You are listening to the Rachel Hudson Podcast. In today's episode, I am talking with my friend Celeste Smith. And Celeste is a licensed marriage in family therapist. She's also a certified eating disorder specialist, and she is a former client of mine in Reiki and in yoga y'all, we talk about all the things. So I was thinking about this episode and I like to just call it the, we went there episode, we're talking about boundaries, we're talking about some mama drama issues, body image issues. We're talking about reiki and meditation and yoga. I think we're just covering everything in these two episodes. We talked about so many things that I decided this was going to be a two part episode, and I hope you enjoy my conversation with Celeste Smith. Stay tuned.
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist in Tyler, Texas. I also am a certified eating disorder specialist. I would say probably about 85% of my therapeutic work is eating disorder based. And the other probably 15% is general life stuff and sex therapy. I'm not a native East Texan, not even a native Texan. I moved here from Tennessee when I was 12 and moved to Texas and then we moved to Tyler in 2014. And so I am guess I'm almost 10 years into my East Texan life. So far so good. You
Can add as little or as much as you like, but what was it like growing up or did growing up have an impact on what you do now at all?
Absolutely. I actually made the decision to become a therapist when I was in residential treatment for an eating disorder. And I think this was my third residential treatment stay. And remember being in a therapy room, I had a very, very, I joked when I saw your mama drama email, I thought, oh, I'm going to have to talk about some mama drama, mama trauma. Okay, I hope everybody's ready for that. We're all ready. Yes. So I had quite a bit of extensive trauma in my childhood and just kind of some toxicity. And in my treatment stays, it was kind of this, we're going to pretend that everything's okay just so you can get out and move along. And one day I had a family therapist who, it was not good. The session was not good, and my parents, my mom and my stepfather both left and the therapist said, I think we're just going to have to work on getting you out.
And I was stunned. I mean, I was 16. Nobody had ever said that to me and as a family therapist, but this was really just beyond that. And I just remember that being such a lifeline. Someone had seen what I was experiencing. And so that was just such a life-changing moment to be seen in that way by another person. And I just thought, that's what I want to do. I want to see people, and here I am. That's what I'm doing. I joke all the time. People always ask me, did you know that this is what you're going to do? And I said I wanted to be a veterinarian. And then on that day I was like, now I want to be a therapist. And that is what I did.
So in that session, had you been aware and were looking for someone to validate or was it just so you were just kind of in survival mode that once this therapist picked up on it, you're like, oh, wow, that's it. So what was that? Can you give us a little bit of a snapshot?
Yeah. Looking back, I think it was the second, it was just so my norm that until somebody pointed it out and saw it and said, yeah, that's not okay. I was like, that's just normal. And of course I tell people that I had an addiction to healthy families and good guys, and so all of my boyfriends in high school were great and amazing, just good guys. And all of my closest friends had wonderful families. And so I obviously knew what's happening at their house, what's happening at my house, but I just don't even think, I think you're in survival mode and you just don't even think anything can change or that there's really anything wrong with what's going on.
Do you have any connection on what led to the eating disorder part or,
Oh, yeah. I actually wanted to do sex therapy and work with a fair recovery and couples. And my friend, good, good friend was going out on maternity leave and shout out to Melody Phillips. Every time I do a podcast interview or anything, I shout out to her. And since I've had a history of eating disorders, I really just felt like maybe that wouldn't be the best place for me.
She approached me and said, Hey, would you just fill in my maternity leave? And I said, well, let me think about that. And so I said, give me six months. Tell me everything you want me to read, study. I'll do that, and then I'll get back with you in six months. And six months. I think she had actually gone on a period of bedrest and she was like, ah, really need a decision. And so I said, okay, reluctantly, I'll do it. And my husband will tell everybody, this is what I was meant to do, because she didn't come back from maternity leave for, I think it was like 15 months. Oh, that's right. Yeah. Yeah. I just fell in love with it. I'm so passionate about it. It has not been concerning or triggering. I think I definitely am somebody who would suggest doing your own work if you're going to work in an area that is so close to your own struggles like that. And it has just been what wakes me up in the morning and puts my feet on the ground is this issue and helping people find freedom from struggling with eating disorders.
