I have adored this goddess from the moment I stumbled across her blog. After typing “goddess” in my WordPress Reader search field several months ago, I found The Hot Goddess, and I’m so happy I did! I wanted to find and follow other like-minded goddesses, and share with them my own journey of my goddess awakening. Natalie, is one of those goddesses who has had an incredible life journey, and she’s still on it! And over time, I have come to believe that her and I are kindred blogger spirits! It’s so amazing what happens when you open yourself to others.
Gradually, Natalie and I have been getting to know each other more, supporting each other through our shares, and in general, just thinking the other one kicks an insane amount of ass. And because I have been so inspired by her and her life, I wanted to pick her brain about that thing I wonder about all women.
THAT MOMENT WHEN YOU RECOGNIZE YOUR POWER AS A WOMAN
It sounds kind of generic because it’s actually so layered, and putting it into words is difficult. Back in 2017, I had my own goddess awakening. I share more about this in my article, “How Blogging Changed My Life.” And as I have been getting to know other goddesses, I have been realizing that I’m not the only one who had a moment. I’m not the only one who went through a series of life experiences, and then was hit with a zap of clarity. It’s an amazing occurrence that I don’t think can be forced. It’s rather divine, in fact. But I think it can happen to any of us, at any time, when The Goddesses deem it so.
So, I decided to ask Natalie to share with me, and with all of you, her experience of awakening. Or, as I describe it, “The Moment When The Goddess Arrived.” It sounds intimidating and otherworldly. But really, it’s about recognizing your own worth, like for real. I always thought I was confident and worthy. But I ALWAYS put men before myself, in big and small ways. So, for many years, I was not fully inhabited by The Goddess, even though I was on my way.
I’m sure you all recognize your worth to some degree! But I also wonder if there are areas in your life where you do put yourself below others. In sharing Natalie’s story, I hope to inspire you to explore your own goddess path. And OMG, if you have a story to share, please let me know! The more we exchange our stories, the more others will benefit.
So, without further ado, I’m going to pass the baton over to the beautiful, the vibrant, the one-of-a-kind, the super badass, Natalie. I hope you find as much inspiration from her words as I do!
GA: What was happening in your life in the years leading up to that moment when you went from living your life as a disempowered goddess, to an empowered one? This is the moment I refer to as “when the goddess arrived.”
Natalie: I was 60 before I claimed my goddess arrival. I began to put some profound life changes in motion at 59 — retiring early from my second career as a teacher, and traveling around the world for 70 days as a first-time solo traveler — but I still struggled to completely believe in my own power. I still gave too much control to the voice inside my head and its defeating, negative self-chatter.
Prior to 59, I’d spent decades doing what other people expected of me, and not giving any power to my own needs, or the importance of taking time to understand what those needs were. People had expectations of me, and I needed to meet those expectations. There were appearances to be kept up. I was successful professionally and academically. I won awards and earned promotions. A company vice president, then a business owner, then a teacher with two master’s degrees and an award that took her to the Oval Office of the White House to meet the President of the United States. There was no space for being, for finding, me. No space or framework for contemplating what joy might feel like.
I may have seemed outwardly together, but I was also a woman who’d survived a very nearly successful suicide attempt and multiple opiod overdoses in my 20s. Gotten divorced in my 30s, and again in my 40s. Lost two beloved best friends to cancer. Spent my 50s in a long-term, highly toxic relationship. And watched my father slowly slip away to Alzheimer’s and cancer before finally helping him die in hospice care at home.
Despite my public successes and facade of confident strength, these private sufferings left me feeling powerless, unhappy, and unworthy. There was no room for the frivolity of fulfillment. No time for the indulgence of introspection. No realization of a right to self-love and -acceptance. I had other work to do. Other priorities to tend to. Other people’s needs to address.
GA: Describe how you came to realize your power. Was it an aha moment, or did it take place over a series of events?
Natalie: As is often the case, it was profound loss that acted as the catalyst for my change. The death of my father and the overdue ending of a relationship triggered my transformation. I’d finally given myself permission to be happy, at 59, but I didn’t truly trust that happiness until after I turned 60. That’s when I created The Hot Goddess website for a class I was taking. The site was not public. And I found a liberating, yet safe and controlled freedom to “share” my voice in a private blog that no one could see on the Internet.
I wrote and posted privately for months leading up to my 61st birthday, and felt more and more empowered by the words I typed on my screen. Finally, I reached the point where I didn’t want to hide my words anymore. There was power there, rising from my writing, and I thought it might inspire others. I was ready to share my unfiltered truth with the world, though I was afraid — very afraid — to be so open and raw and vulnerable where everyone could see. I think that’s when the goddess light cast its long beam and gave me the courage I needed. Courage to be bold, and to stop caring about what other people think. Courage to ignore my self-critical chatter, and to act in the face of overthinking. And courage to claim my power, my voice, and my happiness — out loud and in public.
