4 simple things that will make your day a little better!

Recently I introduced a few different elements into my day. They are all quite simple, requiring not too much effort. A few weeks ago I tore the ligaments in my ankle, so I had to find other ways to help me feel good in my body and energized – something I usually gain from my morning yoga practice.

So, here are 5 things that generally make me feel better!

1) Water therapy. My boyfriend recently visited a medicinal mushroom doctor out in Hong Kong a few months ago. The doctor said that one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies is to drink a litre of water as soon as we wake up in the morning. I have been doing this for a few weeks and I have noticed a big difference.  I feel less dehydrated, I feel clearer, more focused and more energised.

2) No processed sugar. On days when I don’t eat any processed sugar, I feel so much better. I really notice that I have more energy during the day and feel much more tired when I go to bed (which is a good thing because then I sleep better!) My skin feels clearer and I often receive compliments from people on how well I look! All from not eating processed sugar which is amazing!

3) No TV in the evening. When I stop myself from looking at any screens for at least the last few hours before I go to bed, my sleep is much better. This actually makes my whole day better as I am more rested and my brain has had a chance to properly switch off. That way I am more inclined to read a book and nurture my imagination more! Which makes me feel more inspired and uplifted. 

4) Have a mantra. Sometimes when I need to shift my way of thinking, I find it very helpful to have a mantra which I repeat to myself as often as I can during the day. If I am feeling a bit down about work maybe I choose the words: ‘I am a successful artist.’ If I am worried about money I choose the words: ‘I am abundant’. Repeating these little phrases over and over again actually changes they way I think and makes me feel much more relaxed about things. This then changes our vibration and allows us to attract more positivity into our life. It’s such a simple little thing but it works so so well for me almost instantly. 

So, there are my tips to improve your day! I hope you find them helpful. Feel free to comment if you have any more tips!

Natasha x

Mercury Retrograde: Learning to deal with challenging times…

On 3rd May I called my Mums’ good friend to ask her about something. She asked me how I was and I told her that things had been a bit crazy for the last few weeks. I’d been dealing with a lot of miscommunication and various other issues that had stemmed from misunderstandings. She then tells me that we have just come out of Mercury retrograde and that it has just gone direct. This means for the past three weeks Mercury has appeared to be going backwards, but what this means for me (and possibly even some of you) is that everything that could have gone wrong  – has gone wrong. 

So I started to look into it more and apparently the last few weeks have been connected to issues around money, miscommunication, technical issues with computers etc – all of which I have been lucky enough to have been dealing with in abundance these last few weeks.  

I found it funny that the day after we come out of this astrologically turbulent time,  I then learn about all the things not to do in this period. For example, one is advised not to start something new until the to-do list is finished – I wish I had known that before. Another piece of advice is not to start a project without proper solid instructions. The list goes on!

Fundamentally, looking back on the last three weeks – maybe all these things were meant to happen. Maybe I wasn’t meant to find out what I should do and what I should not do because I needed to make those mistakes in order to assess the way I do things and ask myself how I can do better; how can I develop my business in a way that I am being true to myself and also making money and growing my business at the same time?

These are really hard questions for me. Yes, quite often I feel like quitting and going to pick grapes in a community somewhere on the other side of the world. I care so much about what I am doing and work so hard that sometimes I wonder if I lose myself and what really is important. I have to ask myself why am I doing this? What are the reasons that I choose to do what I do? Am I living a life true to myself? Am I am doing what makes me happy? Am I combining business and creativity? Am I finding a way where I can live a life that is balanced? Am I realising a way to make a life out of something I love? Am I growing and changing myself? Am I finding the positive in every hard situation? 

Maybe when I am much older I will look back at this completely crazy journey and feel that I want to thank the gods for everything that went wrong. We shall see…

But I guess what I am learning now is that it’s really important for me to chill out and take stock of everything that I have achieved – so that I am not stressed out and can take each situation in my stride and deal with it in the least reactive way possible.  So that I can allow situations in life to arise and see them as a learning curve. I know now that the real test isn’t when things are going swimmingly, but when something happens that really tries us. That tests our ability to stay centred, helping us to not react to the situations that come up in life. I think if there was only one thing I could take from my yoga practice –  it would be the gift to be able to stay equanimous when things happen which we can’t control. It’s hard and I am yet to master it but I am trying my best. So that when challenging situations arise, for example, Mercury retrograde happens, and everything goes wrong I can allow these situations to happen without letting them affect my physical emotional and mental health. I guess it’s not about stopping issues arising, we can never stop a Mercury retrograde, but we can learn not to react so much so that these things can happen and pass us by without causing us too much distress or pain.

How I remain calm when problems arise

Last week, I had one of those weeks where everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong.  I left my keys on the other side of London, the window in my flat smashed… the list goes on. 

When I started stressing and getting all uptight – a thought came to me. Problems like these are not going to stop happening in life. I can’t prevent things from going wrong, but I can stop myself from getting so affected each time something swings me off balance slightly. 

