Hönshuset Creative Studio

Drømmer jeg? by Nelli Arnth

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Når jeg tænker tilbage på år 2018 fyldes jeg med varme og glæde. Den uendelig lange sommer med dens overflod af lune sommeraftner på terrassen. Solen der bagte mens jeg arbejde i haven med bare tæer og min store gravide mave. Duften af syrener og smagen af koldskål. Nogle gange måtte jeg næsten nive mig i armen for at være sikker på at jeg ikke drømte.

Det var vores 3. havesæson på gården og det blev virkelig året hvor vi nød køkkenhavens overflod. Hvor vi mæskede os i solmodne tomater fra drivhuset og spandevis af ribs og stikkelbær. Vi juicede gulerødder, rødbeder og kål. Vi lavede flødeis af havens bær og nød skyggen i hængekøjen under den gamle bøg. Sensommeren bød på den vildeste æblehøst hvor vi kørte rundt i nabolaget og plukkede æbler til armene blev tunge. Vi fyldte fryseren med most og lavede mos til lille Edith.

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Det blev året hvor jeg begyndte at træffe mere bæredygtige valg. Alt hvad vi købte til Edith var brugt. Vi satte forbruget ned. Ikke af økonomiske årsager. Men fordi forbruget ikke længere gav mening. Det gjorde os ikke lykkeligere at have flere ting og det gavnede i særdeleshed ikke vores jord sådan at drive rovdrift på dens ressourcer.

Nej, det der gjorde os høje var at spise kartoffelmadder til frokost. Med nyopgravede kartofler og med hjemmedyrkede radiser og purløg. Balder lå om benene på os og jeg mærkede Edith sparke i maven. Man blev et øjeblik bange for om livet nu egentlig peakede lige der i de gamle havemøbler.

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I en hel uge sov vi ude under stjernehimlen og fulgte blodmånen der vandrede henover himlen. Vi badede i Vesterhavet og vi grillede hjemmelavede vildtpølser i selskab med gode venner og familie.

Det hele var så intenst og lyst og levende. Jeg følte mig høj af livet.

Det har i særdeleshed været et år omgivet af liv. Lige fra de spirende frø i haven til Ediths fødsel og første måneder.

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Selvfølgelig indebar året også halsbrand og hævede fødder. Bekymringer over det nye liv som forældre og ømme brystvorter, men den del fylder så uendelig lidt i min hukommelse.

Nu glæder jeg mig til at se hvad 2019 bringer. Jeg håber og tror på at det bliver meningsfyldt. Det samme håber på jeg at året bliver for dig.

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Inspiration til en mere bæredygtig livsstil by Nelli Arnth

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Det der med bæredygtighed er kompliceret...

Og så er den letteste løsning ofte at lade være med at gøre noget. At kaste håndklædet i ringen og fastslå at det alligevel ikke hjælper noget.

Jeg tror dog på, at vi bliver nødt til at gøre noget. Jeg tror på at vi bliver nødt til at gentænke en masse processer og systemer i vores samfund for at kunne leve i harmoni med os selv, vores medmennesker/dyr og vores smukke planet. Jeg tror på at vi, der er så priviligerede at bo i et land som Danmark, er forpligtet til at skrue ned for vores forbrugsfest og have en mere ydmyg tilgang til hvor vores mad, tøj, møbler mv. kommer fra.

Jeg håber at vi kommer til at se et paradigmeskift ift. hvordan vi driver forretning. Et fokus væk fra en ensidig stræben efter økonomisk vækst over mod forretningsmodeller med plads til diversitet, bæredygtige tanker og social ansvarlighed.

Jeg fik lyst til at dele 5 ting der inspirerer mig til en mere bæredygtig livsstil for tiden. De kommer her:

5 TED Talks om bæredygtighed

Start med at tjekke disse 5 TED talks ud som Sustain Daily har samlet. De giver virkelig stof til eftertanke...

Følg linket her

Følg NeoHippie

Jeg har fulgt Calina på Instagram et godt stykke tid efterhånden. Hendes updates får mig til at gruble over hvordan vi har strikket vores samfund sammen. Hun bryder med mange normer og baner vejen for en anden type livsstil (som selvfølgelig ikke er for alle). Hun gør op med det materialle fokus og hun inspirerer mig til at tænke anderledes. Ja, og så har hun lige udgivet en bog om bæredygtig livsstil.

Sustain Daily

Sustain Daily er mange ting. Det er blandt andet et online univers med inspiration og information om bæredygtig livsstil. Men det er også et trykt årligt magasinen podcast og en flok Influencers der blogger om forskellige aspekter af bæredygtighed (hvor jeg er iblandt). Der er en dygtig redaktion bag Sustain Daily, der bidrager med gennemarbejdede artikler. Men pas på, man bliver let opslugt og kan bruge flere timer på at fordybe sig i deres univers ;)

Bleschu

Bleschu er en webshop med bæredygtige husholdningsprodukter til hverdagen. Mange af deres produkter kan indgå i naturens egen cyklus efter brug og de læner sig op af de strengeste certificeringer der findes i verden. De tilbyder abonnementsløsninger hvor man får tilsendt bæredygtig toiletpapir, opvaskebørster, opvaskemiddel, affaldsposer, tandbørster, fryseposer mv. Hvis man har problemer med at finde på hvad der skal stå på ønskesedlen i år er der mange fine produkter at finde her. Jeg ønskede mig disse produkter til min fødselsdag 1 2 3 4 5 6.

