The True Sea

Slow Living, Inner Peace and Self Love

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Self Love: 3 Ways To Get To Know Yourself

Self Love: 3 Ways To Get To Know Yourself | The True Sea thetruesea.comWhat are you feeling right now? Can you pinpoint what made you feel that way? The better we know ourselves, the better we are at making ourselves happy. If we’re aware of our negative emotional triggers, we can learn to take the power away from them. Once you start paying attention to your patterns, you will be shocked by how strongly the smallest thing can instantly affect your emotional state.

To illustrate my point – spend 5 minutes thinking about a bad memory. Notice how you feel, how your posture changes and what thoughts that memory trigger. Now spend 5 minutes thinking about a nice memory. Notice the immense difference in your mind and body. Our thoughts trigger our feelings, which in turn trigger our behaviour. When we write a day off as ‘one of those’ days, what we’re really doing is sabotaging our day. In that mindset, we will inevitably pay more attention to the negative aspects, and we miss out on the good stuff.

Far too often, we hide from our feelings, forget about our needs and postpone making our dreams come true. We can be our own worst enemies. This rings particularly true to women. From birth we’re taught to care for and help others. What a shame that we’re not equally taught to do this for ourselves!

The only thing we know for certain is that we will spend our whole lives with ourselves. And if we don’t know and love ourselves, it’s going to be a rough ride. So, here are three ways to help you bond with yourself.

Make sense of your feelings
To get to know yourself, you need to spend lots of quality time with yourself. Listen to your thoughts, and notice your emotions and different moods. What makes you feel happy? What makes you feel anxious? What stories are you telling yourself about your life? It sounds so obvious, but sadly, a lot of people spend their entire days avoiding their true feelings out of fear of what they might find.

When you know exactly how the outer world affects your thoughts and in turn your feelings, deciding what and who to let into your life becomes easier. Establish your boundaries – learn what you are okay with and what you are not okay with. Our own narratives create our lives, so when you want change, you have to start by amending your thoughts. Stop telling yourself the victim story. Everyone’s broken in their own unique way, and life is random with never-ending ups and downs. Rather than forcing positive thinking, adopt realistic thinking with an emphasis on the good stuff. Be prepared for the good, and the bad.

Clarify your needs
Are all your needs being met? Not only is it within your control, it is in fact, completely up to you to make yourself feel safe and happy. No one else is responsible for your happiness. Apart from basic needs such as food and security, we also have personal needs. Maybe you need a bit of quiet time to yourself after work, or maybe you need an impromptu dancing session in your living room when you feel down. No matter what it is, make time for it.

Peer pressure often makes us do things we don’t really want to do. As social creatures, we want to avoid disappointing or upsetting our clowder (Yes, I said ‘clowder’), even if it’s at our own expense. It takes practise to break this self destructive behavioural pattern without feeling guilty, but it’s very much possible. There is no reason to justify yourself if you don’t want to do something. ‘No’ is a complete sentence.

Manifest your dreams
Search deep within your core for your dreams. Not what others think you should do, but what you want to do. Your heart knows what it wants. The confusion occurs when your brain starts over-analysing and categorising as it’s prone to do. What activity did you lose yourself in when you were a child? What do you genuinely love doing? Do that.

Life is only as complicated as you make it. There is always a way, even if it takes a long time to get to where you want to be, or fail a million times. Failure shouldn’t be feared because it’s how we learn. No path is free from stumble blocks. Work towards your dream life, but don’t forget that you are alive now, in this very moment. Make your present enjoyable. Do more of what makes you happy, every day.

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Self Care Exercise: Being Thankful For The Everyday Things

Self Care Exercise: Being Thankful For The Everyday Things | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comOur brains have an inbuilt negative bias due to our ancestors’ primary need for survival. We have more neurons dedicated to responding to negative stimuli than we do to positive stimuli. This is why it’s so easy to forget to appreciate the good things in life, and why it’s so hard to get out of a downward spiral. Happiness takes practise and determination.

We tend to get stuck obsessing over what we don’t have rather than appreciating what we already have. It requires patience but we can train our brains to focus on the positive things, and by expressing gratitude for them, we can significantly increase our well-being.

