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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8 Things You Need To Let Go Of To Be Happy

8 Things You Need To Let Go Of To Be Happy | The True Sea thetruesea.comHappiness is hard work. The brain is wired to to pay more attention to negativity, but thankfully it’s also malleable. It’s fundamentally flexible and it loves structure so much that if it can’t find any it will create it for you. This means that we can change our emotional, behavioural and thinking patterns. Don’t let perception be a passive process. Start by letting go of these things.

The misconception that happiness means that everything is good
Rather than chasing happiness, choose to embrace wholeness. Life is never going to be perfect. Suffering is part of life. Accept the pain as part of your journey, but never let it hold you back. Difficult times can teach us so much about the world and about ourselves, if only we let them.

What other people think and expect of you
Do what you want to do. Be who you want to be. You have to make yourself happy. No one else can make you feel fulfilled, and no one has the right to expect anything from you. It doesn’t matter what other people think you should or shouldn’t do. You are here to live your life.

Your expectations of how you want things and people to be
Be accepting and compassionate with people. They’re (one would hope) doing their best. We can’t control others’ emotions, behaviour and thoughts. Be flexible with how your life unfolds. Things very rarely turn out the way we plan. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a plan though.

Your comfort zone
It feels safe I know, but staying there prevents you from growing as a human being. Do things that scare you on a regular basis. Even if it’s only little things. Challenge and push yourself every day. It will make you feel amazing every time you do something you didn’t think you could do.

Negative patterns
Whether you have a need to blame someone or something, try to control everything, employ negative self-talk or complain a lot about things – stop. By doing these things, you are taking the power to be happy away from yourself.

The past
Work on forgiving others who’ve wronged you, and forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. Dwelling on the past has no benefits whatsoever. You are here, alive, in this moment. The past is over. It can only affect you as much as you let it. You need to heal yourself and move on for your own sake.

People who have a negative impact on you
If someone doesn’t want the best for you, they have no place in your life. I know I say this a lot but it’s crucial for maintaining your wellbeing. Spend your time and energy on people who support and love you unconditionally. Those are the people who matter. Cutting people out of your life can be very difficult if it’s, let’s say, someone you work with or are related to, but you can at least limit the time you give them.

Stop being scared of failure or waiting for your ‘real’ life to begin. This is it. It’s happening right now. There is never going to be a perfect moment to do anything, so start taking steps towards what you want to do with your life today. Write down what you want your life to be like, then go out there and make it happen.


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.”.


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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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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10 ways to relieve stubborn frustration

10 Ways To Relieve Stubborn Frustration | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI’ve harboured frustration my whole life. I grew up bitterly asking “When is it my turn?” over and over and over in my head. By the time I got to my mid twenties, my frustration and anger with the universe had grown so large that I felt like I was going to break. Holding on to all those negative emotions was exhausting. I couldn’t go on living like that.

For one year straight, I did intensive self work: learning how to control my emotions and how to change my perception of the world. I was lucky enough to have not one, but two life coaches on hand to help me realise my goal of moving to the UK. It worked in the end, but even with all the self care I practise and self work I do, that awful impatient feeling occasionally comes back to haunt me. The difference nowadays, is that I don’t let it own me.

You know what kind of frustration I’m talking about. The kind that doesn’t seem to dissipate no matter how much deep breathing you do or how many walks you take. It requires more than just applying a constructive coping technique. It requires an emotional release. Here are ten things that work for me, and that I hope will help you too.

Listen to music that makes you cry your eyes out
Let it all out for as long as you need to. A good crying session will leave you feeling light and refreshed. Nick Drake and Elliott Smith do it for me.

Write it out
Putting your feelings and thoughts into words on paper will allow you to pinpoint exactly where your frustration is coming from. Don’t think about the actual act of writing and don’t censor yourself. Stream of consciousness journalling every day is the best way to figure out what your true desires are.

Go deep into the woods and primal scream
If you don’t live near woods, scream into a pillow. It feels so ridiculous that it will make you laugh.

