing? And now some of them have come on, they're wives [00:16:00] and they've come on soul adventure and my sister's come on soul adventure and they've gone to Egypt with me and stuff like that. So it's great. Now they're still not, are they totally invested in it like I am?
No, but they've seen the stuff that's happened and I've had nieces and nephews come and all of that. So the family doesn't think I'm as crazy as they thought when I first left my practice. that happened for me though, was an intuitive reading. That's what happened. And that's what we were gonna ask.
Yes. That was the thing that happened. My mother passed away she was only 51 and I was 26. And I was driving to law school and I heard a psychic on the radio and she was just nailing it. People were calling in and they said, if you wanna do a session with her, and my mother had just passed.
I was in a really bad space, but I was really worried about my dad. and I go in and here's this little gray haired lady, and she's probably age I am now, but she a little gray haired lady. And she immediately said, I hadn't told her anything. And she said, oh, your mother passed.
And then she's telling me she's in a better space and things like that. And she said, [00:17:00] why are you here? And I said, I'm very worried about my dad. He's talking Why should I be alive? And, that sort of thing. And she said he's feeling very sad in a lot of grief and a lot of guilt.
But He's gonna be okay. And there's a woman there who is very caring and she's a very large woman, dark hair. Her name starts with an M. And I said that's Mary. That's our dear family friend. But there's, and she goes no. There and she starts to say, stuff
and I'm keeping up the party line of this woman who had been in our lives for over 20 years. And, even spent Christmas with us. And I'm like no. She's just the dear family friend. She's not, And this little gray haired lady looks me in the eye and she goes, There's sex there.
dear lemme go. And I got really upset and I'm like no. And she says they're gonna call you in September and they're gonna say, we're getting married next weekend. Can you come? And I just paid her. I got out of there and I'm like, oh, this is, everybody knows psychics are just a big bunch of bunk.
And why did I even do that? Two weeks later, I go out [00:18:00] to lunch with my aunt, my mother's sister, who was talking to me as if I knew about this 20 year affair that went on this whole time that she knew about everybody in the former town where we used to live, knew about it. The only people who didn't know about it was literally our family and my mother who acted to me as if she didn't know about it, but she did.
And. So then in September my dad called me and said, Mary and I are getting married next weekend. Can you come? Literally the exact words. And that's when I started going, okay, there is something to this. And I started, I read the book Life After Life, which about people having near-death experiences, which I found very comforting and it's started off with me doing readings and that kind of stuff.
And it wasn't until I really started doing different types of energy work and especially breath work. That's the stuff that really changed my life.
Karen: I know that's one of the mainstays in the Sedona Soul Adventures package. Cause I remember I was terrified of breath work. I have a very hard time with breath work.
I think it's a control thing, but I [00:19:00] remember trying to negotiate my way out of it and they're like, Nope, Karen, you gotta do the breath work. And. The breath work experience that you offer is off the charts. Incredible. every friend I've ever talked to that's come to Sedona Soul Adventures has said the same thing because it's so unique.
Even if you've had breath work, your offering is
Debra: very unique. Yeah, so what we do, so I've been doing breathwork since 1989 And at that time it really had an incredible impact on me. And I actually went through the training to become a breath worker. I didn't do it at that time, but just doing the process really changed me.
And so then when I started sitting on soul adventures, I knew how powerful and incredible that was. And I had always continued to do breath work. And the breath work that we do is really a combination of three different types of breath work that are out there. All three types that I've been trained in.
So what we do is a mushing together of all of that because. when you combine all of that, [00:20:00] what it does is it moves people into an altered state and in that altered state, what is typically happening for most people is that they're having their first. Direct experience of the divine, and that is life-changing.
So many things can happen during the breath journey, and it's different for everybody. But it's so great for removing emotional blocks, for clearing all of that. People see visions. people who have crossed over coming to them and talking to them. We've had people, see Jesus, see the Buddha, see whoever they connect with.
And just this thing of it really, again, it's all about the energy. That's everything that we are doing here. Clearing out the old stuff, bringing in the new stuff, the energy of connection, and then showing you how you can continue to do that. And so the breathwork takes you into this higher, faster vibration that is just so absolutely amazing.
