natalienorton natalienorton

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Natalie Norton  Motivational speaker, writer, coach. Wife to @richie_norton & mom to 3 boys + one who lives in Heaven. Showing up for life & helping you do the same.

📸 I’m probably saying something like, “Show up for your life—come what may—you beautiful masterpiece of a human!”⁣

But let’s pretend I’m saying, “chill the crap out, baby girl. EVERYTHING is going to be JUST FINE.” Because that would be an important message, as well... not to mention EQUALLY AS TRUE. (You can trust me, I have a fuzzy microphone.) ⁣

Xo, N

📸 So cold, I couldn’t quite smile all the way ooor get my eyes totally open.🤷🏻‍♀️⁣⁣⁣⁣
Working hard (x 10) over here on this book project & learning (& re-learning) a thing or 2 (or a billion) about overcoming resistance & fear. ⁣⁣⁣⁣
you’ll always be scared & resistance never goes away. So just do your work, anyway.⁣⁣⁣⁣
it’s amazing how hard the brain is willing to work to keep a human from completing a task—even when it’s something that really, deeply, profoundly matters to them! ⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣, it’s an actual battle ⚔️for me to cut through the resistance I experience & just get my butt in the freaking chair. 👩🏽‍💻⁣⁣⁣⁣
But here’s the thing, in my deepest of guts, I believe this message matters. And it’s EVIDENT to me that my purpose, my passion & my desire ARE bigger than my fear. So onward I press. (Even though it’s always going to be hard.) ⁣⁣⁣⁣
Friends, where is your passion & purpose > than your fear? Because as I work on this little book of mine, I’m increasingly convinced: our gifts & talents—AND PASSIONS—genuinely matter. The longer I stay in this hard, uncomfortable, exhausting space of creation, the more sure I am that these “things” are divinely planted in our individual hearts & minds, FOR A PURPOSE.⁣⁣⁣⁣
Sure, we can choose action or inaction. That’s absolutely our prerogative. But what if your specific, divinely inspired talent/idea/passion is meant to further align your family, your community—the WORLD—with God? What if your unique “thing” is meant to make a difference in the cause of light & love? If you KNEW that was the case, would you really hold out on us? Or would you put your figurative butt in the chair & do the hardest work of your life?!⁣⁣
Because I’m standing here, right in front of you, saying:⁣⁣⁣⁣
So let’s press on, through the resistance & fear! It’s unlikely to get easier, but it’s worth the fight! ⁣

My grandmother’s suicide, my own experience with depression, my mom’s unfailing commitment to destigmatize the mental health conversation throughout my entire childhood—these are just a few of the topics I covered yesterday on my Instagram Story.⁣⁣
The response.was.STAGGERING. ⁣⁣
So many of you reached out to share your own stories, to ask questions about how to talk to your own children about mental health, and with an eagerness to know my personal depression treatment plan and how I got to where I am now. I hear you, I see you, I love you! And moving forward, I’m committing to share more, more, more about this part of my personal journey! ⁣⁣
But first, I have to make one thing undeniably clear: I have ZERO shame about my diagnoses (yes, plural, and specifically: Treatment Resistant Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and ADD).⁣⁣
If you hear nothing else from me, ever, in either of our lives on this planet, please hear this: ⁣⁣
There is NO healthy place for shame in human existence. ⁣⁣
Unlike guilt, which is a feeling we experience when we do something wrong, shame is the feeling of BEING something wrong. It is absolutely unproductive, and frankly, it’s the most filthy of all the bold faced, liar, liar, pants on fire emotions there is. And it’s time to kick that vile son of a B word to the curb, once.and.for.mother.loving.all.⁣⁣
And when it comes specifically to shame and mental health, if an individual experiences feelings of shame surrounding their condition, they’re significantly less likely to seek out necessary treatment and support. That’s not just heartbreaking—it’s tragic. (And it should not be happening in the year of our Lord, 2018—for crying out loud). ⁣⁣
Are people ashamed of a celiac diagnosis? What about type one diabetes? How about cancer? Should an individual experience shame over any of the aforementioned diagnoses? Absolutely not. And our mental illnesses are precisely the same. ⁣⁣
Got that?! There is absolute equality between mental and physical illness. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.⁣

This is me committing to DO MORE to open my heart and my mouth—I hope and pray it will bless a life or two along the way.

