We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Moore, LMFT and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, what matters most to you?
In one word: mindfulness. The principle of bringing a curious awareness to the present moment over and over again has proven to be the most transformative skill I’ve ever learned. This concept changes everything. It gets you out of auto-pilot and empowers you to become an active participant in your own life. Whatever your goal, whether it be to experience deeper inner peace, to feel more connected in your relationships, to achieve greater success, to cultivate more robust health or to engage more actively in your community, mindfulness is a universal tool to support your endeavors.
That said, I wasn’t always mindful. As a young adult, those years were spent more or less on auto-pilot. In my mid-twenties, I had a major wake-up call and realized that my life was not what I thought it was. I needed to make some major changes…and quickly. In a 48-hour period I left a job and a relationship and moved from Northern to Southern California, leaving everything I had known for 5 years behind. It was terrifying and liberating at the same time. I couldn’t rely on my old roles or routines, to I was forced out of auto-pilot mode. This was where the growth began. I got into therapy and started journaling every day. I got into hiking and running. I opened myself up to opportunities that presented themselves to me to discover who I truly was.
Over the next few years, mindfulness began to play a huge role in my growth. For one, I had lots of grieving to do. Mindfulness helped me pause and make space for the difficult emotions of sadness, doubt, loss, betrayal, shame, confusion, anger and grief as they came up around that big life transition. Mindfulness also helped me let go of old habits that no longer served me. By bringing a curious awareness to the present moment, I could notice what was actually bothering me and do something about it, rather than constantly avoiding unpleasant experiences. Mindfulness later played a huge role in developing the type of life-long relationship I really wanted, with someone who valued presence, intentionality and spiritual growth as much as I did.
Years later, mindfulness continued to give. After being a generally healthy person my entire life, I mysteriously got very sick, wasn’t getting better, and doctors couldn’t explain why. My spiritual practice supported me in sitting with the uncertainty and immense fear. It helped me reduce my anxiety so my immune system could get to work getting me better. It gave me the strength to advocate for myself. It allowed me to take one step at a time toward recovering my health.
And now, mindfulness still gives abundantly. It has allowed me to navigate a pandemic with as much ease and grace as is possible for such challenging times. I’ve employed mindfulness to ride the waves of ups and downs as we see what’s happening in the world. It has given me the resilience to see therapy clients virtually and hold space for their darkest moments. I am able to experience peace and joy in the presence of the little things, like the sensation of my breath, or the feeling of sunshine hitting my skin or the smell of a sweet rose. And I see the immense healing power of mindfulness as I teach it to my therapy clients. For me, mindfulness is the foundation upon which a meaningful, intentional life is built. And it’s a strong one.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#MFC107413), I have the immense joy and honor to help people transform their lives. We’re all on a unique journey, and for most us, that journey involves encountering a crossroads in life. Sometimes it’s an unpleasant one, like an illness, a breakup, getting fired, losing a loved one or experiencing a traumatic event. Sometimes it’s a pleasant one, like getting married, having a baby, buying a home, starting a business or moving to a new city. But this crossroads often reveals weaknesses we didn’t know were there – anxiety, insecurity, self-doubt, a crisis of identity, a lack of purpose. This is where I come in. I help support and guide people as they move through these life transitions to help them come to a place of self-trust and inner peace.
What sets me apart is my curiosity about humans, my ability to put people at ease and my commitment to developing and sharing the most effective personal development practices. My philosophy is that if I’m going to teach it to my clients, it better be something that I practice and gain benefit from on an ongoing basis. I am a perpetual student, voracious in my consumption of wisdom about the mind, body and spirit. I help clients cultivate greater self-awareness and self-mastery so they can take massive, messy action towards their dreams. I do this through in-the-moment, body-based practices, such as mindfulness, breathwork and visualization. Clients leave sessions feeling more embodied, empowered and excited about their lives.
I’m most proud and excited about a couple of projects I have on the docket. I’m well aware of the fact that most people cannot afford quality mental health care and I’m always looking for inventive ways that I can better serve my community. I want to make my offerings relevant and specific to the changing needs of my audience and find ways to make therapy and therapeutic content more accessible, convenient and affordable. That’s why I’m passionate about taking elements of the individual work I do with clients and transmitting those practices, teachings and insights into different forms of free and more affordable content.
I’ve been able to educate and inspire others in the form of articles, downloadable guides, podcast episodes, YouTube videos, live interviews, Instagram posts and more. But I want to take this a step further. My next project that I’m excited to announce is that I’ll be developing a series of therapeutic groups for ambitious, creative millennials to help them improve myriad aspects of their lives, careers and relationships. Topics will include goal-setting and accountability, developing self-care routines, learning mindfulness and self-compassion tools, recovering from stress and burnout, setting and maintaining boundaries in relationships and more. Over time, I plan to further develop the groups into a year-long comprehensive mental wellness course including self-study and group support. One of the amazing aspects of therapy groups is that there is built in emotional support that one simply cannot get from a therapist alone. Group members also get the benefit of the group members’ unique stories, perspective and feedback. Check my website for updates on group offerings.