And then the best part about it that I love is it's one of the biggest pieces of what we [00:21:00] help people with after they go home. Because you can do the breath work on your own. And once you know how to do it and we give people the music and all of that, it is the most elegant way to really not only be maintaining what you get here, but to have it continue to grow and deepen it.
And of course, that's what we always wanna have happen for everybody.
Robyn: You are so right. I know in my own experience with breathwork too, and I've never done a plant medicine journey, however, I know from people that we've talked to and that I've talked to on my own, so many similarities to what Ive heard people experience in those kinds of journeys is what you can experience
on your own with breathwork.
Debra: And it's so funny because we've had medical doctors come here and say, we had one a long time ago. She came and did the breath work and then she went home and told her other doctor friends about the breath work. And they said, oh my God, they must have given you L S D. And she said they gave me some water. And so she called me and I'm like, I'm a lawyer. Do you think that I would be slipping [00:22:00] people, LSD without, actually we've had other people who have done plant medicine and I have done plant medicine on our trips to Peru where it's legal and it's done in a very sacred way.
And it's an incredible experience. But we've had other people who have talked about, they've done plant medicine and they have found the breathwork to be just as, Amazing. Just as transformational and and without the bodily, it's another, to
Robyn: me it's another vehicle.
Debra: It's another, yeah, exactly. Getting you to
Robyn: that place of connecting with your soul and h and whomever else, So it can just be another tool for somebody.
Karen: You can do and
Debra: be in control of yourself.
Karen: It's not like you have to go somewhere
Debra: and be supervised to do that. Exactly. And if you're feeling overwhelmed and it's getting to be too much, you just stop doing the breath. That's right. That's right. Exactly. Yes. I'm like, once you've swallowed ayahuasca you're in there on the merry-Go-round at that, you're on the rollercoaster at that point.
There's pretty much no [00:23:00] going back after that.
Robyn: Let's talk about what a Sedona soul adventure is in your own words. And I know Karen can even chime in with her own experience, but we'd love to hear from you.
Debra: A Sedona Soul Adventures Retreat is a retreat and the word retreat means to retreat from your life as it is, to get away.
And it's a retreat that is completely private and completely custom designed. That is really. So much the key for exactly what you need or exactly what the two of you need. If it's for a couples retreat, because we work only with individuals and couples, not with groups, because when you go to a group retreat or a group, Anything you're hoping that they're gonna talk about or they're gonna address your particular problems.
But the thing is, what brought you to where you are and what brought the person who's sitting next to you is completely different. So what you need is different. What they need is different. So we spend a whole lot of time before you start your retreat, either here in [00:24:00] Sedona or on Zoom. And by the way, our remote retreats are just as powerful, just as transformational as our in-person retreats, because energy is energy.
And what we're doing is, again, we're finding and moving out and healing the old energy, bringing in the new energy of transformation, and then showing you how you can keep on doing that over and over years. Over again giving you the tools to do that. So we have over 60 practitioners. We have pretty much every modality that you can think of.
And so custom designing exactly what you need to move you from where you are to where you want to be is exactly what happens. And then the whole thing about the privacy and the one-on-one thing, because I've been to group retreats where I've watched people where I could tell they weren't allowing themselves to really, let it all hang out and really come out.
And then if you go to a couples retreat, a lot of couples do not wanna talk about. Their deepest, darkest secrets [00:25:00] about what is going on, and especially if they've got, intimacy issues, sexual issues, if they've had infidelity issues. People don't wanna talk about that in front of a large group of people.
So the retreats are really designed to be life-changing and transformational, and that's exactly what happens. People come here. Burned out at the end of their rope or not knowing or not living their life purpose. And they leave here not only knowing their life purpose, but really having the tools to live it.
And couples come here in disconnection and sometimes in really deep trouble and we are able to turn it around. They're back in connection and in love with the sizzle that brought them together in the first place. And it's funny, I was a divorce attorney for 20 years now. I've been helping people stay together in a wonderful way for over 20 years.