It's the best thing in the world is to just help people. It feels amazing. So we're going to go a little bit deeper. So what was your relationship since ditch the drama with your mama? What was your relationship like with your mom? Mom and would you consider it mama drama?
Yes. Yeah, I
Mean, that's a technical term.
It's a clinical definition, yes. And like I said, mama trauma to
Some degree. So full disclosure, I actually do not have a contact or relationship with my mom right now. That decision was made about three or four years ago and a very tough decision. I was in my late thirties at that time, and you just never think you're going to get to that place with your own mother. But it became very clear as I started to do some boundary work that she's just a little not cool with boundaries. And I think I had to do that from a place of honestly, compassion and forgiveness, which sounds really strange when I tell people that. There were many times where I thought of walking away from a relationship with her that would've been out of anger and hurt and pain, but really the decision I made three or four years ago was, I'm fuzzy on the time because I feel like the pandemic made time just I
Know what happened. Yeah, it stopped and it felt like it was a hundred years ago too,
Forever ago, but also just yesterday, I don't know. And so it was a little before that. And so anyway, it had to be done out of a place of compassion for who she is and what she's capable of. And so I really say with full truth and honesty, I don't feel anger towards her. I just know that it's in my best interest and the best interest of the people I'm closest to that we have a very firm boundary to just not be in contact. I always think of boundary work. Do you ever see that Sharpie display when you're school back to school shopping and it's like all the different Sharpies, I promise I'm going somewhere with this. I believe you. I'm following very closely. And it's like the fine line sharpie and then a little thicker one. And you got
The mega, the fat one.
Yeah, the one you would pass out if you used. I always think that's how boundaries were with my mom. I started with a fine line sharpie, okay, mom, I really don't love this, and I'd really feel this way when you do this. Could you please not? And then it would move to, okay, that didn't work, so let's do the bigger. And then now we're at the mega, mega mega sharpie, and of course there's some grief in that. But to back up, my mom has a substance use issue. My mom also has her own food and body image issues. I think that those things often coincide. She has her own trauma history that is not healed, and I think she might have a little bit of love addiction or romance addiction in that she'll bring people in and out of our lives that are not always the best intention. And so growing up, it was just one relationship after another, another with very, very toxic people and men, and that's sort of still her jam, so to speak. And so that just kind of got to a place of like, yeah, I'm not here to be on board this roller coaster anymore. And so
When I tell people what made the final decision to stop talking and having communication with her, it sounds so odd because people are, a lot of my husband and people, my best friends that are closest to me, they know the full detail of our history and they're like, wow, that was it. It just seems like such a small thing, but it just got to a place where it was like, yeah, I just can't do this anymore. So yeah,
It's so interesting because it's sometimes what I've seen and what I've experienced is sometimes or many times that I've seen, it's not the big thing because that's almost too much to deal with, and it's almost like easier to draw the boundary on something small.
It really was a hard decision. And the sad piece of that is that my mom has a grandchild. She's never met because we have a three-year-old, and it's also created some grandmama drama because that's a new one. I'm going to write that down. It sometimes works that way, Rachel, it passes down. And my grandmother for a large part raised me and my sister in particular and was very involved in our life, and I'm fairly close with her, and although she understands it has some drama with my mama as well, she's very much like a, you just let anybody do whatever. That's family. And so that's created some hurt intention there because I think in her mind that I should just have my mom have a free open door to
She's your mom,
She's my mom. That's a lot of people I talk to are like, but it's your mom. Yeah, but that's not okay. At the same time,
And my siblings too, if they're listening, sorry, I'm about to throw y'all under the bus. They'll say things to me like, oh, you just don't let the things she says and does bother you. You just put her on mute. And I'm like, to me, that's actually, I mean, to each their own. I think we're all on our own journeys,
To me personally, in my own value system, and I highly value authenticity, that seems less kind. I love the words of Brene Brown, clear as kind, and I've been very, very clear, and I've also left room for reconciliation, and that work has to be done on my mother's behalf though, and I know I can't do any more work. And that's one thing that I would say, and you haven't asked this question yet, but I'll just jump ahead, keep going. Yeah, please do. Is I noticed that one thing that I would do consistently over and over again throughout my journey with my mom is I've been in therapy all of my adulthood and then a large portion of my childhood. And as I would do some of this therapeutic work, like boundary work and my own healing from trauma, I would actually project my growth onto my mother.
