The True Sea

Slow Living, Inner Peace and Self Love


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How To Reach Fulfilment

How To Reach Fulfilment | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comWhen I was younger, I believed that there was this one thing out there that would magically make me feel fulfilled. If only I could find that thing, life would become permanently amazing. I’ve spent most of my life moving on to the next thing in the belief that the next thing could be that thing. Truth is, it doesn’t exist. Fulfilment doesn’t come until we choose wholeness over happiness. Life is the good bits and the struggles. Both are equally vital parts of the story. Fulfilment comes when we use our skills and strengths to their fullest in all areas of our lives.

But unfortunately it’s not that easy. It takes constant work and it requires fitting a lot of satisfaction pieces into one big satisfaction puzzle. It’s a very personal thing and you need to actively make time for what’s important to you. The good news is that you are fully capable of writing your own story. Go out there and create the life that you want to live rather than letting life happen to you. Choose to fill it with things that make you happy every day. Here are ten things that will help you reach fulfilment.

Follow your passion
I cannot stress this enough. If we don’t do what we feel that we’ve been put on this earth to do, we become stagnant and miserable. Find a way to do what you deep down want to do with your life. There is always a way. Don’t let fear stop you from chasing your dreams. Chasing them is not going to feel worse than not chasing them.

Be intentional and put your heart into it
Do all things with purpose and love. Be present in everything you do by taking responsibility for your emotional, mental and physical well-being. Be honest with yourself and others, and be clear on what you want. Choose to positively impact every experience.

Regularly make time for your hobbies
Doing things for fun is therapeutic. It helps you unwind and calm your mind. Hobbies are not the same as passion. They’re the things that make you relax and connect with yourself. Make sure you spend your free time doing what you love. We all have to work, but the time you spend not working is yours to do what you want with. Choose wisely and plan your time carefully.

Spend time with and on the people who love you unconditionally
Nurture your important relationships. Creating a bond with people who understand us and love all of us, flaws included, is a rare thing and it deserves to be treasured. Give them lots of love and support. Distance is irrelevant when you have a strong bond with someone. Talk to and message them often, and send them things every now and then to remind them that you’re thinking of them.

Take time off work regularly
We need frequent breaks to relax and recharge. If you’re lucky enough to have a job that you love, that’s great! Still, if you don’t take breaks, your love for that job will diminish. Spread your holiday out throughout the year. Go somewhere you’re never been before or visit friends and family.

Trust and let people in
This comes easier for some people, but it is a skill that you can learn. Even if you’ve been hurt over and over in your life, you have to believe that there are people out there who won’t purposefully hurt you. Be open and authentic, and you will attract like-minded people into your life. Show people that they can trust you.

Know that you are significant
You’re making a difference in the world and in people’s lives. You are important and unique. People need you and care about you deeply. Everyone feels lonely and insignificant from time to time, but you are never as alone as you think.

Take time away from daily life to reflect and check in with yourself
Sit with yourself every day. Meditate if that’s your cup of tea or simply allow yourself to just be. Above all, be honest with yourself. Listen to your body, heart and soul. Do what you need to do for yourself because you are the most important person in your life.

Push past your fears
Taking risks helps us grow as human beings. It builds our self-esteem and widens our world. Try new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone as often as possible. Habitually doing new things and putting yourself in new situations are the only things that make you more intelligent. Yes, really.

Always address your needs and listen to your intuition
What you want and what you need is rarely the same thing. Make a habit of asking yourself if you have everything you need. Learn to differentiate between wants and needs. If something makes you feel anxious or sick to your stomach, it could be a sign that you shouldn’t be doing that thing – not to be confused with simply being nervous. If it doesn’t feel right, it means that it isn’t. Or in the words of my dad,”If it doesn’t make you happy, then don’t do it.”.

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Lately

Lately | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.com1. I read The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada in just a few days and I was absolutely blown away by how clever the plot was. The other night, I started Coin Locker Babies by Ryū Murakami. His books always leave me feeling satisfied. When I went to Northern Ireland a couple of weeks ago, I started the crime novel All She Was Worth by Miyuki Miyabe. It was a very enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books.

2. I listened to the audiobooks The Dark Tourist: Sightseeing in the World’s Most Unlikely Destinations by Dom Joly and Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography by Danny Baker. Both were very entertaining and had me in tears laughing. I’ve also been listening to loads of true crime podcasts.