I realise that by changing my reaction to situations that arise, I am less fearful about what is happening and actually in a way – that allows my life to unfold more smoothly. 

On the day I left my keys on the other side of London, and I was driving from East to West London for the third time that day, I realised the power of what I practice in yoga and meditation. And how actually everything I practice on the mat or in my meditation is just a rehearsal for what I encounter in my daily life. 

What is the point of going all this yoga and meditation if I am going to freak out every time something happens which I am not expecting? Surely in all of these practices, I can find some calm within myself to hold onto when things go wrong! 

For me at this point in my life, this is what I am trying to master; The ability to stay calm and unreactive when life throws you off course. The knowledge deep down that everything happens for a reason and there is a bigger force at work that sometimes I am not even aware of. 

My mum has a saying that she heard from one of her meditation teachers, which is ‘ there are no such things as problems.’ This little phrase is actually gold! When I say it my whole energy changes and actually something that I could have made into a disaster becomes something small and insignificant. 

When things happen that I can’t control I say to myself over and over – there are no such things as problems and immediately my outlook has changed.

See for me, the problems we come up against in our daily lives are where the real tests lie – and that’s where the real yoga practice is for me. By remaining unreactive to situations that test me, I am able to keep my centre as life unfolds around me. It can be tough and challenging but I realise now it’s the little things that count and our ability to stay equanimous and calm throughout. 

When one door closes, do another 10 open?

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Often we have events in life that come out of the blue and upset us. Events that make us question everything about ourselves and our chosen path. In my yoga class, I  teach people   to train their minds to be slightly more equanimous to everything they meet.

However, in life sometimes that can be a lot harder than expected. Sometimes we need to use every breath we have to help us stay centred and remain balanced when situations unfold around us.

In my yoga class, I  teach people to be less reactive to the sounds around us and the sensations in our body. On a personal level that means that when something happens in my life that I am not expecting, that deeply upsets or hurts me, it’s important for me to try my hardest to keep my balance and keep my equanimity towards the situation. It trains me to remember that sometimes we don’t know why life puts us in difficult positions and often there is a bigger force at play.

When something dear to me is taken away or I don’t get an opportunity I was hoping for after a positive meeting – it’s these times that I feel the true test of my yoga practice coming into play. Using my physical body as the medium in my yoga practice every morning, I try to incorporate  these lessons into my life so that I stay grounded and not too caught up into the why, the what ifs and the should haves that always go through one’s mind. This is when I really need to focus on every breath to keep me in the present and hold onto my equanimity. These are the lessons that life puts in our way to test our practice and our trust.

 

This can be hard to put into practice, but I do believe that when one door closes another 10 open. When life does the unexpected, it actually pushes you down a path you wouldn’t have been able to join otherwise. Even though at the time the negative situation can feel deeply painful, I always remind myself that in these times there is always a hidden blessing that is waiting to be revealed. So I guess the advice I give myself when I am feeling a little bit shaken up by life is – stay calm, draw on each breath as you practice so diligently in the morning  and though your equanimity and balance to the situation – all will become clear!

Going Backward to go Forwards 

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Often in my yoga practice I feel like I am going backwards.  This is also true of my meditation practice, business and life in general. 

However, I am coming to realise that there is no such thing as going backwards, there is only going forwards. Often in yoga I find myself at a point where I am trying to tackle a challenging posture, after a serious car crash and several torn ligaments this can happen quite a lot… Recently, I’ve felt that I’ve been stuck at the same place in my practice. At the same time, I felt I was also stuck in my business.  I sometimes feel that my yoga practice is a mirror image of where I am in life.

With a lot of persistence and dedication and frustration naturally, I started to be able to overcome the particularly difficult posture I was struggling with. The funny thing is that my work and business life started to shift at the same time and I felt I had reached the top of a hill that I had been walking up for a rather long time. It was almost as if my yoga posture was a metaphor for where I was in my business. I was at the point where I was almost there, about to reach a new stage with what I was doing but not quite there. I spent many weeks in this ‘not quite there stage.’ However in a very synchronized way things started to change in all areas of my life.

After feeling like I was just about to get this new posture, a few things happened and I was practicing less, basically life got in the way as it likes to do sometimes. Then obviously my body felt like it wasn’t as open and consequently I felt like I was going backwards as I found it harder to do this posture! Much harder! I am now coming to the conclusion that there is no backwards. When I think I am going backwards,  this enables me to work on an area that might not be as open as other areas in my body and this in turn guides me forwards. 

This is very true for me as an artist. I may have a quiet month and yes it may seem like I have less work but in truth, that space gives me time to really get my head down and do all the little things I have neglected. It’s very easy to put off difficult boring tasks when you are really busy with jobs and have a massive to do list of commissions and work. However, I find that when you address these little issues and give some love to the neglected aspects of your business,  that’s when you really start to see growth and change. The universe wants to help you and guide you so that you pay attention to things as and when necessary.  It sometimes has a funny way of talking to you but when you read between the lines you realise exactly what you need to be doing.