To get to where I am today business-wise has taken a lot of hard work, persistence, self-trust, courage, patience and emotional resiliency. If you want all of your vulnerabilities exposed, open a business! Becoming a successful psychotherapist in private practice has involved a few big hurdles. First was getting a master’s degree, then getting licensed, then developing a steady clientele, all of which take years to achieve.
The education and training elements are challenging, but are well-paved roads. Starting a business, on the other hand, is not. I had to figure it out the old-fashioned way: through trial and error. I treated it like any other problem: I sought out as much information, advice and support as I could and got to work. I started reading blogs, listening to podcasts, taking webinars and asking successful people in my field for tips. I threw spaghetti at the wall to see what stuck. There was a lot of spaghetti on the floor. And a few noodles that stuck. So, I kept with what worked and refined along the way.
Despite consistent effort, a few years into building my practice I still wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. I wondered what was keeping me from achieving the levels of success I desired. It came to me slowly, but over time I realized how vital my mindset was to the outcomes I attracted. This is where I began to learn more about the Law of Attraction and Manifestation. I jumped in enthusiastically. I realized that though I had been building many roads that could lead potential clients to me, those metaphorical roads were jammed with traffic, the traffic of scarcity-based thinking, self-doubt and urgency. By focusing on not having enough clients, I was attracting more of the same: not enough clients.
I learned that in order to achieve the abundance I desired I would need to begin thinking, believing, feeling and acting in the way that someone who has already achieved their goal does. I had to start embodying the feeling of safety, joy and abundance that comes with having a full practice. I had to rewrite old scripts around wealth leading to greed or selfishness. I had to step into the role of financially literate adult by actually learning how money works and flows. Once I did the deep money work, everything started to change for me. I got more referrals. Money flowed in more easefully. I felt better about the clients who were coming to see me. They were motivated and excited about the work and happy to invest in it.
What I want readers to know about my work is that they don’t actually need it. What!? Yes, I said it. Lately I’ve been describing growth as an inevitable path, likening it to a staircase that you’re walking up. Your goals and dreams are ahead of you, your challenging life circumstances are the downward pull of gravity, your opportunities are the steps themselves and your drive to live the best life possible is the energy you exert to move up them. I’ve also been likening therapy and coaching to an escalator. Have you noticed how you feel when you walk or run up one of those things? You feel light, fast and almost super-hero-like. Each step that you take is supported and accelerated.
Therapy and coaching are supportive environments and relationships that support you in and help you accelerate the achievement of your goals. You are still doing the work. You are still in control. But there is someone there with tools, resources, insights and reflections that can help you move forward with more ease. I remind potential clients that they don’t necessarily need me or my help. The stairs are open. But I do encourage them to ask themselves if they would benefit from it. The escalator is in operation, too.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Sunday – Mid-city day. Pancakes at Du-par’s for breakfast, browse around The Original Farmer’s Market and The Grove. Window shopping on Larchmont Blvd. Republique for dinner. Salt ‘n Straw for ice cream. Head over to LACMA for an exhibition and live music.
Monday – Malibu day. Short hike to the MASH set in Malibu Creek State park, then hang on the beach at Matador State Park. On the way back, pit stop into the Getty Villa.
Tuesday – Mountain day. Mt. Baldy, the highest point in the San Gabriel Mountains. Those in the mood for a butt-kicking workout can take the Ski Hut trail to the summit, and those looking for a view and a lounge can take the ski lifts up to the Baldy Lodge for food and drinks.
Wednesday – Studio City day. Breakfast at Aroma. Short hike in Fryman Canyon. We would do a soundbath, a breathwork class or a workshop at The Den meditation studio. Firefly for dinner. Take a drive on Mulholland for evening views.
Thursday – Hollywood day. Brunch and magic show at The Magic Castle. Do the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. We’ll go out for sushi dinner at Yamashiro and check out the local fare at the evening farmer’s market.
Friday – Downtown day. Grab tacos for lunch at Grand Central Market, take a ride up Angel’s Flight, check out the Broad Museum and MOCA. Quick stop into The Last Bookstore. Dinner at Bavel. Hit a King’s game at Staple’s Center.
Saturday – SaMo day. ROGA in Santa Monica: 8am 5-mile run followed by an hour-long yoga practice on the pier. Get a coffee from Philz. Lunch at True Food Kitchen. Head over to the 3rd Street Promenade for shopping and people-watching.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to Shout Out Rise Above the Disorder, which is a global non-profit dedicated to providing completely free mental health care to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it. RAD focuses their efforts on the two biggest obstacles to receiving mental health treatment: access and affordability. The organization educates the public on issues regarding mental health, seeks to reduce the shame and stigma of reaching out for help and empowers the younger generation to get help sooner than later. They bring a whole-person, integrative approach to their work to ensure clients are seen, heard and understood. Please consider donating at their website at youareRAD.org.