What is the purpose of the guided journal? 365 Days of Intentional Living will teach you how to live with intention and purpose. Each day will present you with a statement or question to be contemplated and answered. Halfway through the journal, you will be presented with these questions once again in order to see how your thoughts have changed through the journaling process. Why should anyone buy this journal? In order to remain healthy and whole in life, it is important for us to remain conscious of how we are affected by life’s circumstances. All of our actions are shaped by how we feel, and how we feel is directly influenced by how we think. If we intentionally process our thoughts on a daily basis, we will begin to understand where our feelings derive from as well as grow in our ability to make mindful decisions. This journal will help you to embrace the power you can have over your emotions, and enable you to make more clear-minded decisions around everyday situations that affect your life. If you purchase this guided journal, you can be a part of Celeste Viciere private 365 Day of Intentional Living facebook group community. The community is intended to serve as a safe space to share your thoughts and observations from your journaling process with others who are also making their way through 365 Days of Intentional Living. After your purchase, you can send and email to email@example.com to be added to the group. Relationship Goals: A Guide to a Healthy Relationship is a book to help you navigate. Relationships can be complicated, and many times we tend to struggle alone. We may seek a healthy relationship, but we might not be clear on what that actually looks like. ‘Relationship Goals’ can help you gain clarity. Whether you have been with your partner for six months or 60 years, this book will help you break down the barriers you are facing in your relationship and help you achieve a solution-focused mindset that can enable you to work through issues with your partner in a healthy and positive way. Drop In to find out how firsthand with Celeste Viciere!
Celeste Viciere also known as Celeste The Therapist is a renowned therapist, mental health advocate, best-selling author, and podcast host. She is frequently quoted by the media as a mental health expert, including The Washington Post, NBC News, VICE, Healthline, Bustle, and has appeared on TV One and Fox Soul TV. Celeste has been in the mental health field for almost 20 years and believes in the power of living a conscious life. She has dedicated her personal and professional endeavors to breaking the stigma surrounding mental and emotional health, especially in communities of color. Celeste has been in private practice since 2015 and currently conducts her practice online full time. She also speaks for organizations around the world both corporate and non profit about mental health and the importance of living intentionally. In addition to her podcast; Celeste The Therapist, and her private practice; The Uniting Center, Celeste is the author of 365 Days of Intentional Living and Relationship Goals. She holds a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Celeste also has a program where you can do self guided or guided. The guided option is only open four times a year called “ShiftingTheWayYouThink”. There are two master classes. The first class is focused on healing the inner child and the second class is focused on All about love. Celeste will use books, live discussions to help you with shifting your thought process.Leave a comment for radio show guests
What’s the story behind the story? We’ll find out on Dropping In. Our guests are today’s original thinkers. Conversations that spark new ways of seeing what’s going on. We bring it all to the table. Diverse perspectives, controversy, loving and singular voices. Magically stories reveal the common threads that link us. Experience the joys, the fist pumps, the detours and the hard-won truths of those who blaze the trail so that we might do the same and now here’s your host Diane Dewey.
Diane: Welcome to Dropping In everyone. We’re here today with Celeste Viciere, one of the most constructive, practical voices in mental health counselling today with the least amount of woo-woo in her two best-selling books Relationship Goals and 365 Days of Intentional Living. Everybody wants to know how to kick-start our relationship or even our lives in the pandemic. These are hands-on guides to stay in touch with ourselves and they include on the emotions chart a state called hungover. Celeste, you are keeping it real. Welcome to Dropping In.
Celeste: Thank you so much for having me.
Diane: It’s really a joy. Celeste the Therapist is the name of your podcast. You’ve been a Boston therapist for 20 years now, a mental health advocate, best-selling author and you’re frequently quoted by the media as a mental health expert including the Washington Post, NBC News, Vice, Healthline Bustle and TV1 and Fox Soul TV. You believe in the power of living a conscious life and have dedicated your personal and professional endeavors to breaking the stigma surrounding mental and emotional health especially in communities of color. Celeste the Therapist is your weekly podcast and it streams on all podcasting platforms in over a hundred countries featuring guests who empower others in various capacities. The goal is to shift the way people think and to give people hope. Congratulations Celeste.
