force creates fear, fear destroys trust…
Posted in quotes, tibet, yellow September 5th, 2014 by pia

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“Force creates fear. Fear destroys trust. Trust is the basis of harmony.”

I’ve been reflecting on these words for the past couple of days, spoken by the Dalai Lama in an interview on SBS Dateline earlier this week.

On observation it’s fairly easy to recognise this force in others and in the outside world, and to see why the world is not a harmonious place these days. On a personal level, I can feel clearly when someone tries to force their belief onto me, or when I am forced to participate in a conversation I do not want to have. From my past I can see clearly now how lines of trust were broken because of the force inflicted, and why there is no harmony with those human connections and how that lack of harmony radiates out to others.

On a global scale, it’s obvious to see the forceful destruction of lives and our surroundings. With both personal and global experiences of force the heart aches, and the mind ‘tut tuts’ and silently demands, “why can’t you see that you are destroying trust, that you are making it impossible for harmony?”

After listening to these words by the Dalai Lama, I began to reflect on the feeling of force within myself.  Over the past few days, I’m suddenly more aware of this feeling – when I force myself to work harder, ignoring my body’s signs that I’m very tired and need to rest… when I force my parenting beliefs in our household at a time when we need to let go and just be in the moment with our two-year old’s will… when I force myself to be social even though my heart, body and mind says “hibernate”… when I give more than I have…

By carrying this learned force within me throughout my life,  I can see that every time I force myself to do something or be something or have something at a time when it’s simply not necessary, I am feeding the fear within me, destroying my self-trust, and therefore not living harmoniously.

It suddenly makes so much sense.

Do you recognise when you are forcing yourself to do or be something other than who you are? For me it’s been so ingrained, such a part of me that it seemed impossible to separate. And I’m sure if I don’t retain the awareness, it will slip through the cracks, and be stitched into the seams of me again.

I had no intention of writing this post, I have a list of ‘important things’ to do, but something that resembles a flow of sorts, made me aware this was the most important thing to do – to share -  in this moment.  And in this very moment,  I can feel the pull of force to take me away from it. I recognise it. But right now, I let it be.

Have a beautiful weekend, mes amis.

xx

 

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Posted in child's play, the sydney cottage August 9th, 2014 by pia

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Laly LOVES craft, and as you can imagine, I’m pretty thrilled about that. This week, she got into art & craft in a big way, so I was inspired to hold a mini art exhibition of her work in our hallway with a surprise ‘opening’ on Monday evening in time for her guest(Papa)’s arrival. By the end of the week the exhibition had grown from displaying various craft techniques she’d experimented with, to painted found objects and favourite pieces of textile.  It was such a beautiful process which I’d love to share with you. Here is how it happened…

On Monday, Laly told me she wanted to use glue and scissors, so I set up a craft table on the front porch so we could get some winter sunshine while we cut and pasted. We gathered leaves from the street pathway and I gave her washi tape (beautiful cloud washi tape from paper boat press) to stick her chosen leaves onto the walls. By the afternoon she had amassed quite a portfolio of work, which is when I got the idea for an exhibition. We put on some ‘art gallery’ music (putumayo felt appropriate), and Laly taped each artwork up herself very carefully, understanding that the tape needed to be half on the paper, half on the wall to be able to stick.

The next day, she wanted to paint, and it was high time I refilled her paint pots so she patiently waited for me to do that and then spent an hour or more painting found rocks, shells and sticks. I was in awe of what she made…

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At two and half years of age. I couldn’t create such wild magic if I tried (I did try actually, but mine were pretty unimaginative). Below, she is proudly standing among her work, choosing to accessorise with her sunglasses (!)…

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On four pieces of small, black paper, she painted on glue and sprinkled different coloured glitter which we decided together to call the series “stars in the night sky”.

The works below are all about texture. The one on the left with the cotton balls is her ‘feeling’ painting, and to the right, her ‘ripped paper flowers’ work (the one in the foreground is mine, I couldn’t help but try out the technique myself!)…

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We added a beautiful sari curtain (given to us by our sweet friend Kaspia) at the end of the hall to give the exhibition a sense of intimacy…

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…And then outside on the front door I made a sign that read “Laly’s first art exhibition. For Papa, prepare to be dazzled!”. And dazzled he was.

