podcast

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…

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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

Season 2 Ends - It's All Up From Here! podcast update...

Laly exploring in Lane Cove National Park, during the full moon, 2018

Laly exploring in Lane Cove National Park, during the full moon, 2018

Wow Season 2 of It’s All Up From Here flew! The last episode was uploaded a couple of weeks ago, and features Shona’s beautiful parents Al & Sheryl, chatting openly about some of the things they learnt as parents and what wisdom they gained along the journey. It’s a sweet episode, a lovely way to end the season. I loved listening to the recordings of their interviews and I admit, I did feel a little emotional to know I can’t interview my mum too. I wonder if she were here, would she let me, if I asked her? I wonder what she would say? Those were the thoughts going through my mind. And as far as my Dad goes, I wouldn’t even dream of asking him, so that also made me a little melancholy. None of which takes away from the openness of Shona’s parents though, in this last episode, so if you haven’t had a listen yet, please do.

A run down of our most popular listens so far: Season One’s most listened to episode was “Setting Boundaries”. And Season Two’s has remained strong with “How to Know When To End A Relationship, Part One”.

It’s so interesting that these episodes have been the most popular - it shows that there are some major shifts going on in our society, shifts that I know are so crucial to our growth and evolution. It’s exciting, but I understand how challenging these times can be when we are in major life shifts. Both Shona & I have been through a lot these past 2 years, and we’ve been as open as possible on the podcast, with respect to the people we love in our lives, I’m sure there is more to come as we each process these changes and find the jewel lessons in these experiences.

The break between Season 2 and Season 3 will be extended as Shona has just embarked on a 6 week adventure to America and England - a trip with great significance, which she will be sharing some of the details with us upon her return. I’m super excited for her - for those who have been listening to us on the podcast, you’ll know why this trip is such a big deal, but there is much more to be revealed, all in time!

Both Shona & I are pumped for the next season - we’ve already recorded a few of the episodes so they will be ready to share as soon as she returns. We will be covering some big topics, creating space and shedding light on things that are so often taboo in families. Often we don’t realise what we don’t talk about with family members until someone else shares their story with us, and that’s our intention - because both us know how powerful it is to shed light on dark areas in our lives. So get ready for season 3!

If you’d like to catch up on episodes in the meantime, you can head here, to my podcast page. I upload all episodes there, and you’ll also find the occassional show notes, with resources to explore certain topics further. We’d love you to put a review in on itunes! It will help others to find the podcast too, thank you! And if there are episodes that resonate with you and you’d love others to listen (but you don’t feel confident to bring up the topic yourself), let them know about the podcast so they can listen in - it’s a great way to open discussion on things you otherwise feel timid to bring up yourself.

Any topics you would love discussed? Don’t hesitate to email me or Shona or let me know in a comment below. See you soon for Season 3!

With love,

Pia

It's All Up From Here, Season Two...

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Shona and I have been busy recording and uploading Season 2 of our "It’s All Up From Here” podcast and boy, does this season pack a punch! The podcast is now all about family - not just parenting, because we realised that family relationships are at the heart of it all. We’ve had many incredible comments and responses to the topics covered so far - our most popular has been the recent two part episode titled How to Know When It’s Time To End A Relationship, where both of us talk openly about our recent, very personal experiences. Other topics so far include understanding Family Culture, How to Cope with Change, and managing Screen Time. Let us know your thoughts, we’ve loved opening conversation and sharing our passion for family and relationships because we know human connection is everything. If you have any topic ideas that you’d like us to chat about, email me or comment on this post! And if you love what you hear please subscribe and tell your friends and family, and review the podcast so other people can find it too!

Shona and I will be opening the opportunity to become a sponsor of the podcast for Season 3, so if you have a family-related business that you feel would be beneficial to our listeners, don’t hesitate to email me to find out more.

xx

NOURISH + NURTURE + WABI SABI WISDOM...

corner of my home, part 1.

corner of my home, part 1.

One of the most important life lessons I’ve learnt in recent years - a lesson that is still very much a work in progress - is to prioritise nurturing and nourishing myself. And to understand what that even means. There is common theme of religious text about giving to others. And that being a woman is a nurturing - to the point of self-sacrificing - role: Others before self. So most of my life, I grew up not even conscious that I thoroughly believed that to give to myself - to look after myself - was incredibly selfish. This understanding, this belief has been all around me my entire life - in conversations and in the general atmosphere. And although I have always been drawn to Buddhist philosophy (not the religion but the ideas), it focusses heavily on selflessness and egolessness. When I was young, this strengthened what I felt which was that “I am of no value”, “I do not exist”. And if I ever did feel like someone had been unjust toward me or I felt like I needed to stand up for myself, or simply say “no”, I thought that it was a selfish act. And that was confirmed by the reactions from others I received when I did stand up for myself. Which made me feel guilt and shame. And so the cycle continued for many, many years…

corner of my home, part 2.

corner of my home, part 2.

