Nicoa and the amazing Island Girl Riselle Celestina dive deep into Riselle's personal LIFE BY DESIGN journey including the ups and downs of a broken marriage, renewing her hope and rediscovering herself along the way. She's found HER True North in her own home of St Maartin in the Caribbean! Take a listen to the raw story she shares to remind us all that we are human and emotions are normal and worthy of experiencing. What is also so lovely is the clear energetic knowing that she has passionately incorporated into her travel business, too. Follow @thetravelingislandgirl for tips on trips to her corner of the Caribbean! Follow her personal journey via Instagram, too on her account @IslandGirlAwakening Nicoa and Riselle make a connection in this caffeinated coffee chat that will be long lasting.
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Grab your coffee and join me Nicoa For a caffeinated conversation about life. I'll be talking to people who have chosen to walk their own paths and just like me, are creating a life by design. I hope that will give you the inspiration you need to do exactly the same. So good morning. Good morning, Riselle. I am so glad to be here and have you on coffee with Nicoa. I am so so happy to be here. Like you have no idea. I'm super pumped. Super excited. Let's do this. Let's do this. And you know, you and I think we magnetized each other on Instagram, because we both have very similar energies. And we're, we really love our lives. And I can tell that you love your work I do. I'm like, so proud of the life I've created so much so far. You know, I freaking love it. You know, and a lot of people can't say that. Isn't that unfortunate? I know. I think it's exactly what you said. It's like It's like you, when you find somebody who's kind of like on that same level of energy that loves their life so much. It's like you automatically just want to share it with the world and you want the world to know, hey, you too can be this happy? Or this much you synchronicity with your life, you know what I mean? It's like, ah, yeah, you can be this happy. And I want to share a little bit about your background. And there's multiple aspects of you, you have so much to offer to the world and I love how you're expanding in your offerings. And as I was doing my research this morning, I was motivated and inspired and I thought well, she's role modeling for me to how I can be more effective. Putting my name out there and my offering so, everybody, please welcome Riselle. She is a well known content creator based on the island of St. Maarten. So everybody's already thinking. Of course, she has a life by design. She doesn't need a vacation. She lives in the islands. Oh my gosh, are you kidding me? It's like you will not I mean, I could share with you all of the reasons why you shouldn't want to live in the Caribbean like there areUnknown:
me. Well, you off, you spend more of your time telling people why they should at least visit and you are traveling, the traveling island girl who explores and shares the Caribbean region, online and in person, you offer tours you offer, you know, specialty, you know concierge partnering when people come into the Caribbean to visit. But you're originally from, as you say, here the blue coast of Curacao is it Curacao. It's just like that liquor that is so well known in the states. The blue carousel. That's exactly where I'm from carousel. That's so beautiful. And I was looking at a post you made the other day when you had gone back home to visit your family. And youRiselle Celestina:
and the pictures. Yes, exactly. Amazing.Unknown:
Been there? Not yet. It's dying. Yeah. Put it on your list. carousels got to be there to answer Martin obviously, because I live here. Yeah. And you said you're from you were born there. Right. Yeah. Born and raised, born and raised. And then I lived in the Netherlands for a few years, like about six years, which was Yogic and imagine from going tropical colors, vibrant colors to like, gray. It was so depressing. But at the same time very, very. I matured a lot there. And then I wanted to come back to the Caribbean. So I chose St. Maarten at a time. So yeah. And that's 23 years ago, 23 years ago, and you're only 31. All right.Riselle Celestina:
I just celebrated about to celebrate, like what anniversary of my 31st the rest celebrating this year? I don't know what's out on? Oh, my gosh. Let me let me make sure that I give the full background picture though. Because I want everybody to know that it's not just about traveling in the Caribbean for you. And your love of those islands has also empowered you to recognize that there's a lot more than loving who you are from an identity perspective, but loving your way of being and how you've evolved. And you talk about this being a movement. You have another website or another podcast called Island. Well, excuse me, Instagram was called. Yeah, island girl awakening and island girl awakening is probably what really piqued my interest and most Yeah, because we love talking to people about where they've been, how they've evolved, and how they came to these choices to create their life by design. But you also do have a podcast and the podcast is called Paradise perspectives. So anybody interested in traveling to the Caribbean, please go follow her. I highly recommend it. And I'm like ready to book a trip only to hang out with you honestly. Oh my gosh, are you kidding me? We have to wait just like the two of us. We have to be connected and it was like I felt so happy that you responded right away. Because I sent to I got to know about you. I think it was through journalists on Saturday with Jen. And then so that is to her. And so I went immediately on your Instagram account, I was like, This is my person, hi, person. So we started, like, back and forth. And the next thing I know, I'm on your podcast, I was like, like I said, In the beginning, I was like I was, I'm used to being, you know, the voice, because my background is in radio. So I'm really used to this already. And I've done countless interviews about, you know, see Martin, the rest of the Caribbean, etc. But I have never spoken about poor result is and how I became the person that I am today. It is it is so so I was super nervous. When I was getting prepared, almost like I could barely like, hold, my cup of water was shaking so much.Nicoa Coach:
Well, let's take a big deep breath in and get grounded in the beauty that is huge. So let's breathe in through your nose. And send all this exciting energy that you and I know how to throw across the airwaves, right? And bring that energy down into our feet. And let's step back and really recognize that not only are you an amazing, beautiful woman who has something to share, but so am I and so are all the women and men listening. Yeah, we there's nothing to be nervous about sharing your authentic story. So I invite you, you know, when you when you now are in this state of groundedness. What's the first thing you'd like to share with us about your story?Riselle Celestina:
