Everyday Alchemy with Pia Bijkerk

 Picture by Olga Bennett.

Picture by Olga Bennett.

Rarely has a book captivated and delighted me as much as My Heart Wanders by Pia Bijkerk, an author, artist and visual storyteller. It honours what Pia calls our heart wanderings - the journeys that we take physically and emotionally when we’re guided by our intuition.

Pia believes that we have the opportunity to flourish as human beings when we tune into our inner child and our deeper yearnings, rather than being guided solely by our thoughts. Through her work and her mentoring sessions with creative clients, she supports others to do the same.

Today Pia lives in Sydney, and I had the opportunity to have a conversation with her in her beautiful studio space. It’s surrounded by nature - both inside and out. As she reflects upon the influence of the natural world on her work and her being, you can occasionally hear the whisper of the wind in the background.

The music throughout this episode is produced by Pia herself, from her album Spirit and Flight. Recorded on an old wooden piano borrowed from a friend, the songs are filled with the ambient sound of her home and community. She describes the recording process from this album as an act of letting go. Letting go of perfection, letting go of expectation, and letting go of self.

In this episode you’ll walk with Pia on her heart-centred escapades and discover tools to release creative and emotional blocks that might be holding you back.

 Picture by Olga Bennett.

Picture by Olga Bennett.

In Pia’s own words:

We need to expand our vision of wellbeing:

Wellbeing is living with your whole heart and in your whole self. That’s really clear to me. It comes down to the food that you eat and the information you absorb and the air that you breath - it’s all a part of it - because it’s what enriches that heart space.

Celebrate the wildness of nature every day:

You don’t realise it at the time how much you’re influenced by your environment. But as I’ve grown older and lived in other countries I’ve seen how much the Australian bush has been a part of everything that I do. When I lived in Europe I felt that longing, that yearning, for the wildness that we have here. It does rule. Where other places have natural spaces that are cultivated by man for centuries, here it’s so powerful that it’ll just grow back.

And this wildness comes through in us. For me, I feel wilder and freer and more heart-centred and vulnerable - all of these things that nature brings out in us. Now I appreciate it. I didn’t when I was younger. I just thought, ‘Oh we’re so unsophisticated [in Australia].’ But being a mum and seeing my child grow up here I just feel a lot of gratitude, because I see how that’s going to be at the core for the rest of her life.

Live less in your head and more in your heart:

Being heart-centred is a balance between not being so in our heads. There are times in your life where no amount of rational thinking can solve something for you. And if you can’t connect with that heart, that intuition, of yours you’ll feel fear and panic in its place. If everybody could find a way to connect with that, it would be wonderful.

We can encourage a heart-centred approach to work and to life:

We’re not educated of our heart’s importance and so it gets drowned out by all the noise we have in our heads. There’s always something in you that you’ve always wanted to do and just don’t do it. Because it’s your heart talking to you right there and you need to strengthen it. It could be a little thing - like the idea of painting but years ago somebody told you that you weren’t a great painter - so it could just be a paint stroke on a pile of paper . This strengthens your heart. You’re letting your heart know that you’re listening. It’s like speaking with a child - letting the child know that you can hear them. It’s a form of meditation. Because you need to create that stillness to be able to listen and to hear it.

As human beings, we need to believe in ourselves more:

One of the core things that I see around me and with my clients is that we don’t feel enough as we are. It all comes back to self-belief. It’s all the same. My clients might come from different countries or speak different languages but at the core it’s always this sense that they don’t believe in themselves, or that they can do this, or that it’s going to be okay. We get inundated, especially on social media, about how you can remove blocks and be successful, but it’s not that easy. It’s not a five minute free seminar or webinar. I think it comes in layers. So it needs to be understood in that way - it’s not a quick fix and it takes practice and nurturing. Then, little by little, you start gaining that confidence.

 Pia's Everyday Alchemy Studio in Sydney, Australia.  Photo Credit: Pia Bijkerk

Pia's Everyday Alchemy Studio in Sydney, Australia.

Photo Credit: Pia Bijkerk

 Dried bark, broken bracken and branches decorate her studio.  Photo Credit: Pia Bijkerk

Dried bark, broken bracken and branches decorate her studio.

Photo Credit: Pia Bijkerk

 

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

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Kayla Robertson