The 40s

So I’m looking back on the 40s  - not the 1940s – my 40s! Because tomorrow I turn 50. I cannot imagine what my fifties hold for me because there is no way I could have predicted the amazing happenings of my forties. Here are the highlights:

When I was 39 I began the process of creating breathe books. I was inspired while standing in the (now- closed) Bodhi Tree Bookstore in West Hollywood, California. I was in front of the reincarnation section and it hit me that I could have a bookstore with a reincarnation section! Thus the idea for breathe books was born, which luckily has consumed my forties!

I opened breathe books, in October 2004 when I was 41 years old, to amazing success! The bookstore was a hit from day one which was thrilling, exciting and exhausting and sometimes daunting. While I had support from a few friends, opening breathe was pretty much a solitary effort which I can now see was a major theme in my life. I was always determined to make things happen on my own. That way the success or failure was mine and mine alone. Much of my life has been spent this way.

But breathe books taught me, among other things, that accepting help is a good thing. That one does not have to go it alone all the time. And one does not have to compromise their soul to collaborate! This I have learned…

At the age of 44 I went to The Chopra Center in California (a lot of good things happen in CA!) and began my Ayurvedic journey. A week-long stay there resulted in a 50 pound-weight loss and the beginning of a journey through this ancient Indian system of health that has now become my passion and a significant portion of my livelihood.

At the age of 45 (December 6, 2008 to be exact) a man walked into my bookstore. Not an extraordinary fact on a
larry fbregular day. But this man had a spark I had never seen before in a person. And we chatted and chatted and I thought oh I could talk to (and look at!) this man for ever! One year later to the date, after enjoying the Mayor’s Christmas  Parade in Hampden, Larry Bohlen asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. From the day we met our future together was inevitable. We got married on September 26, 2010.

On December 30, 2010, a friend walked into breathe books carrying the most adorable puppy in her arms. Me (not {yet} a dog person) said – oh let me me hold Ella Shakti Weis-Bohlenher for just a minute…and that was that! Larry and I adopted “Speckles” on January 2, 2011 and our life raising a puppy began. We soon renamed her Ellananda Shakti Weis-Bohlen – Ella for short! To say I’m a crazy dog-lady now is a massive understatement!

So there I was, 47 years old, basking in the love of a husband, a wonderful marriage, and a beautiful dog, never knowing that any of this was even possible. I had no idea how much love one could have in their house, in their heart. It still astonishes me. Brings me to tears, even…

48 and 49 have continued to bring unexpected love to our home. Now we have Shadow, my mother-in-law’s dog, living with us. She and Ella are best friends and we have twice 315417_10200589854041905_2147443060_nas much doggy love to go around!

At 49 and a half I decided that we really needed to expand breathe books in order for it to thrive and be around for a very long time. In addition to books, providing people with healthy, delicious food has become increasingly important to me. So the idea for breathe bookstore cafe was born. Working together with Larry to create a business and financial plan, we’ve been able to raise nearly $150,000 to make this idea a reality. In our nine years of being part of the Baltimore community, so many of you believe in us and our mission that you are supporting our efforts to bring you vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and Ayurvedic foods! We hope to be open by the end of May.

I will be about a month into my fifties by then! And I have no idea what amazing adventures await me. All I know is that I’ve never felt better. I think I look better too! I’ve never been more comfortable with myself inside and out. I certainly have a heart filled to the brim with love and joy. I’m deeply humbled by all I have learned through my meditation, Ayurvedic and yoga practices, and all I have learned from my customers. While I have few close friends, I know and love thousands of people around the world! My close friends are dear to me. My mother is healthy and my sisters are fine.

So here’s to 50! I’m open to all the possibilities and look forward to 50 more years of great health, fun, joy, love and adventure. Abundance in all areas of our lives. Larry has shown me a world I didn’t even know was possible. Such deep love and commitment. I highly recommend this marriage thing! It’s more profound than I could have imagined. No matter what age you are, I hope you are able to share love and joy with all the beings in your world.

Love to all of you!

Susan