Women In Wellness: Author Marine Sélénée On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
Make time for pleasure. It can be with food, sex, traveling, cooking… Whatever it is — PLEASURE is an essential element in my life. Pleasure makes you feel alive and we need to feel alive in order to fully connect with life.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Marine Sélénée.
Born in Brittany, France, Marine Sélénée was raised in Paris. After earning degrees in communications and psychology, she moved from France to the United States, first living in Miami-where she worked in PR-before moving to New York City where she earned her certification as a Family Constellations facilitator at the Bert Hellinger Institute, under the mentorship of Suzi Tucker, as well as Mark Wolynn in Miami. Since 2014, she has had her own Family Constellations practice, with offices in both New York City and in Miami. Her book, Connected Fates, Separate Destinies — Using Family Constellations Therapy To Recover From Inherited Stories And Trauma, is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.
Learn more at: MarineSelenee.com
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Thank you so much for the opportunity. Stories are my specialty, especially family stories! So, long story short, I was born and raised in France. After studying communications and psychology I decided to move to the United States at the age of 23/24 with my former husband. In Miami, after a painful divorce, I got introduced to Family Constellations Therapy and my life turned unexpectedly. I found answers I had been searching for regarding my career and personal life. Since then, I’ve been spreading the word about this amazing therapy that has been incredibly life changing for me. And, this year I also fulfilled of one of my deepest dreams, publishing a book with Hay House about Family Constellations, Connected Fates and Separate Destinies. I guess, I’m a French woman living her own American dream, with the ups and downs of it but so far, that experience has been amazing.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
The most interesting story that happened to me since I started my career was actually at the very beginning of it. I discovered Family Constellations Therapy in Miami and studied with Mark Wolynn. I then moved to NYC, for several reasons but one of them was to study this method with Suzi Tucker. When I felt ‘ready’, (even though you never feel ready, you just need to take that leap of faith!) I was often teased about Family Constellations. They would joke, “Who and what the hell is that young French woman talking about?”.
And, yes it hurt me but it never stopped my commitment towards my practice. I think that is why after almost a decade of offering this unique therapy, I’m trusted by my clients. They appreciate the consistency of my work despite the teasing I endured, “your French accent, or your new idea about Family”. I was a pioneer; I was very young (I mean late 20’s early 30’s) and there were only a few of us talking about and offering Family Constellations. We were not taken very seriously but here is the thing, if you take yourself seriously, the rest will follow. I’ve always admired pioneers as Gwyneth Paltrow, leading a new example, following your gut, and just doing it! And, as Rene Char said and it’s my favorite quote: “Impose your chance, hold tight to your happiness and go towards your risk. Looking your way, they’ll follow.” So, believe in your ideas, your dreams, and just envision it. Because no matter what, along the way you will meet amazing people that will become friends, then family, and will be your village.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I made three big mistakes when I was first starting:
- The first mistake was not believing in myself. I did not initially see my true potential which was especially hard to do while being vampirized by others’ opinions who did not have a clue about who I was! I used to apologize for wanting to build my own practice with this unique healing modality that many did not know about yet. But without sounding like a cliché, I think a lot of women apologize for wanting more. I used to be like that. Right now, I’m not perfect but I’m doing so much better!
- The second mistake was my pricing. I undervalued myself (again) and I started very low. I should have listened to my mother on that one but well, you never want to listen to your parents. So let me share it with all of you now: “Always ask more than you think, because if you start too low you will never reach the right income at the end of your career that you truly deserve.”
- The third mistake was being too ‘nice’. I realize now in retrospect, I minimized or diminished myself a few times, especially with men who I taught this technique to. I gave them a lot of ideas and insights and then of course, they used everything for their own business!
The list could go on but I have to say my mistakes made me as well, so do not worry about that, sometimes we win, sometimes we learn, and I learned a lot. (And still learning!)
Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Your family system follows you everywhere. So, by taking care of your family story, being at peace with your family, you as an adult will feel more at ease and at peace. This will inevitably impact your community, environment, and ultimately the world, because you will be coming from a place of grounded powerfulness. You will be part of the solution knowing that you are responsible for your life, decisions, and actions. You then understand we are all connected. There is power in numbers. A happy person will share their happiness with others, or at least lead by example, that yes, it is possible to have a great life (still with ups and downs) but to have faith in it. Happy People = Happy World.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
My top five lifestyle tweaks are:
- Loving yourself. Not at 99% but 100%! That’s the first thing, otherwise you will develop codependence and neediness issues, asking others to fulfill your dreams and expectations. The more you love yourself, the more you love others, and you are able to set up healthy boundaries. I’m not saying it’s easy every day but practice is the key.
- Create your own routine. The one that really feels connected to your needs at this moment. This is an evolving experience so feel free to change it as needed. You grow with your routine. For a lot of years, I practiced boxing and right now, I’m more into pilates and yoga. Maybe in 5 years I will be playing basketball, who knows! At the end of the day it’s about finding your own recipe in order to fully function.
- Find your village. We need support. We need healers. We need friends. We need our family. We cannot do it on our own all the time. Even if we can do it on our own, how great of a feeling it is to ask for help and receive it. Find and build your own village with the people that you want in it.
- Make time for pleasure. It can be with food, sex, traveling, cooking… Whatever it is — PLEASURE is an essential element in my life. Pleasure makes you feel alive and we need to feel alive in order to fully connect with life.
- Do not take yourself too seriously. Nothing is serious. We have the tendency to overcomplicate things, overthink situations and overdo them. Well, let’s chill! Because, at the end of the day we are all going towards the same end, so why not pause and enjoy life as it is? That situation right now, is it really important? Important enough to kill your wellbeing? To make you sick to your stomach? To have insomnia? To be miserable? Think again.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
The movement of Acceptance and Respect. That’s actually part of the principles in Family Constellations, which for me is also a philosophy of Life. We spend an amazing amount of time judging others, but if we all actively practiced acceptance and respect towards each other, it would simplify a lot of things in our world. So, I am actively contributing to that movement with my practice. And like I mentioned I also incorporate acceptance and respect in my personal life. I often ask myself: “What’s his/her story? Is it really about you Marine or are you making a fuss about it because you felt attacked?”. When I can practice accepting what is with respect, life feels much easier.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
My ‘5 things I wish someone told me before I started are:
- Trust the process. I have a tendency to rely only on myself which is exhausting. This is the first year (Yes 2021) that I finally hired someone to handle my social media. I always thought I should take care of everything in my business and of course I could, but guess what, my specialty and talent is Family Constellations. It is okay to surround myself with qualified people who have better talents and skills than I do in other areas. I have learned to trust the process unfolding and growing, to allow me to share this incredible healing modality with the more people.
- Failure is not failing. I used to be so afraid of failure. I would spend days being ashamed of something that did not work out. When in actuality, there is no such thing as failure, it’s only a teaching, a lesson for a better thing to come. As one of my good friends told me one day, “Rejection is only redirection.”
- Be prepared to not please everyone. I do want people to love me or at least like me! So, I had the tendency to overdo it and every time, I got a nasty comment or felt judged again, I went back to the place of “I am not enough”. Reading the Four Agreements book tremendously helped me to understand that whatever people tell you, says more about them than me! And, if it did resonate with me, I can take responsibility and dive deeper into my feelings to grow from it.
- Value yourself. No one else can do it for you. It starts with you. How you want to be valued, seen, and respected, is in your hands. You give the rhythm, you lead, and that’s why it is so important to know yourself, meaning your strengths as well as your flaws.
- And, finally Number 5 “Good things take stairs”. One of my best friends shared this with me and to be honest, at that moment I did not feel connected to it. At the time, I was so impatient and restless that I thought I had to force and control everything in order to get it. Well, after almost a decade of working, I have to say, she was absolutely right. Patience and trust in your projects are keys. Whatever belongs to you, will find you.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health for sure because I don’t think we can think of veganism, sustainability, and environmental changes without feeling good about ourselves. It starts with us and how we feel about ourselves and thus the world. So, by doing work on yourself, embracing your healing journey, then it will have a beautiful ripple effect into all the causes.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
On Instagram and Facebook — Marine Sélénée
Thank you for these fantastic insights!