You probably didn’t know that, collectively, you’re unlikely to “like” this post as much as others in my feed. You probably didn’t know that collectively, you tend to “like” photos of my face a whole lot, photos of me with my kids a fair amount, but photos of me with @richie_norton? Those are, generally, your collective favorite of all. 💋
And I’ve gotta say, I love, love, LOVE how much you love me—don’t for a single second get me wrong! But you see, I also really LOVE YOU, too. And part of that love is, I think, best expressed by not showing you my face all the live-long day... by not jumping through all the hoops and gimmicks of Instagram algorithms and impressions and a million etceteras I don’t pretend for a solitary second to actually understand.
Ultimately, I’m here, because I genuinely love you. Ultimately, I’m here, because I never want you to feel like you have to walk through life all alone. Ultimately, I’m here, because I want you to know that you’re seen, that you’re doing a GREAT JOB, and that EVERY.SINGLE.THING is going to be just fine.
Based on past experience, it’s safe to say I’ll likely lose some followers because of this post. And that’s ok. Because what I share here, that beautiful thing that you and I create together in this space, that genuine friendship, free flowing encouragement and unconditional love? Well, it’s not the right brand of those things for everyone. And that’s a-OK. 💋
Because I’m doing the best I can, and I see you out there, friend. Doing the very best YOU can. And likes and unfollows and all that inconsequential mumbo-jumbo aside, I’m just feeling awfully blessed to be doing the best that I can with a team of courageous friends like YOU by my side. 💋
Namaste, beautiful you. Namaste. 🙏🏼

Are you ok?
I mean, really. Do you feel good, enthusiastic and joyful inside yourself? Are you living in eager and hope-filled anticipation of the what’s nexts of your life? Do you LIKE being you?
We don’t have to be happy all the time. In fact, the idea of being happy all the time is an illusion—and a dangerous one at that. Talk about setting yourself up to constantly fall short! What I’m talking about here is not happiness....
I’m talking about ok-ness:
•an inherent sense of well-being
•a genuine connection to personal worth/power
•hope for a future as bright as your potential (which is limitless—but also completely connected to your actual DESIRE for your don’t have to put on a cape and go out and save the world! Unless you WANT that for your life. Your potential is limitless, yes. But part of being OK is really understanding that you’re in charge of your life, and that however you choose to invest yourself is allowed and absolutely OK.)
So I’ll ask again, are you OK? Because the older I get and the more I experience of the wishy-washy ebb and flow of life, the more I prefer my ok-ness to anything else. Because once you find that special space of peace and fulfillment, it’s as constant as your willingness to stay open to divine light and love. Being ok isn’t a fickle friend. It’s a foundation to help you better weather and enjoy the vast gamut of other emotions inherent to human existence. ❤️
Want to “get to” OK? The only prerequisites to begin that soul expanding journey are radical gratitude for every blessing in your life and a heart that’s wide open to whatever God has in store. (And wether you realize it if not, you’re absolutely ok already. You just have to decide to believe that’s true.)

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer

There’s nothing quite like creating some real distance between yourself and your day to day patterns, rituals & habits — in thought, word & deed. There’s nothing like taking a few steps back, genuinely looking at what’s what and getting clear about where you’re headed and why.

85 days is a little excessive, perhaps, but talk about newfound perspective! (For which I am PROFOUNDLY & ETERNALLY grateful, I might add.)

But this kind of life-altering paradigm shift doesn’t require months upon months, nor does it necessitate a trip around the globe. It reeeeeeally doesn’t. Sorry, but not a single one of us is off the hook, because ultimately, lasting, soul-rattling positive change—to the way we see the world, the way we interact with the world and the way we feel inside our bodies and souls during this earthly existence—is all about CHOICE. ✨
Choosing a heart that’s wide open.

Choosing to silence ego so spirit can speak.

Choosing to see past the end of one’s own nose to more clearly appreciate challenges within the context of life at large.

Choosing hope.

Choosing to find (or better, to CREATE) beauty, everywhere.