Følg linket her

BetterBox

Jeg elsker når posten kommer med pakker til mig og jeg elsker snacks – specielt de sunde af slagsen. Derfor er jeg ret meget oppe at køre over Betterbox som er boxe med økologiske treats og superfoods leveret til din dør en gang i måned. Du vælger selv hvilket abonnement/tema du ønsker og så kører det helt automatisk. Det er som en lille pakke af selvkærlighed der står klar på din trappe når du kommer hjem. Alle produkterne er økologiske og forsvarligt producerede. De indeholder ingen farve- og tilsætningsstoffer. Der findes også glutenfri og veganske boxe. 

Jeg har indtil videre spist mig igennem deres BetterBox X Sustain Daily box og glæder mig allerede til at få den næste!

Fleksibilitet, kreativitet og vadehavsnatur by Nelli Arnth

AF LADIES FIRST IVÆRKSÆTTERI, PORTRÆT 25. OKTOBER 2016 https://ladiesfirst.dk/fleksibilitet-kreativitet-vadehavsnatur/

Nelli sagde sit job op på et mediebureau i Aarhus, og bor idag på en gård i det mørke Vestjylland – herfra driver hun sin grafiske virksomhed Hönshuset Creative Studio, og når hun trænger til at mødes med ligesindede, så er hun med i netværksforløbet for selvstændige hos Ladies First i Aarhus. Hun bruger en del af sin tid sammen med sin kat, uden for sin comfort zone, og så har hun droppet sit vækkeur. Her kan du læse lidt mere om Nellis tanker om karriere og netværk og om udfordringen i at tro på på at man er god nok til det man laver.

Navn: Nelli Arnth Andersen
Nuværende beskæftigelse: Selvstændig grafisk designer og digital konceptudvikler i virksomheden Hönshuset
Alder: 26 år
Uddannelsesbaggrund: Multimediedesigner og digital konceptudvikler

Hvordan er du endt der, hvor du står i dag i dit arbejdsliv?
For præcis et år siden sad jeg i et godt job på et mediebureau i Aarhus. Jeg boede i Viby med min mand, og var ved at tage tilløb til at banke på chefens dør for at smide det hele på gulvet og sige mit job op.

For drømmen om at blive selvstændig og flytte på landet voksede. Jeg ønskede brændende at prøve et helt anderledes liv af, hvor fleksibilitet, kreativitet og den smukke flade vadehavsnatur var hovedingredienserne. Hvor jeg ikke arbejdede for en andens drøm, men hvor jeg hver morgen stod op og arbejdede for min egen!

Så her sidder jeg. Et år er gået og jeg har købt mig en gård i Vestjylland, blevet selvstændig og lært hvordan man dyrker og sylter egne grønsager. Jeg bruger ikke noget vækkeur – og jeg elsker det!

 

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Hvornår har du sidst gjort noget, der var uden for din ”comfort zone”? Det gør jeg faktisk ret ofte. Den dér følelse af at maven snører sig sammen, når den udfordring jeg står overfor rækker ud over min comfort zone, og jeg igen tvinger mig ud i noget der er nyt og grænseoverskridende.

Jeg har måtte tillære mig en del nye færdigheder i mit nye liv som selvstændig, hvor man skal have mange ”hatte” på for at kunne overleve. Det har betydet at jeg måtte udvikle nye sider af mig selv for at kunne klare opgaven. Det er en virkelig spændende proces.

Jeg har en 30-gange-regel som handler om, at jeg skal prøve de skræmmende ting af 30 gange. Hvis jeg stadig tisser i bukserne over det derefter, så er det okay at købe sig til hjælp eller sige nej til opgaven.

Hvad betyder hhv. netværk og karriere for dig?
Netværk betyder alt. Mit lille studio ville allerede være lukket igen hvis ikke det var for mit netværk. De har været vildt søde til at sprede budskabet og hjælpe mig i gang. Det gør mig varm om hjertet, at jeg har sådanne mennesker i mit liv.

De mennesker jeg har mødt i iværksættermiljøet har også været noget af en øjenåbner for mig. Den der gejst – den der passion i deres øjne og den der vilje til at arbejde røven ud af bukserne for deres drøm. Det er vildt inspirerende. Den samme gejst og brændende passion har jeg kun set mage i backpackermiljøer, når man møder folk på deres livs eventyr.

Ordet karriere har til gengæld aldrig rigtig vakt noget særligt i mig. Det tænder mig ikke at høre om jobs, karriere og lange titler. Det der tæller er om jeg kan mærke at folk virkelig brænder for det de laver.

Hvad er den største udfordring du har mødt i din karriere indtil nu? At tro på at man er god nok til det man laver.

