Lock eyes with yourself in the mirror and connect deeply to your soul while taking deep belly breaths. Set the intention that you can see what you need and accept where you are and who you are during this practice. This practice was one of my first ones and it helped me to connect with the idea that I am not just this physical being living a life day by day, it goes much deeper than that.
As a part of my series about “Connecting With Yourself To Live With Better Relationships” I had the pleasure to interview Online Fitness Coach, Self-Love, Confidence, and Mindset Mentor, Celeste Rains-Turk. Celeste is the #1 Best-Selling Self-Help Author of, “Believe your way to Badass”, host of the podcast, “Confessions of a Bikini Pro” and a National Level Speaker. She is a NASM certified personal trainer and will have her degree in Psychology in May of 2019. Celeste is on a mission to help others align inner work with physical results by using her 7 Step System to Building More than Just a Body
Thank you so much for joining us! Let’s Get Intimate! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?
Right now, I am taking the principles which have changed my life and bringing them into the bikini competitor world. As a competitor myself, I have been through a lot of the struggles, particularly post-show that many of us face. I hope this new project of helping women find freedom within their bodies, with food, and with themselves after competing in a bikini competition helps them to embrace and love themselves and their body at all stages. By loving themselves more, not beating themselves up as much, and having a plan in place that helps them to develop personally, they will able to be more present with their loved ones or in their career. They will have the tools to pour love into themselves that when they are doing what they love or spending time with people, they can be fully there without stressing about the way they look, how others might be thinking, what they ate (or didn’t eat), and the other limiting conversations that can occur without going within to address them.
Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self-acceptance?
I struggled with depression in high school that ultimately would give me anxiety. I was in constant fear of my own mental state. I had no idea if I would be depressed later that night and those thoughts would consume me. I turned to fitness to resolve my problems since I woke up one morning and hated how I felt about myself and the way I looked. I thought I had it all figured out, but nothing was ever good enough. I was still depressed. No amount of progress with my body was enough. I had an unhealthy relationship with exercise, food, and myself. That’s when it all hit me, I realized that fitness is about Building More than Just a Body. At that moment, I began developing my 7-step system which is all about aligning inner work with physical results. I learned to accept myself when I took the time to go deeper than surface level. I no longer put Band-Aids on wounds that need stitches. I embraced personal development, made practicing self-love a daily priority, and objectively evaluated my life and decisions to make life changing decisions.
According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?
I think that people struggle with the way they look because they spend more time comparing instead of appreciating. While I think it is one-hundred percent fine to want to change your body, I don’t think it should ever come from a place of self-loathing. It is important to be satisfied with our body as I believe it is the greatest asset to our soul. I hesitate to blame magazines, models, social media, or anything externally for that matter. Even though those avenues can play a role, at the end of the day, it is our responsibility to separate ourselves from the noise and listen to our own desires and needs. The problem is, most people don’t. I think that being ‘very satisfied’ can also cause bias within a study that can come from a feeling of being judged for actually being satisfied or not within their body. And what does it mean to ‘be satisfied’ with our appearance? Can we accept the things we cannot change? Everyone’s version of ‘satisfied’ could be different! When I was younger, I remember having a conversation with my dad about bullies and he told me no one should be criticized or held responsible for the things they have no control over. As I grew older, I processed this information. I see it as, we can’t choose our natural eye color, but we can choose what we put into our body which can impact how our body looks and feels. The consequence that comes with not loving our body for all that it provides to us, is the limited desire for self-care. When we love our bodies, when we love our skin, and completely love ourselves, we are naturally more inspired to move, fuel, and speak about our body in fulfilling ways. Self-love is the catalyst to our health, success, and deep fulfilment in every area of life.
As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?
As mentioned above, it is the catalyst to everything. When we love ourselves, investing time out of our day into our health, relationships, goals, and desires is not going to be a big task, it is an effortless non-negotiable. When we love ourselves, we are also able to radiate that love out into the world and thus, the more love we can receive. Loving yourself is not all mantras and affirmations. It is about being honest with yourself when you don’t want to be. It is taking the hardest step when you would rather hold yourself back in your comfort zone. It is acknowledging where you are falling short and giving yourself more. Self-love isn’t always glamorous, but it is always worth it.
Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?
This is a really great question. There is great comfort to be taken in something secure and stable versus something scary and unknown. We seek refuge in what we know despite our desire for something more. It can also be heavily influenced by our own beliefs, standards, values, and past experiences. For some, mediocre is all they have ever known for themselves, and no matter how much they crave more than it, they aren’t willing to step out of it and demand more for themselves. The advice I would give is to evaluate where you are falling short for yourself, address those things, see how the relationship changes because of it, then if you are still unhappy, make a move.
When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times, self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?
Exactly!! I love that this is being brought up, it is so important. When I was struggling with my relationship with myself, food, and my body I had to be honest with myself. When I have struggled or do struggle in business, life, relationships, or even the smallest things, I always resort to these questions;
- What am I resisting? What happens when I get there, breakthrough, and finally have what I desire that I am so afraid of actually receiving or stepping into?
- What happens if I DON’T commit to x, y, z? example: What happens if I don’t go to the gym today? What happens if I don’t keep this boundary set? What happens if I don’t take time for myself?
- What do I need to let go of? Think of beliefs, actions, people, and even things.
- What do I need to believe? About yourself, others, the achievement, the process, etc.
- Who do I have to become in order to achieve/receive x, y, z? What new identity do you need to step into and what actions would this person be taking?
- What parts of me do I love that have helped me move forward and which can help continue my growth? Recognize what you love about yourself now and use that as fuel as you blossom into something even more amazing!
So many don’t really know how to be alone or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?
Being alone is not only important, but necessary. When we are alone, we must confront our demons, embrace our silly, and be comfortable with who we are. Many people fear being alone or in silence because they feel the need to be entertained all the time. Whether that is with music, a podcast, exercising, tv, etc. But, the highest version of ourselves is more present beyond the external noise. When we take time for ourselves, we allow the space for our highest self to provide us insight and knowledge into what we need. The more connected we can become alone, then the more connected we can be in times of noise or distraction. When we take time for ourselves, we set a standard that we deserve this and can feel safe within our own skin. Taking time for ourselves also allows us to show up fully for others. If we can’t spend time with ourselves, we cannot expect anyone else to want to. Getting comfortable in silence, with your own thoughts, allows you to sort through the thoughts that are likely running your entire day. If you want to live a more present, responsive life, and less of a hectic, reactive life, set aside time for you. It has to become a non-negotiable.
How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?
When we provide ourselves the opportunity to heal, grow, and experience emotion, we allow others to feel safe to do the same. If you are motivated by the thought of being an inspiration to others or making an impact, then you should be at the top of your daily to-do list. If you can go within and address your own problems, then you will be able to be there for others on a deeper level. Imagine if a psychiatrist brought their own problems to the table, they couldn’t effectively or ethically do their job properly. When your friend has a problem, and you resent them for bringing it up because you haven’t taken the time to work through your own problems, that is on you, not them. Plus, your own limiting beliefs, experiences, or stories could prevent you from being of true service to others. Loving yourself creates an energy field around you that emits gratitude, care, acceptance, and vulnerability to others. I believe that the more we do anything for ourselves, the more it will show up in our relationship with others.
In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?
Individuals can set aside time for themselves to ask the deeper question, invest in help through coaches, mentors, books, therapists, or courses, and be completely honest with themselves to see through their own limiting stories. People also need to be willing to receive love. Find the best way you receive love, maybe even refer to the ‘Five Love Languages’ and begin treating yourself properly, the way you love to be treated! Society can share more openly. I am a huge believer in sharing our truths, our struggles, and our wins. If you go onto my blog or my Instagram or ask anyone I know, they will likely tell you I keep it as raw and real as possible. I do this because I know that when we, as a collective, commit to sharing our own story, we give others the opportunity and space to feel safe doing the same. This creates a deeper acceptance for our humanness and eliminates the conditioning that doesn’t serve us, tells us we are weak, or that we have to quiet ourselves. I believe that vulnerability breeds authenticity. If you want a more honest world, be more honest with the world.
What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?
