Sunday 26th June 2022

Women of Courage Series.#39 Natalie. 39/2020.

Women of Courage Series.#39 Natalie. 39/2020.

A series of blog posts on Denyse Whelan Blogs to be found here from mid-May 2019: Wednesdays: each week until the series concludes in 2020.

Here is the introduction to the series.

Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. It’s doing something that frightens you. We face situations that demand courage every day. These situations provide us with choices, and the way we respond to those choices determines our future. Dayne Shuda.

I welcome Natalie to share her story here this week. Natalie is a regular and very keen blogger who joins up on my Monday Link Up called Life This Week. Her presence is valued for her continued support of the world of blogging both here and elsewhere in this world of ours. Over to you Natalie.



What have you faced in your life where you have had to be courageous?

I’m sharing three of my life experiences where I have had to be courageous:

  • My first experience with courage came when I was in elementary school. Two students who were older and bigger than me had been bullying my younger sister. One day I caught them doing it in the playground. I felt scared but stood up for my sister and told them to stop. I didn’t know what the outcomes would be but felt I had to say something right at that moment. Fortunately, whatever I said worked and those students never bothered us again.


  • I had a near death health-related experience when I was about nine years old. I was misdiagnosed at first. By the time I was taken to the hospital, I was at a critical stage. I remember the sensation of life leaving my body when I was in the emergency room. I ended up in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with complications that required an operation, a lengthy hospital stay, a second surgery, and follow-up rehab. I had to be brave to survive the entire ordeal as I was very sick and in a lot of pain.


  • On a more positive note, I’ve travelled solo to many foreign countries where I don’t know the language. The first solo trip took more courage than subsequent trips. However, every trip is unique so even now, I still feel some butterflies when I go on my own.


How did this change you in any way? Please outline further if this has been the case.

  • From the first experience, I learned to be assertive. Like Maggie Kuhn once said: “Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.”


  • From the second experience, I learned life is fragile and one health emergency can quickly end it. I learned to always take good care of my health and to enjoy life as much as I can.


  • From the third experience, I learned a lot about world cultures, adapting to changes, and opening myself to new human connections. I’m grateful to have made a few long lasting friendships through my travels.


Is there something you learned from this that you could recommend to help others who need courage?

  • I think we all have courage within ourselves and just need to dig deep when we need it


  • What’s important is for the person to choose an action for a better future or to accomplish something personal.


  • Inaction or inertia would lead to regrets.


Do you think you are able to be more courageous now if the life situation calls for it? Why is that?

  • Yes, I think my life experiences and resilience will help me overcome any new crisis.


  • Once I survived a near death experience and thrive, everything else seems less critical.


Is there any message you would give to others facing a situation where courage could be needed?

  • Do self-care and practice positive thinking every day so you feel strong mentally and physically.


  • Follow your heart and use your head to get you there.


  • Ask for help as needed.


Thank you Natalie  for taking the opportunity to share your story of courage, containing three and incredible examples from your life. I sure can understand that you are living a life now that is full and rich based on your experiences and that in itself is testament to your courage.


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Joining each Wednesday with Sue and Leanne here for Mid Life Share the Love Linky.

On Thursdays I link here for Lovin Life with Leanne and friends.

Copyright © 2020 – All rights reserved.



  1. I love that you’ve brought us Natalie this week. Her blog is one I look forward to every week – and her balance and commitment to her body, mind and soul habits (as summarised in her monthly round-ups) continues to inspire me. #MLSTL

    • Thank you, Jo, for your kind comment. I think I’ve experienced “post-trauma growth” after my health scare and have a greater appreciation for life in general. Have a wonderful week!

    • Thanks Jo, it seems we are all enjoying getting to know more about Natalie via this series too.


  2. Thank you, Denyse, for the opportunity to share my story in your Women of Courage series, and participate in your weekly Life This Week link up. I hope that everyone in our blogging community stays safe and healthy during this global pandemic. Have a wonderful week!

