mentoring

When I was nineteen...

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When I was 19, I thought of myself as a worldly feminist. It was 1997. I was halfway through my university degree in Sydney, and already by that age I had travelled the world and lived in more countries than most people visit in a lifetime. Between the ages of 13-15 I lived in a village in northern Italy and was appalled by the sexism that ran rampant in the culture…why did that old man just pinch my bum? Why is it ok that those boys are whistling at me as I eat ice cream with my parents? And why does that newsreader on TV have her body squeezed into that tiny dress and her breasts pushed up to her chin? When she speaks, why is she trying to seduce her viewers? What I saw and experienced felt very strange to me. I struggled to integrate. And it was this reaction that defined me as a feminist.

As I grew into this label, it made me feel different to the other girls around me, like I must be less naïve, less vulnerable than them. After all, I was worldly, and I was apparently a feminist because I believed women deserved the same rights as men. It made me feel strong.

On top of being worldly and a feminist, I was also experiencing deep love with another human, my boyfriend. And although we had our ups & downs as young lovers do, fumbling our way along the paths that others had paved for us to walk, I knew what it was to be in love, and this made me feel not just worldly, but also, mature. So here I was at age 19: a worldly, mature feminist. In the cocoon of this understanding of myself, I felt safe.

Then something happened that shattered my world…

……………………………………………..

This is an extract from a very personal piece I wrote on Monday, August 12 & Tuesday, August 13, which, as it turned out, was the beginning of the full moon phase. I have never had the words to express what happened at this time in my life, and in the early hours of Monday morning, I had a beautiful dream. During the dream, the words formed. Although the nature of the event is traumatic, I followed my intuition and took the time on Tuesday to write it all out. It is incredibly personal, and after writing it I realised my website is not the place to publish it. I may, in time, consider publishing this piece in a publication as I know it is powerful and needs to be read by as many young women as possible, in the hope they may understand how to listen to their intuition. For now, it is available to read in full in my patreon collective. And I’ve also made it available on my new password protected journal, for those who are on my mailing list.

“Does your family have secrets? Or maybe you have a secret from your own life experience that you have never shared with anyone? Today Pia and Shona talk about the undeniable link between secrets and shame and how this can stop us from being truly ourselves and also from becoming the strong, powerful women we were meant to be.”

Secrets & Shame is the latest podcast episode on It’s All Up From Here! Click here to listen xx

The Sweetest Gift...

“Quietly while you were asleep, the moon and I were talking…” beginning lyrics to  The Sweetest Gift composed & sung by Sade .

“Quietly while you were asleep, the moon and I were talking…” beginning lyrics to The Sweetest Gift composed & sung by Sade.

As an Everyday Alchemist, it would come as no surprise to you that over the past year I've been experimenting on myself. Well not just myself - to be more specific, I've been experimenting with the moon too, observing and playing with my connection to it. And what I've discovered has the power to change everything. It already has for me. I am in the midst of putting together something so incredibly grand, I can barely contain my excitement, but these things take time -  because rather than just come up with a theory, I need to know it actually works. I also know that the moon is currently on trend (which makes me laugh just writing it! That something which has existed for all of time as we know it could be suddenly popular) - there are a number of books popping up about it, especially around abundance because that’s another trend ... and you know how I feel about doing anything 'on trend'! But I also won't dismiss something just for the sake of rebelling, instead I will seek out the resistance. What is important for me to continue this everyday alchemy is that in the process, I make sure that what I've come up with works for the whole - for each of us, for humanity, for Earth.

The first step of this is what led you to reading this right now - my new email. We have become so disconnected from the moon, which is our original time maker along with the sun, that we don't even know what phase it's in. Especially for those of us who live in the city, or are always busy doing (pointing a loving finger towards myself here too, with a busy 7 year old at my heels!). So with this email, I'll be sending it at the beginning of each new moon phase, just so we know at a glance what phase it's in. There will not be any information about the meaning or symbolism behind the phase, or anything along these lines. This is just simply to connect us to the moon, to get to know it a little more intimately, and in time I’ll let you know why.

Along with the moon phase illustration, I'll be adding a quote that resonates with me at that time. And this will not be a throwaway quote with no context - it will be from something I have read, from someone who I value, and there will be a deeper intuitive connection as to why I have chosen that particular remark at that particular time, so there will always be a link for you to discover more if it resonates with you and you find yourself yearning to hear, read or learn more. I will not comment on it, I will simply leave it up to you. I hope you’ve enjoyed this first one as much as I have had listening to the entire interview (I have listened a number of times, there is not one remark that does not resonate with my entire being, it’s a powerful interview that I hope you get as much out of as I have).

