Hello, everybody. This is Jane Gardner of Finding Your Purpose TV. And today we’re talking to Michelle Castelli. Would you like the M Michelle or for official.
You can put the M in . That’s great.
Yeah, we’re talking to Michelle Castelli
So let’s talk to her.
She’s a wife and mother of three adult children and one adorable Beagle. Don’t get me started. I love dogs. Oh, sorry. She is an author, speaker, and relationship coach. She helps men and women grow stronger, healthier relationships in these keys areas of their life journey, dating, marriage, and self and spiritual. Her professional background includes relationship work, counseling individuals, couples and families in both mental health and Ministry. She is a licensed social worker and a certified relationship coach and spiritual director. You’ll have to tell me about that, Michelle, because I’m not sure what that is. And she loves helping others grow stronger, healthier relationships because an unhealthy relationship with self or partner affects all of your other relationships. You are so right, Michelle. So Michelle. And we’ve already got a couple of questions now. So let’s say hello to you, Michelle, and thank you for coming by.
Thank you. Thank you for inviting me. I appreciate it. And welcome to everyone watching.
Yeah, Michelle. So tell me, just because you got me curious, a spiritual director, is that a pastor or what is this?
No, I worked in Ministry settings at one point and received my certification in spiritual direction to work with people who were struggling with some spiritual issues.
Okay, great. So, Michelle, I’d like to find out how you found yourself here with this business. Actually, it’s growing your relationships. Is that in the name of your business? You haven’t got that in your bio?
Actually, my business is actually my name, but the growing your relationship is the tagline.
Yeah, but I like the growing your relationships. So how did you get to where you are now, Michelle?
Yes, I spent over 20 years as a therapist working with people, individuals, couples, families. I then went back to school for a theology degree so that I could also do it in Ministry settings. So I’ve got a long history of working with various kinds of relationship issues. My whole background has been about relationships, what people are getting stuck on in their relationships, what blocks they’re experiencing and I’m now doing relationship coaching online. This gives me an opportunity to reach more people and also works with my schedule as well.
Oh, wow. So tell me, Michelle, before we start getting any deeper into this, how does doing relationship coaching on the Internet work for you in terms of do you have the couple to come together or on your broadcast?
Yeah, I start off with phone calls so people have maximum privacy because some people aren’t very comfortable with a Zoom call for something as private as a relationship. So I start up with phone calls first and an opportunity to see if it’s a fit, because that’s why I do discovery calls opportunity for people to talk and make sure it’s a good fit between them and I for moving forward and where they are in their relationships. So that’s very important because people start at different places with different issues.
Yeah. We’ll be talking about the various relationships that you can help with. But what we wanted to first talk about is what do we bring of ourselves to our relationships and maybe how that affects our relationships. That would be great, Michelle.
Exactly. I take a very holistic approach to relationships because if you’re experiencing stress in one particular relationship, say it’s a friendship or it’s a marriage, if that’s causing you a sense of unbalance or you’re not feeling like you’re being understood or you’re losing that sense of connection in the relationship, or you’re experiencing anxiety around the conflicts that are taking place, you then carry those emotional pains into your other relationships. So that may spill over into what you’re happening at work or it may happen in your brain. That pain and that stress to your family members and friends. So I start off with a holistic approach that helping one relationship issue that you might be experiencing will help the other relationships as well because you’re bringing yourself into each of these relationships. So when you have pain, emotional pain, you’re bringing it into the other relationships. So I start there with letting people know it’s a holistic approach now knowing what you bring to your relationships. I always start off when I work with people as helping them to identify what they bring of themselves because oftentimes people are in relationships and they are not fully aware of what in fact, they’re bringing to the relationship.
