Maia Akiva is a professional speaker, trauma-informed trainer, performer, and a writer in Los Angeles. Her unique approach encourages audiences to embrace their relationships with their emotions and feelings as a path to a better Mental Health, success, happiness, freedom and fulfillment. She specializes in mental health, self-empowerment, creativity and creating mental health and motivational programs and content, like her fictional podcast, Interview with Myself —in which she interviews her feelings and emotions as guests on the show.
Maia reimagines Mental Health healing methods in a dynamic blend of insight and humor for a flourishing everyday life. With outside-the-box mental health learning experiences, trainings, and stories that personify and realize abstract emotions, Maia guides her audience through the journey of mental health that she is inspired to navigate every day. Originally from Israel, Maia teaches emotional creative unblocking and stress relief to companies like Hulu, the City of Santa Monica, Vans, Frame, 72 and Sunny, and others. Her unique creative presentations are featured at The Goomi Group, a Corporate Wellness company in the US. She is the creator of Mental Health + Creativity a service that offer a unique mental health programming and content. She wrote and created a Mental Health, Addiction and Trauma Creative Writing Curriculum Guide that is being facilitated in Treatment Centers, Youth programs, after-school programs and more Some of her clients includes: Reconnect Integrative Trauma Treatment Center, Resilience Treatment Center for Mental Health, Sanctuary Treatment Center, Forward Recovery, 826LA, CalSac and many more.
She is now training teachers, therapists, writers, mental health staff and organizations on her Mental Health, Addiction and Trauma Creative Writing curriculum. And facilitating “Mental Health Tune-Ups and Team buildings” events for staff, colleges, and groups. She is working on building a longer Mental Health and Creativity immersive experience for groups and organizations. She is an active member of Epiphany Space, an artist community in Hollywood, and leads workshops for WriteGirl, Models of Pride, and Caltech upholding her personal mission: Empowering everyone’s Mental Health by making friends with our emotions.
Q. If you are in recovery, what was your DOC and when did you discontinue its use? A. Love and food. I can’t stop using them so I am learning how to live in recovery with them.
Q. If you ever retire, would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, or mountaintop, or penthouse? A. A penthouse by the ocean will be my dream.
Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort? A. Any hotel in NYC.
Q. How do you measure success? A. I used to measure it by money and success but as I get older, and as cheesy as this sounds, I realize that even though those things are important what really counts having great experiences with people you love and enjoy and doing what fulfill you.
Q. What is your biggest or littlest pet peeve? A. People who are late.
Q. If you had an extra million dollars, which charity would you donate it to? A. I couldn’t choose. So I will probably find 10 different ones and split it between them.
Q. Who was your biggest influence throughout your life? A. I am very inspired by artists who create the things I like but are scared to create. Artist that creates magical realism. Like Charlie Kaufman and Frida Kahlo. Their work and courage to create it and put it out there even though it’s different and sometimes wired is a huge motivation for me.
Q. What is your current hobby? A. Trying Vegan Restaurants.
Q. If you were giving a dinner party for your 3 favorite authors, Living or dead, who would they be? (you can choose 4 if you think one might be too drunk or stoned to attend.) A. Brene Brown, Charlie Kaufman, John Bradshaw and since it’s my party I will also invite Barbra Streisand!
Q. What is your favorite Radio show, news show, podcast? A. I am obsessed with Howard Stern. I don’t miss a show.
Q. What is your favorite TV series? A. The West Wing.
Q. What is your favorite movie? A. The Matrix.
Q. What is your favorite museum? A. The Paley Center for Media. I didn’t grow up in the US so I use to go there for years catching up on soooo much TV.
Q. What is your favorite play or musical? A. Ave Q.
Q. Who is your favorite performer? A. Barbra Streisand
Q. What is your favorite band? A. Rage against The Machine.
Q. What is your favorite sport to play? A. Tennis.
Q. What is your favorite sport to watch? A. NFL. I’m obsessed.
Q. What is your favorite city? A. NYC.
Q. What is your favorite restaurant? A. Cafe Gitane in NYC.
Q. What is your favorite cuisine? A. Any Indian Restaurant.
Q. Who is your favorite spiritual teacher, sansei, guru, saint, or wisdom keeper? A. Tej. An amazing Kundalini yoga teacher.
Q. Do you take work home with you? A. Yes, but I like that. I am a freelancer and doing work from home and not having to be somewhere to get it done makes me happy.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given? A. Accept all the parts of yourself. Even those you hate.
Q. What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken? A. Moving to Los Angeles from Israel.
Q. What is the proudest moment in your life? A. The healing work I do and or try to do everyday.