When a tough situation improves, we quickly forget to value that things have become better. Our minds get used to situations, good and bad, and we risk falling into a routine. Let’s banish those mind poisons with this simple self care exercise.

Grab a pen and write a list of the positive things in your life, and read it every day to remind yourself of how blessed you are. Actively cherish the everyday things, especially the ones that you didn’t always have. Never take anything in your life for granted.

Below are the things in my life that I will never take for granted.

I’m thankful for having no unwanted commitments or drama in my life. I’m thankful for having friends who make me laugh and feel loved, and best friends who never judge and are always brutally honest with me.

I’m thankful for the men in my life, who keep me grounded and who always tell me to do what makes me happy. I’m thankful for their encouragement, support and never-ending belief in my abilities to do anything that I want to do.

I’m thankful for feeling safe, relaxed and comfortable in the house I live in. I’m thankful for living by the seafront with an intelligent, mentally sound woman who I really enjoy hanging out with, but who also respects my need for alone time.

I’m thankful for working at an amazing organic essential oil company which provides products that contribute to people’s well-being. I’m thankful for my fabulous colleagues who I can’t wait to see every day. I’m thankful for feeling appreciated and valued at work, and for not having to worry about money.

How about you? What are you thankful for?


20 Questions That Will Change Your Life

20 Questions That Will Change Your Life | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI’m a firm believer in self empowerment. All too often, we disempower ourselves when in reality, we have a lot more control over our lives and our feelings than we think. The way you’re feeling about your life right now, you at some point chose to feel. We have a choice. Perception is not a passive process. When our circumstances aren’t ideal, we can intentionally change how we perceive the world. Asking yourself the right things is a great place to start. It may be a bold claim to say that these questions will change your life, but I promise you that they will if you ask them often and answer them honestly.

1. What can you do today to make yourself feel better about your life?

2. What can you do to make today an amazing day?

3. What are your top 10 life goals and what can you do today to work towards them?

4. What’s preventing you from being happy with your life?

5. How can you put your life in perspective?

6. What can you do to have a good laugh today?

7. What can you do to take better care of yourself?

8. Who in your life deserve a big heartfelt thank you?

9. What in your life is draining you of energy and what can you do to fix it?

10. What are 10 things that you are thankful for today?

11. What makes you happy and how can you have more of that on a daily basis?

12. What can you do to push yourself out of your comfort zone today?

13. What can you do to support and encourage the people you love?

14. What are your top 5 values and are you living your life according to them?

15. What can you do to relax today?

16. What can you do to live more in the moment?

17. What can you read, watch and listen to that will inspire you today?

18. How can you become more connected with yourself?

19. What can you do to nurture your important relationships?

20. What would make you feel fulfilled and how can you work towards that today?


Self Love Exercise: 15 Things I Love About Myself

Self Love Exercise: 15 Things I Love About Myself | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comHere’s a wonderful little self love exercise for you. Write down 15 things that you love about yourself. I thought I’d find it easy but it’s surprisingly hard because you really have to look at yourself. You don’t have to share the list with anyone but you get bonus points if you do! Here’s my list.

1. I love that I’m well-read.

2. I love that I know how to be alone without having to be defined by another person.

3. I love that I know what’s important in life.

4. I love that my heart is full of love.

5. I love my flaws, my scars and my complex personality because they make me unique.

6. I love my hourglass figure.

7. I love that I never give up no matter how hard life gets.

8. I love that I go after what I want.

9. I love that I’m constantly learning and evolving.

10. I love my skinny legs and arms.

11. I love that I’m empathic and caring.

12. I love that I’m independent and capable of sorting most things out on my own.

13. I love my green-yellow eyes.

14. I love that I’m creative and can find beauty in most things.

15. I love that I’m able to recognise when a situation isn’t healthy.

Now it’s your turn to write your list. What are 15 things that you love about yourself?


What I see in the mirror

Chiaki Creates - What I See In the Mirror chiakicreates.comThe Guardian does this wonderful series where they ask famous people what they see in the mirror. I find it very interesting to hear how people perceive themselves so I figured I’d write one myself.

When I look in the mirror, I see a woman who simply refuses to give up; a woman who has fought hard for everything she’s got. I never used to think that I look particularly Scandinavian but now I’m embracing my Viking blood.

