The True Sea

Slow Living, Inner Peace and Self Love

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Simple Pleasures in Sweden

Simple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comHello lovelies, how are you all? It’s been a while. I haven’t been blogging much lately because my outdated blog name was really starting to bother me. So, I spent a week doing intensive brainstorming and I finally settled on a new one. I wanted it to hint at the topics I write about, but I just couldn’t come up with anything I loved that wasn’t already taken. In the end, I went with The True Sea. It’s a Paul Dempsey song “about space – as in deep space, but also personal space”. I’m already excited about blogging again!

I’m back home in Brighton after 2 weeks spent with friends and family in Sweden. A visit to my home country never fails to make me reconnect with myself, but it also never fails to bring up conflicting feelings. As a visitor, I see all the good things. I know though, that I had very valid reasons to leave. It makes me sad to see how some things haven’t changed at all. Yet it allows me to appreciate just how much I’ve grown as a human being since I moved to the UK 6 years ago. The best thing about visiting Sweden is being around people who know me really well. It always reminds me that the little things are important.Simple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comLittle things like:

Catching up with friends who I haven’t seen for at least 6 years over a drink.
Walks in the woods.
Trying new teas such as green tea with apple and rose.
Eating raspberry blueberry crumble made by my best friend when I’m feeling poorly.
Picking up a new kimono in my favourite shop, INDISKA.
My best friend’s cat falling asleep on my lap.
Reading Vertigo by paraffin lamp light.
Playing with my childhood best friend’s little baby girl.
Watching one of my favourite films, Bedazzled (1967), with my best friend.
Talking about life with my dad.
Swedish strawberries, cheese, black bread, strawberry ProViva and Onaka fil.
Crying with laughter.
Sitting with my thoughts while watching the waves on my brother’s tiny island.Simple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comSimple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comSimple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comSimple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea


What’s on my mind

Our thoughts define who we are, but so do the things that we spend our time thinking about. The first thing I ask when I want to get to know someone is what things occupy their thoughts. What they’re into. If you love finding out what’s going on inside people’s heads as much as I do, here’s your chance to get inside my head. In no particular order, these are the things that I think about the most.What's On My Mind | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comLove
I spend a lot of time thinking about the people I love unconditionally who love me unconditionally. They’re not many and they all live elsewhere, but I’m so lucky to have them in my life. I feel blessed to have super connections with people.

David Bowie
You’ve probably gathered by now that Bowie is my muse and inexhaustible source of inspiration. He motivates me to go after my dreams, to change things when I’m unhappy with the way my life is going and to never ever give up no matter what craziness the Universe sends my way.

Writing ideas
I’m always thinking about what I’m currently working on. When I start writing something new, I simply start and let the piece develop organically. I rarely know when I start if it it’s going to be a chapter of my book, a blog post or a magazine article. Sometimes it’s just something that needs to come out, not to be shared.

Books I want to read, books I’ve read and books I want to re-read. I remember exactly when I read every book that I’ve ever read. The memory of reading them is attached to what was going on in my life at the time because I draw parallels between my life and the plot. I just finished reading The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer and it really spoke to me. So much so, that I’m considering writing Amanda a heartfelt email.

Happy things
I’ve trained myself to focus on the delightful little things in life and expressing gratitude for them. It makes a huge difference to my well-being. When I’m looking forward to something, I do it with my whole heart. A lot of times the anticipation is even better than the event itself! Podcasts are included in happy things. I listen to at least 3 podcasts every day and when I’m not listening, I’m thinking about the next podcast I’m going to listen to.

Green tea is a huge part of my day. I’m always wondering when I can have my next cup of tea, even when I’m having one. When I’m going away, tea is the first thing on my packing list. My favourites are sencha, jasmine green tea, jasmine silver needle tea and cherry blossom green tea.

I think a lot about how cats work, what beautiful and amazing creatures they are, and when I can next cuddle one. I find spending time with cats very therapeutic. I have cat friends who I go for walks with or have a lunch break with at work.

True crime
I’ve always been a huge true crime nerd. Yes, I was a morbid child. It’s not normal to absorb and think about true crime as much as I do, but in my defence I come at it from a psychology angle. Read on.

I spend most of my time studying human behaviour and figuring out why people behave the way they do. I’d love to become a forensic psychologist or a true crime writer but I wouldn’t be able to cope with being exposed to so much evil on a daily basis. Therefore, I decided to take the positive psychology route instead.

Films I want to watch, films I’ve watched and films I want to re-watch. I can watch my favourite films over and over without getting bored of them. In my mind, certain films are attached to certain people. For example, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and Bedazzled (1967) are attached to my best friend. I quote films and draw parallels between real life and films all the time.

I wanted to give you a truthful account so it had to be included. Everyone thinks about sex all the time, right?

How about you? What things do you think about the most?

Phrenology head template found here.


