How Visualisation Helps Me Achieve My Goals

I often find myself feeling stuck when I think about what I want to achieve or which direction I should take. For times like these, I find the art of visualisation to be extremely useful.

During my yoga teacher training back in 2013, I remember being asked to draw where I wanted to be in the next year. I drew a girl (me) near some water surrounded by lots of green trees, a big wooden house and people doing yoga. A while later when I was in Brazil, I looked around and realised I was exactly where I had drawn. There I was living in a community right by this big, beautiful river. I was surrounded by trees, the jungle and the houses were all made out of beautiful wooden structures. Right in the middle was a big yoga shala. I realized this was my drawing.

A few years ago I drew my perfect studio situation. It had a mezzanine with all my stuff upstairs, a big open floor at the bottom and a big table for me to work on. Sure enough when I walked into my new studio in December. I was slightly taken aback as I remembered my drawing and thought wow now that is strange. It was exactly like my drawing. Another example of the effectiveness of visualisation!

So the point of this really is, when I feel down or slightly at a loss as to which direction I should take, I sit down and draw what I would like my future to look like. I think this is super helpful and can be quite cathartic at times. I know if I just relax and let myself draw whatever comes to my mind, it can be quite awe-inspiring and the image I create can show me a path that I maybe hadn’t thought of before.

Another way in which I find visualisation to be helpful is in my yoga practice. I am often stuck in a yoga posture, thinking to myself there is no way in hell I will be able to master this posture. If I spend time just visualising myself in the posture it’s amazing to see what happens. I know I am able to master the posture more quickly and with more ease when I visualise myself in the position. I know it sounds like magic but I am now truly astonished by the power of our minds. If we think it, believe it, visualise it, it really can happen!!!

I hope by sharing my experiences of visualisation it might inspire you to try it out and see what happens. If you have had a similar experience, please get in touch or comment below. I’d love to chat more about the amazing power of visualisation!

Love, 

Natasha Jade x

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Review: Andreas Gursky at the Hayward Gallery

It’s not often that I go to an exhibition and leave absolutely blown away to the point where I am left almost speechless! As I stood in front of one of Andreas Gursky’s photographs at the Hayward Gallery last Friday, I could almost feel the tears running down my face.

I hadn’t actually been to the Hayward Gallery on the South Bank for a long time.  In fact, I was unaware that the Hayward Gallery had recently been renovated. The building itself is a superb place to check out exhibitions and definitely a gallery I would now highly recommend. Before I visited the exhibition I also wasn’t familiar with the Photographer Andreas Gursky’s work, so I really didn’t know what to expect!

One of the things I found so inspiring about his exhibition was that many of the subject matters he was inspired by are things that would also inspire me to paint. For example, one of my favourite pieces of his features two different photos of a block of flats joined together and altered using digital post-production. This grand piece, in my opinion, is extremely inspiring and profound. Many times I have looked at or even photographed similar looking apartment blocks whilst thinking, this could be the source of inspiration for a painting one day.

Many of his wonderful photographs are densely patterned and sometimes they even strained my eyes (in a good way) as there is so much to look at and take in. As an artist I love shape, pattern and colour. Gursky managed to create amazing patterns just by photographing crowds in different world situations; such as capturing hundreds of people at a rave, working woman weaving in a factory, or a big crowd of people in a stock exchange.

For the people in the photograph, they are just going about their normal daily lives. But photographed in this way and then viewed from an outside perspective, these crowds form patterns which are beautiful and present an image that may be quite different to the reality of the situation.

I could go on writing about the exhibition for hours but I really don’t want to give too much away as I think that the magic of an exhibition is to draw your own private experience and perspective.

The exhibition finishes on 22nd April so I highly recommend going before then!

Find out more information about the exhibition here.

Have you been blown away by an exhibition? Has Andreas Gursky’s work moved you in a different way? If so, comment below or get in touch, I’d love to hear from you and open a discussion on the impact of exhibitions like Andreas Gursky’s!

Love,
Natasha Jade x

Solving problems on the yoga mat

Often it feels as if the same problems are repeating themselves over and over again in different ways. I find myself stuck in repetitive behavioural patterns unable to break the cycle with the same thoughts coming up time and time again. I understand clearer now more than ever that if I deal with my issues on the yoga mat, by focusing on where the blocks are in my practice, the difficulties and issues I am experiencing in my day to day life are somehow ironed out.

