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A Checklist for Retirees Returning to Work

October 17, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

checklist

As one of the Wall Street Journal Experts, Natalie’s blog was originally published at blogs.wsj.com.

When you shift back into routines and accountability after being retired, a part of you fears you made a mistake and are trapped. Your inner doubter says that you took on more than you wanted to at this stage of your life and that you will be left out of the other life you developed that didn’t include a work schedule. You get to decide who to let lead you. Who do you want to listen to that speaks in your rushing head and heart?

The mistake I see people making is that they don’t give themselves enough time to check in with different parts of themselves. We all have familiar parts that guide us and unfamiliar parts that rarely get voice time. We have parts that like making money, feeling needed, having community, parts that wonder if this the last time we will be hired. And then there are parts of us that want to play, have free time daily, do something different than work, that aren’t driven as in the past. These are examples of parts of you to have a chat with while making this decision.

In other words, make time to get to know yourself better and not only rely on what you think you know about yourself. In re-entering work, where are your “yesses” and where are your “nos” and where is there confusion when you explore your:

1. Values

2. Solo time

3. Relationships

4. Creativity

5. Finances

6. Fun time

7. Spirituality

8. Intellect

9. Wellness

What will get sacrificed? Dive deeper than the surface of what is familiar in this decision-making. Who else within you has some wisdom to share with you? Listen for inner responses to your questions. Sit with yourself more than once, and ask the question, “What would be helpful for me right now?” “What am I not thinking about or feeling?” Listen.

Reality check:

1. You want to be good at what you do.

2. Fear is expected. Action reduces anxiety.

3. You will learn something about yourself. Isn’t that a good thing?

4. You aren’t the only one who will make mistakes and show up with their flaws.

5. If you have a rule about your life, does it apply today?

6. You will find your rhythm from uncomfortable to comfortable, over and over.

7. Notice when you feel excited rather than depleted.

8. Do what is right in front of you.

9. Life doesn’t come with guarantees.

Natalie Caine (@NatalieCaine) is the owner of Empty Nest Support Services and Life in Transition.

The Empty-Nest Book Hatchery

October 16, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

nyt-hatch

Natalie was featured in the October 10th New York Times article “The Empty-Nest Book Hatchery” by Nancy M. Better.

“Typically, it takes about a year to move on,” said Natalie Caine, a Los Angeles life coach who offers specialized counseling for empty nesters. “If it goes beyond that and you’re really suffering, you should consider professional help.”

Click here to read the entire article at NYTimes.com

A Disconnected Day Leads To A Decision

October 15, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Sand_Magic_1120941She had been so happy having a week together, for one of her family’s joyous celebrations. When it ended, the void dropped her to unexpected tears. She felt left, unseen, standing alone in an airport line of strangers, with nothing to look forward to when she would return home, opening her front door, to the same same.

A big change happened. As she flew back home, trapped, as she put it, with only herself on a dry, cramped airplane.

 
She pulled out from her black purse, a yellow notepad. She wrote fast, not sentences, phrases about fears, angers and disappointments. She wrote less about her needs, until she got to the last three pages of paper.  What her writing unfolded was that she had been waiting too long for some great idea to come to her. Decision-making gets stuck, by her wanting to “BE RIGHT” and to “BE THE BEST.”

 
Yes, she has been told more than once to choose something passionate to her and take a step forward. BEGIN. Her head and feet were in the dance. Her rhythm was forgotten because she forgot to ask her heart to take her hand.

 
“DEAR HEART, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO BEGIN?  I AM LISTENING TO YOU.”  She closed her eyes, bowed her head to curl inward, and heard, “write chapters, the ending chapter, then write the first chapter, I will be with you.”  She wept and wept.  She knew it was about spending time with herself, through writing, to discover what mattered to her now. What would lift her to connect? What would she say YES to and what would she say NO THANK YOU to?
Ocean_Rays_1130061

Now home, she begins. She takes her morning walk out that front door, no music in her ear; she walks, and asks, “Remind me to practice SELF TRUST. Remind me to CATCH myself when my DOUBTER and CRITIC trap me from my passions. I am listening. Thank you.”

