Friends in the Frame - Natacha

‘I think my life has been one gift after another in terms of quite profound lessons. I hope that it will continue to teach me.’

Natacha is remarkable in the clarity with which she sees her life and its purpose. What matters most to her is ‘being connected to something greater than myself’. She understands her connection to this higher power: ‘In order for it to know itself, it needs to make itself manifest and we are part of that process … essentially I believe that I am an expression of this greater being.’

It’s also about connection to other people, and what brings her most alive is interactions ‘where I am understanding, being understood and being challenged’. With this strong desire for connection comes an urge to ‘express myself and the energy I came here with’.

Natacha finds form for that expression in storytelling – she is a gifted poet and performer. It’s vital for her that these stories are ‘in service of something’. Ultimately, she wants to affect and inspire: to make a valuable contribution. I’ve seen this in how she loves to draw out the best in people, to enthuse and encourage them in their own creative endeavours.

The tasks of self-expression and inspiring others require energy, which Natacha seems to have a lot of. Alongside her writing, she enjoys other more physical forms of creative expression – including capoeira and dancing. These speak of her playful side, which I can testify to – she’s someone you can also have a really good laugh with!

Natacha draws inspiration from historical figures who have overcome challenges to their own freedom and expression, including Audrey Lord, the Afro-American poet and activist, and Nanni of the Maroons, who led a successful revolt against slavery in Jamaica 50 years before abolition. (They are depicted on Natacha’s jacket.) Both showed great courage and determination to express what was true for them. I see these same qualities in how Natacha leads her life.

How I know Natacha

I first came across Natacha on a meditation course – she was a punter; I was on the support team. She seemed bright, thoughtful and inquisitive. She asked searching questions, and was genuinely interested in the answers. Then for a while, quite by chance, we worked at the same charity in Bethnal Green and struck up a friendship that’s endured since. For a while we ran a creativity group together. It was a delight to work with her. I continue to admire Natacha’s questioning nature, her distinctive self-expression and her strong desire for real connection.