Hvad er definitionen på succes for dig lige nu? 
At leve et glad liv med masser af frihed og kreativitet. Et liv, hvor fritidsinteresser og arbejdsliv flyder sammen til et samlet meningsfyldt liv. Med tingene i balance, så man bare har lyst til at springe ud af sengen om morgenen for at komme i gang med dagens opgaver.

Jeg ved, at hvis jeg har det sådan, så kan jeg arbejde i timevis mens ideerne buldrer frem. Så det er i sidste ende også det der giver de bedste tal på bundlinjen.
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Hvilken beskrivelse af dig selv, er du allergladest for at have hørt fra andre?
At jeg handler på mine ideer og drømme. Det er ikke så lang tid siden at et par veninder roste mig for, at der sjældent var længe imellem at jeg fik en ide, til jeg handlede på den. Det blev jeg glad for, for det er en egenskab jeg selv har beundret hos andre.

 

Nytårstanker om mit 2017 by Nelli Arnth

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Sidste år skrev jeg dette blogindlæg hvor jeg kiggede tilbage på mit første år som selvstændig. I dag har jeg været selvstændig (på fuldtid) i to år og det er derfor oplagt at bruge de første dage af det nye år på at evaluere og kigge tilbage. Hvad gav 2017 mig? Hvilke udfordringer oplevede jeg? Hvad lærte jeg?

2016 var mit første år som selvstændig. I dette første år red jeg på en bølge at (tids)optimisme, overskud og et boost af lykke. Jeg havde drømt om at blive selvstændig i flere år. Ja, måske endda hele mit liv. Og følelsen af endelig at kunne ryste hamsterhjulet og 8-16-jobbet af mig var fantastisk. Det gav mig en energi som jeg følte mig høj på det meste af året.

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Rutiner og struktur (Zzzzz)

2017 var året hvor jeg begyndte at få rutine i livet som selvstændig. Jeg accepterede (da jeg begyndte at få mere og mere travlt) at jeg havde brug for struktur i min hverdag. At jeg havde brug for et system det gjorde det muligt for mig at "tænde og slukke" for mit arbejdsliv. Mine dage flød ofte sammen og jeg kunne pludselig have brugt en hel dag foran computeren, hvilket aldrig var min hensigt. Men simpelthen skete fordi jeg var så optaget af mit arbejde og samtidig ikke vidste hvornår jeg kunne/måtte holde fri.

Jeg arbejder det meste af tiden hjemmefra gården. Jeg har indrettet vores loft til kontor. Det er gammelt (som resten af gården), men hyggeligt. Jeg har investeret i en brændeovn, hæve-sænkebord og en virkelig god kontorstol. Fra mit skivebord har jeg en skøn udsigt udover marker og græssende højlandskvæg. 

Det fungerer alt sammen godt, men det kan være svært at holde rigtig fri med hjem og kontor i ét. Og med rigtig fri mener jeg fritid uden dårlig samvittighed. For jeg fandt ret hurtigt ud af, at man altid kan blive ved med at arbejde. Der er altid noget at gå i gang med. Og selvom man knokler derudaf og får "ryddet skrivebordet", clearet alle to-do's og klaret mailboksen, ja så kan man starte forfra dagen efter... Så den evige jagt efter at blive "færdig" har jeg droppet. Jeg har lært at ligge opgaven fra mig, skrive ned hvor jeg kom til og tage den op igen dagen efter.

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2017 var også året hvor jeg begyndte at tracke min tid. Jeg bruger Timeular. Jeg har før prøvet en del forskellige digitale tracking-værktøjer, men ingen har virket for mig. Timeular er visuelt og simpelt. Det fungerer.

Og med tidstracking kommer sandhederne på bordet. Pludselig kan man tegne stregerne tydeligt op. Jeg fik øjnene op for hvor meget tid jeg brugte på områder som jeg ikke tjener penge på (i hvert fald ikke ret mange). Fx var de største tidsslugere undervisning i yoga og grafisk design. For oveni undervisningen kommer kørsel frem og tilbage samt minimum 10-15 minutter både før og efter timen til at gøre klar, rydde op, tale med elever osv. (tid jeg ikke får løn for). Men også områder som foredrag, kurser, frivilligt arbejde og netværksarrangementer var store tidsrøvere.

Disse områder arbejder jeg hårdt på at få en balance i. Således at de stadig er en del af min virksomhed, men uden at fylde helt så meget. 

Jeg tror ikke jeg har været "klar" til at tidstracke før nu. Alting til sin tid. Men jeg er ovenud lykkelig for at jeg kom i gang og fik en rutine i det. Nu har jeg pludselig et overblik over hvor mange timer jeg arbejder og hvordan jeg fordeler min tid mest hensigtsmæssigt. 

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2017 blev det sidste år hvor jeg (stort set) klarede regnskabet selv. Jeg har hele tiden været planen at jeg skulle outsource den del efter 2 år. De er gået nu og jeg har lavet en aftale med Dansk Revision som skal hjælpe mig fremover. En god beslutning der skabte ro i bekymringstankemyldret næsten med det samme.