So I'm hoping my karma is pretty much balanced out by now.
Karen: Oh, what a wonderful opportunity to be able to do
Karen: The other thing I think Debra is so important for people to know [00:26:00] about Sedona Soul Adventures too, is the way each of the modalities work together in that to enhance the experience.
Can you talk about that a little bit?
Debra: So we have a process that we follow. Now it's different for everybody, but the first part of the process is informational, and that's where we'll have maybe intuitive readings or astrological readings or the Enneagram or things like that to give you kinda some background and some information.
And then the next step is what we generically call our emotional clearing pieces. And it's not just emotional, but what we're doing is identifying and clearing. Releasing and then healing the blocks that are holding you back or causing the trouble. And again, this is the real piece where for everybody that's different, something that happened when you were a kid, something that happened, that your dad did, something that happened, that your mother did, something that happened in school, or even things from past lives that we discover that, oh my God, this is something that went on a vow that you are [00:27:00] carrying and, a vow of poverty that you're carrying into this lifetime we discovered that my husband had a vow of poverty.
, because the way that shows up, is just so amazing. And when I was a divorce attorney, the thing that I kept seeing over and over again is that in that 20 years there were a number of people that I did three divorces for and what I kept seeing, No judgment. Totally. I've been married and divorced. No judgment. But I know, and this is what happened for me too, I wasn't learning the lessons. Of that relationship. Relationship is the crucible that brings all this stuff up. And so these people were just marrying the same person over and over again, but with a different name.
So finding, clearing and releasing and healing these blocks, then moving people back into connection on all the levels, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and that's really where the breathwork comes in. And then the final part is what we call the spiritual transformation part, which is really cementing everything in making sure we've got all the blocks gone, everything's released and [00:28:00] healed, that the connection is really made on all the levels.
Again, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and really making sure that is rock solid. And then after that, we do ongoing support with people because once you've done this, you are a new little energetic baby. And you don't know how to maintain that. It's like you just began to walk and we put you back together.
But you have to practice. You have to not let those old habits come back in. And that's why in these last few years, what I've really been focused on even bigger, is making sure that people are not only maintaining, but that things are being done over and over again, and getting bigger and deeper.
And all you have to do is keep on using the tools. It's kinda getting your car detailed. You get your car detailed and you drive it. Out of there and it's beautiful and great and then, it starts raining and then some mud gets splattered on it. So you've got to be doing something on a regular basis and it's gotta be something energetic.
Building an [00:29:00] altar. Okay. Yeah, that's a great idea. No, you've gotta be doing stuff on an energetic basis to keep on moving out the old energy of, frustration, anger, fear. Cause we're all gonna have those. We're all gonna keep on having that stuff over and over again. That's part of being in this body, but learning how to move through that's the biggest thing.
So what you were remarking on was. Each session really builds on the next one and the next one leads to the next one and leads to the next one. And I love it when people really get that, because we don't talk about it that much with people, before they come but people really get that by the end of it, where they're going, oh my gosh.
Wow. It just really did. Everything builds to this amazing crescendo. And you
Robyn: do it in, it's to your point, What took three years for you, you're giving that to people in three to four days.
Debra: I know, and I'll tell you, even after it's 21 years now and I still can't believe what happens even after all these years and all these thousands of people I still can't believe what happens because we people, we get [00:30:00] people who come and it's oh, wow, maybe it's not gonna happen.
And then it does. And yes, to have that much happen in such a short period of time is just incredible. But again, this is why people have to keep it up after. After the retreat because they're rewired. They are literally energetically, they are a new person.
And so we just can't let that old energy take over again. We have to keep on, they have to keep on feeding the new energy and the great news is it doesn't take that much. It's like brushing your teeth if you just do a little bit every day. Just a little bit and just a little bit of noticing and going, oh, oh yeah.
Oh, that was the old me reacting to that. That was the old trigger. Oh yeah. I don't have that trigger anymore. That trigger's gone well, and I think in the
Karen: consolidated timeframe, what you get is this feeling of, like you were saying before, of transformation and for so many people, they don't know what that feels Like you don't know. You could feel that good and so The key is walking away and remembering that I [00:31:00] can feel that way and that there are ways that I can get back to feeling that
Debra: way. And that is the thing that is so amazing with all of this because almost everybody is used to feeling bad.