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A great activity for a cold wintry week, even if it meant skipping the week’s cleaning chores to fit in the time to oversee and curate the exhibition. The dust balls and bits of leaves and ripped paper across the floor throughout the house just add to the ambiance of the art show, right…Well,  it was worth the mess. And in case you missed the video on Instagram I made of her painting, click here for your viewing pleasure. It’s called “I’m quite finished with that”.

xx

 

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Posted in personal July 29th, 2014 by pia

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A few weekends ago I had a wonderful experience that I’ve been longing to share with you. In the photo above, there is a little treasure that I made by hand using a technique that has been passed down over thousands and thousands of years. Can you guess what it is?

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This basket, this tiny basket the colour of sunshine.

I made it by weaving pandanus collected from the outback, soaked and hand dyed with colour made from bush roots. With many thanks to my dear friend Kylie who invited me to attend the weaving workshop with her mum, sister Tiff and friend Jennifer, and to the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane who hosted the workshop taught by two beautiful Aboriginal women named Lucy and Shirley from the gapuwiyak community in East Arnem Land, I spent 2 hours sitting among 30 women, learning the technique and absorbing the sacred energy. It was such a privilege to be in Lucy and Shirley’s company, I could feel how special it was to be in their presence, and to be learning the ancient weaving technique that was passed down to them by the women in their families over millennia. During the workshop, Lucy and Shirley guided each of us as we began our coiling mat, it took two hours to get this far…

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…so how many hours does it take them to create an entire basket? Not to mention the walking to and gathering of materials which are collected along the shoreline of crocodile waters in remote parts of the outback, land that I will most likely never know, but these women know as their backyard. They also search and collect roots to create the dyes to colour the pandanas, all of which take hours of itself. Even though I’ve always had appreciation for Aboriginal art and wares, I didn’t know the depth of my appreciation until I sat with them and tried my own hands at it. When I came home to Sydney, I was eager to finish my piece, turning it into a little wonky basket that fits snuggled in my two hands.

Thank you Lucy and Shirley for travelling to us to share your knowledge, and to all Aboriginal women past and present and future, who will continue to weave and teach us how to connect with the earth. Thank you to Shannon for organising the trip and all that goes with it.

Please take the time to check out the website and facebook link to the gapuwiyak culture and art center, there is much to admire. And if you can attend one of their workshops, all the better.

xx

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Posted in music, my heart wanders, pia's music July 4th, 2014 by pia

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Like a paper boat on a windy sea,
battered and bruised from the to-ing and fro-ing.
Drenched in drops of tears that fall like rain…
I’ve lost sight of the shore.

All this, yes.

But now that I am surrounded by all that is unfamiliar,
I’m more aware, more awake, than ever before.
And with wide, clear eyes I soon find myself
In a world of wonder I never dared dream about.
It’s in this world that wandering hearts come lost,
To be found.

Poem excerpt from My Heart Wanders.
Music, voice, words and photograph by Pia Jane Bijkerk.

Download. Share. Enjoy.

With Love and Gratitude,

Pia x

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I’m so excited to reveal the details of a very special and fun event that fellow author Kelly Doust (aka The Crafty Minx) and I have been planning…

Kelly has become a dear friend since I moved back to Sydney.  Although I’d heard a little about her from our mutual friend Catherine while I was living in Amsterdam, I first met Kelly when she came along to one of the My Heart Wanders book launch events in 2011. I was struck by her incredible presence, her beauty and style. We chatted briefly at the event, she was so open and honest and at that point, I hoped we would meet again. And we have, many times since, and I feel honoured to have her as my friend – she enhances my world and I can’t wait to share her with you if you haven’t already gotten to know her yourself.

Join us in quaint Rozelle on Saturday August 9 to stroll through one of our favourite flea markets of Sydney as we share our tips and advice for uncovering unique one-off finds in homewares and fashion. After our wonderful treasure hunt we will head over to Ungaro Raw for an intimate chat over delicious sweet treats. Each guest will receive a signed copy of Little Treasures: Made by Hand and A Life in Frocks.

For more details see the invitation above. Tickets are on sale now with numbers strictly limited to keep the event intimate and exclusive. To purchase, just click on the ‘buy now’ button below.

I hope you can join us! Have a beautiful weekend mes amis.

xx

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