I guess the first thing that I want to share is that I've always been a very upbeat kind of very positive person, I always look at the glass half full. But it wasn't until now. And through circumstances in my life that I actually found myself to where I am now. Wanting to share all that I've been through to help somebody else. Women Empowerment has always been like in the forefront for me. And that's when I started traveling island girl. That was the whole reason was to empower women through travel. Because I had at that time, I was discovering solo traveling. And I was this is like eight years ago, I was just I just discovered at the age of 40. I discovered solo travel for the first time in my life. I say I grew up in Curacao, like I said and where people were like, where are you going by yourself? You know, like that's a such an unheard of thing, especially for Caribbean women of my age group. So of course, that then kind of led me to lead me to start a blog and then from the blog, it just kind of like evolved to what it is now. But it wasn't until something else happened last year, which is the separation from my husband found out that he has been having an affair for two years. And Diagoras broke me into tiny little pieces. And I had to rebuild myself from those pieces. And that isUnknown:
that was where island girl awakening came from, came from building myself back up and I am I know I talked to my husband, my husband and I are kind of like we're still married to separate it but we're trying to work through things and I'm talking to him sometimes. And I'm like boy, am I glad you had that affair. Because if it wasn't for you having that affair, I would have never had the bravery, the strength and all of that to be able to pick myself up and dust myself up and build a better version of myself. That's beautiful. You know, I often live under the assumption that life is happening for me not to me. And when I go there when I allow myself to really own that why is this happening for me? Then I can find those those gyms the benefit of the break right the benefit of the break down. So what was different about your way of being in the marriage in that life? Pre affair pre fair identification, right? And now right I can only imagine you were probably like what the Yeah, exactly. I go back now and I look for myself how I was I was this very sad person I was I started and you I don't know if you have the time when you have the time after we were done here. You should go back to my blog and you should read the one of the first blog posts that I've ever published. That was when I just turned 40 And I was going through I guess all women goes through that just that kind of like a midlife crisis. surround when you realize your life that you've been living so far, it's like what if then I build up so far, I don't have anything that I dreamt I was gonna get. And that's when you realize that the person that you used to be pre marriage, pre adulthood, pre everything is gone. And you're trying to find that person again. And that's what was happening to me. So I started already from them, but it kinda like sent me into a depression rather than building me up to a dis house. So I was desperate, you mean, like a you're noticing, you're noticing the things that didn't happen. So instead of getting motivated to go make them happen, you're like, oh, my gosh, so I'm focusing exactly, I'm focusing totally on the negative, I'm focusing on all the stuff I didn't achieve, rather than being grateful for what I had at that time. You know, so of course, I went into this depression, it's kind of like, started affecting the marriage, both of us started kind of living separately in the same house in the same bed. And you know, it takes time for things like this to develop, this isn't something that just was overnight, and it happened, it was, you know, years, 20 years of just building up building up until, you know, we'd had to explode. And then for my husband, unfortunately, he wasn't mature enough to know what he had to do with all of that in those emotions at a time. And and so what happened in an affair for me, it was just retreating, I retreated into a shell of myself, and I didn't even recognize at the end of the day, it wasn't who I am at all, I just have to tell you this, because this is like one of those revelations, this is like sitting on that couch. And by that time, I couldn't say no to him. So I was saying yes to Him all the time, because I didn't want to, I didn't want to upset him. So I was finding ourselves both of us are animal lovers. So he kept on bringing animals home, I kept on bringing animals home, to the time that we had, like 10 dogs, eight cats, and I was the only one taking care of them. So it was just too much. You know, it was like all of that going on. And then I set myself I was sitting on the couch all sad one day, and I remember telling myself, I wish she had an affair because that will be the only way I could get out of this. Wow, girl, you gotta be interesting that you guys both started bringing in animals because we are animals, unconditional lovers. Yeah, we were looking for unconditional love from all of these animals. And we weren't getting it. But they were also very, very, a lot of caring and very draining. Oh my gosh, yes. Absolutely. Yeah. So how far from that wish? Because I always say words are wind. Be careful. So you gotta be so the universe is always listening. Oh my god. I think it was a good. I think it was like, three years after that I found out. I knew Yeah. You know, as a woman, you know, it's just that you don't want to know, you know what I mean? So I was waiting. To know, this isn't happening. People were coming to me telling me things. And I was like, No, we just, you know, we're very much individuals in the relationship. And so he has his life. I have mine. And and we come together, I was coming up with all sorts of excuses why we weren't being seen together. You know, like, meanwhile, really, we hated each other's company. It was just, it was just terrible. excuses that to come up with. It's just so ridiculous. Really? It is it really is. And I remember with my first marriage, I was married for 25 years. And we used to vacation separately. Because my husband's stayed home. And I traveled for work. And so I would spend a week with the kids. And here we go mountain biking and people were like, Are you guys good? Like why? Exactly. Exactly. That's what we do. It's all we do is how we survive as a couple you know, we're individuals first, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, sure. It was having a whole new life. And I didn't know about it. So yeah. So how did you dig yourself out of the shock? Like so I can imagine. I mean, maybe walk us through the emotional reaction to this discovery, even though there was your deepest heart desire had actually come true. Yeah. Yeah. Tell us how you walk through those emotions. I you know, looking back on it now, I think I probably started already kind of distancing myself from it. The moment when I realized this isn't really it's not going well. So I had a couple of years of preparation, but that wasn't my big fear was oh my god, what am I going to do if I find myself suddenly at 47 without a husband? You know, I'm coming from you know, you know, this our generation what we've heard borrowed from our mother. Yeah, you know, it's like having a man is pretty much everything. So I just kind of lost that. What's the it's Sorry. It's like English is not my first language. So sometimes I can like go into my brain and looking for the word. I wasn't. It's always just ended. I was always this independent person, but I lost my independence to do. I don't know what the word is in the back. Yeah, thank you along the way. But so what happened was that I found I was actually house sitting for a friend of mine in Anguilla. If you've never been to Anguilla look up Angola's most gorgeous place on earth seriously. So I'm hosting for her. And he sends me a text and a text says, You deserve better after I confronted him with this. He says you deserve better. And that's when I knew Oh, shoot, this is over. I just like when they say your heart breaks a million pieces. That's exactly what happened. My heart literally broke, I could hear it crunching in my chest, it was