A Mother’s Legacy
I’m deviating from my normal topic in this article to cover something very dear and near to my heart.
This year, 2010, marks an important anniversary for me, my family and many others in the community. It is the 15 year anniversary of our family owned business, Mishka Productions. After living in Los Angeles trying to make a living as an actress, I found myself in Scottsdale, Arizona at my mother’s house, completely exhausted and needing a different direction in life. Little did I know at that moment that 15 years later, our lives would be entwined in creating spiritual events with some of the country’s top bestselling authors.
It started as an “accident”, and I use that term loosely, with a phone line in my mother’s dining room, a beat up old desk, and a $1,500 check that she loaned me. I had no idea I was starting a business, as I had absolutely no business background. There was no plan, no business outline, no vision, just a connection to James & Salle Redfield who wrote The Celestine Prophecy. That was all we needed. The next thing we knew, there were 1,400 people sitting in a large auditorium and I was on the stage announcing the guest speakers, James & Salle Redfield.
At that time, my beautiful mother, Ariel Wolfe, was a psychotherapist. She had a thriving practice that I quickly took her away from and we soon became business partners in a most thrilling adventure. We started booking other authors for more lectures and started doing an event once a month. It was very exciting to meet so many of the authors we had been reading. We worked with the elusive Carlos Castaneda, Neale Donald Walsch who wrote Conversations with God, James Van Praagh one of the most incredible spiritual mediums, Don Miguel Ruiz author of The Four Agreements, Wayne Dyer who has been named the ‘father of motivation’, Deepak Chopra one of the world’s most renowned holistic physicians and spiritual teachers, and the list goes on. Being a mother-daughter team did not come without its challenges and somehow we managed to work things out. Truth be told, I think my mother had the patience of a saint.
We continued with our once-a-month programs until we began to get a little bored and felt the need to do something different. Through the suggestion of one of our authors, we created a conference in 2002, called Celebrate Your Life that would bring together all the authors that we worked with for one huge four-day event. It was wildly successful and FUN!! Not only did it bring attendees from all over the world, but it brought all these wonderful authors together in one place at one time. The energy was high and we were ecstatic. It was a four day celebration where hearts were opened and love was definitely in the air.
My mom and I felt so joyous at bringing this event to the world. We felt that we were truly following our mission statement which is to help shift and change the consciousness of the planet one event at a time.
A month after our first Celebrate Your Life event, Ariel found a lump in her breast. Stage IV. I was devastated, however, being the impeccable spiritual warrior, my mother remained true to her spiritual beliefs and self and held it together with such beauty and grace. The usual protocol was set in motion and it was maintained for almost 7 years. During this time, we continued with our mission and set forth on doing the Celebrate Your Life conference. After several years of selling out the conference in Arizona, we decided to add another conference in Chicago. During this time, my sister Jaime and her three goddess daughters moved back to the U.S. after living in Sweden for 25 years. This was my mother’s dream to have all “her girls” together. Jaime became involved in the company and her three daughter started helping with the events. They are currently known as the Mishka-ettes.
After two years of playing and working together, Ariel’s cancer progressed to the final stage. This lasted a year and somehow by the strength given to us by our mother, my sister and I ran the business without mom and took care of her. There are no words to describe this experience. I am forever changed.
It has been a year since our mother transitioned and at times I still feel stunned. We spent 14 years together side by side building a company together that feels like this very special and sacred creation. It is an honor to have been given the gift of Mishka Productions from the Universe and it is my job to hold it in the light in which it belongs. Not for one moment do I allow myself to forget what a gift it is to be doing this work in the world…and there are moments when it is extraordinarily challenging and scary to have your own business and investing your own personal finances.
Jaime and I continue to run Mishka Productions and create our signature event, Celebrate Your Life. I am constantly in awe when I look at our list of attendees who travel from places such as Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand and from all over the United States to come to Arizona to be with all the amazing authors featured at the conference. It is a testimony to the desire from people all over the world who long to connect with others that are on a similar spiritual path and to learn ways to live a more fulfilling, honest and joyous life. I LOVE what I do. I love sitting back and watching people connect with their hearts wide open. It is truly a party and celebration for your mind, body and spirit!
And during those moments when the work does get challenging, all I do is open up one of the thousands of feedback e-mails we have received throughout the years where someone is telling us how the conference has changed their life, that the meaning and purpose of their life was discovered or how they are using all the wonderful tools they learned at the conference in their daily life or how they have become a more patient, loving and compassionate human being, this keeps me going. This motivates me to continue to create these powerful life-changing events. And of course our mother’s hand on my shoulder. The beautiful legacy of Mishka, who was our family dog, continues.
Our next Celebrate Your Life party, takes place on November 4 – 8, 2010 in Arizona. We are kicking off the event with a Peace Gathering and then moving into this year’s conference that features bestselling authors and inspiring presenters, Wayne Dyer, Neale Donald Walsch, Don Miguel Ruiz, Caroline Myss, James Van Praagh, Gregg Braden, Doreen Virtue, Byron Katie, Michael Beckwtih, Dr. David Hawkins and the list goes on and on.
“Walk your path with dancing feet and a song in your heart” - Ariel Wolfe, mom