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I've fallen victim to toxic relationships. Now I'm helping other women heal too.

For me, there is nothing more inspiring than witnessing a woman speak her truth without fear of what anyone thinks. That's what I like so much about Caterina, as well as the work she is doing to help women improve their lives.

With February being the month of love, relationships are very much on everyone's lips. However, some relationships aren't always what they seem or what we hope for, sadly. Caterina, 26, has offered to share her experience of being in a number of toxic relationships and gives advice on what to look out for. She also tells us how she is now using her experience to help other women to overcome the trauma toxic relationships can cause.

For those who may not know, what is a holistic healing coach?

To different holistic healing coaches it will mean different things but effectively it’s taking a ‘holistic’ approach to healing. Taking a holistic approach to something is when you treat the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors to treat the issue they are facing. You look at both the mind and the body and how both are energetically affected and connected.

What led you to become a holistic healing coach?

I've felt a pull to help others for the majority of my life! What was missing was the belief in myself to do so. I had played with the idea of becoming an addiction counsellor about 5/6 years ago, but something didn't quite align. Around two years ago, I found the realm of a more spiritual based life and holistic coaching and I fell in love with the work. I was in a much better head space at this time and it all just seemed to fit so I took the plunge and started doing various training. This business and my work is completely in alignment with my SOUL mission of guiding women to bring their darkness into the light and to empower them towards their dreams and innate gifts.

What do you think are the warning signs that someone could be in a toxic relationship?

I'd say the biggest warning sign lies within your intuition. How many times have you felt wrong, bad, unseen, sad or uncomfortable but just ‘moved past it’? Of course there are more obvious signs - including gaps in communication, abusive behaviour etc - but I truly believe our intuition guides us from VERY early on when something isn't good for us, but we choose to dismiss it in the pursuit of ‘love’ and how society has portrayed it. But the fact is, there's no rule book you can trust but your intuition. Your intuition will never let you down.

Have you experienced a toxic relationship and how did you make your way through recovering from that experience?

I’ve had MANY toxic relationships, sadly! The final straw, when I knew I needed to go inward, was a few years ago when a guy I was with said he thought he just wanted to be single and my immediate thought was ‘Why ME? Why is this happening to ME again?’ I realised this thought process was madness. I needed to go deeper and understand why I kept going for the same type of guy over and over again.

I started to revisit my childhood trauma and when I peeled back the layers, I couldn’t believe it and how warped my thought process was on relationships because of what I had been through. Once you go into the shadows, you can pull them into the light and mould them to be on your side - and that’s exactly what I did.

Our time on this planet is limited and every time you put your self-worth on the back burner due to fear, you manifest more negativity in your life. It all lies with you. There’s not going to be some crazy transformative moment that comes out of nowhere that makes everything make sense. You need to choose to put YOU and the love you deserve first.

How do you help women overcome the effects of a toxic relationship?

I help women find their own personal roadmap to AUTHENTIC self-love and confidence. When my clients unlock this, they become unstoppable and call in the relationships they always craved but also EVERY aspect of their life levels up towards their dreams. People often think putting yourself first is selfish, but it's actually the most generous, loving and magnetising thing to do.

I also ensure my clients EMBODY their boundaries. We see this flying about on the internet all the time but very little information on what it looks like to STEP INTO empowering boundaries and what that person feels like to embody.

Why do you think self- love is so important?

I read the following quote and it’s one I always share it with my clients as I think it sums it up perfectly (unfortunately I don't remember where but it's always stuck with me):

‘Why spend another moment on this planet hating yourself when you can choose a life where you love yourself’.

Don't get me wrong, self-love is a JOURNEY, it’s not an overnight choice. However, I think this sums up that we all have one shot on the planet, so how can we make it the most beautiful experience? Love.

When you find authentic self-love you WORSHIP yourself and you leave the negative patterns behind and when/if anything bad pops up again in life (which is absolutely will and I will never push toxic positivity onto people) you will be equipped with more compassion, emotion, feeling and love to work THROUGH it in the most healthy and empowering way.

What do you think the dangers are of going into a relationship when you haven't established a good relationship with yourself first?

The main danger is looking for somebody to ‘complete’ you. This is so toxic for you and puts far too much pressure on another person which leads to crazy expectations that need to be met! You absolutely CAN heal whilst in a relationship. However, you need to ensure you are not using the relationship to distract you or heal you and seek other means instead.

Check out Caterina on Instagram to find out more about her work.

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