Emily Maroutian is an award-winning writer, poet, and philosopher. She has authored several bestselling books within the fields of personal development and philosophy. She has studied both subjects for over a decade, developing a notable ability to simplify complicated concepts and turning them into useful resources for self-improvement and healing.
She is also the founder of Maroutian Entertainment, a multimedia company that produces empowering and uplifting material through books, courses, movies, and TV shows. Their projects centre on the idea that we all have the power to better the world through bettering ourselves.
Hey Emily, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m a businesswoman, author, poet, and philosopher. I get the most joy from the process of writing and creating. I also love helping other people think in new ways and see the world differently. One of my favourite pastimes is supporting other people in expanding their minds. If someone walks away from me with a new understanding, I consider that a successful use of my time.
I have been running Maroutian Entertainment since 2009. I publish most of my work through my company. It offers me creative freedom and control over everything I put out. This year marked the ten-year anniversary and I’m excited about the next ten years.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I was born in Soviet Armenia in August of 1984. My family came to the states as asylum seekers in 1989, two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. My father left when I was 11, leaving my mom to raise three children. We were a low-income family on government assistance for a few years before my mom was able to get back on her feet.
I experienced years of depression and anxiety as a teenager where I found solace in reading and watching TV. At the time, my goal was to become a successful screenwriter. From the age of 12, I started writing movies and TV shows with the hopes that one day my work would be made into actual films and TV shows. At around 16, I discovered philosophy and fell in love with the subject. I wanted to be a philosopher. The following year, I read Dostoyevsky’s Notes From Underground and it inspired a character in my mind. I started writing a book and it was published when I was 19.
In college, I majored in philosophy and religious studies. At around 22 I became ill. I had to drop out of school and take a leave of absence from work. I spent a lot of time home alone with nothing to do but read. I used that time to study more philosophy, which inspired my non-fiction work. I started my own media company at 24 and journeyed into publishing. Where I am now was never my plan. In my mind, I was either going to become a screenwriter or a philosophy professor.
Most of your bestsellers focus on emotions and how they affect our lives. What pulled you toward the subject?
Emotions run our lives. They are the reasoning and the driving force behind our decisions. They are the determining factor in why we choose the specific car, the specific house, and the specific spouse. Everything we want in life is because of an emotion. We want to feel secure, powerful, or happy. So we choose the objects and people that perpetuate those feelings.
We look at our lives differently depending on our emotions and moods. When you feel good, you can look at your past and feel gratitude that it brought you here to this moment. When you feel bad, you can look at that same past and feel terrible that you had to go through all of that. Our perspectives, our choices, and our actions all depend on our emotions. Even people who think they’re calm and logical are making choices from emotion as well. A call is an emotion too. I’ve always been fascinated with why people do the things they do and I’ve found that the main source is emotion. I wanted to study it to understand people better, but also to understand myself better.
You’ve mentioned before that your main intention for your work is to facilitate clarity and relief; can you elaborate on that?
All of my work is tailored to those two things. Whether it’s a book, a course, a coaching session, or a screenplay, my main objective is to support the other person in becoming clear and finding relief. I think that once you find relief from negative emotion, it’s easier to get clear about what you need to do. I don’t necessarily believe in giving people direct answers to their problems because only they know the right way. They’re the experts in their life, not me. My goal is to help them feel better and get clearer. They’ll know what to do after that.
Is that why you wrote, The Book of Relief?
Yes, I wanted to help people understand how their nervous systems work under stress and how they can use it to find more relief. I filled it with relief passages and empowering affirmations. There is also a section that teaches you exercises to relieve negative emotions and induce a calm state. My goal is always to bring the reader to a better-feeling state so they can make better decisions in their lives.
You also won an award for that book last year, could you tell us a little bit about it and the writing process?
Yes, it won a medal for the best motivational book at the Beverly Hills Book Awards. My other book, In Case Nobody Told You, won for the best gift book. Both books contain passages to help the reader feel better about where they are and where they’re headed.