They might be focusing on what their partners bringing in, their friends bringing in, but not so much awareness of what they bring in. So what I mean by that is I look at a variety of different things with them. We go through looking at what their definition is of a good relationship because that varies from person to person. And you need to find out what is their definition. So that we’re working on the same page from the beginning of what they identify as a good relationship. Wow. Yeah. Because there can be different definitions. It’s not as general as you think. There’s people coming in, and their definition of a good relationship includes X, Y, and Z, and you’ll talk to someone else and their definition of a good relationship is totally different and that gives you a good starting point to know where they’re coming from, what language they’re using around the word relationship.
Wow. That is something I never even thought of. What do you think is a good relationship? That is such a loaded question. We are married, obviously, and we’ve never discussed that idea. We just sort of got married. So that’s a great idea to start with what they expect of a marriage, that’s for sure. Even actually, I guess you also do work relationships and any kind of relationships.
Yeah, because the other areas that I’ll look at when I’m meeting with someone is also identifying their authentic self. Because people sometimes come into relationships with various masks. They’ll hide parts of themselves that they’re not fully sharing with friends or family members or a spouse and so their authenticity is not there. And you really can’t have a healthy relationship if you’re not authentic to yourself. You’re not fully aware of what you believe, what you value, what your motivations are. Digging deep into who you are and your authentic self is the first step that I do when I work with people, because that gets the relationship on a healthy basis by knowing your authentic self and that will bring in a whole bunch of things. Like, for example, we look at values. What are your values in a relationship? What are you bringing to the relationship with your set of values and your beliefs? What do you believe ethically or morally or spiritually? Because you’re bringing that whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re bringing that into your relationships, and that affects your relationships. Also, what motivations do you have for getting into this relationship? Were you entering this particular relationship for love, for networking, for companionship, or maybe something else? So I want to dig deep into when I’m talking again about bringing what you bring of yourself to your relationships, we dig deep. What are you bringing? What’s your attitude, your values? What are your motivations for this particular relationship? And then also taking a good look at what is your ability to communicate effectively? Are you at a point in your skills and your abilities where you can give fully of yourself to others when you communicate? Or do you hold back? Do you say what you mean when you communicate? Or are friends and partners confused by what you say because you send mixed messages and you’re not as clear as you think, so those are very important. Another is also looking at your ability to handle conflict resolution. Are you somebody who avoids conflicts? Are you someone who likes to directly confront them as soon as they happen? Or is it something else? And again, it’s that self awareness, digging deep to learn about your particular relationship style, because the more you’re aware of your own style, the better you’ll be at being more effective in your relationships. Because you’re sharing your true self, you’re sharing who you really are and you’re aware and you’re in touch with who you really are.
Also your ability to nurture a relationship. How well can you express gratitude or make affirmations to the people that you’re in a relationship with? How much is your ability to share love? And again, for each person, this is different. When you’re in relationships and we experience problems, we often point our finger to the other person, whether it’s a friend, a coworker, a spouse, a dating partner. Oh, they’re the ones that make me feel this way. I’m angry because they’re doing this in the relationship instead of stepping back and saying, well, wait a minute, what have I been bringing to my relationships? What are my relationship patterns of how I interact because that affects their response. So often we’re quick to go right to the response of someone else as to why we’re feeling the way we are instead of stepping back and saying, well, they have that response because of what we’re bringing as well. So it’s two way, and it’s very important to touch base with that.
Wow. Yeah, I totally agree. Unfortunately, I think I have a lot of those patterns that you shouldn’t be doing. But we worked on our 40 year marriage, I guess we call it so that we finally know when to step back or when to confront and when to discuss and all that kind of thing. And sometimes we don’t. I think it would have been very useful to have someone like you just go through it with us just before you get married or into a relationship because we’re all different and it’s quite a challenge. It’s certainly in marriage. This is actually interesting for dating. Have you had any discussions with people about dating?
