Natalie Southgate shines with health and positivity. She has a charmed life and although it has always looked that way to the outside world, as a young, successful woman she felt something was missing.
“I felt out of balance. I was 25, successful, happily married, I had all the trappings of a great life but I was asking myself, is this it? Is this what success looks like?”
A chance meeting with a woman working in the same building where she ran her successful UK-based recruitment company set Natalie on a path of discovery, self-healing, teaching and ultimately resulted in her creating Chakradance, a healing modality that is now taught in over 60 countries.
“There was a woman who worked in my building and I saw her rushing off every day at 5 pm looking like she was going somewhere exciting. She looked so happy. One day I asked her where she went every afternoon – and she told me she was teaching at the College of Psychic Studies, a very old college based in London. Immediately I felt a rush, like wow, something like this actually exists?” she laughs.
Now living in her home country, Australia, Natalie’s journey took time. Firstly she healed herself. A quote from a famed Swiss psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, whose teachings she continues to study, has become a mantra for her life: ‘You can only take people to the places you have been’. Today she is the founder of Chakradance, a published author, a successful businesswoman, a wife, and a mother. She is also a vibrant, happy woman who embraces all that life throws at her.
Be Captivated By Chakras
“As I went through the training in the different healing modalities they offered at the college, it was the chakras that captivated me. Balancing the chakras made so much sense to me and I began to focus and learn all I could about this incredible energy system that we all have. Most of us operate predominantly out of 3 or 4 chakras at most, they become excessive and put us out of balance.
This affects us on every level; physically and mentally, emotionally, it affects our hormones and influences every aspect of our lives,” says Natalie, lighting up as she talks of the practice that has changed her life and spawned a business that sustains her and her family.
Her interest in Carl Jung resulted from her studies. “He was the first Western practitioner to study the chakras and how they affect us. Looking at his scientific studies gave me incredible insight into how we operate on an energetic level.”
“The more I worked on my chakras and began to teach at the college, the more I felt like I was on the path I was meant to take. I suffered from hypoglycemia when I was younger, I would faint and had to be aware of what and when I ate. Balancing my chakras was my way of healing myself, making myself feel whole, it was very personal at the beginning,” she explains.
One day she came home and began a ritual that had become routine for her. She moved the furniture in her apartment, lit some candles, set an intention, and played some music. She began to notice that different tones and rhythms resonated with certain chakras. “Then I had my aha moment, it came out of nowhere, Chakradance! I had no idea where it was going but I knew something was happening.”
Natalie’s friends began to notice her transformation, she was more focused, calmer, she was glowing, and they wanted to know her secret.
Her passion for dance began at an early age but it wasn’t until she incorporated this into her study of the chakras that everything came together. Her friends wanted whatever she was on.
“I was really shy but this was something I was so passionate about, the shyness went away. I invited my friends to come up to my recruitment office and made space where we could dance. I had started learning how to create the music I instinctively felt was right but I was a long way from where I am today.”
Natalie’s friends liked it and they told their friends and Natalie outgrew her office space. She rented a hall, “a big one”, she laughs. Not knowing if she could ever fill the space she put up signs and waited. More than 50 people showed up to her first class and no one was more surprised than Natalie.
She knew then that this was something that people needed. In the years that followed she and her husband sold up in the UK. She headed home to Australia, something she instinctively knew was the right move for her. Her husband worked in advertising and the two set up in Sydney and lived a city-based life. Their two children were born and as Natalie’s business grew she joined forces with her husband who took on the role of Marketing Director.
A Worldwide Movement
Chakradance may have begun as a personal search for meaning and healing, but it has grown into a worldwide movement through a series of facilitator training courses that incorporate soulful marketing to teach her course graduates how to set up their own businesses, facilitate live and online courses, and attract clients while sharing her practice.
Through the Chakradance healing method, students have seen amazing results which include overcoming addictions, improving relationships, healing trauma, and finding the strength to leave toxic relationships. Others have overcome chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and recently Natalie worked with a woman who shed 30 pounds by releasing the emotional baggage that had plagued her life.
“It can sound very woo-woo but in fact, Chakradance is a healing modality that is backed by science, it works on a very deep level for those that stay with the practice. Healing takes time, Natalie advises her students, but the benefits last. The healing is very deep, she explains.
Her move to Sydney ironically took her business to the next level. She was invited to open a summit for a very well-known healer who was touring Australia, her inclusion in the program was so successful Deepak Chopra invited her to open his summit when he came to Australia.
“Things just went from there, it got bigger and bigger. I was invited to teach at the Chopra Centre in California, and things just grew organically and exponentially,” she relates.
Natalie then set up her facilitator training program as demand grew, her courses attracted thousands of practitioners who wanted to incorporate Chakradance as a healing modality.
Natalie’s dream of creating original soundtracks that resonated with the chakras was another part of her journey and after spending endless hours sourcing and editing music, she now works with a very talented musician who can translate her guided classes.
As Chakradance grew across the world, Natalie has also put herself through business courses and calls on her husband’s help to guide facilitators through the process of setting up a successful business and finding their own unique audience.
“Chakradance is a very specific healing method, yet within that, there is room for interpretation. We have women (and men) who have specific areas they want to focus on for healing. Although the practice is always aimed at balancing the chakras and there are very specific parameters, many of the facilitators incorporate their challenges, be it a past trauma, surviving cancer, or a focus on relationships. Within the program, there is space to do that,” she explains.
Dance To Your Own Tune
Her family has recently moved to tropical Noosa, a beautiful part of Queensland and she is surprised how well she has adapted. “My children were getting older and as we realized how easily we can operate the business online, we decided to try it out. I’m such a city person and at first, I had to fly back and forth regularly but on one flight back to Noosa I had the realization that I was going home. Now we all love it.”
Not that travel isn’t on her mind, “I want to host a retreat in Bali and I have booked for 2022, fingers crossed.”
Despite finding the balance she was seeking, enjoying health and happiness in her personal life and success she never imagined in her early years, she still has challenges. A recent diagnosis of a small brain tumor, she calls her ‘green pea’, shocked her at first but she is surprising her doctors with her positive attitude, and she is making it strangely work for her.
“I had planned to release my new training course early this year but I have put it back, my little ‘green pea’ is a reminder to take life a little easier. I’m listening to my inner voice and reminding myself that this practice is all about balance. I’m a person who loves being busy but I’m looking at my life, my family, where we live beside a beautiful beach and slowing down a little to appreciate what life has brought me and how the practice has helped me and so many others to find balance in their lives,” she says.
Beyond the words, her natural smile tells its own story; a story of a happy, healthy woman who can deal with obstacles that come up in life because she has the tools. She’s still dancing and across the world, people are following her steps.