Spiders, shadows, and solar eclipses

You may not know this about me, but I've been terrified of spiders since I was a little girl. I'm not scared of most things, but spiders get me every time. A few years ago, when I was first starting my divine feminine awakening journey, I read somewhere that since spiders represent the Divine Feminine creative force of the Universe, a woman who's afraid of spiders is also afraid of her power. Which means on a certain level, she is afraid of herself.

This rang so true to me that I committed to working through my fear of spiders then and there. A few months later, my sister tried to scare me with one, and even though my throat was tight I didn't run away. And as I've gone deeper and deeper into exploring this shadow, I thought I had worked through my fear of spiders once and for all.

Until the night before this week's solar eclipse. Right now I'm home visiting my parents in the Pennsylvania woods, and late summer is prime spider time. My parents also have certain hippie-ish tendencies and don't believe in air conditioning, so they leave the doors open to whatever creepy-crawlies might want to join the party. Including spiders.

Imagine my horror when, between 10 pm and 1 am the night before the eclipse, I found not one, not two, but FIVE spiders in my room. One was even booking it across the floor towards my bed before I saw it. Luckily I had an abundance of water glasses in my room and was able to trap them all, but not before I became good and thoroughly triggered. My heart was pounding, the energy was flowing, and there was no way in hell I was going to sleep. I kept imagining a spider making its way onto my bed, over my pillow onto my face, and it was enough to keep me up for another few hours.

Needless to say I didn't sleep much.

The morning of the eclipse, I was so emotional I could barely function. I realized that even though I may have worked through my fear of one, singular spider, the fact that five of them had ganged up on me in the middle of the night, right before the solar eclipse felt too significant to ignore.

It goes without saying that this eclipse was a potent one, and ancient wisdom suggests that eclipses are a time to go within and to face our shadows so we can bring them into the light for healing. I realized that this was just another layer of my healing, to face my fears, and hold even more space for myself and the impact I'm here to make in the world.

When we go to make our magic and share our message with the world, our fears are going to rise up in order to keep us safe. But oftentimes, there's not actually anything to be afraid OF. The spiders can't actually hurt me. Other people's opinions or what they think of you definitely can't hurt you.

The problem is when we let our fears run the show, and keep us from taking the action and putting ourselves out there in the way we feel called to, we let them win.

We deprive the world of our magic.

What fears are holding you back from sharing your magic? That are keeping you playing small, stuck, or spinning your wheels?

Start to question them. Where are they real or not real? And what action can you take to start moving through it?

Reply back and let me know!

I believe in you,

Natalie

Why I took a month off from my business

At the beginning of the summer, I started to feel tired. Not just physically tired. Existentially tired. The thought of setting a new goal or thinking about "what's next" made me want to cry. "I just want to rest and enjoy my life," I thought. 

And so I did. Without really understanding why, I took a major step back from social media, from marketing and writing, and from goal-setting, visioning, or manifesting anything. I coached my current clients, took long lunches with friends, and sat at the beach and stared at the ocean. 

I told very few people what I was doing. Part of me wanted to judge myself - what are you doing, you can't rest?! Don't you know you're an ENTREPRENEUR?! But a bigger, wiser part of me knew that I had to give myself this time to rest. To integrate. 

One night when I was in Montana the other week with my mastermind group, I sat next to a woman at dinner who I'd never had the chance to connect super deeply with. As we were comparing notes on our respective journeys, I found myself telling her the story of my past three years start to finish. I am constantly analyzing and processing my own experience, so some of the anecdotes were well-rehearsed. But I had never told it from this specific vantage point before. And something clicked.

Those of you who have been following me for awhile know that three years ago this summer a big part of my life fell apart around me. In many ways, it was the collapsing star that catalyzed the supernova of personal, spiritual, and financial growth I've experienced over this chapter of my life. And as I was recounting this experience to my friend, I realized that truly, the rate of expansion over the past couple years has been incredible (even if my ego and fear always tells me it's not going fast enough). 

No wonder I was tired. 

No wonder I couldn't set a goal. 

I have everything I wanted three years ago. 

More importantly, I've become the woman I knew was within me all along. 

So now what?

I couldn't even think about it. 

And yet, the laws of nature apply to us as well. You can always trust that even as the tide goes out, it will come back in. So over the past few days I've slowly been feeling the spark of creativity coming back into my blood. The desire to write again. The desire to create experiences and share wisdom, not that I read in a book, but that has been hard-won through my blood, sweat, and tears, and yes, created a shit ton of magic along the way. 

As I gradually come back to life, I feel reborn. Which in a way, I am. My life looks completely different than it did three years ago. Some of the biggest changes - like moving to LA - weren't even on my radar then. I'm a completely different person and also more of myself than I ever have been. 

It's very easy to get caught up in the go-go-go mentality of our world. But everyone, especially if you're as committed to deep transformational work as I am, needs integration time. 

And this is the magic. When we can trust our own cycles of expansion and contraction, death and life, surrender and inspired action. When we can learn to listen and ask for what we need. Whether that's bigger, bolder action, or deep, passive rest. Because you can't have one without the other. 

I can already feel the dynamism of the fall and I'm so excited to share with you all what's coming next. The podcast will be back and I will be sharing new writing on the regular. I'm also putting together a course based on the principles I've used over the past three years to tap into my magic and completely transform my life and business (you can get on the early-bird list here). 

I'm so grateful to have shared the journey with you up until now, and I can't wait to see what's next. 

Love,
Natalie

How to turn your challenges into creative gold

A question I get asked a lot is, how do I find my message? And how do I stand out when it feels like everyone else is talking about the same thing? 

