Mamma Hayes: Open Your Heart & Chaaaaaaaaaaarge
Three years, two office spaces, and thousands of pounds of superfoods later, Imlak’esh is seeing one of its biggest changes: saying Hasta Luego to Events Manager Carissa Hayes — better known as Mamma Hayes because of her nurturing nature and the way she holds a safe space for people to express themselves.
Armed with wisdom, experience, an open heart, and some badass dance moves, Mamma Hayes is heading on a personal exploration. These past few years have incredible for her growth, but it is time for her to walk her own path.
"Imlak’esh has shown me that we, as individuals and as a collective community, can work within the existing structure to create positive change in the world. Personally, my time here has helped me become a healthier person and has allowed me to strengthen my morals and beliefs. Imlak’esh has helped me in my journey to becoming the highest version of myself, and it is a place where we are empowering others to step into their authentic selves."
In developing her intuition and the courage to follow her calling, she accepts that now is the time for her to leave the loving nest of Imlak’esh, and to embrace the next part of her life.
"It was always a running joke that I would leave for South America in six months — I never meant to stay at Imlak’esh for so long. I started volunteering with Imlak’esh because I had extra time and I didn’t know exactly what my path was, so I decided to support my friends in achieving their dreams. To me, that’s what community does: support each other. Tuck and PhilMatt are my brothers; in these past few years, they’ve not only supported my growth, but embraced me in my role as a leader."
Mamma Hayes is a leader through and through. She’s been the driving force behind Sweet Purps, the funky food truck trekkin’ it to festivals to serve up superfoods. After helping pick it out, she drove it down from Portland, designed the interior, reached out to festivals, developed the menu, and brought the Imlak’esh vibes to different places — creating a hub at events for people who sought nourishment, gratitude, and groovy moves.
"I love being able to serve people on a larger scale. With the food truck at festivals, I can reach thousands of people. We ask every person who comes by the truck what they are grateful for; it helps bring them into the present and nourish them in different ways. I’m realizing that my calling here on this planet has to do with serving people and helping them become more awake, more aware. I feel a responsibility for planting seeds of awareness in people."
In pursuit of her social responsibility and her passion for the plant world, she hopes to become an herbalist and a naturopath — to bridge the gap between the logical, scientific world and the world where plants communicate in a different language. Ultimately, to meet people where they’re at, help them heal and awaken.
Thank you, Mamma Hayes, for being uniquely you! You’re always an inspiration, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for you.
Check out this interview with Carissa Hayes while she was living and working on an organic farm.