 
BEGIN ….YOU GET TO CHANGE YOUR MIND…BEGIN.
 

Take care,
Natalie

Natalie Caine M.A.

Life In Transition, What’s Next?
Empty Nest Support Services
(800) 446-3310 or (310) 454-0040
Los Angeles

Featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, MariaShriver .com, Better Homes and Gardens, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Lifetime Radio for Women, Chicago Tribune, Sirius, Associated Press, Miami Herald, and many more.

Change is inevitable. Get Ready. Get Support. Life transitions need a hand to hold.

www.lifeintransition.org
www.emptynestsupport.com

– Private Telephone Consultations
– Speaking engagements
– Support groups
– Workshops
– Mentoring
Facebook, Linked In, Twitter

Did You Know About Natalie’s Art?

October 12, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | One Comment

Handmade_Art_Bazaar

Artists are gathering to welcome in the holidays.  This will be a really fun group of women.  I will be selling my photos and gift cards.

Come join us. Your invitation is below.

See you soon. ………….  Natalie Caine

Thursday and Friday, October 16 & 17, 9am-6:30pm

516 Arbramar Avenue, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

$5 Entrance Fee and 20% of all proceeds go to benefit for Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Los Angeles

 

Come fine one-of-a-kind treasures – vintage textiles, purses and bags, canvas totes, jewelry, dresses, treasure boxes, dyed panama linen straw hates, button purses, candles, greeting cards, framed art, photography, collectibles

 

Collage_1Collage_2bTeton_FieldCollage_3

If you can’t join her, email natalie@lifeintransition.org about how to purchase her art and have it sent to your home

 

Divorce

September 26, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | 2 Comments

Woman_Grieving__0131She wanted to get a new perspective about being solo now that her divorce was final, but perspective was clouded by deep sorrow.  “Just say I am sorry, just say it wasn’t your fault, just say I love how you raised our kids, just say your smile lifted me on those over worked days, just say I honestly loved you, just say you taught me to brush it off.”  When you know what you want to hear to heal and you can’t get it, now what?

She asked him to say anything personal about her and him that was positive. He couldn’t.  She wept. She wanted this pain to be over. She wondered how many times do I need to talk about this, cry about it, and sit in the dark?

When someone isn’t able to give you what you want, grieve it deeply.  Surround yourself in beauty. What is beautiful to you? Walk in nature. Find a new place that becomes sacred to you.  Be with a friend who listens and comforts you. Teach them what you need and thank them every time.   Get your music playing. Write your feelings on the computer or in a journal.  In big print, write what you APPRECIATE about yourself.

Window_5273Loss hurts. How could it not?  Change is entering the unknown, so of course you wobble and weep. Change also brings a time of reflection of who you are, who you are not, and who you might develop internally and externally.  Learning is a lifetime journey.

You will find your rhythm over and over. You will learn what matters to you and what doesn’t.  Mostly, I hope you learn to be gentle with yourself and trust this pain won’t last forever. Love will arrive.

Take good care,
Natalie

 

 

Natalie Caine M.A.

Life In Transition, What’s Next?
Empty Nest Support Services
(800) 446-3310 or (310) 454-0040
Los Angeles

Featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, MariaShriver .com, Better Homes and Gardens, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Lifetime Radio for Women, Chicago Tribune, Sirius, Associated Press, Miami Herald, and many more.

Change is inevitable. Get Ready. Get Support. Life transitions need a hand to hold.

www.lifeintransition.org
www.emptynestsupport.com

– Private Telephone Consultations
– Speaking engagements
– Support groups
– Workshops
– Mentoring
Facebook, Linked In, Twitter

Happy New Year

September 23, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Wooded_Path_4997 Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are nearing. A woman shared with me that she is no longer religious, but the memories of walking to temple, having family and friends gather, feeling a bond, singing together, and the predictable discomfort of the heat, all flood in, vibrantly.   A part of her wants that again and another doesn’t want to make the effort because she feels she no longer lives temple life.

