Pretty much everything is at our fingertips now thanks to technology. Want to pursue a Master’s degree in geology? There’s an online course for that. Too lazy to head to a studio for a morning workout? Hop onto a virtual class. Yet this constant state of being connected can take a toll on our mental health and sometimes, we just need some time offline. What may seem paradoxical however is using technology to disconnect and slow down for your mental wellbeing.
The Inside Job is a new online platform that creates soulful experiences for inner awareness and mindfulness. Offering a variety of online soulful events and workshops, their aim is to make mindfulness and slowing down more accessible to the masses. We speak to Celeste Chong, company founder, about the brand’s timely creation, her relationship with technology and consciousness-based healthcare.
Why did you create The Inside Job?
The Inside Job was created because I’m passionate about sharing solutions from my own experience that will help others to slow down, turn their attention inwards, build resilience and gain inner awareness.
I initially intended The Inside Job to be a Sound Bath studio. I was in the midst of looking for investors when COVID-19 happened, so I guess it was a blessing in disguise — it would have been challenging to start a studio only to have to close during Circuit Breaker. As it’s been an unexpected and unpredictable year, I’ve just been going with the flow, taking things online and most recently, collaborating with COMO Shambala on Cacao ceremonies.
What can people expect from your events and workshops?
I facilitate in-person Cacao Ceremonies at COMO Shambhala. We have had 3 Cacao Ceremonies to date and the response has been very encouraging. I have already received enquiries from participants about facilitating private Cacao Ceremonies.
Cacao has a rich history in ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, its use dates back to more than 4000 years ago. It is considered to be sacred and was used in rituals, ceremonies and even as currency. Around 2010 a global community emerged using Cacao in ceremonies in new ways, and Cacao Ceremonies began to gain popularity as spaces for people to gather to come into deeper connection with self and others.
In a year that has been more isolating than usual, it is not surprising that the ceremonies have been so well received, as we are able to connect in a meaningful way with others.
What you can expect in my Cacao Ceremony? To relax your mind and open your heart. It is a 2 hour experience that includes intention setting, sound, movement, connection exercises and a heart awakening guided meditation sound bath.
As for my online offering, while I’m not offering online sound bath sessions right now, I have pre-recorded five sessions that are part of my “Rise & Thrive” online programme. I also offer a monthly 1-day workshop called Soulful Guidance, facilitated by Spiritual Psychologist Kevin Westrich who currently resides in Bali.
Please explain more about your Rise & Thrive programme…
Rise & Thrive is an online program comprising of 5 guided mediation sound baths that will help you relax deeply. Those who experienced a session were surprised at how easily they were able to drop into deep relaxation despite finding previous mindfulness meditation attempts difficult. We cover the themes of gratitude, reflection, acceptance, surrender and forgiveness, leading you towards awakening your heart and building resilience for your mental wellbeing.
I was initially afraid it would be difficult to capture the sound of the gong online. But the feedback I’ve received from the online sessions were encouraging as people who were new to meditation and those who found mindfulness meditation difficult mentioned they could drop into deep relaxation.
Can you share more about the BodyTalk system?
BodyTalk is a consciousness-based healthcare system founded in Quantum Physics and is based on the principles that everything is dynamically interconnected. I use the BodyTalk protocol and a sensing technique for my BodyTalk distance healing session. As a practitioner, I translate and observe my client’s priorities that arise from the session.
How do you reconcile the power and convenience of technology with its potentially detrimental effects on mental health?
It all depends on how you use it and if you’re using it in balance. Technology has allowed us to stay connected during a difficult period where many are feeling disconnected and isolated. Thanks to Zoom, I could still hold my online “mask off” sessions which allowed for honest conversations on topics that are rarely discussed — it helps us to still feel connected even if we’re not physically together.
It’s when technology is being used to just aimlessly scroll, or for a Netflix binge, that it becomes a form of distraction. When we are more conscious of our consumption and use of technology, we can notice when it’s going out of balance, paying attention to when it consumes us and disconnect us from others and ourselves.
Do you have any tips for our readers who’d like to try meditation?
Start with whatever is manageable; even if it’s a two-minute guided meditation. In my opinion, it’s more important to build mindfulness and awareness into your daily life so that it becomes a habit.
For those who are curious what an online session is, a 15-minute experience that I hosted on the Community Care Buddy Page by Tribal Worldwide Singapore during the Circuit Breaker period.