I’ve known Natasha a long time. I don’t even remember the first time we engaged in a conversation. But she has such a peaceful spirit.
And for those who follow her on social media, you see healing and love throughout her page or her sharing in her Insta stories. I feel privileged to say that we have had a chance to break bread through her bullshit book club (she called it that, I didn’t) or even some of the events that she put together.
Although she might seem like a superhero at times, this interview is providing a perspective of her that hopefully can let some folks see the human in her.
Author of Broken Heals, she helps many with their self awareness by holding space and asking the tough questions that we tend to avoid.
I hope you enjoy this week’s Women Crushing It Wednesday in Natasha Helwig!
All right, so finally, finally with Natasha Helwig.
I know oh my god, I should have apologized too. I'm sorry.
No worries, I totally understand. You have to be in the right frame of mind when you do this. Anyways, I usually ask people questions about their upbringing first, but there’s one question that I have in mind for you.
What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
Biggest misconception... Oh, okay. Most recently, I think that... I don't think it's people. I think it's men. I think that there's a misconception that because of what I talk about, and what I post that they think I'm like, love and light all the time. So if I start dating someone... So obviously this is more so in intimate relationships. I have encountered situations where they're shocked when I have a down day, or you start to see my dark side with the more shadow self stuff. Or if I'm low energy, or I don't act out at my best, they ask themselves who the hell this person is. So I think that it's kind of a misconception, because I share so much about healing that all of a sudden, I must be like, Queen heals or whatever. I don't know. But that's something I noticed.
Yeah, you are the author of Broken Heals. I mean, the title says it. There should be an understanding coming from that. We’ll get back to Broken Heals. Now we go back to the natural progression of these interviews. So second question here, every superhero has an origin story. What would be yours?
(laughter) Um, well, my origin story for Broken Heals...
Not Broken Heals. For you.
What's my origin story? What a good question. I should have thought about this before. Um, okay. Well, I often say that although I have outside siblings, I grew up mainly by myself, as an only child to two very insecure parents. So I knew a lot of drama and trauma by the time I was 4. And I think that made me deeply introspective really early in life. And then I had my rebel story in my teens which was really bad. And then early 20s, I went through five years of abusive relationships. 3 abusive relationships. So all 3 of those physically abusive are what propelled Broken Heals. Yeah.
You say, you know, growing up with, you know, insecure parents. You've developed this introspective side to you. You're very intuitive in terms of what you share what you speak on. And even with the work that you do. You show a lot of knowledge.
First, thank you for seeing the intuitive side. I think a lot of people have been asking me that recently. Even close friends have been telling me that my intuition is so strong. I think that I probably always had strong intuition, but just through growing up and being a follower all through high school and stuff. I was definitely a follower and trying to fit in there. I forgot about my intuition. And then when I got into the 3 physically abusive relationships, that button was broken. And the last serious relationship I was in, which ended six years ago, that relationship was different. It was more emotionally abusive. And I'm still learning about what narcissism looks like. But I do think that there were elements of it that were narcissistic, probably on both our sides, not just his. And that really took a toll on my just trusting myself and trying to learn discernment again, and trying to rebuild that same intuition. But yes, the one thing that stayed the same is that introspective nature. I have always been really deep that way. Maybe it's another misconception. I don't know. But I don't know if people see that. Because if you meet me, especially before now, let's say like who Natasha was even 3 years ago, I would still be out drinking, partying and being on a boat cruise. Just having fun. Like, I mix Jack with Moscato. I'm light and have a lot of fun that way. But then if we start to get into deeper conversations, you’ll be able to say, oh ok, this is where her mind is. And also, I would say, 3 or 4 years ago, I'd struggle with how I was communicating things. Whereas, now I feel more confident in my understanding of love and relationships, and trusting God and surrender and stuff. Not that it's perfect. There's still so much learning, but my direction has shifted focus more towards spirit, and trying my best to be in love. And through doing that, it's helped me trust my intuition more. And also, just in relationships with work and family and friends and intimate partners, it's also helped. There's just been way more peace. A really good book for this, or one of the things I've been studying a lot is A Course in Miracles. It's a mix of psychotherapy meets Christianity. I don't even think I'm properly saying it. That's probably not even the right description, because I'm still learning. People like Marianne Williamson, Eckhart Tolle, these kinds of names. They've studied A Course in Miracles, Gabrielle Bernstein. People kept saying, read this book by Gabrielle, or this book by Marianne Williamson. And when I would research the book, I'd see that their root was in A Course in Miracles. So I told myself, I need to just read A Course in Miracles. It's not an easy text. I find I pick it up and then I put it back down. Or then I do go and read a book from Marianne Williamson to kind of help the understanding, but the true premise of it is letting go of your ego, and being in love. Marianne Williamson's book is called A Return to Love. It's one of her most popular. They use the term ego to encompass fear, greed, guilt, anger, all those negative things that are stopping you from being truly in love. They refer to it as your ego. So anything that's fear, basically. And I think, honestly, the last two years, especially leaning more into that, has definitely increased my intuition. If you read these people, you'll see where a lot of my writing comes from. I'm really just remixing what their principles are just saying it in a way that we understand now in this day and age.
