Yosemite Valley from above

One of my favorite places in the world to be is Yosemite Valley in the Fall. At the bottom of everything — granite for miles, towering above. In the Fall, the temperature of the Earth starts to meet the Sun as the Northern hemisphere drops into the start of darkness. Still hot during the day, and starting to dip into frigidity when the moon lifts. With that change from Summer comes changes in the rock that lifts from the valley. Water that was once flowing, creeps into the cracks between rock and freezes at night — expanding the space between…


the moment came when I realized what was worth fighting for and it came barging through into existence like a runaway freight train. The importance of love. Tangled up in the mountains, streams — the breeze. Swirling around me. Possibility. Expansion and opportunities awakened. Gratitude for the lightning, thunder and trees tangled up in heaps, piled at the base of something big and not all beautiful and still full of tenderness and newness. What I needed was to feel this again and even though familiar, it was different and secure and emanated from me — outward. Instead of the old other way around. Shining out. Reaching. Arms outstretched and sun on my face. Warmth. Self love, first.


On top of Ravenrock in a moment of lift and looking out at White Rock, Shiprock, The Gallery, to the Sleeping Ute and beyond to a place I call home. This course area that used to appear so large to me, now seems smaller and connected and like the neighborhood I grew up in. Familiar. This snowy, rugged desert, mud caked and prickly is familiar. It pulls at my scars and heartstrings equally. It pisses me off and pushes me down and lifts me up and challenges my beliefs about myself and shows me the truth in my strength. It’s…


Putting feelings into words. Slowly. And, grief and mourning and what that looks like, feels like, tastes like and smells like. It’s a big brick laid on your chest that already has issues inhaling and exhaling. It’s like knowing your capacity to love is bigger than your body and not having any place to send it, keeping it inside — hard to breathe with all that trapped in there. Suffocating a little. It’s different for everyone and yet relatable. A common language. Change, when it comes has looked like a chameleon in my life. Never the same colors. Sometimes it’s…


Coworking has it’s perks! Cats!

For the last month I’ve been a nomad — working a remote job, for a remote based company, in a very remote way. Living out of a suitcase, sleeping in hotels and working from coworking spaces. Flying between Berlin, Germany — Austin, Texas and Portland, Oregon — working to train two new teammates who have joined us on the support team at Basecamp. Since we are a dispersed company, we do our training a bit differently and fly our teams out to the same location to work together when someone is initially hired.

I can’t complain. I love that I…


Photo by Michael Keen /creative commons— Art by Banksy

“Happiness” — it’s a coveted and much celebrated state of being. A lot of companies advocate for the power of positivity to create a company culture and environment where people can thrive and “be happy.” The belief is that encouraging positivity while discouraging negativity will cultivate an environment that is positive. Negativity = bad/sad and positivity = good/happy — right?

It’s not that simple, though.

The positivity myth

It’s an idea that has good intentions on the surface — research suggests that working in positive environments can bring about more productivity, harmony and certainly, happiness — but when positivity is forced or mandated…


Today is my last day in Berlin for a while and I’m sitting here thinking about how sad I am to leave. I’ve always been on the move — a nomad — hopping from one place to the next. As a kid, my family moved constantly to chase the next open engineering job for my dad. I loved moving, traveling and seeing different parts of the country, but to cope with nomadic life, I learned how to detach myself from the people and friends I had met and then move on. I never grieved — I was distant before the…


Saddle Mountain at dawn — photo by Natalie Keshlear

In June, I went on a 5 week sabbatical from work — I ventured out into the woods with my boyfriend and we hiked. We climbed mountains, slept in a tent and got dirty — we took showers infrequently and we had a hell of a time. We went all over Oregon and then onto the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia. It was hiking heaven and the 5 weeks went by slowly — I felt fully rested and reenergized, daily.

During that time, I noticed things — small things; details. Slowly and then all at once. I noticed how my boyfriend’s…


I was on the verge of 25 and wanted to get the hell out of dodge. I was naive, but naive enough to take the leap without second guessing myself and letting the “right moment” to make a huge change beat down on me. There’s not really a right moment to do most things, I’ve learned. My move was not thought out — I got a job, sold almost all my possessions and moved within a month signing my contract. I packed my bags filled with weather impractical clothing and landed in Germany. A country I resented at first for…


This past year has been one of the most rewarding in my life — I say that really meaning that and that’s why I am compelled to write this post — I have not had a year like this since I first moved to Germany and completely uprooted my life. That time, trying new things (moving to Germany, completely on a whim — starting over at 0) left me a bit broken, but this year I took a different approach. It all boiled down to trying new things and learning to learn — mostly, being okay with being bad at…

Natalie Jo Keshlear

Lover of words, community and connection. Formerly, Wilderness Therapy, Basecamp and SoundCloud. Currently, living in the woods and working for Wildbit.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store