As for the writing process, I think everyone is looking for a little relief. Life feels much more stressful and pressure-filled due to social media and 24-hour news channels. We all need an emotional break. We need someone to say, it’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out. Nobody has it all figured out. We’re all doing the best we can. One day’s best might look like a productive day. Another days best might look like you sitting on your couch in pyjamas watching movies. Don’t make yourself wrong for having rest days. Don’t make your emotions wrong when they feel negative. They only feel negative because you’re resisting them. The more we resist, the worst they feel. Let yourself feel what you need to feel and it will pass. Trust that it will pass.
What outlets do use to promote The Book of Relief?
I promote all my books using social media. I’m most active on Instagram. I don’t just promote my own work; I promote the work of others. I’ll share anything I think is beneficial to my followers. My first intention is to offer clarity or relief or both. If I can do that with my own words then I’ll share them. If I can do that with other people’s words, I’ll share that as well. I don’t care where the tools come from, I care about the value people receive from it. In fact, I started my social media accounts to share other people’s quotes. I wanted to spread helpful messages. It took a while before I developed enough courage to share my own work. Even though I was a published author, I was hesitant in sharing my words. I was very introverted and didn’t like the notion of being “seen.” I find this very ironic for a writer, but that’s how life works.
Which of your books would you recommend to our readers?
If you want to read philosophical books related to metacognition (how people think), I would recommend trying one of my three philosophical books: A Second Opinion, The Process of “I”, or Adventures in Thinking. If you want to dive into your emotions: The Energy of Emotions, The Empowered Self or The Book of Relief. If you’re looking for a book with short passages, lessons, and quotes, I suggest Thirty or In Case Nobody Told You. They’re easy to read and comprehend. They also make for great gifts to friends or family.
What is something we can do to maintain emotional health?
One of the most important things you can do is feel your emotions as they come up. Don’t ignore, dismiss, or suppress them. If you do, you will prime yourself for an emotional meltdown. Priming is something that happens when negative emotions compound throughout the day because they’re not being dealt with at the moment. Emotions like frustration, powerlessness, and unease begin to intensify with each experience and if you don’t deal with the emotion as it’s occurring then you will be primed for a trigger. All you will need is one small thing for an explosion or meltdown. We’ve all experienced this. First, you get a flat tire, then you spill something on your clothes, then you get yelled at by your boss, then you come home and you’re primed for a trigger. The kids left the dirty dishes in the sink or your husband didn’t take the garbage out.
Suddenly, this small thing that wouldn’t have bothered you as much yesterday becomes the start of a huge argument. You explode and you can’t control yourself because you’ve been building up to it all day or all week. So staying present with your emotions throughout the day is important. Acknowledging them, really feeling them, and releasing them goes a long way toward maintaining emotional health. The Book of Relief has exercises to help people learn how to stay mindful with their emotions throughout the day.
Do you have any advice for women writers?
Contrary to what most people would advise, I would say don’t think about your audience, not at first. Women have a tendency to support and help at the cost of their own wellbeing. You could end up writing hundreds of books and never say what you need to say. You could help a million people and forget to help yourself in the process.
Make sure your need to speak and be heard and seen is honoured by you before you honour others. You can do both, of course, but you must start with yourself. Every woman has a story that can help others. Trust that people will read your story and find something valuable for themselves. Don’t aim for the value, aim for your truth. People will find the value in your truth. Share your stories, express, and do it all unapologetically. Don’t be afraid to make others uncomfortable and don’t be afraid of being uncomfortable yourself. That’s where the real growth is.
Where can you see yourself within the next 5 years?
In five years I will be 40. While I haven’t given much thought to what I would like to accomplish before 40, expansion is my main goal in life. I aspire to expand mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I hope to be far wiser than I am now. I hope to be sharing that wisdom with others through more books, courses, and films. Mostly, I see myself running a larger business with various products and services that promote self-transformation and wellness.
I don’t set personal goals like marriage or children because I don’t believe those things should be on a schedule or deadline. It’ll happen when it happens. And if it doesn’t happen, that’s okay too. I’ve never been married and if it never happens that’s perfectly fine for me. It was never a goal of mine. It was never on my list of things I wanted for myself. I was never that little girl who dreamed of a wedding and having kids. It didn’t seem appealing to me. I prefer to create in a different way, through paper and pen.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Nothing feels more satisfying than getting emails and private messages from people who say my work has helped them live better lives. Whether it’s trauma survivors or people who feel depressed and suicidal, their improvement feels the most satisfying and validating. More so than any bestseller list or award. My satisfaction comes from changed minds, changed habits, and changed hearts. There was a time when I was on the other end. To know that I’ve lived through that and can now help others is the most satisfying.
