§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD!

Why It’s Necessary to Go Within (Especially Now)

Jun 2, 2020


I’m noticing more and more how in times of stress, we fall back on old defense mechanisms, even those we thought we let go of a long time ago.

It makes sense. Defense mechanisms are there to help protect us in times of great duress. We use them all the time, but they really come to the fore, perhaps in exaggerated ways, when we are under major stress.
For instance, I thought that I was doing just fine navigating these crazy times. And in many ways, I was. I found myself:

Remaining hopeful and seeing possibilities for a wonderful future for myself, my family and even, humanity.


Being creative in carving out self-care time to feed my body, mind and spirit .


Being of service, through my coaching work, Passion & Purpose Life Course, Extraordinary Life After 40 summit and Wisdom Wednesdays, and embarking on a new work project (writing a book!) which fed my soul and my intellect .


Doing more housework than I have done in a decade (and that’s with my husband doing the bulk of the cleaning in the house)


Keeping the anxiety and stresses to a minimum (or so I thought)


Tending to my relationships and navigating complex dynamics well (or so I thought)


Being flexible in juggling a new reality (or so I thought)

I felt like I was moving at 100 mp/h, each minute accounted for, in an effort to squeeze it all in and get it all done.

But these are crazy and unusual times”, I kept telling myself as I fell into bed exhausted each night around midnight.

When I stopped long enough to feel, even for a second, I knew deep inside that I just couldn’t keep up this pace.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I interviewed Barbara Dossey, a wise woman and pioneer in the personal development field, for my Extraordinary Life After 40 summit in September.

Barbara is amazing! Her energy is luminous and her beauty and grace are unparalleled.

We talked about reinventing yourself through the decades and there was so much wisdom shared!

My personal biggest take-away (because we always get just what we need, if we’re open to receiving it) was:

How important it was to come back to the still place within myself, the place in which all inner peace lives.

I realized that in an effort to “get it all done”, I had cut out silent meditation from my daily self-care practice. I still did Joe Dispenza’s morning meditation (where I visualize the future I want to create) and it has been great at creating a hopeful future.

But I desperately missed accessing the silence deep within myself.

So I decided right then and there, during my interview with Barbara, to give myself 20 minutes every day, when I first wake up, to sit in silent mediation.

I didn’t know how I was going to make the time but I knew that it was a necessity.

And I made it happen. (Funny, how we can always make the time for what’s important to us.)

Sitting in silence was difficult at first. I had become so used to the rushing around that it was challenging to stop and do nothing other than focus on my breath.

Yet within a couple of days, I started to sink into the luxury of twenty minutes with nothing to do but try to focus my awareness on my breathing.

I began to crave this time of SILENCE.

The silence was a healing balm for my soul.

I know that one of my defense mechanisms is to stay super busy, but it was eye-opening to see how I had taken busyness to a whole new level.
I stay busy to try to control the uncontrollable. To give order to my life when there’s chaos all around me.
Underneath it all, I realized that I wanted to be too busy to be anxious. To not feel the pain of those around me nor the grief of what has been lost.
I KNOW (without a shadow of a doubt) that something beautiful will come to fruition during this period. I am already formulating a clear and beautiful vision on what I want the next chapter of my life to be (more on that later). I feel excited about it all.
And I also feel grief. For the suffering of people around the world right now, for the angst of my teenagers who want to be with their friends, for the sadness of my 9 year-old who desperately misses our cats back in Colombia. For everybody, who is longing for companionship, love, support and home right now.

As I sat in silence, following my breath, I accessed my deepest feelings.

I imagined holding these feelings as I would a newborn baby. I cried. I journaled. I had deep conversations with my husband and dear friends.
And I felt something deep inside me shift.

I felt myself exhale in the stillness, like I haven’t done in a long time.

I found my anchor again.
I was given guidance on what to focus on next: I needed to let go of the to-do list and focus solely on my purpose – to be of service and help elevate consciousness and ease suffering.
To learn more fully how to live with an open, patient heart. To feel joy, and love, even if my heart broke into a thousand pieces. To trust that I have the resilience to put it back together again.
I started making some changes.

I opened up to the people I love like I haven’t in years.

I bared my soul. Had long overdue conversations and set some boundaries, where necessary. I apologized for all the ways my busyness kept me from fully being there for them. We re-connected and I was reminded that all that truly matters is human connection.

I rearranged my calendar to spread out a month’s workload over 3 months.

I let out a deep sigh of relief. I now have several hours built into each day with nothing scheduled. They are filled up with more impromptu heart-to-heart conversations, bike rides and walks in nature with my girls, sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico with my husband. And perhaps, most importantly, time for me to think and to feel.

I made some important mental adjustments.

I take my commitments and plans very seriously. I learned from my immigrant family to work hard (read: all the time) and push (read: try to control) to make life work out how I want it to. Yet, I realized that it was imperative for me to give myself a break and allow for things to evolve over a longer time frame. To allow myself to flow and dance with the magic of the Universe. I decided to give myself a break and see my writing group as an opportunity to become a better writer, to be in community with amazing women and to keep my dream of working on a book alive. I don’t actually have to write the whole book this summer!

I called a family meeting and revisited the chore chart.

We now have an even better idea of what it takes to keep the house running with everybody at home all of the time. It was time for my husband and I to stop taking more and more responsibility for the house on ourselves and divide it amongst all five family members.

I made sitting in silent meditation a part of my daily routine.

What about you? How are your defense mechanisms showing up? And more importantly, how are you relating to them?

You know I love hearing from you so feel free to leave a comment below or email me at natalie@nataliematushenko.com


Happy Tuesday!




P.S. If you haven’t already, check out my Wisdom Wednesday series!

These are FREE 5 – 10 minute short, actionable videos recorded with me FOR YOU by world-renowned experts to help you thrive in these challenging times.

Last week, I featured the wise Arielle Ford, who shared with you how to thrive in confinement with those you love. Of you don’t catch this, make sure you do.

This week, I’m interviewing two amazing women, who will share with you how to thrive and feel your best in these challenging times.

-Dr. Anna Cabeca – an internationally-acclaimed menopause and sexual health expert, best-selling author, global speaker and pioneering promoter of women’s health.

-Barbara Dossey, PhD – a wise, wise woman who is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the holistic nursing and nurse coaching movements and author or co-author of 25 books.

Don’t miss these!!!

You can watch these short, actionable videos for FREE on my Extraordinary Life After 40 private Facebook group page or you can sign up here to watch it on my website.

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