Happy 100th Birthday to the “Godmother of Wellness.”

May 3, 2022

Happy 100th Birthday to the “Godmother of Wellness.”

May 29, 2023

Deborah Szekely was born to Jewish immigrants 100 years ago today (May 3, 1922). I was lucky enough to meet her at the Esalen Institute, where I was a Board member for a decade. I could immediately tell that she epitomized the French expression “joie de vivre.”

I feel a kinship with her because she set up camp in northern Baja California, just south of the border from San Diego. But imagine, at 18 years old, moving from New York to live in an isolated part of Mexico in 1940. She and her husband called this spot Rancho La Puerta, a spa resort that still exists today. Ironically, Deborah didn’t get a massage until she was 60 years old.

In 1958, Deborah opened the Golden Door, a smaller luxury spa property near San Diego which became popular with the rich and famous. She’s raised more than $25 million for 21 local cultural organizations, and she’s the kind of role model who only gets better with age.

Want to learn more about this remarkable woman? Here’s a recent Washington Post profile.

What will they say about you when you hit the triple-digits?

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