I believe from the bottom of my heart that everything is connected to the physical body. When we address issues that are manifesting physically and try to unblock them, we can shift things emotionally and mentally.

Often various issues arise in my daily yoga practice. Sometimes it can be that I am really unfocused and the difficulty is to stay focused. So that is really where I need to shift focus when I set my intention during my practice. 

Sometimes I notice that I am extremely tight in the hips so I set my intention to loosen up my hips and allow the energy to flow properly through my body. Sometimes the difficulty is just getting out of bed to get there in the first place. In which case that is where I focus my attention.

A while ago I was stuck on a posture that was really difficult for me – one that I never in a million years thought I would ever be able to master. It was funny because at the same time it mirrored a tight spot in my business that I was stuck in. I remember thinking to myself, you know what, instead of focusing on where I am in my business I am going to focus on the posture that is holding up my yoga practice. So every day I focused my energy on learning that tricky posture. And it was amazing because when I finally mastered the posture, the difficulties I was experiencing in my business shifted. 

I do believe that if we put more energy into our practices – be that yoga, meditation, chi gong, gong fo tea drinking, mindfulness or anything else, then the difficulties we are experiencing on a day to day basis can be ironed out naturally. If we look at the areas within our practice where we experience blockages and focus our energy there, huge shifts can occur in our day to day lives.

I believe that everything that is happening on the outside is a mirror of what is happening on the inside. I believe 100 percent that how you feel in your mind is mirrored in your body and how you feel in your body manifests in your life outside…. and the other way round of course!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post – I’d love to hear from you if you have experienced a similar breakthrough with your yoga or meditation practice. Please comment below or get in touch

As well as teaching yoga, I am an artist who creates vibrant bespoke paintings and eco gifts featuring my artwork! Learn more here

Love, 

Natasha Jade  x

 

Balancing Sustainability and Commerciality in Business

A dilemma I struggle with on a daily basis is – how do I run a sustainable business whilst still being commercial? 

When I think about sustainability two questions come up for me. How can I run a business that is conscious in its’ core and benefits our Earth in a positive way? How can I run a business and live sustainably in my life at the same time?

As a creative and someone who regularly asks myself these questions over and over, I often wonder if it’s possible to make a difference in the world whilst making money and running a profitable business?

I regularly find myself thinking, how can I keep my costs down but still be ethical? How can I appeal to bigger retailers whilst staying true to my beliefs by not using plastic covering on my products, for example? It’s a challenge to stay true to my ethics and yet appeal to the bigger institutions so that a profit can be generated. But it is possible!

If I am honest, sometimes it’s frustrating when my efforts to stay ethical are overlooked. For example, when I exhibit at a trade show I get a sinking feeling in my heart when no-one seems to care that all our products are recycled or that the plastic is biodegradable. Inside I’m screaming –  what’s wrong with you this is how we should be doing things!? This is the way forward!!!

But then I need to remind myself that people are only ready for what they are ready for and to be effective we need a balance between opening people’s eyes and hearts and yet still speaking their language so they can engage with the change. Maybe that way, slowly people will come round.

At the same time as using all ethical products and having our range produced in a sustainable manner, I also think about how I can be sustainable within myself whilst conducting the business. Similarly to not being destructive to the Earth, how can I be non-destructive to myself?  In the same way as not polluting the earth with toxic materials and adding more plastics to the world how can I not become polluted myself with degrading thoughts and negativity. How can I run a business that is allowing me to shine and live a healthy happy life without being run down and negative which can easily happen in business? 

What I often forget and what’s important to remember is that I am not alone with these troubles. I am learning that lots of business owners and creatives go through these thought processes regularly. It seems that if I just take a deep breath and do one thing at a time, eventually I will be where I want to be.  And that’s ok, I am only human.  

As long as I ask myself daily questions like – how am I helping the earth? How am I helping the people around me? How am I helping myself?

By bringing these questions into my daily life, I know I am moving in the right direction and that, little by little I will eventually achieve my goal of being fully sustainable inside and out.

Do you struggle with the same dilemma? If so comment below, let’s support each other! 

To view my range of eco-friendly gifts including 100% recycled gift wrap, mugs and greeting cards click here.

Natasha Jade x

 

Introducing… our new stockists!