En sidste struktur-mæssig ting jeg har opnået i år er at lave mit eget projektstyringsværktøj. Det er stadig primitivt og fungerer på to whiteboards. Men det virker. Jeg prioriterer alle mine to-do's og smider dem ind i min ugekalender. Simpelt. Det skaber overblik og det er tydeligt for mig, at når jeg streger den sidste to-do ud, så kan jeg holde fri for i dag. Hvis min dag pludselig vælter grundet noget uforudset, ja så må jeg fordele opgaverne på ny.

Disse tiltag har hjulpet mig til at komme tilbage på sporet ift. min vision om ikke have have travlt. 2017 har været et travlt år med mange nye kunder og nye opgaver. Jeg insisterer på at jeg ikke vil leve et travlt liv og jeg har nu indset, at det kræver nogle faste rammer for mig at kunne udleve. Jeg føler mig klar til at indtage det nye år, med samme holdning og samme gode rutiner.

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Embrace the journey

Jeg nyder virkelig den rejse jeg er på. Jeg føler at jeg lærer noget hele tiden. Den udvikling der er sket på de sidste to år, har været for sindssyg. Det ville et fuldtidsjob aldrig have kunnet give mig... Jeg kan pege på mange områder jeg kan optimere, udforske og/eller gøre bedre. Men jeg hviler i, at det hele ikke skal ske på én gang. Hver ting til sin tid. 

Jeg er bange for at mange selvstændige og iværksættere knokler så hårdt, at de glemmer at se hvilket lærerig og givende rejse de er på. Generelt tror jeg ikke på at vi får særlig meget ud af livet, når vi knokler derudad. Det handler i bund og grund om proces- og destinationsmål. For mig har energien altid ligget i procesmålene. Jeg ønsker at skabe en hverdag med glæde, kreativitet og en krop der er i balance. Og så kan det stort set være ligemeget hvor jeg ender.

Hverdagen er i fokus. Og muligheden for at gribe dagen med den energi og de muligheder der er i den. At leve bevidst og nærværende. At få øje på at de små ting i livet i virkeligheden er de største.

Jeg glæder mig til at se hvad 2018 byder mig. Da jeg startede Hönshuset, kan jeg huske at få fortalt at hele 90% af de CVR numre der bliver oprettet i Danmark, lukker ned indenfor 3 år. Jeg synes stadig det lyder helt vildt. Men det gav mig et delmål og en lyst til at komme godt på den anden side af de 3 år. Nu går jeg så ind i det sidste af de tre år. Og der er absolut intet der tyder på at det ikke skulle blive endnu et forrygende år!

Godt nytår derude!

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Creativity, Yin Yoga and Becoming a Drone Pilot by Nelli Arnth

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(For Danish version – Scroll down)

One of the things I love about running my own company is being able to develop and educate myself. Being able to try out new directions. I don’t have a long-term business plan for my company. I like the flexibility and uncertainty. Perhaps it will change over time. But right now, I really feel that I am in a good place.

November came with a lot of new knowledge!

I started out the month attending Creativity World Forum (read more about it here). It gave me a great boost of motivation and inspiration.

Then I participated in a 50-hour Yin Yoga instructor education at Yoga Collective in Aarhus. How great it was doing Yin Yoga with my favourite instructors again. Digging deeper into the theory behind Yin Yoga and learning more about our nervous system (especially the parasympathetic nervous system) and connective tissue.

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Finally, November was the month I became a certified Drone Pilot. It required a 3-day education at Drone Solutions. Well, it was a bit technical and I had to focus. But I passed the exam with a good result. So now I can finally start flying professionally with my Mavic Pro.

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I am often asked if I’m not tired of all the driving to bigger cities to attend events, courses and so on. But I’m not. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the countryside and driving a car has always been a natural thing for me.

What matters most is having nature and tranquility just outside my door. Even though it means that I must spend some time in my car every now and then.

I always make a good cup of coffee to bring along and listen to podcasts or audio books when driving. Right now, I am listening to “The Thorn Birds”. I know. So 80s. But I guess that’s just a book every woman has to read/hear at some point of her live ;)

So, this morning when I drove towards Vejle in clear frosty weather with that kind of sunrise that paints the whole sky red. And with the love story of Meggie and Pastor Ralph de Bricassart in my ears. I sipped my coffee and thought about how good life is.

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Kreativitet, Yin Yoga og Dronebevis

Én af de ting jeg holder særligt af ved at være selvstændig, er at kunne udvikle og uddanne mig. At kunne afprøve nye retninger. Jeg har ingen klart definerede langsigtede planer (udover at være glad og passioneret). For jeg kan lide fleksibiliteten og ”uvisheden”. Jeg kan lide tanken om at det er mig og min mavefornemmelse der har styringen over min virksomhed. Måske jeg ændrer mening en dag og begynder at arbejde mere langsigtet. Men lige nu føler jeg, at jeg er et ret godt sted.

November måned har i den grad budt på ny viden.

Jeg startede måneden ud med at deltage i Creativity World Forum (som I kan læse lidt om her). Det var det vildeste boost af kreativitet og nye ideer jeg længe har fået.

Så har jeg deltaget i en 50 timers Yin Yoga instruktør uddannelse hos Yoga Collective. Skønt igen at dyrke en masse Yin Yoga og lære meget mere om vores nervesystem og bindevæv.