I want to dive into your books but first I feel like we have to take a detour to talk about the elephant in the room. Another police shooting of an African-American this week Daunte Wright, age 20 with a two-year-old right in the midst of the Derek Chauvin trial. This is trauma that we have to absorb seemingly each week. It’s an unbearable kind of disbelief and disinformation. How do you talk through this with people in terms of processing this kind of trauma?
Celeste: Thank you so much for having me. I think that most of my clients are black. Even before all the police stuff that we see on the news I think we see it more clearly because we’ve been in a pandemic so everyone’s at a standstill. The cycle of news is recycling. As I’m talking to them unfortunately for some people it does bring up past history of dealing with the police and in that matter. One thing that I’m huge on even when the pandemic started is looking at what’s within your control because we don’t know what tomorrow holds but we only have right now. I think that what happens when we’re seeing this stuff on TV you’re at a heightened state. With my clients especially when it this comes up for them I’m big on helping them get grounded and turning off the TV and making sure that they’re able to do uh things that’s going to help them stay in the present.
Diane: Well it’s really important to have your voice because as of 2015, 80%of the mental health counselors in this country were white. Then you have let’s say the next demographic is Hispanic and then African-American, maybe four or five percent only. Yet African-Americans are coping with a vast amount of trauma these macro aggressions and also microaggressions. Sometimes I think well we at least know about it. I get the sense that this was happening before and we just simply didn’t know about it. Right, I mean and this kind of societal trauma it also doesn’t it really come back to the idea of securing what we stand for, what our voices, what you need to say, who we are as people because I love the fact that you always come back to the idea of what’s within our control.
Celeste: What’s within our control and I think like you said like this has been going on for a while but people are seeing it now. I don’t think people are bad people. I feel like even though most of my clients are black I work with all race, social economic status, genders and so I just think that our experiences are what we’ve been exposed to. I think with like America I feel like things that were written in the Constitution and certain things were all are created equal and those type of things but the systems that have been here for years when you live in a system like that you don’t even recognize the damage or the implicit bias that takes place because it’s all you know.
When I started my career I was 19 at a homeless shelter. I thought all homeless people were people that were alcoholics. That was ignorance on my end and I had to educate myself. My favorite population to work with is people that are homeless or dealing with major mental health issues. I think it’s the same thing with race and for people that are struggling with understanding like systemic racism. I get it like I think in our history books, I went to school here in America. Everything was centered around whiteness. If that’s all you know it makes sense why you would not understand like this stuff has been happening for so long because you’ve been is so ingrained in you. I can only imagine. I’ve had a lot of white people on my podcast who have talked about like the awakening that they’ve had and just how hard it is. I just think that like at our core I feel like we’re all good people but we’re corrupted by our environment. That’s why if I’m mindful, if I’m present, if I’m self-aware I can see things so clearly but most of us are operating on autopilot so we’re not really able to see things clear.
Diane: You talk about the split, there’s a way in which the authorities have let us down. You call 9-1-1 and you have this trust the cops are going to come. They’re going to help you. Well what if they don’t. What if it’s just the opposite? That breach of trust and trying to understand that the people who are meant to be our allies are people who turn against certain populations in particular. That’s a real like emotional scar for all of us. I agree with you that we all sustain it. I wondered about you just talked about the homeless population because hey, mental health issues are like the underpants of every single societal issue. I mean homelessness, drug use, crime and yet we still stigmatize seeking help as a weakness. How are you helping to overcome this in your work?
Celeste: A lot of education. The reason why I really started going on social media probably back in 2015 when I was in a working in the emergency room. I have a long history of working with different people in different settings. I remember a guy who was sober for a month, had been using for 15 years using substances and was sober and was having all of these symptoms of anxiety. Then educating him for that 45 minutes in his room about how like you were probably drinking because like it alleviated some of the symptoms of your anxiety whether food or alcohol or work or school. We’re looking for comfort and sometimes we find it in substances or things that are not good for us. Just seeing his eyes light up it was like oh my gosh, I can’t believe that that’s what’s happening. It’s like we all should understand this stuff. There’s no reason why in this country like we don’t understand how important our mental health is because it can literally control like everything we choose to do or not do keeping us stagnant in certain places.