And so I would call her up expecting her to have had the same level of healing and growth that I had, and then I would be kind of dumbfounded, like, oh no, oh, did she get it? You're still kind of in pause. You're kind still where you are. And that would be a huge grief of like, oh, you're not on this journey with me. You're kind of stuck back in your own trauma and in your own lack of healing. And it would just be so hard for me to remember, oh yeah, she's not done that. And then every time I would be really hurt by the reminder of, yeah, that's not work your mom has done. Yeah.
Can you talk just a little bit about when, because I have a lot of, in my own journey, I mean when mom is just not interested in doing, even having that conversation too.
Can you talk about that for just a second? Yeah.
I think of course that's hurtful and I think you have to acknowledge your feelings about it. I think I would have to be a sociopath to be okay with that and not be hurt by it
And not be like, oh, what?
Ouch. You're not willing to do this in an effort to maintain our relationship. And at the same time, I think it's this dialectic, right? Two opposing truths that can exist about the same thing. I can be hurt and I can also be compassionate to understand that that's really, you've done your work. You were just kind of talking about the coaching process and going through that.
It's hard. It's awful, and it's amazing and it's terrible, and it's lovely.
Yeah. You're like, ouch, I do not like this, but this is what I need to do. We were talking in our staff staffing the other day about how sometimes it looks really nice to be the person that is Unselfaware, and so having to look inward and do that work is terrifying. And so I have compassion for her that that's too scary, and she may not even have a capacity for it. So
Unaware and okay with being unaware. We can't, can't make someone be aware as much as we try, right?
So generational, you brought this up a few minutes ago, the generational mama drama. Can you touch on what that could look like with some women who were discovering that they have boundary issues with their mom or just really are struggling with that relationship? But then we go back and we start to piece together maybe what had happened or maybe just the time that they were raised in this is just what we do.
I think about this a lot in terms of body image stuff, boundaries, body image that a lot of this is generational. It's fascinating to me. If you watch period pieces, I think about the show Mad Men or just even thinking about my grandmother's generation. I don't know if you've ever seen Mad Men, but there's this great scene where she cracks the window so that the light will hit her eyes so she can wake up and do her full face of makeup and look perfect before her husband sees her.
And I just think, wow, that was really the rent that women had to, I'm going to get a little feminist here. No, go for it. That was really the rent that women had to pay in order to exist. If you think about it, my grandmother couldn't even have her own credit card or bank account, and so body and attraction was what she had. And so to pass that on, it's probably pretty scary for her to think about. I hear the phrase all the time, I don't want to let myself go. And I'm like, what other context is that a bad thing? What are you letting go of here? It's kind of the challenge that I'll give clients, but that was probably the scariest thing to two or three generations ago to imagine not caring about that and letting go of that. And then a layer even deeper than that is that spoiler about body image stuff.
It's actually not about your body. And I could tell a trillion stories about that in my own life, but oftentimes there's this concept called body scapegoating, which I am borrowing from the work of Ashley Bennett, who is amazing. You can find her on Instagram body image therapist. She'll share these little graphic little infographics that I'm like, oh, wow, that was a little deep for me for the morning. It'll kind of get, I'm uncomfortable now. Oh, I got to think about that. Anyway, she talks about this concept of body scapegoating and how so often if you have these thoughts and feelings about your body up here in your head, what they're actually tied to is emotion that you have in your body, which are actually about other things going on in your life. And if we actually had to pay attention to that stuff and honor it, instead of just obsessing about our body going on the next diet, restricting, engaging in eating disorder behaviors, if we actually figured out like, oh, what is it that I'm feeling and thinking about here?
That's not my body, then we'd probably be really mad about some things, and some things would probably have to change, but it would be uncomfortable to change those things. So yeah, I think that what ends up happening though is we start focusing on our body because that seems really simplistic. The world encourages us to do it, and we get accolades and praise for that. Whereas when you're doing deep inner work about things in your life boundaries, people aren't like, oh my gosh, Rachel, I can tell you've been putting on some boundaries lately. Just this morning as I was walking into my three-year-old school, one of the preschool teachers said something about my weight, which she thought was a compliment, but yeah, saying that she felt like I looked like I had lost weight, and I just responded, well, I don't weigh myself, so
Thank God for you.