But that's why I say you might be able to battle rap. You've been dropping serious bars.
Read these guys. Osho, Marianne, wherever it starts for you. It's also going to free you. What's also interesting is like, especially now with Instagram culture, and you'll see these things that say don't choose a man or a woman who's just in the potential phase, or I don't know. You just see a lot of stuff that I kind of feel is so toxic now, after reading more of this. Obviously, everybody has their own discernment toolkit. Everybody has their standards and the things you want. I don't think there's anything wrong with that whatsoever. But I think there's something wrong with it when you're not doing the work on yourself. Not that you couldn't or can't dream or have an expectation of something larger than you are. But I think you should also be trying to be just as large.
All right. I'm going to ask about your parents real quick. And then after that, we will get into more of the present day. You're very open. It's like you're...
I know, it's almost like I have no shame the way I just talk about things and people say that's so brave. And I don't see it as brave. I just talk.
Have you always been this open? Have your parents encouraged it?
My parents don't know... I wouldn't say they encouraged... That's such a good question. My parents have not encouraged it. I grew up extremely shy.
Yeah, super shy. Um, when would I say that I became more open? I think, to be honest, when I started the brand, I kind of had to become more open. But also, it started when first speaking about abuse. So the first moment that I was able to speak on this is my abuse story. After that the floodgates opened, but I wouldn't go on like, well, I don't know, actually. I was gonna say I wouldn't go on national TV and talk about things like, my parents drama or something. I wouldn't do that. That'd be more in like the smaller spaces like our book clubs and stuff. Um, and I also only ever speak to things that I feel are closed doors now. So even the posts and stuff that I write, I can speak more confidently, because I know I went through that. And this is how I wrapped it up. Things that are happening right now that I'm still processing, I would frame them more in questions. So I'll start asking other people opening up the conversation to start developing what my process will be or how I want to heal that thing. So I won't often share exactly where I am today. Unless I'm around people. Even with the women that I'm coaching, I find we're all kind of in the same space. So there you'll have more open frank conversations. Vulnerability has definitely been the biggest healing tool for me. And also… So this is something I was doing before reading these books, but these books just started to confirm it. Even if deep inside of me, I struggle to trust people, I will never behave like I don't trust you. Gone are the days where I put up so many walls, um, or be resistant or cold or play games. I tell you exactly how I feel even if it's embarrassing. I'll say to the person I'm dating, this thing you did triggered me. And this is why, and maybe I don't know how to fix it. So give me grace. I'm open to say that. I probably overthink a lot of the situations too, but I do that and hopefully I attract people in my life who are also just as open to communicate that stuff. But yo, the walls that we put up, those things are exactly why none of our relationships are working. We're putting them up to protect ourselves, but we're keeping the other person out.
I got gang of walls. Might as well call me Berlin. (laughter)
(laughter) It starts with you, though. I think again, we hope that somebody will come in and help us take the wall down. But if we have walls up, we're going to attract someone else who also has walls up. So if you get one wall down, you'll attract somebody else who has one wall down. It's kinda like the more open than the better you're going to be at bringing in that person.
This is interesting that you say that. Because you hold space for a lot of women to share and work on themselves. Who is there to hold space for you?
I have 2 therapists. (laughter) Yeah, I do actually have 2 therapists. Before this, I would say my girlfriends. And then one thing that I realized I was doing also, and I'm still trying to do better at not doing is I would... The person I was dating would be holding space for me. And I realized, over the last year and a half, maybe a little bit more, that I can't expect that person to carry me that way. I'm going to carry 50 people over here, and then expect this one man to carry me plus the 50 people. That's not fair. Years ago, a guy told me I would need a strong partner. And I didn't understand what that meant. He said that because of all the abuse I've gone through, I need to have a strong partner. Then I think I looked at strength as how much they have my back. And that's one part of it. But it's not anybody's job. I made the choice to hold space for those people. I can’t expect him to also do that. So that's been a huge learning curve to say I need to have these other outlets. And now with COVID. And everybody's older now and people have kids and families. I don't talk to my girlfriends as much. So I do definitely have 2… I have a therapist here and I have a therapist that work.... She's actually in the States. And I talk to one person a week. Just so that I can offload my own stuff too. As my clients were sharing things with me, I also found I was starting to relate back. And nothing's wrong with that. If it's still again, shared space, but I didn't want it to get into a place where they're also holding space for me. So yeah, the 2 therapists and also a prayer journal. That has been a huge thing for me. Writing, just mind dumping every morning.
I actually was thinking about getting that for my niece. I feel like in terms of expression and everything, she seems to have issues with other kids her age.
She's too expressive or she's not at all?
