How to be reflective at such a busy time?

Left: our home at dusk, after dinner and little one is asleep. Sparkling wine I poured myself at dinner time has now gone flat and slightly warm. Right: the sky after a huge rather frightening electrifying storm, the clouds parted and the light that came through was breathtaking.  ...................................................................................................

Left: our home at dusk, after dinner and little one is asleep. Sparkling wine I poured myself at dinner time has now gone flat and slightly warm. Right: the sky after a huge rather frightening electrifying storm, the clouds parted and the light that came through was breathtaking. 

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In my new Festive Guide, I wrote how I've learnt about the importance in December to spend time reflecting on our personal journey over the past twelve months...

"This is the time of year to reconnect with ourselves to inspire peace, joy and a sense of renewal. It’s a time we are most open to the universe, instinctively connecting to earth and cosmos. It’s a grounding time, a time of becoming more aligned with ourselves through this openness and connection, creating conscious internal wisdom." The Everyday Alchemy Seasonal Guide, Festive Edition, page 15. 

Meanwhile the activity all around us and media screams: "buy buy buy, be busy busy busy, do do do, don't stop, don't stop, don't stop!" 

So how can we reflect at such a busy time, without adding to the busy-ness? 

In the ebook I share a number of beautifully creative ways to open to reflection, and this week I had another wonderful idea that came to mind and which I've implemented in our home, and I want to share it with you today.

It started with the simple act of writing a list of events that have happened over the course of the year. I usually do this in my journal, but this time I wrote the list on our chalkboard so we could all read it. And as I looked at the list, I realised there was much more to add - not just events, but new skills that we've each developed this year, and life lessons...

Left: enjoying fresh organic cherries now in season! Right: the original list of big events to reflect upon.  ...................................................................................................

Left: enjoying fresh organic cherries now in season! Right: the original list of big events to reflect upon. 

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So I thought what would be great is to have a big sheet of paper that we can all write on over the month of December, to create a kind of map of what we've each encountered over the year as individuals and also as a family. Each of us can add to it whenever we think of something that was significant to us, and for Laly she can also add to it with drawings. At a glance, when we are sitting on the couch or going about our daily activities at home, we can reflect on the year's events, giving the space needed to let these moments be honoured and valued...

And it's not just about the 'good' stuff, or the happy/pretty stuff. Because there are life lessons and goodness (=value), in all. So for us, I've included the pneumonia I had in January, which was a huge deal for us, me being in bed for weeks on end, bringing up so much again about not having any extended family help at challenging times, but showing our resilience and connectedness as a couple; Laly having her tonsils and adenoids out, another huge event for us, after years of health issues and trying almost every single alternative method on the planet to reduce the size of her tonsils without operating. In the end it's exactly what she needed, it couldn't be avoided and again, as a family just the three of us, we did it, she recovered and is thriving. 

And our trip to France and Amsterdam! An adventure we have worked hard to make happen for five years, each year faced with new obstacles. But not this year. This year, it all came together. Laly met her French family for the first time, and I got to spend time with my friends in Amsterdam who I had been longing to connect with and hug again for all those years. 

What I realised is that with each event, there come achievements, new skills, and life lessons to also honour. So on the paper, there is room for these too. 

Perhaps you'd like to create something similar in your home. The above prompts will help for significant milestones in your journey to come to mind. If something comes to mind but you don't think it's significant, still write it down, as it might be revealed later why that is significant and has come up to the surface from your sub-conscious. And most importantly, not to get stuck on what the paper looks like! Let it be messy, it doesn't have to be a work of art (I'm writing that as a message to myself as well, letting go of the way things look and focussing on how they feel). 

I'd love to know how you're going with your reflections, if this is a new-to-you tradition at this time of year that you are introducing, inspired by the Festive Guide, or if you're allowing more of it in. 

Also to keep in mind, it's not about focussing on what we haven't achieved this year that we thought we would, but what we have achieved. Because there is value in all of it, even if we can't yet feel it's value, it's there, and taking the time to reflect will deliver that valuable gift to you and open you to the new opportunities that await you in the new year. 

Happy reflection time, mes amis

xx

 

 

The Everyday Alchemy Seasonal Guide, Festive Edition is here!

This time last year I wrote a post on Instagram about how I'd been working toward reinventing this time of year for our family - creating what we want without family pressure, social or religious conformity, hype, consumerism, drama or stress.

I wrote, "Rather than focus on Christmas, it will be about reflection and slowing down toward the end of the year (rather than speeding up), with attention to journey (rather than destination), giving (rather than taking, including care to self), and a time to strengthen connection to earth." I ended the post opening to others if they were interested to know more about what this time of year will be like in our home, and that if there was interest I'd write a longer journal post about it. I got quite a lot of interest as it turned out ! And many people stated how much they resonated with this idea of reinventing this time of year.