As ever we have had a busy start to the year, exhibiting at Top Drawer trade show showcasing new designs and meeting stockists from all over the world.

We are proud to announce that some fantastic new independent retailers have joined our family and would like to take this opportunity to introduce them to our wonderfully supportive community.

Not only do they now stock Natasha’s brightly coloured products they are also located in the most brilliant locations making the perfect outing and the best excuse to get out and about.

So whether you’re in London or out on a day trip, do pop in and support these wonderful shops offering beautifully curated and unique gifts.

Close to home – Harry Brand

Harry Brand is practically a neighbour to us, situated not far from our East London studio in the wonderful Columbia Road, a favourite hangout for all of us on the weekend. One of the few streets in the country composed of sixty independent shops! Go, East London, go! It’s the perfect place to visit small art galleries, grab a cake, buy some vintage clothes and take in the atmosphere. On a Sunday from 8am-3ish, you can catch the historic flower market, the best place in town to soak up real London. With barrow boys chanting “Everythin’ a fiver” ahh, music to our ears!

Harry Brand is situated at 122 Columbia Road, London E2 7RG, in the middle of the south side of the street opposite the primary school. The nearest tube is Hoxton. 

For more information about Columbia Road flower market click here

Open Saturday 12-5pm and Sunday 9-5pm (market day), specialising in beautiful cashmere, Merino, lambs’ wool, recycled wool and pure woollen blankets, throws, picnic rugs and scarfs from the British Isles.

Pick yourself up some of their Harry Brand Harrisa Sauce whilst you’re there, it’s the best! Read more about Harry Brand here

Fancy a day out? – Nantucket

Nantucket is situated in Reigate. Reigate is easy to get to from London with plenty to see in Surrey. Go for a walk in the Surrey Hills and stop for lunch in Reigate, a historic market town located in South East Surrey with a variety of fantastic restaurants. Home to a range of independent shops including antiques, craft, clothing boutiques, furniture and giftware. It’s steeped in history and dates back to the Battle of Hastings.

Father and daughter team – Iain and Joanne – had the vision to bring unique gifts and homeware to the high street. While creating a beautiful environment to shop in, they envisaged products that would be carefully sourced to give their customers something really special.

Nantucket is an island thirty miles south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the United States. With it’s New England style it seemed the perfect name.

Read more here

How about a trip to a museum? – The Lightbox Gallery and Museum

 

Winner of the Art Fund Prize, The Lightbox gallery and museum is a charity situated in Woking and is one of the most exciting cultural spaces in the South East. Three stunning galleries host a huge range of exhibitions, changing regularly.

The building is also home to Woking’s Story, an interactive museum of the town’s history. If you are visiting with children you will find plenty to keep them occupied with hands-on activities and interactive displays. You can also enjoy lunch at the canal-side café. Afterwards, you can browse for a special gift or memento in the gift shop.

Visitors with disabilities will find the building is easy to use. It has been designed to be one of the most accessible cultural venues in the South East.

Read more here.

Last but not least! – The River and Rowing Museum

 

Henley is truly one of my favorite places to visit especially in the spring. It’s very nostalgic for me as I spent a lot of my childhood at Henley College. It has so much to offer including lots of fun events like the Henley festival where I once danced to the bootleg Beatles and Henley Regatta.

The best thing to do is to take a stroll along the stunning banks of River Thames in Henley and visit the award-winning building at the River and Rowing Museum. Explore the galleries and exhibitions, attend one of their events, take a look in the shop, or relax in The Cafe.

The museum has four permanent galleries dedicated to Rowing, Rivers, the work of British Artist John Piper which has been a huge influence on Natasha’s work and the history of Henley on Thames. The Museum is also home to the magical Wind in the Willows exhibition which brings to life the much-loved story with 3D models, lighting, and music.

Open daily from 10am – 5pm, the River & Rowing Museum welcomes visitors of all ages.

Read more about River & Rowing Museum here

As an artist, Natasha Jade is particularly porous to the world when she travels letting it shape and inspire her next creation. I encourage the same from you, shake off the winter and the extreme weather and get out there and explore and absorb the changing season. Treat your inner artist, learn new things, meet new people, shop from locals and enjoy your surroundings.

