Art of life: What’s the art of living?

art of life
10 juni 2020

What is the meaning of art of life?

We translate the concept from the Dutch word Levenskunst. In Dutch philosophy levenskunst has become a big concept, just look up Joep Dohmen. Levenskunst is the art of living reflectively and conscious of what you value. What do you think is important and good? When you are conscious of yourself and your values you can actively shape them in your life. It’s about not letting life go by unnoticed and living authentically.

Can you explain what life skills are?

Honestly, I think life skills are skills that make living a little bit easier, better and give it some flow. They make you know how to handle difficult situations better, and how to enjoy pleasurable situations more. They help you interact better with the world that we are by definition situated in. Levenskunst, the art of life, is developing life skills that help you specifically in a way that suits you

What are values?

Values are “principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.” A value is a way of being or believing that we hold most important (Brené Brown). If we want to live our values we can’t just let them be concepts, we have to practice them. We need to make our behaviours, words, thoughts align with these values, we need to shape them into our day-to-day lives. It requires some work to live accordingly to what we hold important. This weekend is meant to help you start you way to living that alignment

For example, one of my values (Eva) is playfulness. I noticed that I found this value in a lot of aspects of my life, it was why I would thoroughly enjoy spontaneous decisions, why I felt locked up by a agenda that is too rigid. It helped me get a sense of depth to my life and helped me find places in my life where I could add more sense of authenticity by letting myself be playful. It is something that I often forgot to bring into my life. Playfulness takes shape in my life by being spontaneous and not planning out every minute of my life. This way I create space for myself to do something that feels playfull. I also bring it into my work, by drawing, using bright colored post its and playful methods. But it’s also bringing humor and wonder into my life and the people around me. Knowing what I value I got a better sense of myself and how I can create a good life for me, for me playfulness, connection and a sense of personal growth are important values. Other examples are dependability, authenticity, stability, ambition, courage, harmony, honesty.

For whom is this event intended?

It is mainly meant for students, but if you just finished your studies you are welcome as well

How do you stay away from your laptop when you have to do everything digitally?

Most of the exercises we have prepared can be done offline, only the group meetings, coaching sessions  and some of the meditations/yoga will be online. If you have a printer you can make even more offline by printing out some of the inspiration pages or exercises, this is not a necessity though

What to expect that weekend?

The weekend is brought in to your home through a web page on which you can find all the exercises, inspiration  videos, contact the coaches and join in on the video calls. The program that will start saturday morning. There will be moments we will connect online, but there is also free time, to spent offline in the comfort of your home, to reflect en connect to yourself with a variation of exercises and activities we have prepared for you. You only need your home and a laptop or computer. If you want to get the full retreat experience you can buy some relaxation product you like, like candles, inces, your favorite tea or meals

We will start with a kickoff on saturday morning by a video call. There well a chance to meet each other, find out what brings us here and gain a little in depth knowledge on the art of life. After that the day will be filled with some value exercises that focus on the question: what is important to me? These you will do offline in the comfort of your own home. We encourage you to make it as peaceful as you can, drink some tea, take a little walk, go sit by the window, put on your favorite or some soothing music. Throughout the day there is a meal focused meditation, a chance for counselling, various options to be inspired by the philosophy, articles, poems and we have collected and are available to you on the website. There are options to fill your day with experiments, like digital detoxing, an art workshop, yoga etcetera.
At the end of the day we come together again by video call to talk about our experience throughout the day and inspire each other forward with our insights. in the evening there is an option to join in on an evening meditation.
The next day will take on a similar form, albeit being focussed more on how your values work through in your day to day life and how you can act upon them.