Changing the Menu: The "Non Vanlig" Manifesto

During our work with Changing the Menu we have had to gamble, to trust our luck, and above all believe in ourselves and our vision, even when we could not spell out what that vision was. Visions for us often start as mere hunches, a tiny exciting whiff that makes us stop in our step, or a feeling that we....well, FEEL.

Above all we seek to be as original and innovative as possible in our work with Changing the menu. Not only strange for strangeness' own sake of course. As visitors to the restaurant of life (!) we can't always choose from outside the menu on offer (and there are nibbles and mains on the menu, in life, that we also like of course) but we can work to change it around, to combine the offers in a new way, to hopefully excite ourselves and others.

Salvador Dalí and his ant eater.

Salvador Dalí and his ant eater.

Walking on the untrodden path can be difficult and scary, to invent every step, to only move by hunches, but we find it rewarding in a more lasting and intense way. The only way we know we are heading in the right direction is to know that it works. Whatever works!

"Vanlig" is Norwegian for something that is the usual, common, normal, something that many people seek to be. Someone who only takes something from the menu on offer in life without challenging it or thinking for themselves. We want to change that.

The hardest thing to do is to trust and believe in oneself, but it is very much needed to dare to make changes. Noone will ever be able to believe in you as much as you.

Luck is very important in all of this, but also a form of manifestation. When you know what you want it will more likely show up in your path, mysteriously.

To not overthink is challenging in a world that likes to categorise and label things in order to understand them. We feel bottling the substance before it´s ready can be limiting, therefore, to go with the guts and trust yourself is crucial.

Embracing otherness is an important part of our ethos and is inspired by experiencing life as "Other". We aren´t so keen on labels, boundaries, borders or limitations. We are interested and keen to create the conditions for dialogue, respect, peace and equality, using our platform (online and in person) to listen to “other” voices and being a part of a much-needed dialogue. 

Being accessible and inclusive is also something we prioritise in every project and we aim to try to crumble stale thoughts that art or yoga or creativity is reserved for certain types of people. In fact, we poke that limiting idea right in the eye! May we all live our lives as creative beings - inspired, limitless and abundant!

Remember to remember the bigger picture. In times of copious administration or in times of challenge, our survival instincts might want to throw in the towel and reach for the vanlig life. But remembering why you chose this path will keep your beacon shining brightly. Follow it!

Sidenote: we have regular visioning sessions and delve into our hunches and urges and to, well, remember! Make it creative and inspiring with visuals, materials, sound and so on, but let yourself play and rediscover the things that ping your pants -so to speak - without feeling the pressures to "create". All of this might be done with lots of tea, and perhaps someone you like, or alone as an artist date. 

Being flexible to whatever might come up is essential. And flexible in mind is most important. This means we can adapt and hopefully grow, learning something new and perhaps find a thrilling euphoric feeling at the end of the tunnel. Or sheer relief. Either way, being interested in what lands on our lap, and in each person and situation we encounter. 

Working on ourselves. We seek to look at our own stuff, what makes us who we are, and curiously unpick it from societal expectations, friends and family too.

For us, a combination of these things helps us feel a healthy yearning for the moveable feast of life. It keeps us hungry. Motivated. Persevering. Interested. And grateful every day.


Dionne & Ketil