Connection to Self Creates my Flow States ~ Episode 49 ~ My conversation with Natalie Hodgen

Heart of Connection Podcast
Heart of Connection Podcast
Connection to Self Creates my Flow States ~ Episode 49 ~ My conversation with Natalie Hodgen

Connection to Self Creates my Flow States 

Mark [0:00] Natalie, welcome to the Heart of Connection Podcast.  I’m your host, Mark Randall.  I’ve known Natalie Hodgen for a number of years.  I met Nat as a psychologist, many moons ago, in another lifetime that she had in Geelong Victoria.  Natalie was a psychologist in psych disabilities and then moved from there, through connexion to young people.  She has worked for many years now in adolescent and with young adults.  She is now working over in Western Australia in Perth, in Psychology on Welwyn.  Nat, welcome to the podcast.

Natalie [0:38] Thanks, Mark. It’s good to be here.

Mark [0:40] Cool. Natalie do you want to give the listeners our like-minded listeners, the dear Souls that listen to the podcast, a little bit of a synopsis of your kind self, please.

About me

Natalie [0:51] Sure.  So my name is Natalie. I am a mother of two lovely daughters and living here in WA and working part-time, in private practice in psychology.   Working with predominantly adolescents and young people also with adults too. Yeah, that’s about me. , that’s me. That’s you in a nutshell.

Mark [1:23] That’s you in a nut shell and how old are you two daughters now?  They would be getting close to their teens?

Natalie [1:31] Yeah, close to that. So 10 years old and 12 years old. Growing up very quickly.

Mark [1:39] How have they integrated and connected into the shift from Geelong to Perth?

Connections and Resilience of my Children

Natalie [1:47] They really l really underestimated them I think, in terms of how well they’d adjust. They just and I think to that says a lot about how they were at the age where they were grade 1 & 2 and probably don’t have so much of the old stories, and cognition that goes on as adults.  They just get on and embrace things and experience it.  That’s what they did.  So they just settled in beautifully.

Mark [2:21] It just shows how resilient children can be, doesn’t it?

Natalie [2:26] Yeah, it really does.  Once they – I noticed that they were settled, it was sort of been an indicator for me to start to settle a bit too.  As that was my main priority was them and I think they actually taught me something there (laughter).

Connection to Self & Others

Mark [2:49] In terms of connection to Self, Others and ‘All That Is’ – we generally start with the first part of the process is connecting to self.  Once your children were settled in Perth, did enable you them to connect? Obviously, we’re connected to yourself through that process but once they’d settle more, did you notice a difference in your connection to yourself, settling in Perth?


Natalie [3:14]Yeah, I felt that I was able to, I guess it explores a bit around me in terms of and I guess I do that through my surroundings in nature.  Also looking for networks, where I can start to make those external connections with other people, too.   Which is where I find that sense of that balance of being able to connect to myself on my own, and ways to do that.   Also what’s really important to me is other people.  Whether that be looking at what might be potentially really close friendships and supportive, close supportive friendships down the track.  Whether it’s a local cafe, where you making that daily connection with the barista and the meaning and connection behind that.  So, yes, that’s what I started to do when I noticed the kids were settled?

Connection to self my life flows

Mark [4:25] When you?  What do you notice as you’re connecting more to yourself?  What do you notice transpires in your body and your being as you really connected to yourself?

Natalie [4:42] It feels, I noticed that life is I guess less, effortful.  There’s this sort of natural flow of – just we’re accepting everything the way it’s meant to be –  is what it is in that moment.  There is lightness.  A sense of – even all my senses is heightened in that place where I feel really connected within.  It just starts to then, feel that way in anything I’m doing, whether it’s having to think about what meal I might cook that night for the kids and Jason.  It is through my work or any – it just there’s less effort, feeling like need to be involved.

Connection my flow states is freeing

Mark [5:42] The word flow is really important to – in our connection to self.  When you’re in that flow, would it be fair to say or fair to experience that there is a flow physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually within your being?

Natalie [6:02] Absolutely. There’s that freeing – that freeness I guess for things to flow.  That lightness that allows that just to happen naturally.  I guess none of the old I guess things that get us stuck. It does then create that sense of stuckness in the flow when I noticed I’m there.  So it’s, a really freeing place to be in when I’m feeling connected like that.

