The Sweet Meadow

You have to break, take breaks, or both.

living the sweet lifeAishe Besim
I’ve never had a really creative idea sitting at my desk. All the big ideas that made a difference happened when I was playing outside.
— Barbara Corcoran

Lately, I’ve been on a mission to re-discover my creative self. Creativity is how we keep ourselves energetically alive. We express our creativity in all sorts of ways, from the way we dress, the art we make, what we cook, the books we read and the music we listen to.

Studies have shown that learning new things as adults can enlarge our brain maps. We benefit from the novelty of new experiences, and to maximise the positive effects on our brains, we need to be continually learning.

Quite often however, we become creatively blocked, held back by negative beliefs and worries about time, money and the support to pursue our creative dreams.

Rather than trust our intuition, our talent, our skill, or desire, we fear where our creativity will take us. Rather than paint, write, dance, audition, and see where it takes us, we turn back on ourselves.

Author Julia Cameron describes cutting off our creativity as making us savage. “We react like we are being choked. An artist must have downtime, time to do nothing. Without it, the inner artists in us feels angry, out of sorts. If such deprivation continues, our artist becomes sullen, depressed, hostile.”

For me personally, work is my creative block of choice. I feel guilty when I spend a day off away from the business, yet I will also feel resentful when I’m doing work on a day off (!).

“In order to recover our creativity, we must learn to see workaholism as a block instead of a building block. There is a difference between meaningful work toward a cherished goal and workaholism. That difference lies less in the hours than it does in the emotional quality of the hours spent. For a workaholic, work is synonymous with worth, and so we are hesitant to let go of any part of it,” writes Julia.

So in an effort to clear the way for creative flow, The Sweet Meadow is closed for winter holidays until Thursday, August 29. A business is only as healthy as it’s owner, so this is a good excuse as any to hang up the Dr. Martens and relax!

How do you hold space for yourself? What are your favourite ways to invite more presence and creativity in your life?

Who knows what magic we might invite into our lives as a result of re-discovering our creative self.

See you in a few weeks.

ABx


When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college…that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, ‘You mean they forget?’
— Howard Ikemoto, Artist
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Down by the Meadow - A Vegan Dinner with Junction Moama

Aishe Besim
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The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.
— Simon Sinek

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia is the third-fastest growing vegan market in the world. It’s never been cooler to be kind, and now, we are super excited to finally announce that we are collaborating with Junction Moama to hold a completely plant-based, five course dinner as part of the 2019 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival!

Junction Moama is a stunning restaurant and bar located on the Murray River, with a menu that is devoted to seasonal, local produce complemented by beverages with a regional focus.

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While the raw ingredients we work with may differ, our establishments share a similar ethos - we believe in sustainable and ethical food production, and realise the importance of eating local seasonal produce. Our food is made from scratch using real ingredients with the goal of creating wholesome, delicious dishes that are as good for you as they look.

I have been in awe of this venue since I first visited back in June 2016 after an email from the restaurant’s then-Marketing Manager (thanks Em!). We had only just started renovating the cottage and were still months away from opening The Sweet Meadow.

It’s exciting that now, two years later, we are joining forces with Junction Moama’s Head Chef Dave Palmer to create a wholefood, plant-based menu that will allow you to indulge (guilt-free) in a sophisticated setting.

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Whether you are vegan, a vegetarian, or someone who enjoys meat and dairy products, you’ll benefit hugely by increasing the percentage of plant-based foods in your diet. It’s not about forcing people to completely change their eating habits overnight, but rather encourage diners to gradually add more nutrient-rich foods to everyday life.

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This is our first foray into evening dining and we can’t wait to showcase how accessible and enjoyable plant-based cuisine can be.

Hope you can join us for a fun evening bonding over good food!


EVENT DETAILS
Friday, 15th March 2019
Junction Moama, 6 Shaw Street, Moama
6.3Opm - 10.30pm
Tickets - $113 per person (includes a five course meal with beverages to match)
Buy your tickets online here
Dress - Smart casual


At first they will ask why you’re doing it. Later they’ll ask how you did it.
— Source unknown

Where the Wild Things Are

inspiration, living the sweet lifeAishe Besim
"Blue Eye", Sarande, Albania

"Blue Eye", Sarande, Albania

We often forget that we are nature. It is when we lose our connection to nature that we lose the connection to ourselves.
— Fem Gucluturk

Our cafe is closing for a winter break and I am bloody excited! I don't create well around chaos, so a chance to slow down and be present will help me draw inspiration from the magic and beauty of our incredible planet. 

I was recently reading about the concept of re-wilding, which, broadly speaking, referred to the ecological recovery and restoration of natural systems. Over the years however, the definition of the word has now begun to include the idea of re-wilding ourselves

The article explained it as, "...getting closer to nature, de-domesticating ourselves, and discovering our wilder selves. Through this, we may perhaps find a deeper, more authentic way to reconnect with our innate sensibilities and feel more holistically entwined with nature."

Of course, the idea that spending time outdoors is beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing is not a new one. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can have a profound impact on stress, happiness and healing. Walking outdoors gets our blood pumping and increases our intake of oxygen, invigorating our bodies and encouraging a supply of hormones that make us feel balanced and creative. Bathing in natural sunlight will give you a boost of immune-balancing vitamin D. Swimming in a cool river, lake or ocean is great for promoting mental wellbeing because it triggers the release of endorphins. It also exposes us to beneficial minerals and microbes that support the thriving biome found on our skin.

The thing I am most excited about doing over our 11 days off is switching off - literally. I plan on deleting my email app from my phone, along with logging out of The Sweet Meadow's social media pages.  It goes without saying that to feel more connected with nature, we really need to put down the technology. Some moments in life should be for fully giving yourself over to the experience and not capturing at all. When not looking down at our phones, tablets, or computers, we can become more absorbed in our surrounds and feel more connected. 

We'll be back on deck from Friday, September 7. Until then, stay healthy, be happy and get outside!


To slow time down, practice enjoying the moment. It is where we spend our entire lives.
— Wu Wei
Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island, Australia

Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island, Australia