    • Thank you so much Natalie. Your blog and your comments make you one popular and caring commenter and writer. So pleased to share your story here today.


  3. Natalie, lovely to get some extra insight into you and your experience and values. I can only imagine that near death experience would leave you traumatised and relieved at the same time. And it’s amazing you’ve been able to retain that understanding of life’s fragility for so long.

    I’ve travelled a bit myself (mostly when I lived overseas) but it was only my last trip that I got a lot of comments about how ‘brave’ I was. I think in my 20s and 30s, travelling alone (as a woman) wasn’t that big of a deal, but for some reason, as a 50 year old it seemed strange to many people.

    • Very special and courageous story told and shared by Natalie here today.

      I traveled OS solo in my early 50s and was delighted to do so. I never felt unsafe…except for that time American Air decided I needed to be checked x 2 as I was a solo, one way traveller. I relished the chance to do what and when I wanted as I had planned so carefully for.

      Thanks Deborah.


  4. Thank you, Deborah, for your comment. I have vivid memories of my near death experience and the first hospitalization. I think if I had been 1 or 2 years younger, I wouldn’t have remembered much. I have had pretty much the “seize the day” attitude after I survived the last rehab, and with that attitude I have had many incredible experiences in life. I remember reading about your wonderful trip to Italy. Good for you to have done it. Whether I travel alone or with someone, I always make sure to have fun and enjoy life 🙂

  5. Lovely to get to know more about you Natalie. I can imagine your health scare would have had a huge impact on your life. Good on you for standing up to the bullies.

    • Thank you, Jennifer, for your comment. I think I’ve experienced “post-trauma growth” after my health scare and have a greater appreciation for life in general. Although I don’t wish anyone any trauma, I think for some of us, we do develop high resilience after experiencing a trauma.

    • It’s a very worthy story shared for us all I agree Jennifer. Health scares are very impactful.

      Thank you for visiting.


  6. I loved the phrase, “Follow your heart and use your head to get you there.” That is great advice! I appreciate these episodes of courage. I am trying to grow my own courage muscle since I have never been naturally courageous.

    • I love that quote too Michele, thank you!

      And you might surprise yourself if you look at a part of your life when you were/are courageous…and you can always share here too.


    • Thank you, Michele, for your kind comment. I’m sure you have courage but it’s been so natural that you don’t think about it (it’s like wearing a watch so often that you forget that you’re wearing it). Have a wonderful week!

  7. Hi Natalie – lovely seeing you here on Denyse’s series and to learn a little more about you. I think you definitely showed courage in all three scenarios – and it’s made you the resilient person you are today.
    Denyse, thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM

    • Natalie’s story is one I was very glad she decided to share.

      We all learn so much from each other in these circumstances.

      Thank you Leanne,


    • Thank you, Leanne, for your kind comment. I feel grateful that I survived and thrived with a high degree of resilience. I draw on these experiences to stay calm during this global pandemic. Hope you get to see your granddaughters soon. Have a wonderful week!

  8. There’s always a history behind a blog. I don’t know Natalie well but this gives a little more insight. I like her positive outlook. Thanks for being the hostess. 🙂 🙂

    • Yes you are right Johanna, there usually is a history! I began blogging in 2010 to offset the loneliness of leaving education after 40 years!

      Thank you for commenting today and reading Natalie’s story.


    • Thank you, Jo, for your stopping by. I think we can develop a positive outlook, solve world problems and a few personal hiccups with walking …and cake afterwards 🙂 I love doing the virtual walks with you. Portugal is one of my favourite countries to visit. Have a wonderful week!

  9. This was a great way to get to know more about you Natalie and to heard more of your story. I admire your resilience and positivity. I certainly get the post trauma growth and look forward to reading your posts each week, plus your positive comments always make me smile! Thanks Denyse for another great woman of courage #mlstl

    • Thanks Debbie, yes you too are one who has been shaped by much from the early years in your life too.

