§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD!

How to Find Freedom (When You Feel Trapped)

Jun 9, 2023


For close to a decade, I had a burning desire to go live in an ashram in India for a couple of months and focus on my spiritual growth.

I desperately wanted to get away from my day-to-day routines, which mostly focused on meeting the needs of others, and have nothing to do but sleep, eat, reflect, study spiritual texts and meditate.

I wanted to quiet down all of the voices around me that were clamoring for my time and attention so I could hear the still, quiet voice of my own soul.

But I was a busy mama of three kids under 10 (and my youngest was only a year old) and my husband traveled all the time for work so escaping to an ashram for a few months wasn’t a realistic possibility.

It seemed pretty outrageous actually!

And yet, I couldn’t shake the desire. It felt like it belonged to the true me while this other, “fake” me was at home driving carpool and changing diapers.

At this point, I had been coaching clients for over a decade and I knew that behind every strong desire is an important need that needs to be addressed. I was not in the position to fulfill my desire but I knew that I had to uncover the need.

The need was actually quite simple: I needed time and space to go within.

So I decided to give that to myself.

ⱷ I started to make sure I got enough sleep.

ⱷ I went back to the vegetarian diet that always made my body feel lighter and healthier.

ⱷ I started studying spiritual texts – Thich Nat Hahn, Isha, Tara Brach, Etkar Tolle. And not just reading the books but really studying the messages, taking notes, reflecting on how it all applied to my life.

ⱷ I started meditating every day. I started with 5 minutes per day and worked my way up to 2 hours EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I changed. I was calmer and way more centered and peaceful. I was able to be more present in the moment. I remember spending a good thirty minutes mindfully observing a bug in the grass with my two-year old. I was just as into it as she was.

As I sat there meditating for hours every day, I started noticing how most of my thoughts were repetitive and not particularly supportive. I uncovered the underlying beliefs and worked to transform them into more empowering ones.

I learned how to simply sit with very painful emotions and just let them be without trying to change them. I was practicing Radical Acceptance as Tara Brach called it.

I became much more sensitive to energy and started noticing the people or experiences that drained my energy. I started saying “yes” to what I really wanted and “no” to what I really didn’t want. I renegotiated many implicit agreements in my marriage and my close relationships. Some relationships fell by the wayside but the ones that stayed in my life became truer and stronger.

My entire life changed for the better. All because I honored my strong desire and more importantly, the underlying need.

I CREATED MY OWN PERSONAL ASHRAM right here in Colombia.

And I no longer yearned to escape to India or anywhere else.

I was falling in love with myself and with my life.

So what about you? What’s the desire that is burning within you? And what’s the need underlying need it is trying to convey?

I would love to hear from you so feel free to send me an email at natalie@nataliematushenko.com.

Happy Tuesday!




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