What I do is I initially just started like posting on social media about mental health things a few years ago. I then started going live on Periscope and YouTube and then I eventually branched into podcasting. I’m literally just talking about mental health as if I’m talking about having pizza. I bring that energy to people that helps them shift their thought process because I normalize it. I think the more we normalize mental health the more people are gonna, people are easily like I’m gonna go get a physical but saying I’m gonna see my therapist then you’re getting like yes, people are turning their eyes on you as if something’s wrong with you but it’s like no, I want to be healthy. I’m going to see a therapist. That’s okay. I’m really just trying to normalize it and make it an everyday conversation.
Diane: You are seeing people when you described the way that substances help a person cope and maybe slows down time and there aren’t the anxious moments. That person felt seen by you. That acknowledgement is just so huge because I feel like there’s a lot of unseen people who feel damaged. We feel damaged and here’s Meghan Markle going on Oprah saying look, I tried to seek mental health counselling. I mean this is a kind of maybe bizarre example but then at the palace they said no, you can’t. We can’t risk that that damage. I mean what if she’d really acted on her depressive impulses. We prioritize how we’re supposed to look over even survival. How can this be is the question.
Celeste: I’ve had um doctors tell me that they’ve had to like pay under the table like not use the insurance. If it’s on their record they could lose their license that they need help. Our systems don’t help us talk about it freely. People will be okay with me going to the bar after work as opposed to saying I’m struggling. Well let’s just go to the bar. It’s just like we’re not getting to the root of the issue. I think in America we are so much about success meaning like how much you have, what you have, who you’re with. All of the validation unfortunately that we’ve grown accustomed to has been about utilizing things outside of us. What’s inside as I’m climbing this ladder and going to school and getting my degree and embarking on entrepreneurship that’s being celebrated but no one’s asking me how am I feeling. I think that’s where there’s such a big like we’re one of the richest nations but we are one of the highest in depression and anxiety because our priorities are jacked up honestly here in America.
Diane: We’re looking at the temporary fixes and as you say the outward. There you go. I’m gonna ask you since you just segued in the thought of how are you feeling, how do you describe yourself now that you’re in this for 20 years? How are you feeling about connecting to various populations?
Celeste: I started when I was 19 in the field. I wasn’t always this awakened. Definitely looking back I struggled with depression. I thought mental health or therapy was for white people. This is even as an adult. I ended up in the hospital. My oxygen level was low. They’re like you want to see a social worker. I was 19. I was like oh my gosh. You think something’s wrong with me. I always tell that story because I’m in a whole other state just to one, let people know you can change. We are self-healers and two, you don’t have to be born in this awakening household to have an awakening.
If you’re still breathing there’s room for change. Now, I have so much peace that I never thought was attainable but I know it’s only because of everything that I’m doing to live and not survive. I think my instinct has always been living in survival mode and just going, going, going but living just feels different. You meet some people where when you’re around them there’s like peace. I’m just like wow, they seem so peaceful. Their life must be perfect. Now people think that of me but it’s not that my life is perfect. It’s just that I deal with the obstacles as they come. I don’t run away from my suffering. I actually lean into it. I acknowledge it because it’s a part of me. I think that if we start to like do that on a regular basis our lives would look differently. I didn’t hit the lottery. I didn’t get a new house before this change happened. It was literally just me changing the way that I’m looking at my life and my situation and staying in the present moment.
Diane: And being really honest with yourself. You had to come to the ground with yourself. You talked in the book Relationship Goals about the fact that you came from a fractured household. Your parents were not together yet you married a man who came from a very loving family which must have been a very loving and intact. It must have been a very welcome and also shocking kind of dynamic. Your styles would be completely different as a result. You looked into yourself and you’re teaching others how to do that. I mean how was that for you? How was that to do?
Celeste: I was saying like I’m surprised you’re still with me. Oh we’ve been married for almost 13 years. I was just a hot mess. When I look back I realized he was healthy to my toxic system. If he did not hold me accountable either he would have turned toxic with me or he would have left me. I think him holding me accountable where I have issues with abandonment and security. He could be doing everything right and then one thing happens. I’m like flipping off. It was only because I didn’t challenge that abandonment. When you don’t process your pain your brain can’t differentiate am I six or am I 26? A lot of us are operating from an emotionally traumatized kid’s place because we’ve never acknowledged the pain. The pain is just literally floating in our body until it comes up again. Then we’re not able to tell that actually he’s not abandoning you. It’s like you’re fine. It was hard to actually, I had to put my ego aside and Celeste, this is on you. That was very hard but I’m happy I did it because again, I have so much peace.