Isn’t it common how we compartmentalize feelings and longings?  We make rules of what is and isn’t acceptable.  After deeper conversation, she also felt she didn’t want to sit in temple and miss her mom and her dad, her uncle and her cousins, and her children, that are far away and may not be going to temple in their hometown.  Feelings flooded in vibrantly.

Vulnerability.  She had been in worker mode where rarely did sentiment and the unknown sit at her desk.  We actually laughed how a yearly ritual, HIGH HOLIDAYS, that will always be on the calendar, thank goodness, effortlessly, open a not so visited part of one’s self.  LOVE and LOSS. “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. “Elizabeth Barret Brown, poet.

White_Flower_4881Memories are a precious treasure which includes tears.  You can feel them and then take those fallen petals and tuck them in your pantry. They make a very sweet challah.

However you decide to honor your HIGH HOLIDAYS, this year, whether in temple or being in nature, lighting candles, praying at home, bringing in traditional foods like matzo ball soup, brisket, carrot tsimmes, noodle kugel, and macaroons, may you celebrate your ancestors, family, friends, and YOURSELF, for all the good and all the growth in you and them, as well as, the I AM SORRY.  Honor your life and those who are and were part of your circle.  Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a collective ritual, allows your heart to be held, mend, and fold as you sip from a cup of sweetness and sorrow, grateful to simply be here for another turning of the seasons. May you embrace your gems and your flaws, and keep dreaming.

Take care,
Natalie
Natalie Caine M.A.

Life In Transition, What’s Next?
Empty Nest Support Services
(800) 446-3310 or (310) 454-0040
Los Angeles

Featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, MariaShriver .com, Better Homes and Gardens, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Lifetime Radio for Women, Chicago Tribune, Sirius, Associated Press, Miami Herald, and many more.

Change is inevitable. Get Ready. Get Support. Life transitions need a hand to hold.

www.lifeintransition.org
www.emptynestsupport.com

– Private Telephone Consultations
– Speaking engagements
– Support groups
– Workshops
– Mentoring
Facebook, Linked In, Twitter

 

Claim some extra space when the kids move out

September 18, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

NowU.com

Maisy Fernandez interviewed Natalie for USA TODAY Best Years magazine.

As the owner of Los Angeles-based Empty Nest Support Services, Natalie Caine has helped many women through the process. She suggests bringing up the idea hypothetically before the child even moves out, when emotions aren’t as highly charged.

You might start the conversation by asking, “How would you feel if I used this as a guest room or a writing room?”

“Then listen, pause and respond,” Caine said. “Let the child know you are simply exploring the idea.”

Continue Reading at NowU.com

How to Cope When Kids Fly the Coop

September 16, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | One Comment

Chicago Tribune

Natalie was featured as an empty nest expert in a new article published in the Chicago Tribune.

Natalie Caine, founder of Life in Transition, remembers the feeling all too well. As her daughter and only child prepared to venture off to college 3,000 miles away from home (moving from Los Angeles to New York), Caine feared how their relationship would change. She hosted a meeting with other parents in her shoes, and out of that blossomed her counseling service. She provides advice to parents preparing for empty nests.

Caine and several other experts shared with us their tips for how to cope.

Continue Reading at ChicagoTribune.com

Let’s Try Again

September 13, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Sky_n_FieldTransitions can bring forward your worst and best parts of you.  What helps is to EXPECT BOTH.

At one of my presentations, a woman stood and asked, “I don’t know why I get so angry quickly. It is embarrassing and I just can’t seem to stop myself.”  She bravely shared more about her current change. The details aren’t that important. What is valuable is she was in over load.  What she came to discover that day of sharing was that her anger was her automatic response. She hadn’t learned, safely, to be vulnerable. Under her quick anger were hidden tears. She figured this out herself partially because she felt safe and because she heard other people sharing and felt like it was OK for her to speak as well. She felt a common thread and not like the odd woman in the room.

