I’m so happy that you’re here

Welcome to Mindful Natalie, where I share my experience of learning to create calm and embrace joy inside chronic illness, heart-crumbling grief, and life’s seasons of deep pain.

In 2017, I began sharing my journey as @mindfulmigraine on Instagram. That initial account has now grown into my life’s passion and a vibrant engaged community of souls deeply committed to weathering life’s storms with mindfulness, resilience, and radical self-love.

I’m here to share my process and point the way toward cultivating a life well-loved, no matter the challenges along the way. It is an absolute honor and delight to connect with you.

My story

Inside a decade filled with debilitating daily symptoms, heartbreaking grief, and multiple chronic health conditions — I have learned that even when it all goes “wrong” — I can choose to love my life more than I hate my pain.

Until the age of 19, I lived my life on steady ground; largely unaffected by health issues and untouched by the harsh sting of grief. Over the next decade, I experienced worsening health that impacted every area of my life – relationships, work, school, exercise, socializing, intimacy, travel… and everything in between. 

I believe that wellness is attainable while living with chronic illness.

As I lost the sense of safety I’d always felt in my own body to chronic, daily pain – and the friends and family I cherish most were touched by suicide, cancer, addiction, and death – the canyon of grief and groundlessness I felt widened.

During the same time period when my peers were individuating and breaking out into the world, I found myself isolated, discouraged, and afraid. My feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and sadness were consuming and constant. It was terrifying to lose my ability to function normally due to increasing physical pain, and not understand why it was happening or how to stop it.

My days became long strings of “damage control” in an attempt to manage all of the ways my health issues were throwing my life “off track”. I was desperately doggie-paddling through waves of grief, pain, and fear, looking everywhere but within for answers.

After seeing dozens of specialists and experts, I was slowly confronted with the frightening realization that my health problems had no quick fix.  Meanwhile, the deep ache of grief from experiencing loss after loss of loved ones tore through me with white-hot intensity. 

I wearily committed to trying out a mindfulness practice in the Fall of 2016 in an attempt to find more peace – despite my entire world devolving into what felt like a downward spiral.

Exploring mindfulness gradually allowed me to shift my perception of the pain I was experiencing and reframe it in a more supportive way; helping to ease the lows and give me more presence during the highs.

As this mindset slowly became rooted in my daily experience,  I decided that there must be a way to love my life, more than I hated my pain. At just 24 years old, I wasn’t willing to release all of my dreams for the future and resign myself to a life ruled by chronic pain.

That mindset shift was the catalyst that led me to move from despair to mindful awareness. 

What has occurred since then has been a surprising and miraculous gift. I cannot help but reflect with awe at the personal growth that’s unfolded alongside the most challenging experiences of my life to date.

Surviving pain that’s felt unbearable, and emerging a softer, braver being, has taught me that no matter my circumstances, living in a state of gratitude is a choice. A value I can strengthen through commitment and repetition. A practice that has the power to shift the way I view and feel about myself and the world. A resource with which I can tap into a thankfulness that is so solid, it cannot be uprooted by any storm.

As I came to know this present, loving, compassionate, and empowered version of myself, I found the confidence to share my story on social media. Transforming my pain and alchemizing it into a mindset rooted in loving-kindness has filled me with a deep sense of purpose.

Today, I believe that wellness is attainable while living with chronic illness; that connecting to the current of unconditional love humming beneath every moment can soften even the most jagged edges of difficult experiences.

Here at Mindful Natalie, you’ll find a holistic approach to cultivating a life well-loved, even while navigating hurt and hardship. An authentic reflection of my journey as I continue to meet each day with as much acceptance as possible and walk the tightrope of surrender and hope.

It’s my deepest hope that in continuing to share my journey of mindful healing, you will come across tools that you can use in discovering your personal recipe for well-being. From the skills that have helped me transform my reality to the words that have guided me home to my heart — I hope to help light the way for you, too.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being here.
I cannot wait to see where we will go next!


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