so loud. I just completely fell apart. I was crying. I was bawling my eyes out. I didn't know what to do. It was screaming and my friend's house God knows the neighbors probably thought it was being attacked. But and, and then from then, you know how when the universe shatters something, it's not. Because not without having already set a different path for you. So I kinda like found myself everything started falling into place, it was easier for me to leave, because I already had my bags packed because I was house sitting for my friends. So I didn't have to go back home from them. My friend, one of my good friends was actually going for a course to the Netherlands. So she had left for like, a month. So our house was free. So I could move into her house. And then from that everything started rolling. But how emotionally how I survived those first early days is, of course, a lot of sleep, I couldn't bring myself out to getting out of bed, it was so so low. But I also was determined to build my life back whether I, whether I was scared or not. I started watching one YouTube video after another and I remember punch punching and how to get over a breakup, I'll say goes. Got over a breakup. And then of course, one video started. And then you know, I started getting to know more about gratitude about manifestation about this and about, you know, living your true self and all of that good stuff. And then to to a year later, only a year later, finding myself in the happiest place I've ever been in my life. That's amazing. And you did it on your own. But you also leveraged the resources that you're literally at your fingertips. And so I invite people to at least sit up on it, you don't even have to sit up, you can still lay down. And you can just Google it's available. But of course, did you ever tap into any therapy or counseling resources from a mental health perspective? Or were you able to leverage that on your own. I am one of those people that always believed in and having a psychologist at hand, but living in the Caribbean. And that is one of those things that is one of those. You know, like, in the beginning of this podcast, we started talking about how everybody wants this life. And I laugh because finding a psychologist in the Caribbean is the hardest thing you're ever gonna have to try. And I couldn't find somebody who because I need to be able to link with that person. If I don't feel a connection, I cannot talk to you. So for me, it was very important that it was somebody that I could have all of the you know, I didn't want to go on a waiting list of months because I needed to help now. Right? And so what I found instead was through a friend, I found a life coach, and she was everything in the beginning for me. She was the person who literally will take my words and she'll just but what if you see it from this perspective, and I was like, Oh my God, you're right. You know, and she didn't only help me with getting over the initial heartbreak or the feeling like I wasn't enough and I'm worthless and all of those because of course an affair brings up the ugliest side of us. You know, we're thinking we're crap, really. So she kind of like also started shedding light on my business and what I should do there and how I should grow my business and she helped me with that as well. So it was amazing and that is one of the biggest things or best things that I did was to reach out to her and have her I have a session with her every week and beginning Oh, I'm so glad that you did. And I really, more times than not, I think people need to really consider coaching versus therapy. But I like to say therapy plus coaching equals a life by design. Sometimes we have past trauma, we can't quite get over, and it becomes embedded cellularly what's unique about your story is that you had already begun to recognize that the RET relationship wasn't going to be your answer. Yeah. And we tend to look external to our relationships to to make ourselves feel whole. And we project onto that onto those relationships. So, you know, as you've evolved in a year is not a long time. So I'm rooting for you that you've had this expansion. I know me too. I am super excited about what is to come. I'm not afraid of the future anymore. Also, you know, I've also realized that I had a lot of anger and stuff from my childhood that I was bringing into the relationship. He had a lot of anger, frustrations and childhood trauma that he was bringing into relationship. In the beginning. Funny story, you will not believe this. I wrote down. Somebody, a friend of mine asked me well, what if you look inside, I have been single for a while and they said, why don't you just write down what you want in a person. I wrote that down. And a week later, I manifested this man into my life he appeared, though, like everything on my list, check, check checked from looks to enter and everything, everything was like according to this list, Nicoa. And you know what happens when you find that person that is so amazing, in the beginning, is that you do not see the red flags because you are blinded by this manifestation in front of you. You are completely blind that you do not see any of the red flags. There were red flags from the first week. And I wore down because I was so in awe that I finally found this person that according to my list was perfect. It's a very common experience. It happens everywhere. Yeah. And by you, you're a master manifester. And writing things down is a pretty powerful tool. Again, words is a wand. You've got to start thinking about what you want. But what did you actually realize is that although he may have been the perfect picture, in spite of the red flags, you ever realized that it wasn't the list of him? It was the list for you. Tell us more about that list for you. The list for me it's I think that when I what I realized that the end of our marriage Well, I can really say it's not the end. We haven't divorced. We're not divorced yet, but what I can say is that I actually found my dad in Him. Those who are my projections, my relationship with my father. That was it. He was Roberts interesting. person. He was exactly that. That's it. My dad. My dad was not he was a great father, but he was a rotten husband. He really sucked at that. So and I picked and I was always like, Why do my boyfriends Oh, just don't be until I realized because I was dating my freaking father. You know, that was the big projection that was right there. I was just you know, he seemed perfect because he seemed to have all the good qualities my dad but unfortunately also had, well, he didn't because it wasn't like the whole relationship was like that it was more towards the end that it kind of like sucked. But you know, we had awkward moments. And I learned that lesson where they say that we go into relationship to heal our parental you know traumas and typically you do well that's exactly what this happened. Yeah, well only I didn't learn the lesson and all the three relationships before him I just you know universe really set me up with this it just put me up like kinda like Oh, this one's gonna break your heart okay man then that cry a little bit get into the other one break my heart again and take right Cry Cry get into the other one and that's like your story your seriously result? You haven't learned your lesson yet? Now you're gonna learn it I'm Bo send me this man. Well, what is the lesson what is the list of characteristics standards for you? Now that I owe the BAI Oh boundaries? I learned that boundaries are so so necessary and needed they are so necessary in every relationship. Yes, you are to individuals I hated when people say Oh, my soul mate. It's like