The Art of Living
The Art of Living
Can you imagine creating art - not with paint or clay - but with life itself
as your medium?
A "life artist" or “artist of life” or "Lebenskuenstler" as Germans would put it,
is someone who finds beauty in the “colours” life puts at his or her disposal,
someone who makes do with the “brushes” he or she has got available,
enjoys the process of living life to the personally fullest possible extent,
- and doesn't grumble over a few mistaken “strokes”.
There is value in the ability of taking things in your stride, “living with it”
as it were, be that “it” a tragedy in life or perhaps a chronic or
Some define a “Lebenskuenstler” as a “connoisseur of the art of living”,
somebody who lives by “you can’t take it with you”. Perhaps it’s a bit easier
when you’re not limited financially. But we’re here rather talking about
someone who may be living on a budget or otherwise under less than
favourable circumstances, but who still manages to make life wonderful by
putting a positive spin on everything, and by getting pleasure out of little
things that others might perhaps easily overlook, thus making the best
out of any and every situation.
Many think that they are victims of what life throws at them. But in fact
it’s a a willful decision to rise to the occasion and live with drive and gusto
in spite of it all! There’s no need to dramatise the realisms in life or to
make a big fuss when things go pear-shaped. Just focus on the solutions and
don’t let the problems get you down.
A truly happy person is one
who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Or like the man who had no electricity for four days during the aftermaths
of a hurricane, he enjoyed the romanticism of candlelight!
You can also decide to approach things “artistically”, namely with creativity,
imagination, and courage. Then the most limiting diet can become a creative
Just “put your genius into your life”, as Oscar Wilde put it, - and
“Don’t worry, be happy” according to Bobby McFerrin, and you’ve got the idea.
You’re invited to become inspired to be a true "Lebenskuenstler",
right on this website, where the art of living is being shared!
What follows is probably the only
COURSE in the ART OF LIVING
on the Internet ...
It's DIY, but then you don't need a "paper" at the end
to prove that you've done the course,
- your enjoyment of life will prove to you
(and others) when you've mastered it!
Art of Living / Lebenskuenstler - 5-step COURSE
What are the requirements for becoming a Lebenskuenstler?
1 - Take time to think, dream, draw, paint, imagine, take time to smell
2 - Be open to learn to use both brain hemispheres.
3 - Be prepared to drop perfectionism, effectiveness, materialism, stress,
negativity, the rat-race.
4 - Be prepared to use your heart.
5 - Do ART.
1 - Taking time out from your work or study or your usual activities can be
a challenge, so you need to figure out ways how to take care of yourself.
+ Learn to say no, - be kind but firm. That way you show that you value
your time and that you have rightful priorities.
+ Delegate certain duties, you don’t have to run the universe. Let others
help with some time-consuming things from time to time, they might
feel privileged to do so!.
+ Schedule a regular time every week for yourself. If you take time out
to recharge your batteries, you’ll be a better, more energetic, calmer,
happier Mum, Dad, Friend, Colleague, Worker, etc.
There is more to life than increasing its speed.
+ Plan for a long walk and take time to appreciate nature, the trees and
flowers, the sunshine on your face, the smell of rain. And also do some
art or craft.
+ On occasion when taking time out is impossible due to unforeseen
circumstances, take 10 minutes wherever you are, sit down, relax your
shoulders and neck, breathe, clear your head by looking around and
noticing little beautiful things around you, and relax.
+ Stop feeling guilty, stop feeling obligated. Remember your personal
worth. Even Superwoman or Superman needs some alone-time.
+ Speak to others who you know are calm and who take time out for
themselves. Make allies for yourself. You might even go on a walk
together, or do some art or craft together.
+ Resting the mind and temporarily dismissing from it all care and worry
is an art worth learning. It gives you energy to continue. Allow yourself
to dream, imagine, play, enjoy.
2 - Use both brain hemispheres.