That shit is no joke. It’s kick-ass, but it’s also fluid. It rises and recedes. It’s not a constant, never-failing courage yet. But it is an enduring frame of mind that rebounds quicker and prevails over doubt and fear faster and with more power and resilience. That’s what I consider goddess power.
GA: Ever since “the goddess arrived,” what changes have you made in your life?
Natalie: Besides retiring solo and traveling around the world by myself for two and a half months with just one carryon bag, I also simplified my life by minimizing my belongings, giving away 40 percent of my stuff. I’m much bolder now — unapologetic in my authenticity — and more willing to take risks and face fears. I’m embracing curiosity with wild abandon, learning new and unexpected skills without worrying what people think. I practice not giving a fuck, often. At 61, I became an intern in a bourbon distillery thanks to my newly discovered goddess power and the confidence it instills.
The way I date changed, as I opened my mind and my heart to new types of people. An open mind is a powerful mind and a gateway to a joyful life. I still struggle with overthinking and negative self-talk, but far less than I used to. I love myself more, especially when there are setbacks and disappointments. I’m loving myself unconditionally. I walk away from bullshit. I’ve always been the queen of walking away, actually, but it was always from a place of fear and uncertainty, and sometimes on a whim of anger. That kind of walking away can lead to falling back. Now, if this goddess walks away from something or someone it’s from a place of confidence and power.
GA: Can you share some of the things that make you most happy right now?
Natalie: I’m writing a blog post now about what “happy” is. I think we get it wrong when we think happiness comes from extraordinary things happening in our lives. For me, happiness comes from noticing and appreciating all the little ordinary things that make me smile and bring me moments of joy every day. “Happy” feelings can be fleeting yet recurring. I often say I am now the happiest I have ever been in my entire life, with the exception of the day my son and only child was born. That doesn’t mean I am never sad or disappointed now. It means I’ve allowed myself to take notice and soak in more of all the little ordinary moments of happy feelings that occur throughout my day. It means I’ve given myself permission to be happy by finding happy in small or big things everywhere. Some of these things include:
- Conversations and time with my adult son
- Making bourbon, and seeing my little biceps pop when I flip bourbon barrels
- Writing and reading Portuguese without using Google Translate
- Watching the sun rise over the lake, and walking by the lake listening to birdsong or a train whistle in the distance
- Truly caring about someone I am emotionally attracted to
- Being silly and laughing at myself until I snort as I’m standing in front of a mirror trying to hula-hoop
- Vibrating panties with a remote control
- Realizing how resilient I am, and telling myself I am badass (talking to myself like I would talk to a friend)
- McDonald’s french fries (yes, girl, I went there) heated in my air fryer, with a chilled Manhattan, up
- Not giving a fuck if someone doesn’t like who I am.
GA: Has your relationships with other women changed since “the goddess arrived?”
My relationships with women I have never met IRL have definitely changed. I completely rejected social media until I was 59, and started an Instagram account only so family and friends would know I wasn’t dead during my 70-day solo RTW journey. Since being on IG and launching my blog at The Hot Goddess, I have connected with an amazing cadre of empowering, exceptional women who have formed a supportive community of collaborators and cheerleaders.
You, fabulous Goddess Attainable, are a perfect example. Your support and encouragement have helped me grow my confidence and amplify my voice. We are from different generations and backgrounds, Libby, but I feel we are kindred spirits. I never before had connections such as these with women I’ve never met in person. So powerful. I’m very grateful for this goddess gift. Thank you, dear GA.
GA: Has your relationships with men changed since “the goddess arrived?”
Oh yes they have. I opened my mind and heart to new possibilities, and ditched my lists of expectations and “must haves” for romantic relationships. I better recognize and appreciate the value and lessons every man brings to my life, regardless of circumstance or duration. At the same time, I am more confident communicating what I do and don’t want.
What I still need to work on is allowing myself to be vulnerable in relationships with men. This is a tough one for me because my background is one where being vulnerable led to physical harm. Staying guarded and hyper-vigilant kept me safe. I am getting better with this as I’ve become much more self-aware. Still a way to go, though. I’m confident the goddess light will continue to illuminate my path, and that’s a powerful feeling.
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO NATALIE FOR SHARING HER AMAZING LIFE WITH US!
She makes my heart melt and her words always give me goosebumps! How could they not?!
To all of my readers, do you relate to Natalie’s journey? Have you had your own goddess awakening? Please visit Natalie’s blog, The Hot Goddess, when you have a moment and visit her on Instagram @retired_rewired_inspired.
Thank you always for your support and good vibes! xo