In every Flow, three creative people tell about their work and what inspires them. In Issue 31, Jente de Vries tells us about the yoga and mindfulness retreats she organizes.
What do you do for a living?
I’m a project leader at RotterZwam, a company that collects coffee grounds that we then use for growing oyster mushrooms. We also make bio-plastics and soap from organic waste. In addition to that, I organize yoga and mindfulness retreats together with someone else. After I graduated, I went to my first retreat in a Buddhist monastery in France because even then I sensed that I had to find a way to cope with stress. That feeling of being unable to breathe still sneaks up on me from time to time. The purpose of the retreats is to remind myself and others how important it is to just stop and think every now and then.
What brings you joy in life?
Living in a tiny house that I designed and built myself brings me joy every day. I was educated as a lawyer and manager; I knew nothing about doing odd jobs. After taking a class and getting a lot of good advice, I spent six months hammering away on my house nonstop. Now I have a bathroom with a small tub, a compost toilet, a kitchen, a table, a chill-out corner and a loft area for sleeping. The solar panels on the roof power my electricity, I chop my own wood for the furnace, and collect and filter rainwater. My tiny house is on a former community garden complex. When I look outside, I see overgrown nature. I live here with four other tiny-house owners. I’ve always wanted to live with other people, hippie-style; spending a lot of time outdoors, making campfires, sharing a kitchen garden and so on. It’s a dream.
- Read the full interview with Jente and two other creatives in Issue 31.
Text Eva Loesberg