And I just think it's so encouraged, and so that becomes the focus instead of this deeper work that we would actually have to do and think about if we didn't scapegoat everything onto our bodies. And the way that I know this is true, I'm going to say this and then I'll let you talk. No, no.
I'm over here taking notes, friend. The way that I
Know that this is true is if it was really about our body, we would never have the following experience, which women have all the time, men too. But we would never have the experience where we wake up in the morning and we feel great about ourselves, and then two hours later we're like, oh, I am trash and I look terrible. Our bodies didn't change in that two hours. And so what changed was our emotional state, our thoughts, our feelings, and that stuff is a lot deeper and harder to work through.
That is, yeah, this is so good. This is so good. Yeah. So it's not about your body, however, let's move to the next one. Okay. So in your line of work, do you mainly work with women typically? Is that kind of your typical client?
I would say probably 80% of my clients, 85 are women. I think that advertising has gotten very wise in the past, I would say 20 or 30 years, and they realized, oh, there's a whole nother demographic of people that we can make feel bad about themselves. And so let's target those That's, and then now we have on the rise eating disorders and males and younger kids even. And so I would say it's fairly even. And I do see a lot of really young kids. I've had clients as young as 10 years old struggling with body image stuff. And I know colleagues who have had clients as young as five or six years old. I read a statistic from Nita, which is the National Eating Disorder Alliance, that said, and I wish I would've prepared this, but something like 80 something percent of girls between the age of eight and 10 would rather be hit by a car or a bus than gain weight, which is just,
Because how do you leave adolescents without gaining weight? That's kind of what you're growing. That's what
We're not even taught, that that's kind of what the body
Is. What happens, you grow when you couple that with the fact that to go through puberty, all adolescents have to gain 40% of their body weight and fat to be able to start puberty. That's just a recipe for disaster. But how many of us, was that the target age where our moms or grandmothers started looking at our bodies and getting distressed or making or set up straight, I can see your stomach roll. And really it was about their anxiety. It had nothing to do with our bodies. And I just think how sad that that's happening so much to such young kids. And I had a friend years ago who said this thing to me, which was the biggest aha, and it's so simple, but it was that if your mom doesn't have peace with her own body, how could she ever have peace with yours?
It's just a no brainer. And so I see that in my clients over and over again, especially through the recovery process. You're getting so much freer from cultural standards from this ed disorder. And I think about moms that have been in a prison their whole life of where this was the most important thing and all they thought about and focused on, and to see, it's kind of like when I walk into my 12 year old's room and they have just arts and crafts stuff everywhere, and I read this in a book a few weeks ago. I sent a screenshot to a friend. I was like, this offends me. I do not like it. There's a book about the adolescent brain, and it was saying the reason why there's so much tension between parents and adolescents is because we actually wish that we could be them.
They make new friends, they take risks, they explore their creativity. And so when I walk in that room and I see just paint everywhere and arts and crafts and my kitchen scissors, my reaction is not, I'm so glad you've been exploring your creativity. It's clean up this mess because I spend the bulk of my time in task mode instead of being in creative mode. And so instead of reacting that way, instead of having that response, using that as a reflection to go, maybe I need to make space to explore my own creativity. And I think that that's probably true of body image when a mom is seeing their kid free. Yes, it's like that dialectic. It's like, yay, you're free. And then also this big grief of, and I've spent my whole life in this prison, and sometimes I think there could be some tension there. Do
You call it jealousy on some levels
Or, yeah, it sounds weird to say jealousy. There's this work in emotionally focused family therapy, which I'm a huge fan of that talks about blocks, these blocks that keep us from supporting our children, whether they're adults or adolescents. And the primary blocks are fear, guilt, and resentment and anger. And I've seen that even with my own kids. Sometimes I know it's not right or okay, it's my own work to do. But you have this thought of like, oh, you have it so much better than I had it. How could you possibly be complaining as if it's comparative in that way? And that truly, I don't admitting it as a mom, but it's resentment. I'll think about my 12 year old, oh my goodness, they have the sassiest mouth snap back, and I'll tell people, my 12 year old is who I would've been if I got to be who I was,
The sense of freedom almost.