With each email, sometimes this will be all there is  - my moon phase illustration and a quote. Other times, there will be images and links below to work I have just produced (like you would have seen below the quote and is what led you here). As with all that I do, I like to create things that ignite one of our five senses at a time - sight, taste, touch, smell and sound. At the moment I am all about the sound: my wonderful collaborative podcast with Shona Smith as well as my monthly downloadable piano compositions on Patreon, & sight: my photography feature stories published in magazines, in my new books, and around the world via my personal clients. Some of these also involve taste and touch and smell too, if you choose to cook or craft something from what I've shared through my visual storytelling. And the reason I am so inspired to ignite our senses is because I know these senses are the ways to our hearts, to connecting us to our intuition and learning to trust and use it everyday. This will always come through my work, and is accessed directly each week with my mentoring clients as well as each month on Patreon.

Please share this post with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe to the email - there will always be much to connect to, and it will be an opening for many beautiful conversations between those you love.

Thank you to every single one of you who are here right now, reading these words - you've made such a powerful impact on encouraging me to share my everyday alchemy, I value your presence so much and it’s my hope that this gratitude flows back to you through my work.  

With love, 

Pia

Parenting from the Heart...

Last week on instagram, you may recall I wrote a raw & honest post about my experience of becoming a mother. It stirred up so much conversation about our individual experiences of parenting and the impact it has made on us, the many incredible comments were messages straight to my heart...

My friend Shona who has spent over 20 years as a youth worker & is a mum to two wonderful young men, was moved to action by the post (her inner fire was ignited!) and asked me if I’d consider inviting you to an evening discussion/workshop that her & I would co-host together. One of the things that struck me, after a number of conversations between us this past week while sharing our ideas and intentions for such an event, was when Shona told me this:

“My parents were the only people I ever heard say that they loved teenagers. They looked forward to us being teenagers. I had never heard that before from anyone! Most parents lamented the coming of the teenage years, feeling an ever-growing dread at the thought of what was to come and worse openly communicating that in front of their children."

Absolutely! I thought, I know my parents were those that probably dreaded it and certainly didn't talk about it afterwards with joy & lightness! And I know many of my friends today look at their teenage years as though they were horrible to their parents, and so dread their own children becoming teenagers. Shona continued...

"The sense of acceptance that I felt when I heard my parents say they loved teenagers was very powerful. It took away the power of the teenage rebellion. I’m not saying that it was all unicorns and rainbows but it was as smooth a transition for everyone in the family as any I had ever seen. And now having raised my own two teenage boys, I see, from first hand experience, the wisdom of their words.”

After I heard her say that, I was IN! And now we are super excited to let you know the details. It will be a casual & intimate evening 7:30-9:30pm on Tuesday March 20 at Shona’s beautiful home here in Rozelle, Sydney, where we will discuss a number of parenting topics close to our hearts, and problem solve with Shona’s guidance. This event is for parents of small children to teenagers. I’ll be the voice of our emotions (you know it!), and Shona will share the tools we can use to work through our challenges. You’ll leave feeling inspired & empowered as both a parent and person. 

Parenting from the Heart: A Path of fun, growth and LOVE...

All the info is up on my website now, here is the link.  There will be champagne and beautiful French cheeses of course (no event I host is complete without them!) It’s limited numbers as we want to keep the event intimate so if this is something you’d love to come along to, place your booking and we will email you with more details! I hope you can come along, it’s going to be a wonderful and life-enriching evening. Xx

We are human beams...

So here's the thing. 

Over the last seven months, I've been disassembling personal obstacles like there is no tomorrow.  So much has come to the surface for me over this time, huge emotional hurdles that I had NO idea were there. In this time I've learnt things about myself, things that I thought I'd let go of long long ago but instead they'd been very well hidden and remained embedded within.  Turns out I'd built incredibly elaborate cave-like structures to keep them out of everyday sight. Caves that, over time, became well obscured by thick tangled vines.  As I was contentedly walking along my jungle path, I began to notice these thick vines that seemed to grow more dense as I wandered on.  I didn't order this! I said to my heart. I cut them back but they grew thicker the more I walked on. Heart, I called out, WT-EFFthis isn't right! Is this my path? It must be someone else's. What is this bullshit, am I lost? I don't want to be here anymore! 

Me, climbing a ginormous rock on the edge of the Hawkesbury River, photo by Elemental Explorer & creative collaborator  Midnight Blue , January 2018. 

Me, climbing a ginormous rock on the edge of the Hawkesbury River, photo by Elemental Explorer & creative collaborator Midnight Blue, January 2018. 

The more I stalked on, pushing through and slashing through the vines, the more tired I became. Everything in my life felt like it was falling apart. I felt overwhelmed, I couldn't breathe. My inner warrior was losing all its strength. 

Finally with shoulders slumped, I dropped down, feeling utterly defeated.

What's the difference between defeat and surrender? I wondered. What's the difference between surrender and acceptance? I pondered. I had no energy left to do anything but sit and look around. 

