A Conversation with my Mother on Entrepreneurship, Mindfulness, and Spirituality


In this feature I’m interviewing women in the wellness and personal development world on what they do to stay well. Cynthia Charis is an intuitive energy healer and coach who has spent years cultivating many ways to be well and has helped countless others on their own wellness journeys. Read on to hear how she practices self-care and what she feels is the most important way to nurture your own wellbeing.

It’s fitting that the first woman in this feature is none other than my own mother, Cynthia Charis. I truly would not be the badass woman I am today without her (she was my first example of a well wild woman, after all). My mom has run her own business since I was young, and has always been an incredible example to me of “having it all.” I’ve watched her closely as she has navigated parenting me, running her own business, being an amazing wife, and pursuing her own pursuits and interests. She always made it clear that she loved me and would always be there to support me, but that she was her own person, too.

Having a mother like that really showed me the importance of keeping your own identity sacred, and how that can work hand in hand with completely loving and supporting your family. I know I’ll take so many lessons from her with me when I have my own children some day. So, I wanted to share her amazing story and her own tips for being well in this wild world. After all, I learned from the best!


Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got to where you are today.

I grew up in a challenging home, so that encouraged me to seek out ways to have a happy and fulfilling life as an adult.  Looking back, I feel grateful for the unhappiness that pervaded my home because it propelled me on a life-long search for peace of mind, healthy self-expression, and joy!

I always remember having a strong sense of destiny and of wanting to make a difference in the world. I got a degree in psychology, pursued higher education, and then got my Masters in Nutritional Sciences and Wellness. I had a wonderful career in the corporate world of wellness, but something felt missing. It wasn’t until later when I had a spiritual awakening that I began my greatest work.

I became an intuitive energy healer and began focusing on a holistic approach to wellness that included the body, mind and soul. I’ve enjoyed being intimately involved in this deeply transformative work with my private clients for over 25 years now.  I’ve always felt that my clients and I are doing this work together, and that each client teaches me something new about myself. I’ve been thrilled to see such profound transformation occurring as a result of our work, and in a way, I’ve had the privilege of living thousands of different lives through the journeys with my clients.

But, by and far, the most exhilarating experience I’ve had yet is to speak to live audiences all over the world on radio shows that help others uplift their lives through the awakening of their heart and soul. This has given me the greatest opportunity to express the depth of my love, light and wisdom to so many. Life continues to surprise me, and I love the wonder of what will come next. Mostly, I’m grateful each and every day for my family, my friends, my work and the knowing that I was able to transcend my background and find true joy in helping others find the best lives they can live.

What does being “well” mean to you?

Being “well” for me is finding that special thing in your life that makes your heart sing, that makes you want to do it regardless of what everyone else says, and that feeds your soul in a way that makes your life feel worthwhile.  It is finding your own song of truth, your own “North Star,” and daring to have the courage to pursue it as best you can.

It is living life in a lighter, more joyful way, and not taking everything so seriously, being able to love yourself despite your mistakes, and showing up and being present again and again no matter what. Wellness is knowing that the joy of your own life is the most important gift you can give to the world.

What are some things you do to stay well in this wild world?

First and foremost, I follow my own truth. That means saying “no” whenever I need to so that I can stay in alignment with my personal priorities in life.  I create the space and time I need to self-nourish, self-love, and self-replenish so that I can give to others from a place of surplus and not deficit. The best advice ever given to me was that giving wasn’t about coming from a place somewhere between being selfish or selfless, but rather, it was about coming from a place of being self-full. Fill yourself up first, and then give as freely as you want!

I also try to get 8 hours of sleep as much as I can and I never turn down a chance to nap if my body needs it! I choose to eat well and make healthy choices at least 80 percent of the time, which allows me to indulge without guilt when those decadent cravings arise! And of course, I’m not a big exercise fanatic, but I always try at least to get in a walk every day to breath fresh air and to see the beauty of nature and remember why I’m here, which is to let go more and enjoy life to the fullest!

What is the one piece of advice you would share with others to help them stay well?

My most important and singular piece of advice is to practice self-love as much as you can. That means learning to have compassion for yourself when you mess up, learning how to forgive yourself and others as much as you can (which benefits your own health in more ways than you can ever imagine) and learning how to honor yourself for having the courage to be here in this wild world in your own, unique beautiful way! The world would not be the same without you so thank you for being you!

I hope you enjoyed this interview, and I look forward to chatting with many women in the future about how they stay well in this wild world. You can find my mom at cynthiacharis.com to connect or schedule a session with her!

Xoxo, Melina