Like most Swedes my natural hair colour is dark blonde, but I’ve been dyeing it different colours for almost 18 years now. I’ve always wanted naturally red hair.

I get my green eyes from my mum (my brother has them as well) and my pale, transparent skin from my dad. From my dad I also get my long legs and arms. No one in my family knows where my nose comes from and I’ve never met anyone with a nose quite like mine.

I have a bump on my nose from when my first boyfriend broke it when I was 13. It was my first encounter with a psychopath, and having studied psychology I don’t use that term lightly. On my face, I also see scars from a lip piercing and a vertical earl piercing as well as a scar by the corner of my left eye and on the bridge of my nose from two childhood accidents. Mind you, none of these bother me, they remind me of the fact that I’m alive.

I like my crooked smile. I’m always smiling more on one side of my face. I used to avoid smiling when I was younger because I was horrifically self-concious about my less than straight teeth, but with age I’ve found that I care less and less about it. Same thing with wearing makeup. I used to hate what I looked like without makeup to the point where I wouldn’t let people take photos of me au natural, but I just cannot be bothered to put it on every day anymore. I have grown to like my face without makeup.

With age I’ve become quite comfortable in my own skin. I love my hourglass figure; my defined waist. I’m 170 cm (5′ 7″) and I wouldn’t change it if I could. I like my body. It looks good and it works well, especially considering that walking, practising yoga and dancing is the most strenuous exercise that it gets.

Now I’m challenging you to do the same. Write down what you see in the mirror. It’s a good exercise. Do let me know if you write one as I would love to read yours!


50 things to do when you need cheering up

Camera 3601. Make a floral crown.

2. Cuddle with a cat.

3. Talk to a loved one who you haven’t spoken to in a while.

4. Read a good book in the park on a sunny day or in bed on an overcast day.

5. Take a flask of tea and a camera for a long stroll.

6. Bake something yummy while spinning records.

7. Put on your prettiest frock and blow soap bubbles.

8. Go vintage shopping.

9. Express yourself in an art journal.

10. Have a good laugh. Watch a comedy or read a funny book.

11. Write a list of things you want to change in your life and start taking small steps to do so.

12. Cut your hair in a different style or dye it in a different colour.

13. Drink jasmine tea or cherry blossom tea.

14. Lose a few hours in a second-hand bookshop.

15. Go to the pictures with a loved one or on your own.

16. Learn a new skill like origami, knitting or a language.brighton pier17. Take a day trip to the seaside.

18. Help someone out. Volunteer. Do a random act of kindness.

19. De-clutter your house. Sort through your wardrobe. Donate books you will never read again.

20. Take a long bubble bath.

21. Have a big cup of hot chocolate.

22. Create colourful street art.

23. Watch a couple of brilliant films like the best feel-good film in the world, Amélie.

24. Host a board game night or a wine and cheese evening.

25. Spend the afternoon in an art gallery.

26. Buy a kazoo.

27. Do something you’ve never done before. Better yet, spend a whole afternoon doing things you haven’t done before.

28. Plant some vegetables or herbs and watch them grow.

29. Make a pure fruit smoothie.

30. Watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show and do the Time Warp.

31. Go record hunting.

32. Write a thank you note to someone.

33. Dress up and go to the theatre.handmade skirt34. Make something with your hands.

35. Go trampolining. Trust me.

36. Write a personal mission statement.

37. Have a picnic. Bring quiche, salad, bread, fruit, dessert and lemonade.

38. Create flows. Focus hard on one thing and fully emerge yourself in it.

39. Host an un-birthday tea party, a themed dinner party or a brunch.

40. Go art and craft supply shopping.

41. Treat yourself at a pâtisserie or buy a box of expensive chocolates at a chocolatier.

42. Spend an afternoon in good company in the park.

43. Take a creative course or join a craft group.

44. De-clutter your mind. Let go of the past and move on.

45. Make pancakes for breakfast.

46. Take silly photos with a friend in a photo booth. Extra points if you wear silly hats or glasses.

47. Start working on that creative project you just can’t seem to get round to.

48. Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers.

49. Leave inspirational scribblings for strangers. Leave books in random places for people to pick up.

50. Have a photo book made out of your favourite photos.