okay. And everything is like referred to us as this and us that and yeah, that's beautiful. But you got to remember that you are still an individual that when everything is said and done, you're two people trying to win work it together. And that is something that I always believed in. And I always applauded. But I believe in it so much more now, as like he is his own person, I am my own person, you know what the beautiful thing is that I actually through stepping back and telling him and laying these boundaries, he now sees that he has to do the same. And he's been started writing, just saying, and he's as he's now looked at, actually with a life coach, and he has done some amazing transformations, and I am so happy for him. But for now, you're saying you're doing your transformations over there? I'm over here, but okay. But what's an example of a boundary that you wish you had set in the past? Is there any people you'd be comfortable sharing? i There's so many of them. And, you know, by the way, much like an open book, I really don't believe in wholesale too many secrets, because there's always somebody who can learn something about something that you went through. I think one of the main boundaries that I decided from the beginning was to say no to him when he was you know, because he had a like a he's like a bulldozer he just comes rolling in and he demands his way. And I had to say, No, I'm not doing that. He just showed up at my house you know, after everything went to shreds, and he just showed up he used to like all show up, just you know, to cry about oh my god, Mia culpa. And I had to tell him no, that's just my space now and you're gonna make an appointment with me like a decent person and then we can sit down and we can talk. So those were all boundaries It was also the boundary that I started telling him I don't want and that was something that I have still have guilt with is No, I don't want the animals at my house. You know, you're gonna have to deal with them for now because I love them as much as I love them. I need this space and time for myself. So there was a lot of that there was a lot of you know, setting those boundaries to now him realizing that whenever he does need to talk to me about something he picks up the phone, he asks he does. So there's it has done magic for the relationship that we have today. And although we are not even nearly close to really knowing what we want from each other right now, it's not necessary either. Another thing that is also very, very much that I that I learned was to forgive myself for the role that I played not only in that, but for everything that I'm doing today. Like if it doesn't go well or if I perceive it not to be going well forgive myself I have been feeling really guilty that I'm actually like thinking about giving him another chance and I think that is something that I've been feeling so guilty about lately is I feel so judged by people that know about what happened that I'm like forgive yourself it's okay it is your decision. So that is not only boundaries with him but it was boundaries with my friends it's boundaries with my mother oh my god I was another drama. We love you mom if you're listening but oh my gosh, I love my mom as she knows because I had this conversation with her last time we were together and I said okay, no more of this no more of you know telling me things like oh, he loved you because you're traveling by yourself too much and no more you know telling me like this is all her insecurities rejection, which I projecting exactly again without projection but of course when you're hurt you don't see that until when I now when I'm starting to learn more about myself and I'm setting boundaries with my siblings with my mom when my friends I'm seeing all of that so I sat her down and said Mom I love you but you cannot tell me things like that anymore. You know mom be on Team was out please team was only team reached out and as a result I have kinda like in my mind made her my biggest my biggest project. I want her to feel this happen instead. I'm feeling right now to let go of all those insecurities that she has. Baked. I think I think I might be able to get there. You're breaking the cycle. Yeah, this wake up call that love it. I only grow awakening. It is a wake up call. So thank you, husband, thank affair. Thank you, depression. Thank you, Mom, thank you for showing me what I do not want and forcing my hand to set boundaries, find myself find my identity and really break open. I mean, you really have broken open in such a short period of time. And, you know, I wanted to ask you about this state of unknowing. That's typically hard for someone like me. I mean, I'm a Capricorn I'm like, Oh, I've made a decision. Boom. I'm doing this Like, enough of this not working, or this is what I want. I'm gonna go go grab it. How do you sit in the unknowing about this relationship with him? I mean, a part of me has like, I have anxious attachment style sometimes. So I'd want to know, are we getting back together? Or are we back together? Exactly. Yeah, I have, I had a real need in the beginning to kind of like try to identify the relationship that we have, like, what are we, although I never voiced it to him. But I did have that need. I wanted him to give his give him his space, because he had a lot, I just put boundaries in place after what happened to the SEC, you went back into my life, you're gonna have to earn and you're gonna have to go to a psychologist or some kinds of treatments, and you're gonna have to all that childhood trauma that you brought into, I'm not your mother, I'm not gonna deal with that crap anymore. You're gonna have to deal with it yourself. I'm not doing it anymore. Secondly, respect my time respect my space respect to who I am. Thirdly, was also an Emmy. Think about it. Oh, yes. I want you to do all the tests that you can get done in the world because Yang coming in my bed after where you've been telling us a lot. Oh, yeah. You know, we don't think about things like that when you've been with somebody for such a long time. But yeah, how dare he? How dare he go outside of your bed and then come back to your bed? How dare he? I mean, oh, my God. Yeah. So it's like all of that. That anger. I used it as a driving force. But going back to your question about what was your question on knowing the unknown? Sorry. But it's unknown to you again, like all excited to answer so much to Sharon so much that I want to just default here because I feel like literally, it can help somebody else who might be going through this right now. You know, Roselle is helping someone else it is. And so let's go dig into that unknowing, because I think sitting in a space kind of avoid, how do we allow ourselves to sit still, meditation helped me a lot. Meditation is like the number one thing that I, I learned the hard way in the beginning. So I started meditating to get over the pain in my heart. But then now I'm meditating just because it is just so necessary for me every morning. I meditate in the mornings, and I feel so calm, and so. Okay, also listening to podcasts. I've started listening to podcasts like yours, like Jan on Tatar to chan. And I remember listening to one from Kathy Heller, where she said, Do it messy. Like I wanted, I always wanted to have my own radio show, and I wanted my own podcast, but I never dared do that. Until when I heard that I was like, just start, just start, you're never gonna do it, because you're never gonna really be ready for it. You're gonna have to just start and then that's what I did. I started my podcast. I'm so proud of that podcast. That podcast was on my list December 2022. And I'm looking