Dating is a big one. A lot of my work has been around dating issues, people coming in and with commitment issues on both sides. Those wanting commitment and those that come in are not wanting commitment, and they’re experiencing problems because their partner wants it and they don’t. So it goes on both directions. And again, we dig deep as to what’s shaping that for you. What’s driving that viewpoint that you have about commitment? Because you have that viewpoint for a reason and digging and looking at that to help people make a decision of how committed they want to be in that particular dating relationship and also finding a mate. A lot of people want to know, especially in this day and age, how can I find someone a mate that I can trust, someone who’s genuine and helping them go through looking at what you expect in a relationship and how you can go about putting yourself out there to find the mate that’s compatible for you.
Oh, wow. Yeah. I can see that would be very important these days. So you’re almost a matchmaker, but you’re not a matchmaker. You want them to make sure that they’re okay before they get involved.
Absolutely. And if you’re already at the point where you’re dating, we can work with it in terms of the relationship of where you’re at with right now.
Yeah, that’s true. Especially like having a two year relationship and they’re not willing to commit. I can see that being very important.
It’s a big difference.
And my own personal experiences help lead me to this we each have our own personal experiences, but I myself was in a longterm relationship where an engagement ended up being broken and the pain around that. So that helps me on a personal level, too, to understand what people go through when you’ve gone through it yourself, when you’ve experienced that and you know what people are dealing with?
Oh, for sure. Yeah. It’s definitely this is sort of like we come from it from different angles. But this is why I’m doing Finding Your Purpose TV, because people have to be more self aware of who they are and this is so exciting that you do this. Are you just doing this through your knowledge and figuring out people’s patterns just by speaking to them? That’s just totally amazing.
The next part of it, after you get that self awareness and we help you to look at what you’re bringing to the relationship is going on to what you want in the relationship partner. What are your expectations of the relationship and what are you expecting now, now that you know more about yourself, what are you expecting of your partner? Because that varies, too, from people. When they get into relationships, they have different expectations of what they want of that person, whether it’s a friendship, a spouse or dating partner. They come in with ideas of what they expect in that relationship and how open are you to looking at what your expectations are and how much do you communicate your expectations to those partners that you’re with because they may not even have a clue as to what your expectations are because you’re not sharing it. So, go through, looking at how well are you communicating that upfront, looking at your boundary issues, such as how often you want to get together with this particular person, whether it’s a friend or dating partner, what do you want this relationship to be exclusive or not? What form of commitment are you asking for in this particular relationship so that the expectations are there? And then finally, also, what is your awareness and level of compatibility with this person? Again, this is true for whether it’s a friend, a coworker, dating partner, you want to know, do we have shared values or beliefs or interests enough to build a foundation for this relationship to continue because oftentimes people will get into relationships they’re not, sometimes, not even sure why they have struck up this particular friendship. And then halfway through, they’re questioning or a dating partner and they’re questioning, why did I get into this relationship? Was that due to loneliness? Is there real compatibility between us, or am I filling that loneliness gap and we have no compatibility? But I’m just sort of coasting along, getting together with this person to fill that loneliness need because that does occur.
Right. And I think I want to go somewhere that I think it seems to be relevant is leaders. It seems to me that in business, you would also be useful in an environment where they’re having issues with relationships between the employers and the leader and everything. Would you say that that’s a fair comment in terms of relationships?
Because underlying each of our relationships, regardless of the setting, whether it’s a work setting, a home setting, there’s still those basic communications that you need to have. That basic ability to nurture, the basic ability to handle conflicts are across all your relationships. That’s the commonality between all of your relationships is that these are some basic skills that we sometimes take for granted, but they’re essential to how well our relationships get healthy and people run into problems when these particular areas are not being addressed, when they’re not being nurtured and you end up with some big problems.
Yeah, there’s a lot of big problems these days. I was just wondering about your podcast and what is your angle? Tell us about your podcast and what’s your angle. Is it all you do. You interview obviously not your clients because of privacy issues.