3. I’ve been thinking a lot about the people who I have that special bond with – the bond that can never be broken. I consciously choose to spend a lot of my time alone because I see no point in wasting time on people who I don’t feel a strong connection with. That kind of socialising exhausts me. On the same theme, I’ve been thinking about the concept of family. Not only defined by blood or legal bond, but also by emotional connection. I come from a very small family who practise sporadic contact and I’ve always wanted to be part of a big family who celebrate together. One day.

4. I’ve also been thinking a lot about the future and what fulfilment really is. There is no one thing that can magically make us feel fulfilled. It’s all about adding small pieces to a big puzzle. It can be achieved through following your passion, being intentional, trusting, addressing your needs, taking time off, reflecting, pushing past your fears and so on. I’m choosing to pursue fulfilment.

5. I watched season 2 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The first few episodes are slow but it picks up. I find it really inspiring and Tina Fey’s character is hilarious. I watched season 2 of Better Call Saul and the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters. I also watched the dark comedy series Flowers and I highly recommend it.

6. I’ve been buying things that make me smile: a writing desk, Japanese crockery, books, David Bowie picture discs, a mosaic tea light holder, two beautiful acacia wooden trays and green tea with mango.

7. I’ve decided to let things take their time. I refuse to let impatience diminish the joy of the present moment. My focus is on improving what’s within my control. The rest will come when it’s supposed to come. In the meantime, I’ll be working hard for the good stuff.


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Conquering My Trust and Commitment Issues

Conquering My Trust and Commitment Issues | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comSimply put, trust issues represent a deep rooted fear of getting hurt. They can stem from childhood trauma or abuse, complicated family dynamics, abusive relationships, being abandoned or betrayed by those close to us, unmet childhood needs, and resulting attachment issues.

I’ve had trust and commitment issues for as long as I can remember. All but one of the above causes apply to me. In 2014, I spoke about it in this post after realising just how severe my issues really were. The awareness shocked me into action. I don’t want to live an uncommitted life without trust. Being distrustful attracts the wrong things into your life. Since then, I’ve made huge progress.

In the past, my trust issues manifested as cheating, and I had an awful habit of cutting people out my life. I had a desperate need to create chaos and chaos I created, wherever I went. I was never loyal because I didn’t think that anyone could be loyal to me, which of course meant that people couldn’t trust me. How ironic. I didn’t think that anyone would want to stay with me once they got to know me, and I didn’t think that I deserved to feel safe and to be loved. Now I know that that’s not true at all.

It still takes time and persistence for me to really let someone in. Trust doesn’t come easy for me, but every day I’m actively choosing to trust and commit to the people I love. I nurture my important relationships and focus on being devoted, affectionate and supportive. Deep, unconditional love is the most beautiful thing in the world. To trust is to be open to the risk of getting hurt, but it also means that you’re trusting people not to hurt you. I’m still learning to be completely okay with that.

Understanding the underlying motivations for my behaviour helped me tremendously. I noticed that I feel afraid in situations where I deep down want to trust and commit to something or someone specific. I’ve learnt to face my fear and push through it. I’m letting people trust me.

Last summer, I decided to properly commit to myself and my well-being, and it has completely transformed my life. I created a morning routine, I’m putting money away every month for the future and I’m doing things that make me happy on a daily basis. Without my self care rituals, nothing else in my life works. I listen to what my body, mind, heart and spirit need rather than what I think they need.

In October last year, I signed my first ever contract for a permanent job. A job that is the only job that I’ve ever loved, yet I agonised over it for days and days before I could bring myself to sign. It may sound silly to someone who has no experience with commitment issues but for me it was a huge thing. Continuing in the same spirit, I signed a tenancy agreement the following month.

My thoughts still spiral out of control occasionally, but it’s getting less and less frequent. I’m lucky enough to have wonderful people in my life who know how to talk sense into me. Trusting and committing is something that I will need to actively work on probably for the rest of my life. I choose to trust my journey. I believe what happens in my life, especially the struggles, are meant to teach me something, to allow me to grow as a human being.

Now what about you? Have you experienced trust and commitment issues before? Did you recognise them at the time? How did you work through it? I’d love to hear about your experiences.


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April Goals

April Goals | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.com○ Make more time for reading.

○ Enjoy every second of my holiday visiting Geenie in Northern Ireland.

○ Go for more walks along the seafront.

○ Sell or donate all the clothes I never wear.

○ Allow myself time to sit silently with my thoughts every day.

○ Rest better and listen to what my body needs.

○ Actively make writing a priority.

○ Practise acceptance of what I cannot control.

○ Develop a new skincare routine and stick to it.

○ Make sure that I have something to look forward to 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?