at right now as I'm talking to you, I'm looking at that list. It's right there. And I just went click, click, click on like, 90% of that list, which makes me so freakin proud. And those were all achievements I made because I was willing to do it with with the fear in my heart. What if it didn't work out? What if I failed? What if people would never listen to the podcast? What if you know island girl awakening? How would I do the shift from being a travel content creator into you know, empowering women? How would I do that transition? So yeah, that is just I'm still learning as I go. But I am not no longer super afraid of doing that. I think in the beginning, you know, I don't know if we started taping yet you. I told you how nervous I was about sitting with you. That was also something that was new for me. Because I've done plenty of interviews about St. Maarten, the Caribbean, I can talk to yourself about that. But having to talk about myself so openly and about what the heartbreak I went through. And what I learned from it is something completely new that I still struggle with at times. So yeah, so naturally for this opportunity. Really? No, thank you. I mean, thank you for really opening your heart. And you know, that vulnerability, someone I wrote, you know, on Instagram, where your little circle is up there, and you can write something you can write like a little statement. And when people look at the topic, oh, you have a question of the day or something I wrote recently, how vulnerable do you you allow yourself to be really like, how vulnerable are people really? And someone replied and said, well, it can be too much vulnerability. He goes, I'm very vulnerable, but it can be too much. And I said, for who? And he said for the people I'm being vulnerable with and I said, that's about them. Yeah, not about you keep being bold. trouble keeping authentic. Yeah. And I, it sounds like you've really given yourself permission with a lot of forgiveness, to continue to move forward. How do you stay moving forward? Is there a dialogue? Do you have a faith that's outside of you something greater than yourself? Is it your friends? Is it you know, how do you go and you know, you know, this is like, something that I am amazed of myself is that this, this whole journey was done by myself. I completely became a recluse after the you know what happened, I found myself locking myself in my apartment, I didn't leave for days, weeks, because I was so focused on what I needed to do to become a better version of me. That was my only goal. It was just whatever I needed to do, to not feel the pain. And then maybe, you know, I'm still asking myself, maybe I'm not that heartbroken anymore, because he is still in my life. He has done wonderful, wonderful advancements with himself. And I'm so proud of what you've done. And I've inspired him to do so much in his own words. So I'm very, very proud of the man who is becoming but again, maybe, maybe that has something to do with me not feeling so broken anymore. But don't I mean, I still have my days when I don't want to get out of bed and when the pain of the affair still comes up, and I feel like it's got me in a chokehold and they can breed. And I still have days when I'm doubting myself all the time, but I've learned how to deal with that. I've learned that sometimes, you know, it's okay, if you wake up one day, and you just everything is so summery. I don't know how to deal with it. I've learned that, take that step back. If you need to stay in your bed if you need to, you know, if you have the luxury of not doing anything that they don't do exactly that just watch Netflix until you can't watch Netflix anymore. Just get it you need your body needs rest as well. Because one thing and I posted that in a video I did recently on my Instagram, your body is gonna tell you to stop. Are there moments that you need to listen to it? Because healing? Self improvement is so freaking exhausting. It's exhausting. There's a lot of, you know, mind space that goes into that every day. You know, I wake I have to. Yeah, yeah, the meditation. That's key. Yeah. But you know, we're animals. And when an animal is injured, heartbroken or physical injury, they go and they hide. They go hide in some safe spot in the woods. And they stay still, until they are recovered enough to be able to survive. So, you know, I always say it and I'm sure my my consistent listeners are like, You keep saying the same shit, Nicole? I'm gonna say it again. Pray I'm saying? I'm saying it. These people in the world who need the most healing are avoiding sitting alone with their own thoughts. They're avoiding it. They're staying so busy when they need to be being versus if you're not a human busy. You're not a human doing right. So I can recall as well. The amount of time I laid in the bed and I cried watching the show, this is us and although I was saying My God, like a real tear jerker, though, that's a real tear. But that stillness. So you talk about meditation, you talk about shutting the door and staying in the house. Yeah, this is called the work everybody is to work and if you are still suffering, if you have pain, if you have frustration, anxiety, overwhelm, go sit by yourself under a tree, ideally in the water and go take your vacation to St Maarten and get the tour with Roselle who will put her arms around you and not only help you enjoy the the islands, but she'll help you heal your heart. Because you have to come back to you. We cannot get there if you don't. You can't get to it if you don't go through it. Yeah, and I'm sorry. It's like I keep adjusting myself because my My glasses are fogging because of my What do you call it by hot flashes. And don't forget everybody. Hormones make a big difference in how you feel everyday. So it's just crazy, but it's so so beautiful how you said that and I'm going to add a little bit on to that is that your life begins at the end of that fear that you have in the first place. You have to make the first step up, and it is going to be uncomfortable as fudge. But you need to make that first step, otherwise you will never be in it. I went on some of those chat things about infidelity and about separation and all of those things. And I had to shut it down after a little bit. I couldn't, I couldn't because there's so many women, eight years, and she's still bitter about an affair that her husband had 10 years and I still can't get over what, you know, ABC, whatever that happened in their life. And I'm like, How can you go on living this way. But what I learned and that is one of the number one things I learned from all of this from now doing this transformation with myself is that I was comfortable in that pain, I was comfortable sitting on that couch, not knowing where my husband was and having 10 Well 18 animals to deal with at a time. I was comfortable in that misery I was I was comfortable in there, because I was so afraid of what was outside of that. You know, you know, what you're talking about there be uncomfortable, I had to dare you have to dare? Yeah. And we do have to, we have to give ourselves permission to be in that space of change. And, and be willing to recognize that it's, you know, you will get through it, you know, couple of things that prompted a thought when you talked about that chat room and all the people over and over and the bitterness and they kept telling their story. They're in their story. And you know, where the mind goes, energy flows. You know how you can tell you're, if you were to sit here and tell me the whole story about when you really realized it. And you could get all mad all over again, like we did, right? We're like, exactly, because