The Back Story - From Mafia Wife to Nomad Entrepreneur

The 7 Lessons I Learned to Reinvent Myself

A personal message

Time and again, the very nature of life brings us face to face with reinvention. It is something we cannot escape. As we cross each new threshold we evolve towards new beginnings.

My life began in the idyllic coastal town of Santa Barbara, California, from which I was uprooted at age 16 with a move to a Native American village in the far northern wilds of Alaska, where my father worked at a government facility. There, at 17, I was noticed, coveted and “claimed” by a powerful Mafioso 25 years older than me. He was infamous, one of the most powerful men in America, heading up the build-out of the Alaskan pipeline. Control was accomplished through strong-armed intimidation, and more egregious means.

My life quickly became a fast lane to chaos; politics, machinations and fear. By the time I turned 21, I had given birth to three children. When my son turned two years old, he was hit by a car and killed. That same night our house was burned to the ground, in a Mafia deal gone bad. It took five years to gain the courage to escape, taking my children. I left with little money just to be free and a do or die feeling in my gut.

Turning Downs into Ups

To start a new life, I invested my small pittance into 10 acres of land in Arizona, creating a subdivision, that become highly profitable. My ascent into freedom became literal as well as figurative. I had to break the bonds of earth and the life that had held me prisoner.

I took up skydiving.

I became a pioneer in extreme sports, decades before the term was coined. I trained in Style competition, which is gymnastics at 200 mph with only 26 seconds of free-fall airtime. I went on to win four gold medals and one bronze in the World Skydiving Championships, the first American woman to do so.

Fully out of the box that had defined my existence, I excelled in other extreme sports. The changes in my life were dichotomous and I found I had a knack for the perilous. On icy 45 degree mountain slopes, I competed in giant slalom ski racing and parachuting accuracy in Para-ski competitions. My reinvention paid off in a trio of National Championships.

Necessity is the Mother of Reinvention

In the midst of these successes, tragedy struck once again. Another fire destroyed the home I built dashing dreams and depleting finances.

All that remained was my spirit and indomitable will, which catapulted me around the world, competing on the U.S. Parachute Team and other extreme sports adventures.

I was asked to be in an extreme sports film in New Guinea. I was part of an all-woman team comprised of world-champion skydivers, mountain climbers and river runners parachuting into the remote headhunter villages. In this classic cinematic adventure we were filmed scaling peaks and running rivers that had never been traversed before.

Concurrently, I entered the international arena of business. I lived and worked in Europe for four years as an investment banker bringing U.S. companies into Europe, a commodities broker, and as a private entourage manager in Saudi Arabia.

After this I settled into my own TV production company that covered lifestyle, fitness and beauty news worldwide. A main part of the TV production was working with women reinventing their lives using the powerful warrior strategies I had learned over the years.

The Power of the Flow

It is said that everywhere one goes and everything one does propels a person to where they’re supposed to be. The unknowns of the frontiers I embarked on came with great risk, but also great reward.

An extreme life will take you in and spit you out. This kind of journey makes you very honest with yourself.

Whether having success or experiencing a failure, I studied the cause and the effects of both. I became the scholar warrior learning the alchemy of the internal martial arts strategies which were inspired by my sister, a deep master.

Once my high-adrenaline pursuits had ended, I realized the true essence of my journey emanated from the experiences which were achieved through falling and rising; from failing and then achieving new learning. That is what mastery is built on and where the alchemy of knowledge comes from. Through many diverse experiences, the raw reality of survival in tough situations brings out the soul’s fundamental strengths and weaknesses. The driving force has to be a balance between the heights that you reach inwardly and outwardly, physically and spiritually.

You will become better.

You’ll gain a more thorough grasp of who you are and of what you are capable of. Experience cultivates wisdom. When you learn how to take the risks, your character will have the chance to flourish to its true potential.

My own impassioned journey is what has inspired me to help others achieve what they desire.

I look forward to help you develop your own special Journey – your special path to development and ultimate success.


Maria teaches and coaches from deep experience where spirit and courage have been forged through both tragedy and success. Throughout it all, she practiced the energy arts. She extracted what she learned and integrated them into her own ever-evolving system for helping others.

Among Maria’s strongest gifts are her amazing powers of observation to see the positioning and path for other peoples success. Her authenticity, sincerity and wisdom are well deserved as she has walked the talk for a lifetime with tangible results.

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