What challenges have you been presented during the growth of your career as an established author?
My challenges have been my own emotions and thinking. I picked up many self-limiting habits as a child and spent a lot of my adulthood trying to break them. I had to overcome deeply programmed thinking habits before I could publish anything. I had to get over my need to be quiet and go unnoticed. The hardest thing for me was to throw my voice into the conversation. However, now that I’ve done it and have grown in confidence, I can’t imagine not adding to the conversation. I truly believe I have something beneficial and important to say. If someone is willing to listen, I’ll speak.
Which other authors do you also admire and why?
I will read anything non-fiction because I enjoy exploring other people’s thought-processes. I will read books and authors I disagree with just to understand why they think as they do. I’m an avid reader and I enjoy anything that makes me think differently, opens my mind, or expands my thoughts.
I enjoy the works of Alan Watts, Esther Hicks, and Jane Roberts. I also enjoy the works of Nathaniel Branden, John Bradshaw, and Peter Levine. They have all been pivotal to my healing and growth. I made the most strides when I discovered their works. I also admire all of these authors because a lot of them were the firsts in their fields. I imagine it couldn’t have been easy to present a concept that might be rejected or shunned by society.
Alan Watts helped popularise eastern philosophy and Buddhism in the West back in the 1930s, ’40s, 50’s, and 60’s. He’s the reason I fell in love with philosophy. Esther Hicks and Jane Roberts channeled their books through energies. They popularised the law of attraction and the “you create your own reality” movements as early as the 1960s. Nathaniel Branden is the founder of the self-esteem and self-responsibility movement in psychology and made it into a household name in the 1970s. John Bradshaw openly talked about shame, child-abuse, and addiction back in the 1980s when it was still taboo. And Peter Levine revolutionised the way we think of trauma and invented Somatic Experiencing, which has helped trauma patients all over the world. I admire everyone for their bravery in introducing something new into the mainstream of thought and for the influence, they’ve had on my personal life. One day I hope to follow in their footsteps and introduce a completely new concept that changes the way we think and feels about ourselves.
How do you define your own success?
I define my misery by feeling stuck or forced to do something I don’t want to do. I define my happiness through freedom. Am I free to express myself authentically? To love freely? To work on my projects? To pursue my goals? Then, I am happy. Sometimes that freedom involves money and sometimes it doesn’t. But money is not what success means to me. Success is equal parts happiness/freedom and value creation. Am I doing something of value? Is my freedom tied to bringing value to others? Yes? Then, I’m successful.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Being my own person means I take responsibility for the words I express, the actions I take, the work I create, and who I am overall. I am my own person and I am responsible for my happiness, my purpose, my values, my beliefs, and my wellness. In my life, the buck stops with me. I create my experiences, I define my experiences, and I decide what I do with them. My progress is on me. No one else gets the credit or blame for my life.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
This year my focus is on creating two courses. One is an extension of my book, The Energy of Emotions. The other is a course on developing emotional independence. It helps people become their own person and stop allowing their emotions to be manipulated by other’s actions. It helps them develop emotional intelligence, maturity, and stability.
I’m also working on a couple of screenplays. For the first time in my life, I’m seriously pursuing my dream of screenwriting. Instead of writing one and then tossing it aside for no one to read, I’m submitting them into screenplay contests and actively looking for producers. One of my screenplays, The Courageous Life of Jeremy Braxton, became a finalist in the Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards last year. I hope to get it made either this year or the next.
So in a way this year will be spent pursuing the two professions that I initially wanted to pursue as a teenager: screenwriter and professor. I had to let them go because my life took a “detour” through illness. Now, I get to do both on top of everything else I’ve done. This isn’t who I planned on becoming, but I guess life had other plans for me. I am now positioned in a way that I can help the maximum amount of people through my experiences. Without the “detour” I took through illness, depression, and anxiety, I wouldn’t be where I am today. And it’s from here that I can honestly say that I’m right on time and right on track. There was no detour.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1VNm24m