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Og sidst men ikke mindst er jeg blevet dronepilot. Det krævede et 3-dags kursus hos Drone Solutions. Det var lidt teknisk og jeg måtte holde tungen lige i munden. Men jeg afsluttede eksamenen med et godt resultat. Så nu kan jeg for alvor komme i gang med at flyve min Mavic Pro.

Jeg bliver ofte spurgt om jeg ikke er træt af altid at skulle køre efter arrangementer, kurser og lign. At skulle køre 2 timer til Aarhus eller godt 3 timer til København. Men det gør mig egentlig ikke noget. Måske er det fordi jeg er opvokset på landet og det at køre i bil altid har været en ret naturlig ting for mig.

For jeg foretrækker at have naturen og roen udenfor min dør. Og så må jeg tage køreturen til byerne når jeg har brug for eller lyst til det. Jeg laver altid en god kop kaffe til at tage med og lytter til podcasts eller lydbøger på turen. Lige pt. er jeg i gang med Tornfuglene. Rimelig 80er. I know. Men er det ikke bare en historie enhver kvinde skal læse/høre på et tidspunkt i livet? ;)

Så i morges da jeg kørte afsted mod Vejle i klar frostvejr med den type solopgang der maler hele himlen rød. Og med kærlighedshistorien om Meggie og præsten Ralph de Bricassart i ørene. Ja, så sipper jeg til kaffen og tænker at livet er ganske godt…

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Creativity World Forum 2017 by Nelli Arnth

Just returned to a good friend's apartment after attending Creativity World Forum here in Aarhus. While drinking tea and wearing comfortable clothes, I kinda try to digest what I've learned these last two days.

First of all, I must say that the conference exceeded my expectations. There was something about the vibe, the people and the whole set-up that made it really satisfied to be part of. 

The program consisted of free breakfast (always a winner), keynote talks and breakout sessions. Among the keynote speakers were:

  • Stefan Sagmeister talking about why beauty matter. He was pretty much the reason why I bought the ticket in the first place.
  • Steve Vranakis (Google) that made me cry talking about the refugee crisis and how we all are (or can be) creative activists. That talk was pretty amazing.
  • Tom Kelley teaching us to use empathy and storytelling in the design thinking process
  • Indy Johar on how to rethink society and democracy through creativity
  • Jan Gehl on how to design today's cities
  • SNASK being awesome as always

I attended two breakout sessions. One at DesignIt learning about design thinking and one with Innovation Lab about artificial Intelligence.

I really recommend you to go check out some of the names. Most of these people have done TED talks or something similar. They were all really inspiring.

My head is completely bombed. All of this new inspiration, ideas and people I met is almost too much to accommodate. I guess it will take some weeks before my brain grab hold of it all. 

From there it will take months before I know what ideas and what inspiration I can actually implement into my own company. 

Now I will enjoy my tea and finish off the notes in my notebook. After that I will go to bed early. Because tomorrow starts another adventure. I am doing a 50 hour Yin Yoga education at Yoga Collective starting tomorrow at 10 am  <3

Too busy by Nelli Arnth

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The last month has been a bit heavy/busy. That’s why I haven’t posted much on social media or the blog. I don’t have a SoMe strategy that dictates a certain number of posts each week. It simply doesn’t work for me. I post whenever I feel like it. I don’t like using the word authentic on Instagram. But I guess that’s what I try to achieve. Keeping my profiles as authentic as possible.

First, I want to state that I don’t like being busy. I never aimed for a busy life

But since August so many new and exciting projects and clients occurred. My extremely primitive “project management system” broke down and it left me with total lack of overview and with the feeling of running behind. I feel this kind of tension in my stomach immediately and knew that I had to act on this.

So, I started using a whole new way of managing my clients and assignments. I rate all my tasks after how urgent they are and how important they are. Very simple, but really helpful!
Then I take the most urgent and important tasks and put them into a simple weekly schedule.
I did a couple of other big changes too. But that’s not my point here. The point is what a crazy and educational journey it is being self-employed. It’s only been 1,5 years since I started and I feel that I’m constantly entering new phases in the process. Learning and growing in a pace I didn’t know I was capable of 🙌

Hunting in the muddy meadow by Nelli Arnth

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Went for an afternoon hunt with Søren and the puppy in the Wadden Sea National Park just 3 km from our home.

The air was warm but crisp. The sunset was painting everything golden and the lanscape became more and more hazy.

The brown and yellow autumn colors and the two of us silently walking around in the muddy meadow. Only interrupted by the puppy running around energetic. The birds above us and a hare running away close by.

It is that kind of Sunday afternoon that reminds me how little money and materialism matter 🍂

September Mornings by Nelli Arnth

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Normally I start my working day around 8-9 am.

It depends of course on what time I went to bed. I have no alarm clock and many of you have asked me, if I'm not afraid to sleep all morning away. But that's never a problem. I just sleep until I wake up and that normally happens around 8 am.

