My Daily Game Plan: Natasha Reilly, Artist, Writer and Founder of CreativeNachos

Friday, April 21, 2017

"There is something amazing about sharing stories. The ability to truly see another human being inside their story or to see their imagination at work is the greatest honor. " - Natasha Reilly, Artist, Writer, Founder of

What’s your morning routine?

David Bowie’s song, Under Pressure, is the alarm that sounds first thing and kicks off my morning routine. I just love that song and when I hear it I start giggling before my eyes are even open. This idea that I’m “under pressure” to get up and get the day started cracks me up. Once the kids are off to school, you can find me engaged in yoga or some form of exercise before I sit down to begin working. Usually I will start by responding to emails and then dive in to work with clients or focus on my own creative projects.

What is your everyday go-to” outfit?

Though I wish I could live in pj pants (if I’m working at home you will often find me in them), I love throwing on my favorite pair of jeans, a black scoop neck top, funky clogs and a multi-colored necklace created by the talented Andrea Scher and aptly named, Joy.

What are you most thankful for in the morning?

Honestly, my first thought is how thankful I am to have woken to another day with the people I love. I count my blessings for them. And waffles with fruit. I’m so grateful for waffles with fruit in the morning. YUM!

What was it like to teach your writing class?

Incredible. Exciting. Humbling. Unforgettable. Before I was first approached to create a writing class, I had never given much thought to teaching. However, that first class changed my life. There is something amazing about sharing stories. The ability to truly see another human being inside their story or to see their imagination at work is the greatest honor. I cannot even explain how much I absolutely love teaching classes where people get to break down the barriers within themselves and allow their heart to step forward on the page. Helping people to own their stories, express themselves and shine is the greatest work I could ever do with my life.

When do you feel the most beautiful?

When I stop worrying about things and step into the present moment. When I am just enjoying the people around me and I’m not worried about the past or the future, I find I feel like I’ve swallowed stardust.

Do you ever lose your cool?

Of course. What I’ve found is that when my sentences are clipped or my responses to things are curt, I need to take a step back. Often those are days when I’ve had no time for myself. We all need a little time for ourselves during the day. Whether it’s taking time to eat a nice meal or just a few minutes to take a few deep breaths and look out the window, we need to check in with ourselves. If I don’t do that and I go, go, go all day I become cranky pants. So I try to remember to leave a little time for myself each day.

Do you have any advice for people who want to write, paint or create something artistic?

Yes. Do it. Truly. Start. Start anywhere. So many people will talk about not having enough time or that all the ideas have been done already. The books have been written, the paintings painted so why bother but the moment I hear that I have to ask this, “What if the world’s most amazing painters and writers and creatives of all kinds had held themselves back from creating?”

Think about that for a second. What if they had said, “Nah, it’s all been done” and didn’t try. Think of what we would be missing in this world. Think about your most favorite book or the song you love and have played 500 times and imagine not having that because someone decided there was no place for it. Isn’t that sad? We all have the ability to create beauty. All of us. When we choose to unleash our creativity, we touch others lives whether we know it or not.  It’s our job to create and express ourselves and then let it go to live in the world.

In your recent social media post, you mentioned a film titled “GATHER”, a program/project to bring people together to create ripples of magic in the world. If you’re give an opportunity to affect a positive change, what would it be?

Gather is both a film and a project created by the incredibly talented filmmaker, Jen Lee. She’s such an amazing human being. I consider myself truly lucky to call her my friend. Gather is  about coming together to share stories, connect and creative, inclusive communities. I’m deeply honored to be a part of this phenomenal project. It really will create ripples of beauty in months to come.

For me personally, the greatest change I could ever make would be to inspire someone to express themselves. So often people doubt themselves or they are asked to silence their voices. It happens in families, schools, jobs and it causes people to feel frustrated, stale and sometimes worthless. I hid my voice for years and it makes you feel invisible. Learning to use my voice has been challenging and sometimes scary but it’s also been the best thing I’ve ever done. So, the greatest thing I could ever do is to help people to stop limiting themselves and share their voice. When you share your voice you connect with other souls and touch lives. It’s a ripple effect. It’s magic and it changes lives for the better.

Creative Nachos encouraged me to listen, observe, see beyond what my eyes could see. Will you re-start Thursday Sweet Treat”?

That makes me cry! That’s the best thing you could ever say to me. Thank you and thank you for being a part of the Thursday Sweet Treat. You brought so much beauty, thoughtfulness and inspiration to each week. I’m deeply honored to know you and to have seen all you have created so far. You create magic and I know there is so much more to come.

Yes, I will be restarting it. It will look different but it will carry that same spirit of inspiration and creativity. That space was so beautiful because it was filled with people like you who shared their gifts. It was a creative oasis. I am building another oasis right now and my hope is that it helps people to stay inspired, motivated to create and connected to others.

What’s the one consistent thing you do at the end of the day?

I spend time with my family. Whether we are watching a show, reading a book or playing a game I spend time with my kids and my husband before bed. Its the best way to end the day.

What’s the one advice you give your children, especially your daughter?

Trust yourself. I tell her again and again. In fact, I’ve told her so many times she now tells her younger brother that same thing.

While teaching in a college, I found that many of the students wanted me to give them the answers to things. They’d say, “But which answer is right?” They wouldn’t even start. They’d be too afraid to start because they feared “making mistakes.” I was so upset by this. My first thought was, ‘Are we teaching our young people that the answers lie outside of themselves? What about trusting your instincts?’ They simply didn’t trust themselves. They didn’t trust that they knew the answers and that didn’t trust that they could make a mistake, learn and move on.  I spent a great deal of time trying to help them to understand that you will not have someone telling you which way to go for the rest of your life so you need to learn to trust yourself.

I kept thinking, ‘When do we learn to trust ourselves?’ So, I started teaching her early. I try to help her to see that she has choices and to use her intuition to make choices that are good for her. I constantly remind her to trust her instincts. Always. Pay close attention to your feelings, they will guide you the right way.

What’s the one advice from your mom do you remember the most?

That people will never, ever show you love the same way you show it to them. It’s true. Think about the way you express your love to your partner, your kids or your friends. It’s impossible for them to show it to you the same way and if you expect it to come back the exact same way you sent it out, you will always be disappointed. Love shows up in so many different ways. When you open yourself to letting people love you in the best ways they know how, you will find beauty unlike any you could ever imagine.

Thank you, Natasha. I'm looking forward to the re-opening of Creative Nachos.

Follow Natasha on Instagram  (@tashanacho)

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