Choosing to work really hard for what matters most, every damn day.

Choosing to truly show up for the divine light that burns brightly within every one of us. (Yes, YOU, too!)

Choosing forgiveness—for ALL, including oneself.

Choosing kindness.

Choosing love.

Once all is said and done, folks, it all boils down to choosing to choose. Does that make sense? We aren’t the victims of some cosmic melodrama. We’re living, breathing, free agents of LOVE, committed to the cause of LIGHT. And damnit, we get one shot at this life thing, so please, God, help us choose to live it well!! 🙏🏼

PS I’m officially back in the USA 🇺🇸, but posting a picture of me inside of an elevator in Istanbul. 🇹🇷 Because 🧕🏼🕌😍💋🙏🏽—and also because those freaking curls. 😍#amiright

Everybody can dream, some people will plan, but very few will actually DO.
And for a lot of years, that’s been me, with this book. I’ve been wandering around in this labyrinth called “research” and “personal development” and “timing,” until finally, I realized, the walls kept moving and the way kept morphing and I wasn’t going to ever actually make my way to David Boie. So I finally just plopped myself down, took out my laptop and started to write. (And the hope is that maybe, if I write long enough, the goblin king will make his way to me.) And this bold “starting,” this “doing” didn’t make all the ideas and inspiration suddenly settle and flow in profound and powerful ways. The process became even more excruciating and demanded even more discipline than ever before. But there is power in the doing, there’s an energy there. And I’m positive it leads somewhere I REALLY want to be.
After all this spillage of the guts, what I would say to myself and to anyone else out there in the muck of it all is, just get your butt in that chair and start the doing. Then, stay there, in the doing. Even if you’re only producing garbage. Stay. Sit in the garbage, and keep creating more. Because, at some point, perhaps imperceptibly, it won’t be garbage any more. It might not be great, but it won’t be garbage. And then keep going. And suddenly, one day, you’ll be sitting inside all that mediocrity, all that not great but not garbage, and something brilliant will begin to form. And you’ll realize that all that time you spent waxing on and off, pouring words onto the page, was priming you for something great. You were excavating your actual SOUL. And yeah, there was a lot you had to unload before you got to that one real truth. But the truth will be so precious, so treasured, that you’ll nearly cry as you lay it down on the page. And in that moment, all the mess of it will have been worth it. Worth every cuss, every drop of anxious sweat and every single desperate tear.

This is what I’m hoping to be true, this is my confident expectation, for you and for me as well—that if we sit here long enough, odds are, we’ll eventually bump into something beautiful and real. Namaste. 🙏

Today was something else. “Unbelievable” doesn’t even touch the surface. 🇹🇷 I read this today, and it really struck a chord: “People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.”
Dagobert D. Runes
At first glance, I wanted to scoff at those words, but if I’m honest, there is some truth there. And I think there is for all of us. My goal, as I slowly creep toward the end of this phenomenal trip, is to see people and life and the world in general with more wonder and awe. The day in and day out interactions of our lives are exotic and foreign to someone, WE are exotic and foreign to someone. I wonder what would happen if we chose to look at our very own lives, through new eyes. . . 🇹🇷
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Sometimes, I hope you just do stuff that’s stupid and silly. ✨
Sometimes, I also hope you remember you’re allowed to post things that are legitimately just for you. Because they make you laugh so hard, and you never want to forget the time you and @annaistheworst rode the “for two people” elevator at your hotel in Athens (and there was no actual door, just the wall flying by).

6 years ago, today, my best friend’s universe crashed from orbit. Her 18 month old daughter, Penny, who was the sun, the moon and the stars in her family’s life, passed away in a drowning accident.

I “met” @_jillthomas the very next day. Hers was a desperate voice on the other side of the line—a voice I would come to know intimately, over many, many calls, over the many, many dark days and weeks and months that lay ahead. It was nearly a year (if my memory serves me correctly) before we would actually meet face to face. And as shared trauma tends to do, by then, we found ourselves already more sister than friend. ✨
We joke that Penny arranged our friendship. Like a blind date, in some dark, tragic comedy. But in reality, I’m not joking at all. I’m as clear that Penny’s magnetic light drew us together, that her fierce love for her mother orchestrated it all, as I am of ANYthing else in my life. The Penny I’ve come to know and adore would never have left her momma all alone. ✨
And now here we are, 6 of the longest, shortest years later. And I can honestly say, that (outside of Richie) there’s no one I’ve touched closer to both heaven and to hell with than this woman, right here.

