We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Gentry and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
The focus of my work is to help people to get grounded, centered, and to connect more fully with themselves so they can live lives of greater passion and honesty. When you are better able to connect more completely with yourself, you feel more peace with who you are. When you’re more at peace with yourself, the better able you can be to relate to others and to live your life from a more authentic, open, curious space. It’s a ripple effect that starts with one person that can touch families, friends, communities, and ultimately the world at large.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What excites me is helping clients to connect more fully with themselves through a sensed/felt experience. I utilize Maya abdominal massage, Transformational Breath, conscious movement, and coaching to help my clients to do so. I offer what I offer because those modalities helped me.
I believe that we often try to “think” our way through life. The problem is that our brains are wired to keep us safe and, if your brain is anything like mine, your brain can lie to you in order to ensure that you don’t do anything that takes you too far outside of your comfort zone. Learning to sense the messages our bodies share is more helpful; our bodies can tell us the truth and keep us in our truth when we trust the messages. I think that many of us desire to know ourselves more deeply and to live more expansively and abundantly. However, it can be hard to discover where to begin.
I’ve often viewed what I offer as part of what helps people to “peel the onion”. Maya abdominal massage can be beneficial for helping you to sense your body. Transformational Breath® work can help you to deepen your awareness and to sense emotions stuck at the cellular level. Conscious dance can help you to sense those deeper emotions, move through them (literally), and to express yourself in a more authentic way. And coaching can help you to define your intentions, keep you accountable, and provide a way for you to share what’s unfolding for you.
I’ve opened up and have accepted my good, bad, and ugly more fully through learning to listen to my gut and through learning to trust my heart to guide me. I do what I do because it has felt like a calling. I also love creating my life and I love holding space and supporting others who are open to learning more about themselves. I had a sense in massage school that there was a strong body/mind connection that could be bridged and I wanted to bridge it. I had no idea what it would look when I began my journey but I trusted that I would find my way.
I’ve experienced a lot of challenges in my life. And to be honest, I let others’ judgments and my own fears get to me for a long time in an effort to feel acceptable to others. In doing so, I lost a sense of who I truly am. I have come to appreciate the things that make me unique on my road to rediscovery. There were additional things I had to learn about myself as well. I’ve had to unpack and unwind a lot of my own outdated habits, beliefs, and values that were getting in my way, which was daunting at times. In spite of those challenges, what sustained me was my belief in what I was trying to develop and my openness to remaining curious. Additionally, I began to accept my mistakes as growth opportunities and part of what keeps me human. And, in doing so, I began to get increasingly comfortable in my own skin. Those lessons enabled me to understand what many of us struggle with on a daily basis. My challenges have helped me to appreciate my own humanity more, as well as others’. And, in a world where it can appear easier to live life in a way that is comfortable to the masses, my unwavering pursuit of my vision is something I’m proud of.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh, dear!!! So many options! Hmmm… It depends on the time of year. If it’s summer, I’d say hike a nearby trail like Mt. Falcon or to Rocky Mountain National Park. (Perhaps a car camping trip?) Spend an afternoon shopping/eating in Morrison before a concert at Red Rocks. I would suggest breakfast at Sassafras, check out an exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, swing by the Farmer’s Market at East High School, and drop into Tattered Cover to peruse book titles. In the evening, I would recommend going to a pop-up silent disco somewhere in town or going to Ophilia’s to hear live local music or for disco or ’80’s night. If the timing is right, I’d also suggest Bacon/Bourbon festival at Keystone, or Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland just for kicks. Go to Gold Hill Inn because who wouldn’t like to eat a 6-course meal of rustic food in a cute little mountain hamlet? Or have lunch at the Dushanbe Tea House in Boulder. You can wander around the Botanic gardens and take in a concert there or have a picnic at Jazz in the Park at City Park, which is a great way to close out the weekend. If it’s winter, around Christmas, I would suggest going to listen to the tubas play on Larimer Square. There is the Blossom of Lights at Botanic Gardens and Wild Lights at the zoo. Pick up a guidebook and tour all of the neighborhoods with holiday light displays. Have tapas at Barcelona, go to the Cleo Parker Robinson holiday show, Granny Dances To A Holiday Drum, then have a nightcap at Death and CO. There is also my holiday favorite, the Denver Symphony playing Too Hot To Handel.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are many people who supported me along the way…I feel very blessed to have worked with a variety of people who have supported my growth, both personally and professionally. I’m finding it hard to limit my shout-out to one person or group. I would like to give a shout-out to two people: Michelle Vos and Wolf Martinez.
Michelle is a business coach I worked with for several years. She helped me to bring the vision of what I wanted to create, business-wise, to fruition. She understood that I wanted to utilize all of my skills to create offerings for clients and helped me to create a container to showcase them. Michelle also helped me to find ways to expand my offerings in many different ways. Furthermore, she helped me to remember to keep myself at the center of my business. My work is important but it is part of who I am, not the sum total. And the women who were also a part of Michelle’s group with me, were amazing supports.
Wolf is my spiritual teacher whose teachings are based on Lakota traditions and principles. I was introduced to him, I think, 18 years ago and began working with him on a deeper level, five or six years ago. I have truly loved working with Wolf because he has helped me to remember where “home” is…within myself. And he continues to do so. I’ve never been religious but I’ve always believed in spirituality. Spirit is what keeps us connected to our authentic selves. I want to be as connected to my Self as much as I can in order to work with clients in the capacity that I do, Wolf is guiding me and I’m grateful.
I also want to mention the following organizations and individuals who also helped: ~My high school English teachers and Dr. Catherine Burroughs, my college English professor who inspired me, through my studies, to follow my heart. ~The women of Four Corners, Louisiana, who showed me that serving people is more important to me than making a fat paycheck. ~My co-workers and the kids I worked with at Denver Partners for the increased opportunities to love, serve, and for fueling my desire to learn self-care. ~The teachers, faculty, and students at Boulder College of Massage Therapy who, in addition to teaching me skills, helped me to become aware of my body. ~Shelley Torgove and my co-workers at Apothecary Tinctura for teaching me about herbs, aromatherapy, and for introducing me to Maya abdominal massage. ~Rosita Arvigo, Miss Hortense, Miss Beatrice, Miss Juanita, and the Mayan healers in Belize who, in addition to teaching me Maya abdominal massage, introduced me to the power of being connected with spirit. ~Barbara Noonan who introduced me to medical intuition. ~Judith Kravits and the Transformational Breath Foundation for helping me to deepen my awareness to my body and connection with spirit through the breath. ~Dhyan Unmaniji for introducing me to spiritual work. ~Jessical Wolf for introducing me to conscious movement ~Vincent Martinez, Zuza and Scott Engler, Randy Miller, and the senior faculty of Soul Motion for teaching me to dance from the inside, out. ~Jennifer Whitton-Trujillo for introducing me to marketing ~Suzanne Hanna, The Global Healing Collective, Jen Kohler, Rebecca Saltman and their collective groups for the teachings I continue to learn and for the support provided. ~I have many friends who have encouraged and challenged me to grow and have loved and accepted my humanness. ~My parents who showed me that comminity support is an honorable, important service. ~And to Bill Slamkowski for his love, for challenging me to stand on my own two feet, and to shine my own light.
Lynn Clark Portraits, Amy K. Wright Photography