Oh, like my memo. She would not have had that. And so sometimes there's that resentment of like, wow, you're talking to me that way and I'm letting you, and you don't even know how awesome that is. Yeah,
I just got to call my mother out.
Yes. Yeah. I'm like, you don't know how much therapy has happened so that I can let you tell me that I'm terrible. I'm the worst mom ever. Anyway, so yeah, I think resentment and anger is definitely a piece, but sometimes it's guilt too. It's like the fear of a lot of my clients' moms are afraid of, what did I do to cause this? And I would never say that a mom has caused a body image issue. I wouldn't say that because I do have clients who have great, wonderful, supportive moms who have never struggled in that way or said things that also have body image struggles. I would just say it probably wouldn't make things very helpful if you were already struggling with that. To have somebody obviously commenting on your body and saying things about it,
Do you have some mama's pushback or about Just say that just hypothetically their teenage daughter, early twenties, or even an adult daughter is going to you for help, and the daughter mentions it to mom and she wants to shut it down. Have you ever seen that?
Yeah, I've seen that rarely, but mostly in the context of fear of what might get brought up.
That breaks my heart. Because the other thing about emotionally focused family therapy, it talks about this block work, but it also talks about how repair is always possible. Always. And so it's like, ah, whatever you're afraid of that's going to get set or brought up. First off, I'm not going to judge you. I'm a mom. I've said the things
And we can train and teach repair. That's possible. And so yeah, I do see that. And then sometimes I'll see it in a context of maybe a client who's in a larger body and their parent is kind of hyper fixated or focused on that, and they're hoping that coming to therapy is going to help them lose weight. And I'm like, well, sad day. That's not what we do. And your body is going to do what your body does. Gain, lose, stay the same. I'm not in control of that. Neither are you and neither is your mom, but what we're going to do is some emotional healing, and that'll be pretty cool. And so I see that sometimes the parent getting really fixated around something like that
Physical result almost.
Yes. Yeah, that's really their own stuff. And the other thing is the thing that my friend told me about, if your mom doesn't have peace with her body, how can she have peace with yours or anybody's? The second piece to that is body, your mom's issue with your body is not your issue.
I love that. Your
Mom's issue, and that's when the boundary work comes in to say, Hey, I'm not going to have you commenting on my body. And so if that needs allowed needs to happen, not allowed, then this is what I'm going to do. I'm not going to come for Sunday lunch or I'm not going to do family Christmas if it's just going to be a Body Bash session.
Yeah, that was actually my next question. If you could think of some examples of what, because I'm working with some clients on boundaries. What are some just really simple tips that you feel like somebody could just have in their back pocket just to practice with or just took something to hold onto if they haven't seen a therapist yet or they haven't done the work? What are some good boundary examples that you might have?
Well, first off, I highly recommend the books that boundaries find peace. It's great, very clear, very great book. Has even some work to do at the end of every chapter. I always
Love book. I love that there's a worksheet at the end.
Stop. I'm like rich in workbooks, and I do think there's a workbook to this book. Anyway, so that's one thing that I would recommend. And then the second thing is to remember that boundaries are about you and what you are going to do,
They're not about other people. And a lot of times we want to set a boundary that's like, I want you to do this. And that's not a boundary. This is straight up manipulation. You can't tell somebody else what to do or make them do something, but you can say what's okay with you. And then the third piece is, and I find this a lot, particularly with my female clients, that they struggle with boundaries because they think that boundaries are mean. And that's what I hear over and over again. Oh, I just don't want to be mean. Or I would feel so guilty if I said that. And one of the things that the author, and I wish I could remember her name, I've set boundaries fine piece said that has stood out to me is that when we don't have boundaries and assertive communication, what we do is we've usually often fall into passive aggression.
Now, people don't like that word, but passive aggression is communicating a feeling without communicating a need. So I'm going to tell you that I'm angry, but I'm not going to tell you what I need. And so that might look like your mom texts and you just leave her on red for a month. You've communicated that you're hurt or upset, but you have not communicated what you need or what's okay or not okay with you. So boundaries really are what's okay and what's not okay. And then sometimes boundaries don't have to even be something that's spoken. I think one of the biggest boundary issues that we have is not even rules. A lot of people think boundaries are rules. One of the biggest boundaries issues we have is realizing and recognizing where I stop and another person starts. And so I am not in control of another person's emotional experience. I'm actually not even in control of my own.
