In a world often dismissive of the realities of healing, Carmen Rene Flores, a wellness content creator, challenges the stereotypes and stigma surrounding the journey towards personal wellness. With a blend of humor, honesty, and a genuine desire to make a difference, she shares her own healing journey to empower others and inspire transformative growth on her social media. In this interview we learn more about her personal journey and advice that all of us can benefit from in our own healing journey.
Could you share a brief overview of your personal health and wellness journey? What inspired you to pursue this path?
For those of us who have made the hard journey of healing, we know it’s not always easy or ‘cute.’ However, it is presented in the world almost like satire. ‘Oh, you’re into self-help stuff, huh?’ ‘Oh, she’s one of those affirmations in the mirror people..’ The thing is, it takes guts to not only survive trauma but then to admit you’re not OK afterward.
In my 20s I lived in & with deep depression for over 4 years without knowing what depression looked like. I didn’t know the 5-year relationship that I experienced was abusive until afterward..see a little theme here? Since I was in a better place mentally and emotionally these past few years, I started making content about these topics. I made content for the younger me. I wish someone out there would have had the guts to be real and spell out what things are unacceptable in a person’s behavior, in life, in relationships, etc. My intention is to help others not feel alone or crazy, to help myself heal, and to help others smile along the way.
Much of your content is humorous and encompasses several different areas such as relationships, sexuality, or just what is on your mind. How do you choose what to post, and how has your experience been creating social media content?
I LOVE expressing myself in this way. I’ve always had a camera in my hand since elementary school! Doing what I do now, creating content is somewhat of a full-time job without pay on top* of actually working a job. It takes a lot of time, focus and energy but it is so fulfilling and enjoyable to me. The more at peace I am, the more I want to share and have others feel joy. I always express that I’m not a counselor or therapist, I share from personal point of view and experience. I sometimes record ahead of time, sometimes in the moment, I check in with myself before posting and that’s how I choose what to put out there.
The central topic of your content is healing. What does healing mean to you personally, and what inspired you to explore and really hone in on this field?
To me healing is feeling trust in myself again. It’s being able to be kind to yourself on your worst days. Healing, to me, is giving yourself permission to be your most authentic self no matter the company. What inspires me about the wellness field is that it’s a lifetime contract, there’s always more to learn and space to evolve emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
Self-healing involves addressing past traumas and emotional wounds. What advice do you have for individuals who are embarking on this healing journey and may encounter challenges along the way?
Even my advice evolves as I go haha. What I would say to people brave enough to address trauma is that the healing journey is completely relative and different to each person and their experience, try not to compare yourself to others along the way. One constant truth is that it takes time, but the peace is so very worth it.
In your experience, what are some of the key principles or practices that individuals can embrace to cultivate healing and prioritize mental health in their lives?
Two principles I know to be true are: 1) your environment is everything, 2) These words will help you along the way – “healing is my responsibility.” Practices are where I might be unpopular with the audience.. I viciously protect my energy now. I remove those who I feel aren’t aligned with the energy I create for myself and the future me.
Cut out (or create big space from) people who make you feel less-than.
Don’t lower your vibration and start talking about how much life sucks just because someone is venting or angry, especially with a romantic partner! A simple “I’m sorry you’re feeling __. I’m here if you want to talk or I’ll be right over here for you when you come out of that” will suffice.
Speak kindly to yourself, the more you do the more confident you will become and the less likely you are to allow others to put you down.
Surround yourself with positive people, with positive noise like movies/shows/music – the universe responds to positive energy.
Ask for & create safe spaces for you to express yourself. Ask for & uphold strong boundaries. All of these take PRACTICE – I’ve been working on all of these for years and it’s still not easy. I left a toxic work environment/got a new job, I left an abusive relationship/house/”financial security,” I broke up with MANY friends that didn’t truly add value to my life, and more. My mental health is in such a better state.
In your experience, how has journaling helped you in your healing journey or personal life? Are there any specific practices or exercises that were most effective?
Journaling is necessary for my health. It connects me with myself. It helps me look at the truth in a way a conversation can’t. Sometimes writing unveils something I didn’t even know was in my subconscious and I’m in awe of what happens on the pages. 3 practices were most effective for me:
Stream-of-consciousness journaling helps you get out of your head. Basically you set a timer for 1-3 minutes and you write as fast as you can without thinking out what to write. It helps you release without judging yourself. It will look insane lol, just go with it.
Why journaling is when I would write out a feeling or thought and move backward to dissect it by asking “Why?” Ex: ‘I hate that she hasn’t called. Why? Because I feel anxious. Why? Because I don’t feel wanted. Why? Because I think I have a fear of abandonment…’
Shadow journaling, is when you explore and acknowledge your thoughts, emotions, experiences that are typically hidden in the “shadow” of your consciousness. I do this through questions/writing prompts like this one: Think about a relationship or dynamic in your life that feels challenging or draining. What patterns do you notice? Does it remind you of anyone else in your life? What are some ways to set boundaries and communicate effectively?
Carmen Rene Flores stands as a guiding light in the realm of healing, offering wisdom, humor, and relatable experiences to those who seek solace and growth. Her empowering message resonates deeply, reminding us that we are not alone in our healing journeys and that we too can find the strength to overcome and thrive. Discover more of her advice on her instagram account and learn more about how journaling can jumpstart your healing at emotewell.com.