I've always admired Mariel Hemingway for her acting on the big screen. But she is also an accomplished author and expert on all things health and well-being. Growing up in a family who struggled with mental illness and addiction led her on a path to finding her own personal best. Now the woman with the famous last name lives her life to inspire others.
"There are all kinds of ways to really focus in on who you are so that you can create a lifestyle that fulfills your happiness and makes you healthier." -- Mariel Hemingway
Her documentary, Running From Crazy, chronicles her life and the difficult challenges she faced growing up in the Hemingway family. Her new book, Running With Nature: Stepping Into the Life You're Meant to Live, written with her life partner Bobby Williams, shares her discoveries about living a simpler, happier life.
I was fortunate to have her as a guest on The Women's Eye Radio Show recently to talk about her personal story and her journey to find inner peace. Here is an excerpt from our interview.
STACEY: Where are you in your life right now?
MARIEL: You found me actually in the most amazing place of my life. Who knew that in my 50s, I'd be coming into my own? This is awesome!
STACEY: You don't look like you're in your 50s!
MARIEL: That's the point of everything that my life partner, Bobby Williams, the co-author of our book, Running With Nature, and I are about. You're never too old to get younger and to grow younger every single day.
Our passion is to inspire other people to find their own personal way to their own health and well-being. Because it's not 30, 60, 90 days to your best in life....it's a lifetime, so everything you do leads into everything else.
STACEY: Where do you think we are as a nation when it comes to accepting your message?
MARIEL: I think that there are definitely a couple of camps. There are people who have no awareness of health and wellness. But then I think there's this huge population of people who really want answers or guidance or someplace to go, but don't know quite where. They know that there's something out there for them; they're just not sure what it is.
We're trying to fill this void and say there's not one way to do things. There are all kinds of ways to focus in on who you are so that you can create a lifestyle that fulfills your happiness and makes you healthier.
STACEY: Why do you want to help so many other people?
MARIEL: My documentary, Running From Crazy, is about my family and why we have these genetic predispositions for suicide and mental illness. My passion has been to figure that out for myself. I think it's only fair to share some answers that are truly simple, doable, and available to everybody.
It just wouldn't be right to have gotten out of a lifelong depression and not tell everybody how I did it. I always think that the only way you can teach somebody something is to share your experience.
"Health doesn't come in one grain drink. It doesn't come
in one choice. It comes in everything you do."
STACEY: Are you glad that you made the documentary?
MARIEL: I'm thrilled. I was definitely nervous because making a documentary, especially about your family, your inner feelings and about your own transformation, is a bit daunting. I was fortunate to have Barbara Kopple directing. The reason why I'm thrilled about sharing it is because everybody's got a story. I don't think mine is that extraordinary.
But if it gives somebody the courage and the permission to talk about what's going on in their family, and brings light to a subject that they try to keep in the dark because they have shame around it, that's really super-important.
The best part is that it enabled me to talk about Running With Nature and how our lifestyle choices can be the key to unlocking the door to health, well-being and finding inner peace.
STACEY: You talked about having this big awakening moment when you were 47. What was it?
MARIEL: That was when I decided that I was no longer going to not honor my inner voice. I knew that it was time to listen to myself. I'd been reaching outside of myself my whole life for answers to my problems. Then I realized that I'm my best teacher, my best guru, my best therapist, my best whatever you want. It lies within me.
STACEY: Your book really breaks everything down. To me, wellness is a no-brainer. But why do people resist it?
MARIEL: I think because they want somebody to come out with a pill or an absolute solution. To be healthy, to be well, to be balanced, to have inner peace is all a journey. Bobby and I see it as a fantastic journey; we're thrilled to be doing it. Health doesn't come in one grain drink. It doesn't come in one choice. It comes in everything you do.
"I think that people get wrapped up in their lives, and they let their lives rule them
instead of ruling their own life. Take charge!"
STACEY: Do you ever have moments where you slip back into depression? What would you recommend to people who have dealt with depression like yourself?
MARIEL: I think that my life now, and how I live it in a very balanced way, has helped tremendously. It means I eat really well. But it's not like I'm extreme. I'm not all raw. I'm not all vegan. I'm not all anything. And I take time for myself.
I think that people get wrapped up in their lives, and they let their lives rule them instead of ruling their own life. Take charge! It's not that we're in control, but it is that we can control our choices.
STACEY: What are three important tips for people to remember?
- Number One: Be good to yourself.
- Number Two: Drink water. Most people are dehydrated and they don't even know it.
- Number Three: Learn how to breathe more deeply with more consciousness. Be more aware. Take two to five minutes a day to be still and silent.
Photos of Mariel Hemingway and Mariel in the garden: Getty Images
Listen to our full TWE Radio interview with Mariel Hemingway here.
Follow Mariel on Twitter: @MarielHemingway
Follow The Women's Eye on Twitter: @TheWomensEye
For more by Stacey Gualandi, click here.