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Don't stay lost after loss.

Don't stay lost after loss.

“Pressure CAN make a diamond.”
It’s AFTER disaster when support matters most.

You don’t have to stay stuck just getting by with draining coping efforts. You can replenish naturally, and ultimately benefit from radical change.

I want you to avoid losing more time, energy, self-confidence, joy and opportunities after loss, failure and complicated grief. (Like I did.)

For years, I struggled with confusion and depletion after traumatic events in my own life. I eventually realized a simple, natural approach to complete revival I wish I’d had much sooner.

With this process, I’ve helped high-responsibility, accomplished women from all over the world recover their peace, energy and clarity–and craft fulfilling futures–after surviving complex loss of all kinds.

Whatever’s happened–even if you feel responsible–you need and deserve revival and a brilliant fresh start.

“Working with Niika is intimate, challenging, liberating and empowering. I highly recommend her revival mentorship.”

–Debra W.

My Story

From age 14, I studied and practiced yoga, breath-work, various forms of meditation and eco-psychology. I was never very popular at school, but my schoolmates often phoned me after school for advice on teenage struggles.

By 19, I entered an ashram in India to deepen my internal experiences while developing practical design and leadership skills within an international community.

For the next 25 years I immersed myself in this Nature-based approach to maintaining and restoring balance, teaching clinicians, advanced yoga teachers and other professionals, and writing articles to share the concepts of Ayurveda, which I call “a language of life.”

I loved sharing discovery of Nature’s ways through direct sensory experience.

Of the 8 branches of Ayurveda, I took special interest in rasayana–rejuvenation.

I decided to return to India–not to an ashram–but to found and direct a residential hospital in the southern state of Kerala where depleted women could come and stay long enough to receive customized, complete restoration.

Revival was our speciality, and my primary clinical role was counseling and coaching our often high-profile patients, many who had quite a lot to recover from.

Born into family trauma and dysfunction, I was also blessed to be surrounded by nature, love and wisdom. The chasm between these opposites stretched and strengthened me into an extra-sensitive, perceptive, caring, curious, creative, nature-loving young one, just beginning my life-long deep-dive for truth, harmony and ways to make things better, inside and out.

As a girl, I explored aesthetics and philosophy through music, writing, design, athletics, reading, cuisine and a vibrant, visceral relationship with nature.

After five years, I wanted to test my abilities in real, “normal” life. So I “graduated myself” and moved to San Francisco to work in design, date, and embrace all the pleasures and challenges life would bring my way.

Before long, life brought me a beautiful, blonde baby boy! As a single mom, I struggled to be and give all I wanted to for my son. I was under-resourced and became depleted. I wrestled with anxiety, depression and debilitating fatigue, and worried this would affect my son.

Eventually weary of doctor visits, I yearned to know how to keep myself in balance and restore myself after imbalance, too. So I began a formal study of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian health care system using Nature’s forces and qualities as therapeutics to restore the body and mind.

At Rasa Ayurveda Traditional Healing Centre for Women, we received women from all over the world for restorative treatment to address chronic illness, infertility, burnout and depletion mostly fueled by complicated grief and complex post-traumatic stress.

Our comprehensive care was truly holistic, including internal and external treatments, medicines, healing cuisine, and a simple, restorative environment I designed to dial down mental clutter and immerse our patients and students in Nature’s sensory qualities.

Born into family trauma and dysfunction, I was also blessed to be surrounded by nature, love and wisdom. The chasm between these opposites stretched and strengthened me into an extra-sensitive, perceptive, caring, curious, creative, nature-loving young one, just beginning my life-long deep-dive for truth, harmony and ways to make things better, inside and out.

As a girl, I explored aesthetics and philosophy through music, writing, design, athletics, reading, cuisine and a vibrant, visceral relationship with nature.

From age 14, I studied and practiced yoga, breath-work, various forms of meditation and eco-psychology. I was never very popular at school, but my schoolmates often phoned me after school for advice on teenage struggles.

By 19, I entered an ashram in India to deepen my internal experiences while developing practical design and leadership skills within an international community.

After five years, I wanted to test my abilities in real, “normal” life. So I “graduated myself” and moved to San Francisco to work in design, date, and embrace all the pleasures and challenges life would bring my way.

Before long, life brought me a beautiful, blonde baby boy! As a single mom, I struggled to be and give all I wanted to for my son. I was under-resourced and became depleted. I wrestled with anxiety, depression and debilitating fatigue, and worried this would affect my son.

Eventually weary of doctor visits, I yearned to know how to keep myself in balance and restore myself after imbalance, too. So I began a formal study of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian health care system using Nature’s forces and qualities as therapeutics to restore the body and mind.

For the next 25 years I immersed myself in this Nature-based approach to maintaining and restoring balance, teaching clinicians, advanced yoga teachers and other professionals, and writing articles to share the concepts of Ayurveda, which I call “a language of life.”

I loved sharing discovery of Nature’s ways through direct sensory experience.

Of the 8 branches of Ayurveda, I took special interest in rasayana–rejuvenation.