=== Most people use predominantly one half of the brain, the left side,
which (according to M. Farouk Radwan, MSc.
has the functions of
· Logic and reasoning
· Focusing on detailed information
· Grammar and words
· Rational thinking
· Planning and goal setting
while the right side of the brain is responsible for
· Artistic abilities
· Spontaneous actions
· The full picture
Individuals who know how to use both brain hemispheres, combining
intuition with logic, come up with better solutions to problems and
challenges in life.
How can that be done? And how can it be applied practically?
=== When taking time over drawing a picture, you can experience a shift
from left-brain to right-brain activity.
The right-brain is brilliant at adding what’s necessary in order to “see properly”,
and only when you can see properly, you can draw and paint properly.
When you know how to use both brain hemispheres in drawing a picture,
you can also apply the benefit to other areas in life.
=== When wanting to stick to a rigid healthy diet (but finding it difficult,
because for emotional reasons you spontaneously tend to eat the wrong
things, which is a right-brain reaction),
It would be advantageous to involve the left-brain more.
Gather more information, get deeper into the details of how eating your
greens and sprouts and drinking juices will help you, set daily goals, and
record your progress.
=== Break your routine, especially if it is a dusty left-brain kind of job.
Save your creativity from disappearing by once in a while using your
imagination and dream a little.
Or look at a photo or picture you really enjoy, and dream over it, “enter”
into it, “visit” it as if you were in it, look at the details in it, feel the
atmosphere, enjoy "being there".
Or go to the park, or to the beach and just sit there and watch the waves,
the sea gulls, hear the noises they make, smell the salty air, feel the wind
on your skin, escape, relax.
3 - Drop a few things
# Drop the facade or mask of perfectionism. Don’t sacrifice your
physical and mental health. Enjoy the extra sleep, creative time,
and even doing nothing from time to time.
# Simple is beautiful.
# Have priorities and accomplish something valid towards those.
# Don’t let yourself be ruled by material things.
# Choose positivity, make the best out of any situation. Look for
the "blessing in disguise”.
# Drop stress, just refuse to let things rattle you.
4 - Use your heart
- “Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts." This is the
secret of success.” (according to Swami Sivananda).
- And do this in spite of what others say or think, or against all the odds.
Be realistic, and do it anyway. You'll have a brilliant conscience, you'll feel
good, and you'll enjoy life more.
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior
motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends
and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
Don't cry because it's over;
smile because it happened.
5.- Do Art.
And now an example of how to practise what you've just learned.
If you master the "Art of Living", you can turn a necessary hospital stay, how ever unpleasant, into something more acceptable.
A hospital stay is much less daunting when the hospital is viewed as a HEALTH SPA. You’ll be surprised how your worries will melt into smiles.
Bring a go-bag ready with things you’re likely to need: Underwear, nightwear, toothbrush etc., perhaps playing cards, reading material, maybe pencil-sharpener-rubber-sketching paper, and your usual medication or a list thereof. Bring some cinnamon to put on your porridge, bring your favourite herb to sprinkle on your meals.
Ask someone to look after your pets, provide food etc. and instructions.
Without being demanding let your wishes be made known in hospital, medical and otherwise.
Be clear and decisive about things you need to insist on, always remain friendly, but be firm when necessary, whoever you speak to. When you’re decisive but also reasonable, you’re more likely to be taken serious and be respected.
Always show respect and gratitude to others, whether doctors, carers, cleaners, nurses, visitors.
Make informed decisions, be open-minded, get all the info you need, incl. second opinions. Decide only after you have the knowledge.
Make your stay a positive one. Be realistic but positive, expect a fine outcome.
Make it more pleasant for yourself, eg. Make your porridge more tasty and interesting, ask for fresh fruits and fruit juices, almond mylk or rice mylk, you just might be able to have it. If the hospital can’t provide it, ask family and friends to bring it in, - if they could make green juices for you and bring them in, especially wheatgrass juice, - wonderful!
Have some ideas ready if the hospital chef is prepared to do vegan or raw vegan meals for you.
Bring an iPad or tablet for emails, to use the internet for info research, to watch films on youtube, to read.
Let your mind be positive and grateful, click on that subject above (scroll up please).