There's that freeing - that freeness I guess for things to flow. That lightness that allows that just to happen naturally. Click To Tweet

Disconnection becomes my teacher

Mark [6:41] When you notice the stuckness, what happens to self?  Is there a disconnection from your connection and your flow state, when you hit those moments of stuckness or periods of stuckness?

Natalie [6:58] Absolutely, it’s – I think as I’m getting older, and I guess, more lived experience, and particularly over the past couple of years.  I’ve been doing a bit more work personally around this. That I’m getting, it gets – I’m getting to notice when I’ve got a bit stuck a bit sooner, more often than not.  So, it might be instead of it being weeks on end, it might be more like days or hours.  It’s just a heaviness and a tightness, and it is around for me, the chest and the heart centre.  It just and I know that I’m probably tapping into some old story that has been there.  I really do feel it, like that tightness or heaviness in that space of my chest and the heart centre.

Mark [7:58] When it’s coming up, what’s it needing as surfacing?  What does it need from you?

Connection to self-care – press pause

Natalie [8:13] It really needs me to press pause.

Natalie [8:18] I look within and it’s very easy, of in the past, and I do still at times get caught in looking at something to serve that externally.  Whether it’s about getting annoyed at someone else, for me feeling that way.  Or having to look externally for something else, like a glass of wine or getting busy with something else. But taking that time to really rest and pause and look inward and really asking that question Mark, I find to – what is this telling me here?  As opposed to that feeling being the problem, it is the messenger to see what I needed that time that I’m not meeting.  Really honouring it and giving it that space and I find acceptance, allows me to move through it and figure out, what do I really need right now?

Connecting to my Heart Space

Mark [9:19] Are you really giving it a heart space?

Natalie [9:24] Yeah, I am and that can create, and it can bring about a release or noticing different emotions show up. I guess part of it to what I do, I’ve been trying to do some more mindfulness practice when these different emotions show up.  To allow them that space.

Mark [9:51] Yes, the glass of wine or doing something else is an aversion to it really isn’t it?  To avoid having to re-meet this, whatever it is.

Natalie [10:04] Umm, absolutely.

Disconnection impacts my well-being

Mark [10:05] Sometimes we wish this, whatever it is, was not surfacing?  It does, and I’m not sure about you, but when it does surface, what impact does that have on our disconnection to ourselves and also to others?

Natalie [10:23] Yeah, it really does create that you have that block.  Where it’s almost like it’s just picked up its own momentum if we stay in that – if I stay in that space.  I find it generalizes out and then I might be snapper at the kids or more annoyed at Jason or not appreciating the moon or the sky that I typically would that night.  Or I feel less productive in my work or less connected with clients.  So this – when internally, I’m stuck in that space, and not really listening to what I need and tapping into that heart space – it does have that flow-on effect, of disconnect in all areas.

Mark [11:22] The more you process it, the more you work with it in that heart space, you then reconnecting to a deeper essence of self, that is deeply there, that we’re not aware – that it’s there?

Connecting to self beyond words

Natalie [11:44] It’s really interesting, to know – to even get my head around it, that I can’t really understand it at that word level.

Mark [11:56] Yes, the intellectual level, the intellectual mind, or the intellectual brain wants the one plus one to always equal two.   Re-connecting to something that’s deeper than our intellect is, it’s hard to put into words.

Natalie [12:10] Yeah, it really is. It feels, I know, it might sound a bit cliche, but it does feel then, that I’m not alone in that place.  I’m feeling just, I guess, that feeling of being at one with everything and everyone. It’s almost like all the barriers that drop away. You know, and how I make sense of the world, in my head drops away.

Mark [12:45] And your heart opens? A powerful place?

Natalie [12:50] Yep.

Connecting to my open heart

Mark [12:51] Well done.  When that heart is open, the barriers drop away.  What do you experience it does feel a connection to others?

Natalie [13:08] Sometimes I’m overwhelmed with emotion, you know, with just such deep love for whether it’s a friend, or whether it’s just other humans.  That in general – it’s some – it’s just a real sense of feeling connected and content.  I guess it’s what’s like a pure love kind of feeling.

Natalie [13:47] You know, there are no conditions.