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7 things I’ve learnt this year so far

7 Things I've Learnt This Year So Far | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI need to allow things to be good.
I’m so used to struggling just to keep my head above water that I don’t know what to do with myself when life is good. As human beings we get used to things being a certain way, and we tend to want it that way because it feels familiar and safe, even when it’s unhealthy for us. Some days, I feel terribly frustrated and crave a challenge because that’s what I’m used to, but I’m learning that it’s okay to be bored. (Thank you, Geenie.) Things being good is a good thing. It just happens to be something that I’m not fully used to yet.

Deep, unconditional love is the most important thing in life.
Distance is irrelevant and the commitment is real. As much as I enjoy my own company, I need those super connections too. They’re vital for my well-being. I’m focused on nurturing my close relationships, and I thrive on the deep love I have in my life. I feel so blessed to have people who I can trust and who love me unconditionally.

Consuming refined sugar makes me feel like I’m suffering from exhaustion.
Throughout January, I felt exhausted. I slept a lot more than usual but I still woke up tired. At work I was half asleep. It got so bad that I started worrying that I was getting seriously ill. Then it dawned on me that I was eating sugar almost every day. Let me explain. I don’t experience a sugar high; I head straight for a sugar crash. It’s like I’ve taken sleeping pills. It’s bizarre. If I can’t sleep, I just have a biscuit and go right to sleep. Completely cutting refined sugar out of one’s diet is hard, so I’m happy to have managed to drastically limit my intake of the white poison.

I can survive in a world without Bowie in it.
Losing Bowie was a tough blow. He was a father figure to me and his guidance has always been there. I felt so broken and lost, like I had lost myself. I still cry, but I know that I can and will go on. Somehow, in the collective conciousness we all seem to have thought that he was immortal. His legacy didn’t die with him though and after all, he was only visiting. He truly is one of the most wonderful men and talented artists to ever have walked our planet.

Dedicating one day a week to self care elevates my well-being tremendously.
After a long work week full of social interaction, I need a day of being with myself and doing lots of nice things for myself. Some of my favourite things to do are: taking long essential oil baths by candlelight while listening to true crime podcasts, treating myself to some new lingerie or beauty products, writing or reading in bed while drinking cherry blossom Sencha or Gyokuro, writing in my self empowerment notebook and watching comedy or horror films in bed.

Writing needs to actively be made a priority.
Having a full time job makes it hard to find enough time to focus on my raison d’être. A change of scenery is a good idea so I’m contemplating places I could go to get some peace and quiet. I want to make more time for writing personal essays and articles. Reliving my troubled past is tougher than I thought it would be, so I’m letting my autofiction book take its time and come out organically. It’s something that needs to be written.

I’m fully capable of breaking unhealthy behavioural patterns.
My past behaviour doesn’t define me. Just because I used to behave a certain way, doesn’t mean that I have to keep it up. This ties in with the first thing on this list. Just because I used to accept, and even create, chaos in my life because chaos feels familiar, doesn’t mean that I have to keep on doing it. Every now and then, I have a dream in which I mess everything up and I wake up feeling awful and guilty. These nightmares are reinforcing my determination not to do it.

How about you? What things have you learnt this year so far?


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Taking stock

Taking Stock | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comEnjoying: being alive.
Listening: to Nine Inch Nails.
Wearing: my lucky elephant necklace every day.
Making: more time for reading.
Cooking: white miso ramen.
Drinking: orange and lotus flower green tea.
Feeling: hopeful.
Reading: Evil and the Mask by Fuminori Nakamura.
Looking: forward to the days I’m taking off work to write.
Liking: that the cat next-door at work comes over for cuddles almost every day.
Waiting: for slightly warmer weather.
Snacking: on Cocoa Brazil nuts in raw chocolate.
Coveting: Gyokuro from Whittard of Chelsea.
Hearing: lots of episodes of Those Conspiracy Guys.
Learning: things about myself.
Loving: my new Japanese cherry blossom perfume.
Watching: season 3 of Bates Motel.
Wondering: if it really is supposed to be like this.
Noticing: how important it is to always have things to look forward to.
Giggling: at Comedy Bang! Bang!.
Bookmarking: anything about Chip-chan.
Deciding: to start getting up earlier to get more alone-time before work.
Hoping: to visit my dear Geenie very soon.
Contemplating: when to visit my friends and family in Sweden.
Wanting: to go and stay in a hotel because I love hotels.
Thinking: about forgiveness and letting go.
Knowing: that all my dreams will be fulfilled eventually.

Taking Stock is a feature inspired by the lovely Pip of Meet Me At Mike’s.