Creatively blocked? Let your inner artist out to play

Creative-at-heart type? Creatively-blocked type? “Not-a-creative-bone-in-my-body” type? According to Julia Cameron (author of ‘The Artist’s Way’), there is no such thing as a non-creative person. But for many of us, it can seem impossible to find the time, confidence or outlet for creative pursuits. But are we neglecting that part of ourselves to our own detriment? Studies show that expressing ourselves creatively can calm anxiety, lift a low mood and even strengthen us physically. Not to mention that when we take time on a regular basis to create art we often begin to feel more energised and alive. Some would even go so far to say, creativity is an essential element of our lifeblood.

 

  1. Why we might suppress our creativity

 

Children are highly creative and see opportunities to express themselves everywhere. Why then do we often lose touch with that part of ourselves when we grow up?

 

Adult life is full of responsibilities, and many of us can end up feeling that we simply don’t have the time anymore for something as frivolous as painting or writing a poem. Maybe we tell ourselves that making art is what professional artists are for, and that we wouldn’t be able to produce anything ‘good enough’ anyway. Or we worry about making a mess, or feeling foolish, or wasting money. Maybe we’ve even dreamed of being an artist once, but abandoned that dream fearing the bad rep that artists get (who’d want to end up a lonely eccentric with a drinking problem anyway?).

 

But give your inner artist another chance. Because they’re there, waiting in the wings… Creativity is a natural part of us all, and finding enjoyable ways to express ourselves may be as beneficial for our wellbeing as regular exercise.

 

2.Start somewhere, anywhere

 

If we haven’t really done anything creative in a long while, starting again can feel awkward. So let it feel awkward, and just start. Try anything that appeals to you. Sing, dance, draw, write, take photos, knit a hat, decorate a cake, or arrange leaves and pebbles into a nature mandala. Sprinkle a little creativity on your daily activities – think twice about how you prepare your food or wrap a gift, experiment with makeup and clothes, doodle when inbetween taking notes.

We don’t need to produce something exceptional when we create. Or wait for inspiration to strike. Just produce something. Elizabeth Gilbert (author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and ‘Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear’) suggests that we stop thinking of creativity as a ‘talent’ or a ‘gift’ but instead view it as a source that everyone can channel.

And if you feel really blocked because you loathe the idea of making a mess or a mistake during your creative process, pick up a copy of Keri Smith’s ‘Wreck This Journal’. As the title suggests, the journal is [Read more…]

Crystal spotlight: Get to know the amethyst

Amethyst is a beautiful quartz with a pinkish violet to deep purple hue with a soothing and balancing energy – it’s easy to see why it’s been a highly prized gemstone throughout the centuries and is still just as popular today.

 

  1. Amethyst history and lore

 

Amethyst is associated with numerous myths and legends – think Ancient Egyptians and Catholic bishops who wore amethyst amulets and ornaments for their powerful protective properties. At one time amethyst was so rare that is was considered as valuable as diamond and became associated with English royalty.

 

The name amethyst is derived from the Greek word amethustos, which means ‘not intoxicated’, and ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the gemstone could stop them from getting drunk. The myth about the origin of amethyst is also linked to wine: in the legend Amethyst is the name of a young maiden whom the goddess Diana turns into a clear crystal to save the girl from Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. The remorseful Bacchus ends up pouring wine over the crystal, which turns the gem purple.

 

  1. Beneficial effects of amethyst

 

Historically, amethyst has been used for purification and protection, and today one of its key uses as a healing stone is to promote rest and sleep. Check out more of its healing wonders below:

 

For the body

 

Amethyst is thought to have a strengthening effect on the immune system and to be helpful in relieving migraines.

 

Amethyst’s soothing energy and moisturising properties also make it a valuable addition to skincare formulations – its calming qualities are particularly suited to nourishing irritated and inflamed skin. We use the crystal essence of amethyst in several of our formulations, including Refreshing Hydrating Mist, Realive Serum and Enriching Moisturiser.

 

For the mind

 

Amethyst promotes relaxation and calm through its harmonising effect on the nervous system. It’s also thought to increase mental clarity, boost our creative and intuitive abilities and enhance our connection to the divine.

 

To harness the powers of amethyst at home, try keeping a piece of quartz next to your bed (or even under your pillow) at night for more peaceful sleep, or hold one during meditation to help clear the mind and access the stillness within. Or simply wear amethyst jewellery to enjoy the gem’s exceptional beauty and day-long zen boost.

 

When green isn’t really green – how not to fall for ‘greenwashing’

Ever picked up a beauty product thinking it was 100% organic and natural, only to notice that it contains a long list of suspiciously chemical-sounding ingredients? If your answer’s ‘yes’ then chances are you’ve been ‘greenwashed’.

More and more of us want high quality products that are good for us and the planet alike. And many companies are stepping up to meet the growing demand by investing in green technology, adopting sustainable farming practices and sourcing high quality natural ingredients. Unfortunately, some others are merely investing in marketing ploys that make their products sound greener than they are.

1. What is greenwashing?

‘Greenwashing’ is when a company makes intentionally false or misleading claims about the green credentials of their products. And when it comes to beauty products it’s shockingly easy to get away with it. Unlike organic food (for which very strict regulations are usually in place) a shampoo bottle or a cleanser can say ‘organic’ on the label even if it contains only 1% of organic ingredients.

Similarly, there are no legal standards or rules that determine at what point a moisturiser or a bar of soap can be called ‘natural’, ‘botanical’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘pure’ and so on. We’re also sometimes mislead by statements such as ‘paraben free’, which is on the label to distract us from spotting the other potentially toxic ingredients in the formula.

2. Navigate the label jungle

So how can we avoid the cheap and synthetic masquerading as sustainable and natural and get the real deal?

Spot the logo

Companies have the option of going through a certification process to prove that their formulations are genuinely sustainable (and those serious about their green credentials, like AEOS, are likely to have done so). The quickest way to suss out if a product is truly green or not is to look out for the logo of a recognised and independent certification body on the packaging.

What’s really in the bottle?

Many of us are already in the habit of perusing the ingredients list when we shop for food, so it’s fairly easy to extend that habit to our beauty buys too. While a label may contain soothing claims about the purity of the ingredients, a quick glance through the list at the back can clarify if that’s really the case.

Speak up

What if you spot a ‘green’ product that is in fact anything but? Or are wondering why a company that seems genuine hasn’t been independently certified yet? Pick up the phone, or get in touch with the company in question via email or social media. One person speaking up may seem like a drop in the ocean, but the more of us that make it clear we want genuinely sustainable products with clear labelling, the more likely we are to get it!

  1. The AEOS way

The desire to be a genuine force for good in the world has always been at the heart of our operations from the very beginning of AEOS. Creating our skincare and beauty formulations in harmony with [Read more…]