Diane: Well it’s great. I mean and also the fact that you said to yourself stand back. Wait, stand back. Before you flip out, stand back. I thought to myself wow, girl how did you do that like how did you start talking to yourself and listening to yourself more importantly? I mean how was that transition for you? Were you getting a lot of support in this or how did this work?
Celeste: No and that’s like I credit God for the wisdom that I have because I hear stories. There’s a lot of people that they’ll talk about like this person was in my life. Honestly, there wasn’t no one in my life. I really do believe that my purpose on this earth is to help other people transform their suffering and shifting their thought process because it comes so naturally for me. When I started therapy I was probably about 25. I’m 38 now but I was about 25 and that was really hard. I think nobody talks like as we’re transforming and changing nobody talks about the hard part of it. They say go, to therapy and do this but it was a hard transition.
I was just sick and tired of going to bed, hoping that I died and waking up oh my gosh. I got to do this all over again. I got tired of living my life that way. I’m the common denominator in my life. Then I said let me just look and do this work. I think the combination of therapy and just like really not wanting more for myself forced me to do that.
Diane: You didn’t want the pain anymore.
Celeste: I didn’t want the pain.
Diane: Yes, thank goodness. I think also you’re really, really focusing on the idea we are a person too. We have ourselves and that’s really something I think we give up on and even sometimes abandon ourselves as the ally, as the person we need to talk to. Then call Celeste the Therapist or get on the podcast for sure. We have to take a commercial break here but when we come back we’ll continue talking to Celeste Viciere, author of these two amazing books. They couldn’t be more down to earth and we’ll dive into them when we come back on Dropping In.
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You are listening to Dropping In with Diane Dewey. We’d love to hear from you if you have a question or comment about the show. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s the letter email@example.com. Now back to Dropping In.
Diane: Welcome back everyone. We’re here with Celeste Viciere and she’s sharing stories, personal and professional that help us understand how we need to own our stuff. I think that Celeste, it’s really something. That’s a gift that you have to be transparent and also just to say wait a minute. I’m not going to keep pointing the finger. it’s pretty easy to do that. Certainly for people of color there’s a lot of legitimate reasons to be pointing the finger but you’re teaching people about coping skills for themselves. I wondered, we kind of touched on it but I wondered about not to make generalizations but the reticence of people of color historically anyway to seek therapy. Is it changed now that there are more therapists of color? Are you seeing more willingness now that there are more role models including yourself to do this?
Celeste: That’s pretty accurate in my community. I think that therapy was not always accessible to us because of money and just education around it. There wasn’t a lot of black people, black therapists. I think we relied on church. I know definitely in my household it was not like if you’re crying and you’re not bleeding that wasn’t okay. Just the thought of like now like I can’t imagine with my kids telling them like if they’re sad like suck it up. Crying about it was something that is big in the black households and also don’t tell anybody. Not only are you not able to express yourself but you’re holding on to like pain and trauma and where does it go. It’s literally sitting in our in our body.
I think that has it changed? Yes, I do notice it’s changed a lot. I mean my oldest client is 65. She is doing remarkably well but she said back in her like time that was not something that would have happened before but I think that the more people like me and other influencers kind of talk about it and normalize it we’ll definitely see a bigger change.
Diane: Well you talk about the fact that when we have a cut we’re and we’re bleeding we run for the Band-Aid. When we’re bleeding out emotionally we’re not running for the right Band-Aids. Let’s put it that way. I mean if you are talking about people seeking help and you yourself going into the field when you did I mean what do you think prompted you. You suffered from a lot of depression and pain. I wondered if you felt too that owning your history of coming from a family that was a broken family propelled you forward, that you wanted to heal. You said in the beginning people are good people. People also want to heal. It’s an urge. Was that always there in you?