Connecting to my lightness

Natalie [13:53] Then there’s a lightness that comes with that.  Even that consciousness of looking at a child, before they’re even fully verbal.  Looking in their eyes or even an animal and there’s this deep sense of connection or sharing that moment, that goes beyond words.   It’s such a wonderful place to operate in and by no means am I – there as much as I’d like (laughter).  For me, it was probably – this started to happen even more so for me, going back a couple of years ago.  It was after some difficult times and getting unwell, and different things happening in my life. It was through that-that the seemed to evolve a lot more for me.  I know some people call it the Dark Night of the Soul and things like that.  I feel like it was a period of time, maybe it was part of reaching close to middle age as well.   You know, waking up to what that means and it’s a number of variables.  I think it was through that-that this started to open up more for me.

Then there's a lightness that comes with that. Even that consciousness of looking at a child, before they're even fully verbal. Looking in their eyes or even an animal and there's this deep sense of connection or sharing that… Click To Tweet

Connecting through the Dark Night of the Soul

Mark [15:29] I want to say, that’s really great, it’s painful, but it’s great, in a way because we’re growing,  we’re allowing whatever is to circulate to come up and the Dark Night of the Soul, not a pleasant space to be in.   If we can just work through it and transform through it-it’s a gift.  As you were sharing, and I could just hear the joy that’s inside you.  Well, that’s the sense I felt.  There’s that joy of that open-heartedness and the connection to others.  It’s pretty courageous for your family, you and Jason to make the move to leave Geelong and move to the other side of the country, and reconnect to new people over there. I’m wondering, do you notice the difference in terms of the – how does it? The disconnection from connections in Geelong.  Does that come up from time to time?

Natalie [16:31] Yes, definitely.

Connecting to our New Adventure

Natalie [16:35] I think in some way, the starting that sort of new chapter and adventure around us sort of going off to we didn’t know how long would be here.  We thought it might be a couple of years.  Now we’re heading on nearly five years.  It was going to – I guess it was freeing in some way from some earlier attachments and things in my life.  Where I could really in some way and I don’t know if it was fully conscious then, but coming to my own and do some more growing and learning.  You know, life’s too short let’s do it. It’s been great and it has been a lot of that personal learning and growing.  The other side of it has been at times, I’m guessing that’s where I’m not – when I start to get a bit homesick.  That’s where I’m not maybe really fully accepting that I’m here now and making the best of it.  I’ve got all these and other wonderful things going on and friendships and so forth, but I do – it is an unsettled feeling.  It’s a strange feeling of feeling like I’m – I go back to Geelong and like this is home.  I then come back here in Perth and this is home and it kind of feels a bit like I’m split between two worlds at times.

My Connection of two homes

Mark [18:32] Sorry. I’m just wondering whether it just goes to show that homesickness, how important connections are to our being.  Geelong is home, now Perth is home.  When that connection – when we reflect on those connections – How deep do those connections, those home connections go?  Pretty powerfully deep?

Natalie [19:00] Oh very and family being there and very close friends who would like siblings that I’ve chosen. Friends like Trish that I do really, really miss.  It’s maybe that those times to where, I do feel like that’s missing a bit and I have to really do the work – in going inwards and connecting in other ways.  Being more active and conscious about it because I do miss that, I miss those connections.

Natalie [19:47] Even seeing Geelong Bay or Eastern beach or just those places thatI’d go to regularly where I had a really strong connexion with. Where the children grew up.  I do find that my heart aches, I can actually feel that at times when it shows up quite strong we can actually feel it.

Connection ~ Home is where the Heart is

Mark [20:22] Powerful.  As you’re sharing the words, that cliche ‘the home is where the heart is’ its so powerful. When you keep working through this stuff, and you’re in flow, your connections are there, you’re in flow physically mentally emotionally spiritually.  What do you notice happens to your being when you connect to the ‘All That Is’?  Or is the connection to self through physical mental, emotional spiritual, does that then increase or open up more of a connection to the ‘All This Is’ for you?

Connecting to the Life Force within me

Natalie [21:09] I think it definitely is. When I’m really connecting with that life force within me and whatever that is, even if it’s not a time of – when it’s you know, joyful and I’m you know, engaged in something that I love doing which kind of raises my energy and vibration.  Like I love dancing or things or music.  It might be a painful time or uncomfortable feeling showing up but when I am fully connected with it and accepting of it.

