my vibe my tribe


When I think about all the incredible people I’ve met and gotten to know over the last couple of years I just have a moment of awe. I created this blog a little over 2 years ago, at a time when I was craving a different type of connection that I hadn’t known or experienced much of in the past. I was holding onto so much baggage and negative emotions about being around other people. Usually feeling drained at the thought of spending time with others, let alone the actual experience. I wanted to be around people that made me feel uplifted, inspired, and who would allow me to bring out more of my real self. It did take moving location again into the city to actually get me out of the house and create more real world connections. I would never have imagined how much it would impact me in the best way possible.

I was very active on social media before this and for a period of time it felt like enough. But after a matter of years of still being quite the hermit, things needed to shift. I still get to meet and connect with amazing people through these channels. It’s where I continue and adore ‘meeting’ people who become real life friends too. I love that I could visit almost any city in the world and be able to catch up with someone, no matter how well we may know each other, as long as there was a genuine resonance there.

I love the communities I am lucky to be a part of now, and it grows more and more each day. I have been wanting to create a special online community which encourages myself and others to live our best creative life. To share our experiences and expressions of art. It’s been on my mind for a few months now, but I recently had a lovely vision of bringing it to life sooner than expected.

I can’t express how fortunate I am to be witness to, and a part of, the lives of some incredible women. Women who hold no bars to just putting who they are out there. Doing whatever they need to do to align their life and work to who they truly are, what they believe in and who they are here to help.

I’m also thrilled when I hear stories of so many lovely followers of The Darling Tree and Maps to Herself who have begun to include art, creativity and passion back into their lives. To hear it’s given them a new and beautiful way to express themselves, or discover more about the essence within them, is incredible. It blows my mind to be a small part of that, and it drives me to keep doing what I’m doing.

Thank you for being here with me and thank you to those women who are now in my life. It’s a true blessing, and I still feel like things are just getting started!


realigning with a vision

Realigning with a Vision

It’s been almost two years now since I created this blog. Around the same time it launched I signed up to an online writing course to learn more about starting, planning and writing a book. Having never really identified with being a writer I thought it was strange that this new blog stirred something within me that thought at some point there could be a significant piece of written work that would evolve from it.

I’m not suggesting I’m about to embark on writing a book, not just yet anyway, but in the course I only got so far as the completing the first assignment in which I was just brainstorming the idea of what it could be. It was and still is something that I really want to bring forth in my creative work and offerings.

Here’s what I submitted when asked to give an outline of the subject area I intended to explore:


My goal is to help others create a more fulfilling and joyful life through art. I want to share ways in which creating art intuitively opens up a new way of learning about yourself and your desires. I feel that in a world that is so hungry for technology and the constant output of information, it has disconnected us from ourselves and each other. Everything is designed to be consumed quickly and efficiently, we are told how we should look and feel, what we should desire and what makes our lives enjoyable. But it leads us away from what we truly need and want, and we find that the harder we aim for what society tell us to aim for, the unhappier we become.

Everyone is capable of being creative. I would like to encourage and inspire people to just experiment different techniques and have fun with it as a method of removing them from their computer screens or smart phones and tapping into their own imagination. By accessing your intuition and using spiritual and other creative practices like meditation, visualisation, and journalling you can begin to receive messages that also appear in the art you create. This unlocks a deeper understanding of yourself, which allows you to begin implementing things into your life that align with what you want. You also begin to connect with other beautiful souls who are on a similar path to you. This opens up a supportive network where you can learn from and share with each other. It really can open you up to creative a beautiful life.


So much of this still rings true for me and just reading this back has me excited to explore this further, who knows what form it might take, but I can definitely feel myself aligning with the desire to encourage any woman to intuitively and artistically create maps to herself.

Artwork available as a print in my Society6 store.


blooming true

Canvas 1 - Bloom True Bali - Jo Klima

My oh my, more than a month has already passed since I returned home from the amazing experience that was Bali and Flora’s Bloom True painting retreat. It’s taken me a little while to be ready to write this post. Every time I sat down to write it I struggled to find the words. I think my heart arrived back home much later than my body did, choosing to inhabit the warmth and beauty of those memories for as long as it could. As you read, I hope you can place yourself there with me, just for this moment, and let it inspire you as it profoundly did for me.

Beyond the necessary planning ahead of the trip, I didn’t actually think too much about what was in store. I wanted to arrive with an open mind, without any preconceived ideas or expectations. I knew it was where I was supposed to be and I trusted the journey would unfold as it should. As soon as I arrived late at night at my gorgeous villa in Ubud I think I was already under it’s rich and mellow spell. Exploring this vibrant town and it’s many beautiful differences to other places I’ve travelled was fascinating. After foraging the colourful markets and culinary offerings, visiting the bali spirit festival and amazing rice fields, keeping cool with quick pool dips in between outings, and trying to cross the streets safely, I was ready to make my way to the quiet little fishing village of Amed to join my fellow true bloomers for a week of connecting and creativity.

