In 1995 I left Los Angeles, was in my 30s, could not get an acting job, had a few pennies in my bank account, was living with my mother and did not know what to do with my life. It was obvious that my life was taking a turn, but I was clueless as to where it was going. Many of these days were very dark and uncertain, and then suddenly it all changed.
My mother Ariel turned to me and urged me to get a job in a bookstore that a friend of hers owned. They needed help and I needed to do something…anything! It was at this job that I met Salle and James Redfield, the author of the NY Times Bestseller, The Celestine Prophecy. Through a sequence of events, I ended up creating an evening lecture for the Redfields. It was crazy successful. I loved putting the event together and my mother helped me organize some of the details.
The next thing I knew, the Redfields were introducing me to some of their colleagues and I was creating events for other authors. Still not being able to afford my own place to live, my mom and I installed an extra phone line in her dining room and put a slapped-together desk in the corner for me to work. This is where Mishka Productions was born.
Our family dog had been very ill and it was time to make that dreaded trip to the veterinarian. She was this beautiful beam of unconditional love and joy, but her body was not working well at all. With heavy hearts we made a tough decision, but decided that we wanted her legacy to live on. In the true spirit of our Jewish heritage, we named this little company that was beginning to form after our wonderful four-legged friend, Mishka!
At some point, I turned to my mother and begged her to be my partner. Although she had a thriving psychotherapy practice, she agreed. It was fun and much like going to camp! The events were a blast and we loved bringing people together to experience thought-provoking spiritual authors that would help them live a more fulfilling and joyous life.
In 2002, as we were having lunch with one of our clients, we began brainstorming about creating something bigger — an event where we could bring all of our clients together for one huge party! It was at this lunch where the Celebrate Your Life conference was conceived. We wanted to put together an event that offered people a huge variety of topics to learn about. Everything from learning to manifest your heart’s desire, past lives, the law of attraction, angels, the power of your own mind, you name it, we put it into this one event.
My mom and I worked endlessly in organizing the conference and, much to our surprise, it was wildly successful! We brought together over 25 bestselling authors in the spiritual, holistic health and personal growth arenas to present workshops and lectures for an entire four days. We were stunned when we checked our registration orders and found that people were traveling from all over the world to Scottsdale, Arizona to attend Celebrate Your Life.
Everyone had an amazing time. Hearts were opened and our mission to uplift and shift the consciousness of the planet one event at a time was truly coming to fruition. People’s lives were being transformed and we were too.
We continued organizing the Celebrate Your Life conference, bringing together such luminaries as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson and the list goes on! The beauty of the conference was that someone could attend Celebrate Your Life and experience all these amazing speakers in one fabulous weekend. We were overjoyed at the success of having so many people fall in love with this conference.
Celebrate Your Life quickly began to sell out weeks ahead of time and Ariel and I decided to add another city. We picked Chicago. We held our breaths hoping that people would be receptive to our new addition. Once again we were amazed at the success showing us that the world needed these uplifting and inspiring programs. At this time, my sister Jaime moved to Arizona and joined Mishka Productions. It was a blast having all three of us working together!
At the 2008 Chicago event, my sister and I noticed our mom not feeling well. Unfortunately the stage iv breast cancer she had been battling for many years was spreading. Our beautiful mother Ariel dropped her body on June 1, 2009. What a stunning spiritual warrior. She left two days before our Chicago event. Two days after she transitioned, Jaime and I were on a plane to Chicago because we had 1,600 people to entertain. Ariel gave us the strength and courage to follow through with our mission, to shift the consciousness of the planet, one event at a time.
I continue to follow through with our mission, missing our mom and knowing she is right there by our sides, directing us!
Come join our family at the next Celebrate Your Life in Chicago on June 8 – 11. We have a tremendous lineup of speakers and workshops that are truly life changing. It is a gathering of such beautiful people coming together in one place at one time. Some of Oprah’s favorites will be with us: Marianne Williamson, Neale Donald Walsch, James Van Praagh, Michael Beckwith, Caroline Myss, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor and the list goes on! Celebrate Your Life is just that — an opportunity to celebrate, honor, embrace, nourish your spirit and your life! Click here to learn more.