I think we would all like to be more connected but to what? God, Gurus, deities, nature? I think the one we’d like to connect to most is ourselves. Who are we if we are not fully ourselves? We are the result of our influences in the environment we live in. We have been programmed by our upbringing, our lifestyle, society, TV, internet and the list goes on…

To become connected to this being which we like to think of as “me” is the challenge, and when accomplished it is the reward. I have spent nearly a lifetime trying to be for others what they want me to be, to fit a role that best suited those around me. I was the good girl as a child, the well-behaved daughter, the one whom was strong and able to take care of herself. Then I became a house-wife, a mom...the one who could care for our home, keep it neat and tidy, make food my kids would grow strong and healthy from and host a dinner party looking like I had it all together. I made movies to support our lives at the time and I made them regardless of whether or not they truly moved me. I became a victim of what I thought was required of me. All that said I was not being told what to do, I was not abused by anyone, and I was still quite imprisoned by my own choices to fill the world with the Mariel that they needed.

Finally at 50 I am just now becoming myself. I am choosing films I want to be a part of. I am working in wellness, which is my passion, and though I am told my branding moves are critical I find that when you are doing what you love your moves are seamless and effortless. When you follow your heart your life follows you. I gave up trying and have taken up allowing and listening, slowing down and hearing; feeling and seeing my signs (things that happen in my life that clearly show me how to live), which are my guides and I am astonished how at ease I feel.

It is a daily practice to listen to my inner voice and not the voice of others. I am challenged all the time to see if I indeed trust myself. I periodically suffer neck and back pain when I simply am moving too fast, overriding my instincts and ignoring my inner knowing. When I feel unstable lying on my back on my porch looking up at the trees and sky above me, I have glorious ah ha moments when I see the obvious nature of my condition. My body reacts as a direct result of my mental and emotional well-being. I think, “OMG Mariel get back to your self, your breathing, your stillness and remember….I know what is right for me always.” As soon as I remove myself from my own repetitive thought patterns the pain starts to go and I find my way again. There is a reason my first book was called Finding My Balance… I always refer to it…I am always finding my balance everyday. I think we all are and the more we accept that we can find balance as a daily practice the more we find that our lives are connected.