Oprah & Gayle’s Pivotal Moment at Miraval: Life Lessons for All

The Miraval Life in Balance Resort and Spa is renown both for its luxury, environmental-friendly accommodations and its commitment to excellence in customer service.  Located in the Catalina Desert north of Tucson, Arizona, enjoys an outstanding reputation for helping guests find and/or restore a level of balance in their lives through proper exercise, healthy eating, self-reflection and self-awareness.

On account of its premiere offerings, world-class staff, refined menus and full range of spiritual and physical activities, Miraval continues to rank among the top spas in the world and, thus, attract renown clientele the likes of talk show host extraordinaire, Oprah Winfrey.

It stands to reason that Oprah Winfrey and her best gal pal, broadcast journalist Gail King, selected Miraval as the site to bring 60 women guests as a way of presenting them a rewarding challenge.

Calling it both the “Ultimate Girls’ Getaway” and “Oprah and Gayle’s Big Spa Adventure,” the memorable trip included many outstanding moments. While on the surface it may have looked like the women were being whisked away for a relaxing retreat, there was another plan rumbling beneath the surface.  Oprah and Gayle had another plan in mind.

Upon arrival at Miraval, that plan was unveiled!

When Oprah, Gayle and their 60 guests arrived at Miraval they were greeted by Molly, their Challenge Facilitator, who introduced them to their introductory activity, A Swing and a Prayer, during which each participant was to hang 40 feet up in the air until ready to ‘let go’ and fall to an inflated mattress below.

Naturally, as the underlying theme at the Miraval Spa is to practice letting go of excess baggage, the activity is symbolic of a deeper type of emotional release, one in which the person is truly ready to be free and live an unencumbered life.

Prior to embarking on this initial quest, Molly, their Miraval spa personal challenge guru, informed all of the guests they would regularly be asked—and should continually ask themselves— “What is your intention?” The underlying question was, “What do you want to experience or accomplish today?”
As Molly got each to woman share her goals for the day’s exercise, it became crystal clear that focused, meaningful experiences—and not just massages and manicures—were at the core of the group’s complementary spa visit.

Poised to embark on the A Swing and a Prayer exercise, Oprah said that her goal was “More joy.” Although she stated she was already pretty joyful, she also said joy is one thing you can never have
enough of!  Bring it on: “…more joy!”

Oprah, the brave soul she is, volunteered to go first. Aside from being pretty talkative—and probably nervous—she managed to easily let go of the rope and descend to the ground bellowing the words, “More Joy.”

When it came time for Ms. Gail to follow suit, she appeared to be far more afraid than her best buddy. Reluctant to let go of the rope, when Molly asked what was preventing her from letting go, Gail sniped back, “Fear!”

Molly did her best to assuage Gayle’s fears by offering advice and questioning her intentions.  Gayle finally faced those fears, set her intention on personal growth, and took it upon herself to let go of the rope.

After falling through the air and landing safely on the mattress, Gayle, who still seemed a bit miffed by the entire experience, firmly stated, “That was very frightening to me and I’ll never do that again.”

While this snippet from Oprah and Gayle’s “Big Spa Adventure” does have a humorous element to it, there’s an upshot in all of it, a deeper meaning from which we can all glean some meaning and maybe even hone our own intentions.  The experiences of these women illustrate that success in one realm does not exclude fear in others.  Successful people quite simply do not let their fears restrain them. 

While a fear (some say it is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real) isn’t necessarily something to be ashamed of, it is something to be reckoned with.  Not realized and addressed, it can hamper your goals and your progress toward them. 

The overriding idea then is to identify the fear and then find ways to overcome it. At Miraval, you’ll face those fears head-on!

The four-pronged approach outlined to Oprah, Gayle and their guests by Miraval Life Coach Martha Beck contained the four following elements: stillness, truth, desire and trust.

1. Focus on staying still in order to hear what your inner voice is saying to you. Be willing to experience some discomfort when sitting still as it is likely to bring up difficult emotions like fear, anger, sadness, and other feelings that you would prefer to avoid.
2. Identify your own truth by answering the completing the following statements:
a. What I really don’t want to know is that…
b. I’m avoiding looking at the fact that…
c. The absolute bottom-line truth about my life is…
d. The thing I’m avoiding thinking about is…
3. Determine what you personally desire out of life as opposed to what other people want for you or that which you think you should want.
4. Develop a sense of trust and faith that the universe will provide everything you need and that your life will work out just as it is meant to be.

Look online for more information about Miraval and talk to your cosmetic surgeon about any questions you may have on spa options.  In the meantime, consider what’s keeping you clinging to that figurative rope in your own life…and what you have to gain by letting go!

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