- Lock eyes with yourself in the mirror and connect deeply to your soul while taking deep belly breaths. Set the intention that you can see what you need and accept where you are and who you are during this practice. This practice was one of my first ones and it helped me to connect with the idea that I am not just this physical being living a life day by day, it goes much deeper than that.
- Write down 2–3 self-love statements daily. It doesn’t have to be elaborate at all. I do this as part of my daily routine and it helps me on the days I feel down or like I am failing to remember that I am still me, outside of everything in life, I am still who I am and that is enough
- Do frequent body scans. Lie down and relax your body completely. Then tense each muscle one by one with a flex and release sequence. After this, express love to each body part and notice where resistance comes up. As you go through, identify why you love this part. For example, you lie down before bed, get relaxed, and say, “I love you toes! Thank you for providing me balance every day! I love you tummy, thank you for allowing me to enjoy and receive benefits from all the nutrition I provided myself today!” and so on until you have filled your whole body with love! You will also notice this impact how you feel throughout your day or looking in the mirror.
- Push yourself. If you have a goal, there should be no cheating allowed. Cheating on your goal is cheating on yourself. Be realistic with your process, then be relentless. To not push yourself would be a complete and utter disservice to your own soul. If you want to be more fit, go to the gym with intention. If you want anything, you have to push your own current boundaries. There will always be a new upper limit to burst through.
- Be honest with yourself. Didn’t get something done today? WHY? Decided to skip out on the gym? WHY? Got bad road rage even though it was totally your fault? WHY? Honesty will lead you to the answers that inspire the most growth. If you don’t like where you are, change it. Do this from a place of positive, loving, and accepting space but do it with intention and remember, ‘What happens if you don’t?’
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?
I will do a shameless self-love plug here and recommend that you purchase my #1 Best-Selling book, “Believe your way to Badass. The Interactive Guide to Redefining your Beliefs, Developing Your Self-Love, and Manifesting your way to your Best, Most Badass Self”. I don’t listen to podcasts a ton, but when I do it is always psychology related. I think the best insight you can get from relationships or intimacy with others is through conversation with your significant other, boyfriend, or girlfriend. No external source can tell you everything you need. But, investing in mentors, again, this is the key. I have personally always chosen to invest in mentors. By 22 years old I have invested over $33k in mentors and personal development. We can get all the information we want but those who grow are choosing implementation. If you listen to a podcast, read a book, or subscribe to an email series; you still have to do the work, you owe it to yourself after all.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…
I wake up every morning asking myself, “how can I further my soul’s calling to eradicate self-loathe on this planet using my knowledge, experience, and unique existence?” And that’s what sparked my “Build More than Just a Body” Movement. Taking fitness beyond surface level by emphasizing the importance of self-love, confidence, mindset, behavior change modification planning, well-being development, and long-term success strategies coming together with exercise and nutrition.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?
Oh, this one is always so hard for me to answer! There are many lessons I have learned, and quotes that inspire me. One that always helps me feel better is that, “everything happens for a reason”. This has been significant in my life for as long as I can remember. When I look at all my favorite quotes like. “if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain” or “everything works out in the end, if it’s not working out, it’s not the end”; they all carry that theme that ‘things will get better’. I think that these types of quotes and beliefs help me to see setbacks more like setups for comebacks and growth. They remind me that I have the power to change my life, improve myself, and commit to a bigger picture. I don’t fear failure because growth is the only option.
Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!
About the Author:
Sasza Lohrey is the Founder & CEO of BBXX, a digital platform for intimacy and wellbeing. She is also the host of the BBXX podcast, “Let’s Get Intimate!” which hosts provocative and entertaining conversations with experts in order to challenge the way our culture conditions us to talk about sex, intimacy, and healthy relationships. BBXX was created in order to help people better understand themselves, so that they then can form deeper and more fulfilling relationships with others. Sasza is a former D1 athlete with a background in psychology and digital media. She is a member of the Women of Sex Tech collective, the co-mentorship community Dreamers and Doers, and a regular columnist for several online publications. Originally from the Bay Area, Sasza founded BBXX during a Stanford entrepreneurship program in Santiago, Chile. Learn more on our website and listen to more interviews with experts on our top-rated podcast!