Celeste has a passion to ensure that people can empower themselves through various means of education and engagement. Originally, a qualified senior primary school teacher, she ran her own music studio for several years. Experience in quality management systems, a corporate environment and education have supported her personal goals in helping others. Volunteering and giving back are just part of who she is. Fairness, equality for all, empowerment, quality ethical business practices remain her grounding principles. Her involvement in the wellness industry began in 2008 when she became a volunteer for the local Spa Association. Currently based in the Netherlands, she is Client Relations Manager for the Tides|Wellness, and volunteers to the Spa & Wellness Association of Africa in an advisory capacity for their communications department.
Tell us about your involvement in Global Wellness Day?
I loved the concept from the moment I heard about it and even before I became an Ambassador our local company had developed some great habits to support employee wellness. We initiated wellness habits for the teams with healthy fruits as snacks available to all, water stations in strategic corners, company walks, a healthy lifestyle corner with magazines and relaxation areas and a healthy option of smoothies and salads for lunches to encourage people to take their lunch hours.
In South Africa, GWD was supported by the spa community. Individual nature walks, yoga sessions, wellness days, good deeds for those less fortunate than us, beach exercises, promoting healthy snacking, exercise sessions, community wellness days, team building wellness sessions, as well as various GWD events encouraging wellness and developing wellness ideas across the country.
What makes you smile or brings you joy and why?
Kindness to others because when you love unconditionally it is easy to be kind and give freely. Giving brings immense joy. The beauty of nature especially flowers, sunsets and the ocean are all reminders that being grateful can bring us so much joy if we just allow ourselves to be in the moment.
What is your daily wellness routine?
I try to drink enough water to stay hydrated and I love to walk in the forest. My garden is my solace and I enjoy a quiet moment or two daily just admiring nature and the amazing new leaves from my herbs and vegetables. A regular sleep routine is paramount and self-care time for me is something I am really starting to enjoy and love. Meditation and Sophrology are two new wellness habits I am loving.
What is your favourite quote or affirmation?
“Health is the state of body. Wellness is a state of being.“J Stanford
The pandemic has taught us all to be. We always rushed from one day to the next, now just being is living. Wellness can only be achieved if you are being totally in the present of being. Too many people live from one holiday to the next and forget to really enjoy the little things like a walk in the park or time with your friend. It is really the little things that are sometimes the big things and we need to enjoy the present of just being.
Describe how you achieve mindfulness
I breathe, focus and visualise and give myself time to be in the present and just relax. Mindfulness needs us to continue to be intentionally curious, aware of our thoughts and feelings without being too judgemental.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is being content, happy, healthy and grateful for every good opportunity that comes your way. Developing healthy habits are vital to staying well. Health is definitely the new wealth in more ways than one.
Where do you find inspiration?
From like-minded people, who share a vision of wellness for all.
What are your go-to wellness apps and/or podcasts? Why?
So many wonderful apps and podcasts available these days. I have my own list of downloaded customised music list for exercise and cycling. Breathe, Insight Timer, Calm, Headspace are all great. New ideas that come up daily support my curious mind are the best because I love trying new things. My sophrology saved podcasts are ones that are really supportive with visualization and breathwork. Online storytelling sessions with interesting topics are also great.
Books that changed your wellness perspective and why?
Reading is one of my favourite hobbies and there are so many incredible books that have changed my wellness perspective:
Rawlicious by Peter and Beryn Daniel supported my conscious decision to embrace a more natural plant-based healthy food diet. Super ideas, fabulous photos and a great lifestyle to follow when you grow your own veggies as no one can compromise your health as you develop to nourish yourself at a deeper cellular level. No pesticides either and eating your own produce is amazing!
A walking Miracle – Journey into a Metamorphosis and Heart Healing by Eugenie Kadia Sayegh. My favourite Bikram Yoga teacher who did the Camino; her perseverance through challenges aptly described poignantly, bluntly and emotionally as she walked her way back to health, showing that a strong faith, mindset and walking can change you and bring you heart healing.
Stress Gone! by Bridget Edwards is a beautiful authentically written book about ways to deal with stress. Bridget and I became friends through LinkedIn and have worked on several projects together. She is an incredible speaker too. Admitting that we all have stress is one thing but learning how to deal with is another and Bridget’s book really helps.
Name three things for which you are grateful
My fabulous husband, a healthy mindset and my journey of life lessons on different continents and of course family and friends. Sorry, that’s more than three, there are many more things I could write about!
Finally, what words of wisdom can you pass on?
Giving back to your community and your circle creates more happiness than you can ever imagine.