Posts tagged The Creative Vessel
How I Listen to My Intuition

Fine tuning my relationship to my intuition has been a real biggie in my life lately. For those of you who have watched some of my more recent videos, you know that I’ve been using my intuition to guide me as I’ve made some major life decisions. But already before this year, my intuition has been a key player in my life and in my creative life. It’s guided me towards specific directions or away from people or projects that don’t serve, creatively or otherwise.

I get a lot of questions from clients and friends about how to listen to your intuition and what listening to your intuition feels like. So I created this little video with the intention of offering you some tools and guidance as you strengthen your relationship to that inner voice that lives inside you.

To check out the video, click here.

As will all of my videos and posts, I encourage you to take what resonates and leave what doesn’t. These are simply some tools for you to try on, and if they don’t fit, chuck them away.

Wishing you love & inspiration always,

Leah

 

Evening Rituals, for a creativity inspiring sleep
photo by:  Ornella Binni

photo by: Ornella Binni

It's always been more challenging for me to master evenings than mornings. I have a tendency to build up a lot of energy throughout the day, so I sometimes have trouble switching gears and winding down in the evening. 

That said, it's much more likely that I'll function at my creative peak after a night of deeply restful sleep. So one of my intentions right now is to make friends with these rituals and commit to them to the best of my ability. 

If you want to check out the video that accompanies this post, click here. 

1) Enjoying a Light & Early Dinner

Even though this can be challenging sometimes (ha, note the theme :P), I'm mindful of enjoying lighter foods and not eating past 7-7:30pm  This way my body can digest before I go to bed, and my organs can focus on repair (vs. digestion) while I'm sleeping; which allows me to feel more deeply rested the next morning. If I still feel a little hungry later on, I'll have a small snack before going to bed. Some of my favorite bed time snacks are: soaked cashews, goat yoghurt, banana or a little bit of nut butter. 

2) Enjoying an Evening Walk

I love taking walks after dinner. This is my GO-TO tool for helping me switch those gears and go into chill-out mode. It also helps me release any additional energy that might still be buzzing in my system. I love inhaling the sweet evening air and looking up at the stars. It's also a lovely opportunity to reconnect with a loved one or a friend if you're taking a walk with someone else. Or with yourself if you're going solo. Note: your evening walk doesn't have to be long to be effective. Even just 15 minutes of basking in the evening glow can work miracles. 

3) Having a Relaxing Cup of Herbal Tea

photo by:  Ornella Binni

photo by: Ornella Binni

Herbal teas really help me tap into a deeper sense of relaxation. I buy a lot of my tea-making herbs in bulk, store them in glass jars, and then pick and choose to make my nightly concoctions. I always make sure to brew my  teas with spring water. Some of my favorite sleepy-time herbs are:

1) Chamomile
Chamomile tea increases the levels of the hormones serotonin and melatonin in your body, which leads to an increased sense of calm. It also soothes your digestive system. (1) 

2) Spearmint
Spearmint supports the digestive system, I love mixing it into my evening tea blends to give my tummy some extra love. 

3) Lemon Verbena
I love the scent of lemon verbena, it's so citrusy and fresh. It also soothes the digestive system and has an overall calming effect on the body. (2) 

4) Lemon Balm
Lemon balm lowers anxiety and has calming benefits that help your body wind down and go to sleep, especially when it's combined with other relaxing herbs like the ones mentioned above. (3) 

5) Linden Flowers
Linden flower tea is known for its potent stress & anxiety reducing properties. It gently affects your hormone levels, leading your body and mind to relax. It also has tummy settling properties. (4)
 

4) Shutting Off Screens 1 Hour Before Bed

 Research has shown that looking at a screen before bedtime prevents your brain from releasing melatonin, which is a key sleep hormone. This one can feel a little challenging at times, but when I switch off all my technology an hour or more before bed, I feel a huge difference in my ability to fall asleep and my quality of sleep throughout the night. As a result, I'll also feel more awake and more alert throughout the next day. 