I can control what I do, how I act, how I behave, but how I feel, it's just going to be that way. It's just going to come up. And a lot of times our desire is to control another person's emotional experience. I don't want to make them mad. I don't want to make them upset. The truth is, and this is the thing that I was bringing up with my siblings earlier, you're growing resentment. And when you say, I don't want to be mean, growing resentment towards another person that you haven't spoken boundaries to or put any emotional boundaries up with, that to me is more unkind than saying, Hey, this is not okay. And if you're upset about what I'm about to say, that's your job to manage. It's not really my job to do anything about that. That's hard.
It is hard. Yeah. And I love that you said the boundaries aren't mean. Yeah. And I get that. I felt that for, I'm like, if I set a boundary, I'm going to get excelled from my family. All these bad things are going to happen, not drew.
It's really deep in our social just context. I think about, I love to watch my kids and I think about my three year old people's response when she doesn't want to do something, give someone a hug or a high five or say hi. It's like she's saying, yeah, no, I'm not going to do that. Not really feeling that. And we're kind of like, oh, don't be mean. Don't be so mean. So it starts so young that anytime you're saying no or putting a line in the sand that's wrong or not. And we're also putting in their brains like, oh, you should be worried about what other people are feeling based on what you do. Not to say you shouldn't care about their feelings.
You can't, can't control somebody else's feelings. And so yeah.
Good. Boundaries are not mean. Yeah,
They're not mean. Boundaries are not mean. That's my mantra. I know that you are a big, and we'll talk about reiki in a few minutes, but I know that you're a big, I don't even know. I know you like the outdoors. And so I had in my questions just describe some of the self-care practices that you use now that have really helped you made a difference just in your life in general. Because I'm been doing yoga for 25 plus years now and teaching it and doing the reiki, and I think I have a library of self-help books that I just cannot get rid of, but it's just all the things. So talk a little bit about that, because I often hear some of my clients say, but I don't know what to do for self-care care,
And I think it's different for everybody. Things that I really love, and I think sometimes we think self-care has to be this 20 minute long meditative practice, or for one boundary work can be self-care. I don't mean to keep harping. No, no, no.
Honestly, that's what I'm talking about in the next five months probably. But yeah, let's talk about that. How can boundary work? What are the benefits of boundary work with Mama?
Having even boundaries around your time, not just with your mom, but other people? I think body image work can be self-care to begin to work on instead of tearing yourself down. And a lot of times we think like, oh, the restricting or exercising or dieting is the self-care. And sometimes it can be not the restricting, but sometimes exercise can be and then sometimes it can be punishment. And so I think used the difference used. Oh, yeah. Noticing the difference between that. That is one thing that I've always loved about your yoga practice. I'll never forget, I'm swerving. Get rid of, oh yeah,
Swerve. That's the story of my life.
I'll never forget, I was in a mini popup yoga class You did one time, and this is when you had my heart. You had injured your knee or had, I think a surgery or something. You were in a brace
The time and you were not doing the poses. And I remember just being like, I love her. She is honoring her body and listening to it instead of, we learned so many things. I played sports in high school and junior high. We learned no pain, no gain, and all these kind of through no pain. Yeah.
Oh, this is really hurtful method. Suffered to be beautiful. Beauty, knows No pain.
Blah, blah, blah.
No, guess what?
Yeah, I did a really radical suffer. I did a really radical thing a few years ago. My mom was in high heels all the time, two inch, three inch heels if she was going out. And I did this super radical thing of no one comfortable footwear, I'm just not doing
You'll find me in only comfortable footwear for the rest of my life because there's just no need for that. I'm not a beauty as paying I'm
And having a yoga studio for so long, I'm like, Hey, it's a shoes optional thing. And then I'm like, I can't go back to wearing real shoes. I don't have to wear shoes to this.
Yoga actually was my reentry back into compulsive and problematic exercise really for years. And it was because I think yoga just kind of organically lends itself to honoring your body and listening to it. Now, I think a lot of, and you and I have talked about this current kind of culture has gotten away from
That open to my precious yoga.
