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A Bud of An Idea

February 11, 2020 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

During a transition, meaning you are no longer where you use to be and you don’t know where you are headed, a bud of an idea to lift your spirits is worth watering. 

A woman shared with me that she knows it will take time to decide what’s next for her, but that doesn’t ease her pain.  Many times, she has felt left out, disappointed, and that nothing is working out for her. 

Most of her life, she views herself as a woman of independence and perseverance.  Today she feels immobile. 

I think we can relate to both parts of her.  My suggestion, after allowing her to hear herself speak, was that she start with what might seem to help TODAY.  

For her that help was to write what she needed and name one person she feels safe with to ask for help?  Then I suggested she read her list of needs out loud right before she falls asleep and to ask for a dream that might help her with something on her list.

The mystery of life is that one day an idea you have for “self-care” will work and another day it might not. 

The practice is to not judge yourself for feeling the way you feel, meaning, “Oh here we go again, I felt great yesterday and today I am collapsed.” 

Take care…

It’s Your Time

February 7, 2019 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Day of Calm Retreat

WHEN: Saturday, February 23
TIME: 10 am to 3 pm
HOW MUCH: $150
WHERE: THE GATHERING:   665 Swarthmore Ave. Pacific Palisades

INCLUDES: Morning and Afternoon Guided Meditation, Yoga, and Life Transitions Workshop.  We will also provide a delicious and healthy lunch and snacks throughout the day.  

Meet Our Retreat Leaders: we are excited to bring you some of the top instructors in the industry.  

Life Transitions Workshop taught by Natalie Caine M.A

Natalie has shared wisdom, tips, and comfort with thousands of people across the world as they deal with happy and challenging life transitions and has been a top speaker at resorts and spas like The Golden Door, and Rancho La Puerta, as well as conferences, private and corporate settings.  

Her workshop will help you find your new rhythm over and over as you collapse and surface. Natalie believes we have a full orchestra inside that goes dormant and wants to surface. Often out of habit, one only uses the “violin” or “drum” energy. Natalie easily teaches how to access the full range.

Hypnotic Yoga Class Taught by Sherly Sulaiman

Sherly Sulaiman packs 20 years of international yoga, mindfulness and hypnosis knowledge, practice and teachings into her own fascinating blend of “Tranceformative” yoga. This 75-minute experience will not only relax and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit, but goes a step deeper. Sherly uses her distinct, hypnotic voice and draws on her set of multidimensional skills to turn a yoga class into a remarkably tranceformative experience that is as captivating as it is relaxing.

Morning and Evening Guided Meditation Taught by Nora Plesent

by Nora Plesent

Nora is an attorney, award winning business owner and certified meditation instructor. She has been inspiring women to live their best life for over 25 years. A recognized leader in entrepreneurship, Nora has been shifting her focus from external to internal success and satisfaction and is eager to share her love for meditation with everyone.

Navigating the Unknown: Palisadian-Post

November 20, 2018 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

I have been through floods and fires and earthquakes and riots…

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Period of adjustment: ‘Empty-nesters’ look to tears — and travel

September 6, 2018 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Natalie was interviewed for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article “Period of adjustment: ‘Empty-nesters’ look to tears — and travel” by Len Barcousky. Here’s an excerpt:

Natalie Caine says tears — shed by both fathers and mothers — are not unusual during such transition times. Ms. Caine leads workshops and counsels couples and individuals as they face a variety of life changes. She is a native of Wheeling, W.Va., who now bases her practice in the Toluca Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. For the past 15 years her areas of specialty have included “empty nest” support services.

Ms. Caine has had personal experience with this particular life change. Her only child, a daughter, selected a college in New York City, 3,000 miles from California.

In a recent phone conversation, Mrs. Caine emphasized that each family situation is unique. Do not measure yourself and your “empty nest” reaction to those of your neighbors, she advised. Each family and each parent within that family likely will deal with the transition — which she compared to a grieving process — differently.

Continue Reading


How to Cope With an Empty Nest

September 6, 2018 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Natalie was interviewed for the AARP article “How to Cope With an Empty Nest” by Sarah Elizabeth Adler.

Here’s an excerpt:

That said, if you’re distraught, you’re not alone. Natalie Caine, the founder of Empty Nest Support Services (which she started the year before her own daughter left for college), says that grieving is normal, whether you’re launching a first child or the last,

“Be gentle with yourself,” she says. “What you’re grieving is that the role you had as a parent is different now.” And just as some parents experience more grief than others, Caine says it’s entirely normal for your feelings about different children’s departures to vary.

