Today we’d like to introduce you to Marie-Elizabeth Mali.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in New York City, in a family that mixed together three cultures, Venezuelan, Swedish, and American. I spoke three languages by the age of three. That constant translation and crossing cultures created a fascination around belonging and fitting in that informs my work today. I’ve always been curious about which parts of our identity are really ours and which parts are inherited and how to connect across boundaries of difference. Clearly, I was a deep, dreamy, and bookish kid!
I’m still all of those things today and have devoted my life to passions that take me deep below the surface, like spiritual and personal growth work, poetry, and underwater photography, and helping women in transition reinvent their lives,
I moved to Santa Monica in the spring of 2015 and love it here, though I still keep a place in Brooklyn and go back often to check in on my mother. Part of what inspired me to move here was the climate and ability to drive everywhere. I was in devastating chronic pain at the time and could no longer navigate the subways and long walking distances in New York. After coming here I got diagnosed with osteoarthritis and bone spurs in my hips and have since had them both replaced.
As I come out of a decade of chronic pain, I’m experiencing an expansion and resurgence of joy, energy, and freedom. I love being able to walk down to Main St. to use the cool tech at the Bulletproof Labs, since I’m also a biohacker who’s fascinated by human performance and optimizing wellness.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
One of my biggest struggles has been to find the sense of belonging within myself that I now bring with me wherever I go. As a culturally mixed and naturally introverted person, I didn’t grow up with a singular place where I belonged, which made me try to fit in wherever I was. My sense of self was fluid and a bit shaky. The struggle I experienced as a child, and the fluid sense of self that I used to find problematic, I now see as a strength in our currently divided world because it allows me to help build bridges between people.
Being in chronic pain for a decade was also hugely transformative. I felt betrayed by my body and had to confront the ways I was willful and dominant with my body, trying to make it do what I wanted it to do rather than listening to what it needed. Like many women, I had more of a war-like relationship with my body than a friendly one. Transforming my relationship with my body has been one of the major healing experiences of my life and is part of the wisdom that I bring to my coaching clients.
Choosing to end my marriage was another struggle. I was married to a wonderful man and much of our life together was terrific. But there were a few incompatibilities that were literally killing me, as I slid into adrenal exhaustion and low thyroid function from the effort to suppress what my deeper knowing was trying to tell me: that this marriage wasn’t a good fit. Once we divorced, my health returned (except for the hip pain, which got worse until I had them replaced) and I went on to meet the love of my life.
Flowering Lotus Productions – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m a women’s coach, writer, and underwater photographer. I help women in transition reinvent their lives.
I have thirty years of personal and spiritual growth work under my belt. As a resuIt of my depth of practice and studies, I can clearly see people’s conditioned patterns. I turn up the volume on their clarity, or deepest self, so that they learn how to allow that clarity to redesign a life that truly fits.
As a poet and underwater photographer, I love going deep and bringing beauty back for others to experience. It’s a gorgeous world out there and we are lucky to live in it! Part of what I’m proud of is my love for the depths of the ocean (and life!) in a culture that trends toward the shallow and flashy. I provide necessary ballast for those who are hungry for authentic connection and beauty that doesn’t look away from the full spectrum of life.
My unique perspective as a long-time spiritual practitioner and artist, as well as someone who’s been through divorce and a decade of chronic pain, makes me a great coach for creative women who are sick of twisting themselves into a shape they hope will be acceptable to others, powerful women who want to get real and live their own life and love who they want to love.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
To me, success is living in alignment with what my deepest self desires for me.
I believe success flows from bringing love to what we do. Anything else is a mimic of success but not actual success. My criteria for any kind of success, whether material or internal, is that it be based in love and connection.
I feel successful when I’ve been authentic in a place where I might have wanted to hide, when I’ve said something that created connection with another, when I’ve said the liberating thing that changed someone’s life, when I’ve written a poem or taken a photo that deeply moves someone.
The marker I look for is a kind of inner clunk that tells me that I’m in myself and my body, and I’ve connected with another from a real space.
- Website: http://memali.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @memali108
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/memalipro/
- Twitter: @memali
- Other: https://memaliphotos.smugmug.com/
Nadia Aly, Mitch Aidelbaum