Celeste: I wanted to heal. I don’t know like if I knew what that would have looked like. I just wanted to feel different than what I was feeling before. That definitely kind of propelled me into working on myself. I think that I started this career path because 19, working at a shelter and this is before 9 -11. It was mostly white, the town I was in was white, older males who were struggling with alcoholism. I’m thinking I’m 19. These guys are older than me. We’re not even the same sex. They were always afterwards like thank you Celeste. I was like why are you guys thanking me? Because you listened. I’m just thinking like oh and then I found out I could get paid to listen to people. I do it easily like it was easy for me to do so that’s how I kind of started in this field but even through my listening to them and helping them I did not see myself as needing the support even as I’m going to school for psychology.
I think yes, just me kind of being tired of everything. I’m feeling the way it felt and also understanding that things were not my fault that happened to me growing up but then I got to the point of right now it’s my responsibility to be okay. That just sits with me really. I think that people are more likely to get the Band-Aid because getting the Band-Aid has been normalized. The way that things are talked about on TV with mental health is the schizophrenic person did X, Y and Z. They don’t say this diabetic person did that, this high cholesterol person did that. The medical terms that these people are struggling with are not mentioned in the crime report but if it’s depression, if it’s anxiety it’s blasted everywhere even on TV. When again your environment, if your environment does not enable or enhance this idea of wellness why would it be the first thing you run to?
Diane: Exactly. It’s not something you know. Schools need to embrace it right as part of a curriculum. Churches, that was always the community. That was the community coming to together but you do leave the church on Sunday. You leave the church and you go back to your house. You’re in your house again. I think it’s interesting too when you say about you weren’t necessarily seeking the support you actually needed but you went to school. That tells me something because your mind was seeking information. Maybe you thought like we all used to say well this is for my friend. This is for other people but you were seeking this information like Celeste.
Celeste: I was.
Diane: You were like Celeste needs to know. You wanted to know.
Celeste: I agree. Good point.
Diane: You found out and now you’re sharing it. That’s the golden part. You’ve got kids. You just mentioned them. You were talking about how you basically refused thankfully to ask them to suck it up when they’re experiencing things. How’s it been? It sounds like you talked during the break that you have a blended family. Lots of people out there do. How are you applying listening skills and working with your family and what’s the climate there?
Celeste: It’s been good. It’s been a journey. Right after we got married my aunt died of, she had breast cancer. I didn’t know her that well but she had two kids. They were five and seven that no one wanted. I’ve always wanted to adopt. They have special needs. One’s autistic and the oldest is delayed. We took the kids before I even had kids. We took them in. my autistic son, he wasn’t speaking. He was five. That was really hard. I actually started working trying to start a non-profit for parents of kids with autism because I recognized like how much of a struggle it was. I became general like I started working with everyone but now he’s 16. My oldest is 18. They’re talking. It’s amazing. It was a journey and then have the two younger ones. A big thing in our household is we talk about emotions.
Recently my mother-in-law died. She was living with us. It was suddenly. My youngest daughter has been having a lot of anxiety when we’re not home by a certain time because she was away from the home when she passed away. When we’re not home at a certain time she starts panicking. We use scented lotion like sorry, aromatherapy lotion, a song, a gospel song that she likes called Be Still and Know That I’m God. She does jumping jacks. One of the things that I’ve like she’s been able to say, she’s eight. We really have to cherish the time we have because we don’t know how long we have with people that we love. It pains me that she has to deal with this but then the beauty and the struggle is that wow, she’s learning how to deal with the struggle of life. I’m not sheltering her and trying to put her in things to pretend she’s not in pain.
At eight, I did not have that. As these things come up for us I’ve been leaning into it with the kids. If you told me like I would be able to be calm knowing my daughter is struggling with the anxiety because I know what it’s like I deal with only adults but I know if I don’t help her work on it now like where it’s going to lead her down the road. I’m big on what’s the beauty in the struggle because I think that life is hard. There’s so much pain in life. I just want to be able to do what I can while I’m here. It’s been a journey with the kids.
Diane: It’s a lot what you’re doing and it’s so different when I think about she’s gone to heaven. You’re a kid and you’re trying you’re trying to process this. It’s like what. I think if nothing else you’re teaching her that there are tools. You can access tools. She’s not without resources. I think you giving her that it doesn’t really matter almost if it’s aromatherapy which is known to be calming but she will always know that there’s something that she can do for herself which is just a message. You can’t just say that. You have to live it. I think you’re giving her that which is it’s huge.
Celeste: I’ve never had it either. To see her do this. I tell people we have everything we need. I really believe that God gives us what we need. We just have to learn to tap into it.