we we created that image, right, of course, but we recreated it today, which tells you the power of the mind tells you the power of the mind. There was a a woman in one of the interviews for the many women many stories conference that I recently participated in. And I was doing these little excerpt interviews. And she said, there's an maybe an Indian tribe, or I don't know, an indigenous tribe, who says, Only tell your story three times. And then stop. Now, this is critical. And there was also a time where one of my children had something bad happen. And I kept talking about it. I kept talking about it. And finally, that child came to me and said, Listen, Mom, stop. First of all, it's not your story to tell. And secondly, I'm tired of hearing about it. And I'm like, Oh my God, you're so right. I'm so sorry. And people who leave jobs and or get fired. And they they just talk about it and talk about it. It's time to move on. Yeah, I like to say yes. And or next. Okay, yeah. Next, I don't need to worry anymore. You just said it right now, every single time you tell the story, you get those same emotions over and over again, you're experiencing your body reacts the same way every time when you're speaking about it. Why would you put yourself through that? You know, and that's the, that's the one thing if it doesn't make me happy. And if I'm not feeling good about it, I'm no longer doing it. And it's so important. And it's like, it sounds super easy. But I have so many friends that I you know, I can tell them this over and over again. Which is another thing because all of this wow. I said, I want to share it with the world. And I want one more women to realize all the realizations that I made. I have friends that I talked to about this all the time, and she just cannot get herself out of that space. And I realized that I just need to back off because she's not ready. She's, maybe she'll never be ready. But I cannot help somebody who doesn't want to get out of it themselves. You're helping people by doing it yourself. Yeah, I have to show by example. That's right. You know, we get stuck in our story. Because we don't know what to do about it. And even to your point, I'm only going to let go with the story when I'm ready. But the question I like to ask people who are stuck in their story is what's getting in the way of you letting go of the story begin to ask themselves. Why do I like to tell the story? And here's another question. Who would I be without this story? Oh my gosh, yes, that's big. That's big. That's big. Because if I because that's what they're afraid of they I only know what I am. I only know what just happened to me. I only know that oh my god, he's terrible. Or She's awful. I only know this. I only know this. Well, if I stop focusing on that. Oh, yeah, I'd have to be held accountable and take responsibility when most of us are afraid. Mm hmm. Who am I with out this story who am I without that person? Who am I without that job? Oh my gosh, yeah, no, absolutely. Who would you be? Or who are you without this story? Oh, wow. Wait out this story. That is why you sent me back there. We were, we were having such a nice pleasant talk about all the positive things. And now you get back in there. It's like, why wouldn't go back and you just went back to the story. But I simply said, Who are you without it? You don't have to go back there. Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, I don't because of course, there's still attachment to it. You know, this is where it comes up with. It has only been a year, as as much work as I have done. Of course, there are still days. And I said that in the beginning, there are still days when I'm still feeling like crap. Like, how could he do this to me? And what was he thinking and bla bla bla bla bla, and I've been cheated so much in my life before. And I get into that until I have to drag myself out of it. And I kind of like see who I am today. You know, because what would you have to let go of? What would you let go of? In order to not rehash that? What would you have to let go of? That that's big? And I have asked myself that question a lot of times is that one of the first things I learned when I was going through that whole, you know, I just want to feel better moment. Like I want to stop crying like right now moment, you know, when I just was so broken. And that is one of the first lessons is that you need to sit with those emotions, and you need to recognize them for what they are. And you need to try to learn the lesson that they're trying to teach you. My anger and the hate towards the other person was just a fraction of my self worth. I was saturating worthy, I was not feeling like I was enough. I was not feeling like I could be like I was worth anything. I was feeling worthless. And that was exactly the problem I had, I have still such a big issue with self worth. And that is where an affair hits you. The biggest is because it makes you feel like you're not worth anything. Because if I was worth anything, why did he go with somebody else? Right, because it wasn't about him. That was his journey. And yeah, you are worthy. And you know, I still have an issue with self worth know, historically. I did not believe I was worthy. But every day I am realizing that I am enough. And I am worthy and deserving of love. Hope unconditional, wholehearted, complete love. And I invite you and I know you didn't ask me to coach you. Oh, no, no, no, but I was gonna ask you if you wanted to coach me. At the end. Anyway. Anyway, I'm feeling this connection to you. Yeah. And I'm thinking about if there's an opportunity, something for you to ponder, is there an opportunity for you to completely cut the cord with him? Does it mean you won't get back together later? Doesn't mean you have to get divorced. But could you energetically literally cut that cord with him? Yeah. And then what would that open up even more for you? So then you would know then you would know for sure. Am I at choice with this person? Yeah. I think I've already started doing that process of cutting the cord with him. I think it was a necessary step in the beginning I needed to completely get away from him. Find myself yeah, lay my boundaries before he could even talk to me again. It was very, very important. So that's the initial steps I've made. You know what is so beautiful is that nowadays when you're walking around and you're like seeing somebody you meet somebody it's like oh yeah, that one has that kind of attachment style and no one has said that he is just sounds good. It's terrible. Because you're seeing everybody now all of a sudden you're recognizing it all and it makes you also very I'm very happy with my boundaries that I've laid out because I am no longer open and I'm no longer inviting that kind of energy into my life. And I tell because husband that all the time too. It's like if he comes in you have a has a bad day and he's going back into that who he was pre life coach, whatever. I tell them Okay, listen, you gotta go because I'm not this isn't No, that's That's right. And you know, me too, like energy attracts. You got to work on it and like energy attracts like energy. It really did want to know also This is like a lifelong thing. It's not something that you notice, like so many people like, When am I and I asked myself the same question all the time. Like, when is this gonna stop? You're always going to be working on yourself and you're always learning something new about yourself. It's like a never ending story. No, like never. And it's never enough story. You're so right. Everybody is a mirror to you. So the fact that you and I both walk around diagnosing everyone is