When I'm really connecting with that life force within me and whatever that is, even if it's not a time of - when it's you know, joyful and I'm you know, engaged in something that I love doing which kind of raises my energy and… Click To Tweet

Natalie [21:52] That allows getting to the space of feeling at one with everything and not so alone. Almost that sense of life, I am living and it’s happening and at one with it all – whether we call that God or just oneness with everything that’s happening at the moment.  Even when it’s you know, experiencing the uncomfortable feelings it’s different. There’s that acceptance of it and a feeling of peace that comes with it compared to when I fight it or struggle with it or avoid it.

My Letting Go in the ‘All That Is’

Mark [22:43] Does the uncomfortable when you’re in that space does the uncomfortability seem to dissolve in the oneness of the connection to ‘All That Is’?

Natalie [22:54] Yes it does.

Mark [22:55] The story dissolves, the story is no longer there?

Natalie [22:59] Yeah, they kind of fade out.  Even though in one sense, I know, they haven’t disappeared, but, they’re still there at some level and that’s okay.  They’re not kind of right in the forefront and directing me and getting in the way.  I guess clouding that heart space or creating the barriers.

Connecting to my Deep Joy

Mark [23:28] When you to the ‘All That Is’ – just following your story and the energy of your story?  Do you connect to a deeper love?  Does your body and your being just radiate in the joy or the bliss of whatever that is? Yeah,

Natalie [23:49] Yep. Sometimes it’s, I feel like – I get can get just really overwhelmed by it at times where I feel like I could burst.  There’s such joy that I feel like kind of doing a little dance on the spot.  Nothing in particularly is happening, like, I’m not getting calls saying of something’s gone really well. It’s maybe because I’m noticing that the sky is blue and the sun shining, or you’re noticing the small simple things.

Connecting to my Abundant Energy

Natalie [24:42] It is and it just brings about such energy.  Like within me, my body and the lightness.  I even noticed it this morning when I went for a run on the river with a friend early this morning.  I was starting to get caught up with some negative thoughts of some sort.  Just getting in this and then my body was reacting and it was feeling heavy.  Then I got into this place of trying to observe it a bit and create this shift in what was happening.  Without what seemed and maybe it was the caffeine kicking in as well, I don’t know.  I just started – it just started feeling really less effortful, and I was going faster.  I’m like, wow, the power of just those certain shifts, and getting the head out of the way.

Mark [25:42] It sounds like as you’re sharing that with me when you started going faster, is that connection than opening up your flow state, to just energetically move with more ease and grace & connectedness?

Is that connection than opening up your flow state, to just energetically move with more ease and grace & connectedness? Click To Tweet

Connecting to my Paradigm Shift of Flow

Natalie [25:59] Yes.  It’s almost that you just letting life happen and flow through us in this – physical form.  It’s hard to Mark I find because you know, a lot of, I guess with the study that we do and how we’re conditioned.  My early training as a psychologist, it was so much credit and emphasis on cognition and all the head stuff.  More and more, I’m realizing through my own personal work, and also what I see then.  Now as I shift things with the way I work with clients.  That it’s so much more about emotion and tapping into that, and that heart centre, and being really connected with that.  Letting and really working at dropping all of those distractions at – away from us as much as we can.

It's almost that you just letting life happen and flow through us in this - physical form. Click To Tweet

Heart & Mind Harmony

Mark [27:00] There’s a tagline that I use in a men’s heart of advice group or blokes heart advice group. The tagline is ‘Heart and Mind’ harmony.  When I’ve got peace of heart, there’s a peace of mind.  That cognition, that negative – any cognition, doesn’t- it’s like for momentarily, it just doesn’t exist.  Where there, were connected.  That’s so powerful for our emotional health and our mental health is how do we – I wish I could bottle that up and be able to hand it to a client or jokingly can’t hand it to anybody.

Natalie [27:49] We be making loads of money if we did that (laughter).

Bottling it – LOL

Mark [27:52] Look if I could make it into a pharmaceutical, I’d be laughing, we’d be laughing. It goes to show that for centuries all the spiritual teachings all come back to the heart.  All come back to the heart and I guess if we look at it from a neuroscience perspective, the heart is, yes it’s the emotional Heart Chakra is the emotional centre of the human being.  It’s connected to the limbic system in the brain.  Which is so powerful. Those two are the first parts of brain evolution?  It’s how do we learn to be mindful of that emotional power?  When you connect into the ‘All That Is’ – one of the things that I’ve been asking people through, which has derived from the conversation in the podcast.  What would happen if we all momentarily, each day connected to that space and gave it back out to Mother Earth?  How do you believe Mother Earth would respond to that deep connection that we could give to her?