Diane: And access it. I think I mean I’m taking your book Relationship Goals really with me in terms of it’s a concise, down-to-earth book. I probably will reread it. Let’s break it down here just a second. You’ve titled it Relationship Goals which is a hashtag on social media and yet you are an advocate for tuning out and bringing yourselves into your own center where your relationship really exists for the two of you which is always unique. How do we do this Celeste? This is a big job. You’re really talking about something important. First of all let’s talk about the idea of comparison. How damaging is it that we compare ourselves to others all the time?
Celeste: Oh my gosh it’s horrible. We’re looking at highlighted reels guys. I think that’s the thing about social media and internet is that we get to see like people’s highlighted reels. If we remind ourselves of that we won’t get so sucked in to what’s happening on that picture-perfect thing that we’re seeing. I think that if we’re not looking just at our relationship how do I make my relationship better than it was yesterday we’re always going to listen to the noise outside of us. Again, our environment is important in so many things. America is about capitalism and making you feel inadequate so you can buy, so you can want more. There’s so many different things that you’re looking at and seeing. You’ve got to stay mindful so that you’re not looking at that stuff and saying well, what about me. What about my relationship? Why can’t you do it like that? It’s very, very damaging and it happens, it creeps up on you so slowly. Got to be careful of that.
Diane: Why doesn’t he give me gifts like she just got a gift? What about that big bouquet of flowers? Like you were talking very candidly in the book about when your husband would leave the house and you had your fears. As you said you have a fear of abandonment. I think about it in terms of your daughter as well. There’s the connector. You’ve addressed her fears. We didn’t have anybody to do that for us necessarily. You’re talking about ways that we can address our fears and looking at them so that they’re not operating our whole relationship.
Celeste: Exactly, yes.
Diane: He doesn’t bring me gifts so but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love me. It’s like oh my God, he doesn’t love me. Oh my God but bear in mind that these people have hair and makeup specialist before they even do their Instagram posts. It’s incredible that we compare ourselves. Really when you break it down it is kind of ridiculous but we’re so susceptible. We look at our neighbors. We are just so susceptible. In that way it’s great that you’re kind of providing a role model that is all about keeping it real, all about keeping it personal.
You have a thing called, I was curious The Uniting Center. There’s one way to get in touch with Celeste Viciere, who we’re talking to is through The Uniting Center. What is The Uniting Center? It relates to the Relationship Goals and the 365 Days of Intentional Living. How does it support the community? What is it and what does it do?
Celeste: That’s the name of my practice the Uniting Center. Initially I was a brick and mortar. I was creating a center for I wanted to be like a wellness place. In 2018 I started my podcast. It kind of like took off. I switched up and I went online full-time 2020 but my practice is still the Uniting Center. The name really came from just like I’m all about community and uniting. I think that when we know we’re not alone there’s this sense of like being seen and when you hear somebody’s story like Alcoholic AA works really well because you have somebody that comes in day one. Not sure if they can stay sober or work through their problems. They hear a story from somebody who’s 20 years sober and they get hope. I really want to kind of bring hope to people which is why I called it the Uniting Center.
Diane: Is that about, it sounds completely wonderful and I feel like in an intangible way it still exists because you are creating a uniting center even virtually. Your personal philosophy, to me it’s about taking responsibility for oneself and also as you say sharing the stories. I wondered if you, we have a couple minutes till the break. Does that align with what you think of as your personal philosophy or just how would you summarize it?
Celeste: I think being able to take responsibility means I have power so if I’m waiting for you to treat me better before I’m okay then I don’t feel like I have power. I feel like it’s contingent upon you. We see this a lot in relationships whether romantic or not. If they just did this or if they just did that and it’s like no, I have to look at the equation that I’m struggling with. If something’s going to change it has to be me. Being able to take ownership of my feelings regardless of what happens really makes me feel powerful. I feel like I can conquer the world but I think that most of us aren’t able to do that because we’re so caught up in revenge or we’re caught up in like it wasn’t fair. You’re right. It wasn’t fair but your healing is your responsibility so that’s my biggest model to kind of share and teach people as they’re trying to navigate life.
Diane: Thank you for that. We are going to take a commercial break but we’re going to come back and talk more with Celeste Viciere about going from deficits to strengths in relationships and in life. Don’t go away. We’ll be right back on Dropping In.