Learning to Value Small Achievements in Life and Business

 A big achievement is the accumulations of lots of little achievementsOften in business and in my work there are times when I start to question everything and wonder if I am on the right path and doing the right thing… You know normal brain-chatter that questions everything we do!

Last night something like that happened and I started questioning everything. This happens quite a lot and is something that is inevitable when you run your own business. You’re always questioning, always improving and always growing. 

After having a few of these questions in my mind I decided to have a little sit down with my boyfriend’s I ching coins (he is very much into the I ching, I am very much a beginner with little experience in this field!)                                         

My first reading advised me to  ‘proceed humbly’. It was quite an uncanny result. Using my fairly limited I Ching experience, I interpreted the results to mean that in order to accomplish great things, it’s important to be humble especially in the journey. It’s important not to spend all your riches too soon and live lavishly – by being humble this in turn will bring you good fortune! 

The second reading suggested developing gradually. This made me think about a conversation I had in the past with a friend of mine who said ‘explosions never last.’ That made me think that creating a sustainable business is not about quickly creating something that’s really big, for a short amount of time, it’s about building something that has a deep long lasting effect in the market. 

I am realizing now that it’s very important to develop gradually –  step by step. It’s sometimes very easy for me to think, I wish I had a big studio in central London with a team of 25 people. But gradually I am learning to enjoy the journey, to enjoy each step as it leads me to where ever I will end up. (Maybe it will be a studio with 150 people.. who knows!)

It’s only by going through and experiencing the little steps that I am learning about my business and learning how to conduct myself properly in my approach to managing a team and to managing a business, as well as producing creative work. It’s a challenge but the learning is so important and each mistake is so worth it! 

When I was reading the results of my coin throwing I came across a very interesting quote. The quote said ‘Great success is the result of the building up of little successes.  For me this is one of the most important messages. I keep having to remind myself that big accomplishments happen as a result of lots of little accomplishments. I keep having to remind myself of all the truly amazing little things my team and I achieve in a day and keep congratulating us even on the smallest little things which are actually rather great! I am learning now that it’s actually the little things that really matter. The little things that are sometimes overlooked.  

For example, how we treat a potential customer or how an email looks before it’s sent.  These are the little things that shape the bigger picture. I admit, when I am working on a really big exciting project, it’s easy to be excited and feel that what I am doing is great and wow I am really progessing as an artist etc etc. However, it’s much harder to see  when I do my spreadsheets or rework my business plan or sort out the products on my website. But I am learning that its these little things that really count and that accomplishing things in areas that I find more challenging and less fun is equally important!

Our Favourite Smoothie Recipes!

My team and I are really into smoothies and we often share our recipes over lunch so naturally we thought it would be nice to share some of our favourite recipes with you! 

Here is one of my favourites!

Since my 25th Birthday last year when my Aunt gave me a NutriBullet for my birthday,  my whole life has changed. Seriously!! I was never really that into smoothies and I would pride myself on having big proper breakfast  everyday  with eggs, avocado… the works! However, since the day my NutriBullet arrived in my kitchen things have been very different.

I now start my day with a mega smoothie. I love it. This concoction which has taken me about a year to perfect is in my opinion is the best way to start a day. Packed full of the good fats, oils and many wondrous things I am full and fully nourished all the way until lunch. I actually stay more full than when I start my day with porridge or anything else really.

So here is my recipe. You might think it’s a bit weird but I love it.

Natasha’s Supersonic Smoothie! 

1 cup of berries. I love raspberries so I put a lot of them in. Sometimes I add blueberries and blackberries into the mix just for fun. 

1 quarter of an avocado (or a half sometimes depending on my mood)

Half a banana

1 big spoon of coconut oil

 1 big spoon of almond butter

1 teaspoon of cacao 

 1 teaspoon of hemp protein powder

 Almond milk and coconut milk filled to the top

Here’s a recipe from my Social Media Manager Jess!

Like Tasha, my breakfast routine completely changed when my Dad gave me a NutriBullet last Christmas! Sometimes when you’re given a new kitchen gadget you use it maybe once or twice before it sits on a shelf gathering dust.. but this was not the case with this smoothie maker!

I’ve experimented over the last 6 months or so and below is the recipe that I believe strikes the balance between taste and nutrition… i.e it’s both tasty and nutritious! 

If I’m really hungry in the morning I will have my smoothie along with an egg on toasted rye but often I just have the smoothie and even on those days I stay full until lunch time! 

Jess’s Green Goodness Smoothie!

image11 large handful of organic spinach 

Half a banana

Half an avocado

A handful of blueberries or raspberries 

A tablespoon of coconut oil

A teaspoon of milled chia or flax seeds  + a spoon of powdered Wheatgrass

Coconut milk (I use KOKO) filled up to the top!