Yes. We eliminate, that's our default. Yes. Everybody is used to just feeling bad or feeling cranky most of the time. And our society and everything that's out there in our society just adds to that. And our crazy life. And then social media is always making everybody feel really bad.
Everybody else's life is, so much better than mine, which is just so not true. And so when you go from this thing of feeling really bad most of the time, to really having this very deep experience It's on a cellular level, the experience literally it's just down to your socks.
And so when you really feel this for the first time of, oh my gosh, I can feel this way and I, and there's things that I can do to feel this way all the time. That was the big thing that really [00:32:00] changed my life when I started doing breath work. Cuz I had just finished a 12 step codependency treatment.
And I got out of that and I felt a little better, but I didn't feel great. And everything that they were saying to us was, you're always gonna be this way. You cannot change it. And that just felt just so depressing to me.
And I was going to weekly meetings and it was the same person every week and everybody was talking about the same stuff. And even though all these people had been through treatment, they were still just talking about their stuff. All the time. And so through a very strange set of synchronicities, ended up doing a massage with a woman who was a breath worker.
And she started talking to me and said what was going on? And I was telling her that, she goes this is really interesting. And she started telling me about the breath work. And I did one breath breathwork session with her and I went into this state of joy and bliss that I had never experienced in my entire life.
And it was so funny cuz I kept, so back then that's when they were telling you had to do 10 sessions with a [00:33:00] certified practitioner once a week for 10 weeks. Now we just tell people, once you know how to do it. And once you've done it and you've got the music, you can do it on your own, but back then it was, you have to do it once a week for 10 weeks with a person.
So I did it once a week for 10 weeks with her, and I just kept going into more joy, more bliss, more of everything. And I started going to my meetings because I had committed to doing a year of meetings, and it just got to the point where the person next to me would say when it was their turn to talk I'm not feeling as good as Debra is.
And it was like, My vibration had so changed from everybody in that room that I just vibrated out of that. And so that's the thing that's happening. And that's what's happening for most people, they have never experienced that level of joy and bliss. And when you know that it's there and it's possible and it's accessible through a whole lot of different means, then that's really exciting.
And that's everything. About why I started Sedona Soul Adventures, why I [00:34:00] wrote my book. it's the whole thing. And listening to you just
Robyn: even talk about going to that type of program, you've been a seeker clearly your whole life. And it's a matter of matching with the right types of resources that we're going to actually raise a vibration.
Debra: Exactly. And again, as you said, it's all about vibration. it's all about energy. So yeah, I just, and I have to say, the treatment was great. it was so important. And I think that, the 12 step program for a lot of people, especially at the very beginning, we have a lot of people who after they have done treatment, they then come to us.
we won't do a solo venture for anybody who is actively, abusing drugs or alcohol or has any kind of an addiction that needs to be treated. Especially because, we're not a medical facility. We don't have medical doctors. When you're dealing with drug or alcohol addiction, you have to have that.
But we have a lot of people who come to us after they've done treatment, because what we're getting at is what caused all this to begin with. And what are [00:35:00] the underlying things that have manifested in this addiction or in this way of living? And once we get underneath that, then you know what? The addiction is really gone.
And then they're living in a place of, again, the joy and happiness, which is what they were using the drug or the alcohol or the gambling to chase in the first place. So once that hole has been cleared out and filled up with something else rather than the addiction, it's a whole new life. That's incredible. It
Robyn: really is. You wanna talk about,
Karen: Your book I think everybody should read it. it does tell your story. You've done a great job doing that already, Debra, there's so much more in there. Is there any little tidbit you wanna share with our listeners about your book and your
Debra: journey and really that idea
Robyn: of what does it mean that nothing
Debra: is wrong?
yes. so the name of my book is The Journey to Happy. Embracing the concept that nothing is wrong can transform your life. And so my book really did come about for [00:36:00] me wanting to help people know that you can redo your life, you can be happy and real and lasting change is possible. And the idea of nothing is wrong and I have to say, I.
