Nathalie Kelley first came up on my radar as “Noa Hamilton” on The Baker and the Beauty. I interviewed the actress, shortly after the show’s finale (cancelled, June 2020). She is mild-mannered, down to earth, easygoing and a natural, always looking to help others. Long time fans will remember her from Dynasty, Vampire Diaries, Body of Proof, or as, Neela in the 2006 film, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
The Peruvian-Australian activist is all things nature. Her Instagram feed is a collage of inspiration demonstrating empathy for others. Nathalie shared a lot about herself, including an undeniable passion as an Indigenous Woman. The love she displays for fans, family and all things good is a true testament of the type of person she off screen.
I was excited when Nathalie graciously agreed to talk to AW about wellness, self-love and life. She even shared some rituals that can help with our mental and physical balance. One of the most important things we can do for ourselves, as women is self-care and she provided useful tips. Taking care of our needs is a necessity, in order to be there for others. Our conversation reminded me of the significance there is in putting yourself first.
Women are known as natural born nurturers. We tend to take on too much at times, often placing ourselves last on the priority list. Have you ever faced a moment in life when you felt overwhelmed? Can you briefly describe what happened and how did you ease the pressure off your shoulders? Of course, I have felt overwhelmed by the pressures on my plate, we all have at one time or other. I don’t have children but have immense respect for women in this essential role. I am an activist and advocate, and experience a different burnout. It can be exhausting, as an ally to see the suffering communities. My eyes have been opened to much unfairness. Stories of hardship in the Amazon, South America, and all parts of the world. People are dying due to lack of resources. It is heartbreaking and very difficult to see orher’s pain up close, takes hold of your heart.
I try to take time off for self-care and reconnect with nature to help release stress. I am aware not everyone has the luxury to take a time out but we should do what we can to aid others and still replenish. COVID-19 has added an extra layer of tension and uncertainty to our lives. It’s important to encourage everyone to wake up to this reality. Open your heart and compassion to those that need it, start with being kind to yourself.
Women spend a lot of time caring for loved ones. It’s easy to lose ourselves and become unrecognizable. Personal hobbies, passions, enjoyment taking place outside the roles we play can disappear over time. Have you ever lost yourself in a relationship or career? How did you manage to regain your identity? How do you make sure you set aside time for yourself? During my 20’s, I lost my sense of identity in a relationship. He was older, successful, wonderfully creative and introduced me to new experiences. I got caught up living in the shadow of his life and dreams. This happened voluntarily, he was not at fault. I gave up my career to live his, eventually, it hit home that I was not raised this way. I broke out of the relationship to follow my own goals. It was challenging but there was a lesson for me to learn. I could not continue sacrificing myself for love. We had a lovely history, as hard as it was, I made the choice not to stay in the relationship. Today, we are still friends, and he expresses his respect for everything I’ve done for myself. He says “If you would have stayed, you would not have accomplished all that you have.” It is essential to find a supportive partner. Plenty of men are programmed to think their career and dreams are most important, however, both of you matter. If women choose to take on the supporting role and it works for them, go for it. Remain true to who you are and don’t betray your needs. Remember that your happiness matters, come back to yourself. Also, find a like-minded tribe of women to accompany you on your journey. We have to lean on one another to keep up.
In a recent Instagram post, you talked about “fear based triggers” and how you practice Qigong (similar to Tai-Chi) to help you push through the process. It is the use of Kinesiology based therapy to help with subconscious beliefs and patterns, learning about the neurosciences to help understand the brain. I believe we all have our own triggers. For myself, witnessing my parents’ volatile relationship during childhood affected me in different ways. It resulted in personal triggers, however, once I acknowledged these, I was able to understand how to deal with them in a healthy manner. Is there a trigger you are able to share? When did you realize you had to come to terms with the issue. How did you do to overcome it? Self-limiting beliefs had a strong effect on me for some time. The inability to express my needs was ingrained. I believed it was my duty to do it all myself. Growing up, my father was not around. My mother taught me to be independent, strong-minded, self-sufficient and never depend on a man. This limited me, I ended pushing people away in my life. Realizing, it was unhealthy behavior, I began to look for ways to manage my actions. I needed to figure out how to stop myself from giving into the triggers. Holistic methods such as Psy-K sessions helped me so much. We need to face the issues, confront them head on in a healthy way. Recently, a group of friends and I began the Ritual Community to create a resource for women seeking support to improve well-being. It allows clients to customize their own rituals of self-care in their daily lives. There is a wide variety of rituals women can use to help them with balance. Our hope is to grow, engage and learn from the women in the community. We should use the sources available to us for better. I am grateful to have a group that can hold me up.
I read that you are a big supporter of self-care. Why do you believe self-care is essential to our well-being? Do you have any specific ritual to help keep you mentally strong? There are many rituals to try such as creative journaling, lucid dreaming, creative dancing. I do Abyhanga weekly, it is a form of Ayurvedic medicine using massages with warm herb-infused oils. We must be able to disconnect from our environment, in order to recharge. It helps us think clearer and reinvigorates us with the energy needed to continue pushing through life.
We are living in a world of incredible uncertainty. I have personally experienced moments of anxiety and fear over the future, not just my own and loved ones but the human race. Is there a mantra or quote you would like to share that you use to help bring calm? My mantra is simple “I have time.” I always felt there was never enough time to do the things I wanted. Using these words encourage me to carve out time to do the important things. It can be the simplest of things like staying present for a friend, loved ones or myself. Live in the moment and experience it, as it happens.
We spend plenty of time taking care of others, selflessly. I have learned that self-care is a crucial part of self-love. Loving yourself is a key to wellness, it promotes internal balance which directly affects our mind and body. Whether you are a well-known actress in the entertainment world, mother of two working in the corporate world or a single gal taking odd jobs to make ends meet. Schedule your yoga, meditation, a run in the park, regular exercise, bubble bath, alone time, time with girlfriends, anything to help decompress or give you relief should be added to your weekly agenda. YOU are entitled to quality time that promotes self-care, it is essential for you to function at optimal capacity.
We are bound by our experiences, it’s how we learn from one another. I am thankful to Nathalie for sharing how she cares for her well being. Hopefully, this story will inspire to plan some of your own self-care.
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