I'm a convert
I'm a big city girl who loves living on my 2 acre permaculture block in New Zealand. I love summer river swims and hanging out with my two boys and two border collies. I'm a yoga convert. My house is always full of people and I love hearing their stories.
I've escaped a corporate career that felt hypocritical and burnt me out. I've escaped eating disorders, years of anxiety and depression and even more years of meandering around not being sure what to do with my life. I've escaped having to compromise my values and integrity just to keep a job. I'm still escaping self-doubt, procrastination, the desire to please and distraction on a daily basis.
Leaving an entire life and career behind and settling into a new country. Implementing a sustainable lifestyle I'm satisfied with, a toxin free household and a healthy diet. Teaching hundreds of people about sustainability. Raising two home-born, Steiner schooled happy boys. Building a wonderful, peaceful co-parenting relationship with their dad and stepmum. Keeping well in challenging circumstances. Oh - and a degree in law.
People and places. Loved ones. Money and - temporarily - happiness. I've also lost fear and increasingly inhibition. I've lost patience regularly and my cool often enough as well. I've lost my heart and had it broken - and I've lost all sanity and reason at times.
I'm a believer
I believe in purpose and planet. I believe we collectively have massive environmental and social problems to solve and I believe we can do this by creating fulfillment and happiness that has nothing to do with material stuff: through purpose, belonging and reconnection. I believe in building new systems that make the old ones obsolete. I believe in questioning everything, taking nothing for granted and taking full responsibility for our lives and our happiness.
Hi, I'm Natalie.
Pioneer of the great undoing, new paradigm advocate, strong woman and freedom seeker.
I'm an impact mentor, life and business coach and strategist. But, no, it's not how you think. I will not promise you the quickest way to the biggest car. That's for others to do.
I spent most of my life working on creating environmental and social justice - through law, corporate strategy, community work and personal lifestyle changes.
My approach to 'get what you want in life' comes with a specifier: Get what you want in a way that contributes to the world, doesn't take away from others and is aligned with who you REALLY are. Because there is only ONE way you can truly reach fulfillment: By doing the right thing.
Hitting rock bottom with depression and anxiety at a stage of my life gave me the gift of understanding why people do what they do, why they feel the way they feel and where true happiness comes from. And with that, I saw where the power for change really lies.
Today I live my life of freedom on my 2-acre permaculture block and I help people grow their impact, discover what they are actually capable of, navigate change with more ease and reach their goals in a way that meets their needs and the needs of the planet, other people and future generations.
How I got here
The first time I realized something wasn't right was when I was about 8 years old. My mother had given me a magazine subscription for Christmas - a then typical young person's magazine, but one of the slightly more intelligent kind. The early 80s in Germany were a time of environmentalism on the rise and in the magazine I spotted an article covering the killing of young white baby seals in the Arctic by fur hunters. They were beaten to death with clubs as to not spoil the fur with bullet holes.
I was utterly distraught - and sometimes, you can't un-see what you have seen and your attention is grabbed. Over the next few years, I witnessed debates about acid rain, the 'greenhouse effect' and - Tschernobyl, leaving me unable to play outside for what seemed like months.
In my quest to just 'do something!' I followed various pursuits: studying environmental law and policy, then working as a consultant in corporate environmental strategy. Even though I succeeded, change was slow and often a series of compromise.
When my children were born, the game changed. Suddenly, stuff got personal. Looking into my baby's eyes I knew it was ME who had to change more than anything. I learned to master and expand my circle of influence like permaculture zones - working from the inside out. My quest became one for a healthy, organic, toxin free household. Round about the same time, our TV blew up and we started watching documentaries on DVD instead - learning more about the imminent perils of the converging crises of Peak Oil and Climate change. If we weren't freaked out before, we were now and became what I'd call lightweight 'preppers'. We dug up the back lawn and started growing food and keeping chickens. When we ended up with a pet lamb escaping to eat the neighbours roses, we knew it was time to move. Armed with a permaculture checklist, we went house-hunting and two years later, in 2010, we moved to our beautiful lifestyle section in Upper Hutt, converting it to food production based on permaculture principles.
However, as we and routines settled in, life continued happening - and not in a good way. I started suffering from anxiety and depression which was - somewhat peculiarly - unrelated to thinking the world is ending. I fell deep, leading to significant consequences. I emotionally missed out on years of my kid's childhood, I left my relationship and was at times suicidal. While some of my sustainable habits continued, I moved back into town, just trying to get through the days. Your world gets very small when you are struggling. Being in a new relationship with a recent widower struggling with depression and suddenly being a stepmother to two teenage daughters on top of it all didn't help. You might say, it was a compounding catastrophe.