I am a person who grew up with all the thoughts and beliefs of everything being wrong. I was an attorney, everything's guilty, not guilty. Black, white. Okay, not okay. Lots of judgment. Again, raised Catholic. Everything, on that, I'm an eight on the Enneagram. The eights are all, angry and very negative.
So this is not how I am naturally wired, but through all the stuff that I've done, I've really discovered that this is a way of living your life. And in every situation we have a choice. Of, we can either come from the place of frustration and upset and anger, which is where most people are coming from.
And why am I so unhappy? Why can't I find a guy? Why don't I have any money? [00:37:00] Why am I so fat? What's wrong with me? All of that. And what I finally discovered that it's our resistance to everything that is creating all the trouble in our lives. And so I learned how to use the energy of nothing is wrong and to be able to turn that around.
So instead of coming from that place, coming from a different place, and I'm not saying that the world is perfect, I'm not talking about being a Pollyanna, I'm not talking about that. Everything is exactly the way that I want it to be. It's an approach to life. And we can either allow life to crush us. Or we can embrace it.
We can either struggle or we can thrive. Henry Ford said over a hundred years ago, there's two types of people in the world, those who think they can and those who think they can't, and they're both right. So this whole thing about how you're thinking and feeling and how you are bringing that into your life, and I've had so many magical things happen to me in my life with money, with my body, with [00:38:00] relationships, I mean with my body.
I struggled my entire life. I started dance at the age of three. And anybody who's done dance knows that your body is criticized. You're, they want you to do all this stuff. They want your body to do all this stuff that it's not. And so throughout my life, I was constantly gaining anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds and doing the whole yo-yo thing.
And I tell the story in the book, and this is really where the nothing is wrong, where it really came from. I got into an argument with my now ex-husband and the argument devolved, as it always did in the 20 years that we were together of it, never was about what had happened. His position was I should never be upset with him no matter what he had done or not done.
And that my anger and my upset was not okay. So there was something wrong with me, not ever about anything that he had done. It was always about me. Something was wrong with me. So we get into this argument I finally, I went home and I started crying. I crawled into bed [00:39:00] and. All of a sudden I started vibrating, and vibrating to the point where I couldn't move.
And I suddenly heard this voice in my head that said, nothing is wrong with you. Nothing is wrong with you. And it kept saying it over and over again, and it was different than the voice that I usually hear. And I, so I'm like, okay, I've gotta listen to this. And then they were showing me how in every part of my life, nothing was wrong with my body, nothing was wrong with my work, nothing was wrong with me, with how I was.
And they were just showing me all of that. And so I got out of bed. I was on another one of my crazy diets where I was, not eating stuff and exercising like a maniac. And I just went, okay, I'm done. I'm just done. I'm not gonna worry about every single thing that I put in my mouth.
I'm not gonna think about everything that I put in my mouth, all of that. I'm just done. And I just started eating whatever I wanted to eat, and I ate until I was full, normally before, if I had given myself permission to eat something, I would [00:40:00] eat everything that was on the plate.
also, I had been doing at that point, a number of sessions with my practitioners about really loving my body, not loving it to lose weight, but just loving and appreciating my body. And so I stopped all the crazy dieting and exercising. I was eating whatever I wanted, and five weeks later I went to, Get a pair of jeans and I pulled down a size 14 and it was way too big and I thought, oh, it's must be the cut of this gene.
And I started pulling them down and I was a size six and I go home and I weighed myself and from the time I had written it down before, which was actually a little bit before I had released 40 pounds in five weeks without diet or exercise. Just from eating what I wanted and loving my body. Now, I think it was 50 pounds.
And when you look at the picture in my book, I think it was 50 pounds, but I can definitely verify that it was 40 and that was, gosh, 12 years ago. And I now eat and drink whatever I want, whenever I want it. And it's all about how I'm thinking, [00:41:00] how I'm feeling. When I hated my body, I stayed fat. When I started loving my body, I suddenly released over 40 pounds without diet or exercise.