I decided to return to India–not to an ashram–but to found and direct a residential hospital in the southern state of Kerala where depleted women could come and stay long enough to receive customized, complete restoration.

At Rasa Ayurveda Traditional Healing Centre for Women, we received women from all over the world for restorative treatment to address chronic illness, infertility, burnout and depletion mostly fueled by complicated grief and complex post-traumatic stress.

Our comprehensive care was truly holistic, including internal and external treatments, medicines, healing cuisine, and a simple, restorative environment I designed to dial down mental clutter and immerse our patients and students in Nature’s sensory qualities.

Revival was our speciality, and my primary clinical role was counseling and coaching our often high-profile patients, many who had quite a lot to recover from.

It was a rewarding time building the foundations of my dream clinic and sharing India with my son.

We forged close relationships in community, while my son learned ancient massage techniques, studied traditional drumming and practiced Kalaripayattu – the South Indian martial art known as the oldest in the world. Ever physically active, he played basketball in town with the local kids, too!

But just two years into developing Rasa Ayurveda, my son had a terrible motorcycle accident back home in the U.S., losing both of his legs to amputation on the road.

I got to the trauma center before he woke from his first, hours-long surgery, lived with him in the ICU and stayed at his bedside through the months of grueling medical treatment that saved his life, but could not heal his soul.

In the year after the accident, great people lent their support to us in ways I’m still grateful for. But as is true in all tragedies, eventually “the casseroles stop coming” just as the aftershocks and aftermath set in, and the more challenging journey of accepting, adapting and reinventing life must begin.

Can you imagine facing permanent disfigurement at age 19? He’d been an incredible athlete and very physically expressive, could imitate anyone with his whole body and send everyone around into fits of laughter. Taller than me, he’d picked me up all the time, just for fun. He’d carried boxes for our moves and had been my “man around the house” wherever we went.

Released after months in hospital, he kept his strength up like a warrior, but setbacks and disappointments kept coming his way. He had to wait over a year to try prosthetics, enduring more surgeries first. Those didn’t go well. His residual legs didn’t heal, so the doctors went in again to take more femur length from the little he had left. It was heartbreaking and brutal.

To ease his pain, of course, he was prescribed much too much oxycontin. He’d avoided painkillers for over a year, but soon became his only respite from all the kinds of pain and loss he continued to experience. He went to counseling, but it wasn’t enough.

If you know about opiate addiction, you can envision the drama and pain the next decade would bring. The addict’s loved one or parent often has no idea how bad things are–until they’re seriously bad. I could not turn the tide for my son. He lost more and more of himself and his life, while every resource was ravaged. I made up for our lack with a mother’s  determination, celebrating the smallest wins and showing joy every moment I could find it, but as this hellish realm persisted for us both, fear lurked and my spirit grew thin.

I kept directing Rasa Ayurveda, traveling back and forth from my son to India, like a ping-pong ball, trying to keep him healing and the hospital thriving. I passionately coached our patients online from the U.S. during this time. Thanks to our great staff, local supporters and especially our manager, Sanju Kumar–my closest friend and vital partner in developing and sustaining our hospital–our patients saw great results.

Upon my arrival at Rasa on one occasion, Sanju hobbled up my stairs for our meeting. He’d twisted his ankle badly a few days before, which led to what I believe was a pulmonary embolism and fatal heart attack. At age 49, he was taken from his family and community, our hospital and me forever.

We’d been an indomitable pair, a truly effective team. Our project could only been possible through our partnership. He’d managed our staff, assisted patients, handled logistics for our trainings, made wonderful medicinal oils by hand, and had been crucial to holding Rasa steady while I had to be away.

Suddenly, he was gone. His widow and girls, our staff and patients needed comfort and direction. Too tragic. So terribly final. We were all blasted off balance. In a culture I loved but that wasn’t my own, I did my best to reassure and lead while my soul evaporated into the ether.

If you know about opiate addiction, you can envision the drama and pain the next decade would bring. The addict’s loved one or parent often has no idea how bad things are–until they’re seriously bad. I could not turn the tide for my son. He lost more and more of himself and his life, while every resource was ravaged. I made up for our lack with a mother’s  determination, celebrating the smallest wins and showing joy every moment I could find it, but as this hellish realm persisted for us both, fear lurked and my spirit grew thin.

I kept directing Rasa Ayurveda, traveling back and forth from my son to India, like a ping-pong ball, trying to keep him healing and the hospital thriving. I passionately coached our patients online from the U.S. during this time. Thanks to our great staff, local supporters and especially our manager, Sanju Kumar–my closest friend and vital partner in developing and sustaining our hospital–our patients saw great results.

Upon my arrival at Rasa on one occasion, Sanju hobbled up my stairs for our meeting. He’d twisted his ankle badly a few days before, which led to what I believe was a pulmonary embolism and fatal heart attack. At age 49, he was taken from his family and community, our hospital and me forever.

We’d been an indomitable pair, a truly effective team. Our project could only been possible through our partnership. He’d managed our staff, assisted patients, handled logistics for our trainings, made wonderful medicinal oils by hand, and had been crucial to holding Rasa steady while I had to be away.

