Published by: RallyUp Mental Health Magazine
“Your Past Does Not Destroy Your Destiny.” Revelations 12:11
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Ceola J. is passionate about encouraging and inspiring women to seek and reach their God-given purpose and live their best lives now! Having seen the struggle firsthand of her young mother and the devastation of her mother's death at the age of 33, Ceola knew from a child what she wanted to do. Ceola found her purpose in helping, encouraging, and motivating women, utilizing the victory she saw in overcoming her own painful life experiences. Ceola supports women globally as a Prophetess and licensed minister. In addition, Ceola is a certified life coach with certifications in six areas of expertise, a five-time playwright, screenwriter, published author, public speaker, and entrepreneur.
"Your past does not destroy your destiny", a message Ceola shares to encourage and empower her audience. Ceola is a three-time survivor of childhood sexual abuse, homelessness as a child and adult, losing her mother as a teenager, suicidal thoughts, domestic violence as an adult, and more. Ceola is living proof, "Your Past, Does Not Destroy Your Destiny." Today, armed with the right perspective, the truth of who she is, and "working" her faith, Ceola J. is known as "the encourager" and an empathetic, compassionate and powerful speaker who tells it like it is. To lead with such poise like Mrs. Ceola J, it requires balance... faith and mental health.
RUM: What does mental health and wellness mean to you?
Ceola J: Mental health and wellness to me means:
Being psychologically, spiritually, and emotionally anchored
Knowing and understanding how to cope with stress, recognizing triggers
RUM: Tell us about your work as it relates to mental health and wellness?
Ceola J: I am a licensed Minister, a Certified Life Coach, and the founder and director of a nonprofit organization that supports women and children. I have learned and continue to learn about the devastation and effect of mental illness, particularly after the hit of COVID., The level of people suffering from some form of Mental Illness has grown, and people have become more open to discussing the devastation and its impact on a larger population. I believe the isolation and the abrupt change in our everyday lives brought more sensory awareness of mental illness and its meaning to most. In the level of work I do, which is talking to people daily, I see varying degrees of mental illness disorders that most have had experience with:
PTSD- This is a "trauma" related form of mental illness.
Substance abuse - This is unusually high in teens.
Feelings of anxiety
Mental illness is an area where we need more resources, tools, support, and advocacy; it's affecting more people more often.
RUM: Can you discuss some of the personal challenges you have overcome that led you to become someone that "empowers women to seek and reach their God-given purpose?"
Ceola J: As a child, someone who was like a brother raped me. Someone who was like a father sexually assaulted me. As a young adult in a relationship, I experienced domestic violence for the first time. After 12-years of marriage and trying to have a child, I learned I was barren and would never have children; I eventually divorced. I could no longer suppress the combined pain of my past because the current pain was forcing it to the forefront. I began to battle with closeted low self-esteem and self-worth, and these experiences brought on thoughts of suicide. Recalling words my grandmother always told me, "To pray about everything, and there was nothing I couldn't do if I put my mind to it," I decided to start a nonprofit that would benefit women and children. Providing them with the support, services, and hands-on training I wished I had during the challenging times in my life as a young adult.
RUM: Can you break down one of the quotes you live by, "Your past does not destroy your destiny," for our readers?
Ceola J: We all have a past (skeletons in our closets). We cannot allow those skeletons to hunt us for the rest of our lives. Any past decisions, mistakes, choices, habits, etc., are just that; they're the past. If you are here today, stronger, with greater wisdom, unshakeable faith, determined, disciplined, razor-focused, compassionate and empathetic, etc. You should be thanking your past for birthing those qualities in you. Your past has positioned you for your purpose. The right perspective is a game-changer.
RUM: How do you prioritize self-care? What does a self-care day look like for you?
Ceola J: Putting God first is my priority in self-care. My self-care day includes:
Prayer and quality quiet time with God, first and foremost.
MY Lovie and I, my hubby, connect and have our prayer time, then We have our java and juice and spend some time talking and laughing.
Exercise a little
Read (I have been an avid reader and researcher)
Work (anything creative I love. Writing a new script, play, story, etc.) is relaxing.
Cooking, I love to cook!
RUM: After all of the traumatic experiences you have had, what advice would you give your younger self?
Ceola J: Confront the past sooner by getting the help I needed earlier on. Doing so would have saved me so much unnecessary pain.
RUM: Any final words for our readers?
Ceola J: There is nothing wrong with talking with someone. You are not alone. Someone has gone through what you're experiencing and does not want to see you without the support and help. You are loved. You matter to this world. You're important to us all. There is greatness in you!