The loft were I worked is chilled in the morning in this cold September weather so I put on a warm sweater, light up the wood stove, make my self some coffee or tea and work on my to-do list ☕️

Well there is something very special about autumn 🍁 

Creativity World Forum 2017 by Nelli Arnth

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I have bought a ticket to Creativity World Forum in Aarhus this November 👌

It is a two-day event with speakers like Steve Vranakis, Tom Kelley, Jan Gejl, the guys behind SNASK, Indy Johar – and Stefan Sagmeister. Years back I heard Sagmeister speak in Copenhagen and I got a bit starstrucked ☺️ He is such an inspiration to me and he has been that for years.

If you don't know him you should check out his TED talks. Go see the one called "the power of time off" 🙌

Anyway, I'm super excited about participating in this event. If anyone is interested – buy a ticket and come join me 🙌

Slowing down and being grateful by Nelli Arnth

Some thoughts about living a slower live. About being grateful and to be in the search for stillness and depth.

Well, we live in a high-speed society. Some have even named it The Accelerating Society. Productivity is celebrated by many. And while we strive to stuff as many things as possible into our lives it leaves a great amount of people unhappy and with the feeling of running behind on too many parameters of life. In the western world, we have so many opportunities. For me, I ended up running around blindfolded trying to catch all the opportunities. FOMO. Indeed.

Also, our online presence escalates. The Internet and social media offer new fantastic ways to interact and communicate. While I love this world – this online universe (and also made a career out of it) I fear it too. We spend so much time looking at a screen that real presence becomes something rare.

After living years trying to catch up with all the opportunities life gave me, I finally gave up. I felt that life was rushing by – way too fast. And it occurred to me how much I missed stillness and depth. I secretly wanted to let go of all the possibilities and start living a slower life. A life where I wasn't measured by my productivity and how efficient I was. But instead by what kind of person I was. How I cared about and treated others and stuff like that.

I remember one day sitting at my desk at my full-time job and dreaming about going on a train ride for weeks. So that I could just sit still. Sitting on a train seat looking out the window and really just letting time stand still. I even considered to travel to Moskva, Russia to take the Trans-Siberian railway. Then it hit me how stupid it was. I wanted a slower life and my idea of getting that, was to work really hard for maybe a year so I could earn enough money to take 3 weeks’ vacation and travel 2.000 kilometers away. All so I could sit still...

Problem was that I would return to my normal life after these 3 weeks and it would all be the same. It was a stupid and short-termed solution.

I thought about it for a year. Talked a lot with my husband, friends and family. And in the end, it led me to quitting my full-time job. We moved out of the city and into an old farm house near the Danish West Coast. In the same area where I grew up and in the very same house where my grandparents and great-grandparents had lived.

I started my own small creative studio. And we decided to step out of the hamster wheel and quit this high-speed society. I was fed up. I promised myself that I wouldn't keep telling friends and family that I was SO busy all the time. If you are too busy to see the people you care the most about, are your priorities right then?

So, I stopped filling my calendar with appointments. I wanted time for slow mornings with good coffee. Time to run around barefoot nursing the vegetable garden, enjoying the feeling of warm soil between my toes. And time to lay in the hammock on a sunny day enjoying a good novel.

I focus on being grateful. I am very aware of how lucky I am in life:

  • That the people I love are healthy and healthy
  • That I have a cozy home where I can take a varm shower and lay in a soft bed
  • That I live in a democratic society with a strong social safety net
  • That every day I combine my passion with my working life
  • That I am surrounded by a lovely garden and some raw and stunning nature
  • That I am part of a strong local community
  • That I have no alarm clock and just wake up whenever I feel rested
  • That I have enough money to buy healthy food and even travel to new countries now and then

These are truths I tell myself every day. And I encourage the people around me to make their own list of things they are grateful for.

Oh, this is getting long already... I will end it with this statement:

Live happens here and now. 


So why spend your time rushing through life? Waiting for summer? Or weekend? Or
Why not slow down and enjoy the ride on this amazing planet.

Sit down.
Close your eyes.
Breathe.

 

 

The credit for these amazing images: Camilla Jørvad – a great source of inspiration for me.Go check out her site. And don't forget to read her journal.

Like a bee in a flower bed... by Nelli Arnth

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Like a bee in a flower bed, the human brain naturally flits from one thought to the next. In the high-speed workplace, where data and headlines come thick and fast, we are all under pressure to think quickly. Reaction, rather than reflection, is the order of the day. To make the most of our time, and to avoid boredom, we fill up every spare moment with mental stimulation…Keeping the mind active makes poor use of our most precious resource. True, the brain can work wonders in high gear. But it will do so much more if given the chance to slow down from time to time. Shifting the mind into lower gear can bring better health, inner calm, enhanced concentration and the ability to think more creatively.

– Quote by Carl Honoré, In Praise of Slowness.

My First Blog Post by Nelli Arnth

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Flashback to my first blog post written exactly 2 years ago (in Danish sorry):

Nå. Nu har jeg så oprettet en blog.

Det har jeg fordi, at jeg er nået til et sted i mit liv, hvor jeg er stoppet op for at tænke lidt over hvad det er jeg løber efter - og hvem jeg gør det for?

