My Story

Celeste Chong
Founder of The Inside Job

My Past 


For 20+ years, I was a high-functioning alcoholic, I drank and got shit done. I'm good at making a plan and executing it.

In my mid 20s, I co-founded The Butter Factory with a few friends. I love creating unique experiences and The Butter Factory allowed me to do just that. Back then, my life largely revolved around parties and drinking.

To the world I looked like I was having the time of my life, inside, I was a mess, numb and disconnected.

Recovery, Physical and Mental Healing

I had my last drink in Jan 2017. The first 2 years of sobriety, I was like a baby learning to walk. My recovery was focused on the physical and mental aspects of Self.

Through the 12-step program, I learned to shift my mindset and perception and took responsibility for my actions. learned how to do life without my coping strategies of alcohol and cigarettes.

I pushed through my discomfort daily, I kept showing up for myself and I started to build healthy habits. My physical body got to detox and heal, my mind became clearer.

For the first time, I was exposed to concepts of acceptance and forgiveness. I learned how to be vulnerable and have difficult conversations. Pretty much doing the opposite of what I had been doing for 20+ years!

Anxiety surfaced in Sobriety

When my body began to feel safe, my anxiety started. Emotions that were suppressed for years started to bubble to the surface. Our bodies are wise and we are always being guided to heal at the right time.

This picture taken in May 2019 was at the peak of my anxiety. I’m not sure how I survived being in boxing camp with my anxiety, but I did. This is a good reminder not to judge someone purely on how they look and what they are doing externally. 

My Spiritual Awakening

In my quest to find the root cause of anxiety, I discovered holistic healing modalities like BodyTalk and Gong meditation. In July 2019, it led me to a 3-day Soulful Journey workshop in Bali where midway, I experienced a spontaneous spiritual awakening.

My spiritual awakening was like a homecoming. For the first time, I found something that I didn’t even know I was searching for - myself. I felt a connection to the web of life and experienced what it was like to have my heart blasted open.

Emotional, Spiritual and Multidimensional Healing

This sparked the next step of my healing journey. The focus shifted to the emotional, spiritual, and later, multidimensional aspects of Self.

As I began the inner work and emotional healing, Dr. Gabor Mate’s work had a big impact on me. I enrolled in his Compassionate Inquiry Professional Online training. Through his work I understood trauma and addiction as a coping strategy.

Most recently, I have been learning about the Lightbody and Krystic energy system with Earthstar Academy. The more I uncover, the less I know. It is truly humbling.

My Commitment to Healing

In the last 5 years, I invested fully in my healing through various courses, workshops, retreats, and healing modalities. I have worked with different coaches and healers. These trainings and workshops involved active participation in my healing. It was not just about certification and learning in theory.

Since 2020, I've built a daily practice of cacao, meditation, and journaling which helped me move through the layers, opening my heart. This is where I make space for emotions to be felt and released. Cacao is such a gentle yet powerful transformative medicine.

Initially, my focus was to fix myself. I was determined to be healed and approached my healing like how I approached life previously - with a checklist and a “go hard or go home” attitude.

I was desperate to heal because I felt that I wasted so much time. Deep down I wanted to be healed because I believed that was how I would be able to find love and be loved.

I have a core belief that “I am difficult to love as I am”. 

Through self-love practices, my self-talk and inner voice began to change.

But I noticed that when I put pressure on myself to heal - ‘chasing’ workshop after workshop, activation after activation... I would get frustrated. The old narrative “I am not good enough, I must be doing it wrong” would surface.

So I began to change the way I approached my healing. I stopped pressuring myself.

I began to accept myself where I was at. I stopped seeing myself as broken. I saw how courageous I was. I started listening to my body and the pace that it wanted to move.

In the last year especially, I noticed a softening and a much more instinctively loving attitude towards myself (and my body). I became my biggest supporter and cheerleader. Since then I’ve experienced more inner peace, less fear and worries.

Following the Whispers of my Heart

In March 2022, I left the comfort of home, not knowing if I'd ever return. I refused to be bullied into taking an experimental jab that my body didn’t want.

I spent 9 months in South Africa and visited various sacred sites, my soul felt incredibly at home there. The energy of the land is so supportive and I felt big mama energy! I visited the scared lands of Glastonbury and Egypt. I also spent a few months in Bali.

For most of my travels, I was alone, stripped of all distractions. Life has been my greatest teacher.

Unlearn Everything to Master the way of the Heart

The last 2 years have been a brutal stripping away and breakdown of beliefs. I had to question everything I had been programmed to believe as true and presented as the normal way of life.

It has been humbling as every plan I tried to make, gets thrown out the window. Time and again I had to surrender.

The way of the Heart runs contrary to everything I have been taught. I no longer have an instruction manual and it has been a deep dive into the unknown.

I’ve had experiences I cannot explain or understand with my mind.

I am learning to be okay without a plan 😅. As I get to know my Self and trust my Heart, I can hone my intuition and pick up on omens the universe sends.

Our Core Trauma 

Today, what I have come to understand as the core trauma that we all face, is the separation from source. We’ve been led to believe that we don't have a soul, and that all of life is material and physical.

It has resulted in unhappiness with most of us living like machines, trapped in lives we do not truly desire.

This separation from source and our divinity is at the root of all pain and suffering.

What is the Antidote? 

Love, radical self-love, and a return to wholeness.

What is it that we all truly want? To be loved, heard, and seen, as we are.

How can we achieve this? Wholeness means embracing all parts of you: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, multidimensional.

We are not Separate 

When we begin to understand (in a felt sense) that we are not separate from the web of life, we begin to have a reverence for the sacredness of life.

When we connect to Source, we tap into unlimited universal love. This belief and understanding will shift our perspective of others and how we treat Mother Earth. It will be the motivation and balm for us to heal and it will unveil our life purpose. 

It is this felt sense that I am not separate from Source and the web of life, that has allowed me to surrender deeper into trust and let go of worry and fear.

It is an ongoing process and a daily commitment for me to remember my true nature is Love. When fear and anxiety surface, it shows me I have moved out of alignment.

That said, the process is by no means easy and smooth sailing.

I have days when frustration and agitation surface, and I get impatient with a lack of answers. My mind begins to question my sanity and whether it’s worth it. In those moments, I allow my inner child to tantrum and take a break. And if I need a yummy snack or to check out with Netflix, I don’t beat myself up over it.

Return to wholeness through the Heart

When fears and worries pop up, I know I am trapped in the conditioning of my mind and I have to bring myself back into my heart. A return to love and wholeness is achieved through the heart (not the mind). We have to allow ourselves to feel, instead of analyze/think our way into a solution.

The heart is the master control for us as spirit to navigate this human experience with confidence and ease. Mastering the heart is a crucial skill in times of great change.

And I'm here to guide you into your heart and the magic that lies within. Experience the heart opening effects of a Cacao Ceremony .

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