Happy Spring xxx

Written by Leanna Wigginton – our wonderful Head of Sales and Marketing 

Turning business challenges into blessings

What should I do when I lose my enthusiasm? What should I do when I think about quitting, when I wonder why I started doing what I did in the first place? These are some of the many thoughts that go through the minds of most creative entrepreneurs. The other day I was reading a blog post called 3 Signs That You Should Shut Down Your Business‘ , in which the writer Deborah Mitchell says ‘I haven’t spoken to an entrepreneur yet who has not thought about walking away from a business at one time or another.’  It seems nearly every person who runs their own business has a moment in their careers when they think about giving up, quitting or starting the whole thing again! 

This is quite relieving for me, because I sometimes wonder if I am alone with my constant worries about my business and self-doubt. But now I have come to the conclusion that it’s fairly normal to doubt oneself. To wonder if we have the capability or if we are even on the right track. 

When I get feelings like this, which do happen from time to time, I find it very useful to read blogs of other woman entrepreneurs who have set up their own business. In ‘3 Signs That You Should Shut Down Your Business‘ one of the ladies interviewed said in essence, that it’s important to remember that running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. And when things get tough to take a step back and look after yourself. And that when things don’t happen as quickly as you would like and times are frustrating, it’s important to remember that nothing happens overnight and to reflect on how far you have come.

Sometimes I find it useful to create a list of everything that has happened between this time last year and now and see that I am actually growing a lot. I also find it very useful to write a list every evening of all my achievements that day. Even if they are as small as smiling to my studio mate, or packing up an order well! 

It’s important to remember that no one gets to where they are going easily. I find running a business brings up unexpected things all the time. Emotionally, personally, spiritually and practically.

Emotionally I often wonder if I am good enough and or if what I am doing is total madness. 
Personally I find it hard to do all the work that needs to be done whilst staying true to myself and fitting in time to be with my boyfriend and family.
Spiritually I come up with things all the time that make me want to better myself as a human being.  For example, I ask myself – could I have reacted to that situation better? Was I unreasonable or unfair to my assistants? Am I being equally mindful packing up all my orders compared to writing this blog?
And practically, for example, how do I finish something in a week which normally takes a month?

The situations are endless. But I find if I keep to my meditation, and take a step back now and then, I can keep the balance. Even if that means working from home one day and saving my energy then that’s ok. Rome wasn’t built in a day and we can’t grow strong and stable without learning from our mistakes made along the way. By changing my outlook and seeing that everything that happens helps me grow for the future, I can meet every situation with love and understanding. I can see that each challenge was put here for a reason and by changing my attitude I can find the blessings in every situation.

Natasha Jade x

To learn more about my business where I turn my mixed media artwork into greeting cards, mugs, prints and gift wrap, please visit my shop!

Our Top Drawer SS18 Diary

As ever, we had a great time at Top Drawer SS18, thanks to everyone who visited our stand! We love meeting new faces, catching up with our suppliers and making new connections.

We also love discovering new brands, here are a few of our favourites from the day…

Quail’s Egg

 

In striking, earthy colours, Quail’s Egg create beautiful ceramic kitchenware as well as stationery in plain and marbled paper which includes notebooks, wastepaper bin, file holders and wrapping paper. You can shop their gorgeous range here.

Noi Stationery 

Noi stationery were noted for their use of colour in the SS18 Paper Awards and we can see why! We love their vibrant, fun gift wrap and greeting card designs. Shop the range here.

ARTHOUSE Meath

It was ARTHOUSE Meath’s philosophy that caught our attention this time. ARTHOUSE Meath is a collective of artists living with complex epilepsy and learning disabilities and we just loved the artwork and designs they created! You can shop their cards, artwork, accessories, confectionary and more here.

Wanderlust Paper Company 

With a name like Wanderlust and a dreamy, romantic approach to design, how could we pass this stand by?  Visit their shop to see more of their beautiful greeting cards.

Wrap contemporary illustrated stationery 

Firstly, can we just say how much we like Wrap’s logo? It’s a joy for the eyes! Anyway, back to stationery, what drew us to Wrap’s stand (aside from the logo) was their well curated selection of contemporary designs. Your one-stop shop if you’re looking for the freshest greeting cards, notebooks and more…

We hope you enjoyed our Top Drawer diary! You can view our range of greeting cards, gift wrap, prints and mugs  on our shop here.

Natasha Jade + Team x