Until I stopped it. That was when I went to Paris in 2006. When I left all that I knew to be safe. With distance I learnt that much of what I understood to be safe wasn’t safe. It was an illusion - an illusion “to keep me safe”. That’s a very hard reality pill to swallow.

But what I discovered in this journeying was incredible: I discovered that I am safe. Within me, I am safe - I am capable of nurturing and nourishing myself. I am strong and wise and beautiful, and I can fly without a safety net below. For me to even write those words in a public space - let alone think and feel them deeply to be true without feeling selfish or guilty or ashamed - is huge. It’s a magnificent feeling, and it’s a feeling I want every person I encounter to experience. If I could give this feeling to everyone in the world, I would. That’s why I’m so compelled to do what I do, to learn everything I can about intuition and support people in connecting with their intuition (as this is the foundation of it all) in as many different creative ways as possible…

At this time of year, so many emotions rise to the surface. For me, I think of my original family and how we are no longer connected, I think of times spent together in the past, but mostly I think of my Mum. I miss her enormously at the moment. I want to hug her, tell her all that I’ve learnt this year through the experiences I’ve had, I want to tell her I understand now how much she did for us that I didn’t truly realise until now, and how grateful I am for her being my mum. I want to tell her that I wish she had been more self-nurturing, and that I’ve been wondering if she might still be here if she wasn’t so self-sacrificing in order to boost the lives of those around her. Mums are our original anchors. Literally - our umbilical cord was attached to their inner most sacred space which nourished us for ten moons. And until we find our own anchor within, we will always be attached to hers, even when she is no longer living.

But I am feeling a significant shift within and all around. The more time people spend reflecting inward, the more we understand our society and ourselves, and the more we can be in life without trying to put anchors in material wealth, in beliefs, in events and in other people. We will be anchored in our own self - not ego, but ‘self’ - and we can form deeper, real connections through our intuition with those around us.

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Christmas is one of those yearly events that I still find difficult to release anchor, even with my awareness and the positive changes we’ve made. It’s so ingrained in our way of life that I still find myself wanting it to be a certain way, to feel a certain way. I know it’s because the anchor is still there, and I’m slowly working on pulling it up and placing it back inside myself.

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WABI SABI WISDOM from Beth Kempton…

(an excerpt from Festive Season Reimagined, page 10)

Beth Kempton is a friend and fellow author whose knowledge and enthusiasm for Japanese culture knows no bounds. She recently released a gorgeous book all about the concept of wabi sabi, titled Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect life. I asked Beth her thoughts on how we can incorporate wabi sabi at this time...

“So many of us put pressure on ourselves to deliver the perfect Christmas - a perfectly cooked dinner in a perfectly tidy house, with perfect gifts for everyone and perfectly convivial conversation all day long, but in doing so we are setting ourselves up for stress and pressure. This relentless pursuit of Christmas perfection often makes us forget to enjoy the precious moments that occur when we aren’t paying attention. Embracing the Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi, which reminds us to appreciate the beauty in imperfection and the gifts of simple natural living, can bring calm and love to your festivities. Give yourself permission to let go of traditions that no longer serve you and seek beauty in the small moments of magic offered by the season.

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Thank you Beth for sharing your wisdom in your book and extending your knowledge with all of us through our connection. It’s such great advice to carry with us as we move through the next few days.

I have a number of beautiful projects in the works for the year coming to enrich and ignite that part of us that is yearning to be heard. In the meantime, I’ve created lots of content over the past month or two that will support you in your creative pursuits, I have listed them below.

There has been much loss and endings this year - I’ve observed many long term relationship breakdowns, business endings, and life passings. For some it will be a tough time, which is why I cannot emphasise enough the importance of reimagining this week as a time for self- nurturing and nourishing - and if you don’t know what that means for you, to take the time to think and reflect on it. It’s a whole chapter in my book, which you can order digitally if you’d like to read it straight away. The second print run is on its way too, and I’ll continue to send out orders when they arrive. It’s not a book just for now, it’s for the whole year, so you’ll benefit from it now and for the years to come.

Happy festive season dear hearts,

With Love,

Pia xx

PS. Yesterday I wanted to talk to my mum, hug her and be in her presence and last night I did just that in a dream. I feel like I just saw her, and today the grief has transformed. I’m not sure if it’s my connection to my heart space, but this is one thing I’ve been able to do whenever I’ve needed to since she passed. Perhaps it’s a side effect? I’ll see what I can find out and let you know - if so, it’s yet another incentive to strengthen it within us.

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Links to check out over the festive season:

New piano compositions on Patreon including the latest one I recorded yesterday. If you become part of the collective now, you’ll be able to download all 6 songs to create a playlist to listen to to strengthen your connection to your intuition - it will be a wonderful way to end and start the new year if you feel that deep desire to pursue your dreams but don’t know where to start.