 And that's when I noticed the caves. 

They were beautiful spaces - but of course, I'd make them so! Which made me laugh at myself. Because now I've learnt creating such visual wonder can be a great way of masking one's truth.

As I regained my energy bit by bit, one by one I entered each cave. I looked at what I'd kept hidden all these years. It's unbelievable fascinating, to say the very least. And I feel ready to share my findings. 

I know many of us are in this collectively - we may not share the same history or experiences, but we share a heart journey, and what I feel and am able to express is a light beam you can count on to help see your way ahead. 

I'm going to share my findings in lots of different ways in coming days and months - in my new work, in journal posts here, on instagram and in instagram stories (yes, I've broken through my mental block on talking to camera and I'M DOIN' IT! I may be a quiet voice among the booming ones but I'm not going to let that stop me from using what I have). 

And I've been quietly working on my website this year - it's always been such a strong expression of my creativity over the years and it's exciting to be able to direct these new findings into my offerings already. 

I'm super excited to let you know I have re-structured my consultation and mentoring packages so there are options for everyone. I don't want anyone to miss out on the opportunity to follow their heart, it's the core of everything. It's our magic and when we let it out, we become human beams. 

In other news, I'll be announcing two awesome collaborations! Like a child, I am jumping up and down with joy and anticipation, I want to burst out with all of it now. 

Another change to my online presence is the newsletter - I'm ditching it, it was just not the right medium for me so instead, I'll be writing here in my journal, and those of you signed up via email will receive this straight to your inbox. It will mean you will hear from me more openly, with no newsletter marketing & salesy prompting. I'll just blab it all out here and you can wander through my website at your own heart's desire. There's lots to peruse now, like my old (blog)house (remember that?!!)... except now, it's a boat. And I'm ready to drop anchor.

photo by Elemental Explorer & creative collaborator  Midnight Blue , January 2018. 

photo by Elemental Explorer & creative collaborator Midnight Blue, January 2018. 

With so much love, 

Pia xx

Mentoring...

One of the most rewarding new features of my work these past two years has been becoming a creative mentor.

When I was growing up & forming the foundations of my own career in the arts, I didn't have a mentor.  I didn't have access to anyone around me who was an artist.  And while attending university some 20 years ago now, I started observing the journeys of my fellow students and got the sense that life as an artist could be a little less of a struggle with a mentor. Some students had a parent who was a working artist, or an aunt, or uncle, or family friend or they came from a long lineage of creative professionals. I found this intriguing. Imagine being able to call upon that person when you were blocked or needed some support, and heard wise & nurturing words from someone who just 'got it'? Imagine having someone in your life that you didn't have to explain or defend your creative leanings? Could it be possible to be an artist and feel supported rather than be in conflict with your life choices?! These were my wonderings.

... Amsterdam , 2010, writing the manuscript for  My Heart Wanders   ....................................................................

...Amsterdam, 2010, writing the manuscript for My Heart Wanders

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mentor ˈmɛntɔː/ noun : an experienced and trusted adviser and supporter.

It's incredible to now be in the position in my life to be a mentor - the very person I longed for in my early creative exploration. I work the mentoring and consulting around my projects - each week I am producing photographic stories, working on my upcoming books or developing and hosting workshops.  Today I am able to support creative beings during their processing, help explore and dissolve their blocks, and nurture them through their artistic endeavours: It's such an honour. 

One of the very first client consultations I had was back in 2014 with creative entrepreneur extraordinaire Beth Kempton. Beth disclosed her then-secret book project to me and needed some advise on book pitching and publishing. I was able to help her in those early stages, and today, she launches that very book in London through Hay House Publishing. It's called Freedom Seeker. I've written a little about it on Instagram, and there are some sneak peeks of the beautiful & thoughtful package she sent me in my insta story. I'll be posting about it here soon in my journal, along with the piece she wrote in her book about my own journey to freedom. I'm so thrilled for Beth and feel so much appreciation for being able to support and help her realise her publishing dream. 

Without disclosing too much about my current mentoring clients projects (I've always been a great secret keeper!), some of them are embarking on amazing artistic adventures like visual book publishing, becoming professional photographers, creating online art portfolios that truly represent their style and encompasses all their various talents, and working toward their first art exhibitions. 

If you'd like me to mentor you this year to help activate your creative flow you can click here to book & find out more information about what I can offer you. The package is 3 hours which can be taken as an intensive one-on-one - like a personal workshop - or it can be split into 3 one-hour sessions over a period of 1-3 months. My goal is to see your work realised, so I will be able to assess what you need and tailor the sessions to meet those needs. You can book another package or we can create a tailored mentoring package to suit your long term goals. There are also one hour creative consultations available. 

I'd love to support you in your creative life! Send me an email or comment below if you have any questions about the process. 

Vivent les artistes!!!

xx