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You are listening to Dropping In with Diane Dewey. We’d love to hear from you if you have a question or comment about the show. Send us an email to email@example.com. That’s the letter firstname.lastname@example.org. Now back to Dropping In.
Diane: Welcome back everyone we’re here with Celeste Viciere who is sharing her insights and her personal history in a really generous way to talk about how we convert our deficits into strengths. In the book 365 Days of Intentional Living, there’s a lot of affirmations but also probing questions that we can journal about and then part of the way through the book Celeste, you go back and revisit some of those very same questions because hey, people grow. I also I think this idea of evolving and personal responsibility. One of the things that you brought out in Relationship Goals which I thought was fantastic idea is the idea of coming together with your partner and having a meeting. Let’s talk about how we’re doing.
This is something that escapes us. It’s so simple that we lose track of it. You talk about what do I provide? What does he or she provide? What do I need help with? These kinds of questions, kind of assessment questions and then you have to kind of stay neutral while you’re hearing the hard things to hear sometimes right? How does that work? It’s hard to hear. You’re not doing so well in this area. What? I thought I was perfect. It’s crazy. It’s a two-way street though. I mean this is really interesting. How do we convert from being that problem saturated, XYZ, this is all what’s wrong with you. How do we convert into people that start to really just see the positives in one another?
Celeste: Relationships is challenging right? We dealing with two people from two different backgrounds with their emotions and wanted them to be validated. I used to do a relationship, I used to do couples counseling. I had to stop because it was too, I was going in there anxious with certain couples because that individual ownership needed to happen. They need to be in therapy individually. I think that we have to really start with making a commitment to ourselves and thinking about specifically what do we want to happen. I know that I want to be in a relationship where I’m happy and I’m living. As a therapist and person that talks to people it feels like everybody’s in a miserable relationship. I’m like what is the point. I don’t want to live with somebody just the way for us to die together. Because of my commitment to wanting a happy, peaceful relationship with my partner I had to be willing to accept what he is seeing in me or the things that is bothering him.
I have to sit with myself and be honest and create moments of mindfulness so that I can hear him clearly. I think if I’m not working on myself I’m not going to hear him clearly. I’m just going to feel attacked. Even in relationships if you’re struggling with your partner with something first sit with yourself and be clear about specifically what it is that you’re struggling, you’re having a hard time with and what do you think the solution is. Then when you go to your partner really coming at it not like you did this and you did that but like really taking inventory of how it made you feel like the behavior but a lot of times again like I said earlier our brain can’t differentiate between am I six or my 26. Something happens and the emotion doesn’t fit the actual issue. A lot of us being able to take ownership of our life where we are is to we really have to sit with ourselves and come to terms with what is. That’s not the easiest thing to do but it’s the best thing that you can do for yourself.
Diane: What is I think there’s one of the real nuggets and one of the takeaways that I took from your books but this idea of sitting with yourself. Okay, the demands of time that people have or perceive themselves to have. How do we break that down because sitting with yourself it takes time? People make excuses. How do you focus people on the idea of sitting with yourself and what’s really the importance of it? It’s crucial. Let’s hear it.
Celeste: It’s funny. I just made a post yesterday and said when we get a heart transplant where people have a bad heart. Their body might reject the heart because it’s foreign to the body. When I make a commitment that I want to live and not just survive I want peace. I don’t want to go to bed and feel so down and or feel anxious. I don’t want to live my life this way. When I make that commitment then I can actually create a plan to do the things that I say I’m gonna do.
With that plan comes intentionality 365 Days of Intentional Living. If I’m late for work I’m going to set my alarm because I have to survive and pay my bills but when it comes to living most of us don’t know what that feels like or don’t know what it’s like. Our bodies aren’t used to it. When I’m working with my clients I’m really clear with them that in order for change to happen they have to be intentional. We can have a great therapy session but when you get off the therapy line, the call with me you’re back into that same environment. If you’re not writing down what you want to do, if you’re not writing down let me check in with myself how am I feeling today? What affected me today? Were there any triggers today? What do I need to plan for?
