By Carré Otis
I recently had the honor of interviewing Mariel Hemingway. She has been on my ‘most inspiring’ list since my childhood. Growing up, I watched her from afar… mesmerized by her family and unfolding life story. The tragedy she has endured struck chords in my own heart as I, too, have firsthand experienced the loss of my first love to suicide. Mariel is a passionate and beautiful human being. Hearing where she is at, what she is doing and her powerful impact on the world… she continues to inspire.
What was it like with you and your family during Covid? How did you fare with the global shift we all went through?
Obviously, it was a bizarre time for everyone on the planet and we are still reeling from it. But humans are resilient and we will move past this, even with the varying conflicts as to resolutions and solutions. I do believe that we are designed to adapt and get through crises with grace. My life partner, Bobby Williams, and I quit watching the constant news feeds and opposing opinions of what was going on and instead chose to focus on our health and wellbeing. Our lifestyle brand, Williams and Hemingway, is dedicated to self-care and self-healing — this pandemic has been a wake up call for many that taking responsibility for our health is crucial.
What are all these TV shows you are working on? Did I understand there are 3?
I am producing my grandfather’s book A Moveable Feast into a limited series (streamer yet to be determined). I am producing and hosting a series for the prevention of suicide for teenagers as I think that the world has become a very different place for our young people. Suicide needs to be mentioned, addressed, and tools offered. We need to remove it from their consciousness as a solution for life’s problems. I am also producing a show about myself and my sisters in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s as a limited series. It was the generation that I think we (having grown up in the ’70s, ’80s) long for in many ways. Anyway, I love series that take place during this period.
“I have dedicated a great part of my philanthropic work towards understanding mental illness and coming up with real and simple lifestyle solutions”
You have had a lot of well known tragic suicides in your family tree. What do people need to know about how that affects the other people in the family?
I can’t speak for other members of the family but for me it was, and I emphasize was, a terrible fear of mine for many years that the tragedy of suicide might be infectious or a given in my life. It is why I have dedicated a great part of my philanthropic work towards understanding mental illness and coming up with real and simple lifestyle solutions. I believe that our body and brain are interconnected and how we treat both of them through our lifestyle habits can create an environment where you can heal and recover no matter what the situation is.
I understand you are working on a foundation for the prevention of suicide. What are the actions you would like the foundation to take to help prevent these horrible deaths?
My foundation will not only be for the prevention of suicide but for the ultimate prevention of suicide through a greater understanding of mental illness on the whole. We want to create education on how to live and understanding that how we are currently living needs to be reimagined. We need to think of our mental health as part of our overall wellbeing. Monitoring our choices creates habits that create balance. We want to offer tools that serve as guides, connections, and advocacy for mental wellness. Bobby and I talk about the 7 Doctors: Dr. Sun, Dr. Air, Dr. Water, Dr. Exercise, Dr. Nutrition, Dr. Earth, Dr. Rest. They are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and they are free! Taking responsibility for your life and choices is the first step in finding a solution that is unique to the individual.
“What do you do daily to create health in your body and brain?”
What can we do as individuals to have a positive effect on this? Are there things we should be aware of and take action on?
It always comes back to WHAT ARE YOU DOING to stay conscious and be aware of your daily habits. What do you do daily to create health in your body and brain? Do you take time for silence? Do you drink water? Do you know how to breathe properly? Do you eat REAL FOOD? Do you move your body regularly? Do you sleep enough? Do you ever walk barefoot on the earth to ground (and receive the benefits of the electromagnetic field that pulses through the earth at all times)? Do you get the first or last light of the day (sun) in your eyes? So many simple things to do that create a feeling of peace.
You have been a yogi and involved in wellness for a long time. Now you are starting a wellness brand. Could you tell me about what that will be and what your ambitions for it are?
Our goal is for everyone from kids to seniors to realize their health is theirs to control. Our brand will empower others to take responsibility for their lives and health by visiting the 7 doctors I mentioned above. We are self-sufficient, self-sustaining and self-healing given the right environment and tools.
“Doing life is a yoga practice”
I have a pretty rigorous practice too, and I was wondering: how has yoga affected your life? Can you tell me about your practice?
I love yoga; the asana practice, all of it has been a wonderful teacher for me but what it has done that is most important is that it has taught me that doing life is a yoga practice. The best thing a person can do is realize that what you do off the mat is as important as what you do on it. Yoga is about being present in your body and mind and taking a pause in life to allow your inner guide to teach you.
And what are some of your favorite healing modalities? You mentioned your partner created something. Can you share any details?
Bobby created a machine, Stratosphere ATC, that you exercise in and it pressurizes you at different altitudes, giving you the benefit of altitude training. His chief scientific advisor, Dr. Bruce Johnson (head of extreme human performance at the Mayo clinic), discovered while studying people on Mt Everest that going up and down in altitude creates the most benefit. It creates red blood cells, builds mitochondria, and activates your own stem cell growth 16x that of the norm. After a session in a chamber, you feel intellectually enhanced and energized. It is quite amazing.
I also love Frequency Healing. There are many modalities that help balance the brain and body for better health. With the 7 Doctors and Frequency Healing, I see the future of health wellness and prevention of illness as an extraordinarily important focus in the coming years.
“Yesterday…I had 2 Zoom calls while I was hiking on a mountain — one on the way up and the other on the way down”
How do you organize your time with so many things going on?
Give a person too much to do and they somehow seem to get it done. I have my non-negotiables like my morning meditation and exercise — when I meet those needs and I have a planned schedule, I manage to get things done.
But I am not opposed to making my life outdoors coincide with my business needs. Yesterday, for instance, I had 2 Zoom calls while I was hiking a mountain — one on the way up and the other on the way down. I loved it. I actually like to focus on what I am doing in a moment but when time is critical you make it all work!
If you could imagine your life in 10 years, what would you be doing?
You know, I often think about that… I love to work so I will continue to work, produce and to do our health wellness initiative. I think that it will all simply be more solidified. A physical property for our wellness here in Idaho will be well established and I am sure that Bobby and I will have groomed some amazing young people to run the show at that point and then we can go on more adventures. Bobby is a professional rock climber and wants to travel the world and I suppose even if I can’t do the climbing I will be there to love and support him. Trust me though, he will make me try everything. Always pushing me past my comfort zone, which as we get older is ALWAYS a good thing.
Gotta ask, as you know this is the world I came from, am I correct that your daughter was or still is a model? How do you feel about the whole modeling world? And her being in it?
My daughter Dree (@DreeHemingway) is quite an amazing person, model and actress and has always had a very strong sense of herself. She is aware of the business and how difficult it can be. She is a good actress and projects are always coming up for her. Yes, she models and yet her focus is acting and I know that things will continue to unfold for her. My younger daughter, Langley (@Langleyfox), is also a model but her main focus is as a painter. She will have her first big show in August. She is an INCREDIBLE artist. I am in awe of her talent and insight into the world.
In regard to their modeling, they are beautiful women and they should be allowed to explore that as long as they explore other parts of their being to become global citizens. Both of my girls are making a difference in the world through their creativity and I’m continually impressed and proud.
What are you reading these days?
I am obsessed with breathing at the moment so I am reading two books, James Nestor’s book Breath and Patrick McKeown’s book The Oxygen Advantage.
Favorite movies or series of the last year?
I watch a ton of shows from Europe. I loved The Crown, but who didn’t. It is so well done. I love a lot of different shows out of Italy or Scandinavia. I just can’t remember their names at the moment. I will search, LOL.
cover photo by Linda M Barrett
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