And I went on every diet in the world and I would lose weight. But the minute that I started thinking about regular food, I would start gaining it all back and more, because it's all about how are you thinking, how are you feeling, and how are you talking about yourself and your body?
That's the whole concept of nothing is wrong when you can stay out of first notice. Oh no, I'm in the energy of, I'm upset, I'm angry. Why can't I get the job? You know where is that guy? Where is my life purpose? Why isn't it happening?
I hate my body. when you're staying in that energy, you're gonna stay in that energy and nothing can come to you. But when you move into the energy of excited expectation, that's when everything can happen. And that's how I've had all these [00:42:00] miracles in my life with money falling out of the sky and losing 40 pounds in five weeks, and my husband coming into my life.
And it's just miraculous. And it's what we're teaching everybody at Sedona Solo Ventures. In my book, I have nine stepping stones that are things that people can be doing to move the energy.
Even something as simple as tapping, which really isn't simple. It's based on Chinese medicine. It's amazing. And it can start to move the energy right away. Meditating all of these things, noticing. And then one of the other stepping stones which is something that, everybody listening to this, you should start doing this right now.
Change your story, change your life. It's all about, what are you talking about all the time? What are you thinking? What are you feeling? All of that. When I started noticing how much I was talking about food and this is so fattening and that's so fattening and this is healthy and that's not healthy.
And if you do this, and if you do all that stuff and everybody does it all the time in your relationship [00:43:00] talking about your partner, if you're trashing them all the time, how can you be in a happy relationship? It's not gonna happen if you're telling yourself I can't. Have abundance. I can't be happy.
I can't have my dream job. I can't have this if you're telling yourself you can't have that, it's just what Henry Ford said. Those who think they can and those who think they can't. And you're both right. The universe is gonna be giving you all the time. So just start noticing how you're doing that, and then catching yourself when you are doing it and stopping.
And if you're adventurous, start saying something different and appreciating and going into gratitude about what you do have. And that's literally the journey we're doing at Sedona Soul Ventures. What's all this gunk that I call it that's holding you back or causing all the trouble, finding it, releasing it, letting it go, healing it, and then moving into this place and moving into.
This higher vibrational energy. And so [00:44:00] that's another one of my stepping stones, is using a gratitude journal. I've had incredible things happen with people using gratitude journals, including turning their relationship around their husband, just suddenly turning into a nice guy, cuz all they were doing was writing down what they appreciated about him.
Cuz again, it's the energy. Before he was feeling her energy of disconnection, I hate you, her criticism, blah, blah, blah. After that, he's feeling the energy of I love you. We all respond to that. It's magical. All this stuff is magical. It's so simple and it's magical.
Karen: And yet so many people don't know about it.
And the amazing
Debra: thing is that when they do find out about it, the number of people that go, no. Yeah. Cause I think it's
Robyn: too easy or too simple,
Debra: And it's just the old stuff is too familiar. this is what psychologists and psychiatrists will tell you. Our brain is still wired to be the caveman.
Being afraid that we're not gonna have enough food, or that we're gonna be killed by a, grizzly bear or whatever. And so that's how we're wired. And so [00:45:00] we have to do things to do that pattern interrupt, change that wiring, and then make sure that we've really got the wiring in there in a way where it's going to continue.
And yeah, everything that's unfamiliar is something that our brains are wired to go, oh, whoa, wait a minute. Not sure about that. yeah, usually people have to reach a point where they really wanna do something. Yeah. And really wanna change that around before they're willing to go into the unfamiliar.
Robyn: I know we always say it's like you are get is people at a crossroads. And I'm sure that's what the kinds of people that are coming, cuz they get to that point of not knowing what to do. And you would hope with everything that you've said today and with everything in your book, that people don't have to get to , that point.
However, it's so true because of the way that we are wired or I like to say we're programmed, we're just programmed
Debra: in that way. It's wired and programmed. Yeah. And luckily we do have lots of people who are [00:46:00] coming here who just want their life to be better. Yeah. And just want their relationship.
