The Story of Mala Revolution
This is the story of two journeys, a journey of the mind, and a journey of the heart; and how the two came together
THE JOURNEY OF THE MIND
Mala Revolution began as a dream/fantasy hybrid. On late nights, sitting in edit bays in Los Angeles, CA, I would find my mind wandering from the television show I was producing, to jewelry designs I could create, and ways I could make people excited about mindfulness and changing their brains in the ways I was learning about.
But I should back up a bit...
The thing is, I've always been a dreamer. Before becoming a television producer, I was a wide-eyed film-school student; thrilled with the idea of using stories to inspire people. Unlike my fellow students, who had dreams of producing blockbuster films, my primary purpose was always to simply inspire.
After film school, my tv career advanced over many years; but I became increasingly distant from my original purpose of inspiring people. To be completely honest, I got very caught up in the competition and acolade-winning aspect of making television.
I did well, I moved far beyond the position I ever expected and before I knew it I had a job many dream of, even though it wasn't my dream. Stress became a major part of my life too. The more I achieved, the more stress I felt. Much of my life outside of work was dedicated to simply trying to manage it.
Yoga was my first introduction to the world of meditation and mindfulness. At first these were just tools to manage my stress so that I could perform better at work. But as I came to know myself better, my own passions and dreams became more real and more important to me. I could see that I'd come to a point where I was working mostly for money, and no longer for a deeper purpose.
In many ways I loved my job; I was creative and worked with great people on exciting projects. But I didn't feel I was making a positive impact in the world.
My first mala was actually a turning point. I chose a howlite mala in a yoga gift shop (because howlite is recommended for stress) and decided it would represent the more peaceful and grounded self I was seeking. I wore it on days I knew would be stressful or hard. In moments of distress I would run my fingers over the beads and remind myself of what was really important to me.
In tv, people can lose their heads over anything and everything - and I felt safer and more protected with my mala. It was a way to come back to myself and my own values.
At the time I didn't even know the power of the experience I was having was due to neuroplasticity. All I knew is that I felt different. After years of stress ruling my life, I found something that gave me the power to influence how I feel - and it was me. In changing my thoughts and patterns I changed my experience of life, of stress and of my job. I was so enthralled with the change, I even did 500 hours of yoga teacher training while working 70-80 hours a week in tv.
As I grew to know myself and my purpose more deeply, the disparity between what I spent my days doing and what I knew I wanted to contribute to the world deepened. Even though I daydreamed of a business where I could design and create things to inspire people, it seemed foolish and irresponsible. It seemed unthinkable to walk away from the career I'd sacrificed so much for and the salary that had given me a lifestyle I'd never even dreamed of.
THE JOURNEY OF THE HEART
It was a few days after Thanksgiving one year that I had a moment of panic. I'd spent the entire holiday weekend (including Thanksgiving!) in the office working, only to realize I had completely forgotten to call my dad. A cold feeling crept over me, some part of me could sense the impending bad news. When I finally reached him he was in a hospital in Denver. Though he tried hard to convince me not to worry, it was clear something was very wrong. My brother and I (who were roommates in LA at the time) dropped everything and went to him.
The doctors told us he had about one month left. We'd never even known he was sick.
You have to understand that my dad lit up every room he walked into. The only thing he was more known for than his huge personality was his booming and infectious laugh. He brought joy and laughter with him everywhere he went, and built his life and relationships on kindness and love. He was my foundation, my inspiration and always my biggest and most enthusiastic fan (even when I didn't feel I deserved it!). Seeing him sick, seeing him die... that violated the laws of my universe.
I spent those last three and a half weeks of his life with him; sleeping on the couch in his hospital room every single night, my brother sleeping on the recliner. The most painful part of those weeks was seeing how desperately he wanted to live; and watching life slowly ripped from his grasp.
He was a person so full of life, passion, joy and energy. To see his life taken away so violently taught me, in a very deep way, the philosophy that I now live by: life is too short.
Life is too short to not live it fully, deeply, with joy, with heart, with soul and above all with a passion for being alive.
It took me years to understand how profound this gift was. A philosophy to live by doesn't just inspire, it takes away doubt.
So, I left my tv career, and focused full-time on bringing Mala Revolution to life. Doubts and fears about how I would make everything work became less important when the alternative was a life without passion and purpose. And so Mala Revolution was transformed from a far-away dream to a real-life (tiny!) business.
THE MIND AND THE HEART
In many ways Mala Revolution honors and embodies the way my father lived; fully, with joy and a true passion for the experience of being alive. This was the gift that he gave me, and it's my honor to pass it on to as many people as I can.
But I've added my own spin to his philosophy, my own way of honoring the gift of being alive:
Life is we make of it, so don't only live fully ... live deeply. Never stop growing, never stop becoming your truest and best self. This is my way of celebrating the gift of being alive.
To live fully takes courage, but living deeply also takes the ability and self-awareness to identify what's holding you back so that you can push past it - sometimes even using it to propel you forward. It also takes hope and the ongoing commitment to not letting your doubts and fears hold you back. It takes the self-love to embrace the future with a truly open heart and mind.
You never know what life has in store for you, and you'll never know unless you're open to it.
And so it is my hope that I may inspire people to live fully, with the passion and joy my father inspired in me, and with depth, self-love and a commitment to growing; so that the mind becomes a tool that allows use each to live a life that aligns with what is in our hearts.