We’ve all seen these posts. “How to Lose 5 lbs in a Week,” Getting Your Face Back to When You Were 25,” “How to Attract the Men,” “Get Ready for the Beach Season.”
These are typical titles of some articles written for women. While losing weight, having nice body shape and smooth skin is great, sometimes it seems like being a woman equates to having perfect body shape and young face. And of course, we all know that’s not true. Women have a personality, desires, and aspirations. They are more than their outward appearance.
Realizing the importance of women’s inner wisdom, certified psychologist and clinical counselor, Celeste Cai, has created a unique and well-researched journal, Her Words, Her Guide, that can help women realize her inner wisdom through eight character virtues.
Celeste approached us with this and we thought our audience might find it of interest.
I’m writing to share my new self-coaching journal for women, Her Words, Her Guide. As a registered clinical counsellor from Vancouver, I’ve witnessed first-hand the mental health benefits of journaling. I created Her Words, Her Guide – the first journal of its kind – to help women make self-awareness and self-discovery priorities in and of themselves, over and beyond many of the goals, society imposes on them, from losing weight to accelerating their careers. This project has been a true labour of love.
Celeste kindly provided some answers to questions as we talked with her about her ideas and the creation of the journal.
- Will you share with us the ideas behind the journal creation? What inspired you the most?
Many planners and journals are productivity-oriented. They are often packed with so much information, urging you to “have it all” in order to succeed. Success is also typically defined by the number of achievements or goals you can attain. To me, however, success is about building your inner life, rather than nailing one achievement after another. So I decided to create a journal that is focused solely on that. It teaches the concept of “less is more” and motivates us to concentrate on what matters most, which is to nurture our character and become the person that we are meant to be.
- Why did you create a journal specifically for women?
Women face so many external pressures to achieve goals in so many aspects of life that it’s hard to take a step back to understand the big picture. Self-help books directed towards women tend to urge us to look good physically, excel in our careers or become effective working mothers and multi-taskers. While these are well-meaning, I am afraid we are missing the point here. Studies have shown that women are more susceptible to the need for approval compared to men, even though we are equally or even more talented than men. This need for approval may distract women from discovering and being their authentic selves, in terms of pursuing a certain passion or driving us away from family, community, and even faith. Yet, as more emotionally attuned beings, I believe women also have the ability to self-reflect and build their potential by understanding and valuing who they are. My journal acts a tool for women to facilitate that.
- Do you think that the journal itself can help every woman find out more about her inner world? What if it triggers some deep-seated feelings?
The journal is designed to guide women to explore core character virtues that builds their inner wisdom and strength. Through the use of the journal, women will discover more about how they have been applying these virtues, what it means to them and how to improve them through suggested practices. While doing the journal prompts, some thoughts and experiences about the past may surface. Of course, if anyone feels overwhelmed, or writing your thoughts brings up memories you’d rather not have, then talk to someone – a friend, a counsellor anyone who will listen.
- How much time should it take, on average, to finish the journal?
If you were to write consistently, spending about thirty minutes to an hour each week on it, it will take around 6 months to a year to finish the journal. The use of this journal is ultimately up to your preference. This just acts as a rough guide.
- And, finally, are there any ways of measuring the results after the journal reading?
It’s hard to define it in tangible outcomes, because unlike hard science, there is no measurable outcome for inner growth. In psychology, we do research using empirical evidence, and if that is what you mean, here’s what I hope for my journal users to achieve:
- Better knowledge of themselves by having honest conversations with themselves to know where they are in terms of their current relationship with each character virtue.
- Understand what helps them improve these virtues
- Learn how to practice these virtues regularly
I hope they would achieve greater understanding as to how harnessing these virtues can help guide them through life. The practice of these virtues doesn’t end when the journal is completed. It is always an ongoing learning journey.
You can watch Celeste’s video here telling you all about it
You can also support Celeste Cai’s campaign on Kickstarter here: http://kck.st/2nD6OFw
Celeste Cai is a registered clinical counsellor living in Vancouver, British Columbia. She founded Her Words, Her World to harness the power of writing as a tool for self-coaching to help women realize their potential by building character. Having spent the last seven years in the mental health sector, Celeste learned from my experience with patients that character often determines the difference between those who thrive and those who merely survive. While we can’t always control of the circumstances we’re dealt, our strength of character has a huge impact in how we are able to handle those circumstances. About Celeste Cai According to neuroscience, the term “neuroplasticity” means that our brain can change itself at any age by forming new connections between brain cells when we learn and practice new concepts. Along with the proven therapeutic benefits of journaling, Celeste decided to develop Her Words, Her Guide, the first of her series Her Words, Her World. Through her campaign, she hopes to inspire women to incorporate practices into their daily lives that strengthen core character virtues for personal success.