And like those are my favorites because then we, oh my gosh. Taking people to the next level and especially couples who come they're not in trouble, they don't have the infidelity going on or whatever. They just wanna take their love to the next level.
And those are just so great. Yeah. Yeah. That's fantastic. and that's the wonderful thing about what we do and how fantastic our practitioners are, because they literally can take anybody where they are, meet them where they are, and then take them to the next level where they want to be.
So we get people here who are, brand new beginners who have never done any of this stuff, ever. And then we have. Practitioners who come here who wanna recharge and wanna take their work to the next level. we really get a big range and that is so wonderful because our practitioners really meet you where you are and then really taking you to where you wanna be.
Robyn: have one question. You've mentioned actually a couple times, and I know it's within your book, but talking about Enneagrams, [00:47:00] because we actually haven't talked about that on our podcast before, and we don't have to go very into it, but it's at a really high level. Can you just talk about what
Debra: it is?
So the Enneagram quite simply is a personality test. And the thing that's fascinating to me is it's been around since medieval times, actually before then the Crusaders brought this back. It's something that actually started in the Middle East and the Crusaders brought it back from the Middle East during the Crusades.
And then during the dark Ages, it was The books about it and the knowledge about it were preserved in the monasteries. So you'll very often find that Catholics know about the Enneagram just because it's something that has been part of it. But a lot of Catholics are not into the Enneagram.
so it's a personality test that tells you how are you wired and what are you driven by? And it also will tell you what is the lie that you are [00:48:00] telling yourself of how you have to be to move through the world. So there are nine numbers. I prefer to call them styles cuz people don't like to be a number.
There are nine styles and each of them has something that's driving them and usually. The genesis of that is usually something that happened to you in your childhood. It can also be something that happened from a past life, but generally it's something from your childhood. And for example, the ones are the perfectionists.
And so the lie that they're telling themselves is that everything has to be perfect in order for me to be happy. You can imagine what kind of a setup that is. And so when people get here, and we and especially in a relationship where we're talking to them and let's say, the husband's of one and the wife is a two.
The wife is saying everything's gotta be perfect and it's driving me crazy. And when the ones can really see what's underneath that, what's underneath that is this false sense of [00:49:00] control. We can't control anything. And so you trying to have the towels folded in a particular way is how important really is that to you?
Do you want your marriage and a happy wife or do you want your towels folded in a particular way? And then when the wife sees, oh, this is what's going on with him, then she can be saying things like, you know what, now I'm willing to fold the towels in a way that you, so the twos are telling themselves I have to do things for other people.
They are the givers, but they are giving with a hook because they're lie that they're telling themselves. Is the only way that people will love me is if I do things for them. And so then they get to the point where they're feeling annoyed and burned out and giving too much and resentful. And so the way that I first discovered the Enneagram was with one of my great friends who is a two.
And when we finally sat down, we sat down with the third friend who was somebody who I didn't know it at the time, knew the Enneagram, [00:50:00] and she was listening to the two of us talk, and she's oh my God, this is classic Enneagram stuff. Because see, part of the thing that happens is we think everybody is responding to the same stuff in the same way that we are.
And that's just not true. . So for eights they, which is what I am, anything that's going on, we respond with anger and upset. Again. It's another way of trying to control things and, it just doesn't work. And then you have the nines peace at any price, who will do anything and move anything around because they don't want the people in their lives to be unhappy or to be upset or whatever.
And they have no boundaries. And so then all of a sudden they just take it and take it and take it and take it until they explode. That's what happened in my 20 year marriage. I was an eight, married to a nine and he just finally exploded one day and that was it.
And so when you can discover what is driving people, what is underneath it opens up this whole new world where you can take [00:51:00] everybody off the hook and it's oh my gosh, this is what's really going on. Cuz there's always something really going on and you just don't know what it is.
Anybody that I hire, I have them take the Enneagram test. It's a 10 minute test that you can take for free on the internet. So everybody I really advise you to take the test. In my book, what I do is I talk about, cuz my book is divided into chapters about all the different parts of your life your life, your relationships, your work, your money, your body, and how you feel about the world.
