Reflections on a half-century

Grief and spring are a potent container for embarking on the “back nine”

I have been celebrating my 50th birthday with family and loved ones. It is ongoing. A dear friend advised that at this entry point, into my 6th decade on planet earth, I can celebrate all year long, so that’s exactly what I plan to do.

Sadly, my mother-in-law passed away on March 6. You can read here about the profound energy and portal space that that day was, perfect for her. After hosting a celebration of life worthy of her Nordic ancestry, my husband and I left for a beach vacation on the Baja in Todos Santos. Friends of ours took us to yoga, treated us to their favorite restaurants, and set up a local guide for us, taking a simple fishing boat out to whale watch, where we were gifted a glimpse into the life of a humpback whale family, breaching and spouting in what appeared to be a dance. Our guide told us the story of the great whale that gave its life for the fishermen and families of Todos Santos many decades ago, and ever since, the people have made offerings at a simple shrine near the beach, to thank the whales.

We let the balm of our tears rise and pour over, in remembrance of my husband’s mother, at sunrise and sunset, as the heartbeat of the earth sounded out the rhythm of time against the shore in the form of the ocean waves.

Ocean waves at sunset, Todos Santos, Baja Peninsula, MX. Photo credit H. Baines

Then, last week we celebrated my true day of birth with family, in the desert of Canyonlands. I spent long days hiking, in silence and contemplation, with my own mother. We have many years of healing experience together. We have been visiting the desert together, seasonally, since I was ten years old.

On the Island in the Sky overlooking Arches N.P.
Photo credit D Makoff

On turning 50, I have been in a deep process of reflection. My life review at this midpoint recalls: the turmoil of a troubled childhood; the love and devotion I have for my parents, elders, siblings, husband and children; my dharma along the healing path; my heart’s resilience; and the strength and stamina that have been passed to me and through me by my ancestral karma and DNA.

I was the child of teenage parents and lived through their divorce and 80’s style custody battle (“conscious uncoupling” wasn’t a thing back then). I was raised in a strict Christian household (my father’s) and later reconciled my spirituality with the radiant counter-culture home and lifestyle of my mother’s.

At 17 years I left home to pursue college education at a state school under an ROTC scholarship. At 18 years I rejected that scholarship, gave my uniform back to my commanding officer, and embraced the freedom to pursue my education under my own direction, trading in engineering for the literary arts. I had more than one professor and mentor advise me to pursue law, which I refused because my intuition told me I’d have to sharpen my already painfully sharp (pitta) mind. I’ve read the bible, both the Old and New Testaments, the Quran, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Mahabharata, the Book of Mormon, the Meditations on the Tarot, and the Poetic and Prose Eddas of Nordic mythology and find the poetry of Rumi stunningly and profoundly wise and beautiful. Perhaps I should have pursued a degree in World Religions.

At 25 years I married, and this summer we will celebrate our 25th anniversary. Our first year of marriage I fell into deep depression, which likely would have been diagnosed as major depressive disorder if I had sought medical diagnosis. Instead, I pursued meditation, and in meditation heard the words audibly: “serve all and love one another” which changed my orientation to work in the world and my relationship to my own self.

At 27 years I miscarried and grief racked my body in ways I didn’t know possible. At 28 years we had our first child, a beautiful girl, and at 32 years our second, a son. Neither birth went as planned, and if I knew then what I know today, hindsight being 20/20, I would have sought the care of an Ayurvedic doula to both prepare for conception and birth, and to receive postpartum care. Despite my lack of knowledge and preparation, both of my babies survived, thrived and grew, and are beautiful and strong today. They have been mostly raised on Ayurveda. When we moved from the city of Seattle in the Pacific Northwest to the mountains of Colorado, at 30 years, I learned, practiced, and committed to teaching yoga, which eventually led me to Ayurvedic healing. At 36 years I began studying in earnest, practicing mind/body techniques, herbalism, and traditional medicine making in an ashram. My teachers granted me the blessing to lead puja. It has been several years since I offered my last fire ceremony. If these winds calm down, I may offer it again.

My life review at 50 has revealed the many threads of the tapestry of my life – a tapestry that integrates and honors our ancestors, our humanness, and our profound capacity for healing and wholeness. I carry my Light, to illuminate for you your own innate ability to live a profoundly healthy, happy, and humble life.


In celebration of my 50th birthday, I’m offering a special discount on appointments.

Now through the end of May 2024, give yourself the gift of 120 minutes for your health review, plus receive a Core therapeutic treatment, for only $150*.

Or book a series of 3 (60-minute) consultations/treatments for $300 or a series of 5 (60-minute) for only $450.

My gift to you.

Call or text me today to schedule. Mention “birthday” to receive your discount.

*New patient appointments are regularly $350. Yes, you read that right – for a limited time save $200 on your initial appointment! This turning point is a big deal.