Read the full article

Developing Skills for The Unexpected in Life

May 22, 2018 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

You are no longer where you were and not sure what’s ahead for you. It is natural to collapse and stand tall over and over until you find your rhythm. Change happens.

It is amazing we never had classes in school that prepared us for the unexpected. I know we are spread across the country and want a place to share and learn new ways to live with the unknown.

Therefore, again, I am happy to offer my facilitating and presenting during our hour virtual gathering. I hope you join us.

Space is limited in order for each person to have a safe time to share. Who knows, you might meet someone who lives right down the street from you. This happened with two women in New Jersey.

We all commit to “nothing we share leaves this room”.  There will be experiential learning so have paper and pencil.

  • Time: Pacific time, 6:00pm. Eastern time, 9:00pm –  one-hour virtual session
  • Dates: Monday: June 4, 11, 18,
  • How:  You will be sent a link to meet on ZOOM once you register.
  • Cost: Each conversation is $40.00, bringing the total three sessions to $120.00.  The group is counting on you, so sign up is for all three, one-hour sessions.
  • Contact and Registration: Natalie looks forward to speaking with you. You can email her, or call her at her Los Angeles office, (800) 446-3310 or (310) 454-0040, Pacific Time.
  • Payment: Square is available which will be invoiced to your email address. Very easy.

Natalie Caine M.A re-invented her career to fit a new passion—helping people travel their road of change. She is an honest, humorous, compassionate teacher who is packed full of suggestions for the unexpected. She knows these roads because she had to figure it out and learn from a long list of unexpected changes that arrived over and over during her life.  Just ask her and she is happy to share with you her experiences. 

She has shared wisdom, tips, and comfort with thousands of people across the globe as they deal with happy and challenging life transitions and has been a top speaker at resorts and spas, RANCHO LA PUERTA, THE GOLDEN DOOR, CAL A VIE, RED MOUNTAIN, OJAI, as well as conferences, private and corporate settings. Natalie mentors all ages which includes how to say what you want to say so you expand rather than contract a conversation and how to discover what matters to you now and turn that into creative work. 

Natalie is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal and has been featured in top media, including Time Magazine, USA Today, Huffington Post, MariaShriver. com, Better Homes and Gardens, N. Y. Times, L.A. Times, Washington Post, Lifetime Radio for Women, Chicago Tribune, and Miami Herald. 

She is looking forward to participating at The GLOBAL WELLNESS SUMMIT in Italy, sharing that learning with you, and visiting friends and family over the summer months.

You can always find Natalie cooking, re- arranging the furniture, walking in nature, writing and reading in bed, where she just doesn’t want to give up pretzels and mustard.

Natalie loves chatting about movies that freaked her out or brought her to tears. She starts her day looking out the window excited to see the beauty.  Her inner world is a daily practice, as well as, analyzing her sleep dreams.

Happy moment is when her daughter calls to share a night dream she had!  She is voted by her friends the most likely to get it done, let it go, make you laugh, and feed you well.  She is not the one they ask to go skiing unless that means sipping and sitting by the fire with you.

Her motto is be a kind role model. Her pet peeve is people who double park blocking a lane.

She wants to hear from you. Email Natalie or call to be a part of this Virtual Gathering and for registration.  Everyone gets uplifted from each other because they realize they aren’t alone.

Take care,


Empty Nest – Finding Your Rhythm

September 5, 2017 | by Natalie Caine | One Comment

Posted in the Palisadian Post Aug 31, 2017


June 25, 2017 | by Natalie Caine | One Comment

I drove to Santa Barbara to be with my friend who I have known for twenty-five years. We don’t get enough face-to-face time because she no longer lives in California, as I do.

Isn’t it the best knowing you are going to be with someone who gets you, who carries your HISTORY, who could care less if you wear MAKE UP? We know we LOVE each other. We have been able to mend the hurt we caused or the blind spots that kept us from really “SEEING” and “BEING” with each other. Both of us have been through struggles and pain as well as celebrations and joy. LIFE, we share it…

It is fun for me to pack treats for her that she can’t easily access: apricots, peaches, blueberries, sierra gold potatoes, California Rose and Red wine, Los Angeles local yogurt, cheese and crackers. with a side of olives and homemade hummus. Of course, there is always room for desserts, orange zest pound cake; yes, it is full of butter, and macaroon drop cookies.