Suddenly, he was gone. His widow and girls, our staff and patients needed comfort and direction. Too tragic. So terribly final. We were all blasted off balance. In a culture I loved but that wasn’t my own, I did my best to reassure and lead while my soul evaporated into the ether.

I knew no one should  hold so much responsibility, while facing so much devastation. I needed replenishment and backup, but my personal relationships weren’t for that. I tried joining support groups, but they focused on the kind of loss or type of trauma experienced–on bonding over “what happened.” That didn’t help me.  I needed to be strengthened, heal and forge on.

For a while, I met grief coaches, therapists and healers, too. They cared, but couldn’t get past my novel circumstances to guide or direct me on how, exactly, I could find deep stability, clear my mind, heal my heart and steer toward a juicy life–in spite of circumstances-instead of a fearful or bitter one. I told my story over and over, but it just wore me out and left me feeling more alone as uncertainty grew and my son’s addiction raged on. It wasn’t empathy I needed, but a wise, compassionate guide who could show me the way.

“Trial and erroring” my way through those really hard times was long and grueling, but I’m grateful now for what I gained. I was whittled down to my essence and stripped to my core, to discover two valuable qualities I hadn’t fully encountered in myself: Humility and acceptance. Finally, I was ready to be transformed.

I had to “fall all the way down” to recognize that my health, sanity and future were solely in my hands. I took a pause from trying so hard, learned to enjoy stillness again and just…listened. I slowed down, cultivated openness and observed myself, my situations, and the natural world around me. Instead of pushing for things to go a certain way, I got quiet and curious.

I looked more to the only real things I’d always had–Nature and my inner knowing. One day, like a lightning bolt from heaven, I saw plainly how Nature had been showing me the perfect steps I could always take to heal myself, enjoy every day no matter what, and live into a brighter future. With this insight, I knew I would revive, replenish and thrive anew.

My life now brims with peace and joy. I can rely on a rooted stability and know I’ll be fine, come what may.

The seed of my future has sprouted and as this next stage takes form–I’m in love with living!

Life’s so rich, so beautiful. The confusion, grief, shame, guilt and fear that had closed in around me? They no longer bleach life’s color away.

Sanju’s family is doing well, and my son’s happily married to a woman I adore. They’re finding their way.



Now, when I’m not coaching women to revive naturally after crisis and disaster, I’m designing water-harvesting landscapes and other healing spaces, connecting with inspiring people, gardening, taking a walk with my son, dog training, hiking, wild food foraging, bird watching or listening to South Indian classical music.

Life is juicy now, and my soul often sings.
Here’s to revival!
with care,

I knew no one should hold so much responsibility, while facing so much devastation. I needed replenishment and backup, but my personal relationships weren’t for that. I tried joining support groups, but they focused on the kind of loss or type of trauma experienced–on bonding over “what happened.” That didn’t help me.  I needed to be strengthened, heal and forge on.

For a while, I met grief coaches, therapists and healers, too. They cared, but couldn’t get past my novel circumstances to guide or direct me on how, exactly, I could find deep stability, clear my mind, heal my heart and steer toward a juicy life–in spite of circumstances-instead of a fearful or bitter one. I told my story over and over, but it just wore me out and left me feeling more alone as uncertainty grew and my son’s addiction raged on. It wasn’t empathy I needed, but a wise, compassionate guide who could show me the way.

“Trial and erroring” my way through those really hard times was long and grueling, but I’m grateful now for what I gained. I was whittled down to my essence and stripped to my core, to discover two valuable qualities I hadn’t fully encountered in myself: Humility and acceptance. Finally, I was ready to be transformed.

I had to “fall all the way down” to recognize that my health, sanity and future were solely in my hands. I took a pause from trying so hard, learned to enjoy stillness again and just…listened. I slowed down, cultivated openness and observed myself, my situations, and the natural world around me. Instead of pushing for things to go a certain way, I got quiet and curious.

I looked more to the only real things I’d always had–Nature and my inner knowing. One day, like a lightning bolt from heaven, I saw plainly how Nature had been showing me the perfect steps I could always take to heal myself, enjoy every day no matter what, and live into a brighter future. With this insight, I knew I would revive, replenish and thrive anew.

My life now brims with peace and joy. I can rely on a rooted stability and know I’ll be fine, come what may.

The seed of my future has sprouted and as this next stage takes form–I’m in love with living!

Life’s so rich, so beautiful. The confusion, grief, shame, guilt and fear that had closed in around me? They no longer bleach life’s color away.

Sanju’s family is doing well, and my son’s happily married to a woman I adore. They’re finding their way.



Now, when I’m not coaching women to revive naturally after crisis and disaster, I’m designing water-harvesting landscapes and other healing spaces, connecting with inspiring people, gardening, taking a walk with my son, dog training, hiking, wild food foraging, bird watching or listening to South Indian classical music.

Life is juicy now, and my soul often sings.
Here’s to revival!
with care,