about me

“No matter how much I try, I can’t seem to feel good... why can’t I just move on?”

Mari mari, hello, I'm Mandy Martini Chihuailaf, Fog over lake.

Do you know that feeling, like you've tried everything but no matter what you do, nothing helps? Something feels 'off' and you have to drag yourself out of bed every morning.

After I’d survived some traumatic experiences, I tried everything this society said would help me. Weekly visits to the therapist's office (for 8 years,) visits to a psychologist, medication, yoga, meditation, self-help books, positive affirmations/thinking... if you've had any exposure to the healing industry, you know there are plenty of people saying "you should try this!" out there. And I felt like I tried it all but nothing made it go away, nothing was helping.

It was like I couldn’t ‘shake’ it.

On some rare occasions, it would feel like it helped. But then something happened or I would have a 'bad' day and I would find myself back on square one again. 
 
And that’s when I realized that this society only teaches us how to cope with what we’re going through— not how to heal and move on from it.

Not only that... it ignores who we are.
Primal beings with instincts and responses.

The deeper I got into this, I realized... it's all very hush-hush.

If I hadn't been born into an Indigenous family, in a family of two medicine women, I don’t think I would've ever found my answers. 
I doubt I would’ve ever healed.

Illustration from my tio Elicura Chihuailaf's book, Kallfv Pewma Mew, Sueño Azul/Blue Dream. The Blue house of tia Maria, the Machi (medicine woman), the home of my family in Patagonia.

There’s a mixture of emotions... gratitude and pain. Gratitude for the knowledge my Elders and ancestors taught me. Pain from thinking, "what if I hadn't known this?!” Pain from seeing so many people struggling, without ever finding their answers. Without ever knowing who they are and why it matters in this 'modern' way of living. Without ever knowing that it's all connected.

The healing industry talks about the process of healing like it's a life journey. You're told you should learn how to cope. Translation, learn how to live with it.

But healing was never supposed to be your journey, the focus of your life. That's like saying that your purpose for living is trying to survive. How could that be true? How can fighting to feel good, to go through your life feeling numbed, be your purpose?

You’re supposed to leave that behind so that you can live your life as the person you know deep inside that you are. You’re supposed to wake up every morning happy and at peace. That’s your journey. That’s your true purpose.

So about four years ago, it was clear to me that sharing this with you was my journey. A voice inside of me reminded me that there was a purpose for all the violence and trauma I’d been through. And the knowledge from my ancestors wasn't supposed to only help myself, but others as well.

But to be honest with you. The first few years, until recently actually, I struggled with owning a business. Even though most of what I create, well over 90% of my resources and content is free...
I still had to run a business to teach.

Capitalism and colonization was the reason why my family became refugees. The greed for money and power was the reason my family had to leave our home and our land. It’s why the land is hurting. It's why our people are being tortured and killed.

But I had to be honest with myself and ask,
"If I don’t do this, then what's the alternative?"

I realized this was the only way I could support myself without my voice and the teachings of my ancestors getting lost in this colonized society. It's the only way I can keep our Indigenous Knowledge from being silenced. It's the only way I can help others, no matter where in the world they are, so that they can learn how to help themselves. To not just be dependent on this system. So that they don't have to stay sick and spend money on weekly sessions and treatments. It's the only way I can help my people, my community, and our land. To help brothers and sisters who are hurting by violence and oppression.

Staying silent and doing nothing can never be an option.

So ever since I’ve been teaching people all over the world how to heal from stress and trauma related illnesses and symptoms, using the knowledge of my people and my own experience. Through the online school SLG, we are now a community of members in over 35 countries.

I’ve taught people of all backgrounds, from survivors of violence, abuse, war, and refugees to Hollywood celebrities. No matter who you are, Indigenous Knowledge is knowledge for everyone. It's who you are, it's your birthright, and it's something we would've all known if it wasn't for colonialism.

Through my work with SLG, I was able to start the Mari Mari Project in 2018. Named after the Mapuche greeting [Mari mari kom pu che] meaning, we are equals. Through this project I'm able to give back to my Indigenous and Black relatives and support our communities, which has always been my dream.

If you've read this far, thank you. I hope we'll meet one day.

With love lamngen, (sister/brother)

Mandy

What happens when you ignore your primal instincts?

In this free mini-class you'll learn how it's been affecting your life.

I'm in!

questions I get often...

What’s your background?

I am bi-racial. My mother is Indigenous from the Mapuche Nation in Patagonia (born and raised) and a descendant of the Southwest (“USA”) territory, Yucatán Maya, and the Amazon. My father is Swedish/German. I was raised in Sweden by my Indigenous side of the family who are living there exiled. Half of the family is still in Patagonia and other half are living exiled all over the world. Because Indigenous families are very close-knit, my grandmother's home was my second home, she helped raise me. I was always surrounded by my aunts, uncles, and my Elders. And my father cut out most of my Swedish relatives because of the racism against my mother and me.

When did you come to the United States and why?

When I was 19 years old in 2007. It was just me and two suitcases. Because my grandmother was Southwest Native American and Mayan, I always felt like I was just coming back home. I'd been talking about this move since I was very little. Even when I didn’t understand the home of my ancestors and their story. I just knew or felt a connection to the land.

Where do you live?

Los Angeles was my home for almost 13 years but I left during the pandemic and I’m currently in Southwest Florida.

What happened to you?

It’s a long story of many traumatic events but the one that really changed everything for me was surviving domestic violence. I won’t get into it here, but I’ll say that I wake up every morning grateful to see another day. I might share this story in a podcast episode once I get it up and going.