But right now my podcast started out with me giving tips and tools, and we’ll be moving into interviews with others. But we want to lay the foundation in the beginning once I’m now at episode 34 and each of them is about eight to ten minutes long with a relationship focus, tip or tool in a variety of different areas. So, people can go to my website and take a look at all the different areas. We’ve looked at everything from what you bring to relationships to looking at issues that people have around commitment. There’s multiple episodes there, and then we’ll be moving into interviews and anyone who wants to share a story on the podcast, I invite them to go to my website and you can leave your name on the contact sheet because I would love to hear your relationship stories or your questions as well.
Oh, wow. Yeah, that’s a definite possibility. Certainly there’s not as many people in business who work together and also live together, like my husband and I. But it’s certainly an issue relationship affecting your business. That’s one we could talk about with you but you don’t want to know some of the stories. But we’ve been doing it for 22 years and we haven’t. Anyway, I don’t think we mentioned the name of your podcast. Is it growing?
Really? Yeah, it’s growing your relationships and then with Michelle M Castelli.
Oh, okay. So we’ve got that and your name.
Yeah. You can access the podcast right through my website. If you go to the website that will give you the address at the end of this, you can access all of the episodes are there on the website, as well.
Okay. So is it on itunes or?
No, it’s on Spotify and Apple and a couple of others as well. But that’s what I thought.
It’s on a few. So in case they’re searching there.
Yeah. Now I’m going to talk to you about your book, because I got information about your book, and it was very interesting what you’ve done with your book. And I think it would be a good starting place for a lot of people if they’re having issues with the relationships. I thought, anyway, do you want to mention the title and everything in your thesis?
Yes. This particular book, A Heart for God, is for those that when they’re looking at their relationships, want to also go to get more of a spiritual connection. So for those of you that really would like to look at your relationship through the lens of spirituality, the book of A Heart for God focuses on that, focuses on our relationship with God, how God can help our relationships. But again, that’s for people who are interested in going if they want to go in that direction, in the spiritual direction, that’s there as well. But that’s part of what I do. Right. But we also look at relationships for people who don’t always go that route as well.
Yeah. But I believe it’s not just individual relationships or you mentioned something. I think you mentioned business or marriage or something and your relationship with God, like you mentioned that it’s all related to God.
It’s all related, right? Yes. It has a spiritual focus on how spirituality affects our relationship with God, can affect our relationships, all kinds of relationships.
Yeah. So that’s a start for everybody, I think. Or even it might even be deeper, isn’t it spiritually? Now, you’ve got a very intriguing sentence here.
How to read a relationship to know if it’s genuine. That’s an interesting idea. Love to hear about it.
Yeah. Again, when people come in and I visit with them, a lot of times it’s around authenticity. They’re wondering whether a partner is being authentic in the relationship. But I always start with first with them themselves, whether they’re authentic. And a lot of times people automatically say, well, yes, of course I’m authentic. And then when you dig deeper, you find out that there’s lots of parts of themselves that they’re holding back, even from friends they’ve known for a long time or spouses that they’ve been with for years, they’re holding back parts of themselves. And so we dig at that to say, where are you holding back? Why are you holding that back? And how does that affect your relationship? Because you can’t come to authenticity until you start looking at what parts of yourself you might be holding back. So that’s the first step to authenticity and how to read a relationship around authenticity.
Yeah. So you just work with them. Of course, you can’t really read the other person, although you probably can because you have enough experience in your history to know what type of person that other person might be. But you don’t judge, obviously, because you’re right. Yeah.
Again, this is all about self awareness, because when we say being able to read a relationship, what we’re saying is you can read and understand the connection of another individual because you first are aware of yourself, of what you’re bringing to the relationship. That helps you get the ability to read your relationship because you’re knowing what yourself and what you’re bringing. So that’s.
Sympathetic with me, but in a different way. So let’s have a look at some of your information so that they can find you. Obviously, the podcast we’ve spoken about growing your relationships with Michelle M. Castelli. What else would you like to talk about?