It's like what people would call social cues and stuff like that, she's not really catching on. The way I treat my brother, I would not treat the next dude the same way I treat my brother or deal with him that way. She seems to not know how to differentiate.
Okay, that makes sense.
But, yeah, I want to get back to something you mentioned, though. You want to be more honest with folks in terms of how you express yourself. Was there a point where you hid most of your actual feelings?
Hiding my feeling? Um, I don't know if I hid my feelings. Um, no. I might wait. I might wait for the men to share. I know that back in the day, I would wait for the men to share first. But I think that's like also typical as you're growing up. One thing that I feel has been coming up for me is feeling like I'm not understood. So I am still trying to figure out where that's coming from. But I do notice, especially a lot, just a couple of months ago, because this is actually something I'm talking about in therapy. But I would find that in arguments I felt like they weren't listening to me. And I know that I'm communicating the thing clearly or whatever. So I'm still trying to figure out where the root is of feeling like someone's not listening to me. But no, I still say what I want to say. But I'm calculated with how I say things. Because I have a past of being very reactionary. So reaction versus response has been a huge thing for me. You could say something to me, and it might bother me. Back in the day, I just attacked right back, whereas now I hold it for a moment. And then think about why it's bothering me.
Cool. Um, I got three more questions. And after that, we'll be good.
Okay. Take your time.
Do you remember the day you put pen to paper when you wrote Broken Heals? What your frame of mind was, like?
Like creating the organization, the brand?
Oh, my book, Oh, Jesus, the first little book, which I'm so embarrassed by now. Um, that book, it was all Instagram posts. Um, so I just started sharing Instagram stuff. And people wanted it all in one place. So that's how I just ended up putting it together. I more so remember the process of putting it together. And remember when it was finished, how great that felt. But now, 5 years later, everyone always says that the book is good for whoever is in that place in their life. Well, for me now, when I read it, it feels amateur. It feels young. I'm embarrassed to read it. My writing wasn't as good. I don't even know if I stand by this message anymore. But that shows your growth too.
I mean, you're a different woman than who she was when you wrote it.
What about the brand?
The brand started because I needed community after leaving the last physically abusive relationship. I mean, my friends knew what had happened. But I realized that true understanding was kind of missing and not to take from how much they supported me, but I needed spaces around me that had gone through it. So I didn't feel so alone. And so that's where that started.
True. All right. What legacy would you like to leave?
I hate this question.
So I'm working with black women to help them do self work. But the big premise of what I do with them is get them to a place of self awareness. And to recognize where their patterns are and what they need to heal and all of that. Ultimately, I'm praying that there's somebody out there that's doing that for black men. Or maybe I'm going to have to do it for black men (laughter), I don't know. But I have a few different Whys. One of the Whys is actually a statement out of A Course in Miracles that says, I will be healed as I teach others to heal. So I am healed as I teach others to heal. Um, so that's my individual reason. The more that I can emanate, and help others heal and more on going to be healed. Um, my other Why is that I really want to see successful black families, and successful black relationships. And I mean, that's a whole other conversation, but we see how Indians do, we see how Asians do, we see how white people do. We don't hear discord and conversations in those communities, at least, or even if it is happening, it's not so public, where's like shaming. You don't hear an Asian men necessarily saying, I don't date Asian women, you know, even if maybe there's a few in there that believe that it's not this public thing. Yet, we have so many open conversations and debates and black men and women at each other's necks because we don't feel supported by each other. And so first, it's fix individuals so that that individual can come into the home from a more loving place, and hopefully attract that person who's also doing that work, so that there can be healthier relationships. Yeah.
Quick question I want to add in there with regards to the work that you are doing with black women. Are your friends already at the level where you would like for other black women to be? Or have you found yourself like helping your friends get there?
No, no. I mean, I'm not in their relationship. So I don't know what's happening behind closed doors. But from what I see, my closest friends are married, or close to being married, have kids, have built homes, have joy and growth and stuff in their relationships. I'm just happy for them. It's not seeing them saying why I want to do this. This just sort of happened out of seeing everybody else struggling including myself. My main core circle of friends, there's 5 of us, and there's just myself and my other girl that are single. The other 3 are in great relationships from what we can tell. And have healthy amazing children.
Cool. If you were to meet an 18 year old Natasha...
Yeah, let’s say 18. What advice would you give her?
I always say that I would tell 18 year old me to just trust herself more. And stop waiting for other people to do things. I was always an entrepreneur, but I was always waiting for friends. So just trust yourself more and do it on your own and to stay off of Black Planet.
(laughter) And I say that every time somebody asks me that question, but that still holds strong. I would have saved myself a lot of trouble if I was not on Black Planet, because the reality is the 2 men, the first 2 that were violent with me, I met from Black Planet.
Oh my god! Really?
Yeah. Not that Black Planet was the reason I got abused. It's still again, the level at which I was attracting. But I don't know. Maybe they wouldn't have had so much access.