And so then I talk about with each piece of that, how the different styles or the different numbers, how the one views the world, how a two views the world, how you can be your best in the world with that. And so to be able to look at everybody and see, oh, this is what's really going on with them. That's why I love it so much because it really allows you to look at everybody through this [00:52:00] compassionate lens of, oh, that's what's going on. And we have staff meetings where we're going, oh yeah, no.
I love that.
Debra: Oh, you're just being it too. Come on for everybody. It's really nice of you, but you gotta stop. That's incredible. It's, it really is. I really talk about it in my book in terms of taking everybody off the hook, including yourself. because this is the thing that goes on with eights, eights come off as so strong and blah, blah, blah.
And they get angry and they're very powerful and all of that. And the truth is, whenever we're like getting angry, we hate ourselves. And the truth is, we really have this marshmallow center that just wants to be loved. so when I finally started reading about myself, I'm like, oh my God, I'm not a giant bitch.
I'm just, wired this way? Okay. ? And just blathering my anger out all over. Everybody is not getting me what I want. And so when I could go into compassion for myself and really understand this, okay, this is part of my [00:53:00] life force. This is part of my life energy. This got me through a really difficult childhood with my alcoholic father.
And all the stuff that was going on that I didn't in my head know was going on. But energetically I knew something was very wrong. And so it really helped me to come into compassion for myself and go, oh wow. Oh, this is how I'm wired and I can stop hating myself for getting angry at people.
And so it is just such a wonderful way of coming into compassion for yourself and for other people, and then in understanding how can I get along with this person better? It's the ultimate in emotional intelligence. It helps you figure out really quickly how can you be emotionally intelligent with people?
So that's why I use it with friends, family, employees, with everybody. Absolutely. With everybody.
Karen: that's good wisdom. Yes. We have
Robyn: learned so much today. I'm just saying,
I'm sure everybody listening
Debra: has as well. This has just been so much fun for me. I feel so blessed [00:54:00] to have been able to come from a life that was just so unhappy and so to finally becoming a happy person and then to, be able to have this business that just does all this stuff for people.
And, at this point I just feel like it's not me. This was so taken over a long time ago by, something way bigger than me. And so now I just sit back and go, wow, look at that. That is just that's so interesting and so amazing.
And the more that people can just really be listening to what's going on with them, if you have a desire, the universe is giving you that desire and your desire is out there and wanting to be matched. And it doesn't matter what you're talking about. Whether you're talking about your work, your life purpose, your relationship, your body, money, abundance, it doesn't matter if you have a desire, it's out there being matched, and you just have to get yourself into this [00:55:00] same vibration as this thing that you want.
And that's the problem that people don't understand this thing that you want. This great guy, wonderful body health, money, happiness, all that. It's all vibrating up here. And if you're vibrating down here, It's not gonna happen. So you just have to figure out how to get yourself vibrating up there, and that's when the matchup happens.
Robyn: Thank you for creating ways for people to find that, to get there and to work on themselves and your created a way, both with your book and of course with Sedona Soul, adventures of transforming their lives.
Debra: One soul at a time, one soul at
Robyn: a time, which is
Karen: that really walks outta Sedona, a completely different person.
And I can't wait to get back there. thank you, Debra, really for following those little steps and creating this wonderful experience that so many people are. Transforming by so And they're living there. Maybe now. New. Excited. What did you
Debra: say? [00:56:00] Expectation. I'm gonna be that all day.
And really thank
Robyn: you for articulating everything so clearly for everyone today and capturing the magic of Sedona and the magic of Sedona Soul Adventures. I feel like there's gonna be a lot of people who are going to look into booking their own Sedona soul adventure, whether it's for themselves or with their partner.
Robyn: listening, you can go and find out how to book your Sedona Soul Adventure, either in person or virtually by visiting sedona soul adventures.com. You can find Debra's book The Journey to Happy. How Embracing the Concept That Nothing Is Wrong Can Transform Your Life On amazon.com, and you can find out more about Debra at Debra stangl.
it's D e B R A S T A N G l.com. So and we're just so grateful to have had this
Thank you guys. This was so much fun.