because we have those same issues. Hey, guys, we did not tell you all those of you listening, we didn't tell you we were going to be enlightened in this podcast season. I mean, maybe next season, but Well, I obviously we need to stay connected, we need to continue these dialogues and, and continue partnering as friends because I feel your energy, I see myself in you. And you have helped me today by mirroring back some of my own challenges in my life and in my relationship. So I love that we've had this connection. Wow, I want to offer live. Yeah. I really mean it. Each one of these conversations, for me is a healing conversation. And I'm super, super curious. And I'm hoping that I'm gaining more insight into how to ask the profound questions and really help people go deeper. I want to ask you, so how would you define a life by design? Based on your story for you? What is your definition of a life by design? Okay, this story starts with another story. The years ago, I was visiting France in Nantucket, and I bought this bracelet that said, I fell in love with this bracelet can find this bracelet for I don't know where I left it. I lost it along the years. But this bracelet said, live the life you love. And that is what I'm trying to do today. Living the life that I love. If I am doing something that is no longer serving me, I put it aside. Right now I'm diving into something that is so completely unfamiliar, which is this whole, you know, personal growth journey that I'm on, and I'm sharing it with people as I go, which is very nerve wracking at times because it's something that is completely unknown to me. But yeah, I think that is that is my life by design. I live the life you love. And do what you love. Yeah, you got to live a life that you love, man. Otherwise, there's no point of it. Really. Yeah, you know, you say on your website, live love laugh and travel. Yeah. And it just really inspire moto alive. Yes, live love laugh and travel. You know, when you open your blinders of what's possible in life, you know, everything is possible for you. And traveling really does wake you up. I mean, if those listening if you've never been on a trip by yourself, and I invite you not just to go, yeah, go somewhere foreign to where you were raised not I'm not saying go backpacking, and then trying to stay in hostels and all that, I think, well, I know grown for that shit. But no, I never do. Although let's be honest, I used to be a hostel owner here. And I've seen people well in their 50s and 60s that are backpacking. Hey, more power to you. I'm not one of those people. So book yourself one of those, you know, vacations that you always dreamt of going, go on that vacation by yourself. You know, it's like, what is holding you back again, dare to step out of that fear and see what is on the other side of that? You know, and it's so many people need to learn that. Yeah, spend time alone. Oh my gosh, being alone. It's like, I just realized something really big. That's another gift that my husband gave me when he was retreating from our marriage. And when he was spending so much time by himself. That's another gift that I got right there because I learned to be alone. And I was happy with my own company. I am happy with my own company. My friends still have trouble understanding that I think now finally they're going to come to grips with it. I am somebody that if you leave me in a house, like for instance, when it was locked down in the Caribbean, oh my gosh, was the happiest time of my life. What I don't need to cancel commitments, and I don't need to show up personally for anything. Yes. Hallelujah. Can I stay here? I actually literally cried when they told me everything's opening up again. I was like, No no, you're right. We're back to sitting alone with your own thoughts. And you know, my, I love that. And when people tell me that they can't I feel like it's just because they don't want to get into that uncomfortable feeling. Having a conversation without talking to myself my house the entire time, I have full on conversations and I answer myself to say, those are the times when you find answers to the biggest problems, you know, that's right, is when you talk to yourself, I say I'm gonna turn you into a crazy person when we coach together because that's, I always have people really talking to their higher self. And if you're not talking about write it down, ask yourself questions in writing. Get your journals out, write it down and see what answer comes. Oh, my God, journaling. So important. Yep. Yeah, yeah. And I have solved a lot of my own things that way. Oh, I'm sure me too. I invite people to if you can't travel outside of the US, if you don't yet have the coffers to go to St Maarten, then I invite you to go to the movies by yourself. I invite you to go to dinner by yourself. Most you know, I met people never been I've never ate lunch by themselves, had a glass of wine ate their favorite, you know, Caesar salad, whatever they want to do. I don't like really, you've never eaten that alone in public. You know, I used time at my husband. I used to do that all the time. I used to go and have dinner by myself. I used to go to the movies or myself that people at the movies knew me by my first name was like, hey, resolve your backyard. Let's say you want the same seat? Sure. I used to go to the beach by myself. I had my own my own schedule all by myself. You know, disability isn't about I don't need a man. This isn't about feminism. This isn't about being in partnership at all. What do you think you? I think it's about being a choice. Feminism really is? Well, but you're going into feminism? And I think the two are not exactly related that much. In my opinion, I think being comfortable with yourself doesn't have that much to do with no, you're right. It's got more to do with with how comfortable you are with your own company. If you cannot be comfortable in your own company, how is somebody else going to become? That's exactly right. Because you're you know, you're only going to project again, that word project, what you what you need in yourself that word today. That's the word of today is it's the project. are you projecting? And then are you projecting? And then are you suffering? Because everything you're projecting isn't meeting your expectations. You're like, but but I want it to be this way. But it's not. Can you accept what is without judgment, and then own where you are in this business and then come back to a space of choice and not believe, you know, and the reason I said feminism is because I think there's a lot of pressure on women to be in partnership in order to be whole, as you've said, Right? Oh, my God. So you know, feminism at choice versus by the, you know, the default of societal expectation. So I invite you to come back to your feminine way and say, What do I choose. And that's the most liberating way of being you don't have to live under this belief that you should be in partnership. So anyway, I am so excited. Please share with us. Yeah, I totally agree with that. Is that at the end of the day? Are you at choice? And if you're suffering and miserable, how willing are you to make change? So that you're not? Yeah, yes. The choice is yours. It really is yours. So you got to decide if you're not getting overnight heartbreak. It's because you choosing to remain in it. That's right. Not taking action is a choice. I know. Lots of people do. I mean, the purpose is very same. All right. Sorry. Yes. Sorry. That was a little French. We were just being a little French there. Okay. Very cool. Okay, so tell us tell everyone, all the places they can find you. Of course, I'll put it in the show notes. And