We had the good fortune of connecting with Marla Mervis-Hartmann and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marla, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Love Your Body Love Yourself was created when I healed my relationship with my body and food. When this happened, I knew that helping people develop body confidence to stop letting their food obsessions block them from sexual intimacy, financial success, and consistent self-love was my mission. Ever since I can remember, I have had an issue with my body. I was always concerned with what I looked like and did many things to control my weight: over-exercising, under-eating, throwing up, cleansing, and restricting certain ‘bad’ foods.  I tried the myriad of choices that a desperate woman has. Nothing I did ever helped my disgust and body shame. I would lament, cry, and ultimately soothe myself with food. I was on a cyclical pattern of restricting, overeating, shaming, and repeat. After years of struggling, I dove deep into recovery. I found many tools to support myself; Reiki, Tantra, Breath-work, Kundalini Yoga therapy, and so much more. Each one of these modalities is used in my business to support my clients. Reiki was my first experience with spiritual tools that changed my life. Reiki and I met at a support group for eating issues. A woman sat in the corner with a slight grin on her face and her hands on her heart. My initial reaction was to be embarrassed for her. How could she love herself so openly? LOL! That embarrassment quickly transitioned to a desire for what she had and radiated. We spoke afterward, which lead to her inviting and taking me to my first Reiki Circle. At this circle, I found my Reiki Master and a community committed to sharing this healing energy.  We were immediately compatible, Reiki and I. Since childhood, I have loved using my hands for healing and have carried a yearning for spirituality. As a hands-on and Spirit-based healing modality, it was a perfect match. I had a deep longing to better myself and to learn ways to bring Spirit into my life that Reiki answered. My self-healing journey came with good intentions; however, my search for transformation came from a place of  “I am wrong. I need to be fixed.” Through Reiki, I was able to turn that around. I gained access to Spirit’s unconditional acceptance and love. This energy allowed me to acknowledge all my beauty. My personal growth evolved into creating more loving choices for myself and release the sense of wrongness. The more I experienced Reiki’s loving frequency, the more fascinated I became with all the benefits that it could provide. During my early Reiki days, I learned skills for manifesting and actualizing my desires. As my journey progressed, Reiki helped me let go of old shameful beliefs about sex and my sensuality. This transformation profoundly changed my relationship to love, sexuality, and intimacy and was a gateway to learning about and eventually teaching Tantra. I can honestly say that Reiki was a pivotal component to the healing of my relationship with both my body and food.  My struggles left me feeling so alone. I didn’t realize how many women struggled just like me. I have found that it doesn’t matter the shape or size of a person; many share this disgust for our bodies. Did you know that 4 in 5 women are dissatisfied with their appearance? When I healed, I looked around to see way too many people disliking their bodies and fighting with food. I knew it was my mission to help. My journey has been a long one that I honestly thought would never end. Through the right care, I believe it doesn’t have to be a long road to recovery. I promise you that you can stop self-hatred actions and change your life. As a coach, Reiki Master, and speaker, my passion helps people find more pleasure and joy in their lives. This can happen by having freedom with food and body confidence. When people stop beating themselves up with food and diets and start accepting themselves, BIG changes can occur. Every time I work with clients who find acceptance and love for themselves, my heart leaps for joy.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am most proud of teaching people to love themselves. My work isn’t about fixing the food and making a meal plan. It is the deep inner work that creates a lasting impact in their lives. When a mother heals her relationship with her body, that will influence her children. Every time a person dares to step away from diet culture and join the movement of body acceptance and love, there is a ripple effect into the world. When a woman tells me she loves what she sees when she looks in the mirror, I get motivated to share my message. Pain replaces acceptance. Acceptance creates joy. Joy is contagious.

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?
Eagle Rock Hike in Topanga The Farm Restaurant Malibu Kreation Santa Monica for a Chocolate Lovers Smoothie Walk on Santa Monica Bluffs and then a Green Tea Latte and Pastry at Urth Cafe. Labyrinth Hike in Topanga Yoga Desa for Yoga Class

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I acknowledge my dear husband Olaf Hartmann and Best Friends Dr. Cari Schaefer, Jonathon Barbato and Sarah Sol for your continual love and support

Website: https://loveyourbodyloveyourself.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loveyourbodyloveyourselfalways/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marla-mervis-hartmann

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marlamervis

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/loveyourbodyloveyourself

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/healing-at-the-speed-of-love-reiki-massage-healing-santa-monica-2?osq=marla+mervis

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/MarlaMervisHartmann

Image Credits
Amy Goelen Photo Courtney Lindberg

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