Another younger woman shared that she likes to have an outline in her head before she starts writing but these days, nothing is helping her get the words on paper.  Her inner critic froze her flow.  “You just write boring words and you go on and on.”  She listened too often to that critical voice, which fed another part of her that thought success would only come if she planned it in her head first. Plans make it better, is what she kept hearing in her sweet head.

For support and fun, I suggested each of us take five minutes to write, right now, starting with these words, “in the midst of….” I wanted this woman to feel supported and hear how it was for others to spontaneously write.  When some stood to read and share, responses were funny, tearful, blank, surprised, “in the midst of the chicken soup bubbling on the stove, I answered the phone and dashed out the door because the store clerk called to say they were closing in fifteen minutes and I hadn’t picked up the ring.”  I asked if that was fiction or non-fiction and she said, “I had no idea I was going to write that and I made the whole thing up.  So fun for me, she said.  I never just make things up.”   I told the writer she could email me on Monday, her first three lines and I would add to them, just for some creative juice.  She did.

“I have no idea what I want to do with my life now that I am not needed as much as Mom.”  She was the last to share and told us it took her courage to tell people she was clueless about what was next for her.  I asked how people view her, “they think I am such a go getter and pulled together.”  “Are you,” I asked.  “Well, NO, she easily said, and her tears fell.  What she discovered was yes she is a go getter and pulled together and she is also immobile and confused.  During this transition, the go getter and pulled together part of her is unavailable right now.  GOOD news is the part of her that has been waiting to be the opposite, has emerged.  The struggle has been that she judges this new, unfamiliar part.  When you can hold OPPOSITES, you open more windows to fresh ideas.

Let’s try again and again, to see beyond our SHOULD and AUTOMATIC responses to who we are and who we are not.  Open to POSSIBILITIES that you don’t have to struggle to discover and you do allow being visible.   Maybe ask for a night dream.

Take good care,
Natalie

Natalie Caine M.A.

Life In Transition, What’s Next?
Empty Nest Support Services
(800) 446-3310 or (310) 454-0040
Los Angeles

Featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, MariaShriver .com, Better Homes and Gardens, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Lifetime Radio for Women, Chicago Tribune, Sirius, Associated Press, Miami Herald, and many more.

Change is inevitable. Get Ready. Get Support. Life transitions need a hand to hold.

www.lifeintransition.org
www.emptynestsupport.com

– Private Telephone Consultations
– Speaking engagements
– Support groups
– Workshops
– Mentoring
Facebook, Linked In, Twitter

Lasting Impressions

August 27, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Ocean_Birds_P1110950I thought it would be fun, for end of summer, to share some of your happy moments.  I will begin and you add on.

1. Walks on the beach in the evening
2. Jackson Hole hikes to lakes and views of Tetons
3. Being with friends, who had more free time, to deeply share and catch up on NOW WHAT…
4. Braving up to speak on a pilot TV talk show segment
5. A walk with a very special person, in Venice, CA, talking about commitment
6. Seeing blue, August, jelly fish on the sand for the first time with hubby
7. Photographing sunrises
8. Music gathering at a woman’s home and remembering how much I love piano, drums, harmony, guitar, voices
9. Hugging my daughter when she walks in the door to visit
Mountain_Lake_P1110010
I bet if I were to write this memory next week, there would be more happy memories to visit.

I remember walking the ocean bluffs and meeting a woman, tall, lean, grey-haired, wearing a pink shawl, and maybe 80. She shared with me that she is painting her cards for Xmas already.  I asked what they looked like. She said, “Oh that is a surprise for Xmas.”  She is a reminder to me that age has nothing to do with finding something that lifts your spirits.

Grateful for easy times and wonderment… Oh, I forgot, early morning, black coffee (dash of cinnamon no cream or sugar) on the patio, smelling the growing cilantro and basil

Forest_Sunrise_P1110441What comes to mind for you?

Enjoy,
Natalie

Natalie Caine M.A.

Life In Transition, What’s Next?
Empty Nest Support Services
(800) 446-3310 or (310) 454-0040
Los Angeles

Featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, MariaShriver .com, Better Homes and Gardens, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Lifetime Radio for Women, Chicago Tribune, Sirius, Associated Press, Miami Herald, and many more.