World Heart of Connection Day ~ September 4th

Natalie [29:09] I think human beings becoming more conscious with that. The flow-on effect would be so powerful and so vast it would change, one, all of our behaviours and how where destroying Mother Earth.  I think just that shifting energy individually and as a collective.

Natalie [29:47] I think that replenishing of, I guess what we have been doing to our Earth, we could turn it around, I think so quickly. And we know what’s possible.

Natalie [30:02] If we all did that it would be probably so powerful.  I think it’s going to, I think it’s shifting. I think we’re, especially with young people, and I know, we know, a lot of the young people that have been seeing.  My clients too, that there is this growing consciousness about it, and the importance of Mother Earth. Connecting them with Mother Earth, our bodies. It’s like we’ve got this next generation coming up is looking for this meaning and this purpose.  Seeing so much of it, affected and destroyed and negatively affected.

Natalie [30:53] I think it’s touching the hearts more of young people.  I think this is a growing – a great growing change that I feel really hopeful in.

My Advice to Young People

Mark [31:05] What advice would you give for young people following in your footsteps?  What advice would you give to them?  Just in a few words, what would the essence of that advice be to them?

Natalie [31:24] As a human or psychologist or both (laughter)

Mark [31:27] Or both. “Physician Heal Thyself” as they say.

Natalie [31:36] I would say that starting to be compassionate to oneself.  Everyone healing, it really allows us then to be truly compassionate to others and Mother Earth and everything around us.

Natalie [31:59] Coming back to connecting with the body, in our emotions, and our heart centre.  So much what we do is in our heads and all these external distractions.  Yes, technology can be a wonderful thing but I think it’s just another distraction as well.

Natalie [32:22] More often than not, that coming back to that place.  It really helps to tap into them, but we really need for ourselves, not for what we’re conditioned, and what’s expected and all that comparison that happens.  Which is part of this conditioning typically in our everyday environment that we live in our culture.  Finding like-minded people, to keep building with that energy and creating what’s been an individual that it becomes – it brings about its own momentum.

Mark [33:01] Beautiful. Nat, is there anything else that you’d like to share in the few moments we’ve got left in this connection?

Connecting to our Consciousness Raising

Natalie [33:14] I think, and this is all part of it, like what you’re doing Mark.  This shift in a different place of how we want to be living, and questioning what, of how we may have been conditioned and coming.  Reaching into this space of really connecting as human beings.  What you’re doing and the work that you’re doing is so powerful, and it’s great to be a part of that.  I find too, that when we’re open to it – things just start to happen and we connect with those, like-minded others.  Then it builds, it just builds these other dimensions and it’s such a wonderful thing to be a part of and to see.

Mark [34:06] Yeah, that’s right.  It’s like having that community is just the energy within the community, the community runs itself. It’s the momentum of the energy, is it that’s a flow.   It’s a positive flow and when we disconnect, how can we allow that flow of the community to hold us as we have disconnected.  We do need to – we connected-disconnect, connect and disconnect (laughter).  I wish wasn’t like that.

Natalie [34:41] Work in progress.  Just when I think, oh yeah I’ve got this – oh no there’s something else to learn now.

Mark [34:47] It is a bit like that.  You get to a certain point and a whack here it is again, okay.  Something more is just a rising for us to connect to – that deep essence of self.  That fragile, vulnerable part of itself that we’ve all got.  That delicate, vulnerable part of our self does need our connections to Self, Others & ‘All That Is.’ Natalie, thank you so much to reconnect.

Natalie [35:15] Oh, thank you. It’s been an absolute pleasure Mark, and it’s gone really quickly.

Mark [35:20] Time flies when you’re having fun doesn’t it.  All right. Thank you so much for the lovely opportunity to have this conversation with you and I really appreciate your heartfelt wisdom.

Natalie [35:32] Thank you Mark.

Mark [35:34] Namaste

Natalie [35:36] Namaste


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