Hvis jeg skræller lagene af, og forestiller mig hvem jeg egentlig er når ingen andre kigger. Når jeg ikke skal måle mig med andre. Når jeg ikke skal lade som om. Hvad gør mig så glad - sådan dybt dybt ind i hjertet glad? For det er vel det vigtigste. Altså at fylde livet med den slags glæde?

Jeg er bange for et liv med store lån og højglanskøkken. Et liv der gør mig lænket til mit 37-timers job, hvor jeg ligger størstedelen af min energi i at arbejde for en andens drøm. Hvor jeg har sat mig så hårdt i det økonomisk, at der ikke længere er mulighed for at gå ned i tid, læse videre eller springe ud i det som selvstændig.

Et liv hvor jeg i det skjulte allerede er begyndt at glæde mig til, at jeg er færdig på arbejdsmarkedet.

Et liv hvor fredag eftermiddag er forbundet med 60 timers begrænset frihed til at lave de ting jeg brænder for. Men hvor det til gengæld er svært at komme op mandag morgen, fordi tanken om min hverdag (det der fylder mest i vores liv) giver mig lyst til at gemme mig under dynen.

Derfor har jeg taget en række ret store og angstprovokerende beslutninger, som kommer til at vende op og ned på mit liv.
 

Bloggen her bliver min dagbog i processen mod et mere simpelt liv fyldt med de ting som virkelig betyder noget. "Refuse to be that person that, like so many others is still driving down the same road, years down the line, mournfully longing to go back in time to be given just one more chance to take the road that they know they should have taken because they dismissed all possible, extraordinary signs. It'll never get easier to make the leap and this is your chance; so make the change. Take the road now."

– V. Erickson

Taking care of yourself while running a business by Nelli Arnth

I talked to a friend of mine last week who is also self-employed. Like me, she has no employees. So everything depends on her. She told me that she had been sick on-off for a month now. But she didn't feel that it was okay to let the customers down and tell them she had some days off. So she kept on working and feeling sick. This is something I hear a bit too much. 

Also I red this book about dangerous management (Livsfarlig Ledelse af Christian Ørsted). It is from 2013, so maybe some things have changed since. Even though I am afraid it have not. It had some crazy facts to be told. The most scary one was that it stated that WHO predicts stress to be the greatest threat to the public health of the western world. Furthermore WHO predicted that in 7 years 50% of all deaths will be "stress related" in some way. I mean wtf!

Also the book informed that Danes are some of the most loyal employees in the world. It makes us go to work even when we are sick. We do that, the book says, according to a great sense of community and the fear of letting our colleagues down. When we swallow pain killers and keep on going to work without listening to our bodies, it obviously makes the risk of infecting your co-workers much higher and in that way we keep on infecting each other. 

I did the same thing when I had a full-time job. I wanted to show everyone that I would go really far for this company. Therefore I went to work when I was sick.

It is stupid of course.

 

It got me thinking about how I take care of myself, while running my business.

For me the key word is balance. I definitely want to go really far for my customers. But I also want to be running my own business in 5 or 10 years.

I see so many newly started entrepreneurs that burn out, simply because they work too hard and totally shut down the connection to their body. In many entrepreneur communities it is idolized to work your ass of. Having no sleep, drinking 40 cups of coffee and working 70 hours a week. I am no judge, people can do whatever the fuck they want. 

But one thing is clear. Everyone can become sick of stress.

Too often I hear people with stress saying "I'm shocked, I thought this could never happen to me". As if they were a stronger species and stess only happens to the "weak" ones...

So in the end, "working your ass off" and ignoring your body can be the reason why you have to let go of your entrepreneurial dream. What a shame.

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When I feel the first signs of sickness I postphone appointments and make sure that my calendar is not overbooked (I try to never overbook it). I pamper myself a bit. Maybe I work from the cough with a warm blanket. If I get tired I take a nap. I drink a lot of tea. I listen to my body and I only take painkillers if it is absolutely necessary. I try not to think of the sickness as a bad thing. But more like a opportunity to take good care of myself. It's a way of showing myself that I respect myself. 

Of course sometimes there is a deadline that I have to meet. But most of my assignments can be postponed and my clients always understands this. They just tell me to get well soon.

If I should experience clients that dosen't give a fuck about me being sick, but just want their shit to be done, I would ask them kindly to find another graphic designer to work with. I only want to work with clients that are human and in a customer relationship that foster compassion. If that is not possible, I will go back to cleaning houses for a living. 

Nameste <3

Yoga + Hönshuset by Nelli Arnth

I started doing yoga 5 years ago. In the beginning, I found it hard. Especially getting hold on all the thoughts in my head. I couldn't just "be with what is" like my yoga teacher was encouraging me to do. My mind kept going in. Standing in warrior pose thinking about how I should handle a certain task at work or what to eat for dinner. When we did Savasana (the relaxation part in the end of a yoga class) my mind fled and I was all over the place - certainly not on my yoga mat.

But through years of practicing it became better and better. My flexibility, my balance and mind slowly started working together. All of a sudden I felt like I could turn on and off my yoga mode. That when I rolled out my yoga mat on the floor, it became easier to cope with my thoughts and be aware of my body. To be with what is. 