If we’re not intentional about it, when I wanted to drink more water because I wasn’t drinking enough water I put a sticky note on my computer and I had it there. When I wanted to eat mindfully I would put a reminder in my calendar because those little changes that I’m trying to do is better to help me live but because my body wasn’t used to it I had to put the reminder in. When you tell yourself you don’t have time you’re absolutely right you don’t have time because you have to create the time. Remembering that like your system it’s not going to feel good to sit down. It’s going to feel like a big chore but what’s your commitment. If you start with your why then you’ll find yourself being able to do the task a little bit differently because you have the end goal in mind.
Diane: It’s awesome because it is a task and yet we think things can happen magically and change magically without the sticky notes, without the reminders as though this is going to come naturally. I like that you kind of backed up the truck and said no, it takes training. We have to train ourselves like puppies.
Celeste: Yes, literally.
Diane: Pace and instant gratification. You have a great quote in the book. “I feel like we move at the pace of society and forget to ask ourselves what it is that we want out of life.” this is why we settle but what if we didn’t. What if we didn’t settle and what if we didn’t even settle into relationships that we do want? What if we raised the bar and said no, I’d like to change that? I’d like to make that change. How that comes about in terms of saying no to societal standards and expectations? Well I’m supposed to be happy. I feel like a jerk because I’m not happy. I’ve got this house, the kids, the nice husband. How do you step away and say no, actually I’m not at the place that everybody thinks I am. How does that happen?
Celeste: Being comfortable with the idea of you’re gonna experience some discomfort. I think we look at society. Now society is chaotic. I say this to my clients all the time. Do you really want to keep going at the pace of society when we’re waking up in the morning, we’re grabbing our phones, we’re doing things that’s not feeding our spirit and our mind. Then we’re choosing for us to go at the pace of society. Again like when I was changing, ten years ago I’m putting stuff about mental health. People was like oh, is everything okay?
I seem like the odd one. Sometimes now I do I feel like I’m the odd one. When the pandemic happened I honestly didn’t feel fear. I had peace. I’m like what’s going on. It’s like all the things that I do for myself has allowed that to happen but as I was changing I got lonely because I had to get rid of some people that was in my life to stop doing some things I was doing before. It was a lonely transition. It was hard because I’m getting rid of so much but now I get to get to the core of me and have that peace that I’ve been looking for but that’s because I start every day with my why. Even to this day it’s not like you arrive and you’re healed and you’re fine. It’s like eating food we have to eat every day to nourish our body. I have to work on developing my spirit so I can really be in touch with everything that’s available to me. I will never know that if I don’t make space to be still. Making space to be still and challenging yourself will seem unnatural but what is it that you’re trying to get to.
Your goal is to have peace. Your goal is to live and not survive. When we go to college we know we’re going to graduate a certain day so we’re going to complete those semesters. I don’t have a date for when you’re going to find that piece but I do know when you start to train your mind and your body to creating peace in your life it has no other choice but to fall in line with the environment that you’re creating for it. Keeping that in mind is important as you’re trying to do this journey.
Diane: It’s a commitment as you say and it’s an aspect of our lives that it’s easy to ignore even in a pandemic. Celeste Viciere has uncannily became Celeste the Therapist on your podcast prior to the pandemic but during the pandemic it became absolutely a go-to source and the platform that most therapists used. I really just want to thank you so much Celeste for being with us. We have we have just a couple minutes left but what is your preferred way to be contacted. You have a website CelesteTheTherapist.com, Instagram, Facebook and your podcast. What’s your preferred way if people want to be in touch with you some more?
Celeste: They can go to CelesteTheTherapist.com. There’s a link there where they can stay connected or follow me on social media CelesteTheTherapist everywhere.
Diane: Okay. Well your message has been one of finding peace even during the pandemic that’s been hard to do. Thanks very much for the encouragement in doing that and thanks so much for the tools to be able to actually put it in gear. It’s 365 Days of Living Intentionally and also Relationship Goals. Celeste the Therapist, thank you so much for being with us. Thanks to our engineers Matt Weidner and Aaron Keller, to our executive producer Robert Giolino and most of all to you our listeners remember to stay safe and get a Band-Aid if you need one. Till next week thanks so much for dropping in.
Thank you so much for dropping in. Please join Diane Dewey again next Friday at 8 AM Pacific Time and 11 AM Eastern Time on the Voice America Variety Channel. We’ll see you then.