Reimagining the Festive Season, and interview between me and Kayla Robertson on the All Being Well podcast. All about how to reflect, self-nurture and reimagine this time of year.

Episode 8: Christmas aka The Festive Season podcast with Shona & I - a bit of light hearted banter about how different this time of year is! (scroll down the bottom to listen)

Bonus episode: How to Reflect on your Parenting with Shona & I - a podcast with questions to prompt you that not only work for parenting but also for your career (scroll down the bottom to listen)

Episode 6 Podcast : Redefining Success...

Laly and her friend Mya enjoying some intuitive mark-making together, reminding me of Shona & I 'at play'. In fact, a photograph I captured of this joyful moment between the girls became the backdrop for our podcast logo. The beginnings of beautiful collaborations!

Laly and her friend Mya enjoying some intuitive mark-making together, reminding me of Shona & I 'at play'. In fact, a photograph I captured of this joyful moment between the girls became the backdrop for our podcast logo. The beginnings of beautiful collaborations!

All 8 episodes of the first season of Shona Smith and my podcast titled “It’s All Up From Here!” are now available. I’ve just finished having a listen to all of them - Shona does all the incredible behind-the-scenes stuff that is involved in making a podcast, so I don’t listen to the episodes until they are out there! It does make me feely slightly vulnerable but hey, I’ve had plenty of practice at allowing myself to experience vulnerability when it comes to putting things out there, so this is all part of the journey.

I can say with all my heart that I have enjoyed being in conversation and listening to every single episode. It’s a big deal for me to say that - artists tend to be hyper-self-critical and nothing ever reaches ‘perfection’ (that’s because there is no such thing, but we forget that!). So I hope that comes through in the podcast and that you enjoy listening in.

One thing I’ve thought about since listening to the episodes is that we have said this is a ‘parenting’ podcast because it revolves around our experiences with our own children along with Shona’s extensive experience & knowledge as a youth worker, however it occurred to me that it’s broader than that - it’s as much about parenting of ‘self’. Because essentially, while we are parenting children, a huge part of it is that we are also learning so much about ourselves, and this is strong in our conversations.

The episode topics for this season are:

How to set rock solid boundaries
Intuition -How to use this powerful parenting tool
The Teenage Years - how to approach them with excitement and lose the dread
Redefining Success
The Mother Rage
Doing Christmas + Festive Season Reimagined

And I’ve just written up some show notes for “Redefining Success” as I mention a number of resources in it that I wanted to be able to link to. Shona and I haven’t intended to include show notes, but I think I will write them up slowly when I have the time as I see the benefit of the notes. I’ll let you know when the other notes go live, but for now here are the notes for “Redefining Success”. So, if you haven’t already subscribed, you can listen on apple podcasts or whooska, and I’ve also included each episode on my website here.

A big thank you to Shona for being my co-host and for all that she has done to make this happen - it has been such a joy to work with her over these months and I look forward to many more collaborations together!

With Love,

Pia xx

It's All Up From Here! podcast is now live...

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I’m so thrilled to let you know about this collaboration, it’s something that I’ve been working on in the background for the past 6 months and here it is…

Welcome to Season One of the It’s All Up From Here! parent podcast, hosted by radio producer/presenter + ex-youth worker Shona Smith, alongside me, Pia Jane Bijkerk. This is a refreshing, unscripted & honest podcast opening up discussion on issues and topics of today, with the focus to bring back the fun to our parenting.

What I love about this is that both Shona & I have very different parenting styles, backgrounds & personalities - while Shona is effervescent and knowledgeable, I am, well, the heart wanderer: travelling along my parenting path led by my intuition & creativity. We are very good friends, and this collaboration came about after many wonderful discussions. I found I walked away from our conversations feeling uplifted and empowered to be on this wild parenting journey. There was so much great information shared. And after hosting some parenting workshops together in Sydney in 2017, we soon realised a podcast was in the making…

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Shona’s passion is to bring the joy back into parenting, for so many of us who feel overwhelmed and pressured to ‘get it right’. And my passion is to live wholeheartedly, guided by intuition. In this podcast we come together with honesty, openness and reality, without the bells & whistles or smoke & mirrors of social media. In fact, that is the topic of one of our upcoming episodes.

This is Shona Smith! I love this photograph - it captures the humour, joy and warmth she brings everywhere she goes.

This is Shona Smith! I love this photograph - it captures the humour, joy and warmth she brings everywhere she goes.

Each time Shona uploads an episode, I’ll post it here on this page, but you can also subscribe via Apple Podcasts and Whooshkaa. Without further ado, a very big welcome to It’s All Up From Here! Bringing the joy & heart back to parenting.

With love,

Pia xx