We had the good fortune of connecting with Marie-Elizabeth Mali and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marie-Elizabeth, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I’m a white Latina with a Swedish mother and I grew up in New York, speaking three languages by the age of three. Living in the U.S. and going to Venezuela and Sweden as a child taught me flexibility and to prioritize connection, since each country is so different. I learned that there’s not one culture that’s “right” and that each culture has things to offer and things that don’t work so well. Through feeling like an outsider everywhere, since no one place encompasses my entire mix, and after years of trying to find ways to fit in by being a chameleon, I eventually learned to source my belonging from within so I could bring it with me everywhere I go instead. This formed the roots of my work with clients around how they relate to themselves and others.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I help purpose-driven, successful people in expanding joy and fulfillment beyond their work. As a Relationship Alchemist and Coach, I help people deepen love and connection in their relationship with themselves and others by bringing a unique perspective to what it means to be your full, authentic self in relationship—instead of trying to mold yourself to others’ opinions so you can fit in. I work with women and non-binary folx from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds privately and in small groups and occasionally work privately with men and couples. I also specialize in understanding and working with the unique dynamics that exist for purpose-driven creators and entrepreneurs in their relationships. I work with people who love their work and have carved out genuine skill and mastery there while they struggle in relationship because I’ve had to learn the hard way to prioritize creating joy and fulfillment in my relationships like I access so readily in my work. We teach what we most need to learn, right?! By learning to approach relationship as a training ground to support my innate love and genius in emerging, it has transformed my life and my work with clients. The lessons I learn in my relationship I bring to my work with clients, modeling for them what it is to live authentically and playfully with another person, where the relationship supports each person’s growth and inner freedom. I call my work Relationship Alchemy because by alchemizing the good, the bad, and the ugly in ourselves and by working with common elements of our lives, we can create a life and love that’s worth treasuring. I’m here to create a world where we value connection as much as production. Right now we’re seeing what happens when we value production over all else: rampant consumerism, a win at all costs attitude that’s especially harmful to marginalized people, an imbalanced relationship with planetary resources, and an epidemic of low self-esteem and lack of ability to communicate with and care for one another. Imagine if we were given gold stars in school for how well we express kindness, empathy, and emotional self-regulation. What then becomes possible for us as a collective if we’re trained in these values from the get-go? If we were to prioritize connection and the understanding that HOW we do anything is as, or more, important than WHAT we do, the world would be a much better place. If people took responsibility for who they’re BEING as they go after what they want in life, we’d learn to get along with each other better. So that’s why I focus on supporting people in alchemizing their pain, cultivating self-acceptance, living in alignment with their values, communicating skillfully in their relationships, actively seeking out experiences to learn more about themselves and others, so they can go out and do what they’re here to do in the world with joy, freedom, and love.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is tricky in the pandemic, since so many of my fave spots are closed right now! But I’d take them to walk along the beach from Marina Del Rey to Santa Monica. We’d grab a snack at the Bulletproof Café on Main St. in Santa Monica and pop next door to Upgrade Labs to do some cryo and lie on the red table. Afterwards, we’d dine at Manchego on Main St., sitting outside for their happy hour. On another day, we’d walk along Abbot Kinney and eat at Kreation, Gjelina, or The Tasting Kitchen (since my fave spot, Neighbor, isn’t open). We’d drive up the 1 and hike in Temescal Canyon to take in the gorgeous view. I’d also take them to Pause on Washington Blvd to do an infrared sauna and a float. If we were able to go scuba diving, which is one of my favorite things (I’m an underwater photographer, too), we’d go out to Catalina and do some dives there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My business mentor, Marisa Murgatroyd, and her company, Live Your Message. The coaching and training I’ve received there has been invaluable in my process of learning to build a business that’s a reflection of who I really am.
Sway Photography, In Her Image Photography