And as some mystical bonus feature, our families have also grown together in the same light and love that we share! We’ve grown together through ADVENTURE and in and through that magical joie de vivre that only those who have been forced to recognize the absolute frailty and impermanence of human existence can ever really know. ✨
And the price my sister in soul had to pay for all this magic in all our lives was much too high. Impossible, even! And I’d give anything to take it all away. But tonight, as I meditate on the light and the personification of LOVE that is Penny K, how deeply grateful I am to her for sharing her greatest light of all, her momma, with little ‘ol me.... somehow I think that baby girl knew, it wasn’t just her mom who needed me, I think Penny also knew how very much I needed her mom. ✨
Jill, I’ve been celebrating your girl, all day, my friend! I love you!

I haven’t worn makeup in days. BLISS.
I’ve been writing at least 3,000 words per day. (Today, I well surpassed 10,000 words in one day, which felt, exhausting, I mean, significant.😍💪🏼)
My camera charger is broken, so I haven’t had a camera since before Greece... which was August 1. (None of the big French electronic stores carry my charger, and I forgot to borrow @_jillthomas’ before they left😭.) This makes me so sad, because I only have iPhone pictures from my time with @raleighnorton in Greece and I hardly even have that from my time here in Toulouse (@richie_norton is the unabashed selfie fanatic in our family). HOWEVER, this no camera situation has simplified my life, greatly. And that has been heavenly, as now, more than ever, I need to keep things simple! (Writing is WORK for this brain, folks. I don’t feel like my thinker ever quite recovered post stroke, so I’ve gotta simplify where I can or I might just lose what’s left of my marbles. 😂)
All that said, I’ve made a very important life decision. Ready? Tomorrow.... I’m going to buy.... a selfie stick. 😂🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ Because well, I just gotta. It’s ok, kids. I’ll still be the same ‘ol me. Just more embarrassed about my life.... like, in general.
On Friday morning, I’m leaving France, but I’m not headed for Hawaii just yet. (Thus my sudden desire for a selfie stick. Momma’s gotta document!) Any guesses where I’m going next?! Tell me in the comments! Winner gets eternal glory! And this emoji trophy right here 🏆.

I’m trying to write a book.
Before I started actually trying to write a book, when I was just dreaming and thinking about writing a book someday, inspiration ran freely. Words and ideas and brilliant certainties flowed through me like cool water, promising to quench even the most parched of souls and revitalize even the most barren of lives.
And now. . .
And now.
Mother loving crickets. Somebody shoot me dead.

This is HARD. The hardest part? Well, I’ll tell you. Not getting in my own way with doubt or over-complication or thinking too hard about what I SHOULD write or about what people will WANT to read. . . and instead focusing on the message within me. Just letting that message be born.
See, I don’t want to just “write a book.” I want to birth a book. . . a message, something pure and real and brave. Something that matters. And I don’t care if only one person reads it, or nobody at all. As long as it’s pure and it’s brave and it’s true.
Ultimately, I’m writing because I’ve always felt called to do this work. Because, I don’t know what else I would do, or what else I would even dream of doing if not this. And I’m writing, because even if the world was ending and I was the last person left on earth, THIS is how I would choose to spend my time. I would still write. I would still dig deep and peer into the vast recesses of my soul and try to find light, hope and reason there. This is what makes me feel alive. This is what makes me feel like me.
To you out there, with dreams and hopes and goals. The only way to get going is to actually begin. And you still won’t know what you’re doing, and it won’t magically become easy, just because you’ve begun, but luck favors the prepared. . . and divine inspiration favors the life in motion. I know that to be true.
So here’s to us. To you and to me. Showing up, being brave, doing our best, come what may. Namaste. 📸from my story the other day when I demonstrated that the awesome vintage skirt I found in Toulouse, is actually PANTS! I know, right??! 😍

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