then I've got one last question before we hang up. But where do you want to send people? I feel like that is like a big test. I think it's like a big test. You're gonna ask me this question. Don't be scared. Okay. Well, first of all, you can find me on the traveling Island girl.com That's my website. You can find me on Instagram also at the traveling Island girl.com that traveling with one L and also I have island girl awakening, which is the section of my life that I started sharing more personal stuff on and that is also an Instagram. I'm planning to start something on Facebook as well. I'm not quite sure because it's not like as if I'm not busy enough I'm now wanting to start a Facebook Speech to like what the hell is? And then you can find me on my on my paradise perspective podcast. And that is available, of course on all the major. Yes, everybody, please do go right now and make sure that you subscribe to paradise perspectives and give her a rating after you've listened to one of her episodes, and do the same for coffee with Nicoa. Because the more reviews we're in, the more subscriptions and downloads, then ultimately, these can help us give more content to you guys, and really stay sustainable athletes. Thank you for all of those contact, why did you say Oh, I do need to add that, of course, you know, we're talking about something much more personal right now. But of course, my main brand to traveling island girl is where I share all the travel tips. And I share it from a local perspective so that you can get a more authentic experience when traveling in the Caribbean. So if you're traveling to the Caribbean, you want to know all the ins and outs of definitely go to Paradise perspectives. If you want some travel tips for Sint Maarten and your surrounding islands, go to the traveling island girl blog or of course on Instagram. If you want to know more about how I'm struggling with this personal growth thing, then definitely go to island girl Awakening on Instagram because that's where I share all of my very messy, messy, you know, journey to exactly where you and I are doing a lot of the same things in a way and you have a retreat that you're just budding. It's just blooming and it's going to be happening in this you've got the dates, right, what are the dates of the retreat for you? The fourth to the ninth of June 20. Okay, so first, everybody can come to my retreat, which is April 11. Through the 14th. At Bald Head Island, North Carolina has already started knocking tickets already I have no idea how I'm gonna actually get to the I can't wait. Haven't figured it out. But as as a solo traveler, I got to have energy with us. Can you guys can you imagine having results energy at this retreat with you? Put yours Oh my gosh, are you kidding me, the two of us together in one place, I don't think we will. The entire time. I'm gonna pack my bags and try to come down for your June retreat. That just sounds lovely. You know, oh my gosh, that will be coaches and people who are service providers like this. I mean, we really are giving and giving and giving. This actually reminds me it is important for you to retreat as well and learn how to receive. And I'll share with you just one little small example of me practicing receiving yesterday, I did a big workshop with a big pharma company. For those of you that might have seen it. By the time you hear this, it'll probably be March by the time you guys hear this episode. But at the end of the day, I did this big episode or episode, I did this big workshop. And at the end, the leader was thanking me and she was going on and on and thanking me thanking me and I have a history of saying, oh, you know, no big deal. You know, thank you. Thank you for having me. And like, yeah, having all this moving energy, and I stood really still in front of the 20 leaders, as she said, all these lovely, wonderful things. And I simply said, You're welcome. And I received that's big. I mean, I was so proud of myself. Maybe there are people now listening. They're like what you're talking about? Isn't that what you're supposed to say? No. When you truly take that in and you just accept something and receive it. That's big. A lot of us have so much trouble with that. We really do. Isn't it weird? Because we do that all the time? No big deal. Thank you. Thank you, you know, oh, what a beautiful What a beautiful dress you're wearing. Oh, this Oh, no, no, just say thank you and receive it received a compliment. I like to say Oh, it's so I love it too. Thank you. I love it too. Right? Just say thank you just leave it at that and you said You're welcome. I was so proud of myself. Oh, that's bananas retreating back into self receiving when you go to a retreat you need to receive when you're standing and someone compliments you. It's important to receive because so many women have been in resolute you know, positioning where they're doing, doing doing and having to take charge. Learn to balance that masculine and feminine energy and retreat is a great way to do that. And, you know, Roselle and I are here to offer them and I am sure that 2024 is only the beginning of many retreats that we will be offering and hey, who knows maybe we can co create one together. Oh my gosh, are you kidding me? My mind went there when you said that energetic thought over to me. Alright, here's the last question to you. I'm ready for it. Yes Okay, but Okay, okay. Hold on. I'm not that big of a deal. Oh my god. I mean, she really? I'm sure you're sick. All right, okay. Breathe. Okay. So Brazil, I asked this question to all of my clients at the end of their coaching sessions is the last question before we hang up, Lauren, I would say 99.9% of them, some of them are in a hurry and they move along. But I like to ask the question, what is one thing that you'd like to celebrate about yourself? Before we wrap up this conversation today? Well, actually that I'm on the Nicoa show that you are worthy right? That I am I am worthy of being on this show. It's um, wow. I think today, I am really grateful for all the big steps I made. And for all the takes I got out of our conversation today, and so grateful that I get to share it with everybody that's listening to this episode right now. I think that is because it's already something that I've already been planning to do but it's just this you know, you contacting me to be on this podcast was like, one of the things that I've been wishing for it without knowing I was really wishing for it. So I'm really truly truly grateful for you inviting me to be part of your so I celebrate the fact that you say yes to life. And that you trust your manifestation skills. And they are beginning to I mean, this conversation alone demonstrates how powerful of a manifester that you are. And we all are. And when we give ourselves permission, then of course, you end up on podcasts that you had a deep desire to be on of course, you end up learning more and connecting with the right people. So I celebrate you my friend, and I'm so honored and grateful that you've spent this time with us. Thank you. Cheers. And I'm no I will see you in 2024 Oh my gosh, for sure it's happening. Get ready either UNC Martin or me when we're both World Wars Fingers crossed. I'll talk to you later, my dear. Love you. Thank you so much. Bye. Love you back. Thanks for joining us for a caffeinated conversation. Subscribe to Coffee with Nicoa for more stories from people living a life by design. You can also find inspiration on Instagram. Just follow Coffee with Nicoa and check out our website Coffee with nicoa.com and that's Nicoa N I CoA. We look forward to talking with you soon. And enjoy your coffee between now and then