Canvas 2 - Bloom True Bali - Jo Klima

There’s something pretty magical about feeling an instant kindredness with not just one person but a whole group, and for myself, kind of unusual. To be in the company of a group of women who I hardly knew and feeling at ease is by no means my default setting. But that’s what happened, and it has everything to do with knowing they had all made the decision to be there, and had been carefully selected by Flora. To me it meant that we were free to just be ourselves, far away from who we think we are or aren’t back at home. Free from the usual responsibilities or pressures of daily life. It’s safe to say that we were all ready to let go of all that, and breathe into this beautiful sacred space that had been created for us.

I could write a whole post just about how wonderful Flora and her two brilliant sidekicks, Lynx and Rachael, were during the week. They each possess such wisdom, vulnerability, magic, creativity and strong voices in their own authentic way. They were the absolute perfect trio to hold this space for us, and being in their company and learning so much from them is something I will always hold close to my heart.

As the week went on, filled with lots of swimming, delicious meals, a few bintangs (which went down surprisingly well for a non-beer drinker, it’s definitely the heat!), late night chats and lots of laughs, there was of course lots of painting. I think it was a rare treat for many of us to have a huge block of time just to paint. And paint some more. It was the first time in a long while that I truly felt immense flow and joy of just creating, and letting go of everything else. It’s how I want to feel all the time, and I’m so grateful to have experienced that fully. I think I could have easily continued on for another month or two! I can definitely visualise more creative sabbaticals in my future.

Canvas 3 - Bloom True Bali - Jo Klima

Shared here are the three finished canvases that came home with me. I was hoping to have at least one finished piece, and to me each of these felt like they had completed their journey in Bali along with myself as we approached our last day. The elephant was the third canvas I worked on, trying to use colours that I hadn’t used much in the first two, and wouldn’t normally use either. And I absolutely love it. A beautiful lesson in letting go of what you’re comfortable with, and finding something you love even more.

What stood out to me the most from the week is how deeply I wanted to be part of this kind of creative community after I returned home. It’s something I have wanted for a while, but to experience it like that brought new perspective and clarity to making it happen. And for my friends in Brissie and nearby, this is the first manifestation of that. For those further away, I hope you are enjoying the online community and Make Art Monday’s.

Thank you for reading this far! I wanted to get these thoughts out before I moved onto other new posts, and I’m looking forward to sharing more art and other contemplations here very soon.


the warrior within

Warrior Energy - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

As we venture closer towards a new year, spoilt for choice of gorgeous workbooks brimming with reflections on 2013 and dreams for 2014, I’m excited by that familiar air of energy and potential that exists with the change of one little digit. But there’s something different this time around and I think others are feeling it too. Throughout the year I witnessed brilliant woman planning, creating and releasing amazing businesses and products and I really feel many of us are creating space to step it up a notch in 2014, not only in what we offer, but who we are and how we serve our higher purpose. There’s a magical feeling of unlimited possibility.

I’m still deciding on my word for 2014 but I feel it will center around empowerment, inner strength, communication, purpose, and collaboration. There’s a presence of feminine warrior energy in this combination – I feel it’s in relation to my inner state and not so much a struggle with the world around me. It’s within our own hearts that we need to believe in ourselves and develop the courage to offer every little part of our being to what we are here to do.

“I wish I’d known from the beginning that I was born a strong woman. What a difference it would have made! I wish I’d known that I was born a courageous woman; I’ve spent so much of my life cowering. How many conversations would I not only have started but finished if I had known I possessed a warrior’s heart? I wish I’d known that I’d be born to take on the world; I wouldn’t have run from it for so long, but run to it with open arms.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach (Something More)

The energy building up for the new year feels grounded, courageous and bold. It’s calling me to stand my ground, speak my truth and create boundaries to protect my precious life essence. As a collective, the power of this energy is strengthened.

So there’s something I’d like you to keep in your heart well after the celebrations and as we go deeper into the new year. Do all you can to support those around you, and be supported in return, to create the most luscious and incredible 2014 that we can imagine. We all need strong friendships and personal cheerleaders to help us see that the amazing things we see in others exists within us too and encourage us to bring them to light. Let’s connect our energy, awaken the feminine warrior within, and make sure the universe has no choice but to listen and deliver.

My favourite workbooks are Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead, Spirited + Spirited 2014 Companion, Leonie Dawson’s 2014 Create Your Amazing Year Life & Biz workbooks, Do What You Love’s New Year’s Revolution. I love that these women have a strong desire to help us create our best year yet.