I know. And
Listen, I'm very defensive of yoga. I'm like, no, I am. I have to. There's no beer in yoga. Sorry for the people who do that, but stop it.
Yeah. I think that it's the diet culture and our obsession with thinness and the perfect body. Is it just everything that could be good? I mean,
Yeah. It's like there was a weird turn for a while, and I think I got caught up into the part of the weight loss and the looking whatever, but
That it has to be the most strenuous, most hard, highest calorie burning thing
I was, and it was the Bikram yoga that I did for so many years and loved it. Send some points in there. I would use that to punish myself. I'm like, I'll just turn off the heat and go take a class, and then it won't be an hour and a half class. It'll be a two hour class, and it would just beat myself up pretty much. And it was usually, sorry, mom, but it was usually after a fight with my mom and it wasn't even a fight. She would just say one line that any random person could say, and I wouldn't that way. I'm like, well, my mom said this thing. And I'm like, I'm just going to go cry and turn up the heat to extra, extra hot and do two classes in a row and then go teach. I mean, that's crazy. Yeah.
See, there you are.
That was a great example though.
You were onto some body scapegoating in those moments, and it's not a shame-based thing. I can think of so many stories where I've experienced this. There was some other work that had to be done right there, but you were like, I'm just going to go do hot yoga forever.
I'm just going to go the studio to myself on a Sunday or whatever, and I would just go, I would punish myself
Of a relationship that was really kind of squirrely or this push-pull thing I'd call it with my mom and I this push-pull I lover and she drives me bananas, and she'd just say this one thing and I would just take it, dial one thing. But I found myself not, I was like, now I'm using this yoga
That is self-care, and I just hate when we turn self-care into self punishment. So I love yoga. I love walks. I love the outdoors. Like you said, I love backpacking and camping and just being outside centering. Prayer is also a really big piece of self-care, and then having boundaries around my time and energy, time taking days off, it's okay to slow down. You don't have to be doing something every second of every day, and I think therapy is an awesome self-care practice. And then finally, I think all of that being done through a lens of self-kindness and self-compassion, even on the days where I quote to be compassionate to myself and say, Hey, you're really busy and it makes sense that you wouldn't have made time for that today. Yeah, yeah.
Every once in a while, I don't do it a lot, but when I go for walks, it's so much for me, I appreciate this so much when I don't have anything in my ears. I love listening to the podcast or I love a great audio book, but there's that time that it's magic time for me in the evening where the sun's almost down, but it's still kind of bright outside and the smells are different and things are a little bit quiet. I feel like the most at peace, even though it's a normal walk that I would go on, but I'm actually just kind of paying attention a little bit more.
Yeah. Well, it makes sense when I think about, I don't know if you're familiar with polyvagal theory, but it's like, no,
Please tell me what this is.
This theory about how we get safety through our body cues. And so humans have a multiple vagal system, and we are all very familiar with the parasympathetic nervous system. It's like fight or flight, and then we have the dorsal vagal system, which is kind of like in our gut. That's the very first safety system that kind of comes online. Interestingly, I think it's fascinating that so many people when you ask them where they feel something in their body will often say in their stomach, especially people who struggle with eating disorders and will have struggles with tummy issues and problems like that. And so I think that that's a stressed out person. Sarah Upson always says, stressed out person has a stressed out gut, which makes sense because our dorsal vagal system is the most primitive in our family. We call it turtle mode. If you just want to hide and go in your shell when that's activated, and then we have a ventral vagal system, which is everything from the neck up, and that's what you're talking about. You can find safety through looking around and seeing the sunset or connecting with other people and just seeing the amazingness that is another person in this world.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode, my chat with Celeste. Hope you learned a lot. The second part of this interview will be out next week. Now, if you're ready to set some smart boundaries in your life and you're ready to thrive as a highly sensitive empathic person, you're ready to stop people pleasing and really learn to trust yourself. Please go to my website, rachel k hudson.com, and click the tab that says, work with me to schedule your free consultation. Well, I hope you have a wonderful day and a wonderful week. Be kind to yourself, say nice things to yourself and be kind to others. Bye.