Inspired Family Lives Their Dream – Integrating Life and Work

Beerhorst Family Wonder Wagon - Grand Rapids Artprize

Beerhorst Family Wonder Wagon - ArtPrize

My city, Grand Rapids, Michigan, is abuzz with all the art that is on display in the downtown area as part of the world’s largest ArtPrize, which runs from September 23 – October 10, 2009.

On Sunday, I took my family downtown to see some of the art.  We couldn’t see it all, as there are over 1,000 art entries:  sculptures, paintings, stabiles, mobiles, etc.

Some are in buildings and some are on buildings.  Some are outside in parks, promenades and sidewalks.  Some are in the river and on bridges.  Some are fixed or static.  Others move or involve audio, video or performance arts.

Of all the great pieces of art, and artists, we were especially impressed by the entry called Beerhorst Family Wonder Wagon, created by the Rick Beerhorst Family and their friends.

The Wonder Wagon isn’t just art to look at, it is art to feel, hear, and experience through several different stations they’ve set up like a gypsy encampment.  During ArtPrize, the family is at the Wonder Wagon encampment every day, creating the hands-on experience for the visitors.

The Beerhorsts are a family of eight.  They live very simply near downtown Grand Rapids on an urban homestead, where they grow much of their own food (and even raise chickens).  They have no car or tv.  Their six children, ages 5-17, don’t attend school, but gain a rich education in the context of their family environment and experience.

They all work together creating various forms of art, which they sell to sustain themselves, in their studio located in the carriage house behind their home.

What impressed me about their ArtPrize entry is that it involved the entire family.  And this, really, is how they live their lives.  Everyone is involved.  Everyone creates.  Everyone produces.  Everyone contributes.

This is the lifestyle the family has aspired to live, and they seem to do it very well.  They have successfully integrated their life and work.

The idea of “integrating life and work” means different things to different people.  But it begins with a desire, and then a plan, to design the life you want to live.

Do you have dreams of changing your life, achieving greater work-life balance, or creating more freedom and fulfillment in your life and work?  If so, what steps are you taking to create that life you want?

Or if you’re not taking any steps to create your dream life, what’s keeping you for getting started?  Please share your thoughts and comments here, or contact me directly.  I’d be glad to help.

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