Our RHYTHMS are so similar. We are early risers who like to chat over coffee at home and then get out the door to explore. NEGOTIATING is effortless; CHANGING the plans doesn’t cause TANTRUMS, and the one listening more than TALKING, doesn’t feel being USED nor self-centered.

We wouldn’t be FRIENDS this long if we DENIED how each of us sees things. “That didn’t happen, that’s not how it came down,” nor do we NAME CALL when sharing feelings, “Oh you are so SENSITIVE.” We don’t feel SUPERIOR to the other and we don’t change the SUBJECT to lead the other off course.

Each of us has learned how to SELF-CARE, “Sorry, I have to go to bed. I’m tired.” “Ugh, I am spinning that disappointment in my head that I told you about yesterday. I can’t stop re playing what happened. I know we talked about it already. Would you remind me, again, what might help me right NOW and wait until I get PAPER and PENCIL to take notes?”

Our EXPECTATIONS are in check. I need to eat more often than she does. I like being outside, so she knows that request is coming her way. I know she likes to have directions ahead of time of exactly where the hike, museum, play, restaurant, etc., is located. Relying on apps isn’t enough security for her.

Laughing and made up words always arrive. The SCHMONGON SISTERS will be there for LOUPINOFFS. Then we get into stories that can turn our FANTASY IDEAS into playful thoughts that the WORLD just has to have. We talk about our past relationships, projects that slid down the drain, not feeling the AGE that shows up in the morning MIRROR, fun experiences we have had, personal and world dreams for tomorrow, and of course, family. We chat about the UNKNOWN and conclude, sometimes, that for now, this is how it is.

Friendships, at any age after COLLEGE and beyond, seem to be more difficult to CULTIVATE, especially if you live in a BIG city or aren’t part of a face-to-face work or INTEREST group community. Have you noticed that too?

For others, it is not that they need MORE friends. It is that they long for deeper more MEANINGFUL conversations and the COURAGE to say STOP IT to the same old conversations and then be able to head in a new direction for connecting.

Maybe it will be helpful to get a view from above yourself and ponder the question, “WHAT WOULD I LIKE IN A FRIENDSHIP? WHAT DO I HAVE TO GIVE and WHAT WOULD I LIKE TO RECEIVE THESE DAYS?”

What I learned when facilitating my workshops about friends is that they want more inclusion, they want to be asked questions that maybe they haven’t thought about, and they want less texting. They feel they have creativity and wisdom to share but everyone is hurried or has agendas and they don’t know how to interject what they want to give the friend.



June 20, 2017 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

If you know me, you know I love mentoring. No one wants to develop his or her life without support. I have had help and am daily grateful.

You know how you have an idea and you are flowing along and then you lose momentum? It happens. What I hope for you is that along with the reality that energy shifts, that you also remind yourself not to allow your inner critic to add fuel to your STOP ZONE.”

You get all these ideas. You start and then as usual, you are all talk and no action. What is wrong with you?” Does that critic voice sound familiar? It happens to all of us in our creative process and in our creativity with our relationships.

What helps me is to EXPECT that at some point I will get STUCK and I will also hear the loud cymbals of my inner CRITIC in my head.

IF YOU KNOW it is natural for the critic to arrive, you will be less punishing towards yourself than having blinders on that all will go well every day and that you can always figure it out by yourself. Sometimes you need a sounding board or an expert in the field.

When your inner critic is diminishing you, you can say, “THANK YOU FOR SHARING. I am uncertain about my next step and this happens to everyone. So BUG off.”

You move into a more compassionate, empowering voice. You CAN’T get rid of your inner critic and you CAN give it LESS of your time.

I have also noticed in mentoring others, whether it is re-inventing their careers, re-entering the world after a long pause, or helping them map out a plan for their project that is reality vs. fantasy based, that people feel badly telling me they only have so much money in their budget for me to help them.

I welcome your asking me for what you do and don’t want. It is your time and your money. Sometimes people call and don’t know what they want or how to organize their thoughts and actions.

My job is to ask the questions for you to pause and then discover what is true for you and what you need. It is vulnerable for some to come to the table with what they think is a “boring dish or no dish at all.” You are still welcome at the table.

No worries, I have been there, so I understand the not knowing where to begin or what to ask for when it comes to being supported.