Sail_Jellyfisth_P1110953Change is inevitable. Get Ready. Get Support. Life transitions need a hand to hold.

www.lifeintransition.org
www.emptynestsupport.com

– Private Telephone Consultations
– Speaking engagements
– Support groups
– Workshops
– Mentoring
Facebook, Linked In, Twitter

 

 

 

When Kids Leave Home

August 25, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | One Comment

Sunset_P1040207“My sister is on her way to drop off her first college kid.” That is the call I got last week. I have never had a sister call about letting go and now what, as kids leave home for college, or marriage, or work.

She shared how this boy, this little fire cracker boy, who slept in her back car as they caravanned on vacations, every summer to the lake, was more like her kid than any kid she ever knew.

She took a photo of her back seat, lined with toys, boxes of cheese crackers, raisins, orange slices in baggies, juice boxes, water bottles, and sports equipment, and mailed it to his new mail box at college  “When you come back home, I am always here to have a good time and if need be, a good cry together. Enjoy your well-earned college days and know you are loved no matter what,” she wrote.

She and I came up with that idea as a way for her to begin to let go.  This boy, this nephew, was her motivation to stay hopeful, while critically ill, divorced, jobless, and while well and happy about life.

She didn’t caravan to college drop off day.  That was for her sister.  She didn’t even ask to go.  What she decided to do was cook seven meals and put them in her sister’s freezer, each taped with colorful paper and words of what she loved about her sister and each ending with THANK YOU for sharing him with me for eighteen years.  He helped me grow up. Now I will help you, sister, find what’s next with your new free time. I will always find time to listen to you and pass you soft Kleenex as you miss your boy. He will be home for Thanksgiving.

Sunflowers_7440She left yellow sun flowers on her sister’s kitchen table and a bowl of blue berries, along with an empty journal saying, NOW YOU BEGIN YOUR NEW ROAD BEYOND PARENTING. ENJOY YOUR WELL EARNED MILESTONE THAT INCLUDES MISSING AND EXPLORING.

May all of you who are missing someone right now, be grateful you could love that much and be open to both the tears and the joys,

Take good care,
Natalie

 
Natalie Caine M.A.

Life In Transition, What’s Next?
Empty Nest Support Services
(800) 446-3310 or (310) 454-0040
Los Angeles

Featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, MariaShriver .com, Better Homes and Gardens, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Lifetime Radio for Women, Chicago Tribune, Sirius, Associated Press, Miami Herald, and many more.

Change is inevitable. Get Ready. Get Support. Life transitions need a hand to hold.

www.lifeintransition.org
www.emptynestsupport.com

– Private Telephone Consultations
– Speaking engagements
– Support groups
– Workshops
– Mentoring
Facebook, Linked In, Twitter

Grieving

August 21, 2014 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Color_Rays_1090813

 I need to be in the rain.

I was invited to sun, but not now.

Rain is my companion to weep.

I need to be in the rain.

I was invited to sun, but I am not ready.

I lost, she lost, and now, I don’t know.

I need to be in the rain.

If I cannot allow myself to be with thunder, then, I cannot heal.
I know me.  I need to be in the rain.

I will not sit soaked forever.

So invite me, again, to sun.

White_Petals_5277Natalie Caine M.A.

Life In Transition, What’s Next?
Empty Nest Support Services
(800) 446-3310 or (310) 454-0040
Los Angeles

Featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, MariaShriver .com, Better Homes and Gardens, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Lifetime Radio for Women, Chicago Tribune, Sirius, Associated Press, Miami Herald, and many more.

Change is inevitable. Get Ready. Get Support. Life transitions need a hand to hold.

www.lifeintransition.org
www.emptynestsupport.com

– Private Telephone Consultations
– Speaking engagements
– Support groups
– Workshops
– Mentoring
Facebook, Linked In, Twitter

Natalie Caine, M.A. natalie@lifeintransition.org | 10061 Riverside Dr., Suite 1002 Toluca Lake, CA 91602 | 800-446-3310