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Interview with Owner and Founder of SenterME House-Charlotte C. Louis

Photo provided by Charlotte C. Louis (Senterme.com)

Inspiration, upliftment, and a journey to self-love and care. Welcome to the SenterME House! Your host is the owner and founder Charlotte C. Louis, and she will welcome you with open arms to start doing the work to help bring healing to your life. Offering workshops, virtual classes, retreats, and more, the SenterME House is a safe space to experience self-love.

Charlotte, You have a very inspiring story. How did you start the journey of healing from depression and leaving an abusive relationship? 

A lot of times when people ask that question, I think sometimes they are expecting me to say how I got from A to B literally step by step. When in hindsight the process actually started so much earlier than I was consciously aware of. I was in a relationship that I needed a mental break from. That was when I realized I needed to do something different. This life is not working for me mentally, physically, and emotionally. I was carrying this new life inside of me, and I just found out it was a girl, and I have a son.

I knew something had to change but I had lived this life my entire life. I didn’t know what steps to take but by this time I knew therapy was an option. It was something I had been researching. I experienced postpartum depression with my son and I wasn’t aware that the depression never left. I had been depressed since childhood and there were different levels of depression, and it got worse after I had my first child. When it went back to the level I was used to, it was just normal life. When I was pregnant with my daughter I knew I didn’t want to go through postpartum again as I did while pregnant with my son.I started researching different options to get the help I needed.

I went to therapy and it was a very pivotal moment in my life. I enjoyed talking to her about things that I was not talking to other people about. She asked me if I felt like I was connected to my emotions in any way. At that point in my life, I didn’t know it was possible to have a disconnect between the mind and the rest of the body. She said when I talked about my trauma I seemed to be disconnected from them emotionally. I didn’t know or understand at that moment what she meant, but the seed was planted. I made the decision after my daughter was born to move and get away from the relationship I was in. That space and distance allowed me to focus more on myself.

How did your personal experience inspire you to start SenterME House? 

I have a friend that is a Jehovah’s Witness. Being me I always want to know things and always ask questions. I asked, ” You don’t ever be scared of knocking on people’s doors?” It was one of the most beautiful answers I ever heard. He said “If you had really good news and you knew it was going to help someone, would there be anything to keep you from sharing it?” That’s what I feel about the SenterME House.

Whenever I started this journey, I knew that education was my thing. I had a nonprofit when I was twenty-one, and I took young girls to museums and plays. I would do journaling with them and pick up their journals on Wednesdays. I was being that mentor and big sister type to them. I went to a professor for some help with the organization and he told me because of my grades the only classes I was doing good in were my math classes and that I wasn’t qualified to mentor these girls. For a while, I lost that desire to educate because someone told me that I wasn’t good enough or able to do it. I have always wanted to do this work. It has always been in my heart. When I started my self-care journey I wanted to do this and explore it more.

I did hair in college. I needed to make money to do what I really wanted to do. I was pretty handy mixing up my own hair products and was always doing everyone’s hair. I knew I could make money doing that, but when I started my self-love journey, I knew that I didn’t want to do the hair thing anymore. I had so much more enthusiasm when I talked about self-love and self-care. I had found that alignment in my life and I wanted to explore it more and push myself into that. I dropped everything cold turkey and said this is what I’m doing. I started building curriculums, classes and workshops.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of the work you do with your organization? 

I’ve had some really amazing reviews and testimonies. It’s actually unreal when I read them. Whenever I do a class or a workshop something happens to me. I’m there but there is this higher version of me that is present doing the work. It’s as if I really come alive. Whenever I get the reviews and testimonies it’s like …was I in the same room as them? Wow, I can’t believe they got all of that. It’s amazing!

The most rewarding experience is that I continue to keep going. I am honored to do the work that I do. It’s an honor that women trust me to help and support them on their journey because self-love is sacred. I don’t have to pretend that I have it all together. I don’t have to pretend to know it all because I love myself. I am always learning about who I am. It extends to my work because I get to experience – oh I don’t want to teach that we should be happy all the time, happiness is temporary. Peace though is forever. I can set realistic expectations in what I do. I can guarantee results in what I do. If you do it and practice, you are going to experience this grace that you will have for yourself. When you experience the lows that happen in life, you understand how to give yourself grace and it truly becomes a journey for you. There is no destination, it’s a journey, and because you understand that, you can continue to practice self-love.

What do you see in the future for SenterME and hope to accomplish as it continues to grow?  

I want to grow as a self-love coach where I’m actually able to partner with Yoga Studios, Wellness Centers, Rehabilitation centers, Retreats, and Reentry programs. I want everyone to get this work. The SenterME House retreat is what I’m currently working on. The ultimate vision is SenterME retreat houses all over the U.S. for black women to come and stay for the weekend. This will allow you the opportunity to go to a space that is for you and help replenish and release. That’s a huge element of emotional wellness, being able to relax and replenish.

Right now we are virtually providing those classes and sessions to help you understand emotional wellness from that aspect to be able to release and replenish. That’s why we do Keep It Real coaching every week. The physical SenterME House will provide a platform to be able to experience different ways of releasing via massage therapy, acupuncture, or Trauma-informed Yoga. We will have different elements of bodywork and continue our sessions as well as healing circles. You will be able to join in on group coaching and have vegan food that is high vibrational and nutritional. So when you leave you feel transformed. This will not be a resort where you get to do whatever. It will be a very intentional visit. We want you to leave feeling like you can take on the world and you have it to give.

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