I cried the year I turned 22. Honest. From a broken heart- soulful life-is-over weepfest. That might sound silly and self serving, but at the time, the devastation was so very real. Youth, right? Life. No doubt. Don’t you love it?! From that point on, I was fine with aging. I felt comfortable in my body, mind and spirit. I loved my birthdays! Life was and is a process. When I think back over my life, I think of it in phases. Memories and the present are separated with silky gauzy curtains flowing in gentle whispering breezes. If I don’t get distracted by the beauty of this, I might actually get on with the memories I’m seeking. Or not. I live very much in the present and attempt to be in the “now” as true as I can.  I believe in owning each moment even if it’s only breathing- especially breathing! But there are some things not easily ignored.

Sixty was a distraction. Sixty was a reality that I couldn’t ignore. A sudden speed bump in my life! So, 60 was going to need to be a celebration!

Early last year I began thinking in this vein- a celebration. I’ve never celebrated a birthday beyond a nice dinner out, maybe a weekend away. Never far- the Pacific Northwest offers so many lovely rendezvous. The strange part when I’m asked how I chose where we went:  It just popped in my head, and the idea grew into a certainty within days. Sedona, Arizona. Furthermore, I web-searched Sedona one time for lodging, saw L’Auberge de Sedona and looked no further. It was the ONLY lodging I saw, and I knew without a doubt it was where I wanted to be in Sedona. I knew nothing about Sedona, nothing. And 10 months ago I knew this is where I wanted to celebrate 60.

So, that’s where I went. My husband deigned to travel with me, which in itself is a semi miracle. I do most of my traveling with my soulmate (think: Oprah-Gayle), Melissa. Of course, she was included in my Turning 60 quest, as well. We always have a spectacular time together and turning 60 with my two loves completed the circle.

Leaving the clickity-clack and other wondrous details of my spirit quest unwritten, I do want to call out the L’Auberge Spa treatments I received during my stay. I’ve often said I’ve never had a facial, right? Before last week I’d never had a spa treatment of any sort. I have had treatments now, and how! Holy.

I had already booked spa time at L’Auberge pretty much the minute I booked my trip. Lovely Marta and my role here at TIA toed the door open a bit further, and among the lovely facial treatments I received, L’Auberge complimented me their signature Vitamin C Antioxidant facial. My esthetician, Devika, was remarkable, and with or without previous experience I know she’s good. Devika began with a gommage exfoliation followed by a lymphatic massage over my entire face and my feet. This was followed by another facial massage called Aculift after which she applied a rejuvenating mask with a Vitamin C ampoule for deep penetration. This mask was applied using a gauzy mask. I also had what’s called Eye Extreme Eye Rescue. During this treatment, Devika applied serum and collagen around my eyes, then applied an eye mask, to which she performed a cold marble stone massage to my entire orbital area. While my Vitamin C facial was finishing off, she performed a final pressure point massage on my face. Wow!

Now, truly understand- I’ve never had a facial! This was 90 minutes of pure love just for my face. The results were glorious. I looked 20 years younger. (No, I didn’t take a camera with me!) My face was so plump… think baby. My spa treatments didn’t end there… I went on to have what L’Auberge Spa calls a Hot Toddy for the Body which lasted an hour. This is an entire body exfoliation and rinse, followed by oils rubbed in massage style. Mariposa performed this treatment, and I can’t say enough about the care, time and concern of this treatment. The scents were beyond this world, and my skin was saturated with moisture when finished.

Devika and Mariposa: Thank you so very much, from my heart to yours, thank you! And to our TIA readers: If you ever get to Sedona AZ, try to put the Spa at L’Auberge on your agenda! The entire experience at L’Auberge de Sedona was beyond amazing. My spirit took flight.

L’Auberge is the baseline to which I’ll be rating further treatments, and I have a feeling I’ve already experienced the higher echelon. I felt there was so much care taken to take these treatments to a level higher than this earthen plane. I have no previous experience with which to compare. Of course I was in Sedona, and Sedona is surrounded by mystical vortexes. I am Aquarius and open to all that is mystical and celebrate it. I felt magic; I felt my hippie roots!

I turned 60. I am 60 years old!