For me, the best part of running a small business (and this blog) is the opportunity to connect with the women (and people) who inspire me. I had been an admirer of, and quite frankly in awe of, Maya’s work since I moved to DC, and I knew I had to leverage this business of mine to connect with her somehow. Under the guise of inviting her to a business/collaboration coffee meeting, we met up one day and talked, and talked some more… not at all about working together, which was the original premise of the meeting, but about the commonalities of our journeys and passions and hopes and dreams and fears. From her gorgeous creativity to her ability to bring people together to her unique perspective on the world and her space in it, Maya is truly a magical human being, moving beautifully throughout this world, and I feel so fortunate that she took that random coffee meeting with me.
I hope you all learn something from Maya on how she handles her days as a small business owner and mindful human being. I know I did, and do daily.
Introduce yourself! What do you want people to know about you and what you do?!
Hi! I’m Maya and I run MOJALVO, a visual branding consulting agency where I work with brands and individuals to tell their story visually through digital and physical platforms.
What does living a balanced lifestyle mean to you?
I spent my whole adult life exploring what it means to live healthfully. I was diagnosed with candida at 19 and this catapulted a deep dive into diet, and the food I was choosing to consume. Its been many years of trying different diet types, and although I am still transforming and growing, I have come to find a somewhat happy medium between eating everything, but predominantly keeping a heavy vegetable-focused diet at home. I am also very picky about where and how the food I choose to consume is sourced and brought to the table.
What's your fitness routine?
I practice yoga, “free movement” dance in my apartment, and take long walks. I try to practice the things that feel natural to my body.
What does eating mindfully mean to you?
Eating mindfully is thinking about where my food came from, and how it was processed. I think about the hands that touch my food along its way to my plate, and try my hardest to consume more of the products that were lovingly produced with care and effort. It makes a huge difference.
What do you drink in a normal day? (coffee, tea, water, juice, energy drinks etc)
Coffee (lots of it), water (about 3 liters is my goal), and herbal teas. I really love drinking coffees that have backstories. I tend to collect coffee beans throughout my travels to different cities and countries and find joy in grinding beans for my cup every morning.
How do you cope with stress?
Not super well. Running a business brings on a lot of stress. Most of my anxiety is rooted in excitement and so its positive anxiety, which is crazy! When I know I’m headed into an anxious phase, I will incorporate different herbs and tinctures i know to help my adrenals. I sip tulsi tea every night before bed, and take CBD in the mornings. I incorporate ashwagandha into my smoothies or coffee as well.
What are your favorite cities? Why?
I fall in love with every city i visit for some reason or another. It’s hard not to! But my favorites are DC for its international flairs and underground creative culture that you have to go searching for, Tel Aviv for its juice stands, rustic/artistic beauty, and its markets, Honolulu because of the barefoot surfers, beach views, sandy sidewalks, and the pink tone that seems to wash over the whole city, and New York because it never sleeps.
What do you wish people were more open or real about when it comes to fitness, living a balanced lifestyle or the drinking culture?
I think there’s a lot of social pressures to be the healthiest, the fittest, know every health tonic, but also on the other side of the spectrum, party hard, keep up with the shots and drinks, never turn down an invite to go out...it’s just a lot. I think the most real you can get is being real with your innermost self. The moment that I accepted that I don’t like drinking excessively was the best moment of my life. I own it, and I am proud of it. I don’t feel the urges of peer pressure, and I do what I know my body needs when it asks for it.
How do you seek out community?
I try to find people who are similar in mentality and approach to life. We may have very different interests, but our values intersect. I also look for fellow business owners and people who are passionate about what they do.
What's the hardest part of maintaining a work life balance?
I’ve found that its not a balance, its more of a blend. I do what is calling to me in that moment. If its editing, its editing. If it’s eating a cookie and watching a movie, I do that too. I try to not be so rigid with my schedule and days because that doesn’t do anyone good. Your productivity inevitably goes way down.
What’s the hardest part of adulthood?
Keeping my schedule together, and keeping in touch with loved ones. I wear many hats, and sometimes I let my schedule take over.
What would you tell yourself 10 years ago?
You are a strong, unique person, and do not have to define yourself.
Do you live by any mottos or mantras?
“Ani” which simply means, “I am” in hebrew. Its super powerful.
How do you stay motivated, both at work and in your active life?
I seek out things to be passionate about every day. This keeps me motivated.
What advice do you have for people who want to make changes in their diets or fitness plans? Or for people who aren't happy with their status quo?
How do you turn around a bad day? Any tips/tricks?
I usually allow myself to wallow, and then give myself a comfort. If its a chocolate, watching a movie, sipping a cappuccino, or even buying a new piece of clothing, I try to indulge myself just a little.
I make time daily for:
My evening wind-down time. I shut down my computer and veg out on my couch for a little, even if I’m scrolling through instagram, I hard stop my work day.