      Glad you enjoyed getting to know more about Natalie as I did too when she returned her story.


    • Thank you, Debbie, for your kind comment. When I read about your school trip trauma, I could relate to some of the emotions that come with it. I think it would be very hard for someone or something to make me feel less positive about life, not even the current global pandemic. Glad my positive comments make you smile. Keep calm and keep smiling 🙂 Have a wonderful week!

  10. I loved learning more about Natalie, so thank you, Denyse. I love her quote “Follow your heart and use your head to get you there.” That is perfect advice for everyone! Thanks for sharing!

  11. It was good to learn more about Natalie in this post and some of the challenges she has faced.

    I love that definition of courage at the start of your post. I think often we don’t realise how courageous we can be until with are in a situation that requires us to be courageous.

  12. Lovely getting to know you a bit more here on Denyse’s blog, Natalie!

    I have so enjoyed reading along as you’ve shared your solo travels.

    SSG xxx

    • I had a lot of fun solo adventures and met so many wonderful people. Hope to continue once the world is stable again. Thank you, SSG, for your comment. Have a wonderful week!

    • The value of this series is a great way to know a little more about others too.

      Thanks SSG,


  13. Inertia leads to regrets. There’s some food for thought there. Nice post. I know those butterflies when you travel on your own – I get it on the plane without fail (thrown in with my fear of flying) and I always think ‘why am I spending so much money to have a bad time and be lonely?’ and it’s NEVER happened. I’ve always had a great time and never wanted to go home! Ha! We are our own worst enemies….

    • The ‘butterflies’ keep us on our toes and that’s good when we’re in a foreign or new place. Being alone can be liberating and it makes us reach out to other people or be open to new connections. I’m glad you enjoy solo travel when you can, too. Thank you, Lydia, for reading my story and commenting. Have a wonderful week!

    • Ah Lydia, we all want to learn to be less fearful of things don’t we?

      Thanks for sharing.


  14. Lovely to get to know you a little more Natalie and I’m so very happy you survived that near death experience when you were a little girl. I travelled alone to Singapore once and have travelled to places like Sydney and Melbourne alone. I find it so liberating and exciting. It can get lonely at times though so it’s great for short trips but I think I’d prefer some company fir longer trips. By the way, good on you for standing up for your sister. I’m so glad that turned out well! xo

    • Thank you, Min, for your kind comment. My sister remembered the bullying and my standing up for her which makes me happy that I acted at that time. When I was taken to ICU at the hospital, I thought I wasn’t going to make it out alive. I think about the people who have to be taken to ICU during this pandemic and wish them a quick victory and recovery. When I travel alone, I make new friends even if it’s temporary and don’t feel lonely. Some of those friendships have lasted for a couple of decades and I treasure them all. Have a wonderful week!

    • That is interesting to know Min about your solo travel experiences.

      Take care,


  15. I love that definition of courage. Being courageous doesn’t mean not being afraid, it means doing something brave in spite of your fear. TFS!

  16. So great to see you at Denyse’s joint!! Wow: ” I remember the sensation of life leaving my body”
    I feel as though I felt that recently. During my health scare in January. That was the only way I could describe how I was feeling. And it was a sensation. Weird tingling kind of surreal sensation of the life draining from me. Wow. That’s crazy you went through that at such a young age and still remember it. So pleased you survived!

    • It’s so interesting isn’t it when another’s story brings something familiar to us as well.

      Thank you for sharing what sounds rather scary too and I am hopeful that you too are feeling better now.


    • Thank you, Leanne, for your comment. I remember your post about your health scare in January. I’m glad you survived it. My health scare at age 9 was a sudden and long event. It stays vividly in my mind. When I read about people who were admitted to ICU during the pandemic and some had to get a tube insertion, I know what that’s like and I wish everyone of them a quick recovery. Once the person is in ICU, it’s serious and anything can happen. I’m pretty sure anyone who makes it out of ICU alive will remember the part when they were conscious.