And here’s the truth - yes, lots of people may have a similar message to you, but no one has the life experience, perspective, or way of being that you do. 

You are the only one who’s had the distinct experiences, challenges, breakthroughs, possibilities, and magic that you’ve had in your life. And you’re the only one who can tell us about it. 

My first viral Facebook post came after I took a walk on a day I was feeling extremely triggered, frustrated, and down on myself. I had been working on filling my first high-level program for almost three months, and I hadn’t made a single sale. I took a break from the computer and went to the park, where I got a download to share the origin story of the program - why I wanted to create it in the first place. 

That in and of itself was a story of breakdown to breakthrough, and if you’re on my mailing list you’re already familiar with it. If you’re not, the short version is that I’d reached rock bottom after about six months in business, and a workshop in Iceland changed everything for me. 

My best, most resonant posts, stories, and content comes after apparent breakdowns, crises, and struggle.

Three Ways to Find Creative Gold

  1. Don't take your struggle personally. I know, this can be so hard. But if we can look at our challenges and struggle and instead of making it MEAN something about us (we're inadequate, we'll never get it together, etc.), look for the lesson or teaching moment, you will never ever be short of content ideas. 
  2. Make your mess your message. You are the only one who's had your unique challenges, as well as your perspective. It can feel very vulnerable to put your mess on blast for anyone on the Internet to read, but it also makes you relatable. No one wants to buy from someone who's never been there, so show your people you get it.
  3. Keep your sense of humor. This goes to number one as well. The Universe is weird, and crazy, and messy, and there are always things we can't control. Being able to laugh about it makes the entire process way more fun - and who doesn't want that?!

It can be hard in our social-media-shiny saturated world, where it seems that everyone has solved their struggle and now has a five-step process to help you with yours, to feel like you’ll ever get there. But I promise you that you will. And if you can be brave enough to mine your struggle and your experience for the creative gold, we will all be better off for it.

I believe in you,
Natalie

The difference between dangerous and scary

Let’s face it - putting yourself out there is scary. Being subject to judgment, ridicule, things not going the way you planned is scary. Taking a risk is scary.

But you know what’s dangerous?

Letting your dreams wither and die because you are too scared to take action. 

Settling, and compromising, and “good enough” because you think it’s all you can get.

Not reaching the people who need you because you’re afraid of what a few people might think.

How often do we sabotage ourselves because we’re not willing to move through the scary things? 

Scary is often most immediate. It’s the tightness in your throat, butterflies in your stomach, spinning in your thoughts. It’s easy to identify with scary. But dangerous is much more insidious.

So, how to move through it?

Get clear on what you want. Having a vision that pulls you forward will help you get out of the scary and dangerous and move consistently into the light.

Decide what you’re committed to. Growth is uncomfortable. It’s going to call on you to do some scary things. But are you more committed to your dreams, or to your fear? 

Have an accountability buddy. Hire a coach or mentor, join a mastermind, declare your goals to a friend or family member. Speaking it out loud makes it real, and accountability really works.
Don’t let the scary things keep you in danger of never sharing your gifts at all. Because we need you.

I believe in you,
Natalie

Why you don't need more confidence + what takes its place

I've worked with hundreds of women in my coaching career, and one of the most common refrains I hear is that:

I just need more confidence. If I had more confidence, everything [signing clients, making money, putting myself out there] would be easier.

Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, confidence is the wrong place to start. We can think that to overcome fear and self doubt we need more confidence, when what you really need is CLARITY.

Having clarity on what you want, what problem you solve, and how you solve it is a game-changer. Because then self doubt becomes irrelevant. You will be pulled forward by your vision instead of hamstrung by your fears. So how do you get clarity?

Answer the following questions:

What problem do you want to solve? All great ideas start by seeing a gap. I've been listening to the How I Built This Podcast a lot recently and every single interview has something in common - they saw a gap or a problem or a missing piece in the world, and decided to create a solution. Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, came up with the idea because she couldn't wear normal underwear with a pair of white pants. So, she solved her own problem, and the problem of millions of other women.

What's your solution? What would you LOVE to see happen in response to that problem? For me, I see too many women holding themselves back because of fear and self-doubt, so I have dedicated myself to creating as many inspirational, educational, and transformational experiences as possible (including coaching, writing, and speaking) so that they can access their magic and create change in the world. Your solution can be coaching, or it could be a product or a different kind of service. 

What do you stand for? When asked, most of know what we are AGAINST. But if we focus on the negative we get more negative back, so a much more effective question is what are you FOR? It could be organic food for everyone, or a good night's sleep, or happy, healthy children. You can stand for things in your personal life as well as in your business, and it's very possible they will overlap. For example, one of my clients is an intuitive counselor and she stands for everyone to get in touch with their intuitive knowing to change their life - which happens to be what she teaches.

What's your vision? Knowing your vision, your WHY, for your personal life and for the world, is one of the most powerful exercises you can undertake. Having a crystal-clear vision will help pull you forward, even when fear and self doubt want to hold you back. One of my favorite quotes is, "the only prerequisite to leadership is having a vision for change," so whether that's a small change in your family life or a world-changing movement, clarifying and staying connected to your vision is one of the most powerful things you can do.

So next time you're thinking to yourself, I just wish I had more confidence, check yourself. Where are you unclear? Where have you gotten disconnected from your vision, your solution, or what you stand for? Spend some time getting reconnected, and watch inspiration soar.

I would LOVE to hear your answers and reflections on these questions - come on over to our Magic Circle Facebook group and share away!