a lesson in patience

Patience - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

Watching the dolphins glide across the surface of water, listening to the rolling waves, I sat in the shade on yet another gorgeous day. As I inhaled the fresh sea air I wondered why I forget to spend more time exploring and appreciating the beautiful environment that is available in abundance here on the Gold Coast.

I closed my eyes and slowed my breath down for a few minutes, allowing any thoughts to come and go. Take your time… let it flow… it will unfold naturally… were the words that emerged as I asked how to approach the next blank page of my sketchbook.

Patience Progress - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

I was being invited to appreciate the landscape around me. The rocky headland beneath me formed millions of years ago, the pine tree sheltering me planted 80 years ago. Our lives are consumed with doing everything quickly and efficiently, which goes against our intrinsic need to rest and appreciate the process of creation and regeneration that is part of our being.

“Adopt the pace of nature” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Art takes time and it is within the act of creating art that we transform. It allows us to be in the present moment, to witness our thoughts and emotions, to experience flow and frustration, and learn to keep going.

I have had many signs to take action, but it’s not of a forceful nature. It’s a nudge to take the next step. Any movement in the right direction, no matter how small, is noticed and celebrated. I am finally giving myself permission to create this time and space, and letting go of the excuses.

Burleigh - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

The sights and sounds of nature helps bring me back to a peaceful place where I can connect with myself and the world around me. So while I meditate next to the ocean, pulsing pure energy up and down my body as the waves wash in and out below me, I can tune into the patience and balance of the natural environment and let it guide the way I approach each day and each blank page.

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the beginning

Spirit Mandala - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

To begin, I want to express how deeply grateful I am to have received so many wonderful comments following the release of this project into the wild web. I’ve witnessed friends and clients share their loving support, and welcomed many new faces. You’ve all warmed and opened up my heart so much and contributed to the beautiful energy here. I’m bottling up this magical feeling so that I can release little portions of it when those moments of doubt or fear creep in. So thank you.

Close to a year ago I bought a copy of Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Berstein. I was looking for some new books to buy (fueling my Book Depository addiction) and I noticed it in a book post on In Spaces Between. I could never have known that this one little book would begin shifting things inside of me, but then again most of my book shelves up until that point were stacked with fiction novels. The moment I began turning those pages I was hooked.

Gabby’s book introduced me to so many beautiful ideas and practices that were both new and long forgotten. Meditation, journalling, being present, shifting perceptions and listening to our own inner guide. The very simple yet powerful idea that your thoughts really do create your reality. While reading I kept thinking to myself: I want to experience this.

The sanctuary is inside you - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

The time between first reading that book and today has been slow and cautious. I felt a strong desire for a more passionate and peaceful life. I needed to work through a lot of old thought patterns that had been squatting in my brain for so long, pilling up like rubbish and worthless belongings, refusing to clear out. A perception that seemed to stick was that I was just not the type of person who would lead this sort of spirit-fuelled life, it wasn’t in my nature. It’s sad to think that the ego can stop so many of us experiencing the love, joy and connection we truly deserve. The most liberating thing that I’ve learned so far is that this spirit exists inside all of us, we just need to find ways to take a breather from everyday life and calm our minds. It’s only in the last few months with committing more to meditation and yoga that I’ve started to catch glimpes of what’s beyond the conscious and rational mind.

The artwork shared above is my gift to Spirit Junkie, for setting me on this path of truth and self-love. The centre of the mandala is the soul, the inner structure our perceived reality and beyond that – the beauty, energy, and expansiveness of the universe.

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fear is an indicator

Crystal Eyes - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

Wow. The first post for a new project always feels monumental.

Ordinarily this should set the tone of what’s to come, but I feel like I’m stepping onto a path that’s unknown. There’s no guidebook for the adventures to come. This space is so incredibly different from where my focus has been planted for the last few years, helping other beautiful souls create, grow and flourish in their own virtual sanctuaries.

While I’ve so, so loved leading others in discovery, now feels like the perfect time to find myself and my purpose – through creative exploration and spiritual practices.

I am here, in this online space, because my soul needs this.

I need to dig deeper, to be brave, and to connect with those who feel the same awakening and desire to express themselves.

A big part of this exploration is the Maps To Herself project. Like many people, I’ve spent the last few years feeling an increasing separation between who I really am and how I’m living my life. By connecting with nature, art, yoga, and meditation, I’m working to tap back into my truest self. If this is something you too are also working towards, I’d love it if you joined me.

I’m sure you are no stranger to resistance. I felt it immediately when I sat down to create the artwork that I would share here. But I opted to lean into the fear. To trust that moving forward was the only way and that I would be supported. These words gave me that final push through the resistance:

Resistance - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

There are only two guidelines for this project in its infancy:
— Create art in some form on a daily basis.
— This art is to be made offscreen through drawing and painting as much as possible.

In my design work, I’ve created small details and patterns offscreen to blend into a design, but I’m aiming to complete finished paintings and drawings that work purely on their own. It thrills me to experiment and play, to let go, to allow my mind and hand to work together in harmony to create something that wasn’t thoroughly planned beforehand. It’s the type of creation I haven’t engaged in for over a decade. Ideas or techniques that would take just minutes on the computer would take hours by hand, and there is no undo button when you paint. But at the heart of it, there are no true mistakes, or as James Joyce puts it – “mistakes are the portals of discovery”.

Crystal Eyes Progress - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

Shown above is the original acrylic painting that I created when the idea of this project started to come to light.

It began as a simple geometric star and it’s been interesting to see how it transformed into a faceted gem. Once more colour and detail were added, a beautiful green eye shone back at me — a connection with ‘the third eye’ of our chakras.

The artwork showed me that I can trust my intuition. I need not be afraid of expressing myself in this way, through this sacred space. I see this gorgeous kaleidoscope as a reminder to push forward and let my inner light glow.

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