I became very happy with yoga. Not only the fact that you were drinking delicious herbal tea before starting the class - or the fact that you had to bring a soft blanket and comfortable clothes for your practice (which is totally my style ;). No, I was happy about doing yoga because of the way it made me feel. It became my breathing space. It was unlike any kind of exercise I had tried before. 

And it felt good. Really good.

It is hard to explain. If you are a yogi too, I guess you know what I mean.

After I started my company last year I kept playing around with the idea that yoga could somehow be part of Hönshuset. Becoming a yoga teacher and maybe selling yoga related products. 

I was afraid though that it could ruin my own practice to shift the focus. But I was so drawn to this world of yoga. Eager to learn more. To dig in deeper.

So last in September 2016, I started a 60-hour yoga teacher program which I finished last weekend. So I am now a fucking yoga teacher!

Also, I started trying out different yoga forms. From Acro yoga to Jivamukti yoga. And from Arial yoga to Yin yoga. It was exciting. And all of a sudden I had made agreements with a suppliers and started selling yoga hammocks, natural scented candles and cork blocks. Now I communicate with suppliers of yoga mats and yoga clothes. 

I can't wait to see where this journey is taking me. 

New York City by Nelli Arnth

Been enjoying 10 amazing days in New York City with my best friend. No other city inspire me as much as New York. The creative vibe is overwhelming. 

Sometimes New York feels like another home to me. But it gets me every time I come back to Denmark and drive towards the west coast - that this, without doubt, is where I belong. While I was gone the eggs hatched and now we have 10 small chickens. They are absolutely adorable 🐣 

B u d a p e s t by Nelli Arnth

Travelling is one of my greatest sources of inspiration. Getting out of office and breathing in new air is always a good idea. Today I returned from Budapest. The city fully lived up to my expectations. It was an inspiring and romantic trip walking around the Hungarian streets with big coats and a coffee to-go. Especially the ruin bars and thermal baths impressed me. 

Also theres quite nothing like eating brunch for two hours at a local jazz cafe.

My entrepreneurial journey by Nelli Arnth

One year has past since I started my life as a full-time entrepreneur. The word entrepreneur sounds really business-like to me. And for sure I have learned a lot about running a business. The first year everything is new and it takes so many hours of researching trying to understand how to do accounting, bookkeeping, invoicing, tax and VAT and so on. 

But what strikes me the most when I look back, is how much I have learned about myself. Being my own boss comes with great responsibility. Having a job you can always blame your boss, the management or the board if you are not satisfied with your work life. 

I have only myself to blame if I am not living my life exactly how I want to. It always come back to myself and if I fuck this up, I know that I have to go back to the 9-5 job which I really didn't fit into.

So I take my role of being my own boss really seriously. I know that now I have the opportunity to really live my dream. To fill my live with the things that makes me happy and to be surrounded by positive people that I love. 

I have learned how to listen to my body. Using my gut feeling and intuition as a compass for where I am going and who I am going with. It certainly sounds like a cliché, but I dosen't really give a fuck about what it sounds like. I have never felt better and more in sync with my mind and heart and that is really awesome.

I don't glorify being busy anymore. I mean - good for you if you manage to complete 300 tasks a day and if that makes you happy on the long term. But its not for me. I get 8 hours a sleep every night and I don't use an alarm clock. I strive to have at least 2-3 days a week without meetings or appointments and I try not to be so hard on myself. I forgive myself when I have days where I didn't do what I was supposed to and I make sure to cherish myself if I have a bad day. I appreciate when I get lost in reverie - that is a beautiful place to be. 

I guard and protect my happiness and my motivation. Making sure not to deal with people and tasks that drain me. When I work with a client, I make sure that we respect each other and try to build an equal and honest relationship. When in doubt I ask my gut. 

Now some of you might think: Well... That is fine for you - but do you make money? Is it possible for you to live of all that "feeling your body" bullshit?

And the answer is an clear yes. I am overwhelmed by the number of people who have contacted me and wants to work with me. It makes me so ready for 2017 and I am excited to find out where this year takes me!

Autumn is here by Nelli Arnth

Hello September

Summer has passed. That went quick. 

Now autumn is here. On a day like today where the sky is grey and constant rain is falling, it actually makes me happy. I am working from the loft listening to Gem Clubs In Roses album, and it has that perfect dark mood to it. It is so quiet and nice, and makes me really happy. Soon I will be wearing a jacket and soon the outdoor colors will transform into a beautiful orange color palette. I will be making pumpkin soup with pumpkins from my vegetable garden. 

I have so many projects in the pipeline for Hönshuset. Autumn, with it's quiet and introverted energy, is a perfect invite for long working days in the studio. I can't wait! 

Happy Autumn everyone <3

Slow morning routine by Nelli Arnth

Today was one of those days where one cup of coffee turned into two at the morning table. I was spellbound by my new book "Nærmere Noget" by Simon Krohn. It gives people like me (without great knowledge about Indian philosophy) an insight into the yoga philosophy. If you want to study that field as well, you should definatly buy the book right away.

Also the sun is shining and it all makes me really happy ☀️