For anyone interested in reading more about this topic, here are a couple of informative links:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/23/reading-before-bed_n_6372828.html
(admittedly, the title of this one is a little extreme, but it's a great article nonetheless =)) 

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-its-bad-to-use-your-phone-before-bed-2015-7

5) Reading an Inspiring Book

I often find that my mind still wants to engage with something before bed, since I'm working on not looking at screens, I opt for reading a book instead. I usually pick something that is inspiring and will fill my mind with good thoughts, so I can fall asleep in that headspace. I just finished reading The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani, which was truly extraordinary. I can already sense how this book will be a real game-changer for me this year. I'll very likely talk about it in future blog posts/videos =) 

photo by:  Annie Spratt

photo by: Annie Spratt

I'm still working on tweaking these practices and am definitely open to learning about new ones that will help me calm down & chill out in the evening. So please share your evening rituals in the comments below =)

Wishing you all nights filled with creativity inspiring sleep.

Much love,

Leah 

--
words: Leah Salinas

Sources
(1) https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/chamomile-tea-benefits-uses.html
(2) https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/lemon-verbena.html
(3) http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/lemon-balm
(4) https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/linden.html
(5) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/23/reading-before-bed_n_6372828.html

Peppermint Essential Oil

Hey Everyone! Today's recipe for inspiring creativity isn't food related, but yummy nevertheless =) This year, one of my main goals for C&C is to offer you creativity nurturing tools that are simple, accessible and sustainable. Ever since I started making conscious lifestyle changes, I've noticed that the tiny adjustments and incorporations can be just as potent as the bigger ones. That it's about implementing new, small steps every day or every week or every month, and that over time, the tangible, BIG change will begin to make itself felt and noticed.

Right now, one of my fave simple little tools for putting my body & being in a creative & productive state is peppermint essential oil*. This good stuff can be used in a number of different ways, but here's one of my favorite applications:

Peppermint Oil Mini Massage

While washing your hair/head in the shower, mix in 1-3 drops with your shampoo and gently massage into your scalp & neck. Alternately, you can mix in a few drops with your body lotion/oil and massage it into your neck/shoulders/ low back post shower. You'll notice a delicious tingling sensation that can linger for up to half an hour and will make you feel more alert & awake. It's like another cup of coffee in addition to your morning coffee =) 

Peppermint oil is quite potent, so I highly recommend mixing it with either your shampoo, body wash, body lotion or another oil when you apply it to your body. This will also help with spreading it out more easily. Also, be mindful of keeping it out of your eyeballs =) 

Peppermint essential oil is a natural muscle relaxant, so this won't only perk you up, but it'll also reduce any tension you may be holding in certain parts of your body. I've always had a finicky low back and I've noticed that the oil feels really nice on this area. I've also observed that my hair has gotten noticeably thicker and longer since I started this little practice- I'm always on the lookout for ways to enhance my mane, so I was so happy to observe this change taking place!  

If you're curious to learn about more peppermint essential oil benefits & uses, this article by Dr.Axe is a great, very thorough resource: http://draxe.com/peppermint-oil-uses-benefits/

 

Enjoy this little practice and remember that the simple, little things can make a big difference,

with love & creativity,

Leah


*I always prefer buying organic essential oils since these are grown without the use of any chemicals or pesticides. 
 

author: Leah Steiner ~ photos by: Juliana Mariia Rose @jules.m.rose

Sometimes It Just Hits You, Bali -

Guest Post

Sometimes it just hits you. Out of nowhere. I wouldn't call it a stroke of inspiration... it's not exactly a lightbulb moment. It's more like this thing that sweeps over you in a giant gush, heavy and full and overflowing, and you just can't not do the thing it compels you to do.

It happened that way for me. That tremendous wave touched me, and then it poured all over, into, and around me. And then it happened over and over and over again.

It took shape as the written word. I was on a plane, on my way to Bali, Indonesia.  

Here's the thing about writing. I've never been a writer, a creative writer; whimsical, beautiful, inspirational, fun writing- you know the kind I mean? Writing of that sort has always been stuck, forced, squeezed out and awkwardly patchworked together. Writing just ain't my thing, I've declared ever since ever.

But sometimes... sometimes you thoroughly surprise yourself. You find yourself going through the motions of something you never imagined was possible; never imagined was in you.