Take good care,

Father’s Day

June 16, 2017 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Adoption or birth of a child, fathers are ecstatic playing with their children. The love they give and receive changes them. Sure, you hear the stories of how they are showing up more by getting time off and taking it from work and how some are happily taking the role of care-taker as their wives drive off to work.

What I have been hearing from couples is the dream come true stories of finally being able to AFFORD to be parents and the TEAMING with their partner from spontaneously figuring out how to parent.

More and more couples are getting dogs first to see how well they do with teaming and getting up and out the door early or after work to walk the dog.

Some fathers have talked about how different they are parenting than their dad did, “my dad was more quiet about asking me questions about my friendships or school. I am more chatty with my eight year old daughter than he was.”

Fathers stare at the beauty of their child and are drawn into the deep automatic love they are feeling. It pauses them from the other roles they carry in the family.
I always hear, “I had no idea how tired we would be and how in love we have fallen for our child. I am changed by this love. I just want to do all I can to be here for them.

I do at times miss the free weekends we had before birthday parties and soccer games, but I will get better at having the grand parents help out and not feeling like I am missing out by not being with my kids.”

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY. THANK YOU. THANK YOU, for teaching and being love.


Try Something You Don’t Typically Do

June 15, 2017 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Change: I think women and men have lived with themselves long enough to know what they enjoy, what they are good at, and what people acknowledge about them.

I wasn’t surprised when I asked the women to write a short response to those above questions and many felt stuck. They said, “I don’t know what to write.” Part of the stuckness is we focus on the problem solving that is needed for the day or the TO DO LIST, don’t you think?

Who shares during a walk with a friend or dinner or at work, what is awesome about them or what compliments people passed to them during the week? My guess is not too many people. You know why that doesn’t happen; bragging, self- centered, so what, and the thoughts in your head go on and on as to why not talk about the JOY of YOU.

Do you think it is self-centered? Do you think it is boring? Do you think it goes nowhere so you don’t bring it up where as “issues” ignite more of a back and forth conversation? What do you think?

Well, I invite you this week to share the JOY OF YOU. Share and ask your friends, colleagues, kids, parents, partners, what they enjoy, what they are good at, and what acknowledgments people have given them over the months?

PS – The last one might be the most challenging. Awkward is normal, so go ahead and be, “normally awkward.” People get to PASS if they don’t want to respond to the questions when you ask them, just a heads up about that happening because it could happen.

Share with us. Leave a comment or email. We will listen and even get inspired by the JOY OF YOU.

Have fun,


June 9, 2017 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

A major life transition is happening in May and June; high school, college, and grad school graduations. What I have been hearing from parents is how proud they are as their tears touch their face.

They can’t believe they are viewing their child, grown, and crossing the stage to receive that diploma. For some families, it hasn’t been an easy relationship and today they are choosing to celebrate the milestone.

Parents shared how much they love having family together, creating more happy memories. They miss those who have died and aren’t in the room. Some feel their discomfort of being divorced or widowed. A range of feelings and thoughts quickly visit parents during graduation ceremonies and parties.
Among the hugs, gift giving, and pass the salad, parents are wondering, NOW WHAT? How often will I hear from my kids and who will I become now that my children need me less. Honestly and embarrassingly they share, I STILL NEED THEM.

I should get over it and make a better life for myself. I should be grateful my kid graduated and are more independent. I should have been more fun and not just have been the disciplinarian or worrier. I should have let them have more sleepovers. The SHOULD list goes on and on.

What I have noticed is we all spend time listing lists of shoulds and coulds. Those lists occupy our mind, keep us busy so to speak, and also help us reflect.

When I asked the parents, WHAT WILL YOU MISS, the feeling in the room changed. When I asked, WHAT WON’T YOU MISS, laughter arrived. When I asked, WHAT DO YOU APPRECIATE ABOUT YOURSELF AS A PARENT, few hands rose to share. It took a bit more time to dig in and find what values and meaning they feel they add to their child’s life.

Complementing ourselves gets buried because we judge it as bragging. BRAG ON. It was easier for parents to chat about the loneliness they feared and some anxiety about what their relationship with their kids would be like NOW. What’s the new role for the grads and the parents?

CONGRATULATIONS PARENTS. You have been the teacher and the student on this journey towards graduation with your children. LOVE, oh what it asks us to be and do!

Take good care,

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