Pour your heart out to someone who loves you and who you know won’t judge
Even better if it’s someone who’s brutally honest with you. It’s so important not to hold feelings back. Venting as a means of figuring out a solution is a good thing. This works just as well over the phone or social media as it does in person.

Consume true crime documentaries, podcasts or in written form
It will put your life into perspective. It sounds awful but I promise you that it will.

Watch a horror film or a really disturbing film
This is another thing that will put your life into perspective, and the adrenaline will distract you from your thought process. Horror films rarely frighten me (I find them comforting) but it’s such a treat when they do.

Listen to your “You can’t tell me what to do” music loud
What I mean by this is the musicians whose work makes you feel motivated and determined. Music that makes you feel like you can do anything, survive anything. For me, it’s Nine Inch Nails.

Immerse yourself in a good novel or lose an hour in a bookshop
Distract yourself by absorbing yourself in someone else’s world or by looking for your next adventure. Books are full of inspiration. You might even find the solution to your problem in there.

Write a plan for the future
First, write down what you want your life to be like, then work backwards writing actionable steps of how to get there. Include yearly, monthly, weekly and daily steps. If there’s something that you can do today, do it.

Have a nap
Give your mind and body a break. Sometimes a nap is the only thing that will work.

How about you? How do you relieve stubborn frustration and what’s your experience with it?


How we can carry on David Bowie’s legacy

How We Can Carry On David Bowie's Legacy | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI’ve felt lost since I found out that the Starman has left our planet. I’ve cried and cried, and I feel exhausted no matter how much I sleep. I’ve been lacking in motivation and I’ve been lying awake at night in numb disbelief. I’m shocked by how strongly his death is affecting me. Even more shocking is that it took me almost a week before I even realised that I’m grieving. I always thought that he would somehow live forever. It never occurred to me that I would at some point in my life have to accept being in a world without Bowie in it, without his guidance.

I’m lucky enough to have a few wonderful people in my life who understand the pain. My dear Geenie deserves a huge thank you for the telepathic love she’s been sending. It’s so comforting talking to someone who is just as devastated as I am. She wrote this beautiful piece that moved me to tears after the departure of our mutual hero.

Bowie’s music has always and will always be coursing through my veins. My mum did a fabulous job instilling her love for him into me. Mimicking Bowie’s work, I grew up shapeshifting from one extreme to the other. Reinventing myself over and over. Ending up even legally changing my first name. No person has meant as much to me when it comes to connecting with myself and learning to love myself as Bowie has.

He really was a hero. He challenged the world’s outdated gender definitions and insistently pushed boundaries. He taught us that identity is fluid and that we can find happiness by truly knowing ourselves. Let’s carry his legacy on by being true to ourselves and embracing our flaws. By being proud of our unique weirdness and by challenging definitions of everything. By playing with aspects of our personalities and shapeshift. By nurturing our creativity and believing in our work without censoring ourselves. We can do and be whatever we want.How We Can Carry On David Bowie's Legacy | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comNow I want to let you in on a little secret. My favourite tool for living my life to its fullest and staying true to myself Bowie-style, is a self empowerment notebook. It’s a tool inspired by Bowie that I started using when I was 12 for my first shapeshift. I’ve used it ever since to improve my life and to create all my different personae. It’s simple but potent. Buy yourself a pretty notebook and fill it with powerful words. Be radically honest in this notebook. It’s for your eyes only. Use it every day as instructions to creating the life that you want to live and the person that you want to be. Here are some suggestions of things to fill it with:

A list of what to focus on, to be read every morning
Monthly goals
Yearly goals
Things that would contribute to your happiness
Your vision
25 things that you want in your life, including things that you already have
Self care activities
Life goals
Things that you’re proud of yourself for

Bowie was a true artist who happened to use music as a medium, but the world was his canvas. Always one step ahead, he made the act of dying his final piece of art. The greatest tribute we can give the man is to proudly be our freaky selves and to do our best to make this world a more accepting and loving place full of art.

How about you? Has Bowie’s death affected you? Did you grow up with his music?