Here were some of the comments:

"After a really stressful and exhausting trip to Toys R Us, you have inspired me." Melinda. 

"Please write more - love this and am wanting to move toward more of this..." Johanna

"I know what you mean, Pia. I lost my Mum this year, and am attempting to create some new traditions around Christmas, to help with my sense of loss". Jan

So, in my usual fashion, my heart heard all, took hold and over the past year I've been creating  a very special ebook that transforms this time of year from stressful to nurturing, all the while retaining the enchantment and wonder that we all love...

The ebook is 40 pages and highly illustrated - each page is full colour. Written in the style of My Heart Wanders, it is peppered with personal stories and transformative ideas that can be integrated into your current festive season traditions to bring the deeper meaning and nurturing that so many of us crave at this time of year.

There is so much within the pages, it's a guide that will open itself up to you in layers, over time, like My Heart Wanders, it can become a reference, something to come back to over time to unearth new layers as you grow and learn on your own personal journey...

This is the image of my festive table garland I posted on this day, December 6, in 2015, on Instagram that sparked so much interest. Within the The Everyday Alchemy Festive Guide, I've added my illustrated butterflies. Butterflies have been fluttering around me for the past few months... a sign of my own transformation. 

This is the image of my festive table garland I posted on this day, December 6, in 2015, on Instagram that sparked so much interest. Within the The Everyday Alchemy Festive Guide, I've added my illustrated butterflies. Butterflies have been fluttering around me for the past few months... a sign of my own transformation. 

To see more and purchase your copy of The Everyday Alchemy Festive Guide, please click here. It will be one of the best gifts you can give yourself at this time of year! And if you'd like to purchase a copy for a friend, you can add their email address in the order details, and it will be sent straight to their inbox.  

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me an email or comment below. 

With Love, 

Pia xx

The Alchemy of Assemblage Workshop 2016

On the afternoon of Sunday, August 27, I hosted my first workshop at the beautiful warehouse of Elements I Love, here in Sydney. After enjoying a few sips of champagne and a chat in the boutique, we lead fifteen wonderful women down the hall, past the antique rocking horse, French cabinets and dress mannequin to draw back the velvet curtain of owner Brooke and Tim's restoration workshop filled with wooden work benches and shelves overflowing with hammers, nails, sandpaper & beeswax. It was so special to be invited to host the event in the workshop itself, it felt like we'd been transported to an alchemist's secret lair. It was a creatively spirited afternoon of learning the alchemy of assemblage while drinking champagne and nibbling on Simmone Logue baked goods and French bread & cheeses. Everyone was eager to get started on their assemblage, it was wonderful to see...

With feathers, strips of vintage textiles, dried ferns leaves, painted sticks, old newspapers, and antique French lace along with the most gorgeous strings from String Harvest and hand dyed silk ribbons from Tinctifolia, everyone gathered the pieces that resonated with them and were soon assembling...

The two hours flew by, and before I knew it, everyone had created something so unique while learning about creative direction and assemblage from me and some woodworking tips from Brooke. It was a lot of fun...

At the end, while I was helping to wrap an assemblage in cloth for transportation, a rainbow of light from a tiny window high up fell on the table beside me, it was a beautiful sign of the magic that was made...

Brooke has written a great wrap up post on her journal, with lots more photos, check it out here

Many thanks to Brooke, Tim, Sarah and the whole team at Elements I Love, my dear friends Kaspia, Louise & Jo, and Zoë from Tinctifolia for supplying the gorgeous ribbon samples, and Cassie from String Harvest for supplying the incredible strings and yarn, Simmone Logue for the food and of course to all the beautiful souls who joined us. 

 

I will be hosting more Alchemy of Assemblage workshops in 2017, announcing the dates and locations in January. In the meantime if you'd like to express your interest in attending, please email me. 

With Love, 

Pia xx

A letter from me to you, each month...

...beach combing with my Love. 

...beach combing with my Love. 

I've just sent out my first introductory Everyday Alchemy newsletter. With some personal stories woven through, it's about easing into our creative flow...

"easing into the flow of my own energy", my mantra for this October. 

"easing into the flow of my own energy", my mantra for this October. 

The only way you can read it and get access to the information I'll be sharing in it is to sign up. So if you haven't signed up yet and would like to receive this first newsletter, you still can, just type in your email address below:

In more wonderful news I have a half price sale for My Heart Wanders, and if you sign up for the newsletter you receive a further $5 to make it just $25. I only have a limited number of copies, so the sale is on for just one month only while stocks last. It's the perfect time to buy the book for friends for Christmas. Shipping is available all over the world. And if you'd like more than 5 copies and live in Sydney, let me know. 

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. Henry David Thoreau

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. Henry David Thoreau

With love, 

 

Pia xx

dance through life...

seven days. seven journal posts. a simply journey I embarked on this past week with a fellow artist to get us unstuck & out of our need to control and perfect our out flow. I loved it.