Hello, I’m Natalie.
I work with people who are totally ready to get off the hamster wheel of going out with Mr/Miss Unavailables so that they can be in the relationship that they truly want and deserve. I help them deal with the baggage behind their relationship patterns, while gaining more self-confidence to flush toxic situations and to come from a place of love, care, trust and respect.
If you can’t figure out how to ‘get away’ from emotionally unavailable and even shady folk and/or you struggle with your self-esteem, people pleasing, and breaking your ties with the past, you have landed at the right place.
I’ve got over a decade’s experience of guiding and coaching people on how to live and love with self-esteem. I’ve run the gamut of unavailable and shady relationships and have used my own transformation to inspire and teach others, road-testing my own ideas, tools and practices, as well as sharing what I’ve picked up along the way from other teachers. Baggage Reclaim is not only making a difference in the lives of well over half a million readers each month but I’m read by therapists from all over the world who buy my books and recommend me to their clients.
And when I’m not writing and teaching people how to declutter their excess emotional baggage, shake their shady relationships and grow their self-esteem, I can be found eating/running/exploring with my two daughters (Nia 7, Saria 9), my husband Em, and our crazy cockerpoo Chester. We live on the outskirts of South East London.
I do sun salutations every morning and have rekindled my love of running plus I’ve been going to five element acupuncture for ten years and kinesiology for eleven years–I do love my self-care practices! I collect favourites from childhood including vintage Fisher Price toys and originals of Judy Blume, Virginia Andrews, and Enid Blyton books. Books have been my friend for as long as I can remember and I love a good ‘ole thriller—’Gone Girl’, ‘Girl On a Train’ and ‘I Let Him Go’ were my favourites from 2015—as well as the gripping blockbuster novels by Penny Vincenzi. I’m renowned for my love of mojitos but caipirinhas and gin and tonics with a couple of slices of lime are my new favourites. I always know we’re getting a good balance when we get to travel—we holiday in Majorca and Amsterdam (one of my bros lives there) every year and I love New York, Dublin, Barcelona and San Francisco, to name but a few. The kids have been to a lot of places already!
If you’re dying to know more, here are 5 things you don’t know about me…
- One of my earliest photographs is of Bob Marley holding me.
- I was born in England, lived in Zambia from 8-10 and spent the remainder of my childhood in Dublin, Ireland—I still refer to Dublin as “home” even though I’ve now lived in London for 15 years.
- Comedians Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant both laughed at me when I tripped and fell right in front of them. I also tripped over a sun lounger at Shoreditch House due to near swooning because I thought Bradley Cooper was right beside me—it was in fact Jeremy Sheffield.
- My favourite breakfast is huevos rancheros—Cafeteria in New York does my absolutely most favourite one.
- I love dancing—I’m a nineties raver at heart and I’ve still got the moves but am also prone to Michael Jackson dancing as well as routines to R&B classics like Bel Biv DeVoe’s ‘Poison’ and Salt n Pepa’s ‘Push It’.
Work with me, right this minute, by signing up for my weekly newsletter which has a mix of content from the blog, a handy takeaway, and news about courses and workshops I’m running. If you’re thinking, “Erm, I really need to sort my life out pronto because I can’t take anymore unavailable relationships!”, first stop is to look at my courses, in particular, The Breakthrough, or to check out my books.
And just in case you want the backstory…
Although I was born in England (Wolverhampton to be precise), I’m mostly raised in Dublin, Ireland, now living in South East London in Caterham, Surrey. I’ve blogged since June 2004 and I started Baggage Reclaim in September 2005 not long after experiencing a life-changing epiphany. Long story short: I was told that I had to go on steroids for life or be dead by 40. This shook me out of my Man Coma–I had just come out of a vague relationship where after five months, he admitted that he wasn’t ready for a relationship, plus I was ‘No Contact’ with my ex who had a girlfriend who I also had to work with, plus I had a string of toxic relationships dating right back to my early teens and had pretty much been out with every variation of my parents.
Truth be told, I didn’t like myself very much and had been grappling with feeling a mix of over-responsible, terrified of abandonment, and “worthless and good for nothing” for as long as I could remember. I knew nothing other than being a people pleaser who had seen and experienced things as a child that had left me with an incredibly unhealthy concept of relationships and myself.
I walked out of that consultant’s office, resolute for the first time in my entire life that I was going to fight for me. I had to stand up for myself. I also realised that no matter how many issues these guys had, I’m the common denominator. I started going to kinesiology just weeks before I started Baggage Reclaim and the commitment to taking care of me meant that I had to force myself to figure out how to have boundaries and practice self-care. The lightbulbs kept going off as the intuitive gift that I’d had for recognising what was going on in other people’s relationships and seeing what’s behind human behaviour so clearly, made me so deeply aware of the struggle that I’d been through and why.
Ever since then, I’ve been sharing not just my journey to liking and loving me, but also my insights and observations into unavailable relationships and the things we do and think when we lack self-awareness and self-knowledge. I was declared in remission from my “incurable” disorder eight months after I walked out of that consultant’s office and I met my now husband about a month before that.
I’m not a doctor anything but I do know a hell of a lot about relationships and people and I don’t always know why I know–I’ve had so many people ask me how I can know so much about their situation. People can share as little as 30 seconds to a minute of their story and I know pretty much what was going on before, what’s very likely going to happen, and the baggage behind it.
My journey did not ‘end’ when I met my partner or went into remission or even had our two daughters–the journey is ongoing. I advocate for every person who has ever felt “not good enough” or even “worthless”. I offer empathy and compassion for every person who has been through abuse and trauma in childhood or who is too hard on themselves, or who has struggled with adult relationships and situations because they don’t know their worth. If you think that because you have a parent with an addiction, or you didn’t have a healthy template for relationships, or you have a back catalogue of ‘mistakes’ and so-called flaws, that you won’t be able to love and be loved, I’m here to tell you that you can. I’m living it.