Years of counselling improved the situation significantly but I still wasn't really winning. I had to abandon my freedom and took a job to pay the mortgage in order to move back onto our land. And while I got to teach sustainability as part of my work - which was a privilege - I continued to struggle through life's challenges.
By 2016 I was truly over it all. I was frustrated with my work. My relationship was still a struggle. I got a flu and actually took sick leave, which rarely happened. And here's where it gets cheesy: on day one, I watched "I am not your guru" on Netflix - a documentary about life coach Tony Robbins. I was mesmerized. On day 2 and 3 of being ill I watched every scrap of material of Robbins Interventions I could find on YouTube. I cried for most of that time. Day 4 I dragged myself to the library to check out all the books on NLP I could find. By day 7 my entire perspective on life had completely transformed. Anxiety and depression moved over for good, to make room for a new life. I felt like I had been living in a dark room for all of my life and then someone came along and turned the light on. The change was permanent - I now knew where the switch was. I signed up for the Robbins-Madanes Life Coach training. I became completely obsessed with learning about 'mental mastery' - and I'm still obsessed today. Early in 2017, I started coaching other people.
But back to my sustainability journey. Having taught hundreds of people about sustainable living, through workshops and courses, one of the things that stood out the most was that the biggest barrier to implementing sustainable lifestyle changes for most people wasn't the lack of information. What got in the way were some of the same reasons getting in the way of every lifestyle change - not setting clear goals, competing priorities, lack of family support. With the added challenge of having to withstand the pressures of the dominant culture, which -alone - is huge.
This is where my journeys meet. Back to mindset work and self-mastery. While my training as a life coach taught me to cope with all sorts of my own challenges, I was now also able to support people on their sustainability journey in a more holistic, powerful way.
Today, my job is to come in and say “It IS possible, there ARE different ways of doing things - and it’s time they actually happen’ Because this is actually bigger than just you and me.
I’m not here to fix your life. I’m here to fiercely believe that you already know where you want to take it. I’m here to help you clear the clutter that is in your way so that you can do your bit to help lead a change. I’m here to help you see each obstacle as a gift which is going to speed up your journey. I’m here to help you shout back at the voices in your head that tell you it’s too late, too hard, too frightening. The ones that say it is hopeless.
I think we’re right ahead of a real paradigm shift, and often there just isn’t a beaten track - that’s when we create one. This is completely new territory and we’re drawing the map together as we go. Don’t get left behind.
The beauty of coaching is that in order to fix the big stuff - you HAVE to fix the small stuff. People that are unfulfilled, unhappy, stressed or burnt out are NOT going to be the best they can be for the rest of us. They’re going to make bad decisions and we’ve had enough of those. So if you’re not 100% in the best place in your life - we’re going to sort that out.I’ve worked on sustainability my whole life, and from pretty much every possible angle. I’ve been everywhere from high level government to business to communities and households. One thing I’ve learned from all of that is that EVERYTHING is about people. People created the systems we live in, and people need to change them. And whatever stuff gets in the way of you doing your bit - we’re going to get rid of it.
Everything I do, I do because I believe in it. I offer nothing that I haven’t tried and tested myself and if it’s done less than turn my own life around, in a small or a big way - forget it. To sum it up, I believe the future is going to be unlike the past, unlike a somehow bigger or better version of what we have already experienced. The evidence for that is all around us, and it is overwhelming. Climate change, resource depletion, economic collapse are going to mean our society is going undergo rapid and fundamental change in the next decade alone. Which means, we are faced with humanities biggest opportunity. We can rebuild our culture to be sustainable, regenerative, inclusive, collaborative and resilient. So I say it’s time for you to be part of the solution. Because we have all been part of the problem for long enough.
Certifications and credentials
Certified Strategic Intervention Life Coach - Robbins-Madanes Training
Life coach training institute co-founded by world famous life coach Anthony Robbins. Read more about Strategic Intervention here.
Certified NLP practitioner
Certified ULab Facilitator
Level 2 Reiki practitioner
Judge's qualification (High court of Hamburg, Germany)
LL.B (University of Hamburg)
Courses I'm currently taking:
Counseling Practitioner Certification
Certified Business Coach
Tony Robbins Leadership Mastery