Whenever people talk about this kind of phenomenon, where something magical, mystical, slightly spiritual, bigger than thyself, or even a dobby-like creature* takes over -- all of that speak, I've never really believed in it, or at least not for me. And well, that’s kind of what happened. I mean really, it did.  That's where I found myself on that plane, writing like I never have before. Words were flying, pouring out onto pages and pages and pages. And this thing, this something, whatever it was - it absolutely would not let me stop!

There is a magic to the art of writing, a magic that glitters in Flow; the flow of words coming out from inside of you and onto the page or the screen. Sometimes these words come out straight and eloquent and beautiful, and sometimes they come out lumpy, piecemeal and spurt-like. That doesn't really matter. The beauty in the act of writing lies in this direct connection to and from the heart - from the Source, from whatever it is. And then it's about what you choose to make out of it. This is how I've sort of made sense of what happened on that flight.

One last thought, since this blog is all about the ingredients that inspire creativity ... I do believe travel mixes well with creativity. Whether it be many many miles away or closer to home, exploring uncharted territory shapes, molds, and breathes fresh air into the creative process. And with that, my friends, I leave you with some written snippets from that trip I took in Bali.

A giant THANK YOU! to my dear friend and author of this blog Leah Alejandra Steiner, for her wonderful, supportive collaboration. I am forever grateful to her for championing this little story for its first public debut! :D

*reference to Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on Creativity - a splendid watch!!

 

Ubud, Bali

Bali, or rather Ubud, already feels like home - not that it should, but it does. I've spent a lot of time walking here - walking, writing, watching, eating, enjoying -- these have become my mantras if you will. I know my way around and find myself quietly smiling to myself as I see backpackers - ahem, tourists - roaming the streets. I smile because the little streets of Ubud feel so familiar to me; even though I know I still have oh so much to learn.

There are no crosswalks here. It's sort of a walk-at-your-own-risk situation, and pray you don't have a bad run-in with a scooter. The yellow and pink petals lining the streets and sidewalks seduce me and I can't help but think everything is going to be alright.

Taxi, taxi! from the men and Massage, massage! from the women are the sounds of the city on foot, alongside the roosters (they roam the streets freely, right next to the homeless dogs), the singing birds, and the rum-tum of the bustling scooters. At night I fall asleep to ceremonial song and dance from the neighboring temple, and the sound of geckos burping loudly. These geckos are quite the character here I might add. They peek their little heads out from behind signs taped on walls, and lightly scurry across the white tiles of my balcony, or right into my room with me. The teeny translucent geckos are my absolute favorites - they're the little kiddos I think.

It's funny having what I call a routine here, in a place I've only just met. Mornings are early, with a giant bowl of papaya and balinese coffee and too many cups of tea. Breakfast is brought to me to my room. Can I just gush for a moment. I LOVE my homestay. I am so taken care of here, you can't even imagine how wonderful the Balinese staff (family? I'm not sure what to call them) are. They call me by my name, and shamefully I can't seem to remember any of theirs.

And now Gush Number Two and Three. Coffee here is out of this world, as is the Raw Chocolate, which as anyone who knows me knows, are the two keys to my heart. My happiness: coffee, raw chocolate. Presto. Dunzo, I'm good for life. These two things ABOUND in Ubud, and Ubud does them oh so freakin’ well. Heaven on heaven.

After breakfast and computer time on my homestay balcony, I adventure the streets of Ubud and find myself at one of the many many made-for-me cafes, typically for a late and lengthy lunch. Bali knows slow living y'all. Cafe-dwellers (basically 99.9% westerners, I've noted) perch up at these restaurant cafes for hours on end, enjoying any combination of vegetarian fare, fish, fruit, dessert, etc. - chatting with fellow foreigners, travelers, freelancers, and the like; or working on laptops, enjoying free wifi, and writing and reading as I do. I've never been much of a writer, but I've gotta tell you, Ubud just beckons it, welcomes it, and embraces it. I can't tell you how or why, but it does; I'll let you know when I've figured it out ;]

love from the land of petals & pranayama xx

author: Juliana Mariia Rose // photos by: Juliana Mariia Rose @jules.m.rose