Joie Cheng, author of The Naked Truth: A Woman’s Journey to Self-Love, joins Tatiana Berindei to talk about how to start loving yourself when everything hurts. Joie is the founder of Illuminate Your Self Love. She’s also a certified professional coach, mentor, healer, and circle facilitator. She is also a trained yoga teacher. Listen in as they discuss the importance of moving toward wholeness and self love.
Hello everyone and welcome to Sex, Love and SuperPowers. I’m your host Tatiana Berindei and today we are going to be discussing how to start loving yourself when everything hurts with Joie Cheng.
Joie is known as the Self-Love Luminary. I’m really, really excited to have her with us here today. She’s a certified professional coach and mentor, healer, and circle facilitator. She’s also a trained yoga teacher and the bestselling author of the book, The Naked Truth: A Woman’s Journey to Self-Love, which is about her personal journey of healing herself naturally from depression through self-love. She is the founder of Illuminate Yourself and the CEO of Joie Cheng International. Joie is passionate about helping women love themselves so they can live their best life possible. She believes that when women heal, the world heals, and I could not agree more. I’m so excited to have you with us today Joie Cheng.
Thank you, Tatiana. Thank you so much for having me on your show today.
Absolutely. I’m going to start off asking you the question that we superpower experts believe everybody should have an answer to and does have an answer to, and I’m excited to hear yours Joie, what are your superpowers?
My superpowers, I mean one of my gifts is definitely being a healer. So I would say that is a superpower that I have, being able to help people heal whatever it is that they’re struggling with, whether it’s physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, or help to manifest whatever it is that they’re looking to bring into their life, and really helping people to see the truth of who they are.
Beautiful. I really, and like I said before when we were talking before we came on, as I was sort of feeling into you a little bit, I got this sense that you really have a lot to give in helping people who might be starting out on this path of realizing that self-love is important and that something that they need to integrate more in their life but they have no clue where to start. I would love to hear a little bit about your own journey with that and how you might start somebody in this process.
Yeah. So my journey began when I was in my 20s, I went through this really dark period where I was struggling with depression and even suicidal thoughts. It was a really hard time, confusing time, and difficult time in my life because everything seemed like, my life seemed like it should be good, like I should be happy because I had a good job and I had family that cared about me and friends and a boyfriend, and so I didn’t understand why I was feeling that way, and then I ended up in an abusive relationship. Then that’s when I realized that I really didn’t love myself and I needed to learn how to do that.
So I made the decision to end that relationship and start learning how to love myself. Then things started showing up in my life to help support that. One of the things that I did was, I joined this Facebook group called 100 Days to Self-Love, and the goal was to post one thing that you love about yourself every day in that group. At the time I was like, “Wow, I don’t know if there’s 100 that I could really love about myself,” and it felt like this big stretch for me, but I said, “Okay, I’m going to do this, I’m going to try it,” and I ended up finding over 100, like 365 things to love about myself. I just kept doing it, and of course, I know now that there’s an infinite number of things.
That’s one really simple but super powerful practice because I think that it really starts to shift our mind, the thinking in our mind because we tend to have really negative thoughts about ourself, so it really begins to shift that thinking so that we start looking for the positive things that we love about ourself.
Yeah, retraining the thoughts, that’s such an important part of the process. I think it’s easy to think that those thoughts are just who we are and how we are, and it’s almost like before we start becoming aware of them, we’re not even, we don’t even notice that that’s what’s happening, right?
So to restart that retraining process I think it’s, yeah, spot on with us. Very important. I am curious if you feel comfortable sharing in this format a little bit of the process of what it was like for you realizing a) that you were in an abusive relationship, and then what were some of the first steps that you took to get out of that because that’s really hard for a lot of women to do?
Mm-hmm, right. Well just to be clear, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. I mean of course, that’s usually how it begins. I think first obviously it’s the awareness. Thankfully for me I had this level of consciousness where when my ex was saying these things to me, I knew that it wasn’t about me because I felt like what he was saying didn’t really match with what I had done or said to him and so I knew that it was like there was something else going on. We actually, he found out while we were together that he had been abused by his mom when he was a really little baby, he was thrown against the wall and his mom admitted that and he had also, it sounded like he had negative experiences from previous women in the past who he felt were taking advantage of him, and all of the stuff that he kind of projected onto me.
But thankfully I didn’t take it personally because I think a lot of times it’s easy for us to take things personally and to feel like, “Oh, if someone does something to us, oh, that means there’s something wrong with me,” and then that’s when it’s really hard to, it can be really hard to get out of that situation because we start really internalizing that.
But it did take me, I mean we were together for four and a half years on and off, and so it took me a while to really make that decision. One of the things that helped was when I went to this seminar called Matrix Energetics, which is one of the healing modalities that I do with my clients, and that really opened me up to possibilities. There is something that we did where we were just really getting curious about things and so it made me start questioning these beliefs that I had, because I had started putting conditions on my happiness. I had beliefs like, if I get married then I’ll be happier, or if I was single I’d be miserable. I had this fear of being alone and so I would stay in these long relationships with these men that I wasn’t really happy with. But I felt like, well, it’s better to be with them than not with them because I felt like I’d somehow been more unhappy by myself, which of course goes back to like childhood things, but yeah.
So it was really making that decision. And when I started questioning those beliefs, I said, “How do I know that when I get married I’m going to be happier because I’m sure there are lots of married people that are unhappy, and how do I know that when I’m single I’m going to be miserable? What if being single was the best thing that I ever did?”
So really those questions opened up space for something different and so it gave me the courage to say, “Okay, I’m going to break up with him finally,” because we had done it back and forth for a long time and that was like this time I’m really committed to ending this relationship and learning how to love myself because I obviously don’t because if I did I wouldn’t be continuously in this situation.
I talked to my friends a lot about it and of course they were like, “I don’t understand why you’re with this guy,” because I would tell them all the bad things, but of course it wasn’t all bad. And honestly, I went from this space where I was really angry at first and then I really became grateful because we went through so much and learned so much together. He helped me learn about my healing modality and he opened me up to, he introduced me to do raw foods and vegan and I mean so many things that really helped my life, and so I have nothing but gratitude now for him and for the experience.
That’s so powerful when we can walk through those really challenging times and see the gold in them. I think that’s a huge practice in and of itself. We’re going to take a quick break, but before we go to break I would love for you to just tell people how they can find out more about you and your work.
Yes, so they can go to my website, which is joiecheng.com.
Great. And there’s a lot more information about Joie there. We’ve been talking about how to start loving yourself when everything hurts with Joie Cheng. We’re going to take a quick break and when we get back we will dive deeper. So stay tuned.