Well, I’d like your audience to know that I am offering as a giveaway to all of you for listening, a gift of a 30 minutes coaching session and there’s no cost to that. People are dealing with a lot, especially during the pandemic, and they want to talk about what’s happening with them and their relationships and you can go to my website and click on the Learn about Services tab on the website. And that will take you to a booking on the calendar of an appointment where it’s totally complimentary. And I give that as a gift to you. So I hope you take advantage of that gift because it’s an opportunity for you to have a way to look at your relationships.
And your book is available on your website.
My book is available on my website. It’s like a one stop place in the website. Yes. You can click right on the book. It takes you right to Amazon from the website.
Okay. So it’s on Amazon if they want to search. Yeah. And of course, your website is again.
My website is Https://Michellemcastelli.com.
Everything’s there, everything’s there, which I appreciate. I just like to tell you the last thing I’d like to share is I operate from a model that I developed called the growth model. And each letter stands for something and I’ll just run through it.
This is awesome.
Yeah. The G in growth stands for how we gain awareness of ourself and our relationship, what our relationship goal is. We identify that in the beginning and we talked about helping you develop awareness of yourself and how you relate. The R in the growth is recognizing the blocks that you have that are preventing your goal in your relationship. And we go through and look at what’s blocking you from achieving a healthier relationship. The O is openness, your willingness to remove the blocks, getting around the mindset of being open to transformation, the W and Growth is working. The action steps that we developed together to help you get towards your goal. The T is the transformation process and the H is your healthier relationship. So we walk you through this growth model.
Yeah. You got a model. That’s awesome. Yeah. I didn’t know. Sorry.
No problem. I’m sharing it now.
Yeah. I love models because you need models to get your direction. I just want to say Michelle, to me, what I’m thinking is that your services are really needed in this time, and it would be great if also the internet and everyone knew that you were here to help because we all need that, don’t we?
And I know it can be very scary and difficult when you’re first meeting someone to know whether or not you can trust them, to share your information or to talk about something as personal as a relationship. But I hope that you’ll feel comfortable to try the 30 minutes session because your comfort level, your desire for a healthy relationship is most important, and I want you to feel comfortable.
But the reason I mentioned that is because we know someone who got a divorce during the pandemic, basically because they were shut down and couldn’t do what they do, which is the love of dancing. They did competition, dancing together, and obviously with the lockdown, they realized everything else came up. So I think your service would be very valuable at this time for a lot of people as they get back to work and get going on life because people don’t have to struggle dealing with issues alone.
It’s painful enough to have a relationship issue, but then to have to struggle with it alone without the opportunity to have any kind of help just compounds the pain and the confusion for individuals. We all need an opportunity to talk to someone that knows relationships, that knows how to handle healthy and unhealthy relationships, someone trained, a professional who can help guide you through it and that’s why I’m offering the complimentary gift, because it’s very much needed, especially during this pandemic.
Yeah, that’s for sure. Yeah. Well, thank you, Michelle. This has been great.
Love to meet people who are sympathetic when it comes to making everyone self aware about their passion, their purpose, and obviously their relationships. This has been great, Michelle, and I just wanted to thank you for coming on my show.
Thank you, Jane. And thank you to all of you who are listening. Thank you.
Yeah. Thank you, Michelle. Any last minute tips?
Yeah, I think my last line I’d like to leave with you is if you’re feeling down that some relationship you’re experiencing is not healthy, I just want you to be reassured that you can have a healthier relationship. You don’t have to stay in an unhealthy situation, and we can help you.
Oh, awesome. Thank you, Michelle. So thank you, everybody, for listening and yeah, see you later.
I’d like to thank Michelle M. Castelli for coming on to the show today. And if you want to find out any more information on growing your relationships, Then you can go to our website, https://michellmcastelli.com. So, thank you for listening. And this is Jane Gardner of Finding Your purpose.