Charlotte Maya – writing a pathway to healing

Meet Charlotte Maya

I am a lifelong Californian, and I live in a suburban community in the foothills north of downtown Los Angeles. I am a mother to four sons, and my husband and I have recently entered our empty nest phase of parenting. We have one dog, a French pointer, who gamely joins me on walks, runs, and hikes.

What business are you currently running?

I write a blog “Sushi Tuesdays,” which primarily addresses issues of grief, mental health, finding joy, and hope in every day and in the aftermath of tragedy.

I speak from an insider’s perspective as the mother (and step-mother) to four young boys (now young men) facing the loss of a parent and doing so with tears, insight, and humor.

Assuming you are now in “Your Next Chapter”, what led you here? Was there an internal discontent or an external issue you felt strongly about that prompted a change in direction?

I had practiced law in the area of estate planning and settlement before I started my family. After I was suddenly widowed, and as I learned more about issues related to grief and suicide, I realized that it was critical to start normalizing conversations around depression and mental health.

I started my blog in an effort to bring hope to others. I thought that if I could reach just one life, then it would be worthwhile.

What did you find most challenging about getting started/moving in a new direction?

There was no roadmap. Also, it was hard for me to stay focused on writing and marketing while balancing the needs of young children. By then I had remarried, and my husband (who had been widowed to cancer) and I were blending a family with our four children, two rescue cats, one “pet quality” Cavalier, and a puppy.

As a mental health advocate, I put my focus on the children and our relationships, which meant putting my writing on the back burner.

What have you found most fulfilling?

I especially enjoy speaking to groups on the issues of mental health and resilience. It is deeply satisfying to hear from someone that sharing my story has encouraged them to find healing in their life.

Have you experienced self-doubt? What causes it to flare and how do you work through it when it hits?

Every day. Sadly, my inner perfectionist control freak is alive, well, and frequently vocal.

I have learned to give her frequent time-outs, but it takes practice.

How do you feel you have grown since you started?

I am starting to think of myself as a writer. It has taken me a while to own this identity.

Have you developed any particular habits/strategies that facilitate getting things done in your business?

I turn all my devices on do not disturb.

Writing is a solitary practice, and it takes however much time it takes.

Why do you feel women in the 40’s and beyond make fabulous entrepreneurs?

I think women with life experience are excellent listeners.

They work efficiently, and they know how to prioritize.

What would you say to other women who are standing on the edge of their own Next Chapter, not sure if they can take the leap?

Find the support you need. It might be a small group of like-minded women. Or a gifted therapist. Or friends to hike with weekly. Or all of the above.

What’s next for you? Share your vision with us!

I am currently writing a full-length memoir about finding healing after having been widowed as a result of my first husband’s suicide.

 

When I’m facing a something new and challenging I…
First, go for a long run. Then, a long sit.

 

I know my greatest strengths are…
Grace under pressure.

 

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…
Inhale, exhale, repeat as necessary.

 

Some of my favourite books are…
So many. A few I’ve recently enjoyed:

  • This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
  • The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.
  • And everything Anne Lamott has written.
My favourite podcasts are…
The Confessional with Nadia Bolz-Weber, Throughline from NPR and The TED Radio Hour.

 

My favourite business tool or resource is…
A physical calendar.

 

My favourite quote is…
“Watch your way then, as a cautious traveler; and don’t be gazing at that mountain or river in the distance, and saying, ‘How shall I ever get over them?’ but keep to the present little inch that is before you, and accomplishes that in the little moment that belongs to it. The mountain and the river can only be passed in the same way; and, when you come to them, you will come to the light and strength that belong to them.” M. A. Kelty

 

Not many people know that I…
I never went to a doctor until I was pregnant with my first child.

You can connect with Charlotte here.

Posted in

Angela Raspass

Mentoring women in their 40's and beyond to build sustainable businesses blending contribution, fulfilment and financial reward.

Leave a Comment