What is the Art of Life to Me?

So as you may know, I call myself a self-proclaimed student of art de vivre, i.e. the art of life (I just like the French way of saying it more). And some time ago I have asked this question on my blog: how do you define the art of life? Interesting enough, have I ever answered this question myself?

I did answered it to myself, and I thought it is important that I share my answer here. But then the summer came crossing over my plans. Festival happened. Guests happened. Life in summer happens – with more intensity. So I found myself forgetting my answer. But it has never left my mind. So what is the art of life according to me?

harbour in Marseille
feeling French in Marseille 

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Why write?

The work is sometimes done when you don’t see it.

When you meditate and try to keep your mind still, you can get frustrated by the thoughts coming and stealing your attention. But the masters say, that the real work is done not in emptying your mind but in that moment of becoming conscious of your thoughts coming and going.

I’ve been feeling bad about falling out of blogging for almost two weeks. I feel like I can’t live up to my simple resolution of 2 posts a week. And the longer I am not writing, the more difficult it is to get on track (though I keep on blogging on my Russian blog, I guess I have developed a better habit there).

writing-topics

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My Spring Clean And What I Learnt From It

On Sundays I have digital detox, and it feels so refreshing. As it is great to be back online on Mondays 🙂 I wanted to test this habit for a long time, and at last in March I said to myself that I will run it as experiment: I will keep my Sundays free of all internet. My first Sunday was a day without social media, but then it turned into a day totally offline (with two exceptions: I answer the messenger, and take pics for IG stories which for me is a ritual of appreciating the surroundings. As long as I am not tempted to check the feed). From March into April, and now into May – I am very content with my experiment and I want to keep this habit now.

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spring flowers

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Time to Drop That “Follow Your Passion” Call?

How many of you have fallen in love with this statement “follow your passion”? And how many of you have come to realize that this call is not enough to lead you in some certain direction?

I tell you, I did. I just loved this sentence when I saw it – how many years ago now? As much as I loved it, I didn’t feel guided by it, it was such a diffuse promise. So what are my passions, I asked myself. Dancing, reading, travelling. And what do I exactly do with it? Become a professional dancer? But first, I am not so young to start this carrier (I was over 30 then), and second, do I really want to be a professional dancer? Well, no. I want to enjoy dancing as often as possible – but I don’t want to perform on stage and practice for hours, let alone mentioning the competitions. And some of my other passions are just like this: I enjoy doing them once a while – but I don’t want to build my whole life around them.

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Little Tricks to Make Spring Closer

I wish that Norwegian spring were more predictable, but it’s not. Before the end of March it is early to speak of the spring altogether – March is a winter month here, with a sudden snow and a biting freezing wind. Thanks to Instagram we have a daily reminder how gorgeous spring can be: there are first crocuses in Germany, and the blossoming trees in Paris and Vienna. While I decided to go check the forest for the first tiny sprouts last week – only to find there the rests of snow. Complaining is my old friend, but it doesn’t help me here, so I learn to reinvent myself and look for the ways to change my attitude. This year I learn not to wait for the spring, but to create it. Here are my tiny tricks so far.

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Life as a Form of Art

What if the highest art expression was the life we are living? What if it’s not what we do or create – but just our existence that has the most profound influence and artistic value?

This idea comes from listening to an interview on Youtube (here is the controversial thing: the interview is of an extraterrestrial being who is channeled by a human. If you are interested, search for Bashar and Alan Steinfeld. I know, that sounds weird, but my interest is not whether it is an alien speaking or not, but the points that are made. And there are a lot of good points there).  I was struck by these words: “Just by your existence you already have all the impact you will ever have. Nothing you do in life will ever create or generate more impact that you already have. The things that you do, your creativity don’t have more impact – they reveal the impact you’ re already having”.

a balcony in Granada, Spain

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5 Things – About Inspiration

I continue to share my 5 things, and today I want to share the things that inspire me. These are not the things that have the fetish status and the power to kindle my inspiration any time, but rather the small details of my life which – when I start collecting them – have the ability to sparkle joy and excitement inside of me. And it feels like they make the small holes through which the flood of inspiration breaks through and takes me in its flow, like the water finds little holes in the dam and then smashes it, flowing freely.

My previous post was about our use of social media, but I haven’t mentioned the positive sides of them (and the post was not critical towards the social media, rather how we use them). My favorite one, Instagram, is an inspiration for me, because it sends me on the search for beauty in my nearest surroundings, which I started to consider boring and not so pretty. But the new interest for detail gives me a fresh eye, and I end up with finding a lot of tiny wonders. Right now I love the function “stories” because as I make my first snaps, I get a feeling of a treasure hunt- and after short time I have to stop myself because there are funny and pretty little things everywhere 🙂 So all of the pictures below I made for IG and “Stories”, and collecting them is such a fun way to be mindful and grateful for the beauty around me.

  1. On our trip to the Southern France I decided to collect everything yellow. We were driving through the region of Occitanie, and I decided that the famous shop L’Occitane  is from these places – and as its color is yellow, so must this region be. You can guess what happened after that. I was noticing yellow things everywhere. Isn’t it weird how you start noticing whatever you make your mind up for? So if we decide to collect the positive vibes – surely we will notice them everywhere, right? So let’s do that! And let this yellow postcard be a reminder of that.

 

City bikes, spring flowers and French breakfast in Montpellier. Yellow boat in the port of Marseille

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Five Things I like

Today I want to start a feature on my blog which I really enjoy – to post regularly 5 photos of things I like in the moment. I have been doing it for a while on my other blog (Russian-speaking), and I find it a great way to share, especially in the moments when I am not sure what I want to share about :). Like right now, when I am traveling. I expected to be posting a lot during this trip – you are full of impressions and emotions, so what to do if not to share them on the blog, right? Wrong, I have discovered. Or just not for me. I get so overstimulated by impressions and emotions, that when I come home all I want to do is to fall on my bed and rest. Resting can mean reading or watching Russian bloggers on Youtube 🙂 But there is no energy for creating a lot – my maximum effort is to post a pic on Instagram, and that’s it.

It has been a month since I started this blog, and I know how much energy is needed in the very beginning, just to get the thing up and going (I have read that the airplane uses a lot of its fuel just to get off the earth), to create a momentum. This trip has set my blogger plans on a pause. And while I am writing a list of posts I want to write, and getting big ideas – I have to admit that I need to find a quiet time for those ambitions, and right now I can just play 🙂 Just keep on going with some smaller things. So if you experience that your grand plans keep you procrastinating – start doing small things, just get going, get writing. This is my discovery so far, and I am grateful for it. You never discover such things unless you start taking steps.

Back to the post idea, though. I find it a great way to keep the positive focus in my life – by taking photos of things I like. Not for Instagram or other social media – just for me. Like a moment of appreciation. And later when I scroll through my photos and see how many nice things are there, it is like writing a gratitude journal 🙂 Admitting how beautiful and colorful my life is. I hope, my sharing would inspire you to try this little life-hack. So now I want to share my 5 things of the moment, taken on my way from Norway to Spain.

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