Lately, according to my phone: Sweden edition

I’ve been in Sweden visiting friends and family for almost 4 weeks now and I’m savouring every moment of it. I’ve been catching up with people who I haven’t seen in years and I’ve paid several visits to my favourite Swedish shop INDISKA. Most importantly, I’ve had no responsibilities and I’ve been allowed to just be. Something that I haven’t been able to do for years. Though I didn’t see it at the time, I suffered from learned helplessness during my last 4 years in London. Being around loving, supportive people in Brighton and in Sweden is making me remember who I really am. I’m a strong, assertive woman who goes after what she wants and does what makes her happy, no matter what. No one can tell me what to do. Isn’t it wonderful what love is capable of?

Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comWatched The Enfield Haunting with my best friend and her cat.
Chanterelles, the gold of the forest.Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comBefore attending a Birthday party for a girl I met at art school.
A few beautiful things. Love my brother’s Buddha statue!Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI’m always struck by my hometown’s beauty when I visit.
Went to INDISKA and got a top, an open tunic, a dress and trousers in the sale.Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comBlueberries straight from the forest.
The Swedish countryside is so beautiful and serene.Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comBefore attending a dinner party with girls I went to school with.
Love the fact that you can buy mochi ice cream and Pocky in my tiny hometown.Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comWent to INDISKA again and couldn’t leave without this gorgeous maxi dress.
A Happy Buddha on a sunny Friday afternoon.


Happy Birthday to me: 30 life lessons at 30

Chiaki Creates - 30 Life Lessons At 30 chiakicreates.comToday I’m officially leaving my twenties behind and beginning a new chapter of my life. I couldn’t possibly be more excited! I’m spending my Birthday doing my favourite things: working on a very exciting soon to be announced project with my dear friend Chloë, eating loads of Japanese food, drinking wine, laughing, cuddling cats, reading (Jim Morrison’s poems at the moment), listening to freakbeat and getting loads of hugs. To mark this day I have decided to share these life lessons with you. Here are the 30 most important things that I’ve learnt during my 30 years.

1. There’s only this moment, live in it.

2. Material things are unimportant. Focus on experiences, making memories and connecting.

3. Don’t dream it, be it.

4. Expressing gratitude and enjoying the little things in life is the path to happiness.

5. Only compete with yourself.

6. Being naked is awesome.

7. Reading is always a good idea.

8. Wear whatever you want because it doesn’t matter what other people think as long as you’re happy.

9. An ex is an ex for a reason.

10. Don’t waste your time waiting for people.

11. When in doubt, watch A Bit of Fry and Laurie.

12. Learn something new every day.

13. Whole foods and yoga are fantastic.

14. The one thing that feels worse than the fear of failure is the regret of never even having tried.

15. Doing work you hate is never worth the money.

16. Dance, dance, dance.

17. Get out of your comfort zone.

18. Only you can make yourself happy.

19. The people who are there for you when everything falls apart are the people that matter.

20. Take every opportunity you get to laugh.

21. You can’t trust hairdressers.

22. There is such a thing as comfortable and attractive.

23. If you don’t like something; your appearance, job, location, name, partner, habits, attitude; change it.

24. Hate really is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

25. Alone-time should be treasured because not being defined by another person is a very good thing.

26. Your thoughts create your reality.

27. Practise thinking outside of the box because we unconsciously look for things that confirm what we already believe.

28. Always de-clutter.

29. You can only do what you believe that you can.

30. It’s not what people say, but what they do that matters.


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!


Lately, according to my phone

Chiaki Creates - Instagram 76 chiakicreates.comReading and snacking on ume & shiso rice crackers with peanuts and soy milk amazake.
My new tunic dress makes me very happy.Chiaki Creates - Instagram 77 chiakicreates.comThe most gorgeous retro flower dress which has now been turned into a skirt.
Got a lovely surprise from Bridgeen in the post and it put a huge smile on my face.Chiaki Creates - Instagram 78 chiakicreates.comStarted my new part-time job at Family Tree in Exmouth Market.
Late lunch/early dinner at the café down the road. They put The Doors on when I walked in!Chiaki Creates - Instagram 79 chiakicreates.comSorted out the mess that the hairdresser made & went to a picnic in my new maxi dress.
A reminder from my mum and a marvellous book that I’ve been spending a lot of time with.


Outfit: Satellite of Love

♫ The Velvet Underground – Satellite of Love ♫Chiaki Creates - Outfit Satellite of Love chiakicreates.comChiaki Creates - Outfit Satellite of Love 2 chiakicreates.comKimono dress // vintage
Top // Forever 21
Clog sandals // Swedish Hasbeens for H&M

It’s been pretty hectic over here lately. My housemates and I are hosting a Werewolf night on Saturday so today we’re planning what food and cakes we’re going to make. I haven’t been able to get much work done over the last couple of days because we’ve had builders in doing some work in just about every room in the house. At the moment I’m behind on all my creative projects but hopefully I will be back on track by the end of this week.

It completely slipped my mind to post this last week. This kimono dress has quickly become one of my favourite things to wear. I stumbled across it in a vintage shop while my dear friend Bridgeen and I were wandering around Camden trying to avoid getting soaked in the rain. It’s lightweight, flowy and the pattern is gorgeous.

I’m looking forward to finally watching The Canyons tonight. Life is so good right now. I’m in love with life and everyone I meet. I don’t want the butterflies in my stomach to ever disappear!