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Free-spirit, marine conservationist, entrepreneur and mama to two boys, Kazzie Mahina is a trail blazer in the world of mermaiding. Having combined her love of the ocean with her goal of offering a legitimate watersport for girls and women, this professional mermaid is also the inventor of the world’s first Mer’fin. We took some time to catch up with this soulful mama to talk about finding peace & happiness, raising her boys by the ocean and her commitment to providing women with rejuventating experiences through her upcoming wellness retreats.
Before starting Mahina Mermaid, you worked as a professional mermaid and free-diver working for film and commercial campaigns. Tell us about the inspiration behind starting Mahina Mermaid and creating the MerFin?
In 2004 a friend Hannah and I made mermaid tails together – resulting in the creation of a whole new career genre; we both went on to carve out occupations as ‘Professional Mermaids’. Since then I have been fortunate to enjoy a colourful and exciting career as a mermaid in the global commercial world. It’s a fun and adventurous path... I never know what is around the corner, which I love because it fits my adventurous nature and allows me to live outside the box.
When I started out, I felt it was a shame that others had no way of accessing and enjoying this experience. I loved how much the connection to nature and the ocean mermaiding brought me, and I soon realized my mermaid projects could be a perfect vehicle for my passion in ocean conservation. So in 2005 I created a safe and easy to remove mermaid fin to share the mermaid experience with the world; offering a legitimate watersport for girls and women, and inspiring a culture of connection and care with our natural water environments.
What do you love about raising your boys by the ocean here in Byron Bay?
They get to live such a charmed life with the best of so many worlds…the beautiful beaches and stunning nature as well as the buzz and energy that people from all walks of life bring. I love the culture, music and creativity that is bursting at the seams. I love that it attracts positive, happy, open hearted humans who come to congregate and enjoy the good life. I love that my boys are born into this, and this way of life will be the norm for them, this will be their starting point.
I love our community of friends and their little ones. Its amazing looking around at all of these wild, running free little people, its very sweet and I am so happy we are giving our boys a truly a blessed life. We plan on traveling a lot with them to make sure they understand this and always hold a gracious perspective.
What has been the most challenging moment as a mother so far?
Nothing prepared me for the feelings I would undergo becoming a mother. Two weeks after my first son was born, I was staring out the window with floods of tears streaming down my face, experiencing the most enormous heart explosion and simultaneously feeling heartbreak at the idea of him being grown up and gone from my arms.
I realized in that moment, I had no choice but to be one with all that comes … the joy and the sorrow, the love and the pain of letting go… my heart had grown cute little arms and legs and was able to move about the world on its own accord.. ummm kind of a crazy wonderful terrifying feeling!
As well as being an Entrepreneur & Inventor, you have two young boys, Makoa Tide, 4 and Kona Wild, 1. Can you share your thoughts on the work/life balance and how it all works for you?
Being an Entrepreneur and pioneering something in the world has been an incredible ride but it has come at a cost. I have had to ride insane amounts of highs and lows, all the while simultaneously adjusting to the incredible blessing of becoming a mother and all that it entails.
Amidst some challenging times earlier this year, I made a decision to give up stress. I made a pledge to allow for more relaxed, present and loving moments with my boys, family and friends. I had noticed that stress and business was stealing my precious moments of life away, and I felt I was robbing my boys of their mamma by not enjoying moments with them like I knew I could be.
I have turned to my meditation enquiry practice ‘am I here now’ to find peace and happiness regardless of my external situations. It allows me to take in what’s in front of me; to enjoy the smile on my boys faces or the sound of their giggle, feeling their hand in mine or the breeze brushing against my skin. It helps me to rest in the knowing that life is doing its thing and I don't have to add tension to it. I can relax into things as they are… even when they are concerning, messy and uncomfortable.
I notice now that, even when the stresses are there, I feel more wellness and ease because I am focusing on seeing the flowers in my day as well as tending to the weeds; it seems to be bringing about the right kind of balance, which in turn makes way for more time, fun and enjoyment with my boys.
Your husband Max is a music tour manager and an ecologist. He is now guiding people on outback adventures with camels. Tell us more...
Max spends a lot of his time wandering around central Australia with camels. He is Chief Ecologist and Expedition Leader for Australian Desert Expeditions- they use traditionally outfitted pack camels to explore the remote central deserts, conducting research and science that incorporates traditional knowledge and historical benchmarking.
When not wandering around in the desert, he works in the music industry as a Tour Manager, mostly with international acts, in particularly musician Jack Johnson. His role as Jack’s Environmental Road Manager includes co-ordination of production, their ‘greening’ and sustainability initiatives and facilitating the charitable programs implemented on tour.
When he is at home he is Co-Director of the Byron Bay Surf Festival- an event that celebrates surf culture through art, music and film.
What’s next for Mahina Mermaid?
Things are looking pretty exciting; I’m in the middle of designing a whole new project rolling out in 2018, working in conjunction with stunning resorts around the world on a Mermaid Wellness and Fitness Retreat for Women, called BAREFOOT with Mahina Mermaid.
We are focusing on providing authentic, fun and rejuvenating experiences for women who need to take a moment out of their busy lives to reconnect with nature and themselves in a deep and enjoyable way.
It will provide them with real tools to support and maintain more flow, positive focus and calmness when heading back into their everyday lives. It is a perfect balance of mermaid fitness, workouts, as well as yoga, meditation and opportunities to experience and connect with the ocean and sea life. It will be providing a very empowering ocean conservation experience.
How do you hope your children describe you in years to come?
Makoa tells me constantly “Mumma you're a flower.. no actually mumma, you're a dancing flower…” I don't know where he got it from, but I love that. I think I will take that…
For Kazzie’s spirited family adventures across sand dunes and through turquoise lagoons follow their new family instagram account @thedesertdwellerandthemermaid
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Expires 31 December 2017