Many times in my life I have looked back and thought – ‘yes, in retrospect I had to go through that’. Or ‘I can see now I had to go through that difficult time to progress forward in my work and life, to get to new places and learn the lessons I needed to learn to move forwards’.
But in truth knowing this doesn’t make it any easier when we are experiencing turbulent times in our lives. Whether that is in our businesses or personal lives.
I am a firm believer that what is going on in the inside is a reflection of what is happening outside and vice versa. In the same way, I believe that what is going on in my personal life mirrors how I run my business and conduct my day to day working affairs (and vice versa). For example, and I know this is obvious but if my house is tidy and, my clothes are neatly ironed and clean, as well as of course helping my personal life, it also reflects in my business productivity of the day.
So when I find myself facing challenges and maybe it seems like I am going backwards, I remind myself to look at patterns from the past. When I do this I see that often when I thought I was going backwards and digressing, these phases actually enabled me to progress and get to the next stage in my business. If I learn to stay balanced and not react then I can simply trust the process and acknowledge the ways the challenge is helping me grow.
Similarly when I am painting, my creative process follows a pattern a bit like this: ‘I really enjoy creating a piece,’ I love making it’, ‘I thought it was better before,’ ‘I hate it and can’t bear it’ and then finally ‘I literally have no idea if it’s good or not’.
I know now that if I don’t go through the stage of hating the painting then it’s not that good a piece. With all the best paintings I have created, I distinctly remember thinking how much I disliked each piece. Similarly, I would like to see the painting get better with every brush stroke. When this doesn’t happen, I wonder if I am going backwards and if it was better without the latest step? I ask myself ‘am I just going back on myself and ruining it?’ Now I know that these steps are VITAL. I have to go through them, I have to question my artwork and push through the difficult phases of each piece. And every piece has them.
As I mentioned before I do think that my work is a reflection of myself. When I work through these difficult challenges in my creative life, it makes me more aware of these thought processes in my personal life and I am able to handle the challenges so much more effectively.
Natasha Jade x