written by Raulla S. Mitchell
Are you a Lebenskunstler? It’s one of the most beautiful words I know, and no it has nothing to do with Oktoberfest. The first chill in the air, falling leaves, autumn storms, and a recurring desire to make my hibernation nest cozy and warm makes me want to get in touch with my inner lebenkunstler.
It’s too good a feeling to keep to myself, so I want to share this feeling with you. Maybe it’s time for you to discover YOUR inner lebenkunstler too?
Leben (life) and kunstler (artist) combine to make a yummy word that describes someone who makes an art of her everyday life. Now, who wouldn’t want to be a lebenkunstler?
Don’t worry if you’re not feeling it right now, or never thought of yourself as an artist. No one is born a lebenkunstler, and it’s not at all hard to become one.
We’re not talking about a visual (Picasso) or dramatic artist (Meryl Streep).
A lebenkunstler is more of a ritual artist, a decorative artist in the way she decorates her moments, hours and days, as well as the space in which she lives.
Elements of everyday life touched by creative rituals add love add meaning to our lives. As it becomes clear that colder weather has come to stay, our indoor environments, where we spend more of our time until spring (in Minnesota where I live and in other four season climates) send out a siren call to become the most inviting, genuine expressions of our unique selves.
What are some of the everyday little rituals that add meaning to your life? That make you feel excited to jump out of bed and start your day, or happy to slip between the covers of your winter duvet, read, binge watch Anthony Bourdain (may he RIP) eating strange foods in amazing countries you might never otherwise visit and experience (or maybe you’ve been there and relive the memories),…
Whatever you choose, remember, they don’t have to be monumental to be meaningful and memorable.
I feel my inner lebenkunstler smiling right now? How about you?
Every moment holds the potential to be a work of art, transformed by heartfelt thoughts and actions. Moments add up to a lifetime of elegance, beauty, grace and charm. It’s the moments we remember and cherish. Carried in our hearts, they settle in, expand and begin to define not only how we’ve choose to live, but who we choose to be.
- Our first cup of tea, coffee or hot lemon water in the morning. Make it your best one of the day. A few minutes to peacefully collect our thoughts and reflect on a plan for the day. Sit down, relax, sip slowly. Smell and taste the flavor and its warmth. I love my English Breakfast or Ceylon tea with cream (yes, I said cream not milk, and truth be told, even International Delight flavors absolutely delight me) every morning. From time to time, I’ll switch it up with hot lemon water, but I must say, I miss my tea, and will likely grab a cuppa later in the day, so why not start out the day the way I love too? Happy hearts make healthy hearts.
- The love with which we prepare simple healthy meals for ourselves and our families, and look forward to eating together, sharing our experiences, thoughts and feelings of the day. We like to play a game we call “What’s the best thing that happened to you today” at dinner. Keep it positive. When our daughter was very young, we liked to play the animal game “I’m thinking of an animal that starts with the letter ….” Extinct or living? Land, water, air? My daughter wins every time, with unusual bird varieties that I’m never really sure exist, but she insists they were on a science test. That’s another story. I’m not saying we eat dinner together every evening, you know, soccer, band,…can throw family meals to the winds, but we try to come to the table, even over a simple meal, and even when I feel like a short order cook.
- Food is meant to nourish body and soul. Take your time to enjoy your food with all your senses, breathe between bites for optimal digestion, pleasure and even weight maintenance. A perfectly nutritious and balanced meal is important, as is a simple meal shared with family and friends around a table where conversation flows and memories are made. I’m a fan of wine at dinner, just one glass helps to bring out the flavors of food, and inspires me to linger, aiding optimal digestion and happiness.
- We often hear about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. My husband bought several books about this diet when it first became the rage over here. I was thrilled at his new enthusiasm about healthy eating. Not wanting to put a crimp in his passion for delish Italian and Greek dishes (which he was willing to prepare), I felt obliged to explain that this diet goes beyond ingredients. Quality of ingredients bought from fresh local merchants each day is a very different thing than frozen, canned or even fresh vegetables purchased in a supermarket a week ago from a long distance (and if not certified organic, likely sprayed with potentially toxic chemicals). Eating alone in front of the television or laptop is not the same as eating with family, friends, and lively conversation. Sometimes we all find ourselves eating alone, and that’s okay, but it’s always lovely to join friends and family whenever possible. Community is an essential ingredient in healthy eating and digestion. Happy hearts = happy digestion. Meals consumed on the run are metabolized very differently from sit down meals of one hour or more. Relaxation is essential to the proper digestion and utilization of the nutrients real food offers to your body. Mediterranean recipes are only the start, albeit a very good start, in a much larger picture to explain the health benefits of this CUISINE and LIFESTYLE.
- A warm bath in a candlelit room. Hot herbal tea, sparkling water, or a glass of wine. I’m okay, well, more than okay (yes please) with hot chocolate too, the real dark chocolate-y kind. Wash away the cares of the day. Allow your thoughts to flow freely and uninterrupted. Connect with your heart and spirit. I find that any questions or issues earlier in the day unveil their answers creatively while I’m relaxing and soaking in the tub. No need to ask the questions or focus on them. The answers flow in with ease and simplicity. Like magic! Would the world be a happier more peaceful place if world leaders took long baths? Maybe. I think so. I used to think that if everyone from every nation could come together for an absolutely fab meal and chat over two or three hours, we’d have a chance at world peace. Now, I wonder if we all met in a huge spa or tub, maybe we’d have an even better chance. Vulnerability resonates and brings unexpected personalities together, and where is one more vulnerable than in a huge soaking tub? See….Get on the food and bathing train, two of my favorite things! If they lead to world peace, who wouldn’t love them even more!
- 20-30 minutes to relax in a bath, gently cleanse and exfoliate dead surface skin cells with a natural sugar scrub in an elegant fragrance to delight mood and senses.
- Moist from the bath, freshly exfoliated to reveal fresh new skin, lock in moisture and prevent dryness with luscious moisturizers – lotions, cremes, and/or body butters treat skin with deep hydration, keeping our skin its healthiest, most supple, smooth and radiantly young. Soft, healthy, and lightly fragranced skin is a luxury and pleasure we can all experience everyday. Feeling fab in our skin can make us feel fab in ourselves. Se sentir bien dans sa peau, why not? *For those of you who prefer fragrance-free products, we offer our soaps, lotions and body butters in Fragrance-Free Cherie! just for you.
- Sweep a solid perfume cube in a favorite fragrance over neck, decollete, and pulse points to calm, refresh, and make us feel fabulously alluring as we go through our day and prepare for sleep at night, luxuriously fragrant.
Our skincare rituals make our lives more peaceful, richer, and more meaningful. They communicate to ourselves and others that we deserve simple everyday luxuries. We do deserve them, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, cheries.
We’re here to help you se sentir bien dans sa peau, because feeling good in your skin is so much more than skin deep!