You know those gals you want to be friends at first sight with because you just sense that they are nice and cool and good listener and all around awesome? Yeah, Christine Bonde fits that bill. She oozes ease, effortless creativity and loads of positive vibes. She is always asking someone how they are whether a close friend or stranger / new friend, and including everyone around her in her happy, curious vibe. It’s easy to get the feeling this would be someone you would call if you are stuck in a rut, needed someone to listen to your recent dramas, or a last minute wing woman for a spontaneous night out to celebrate simply being alive. I have gotten to know Christine a bit over the last couple years and the more I know the more I want to know. She’s a bit of an inspiration worm hole. I hope you enjoy our conversation.
When I think of ease, and making things happen in a creative capacity, you shoot into my mind like the magical stardust you are. There is so much we can be inspired by so thank you for giving us a peek in. Can you share with us a bit of your creative process?
Christine: I was actually just about to say something like “Oh I was never really a creative kind of person” but now that I’m thinking about it, I realize that’s not true. In fact, I clearly remember how I was always very creative when I was a child. I loved drawing and painting for hours, creating things out of simple things like cardboard and stones, playing the piano etc.
Growing up, I sort of abandoned my creativity (and basically everything else that felt intuitive), and it wasn’t until the end of high school that something changed. After a very long time of mainly doing things that made me blend in with everybody else’s visions, I started trusting myself and making choices based on my intuition. I always thought I was going to study social science or law at University simply because I had the grades for it and it just seemed like the right thing to do. But it was never something I really dreamed about. When I found out that I could study nutrition and health, some of my greatest passions, I applied right away. It was a huge step for me because it meant that I wouldn’t be going to University like everybody else. I went down another road and took my Bachelor’s Degree in Global Nutrition and Health at something we call University College which, at the time, wasn’t as fancy as “the real deal”. It took a good amount of courage for me to make that choice but it felt good because I listened to my gut.
So I think my creative process slowly came back as I started following my intuition and doing things that I actually enjoyed without thinking about expectations from others. And at some point this process intertwined with my Strala journey which helped me align with myself. As I practiced Strala more and more, I found my way back to me. And my creativity is definitely a big part of me. The true me.
You always seem to be creatively inspired and doing several projects at once with ease. Can you give us a peek into how you make that magic happen?
Christine: In order for me to handle several projects at once, I need to create a certain space in which everything flows and, at least to some extent, connects.
There are basically two things I need when I try to create that space, and the magic happens when I manage to find a nice balance between them.
First of all, I create this space by not handling too many projects at once. It might sound a bit backwards – that I handle several projects at once by not handling several projects at once – but I think it goes to show that less is more. I actually get more done by doing less because I don’t exhaust myself by putting too much on my plate. At the same time, I need to keep myself engaged in different projects simultaneously because it helps me enter a form of flow state that really sparks my creativity. But it’s a fine line. Too many projects at once will leave me feeling overwhelmed, but doing several projects at the same time is also what keeps me going and fuels my inspiration.
The second thing I need is some sort of connection, like a symbiotic relationship, between all of the things I do. And this is not an obvious thing for me since I have what I call a patchwork job. I’m self-employed and do lots of different things and take on many different roles but I really feel fulfilled when I work on projects that relate to each other in some way. For instance, at the moment I’m styling and photographing the recipes for a very talented woman who will be publishing her first cookbook very soon, and that process leaves me creatively inspired so that I have the drive and the energy to do it all over again when I go home and create new recipes for my website. It feels like a ripple effect. I’m really privileged to work with passionate people and that passion rubs off on me so that I feel inspired to create my own things too.
Have you always embodied this sense of ease that seems to be present in all you do? Can you share with us a bit of your story there?
Christine: I think I always had it in me – an ability to live with ease – but it didn’t always show. Definitely not.
I experienced some rough years in primary school where I was bullied and had to move to another school far away from my hometown. My self-esteem was completely broken and I worried so much that people wouldn’t like me at the new school. So in order for people to like me, I tried to be perfect. This was the beginning of many years of compromising myself, pleasing other people, working harder than needed, overcomplicating things and worrying about everything.
Worrying was probably the main thing that removed the ease in my life. It took me many many years to realize that worrying was actually a very self-limiting strategy that didn’t lead me anywhere good. It’s not that I never worry anymore but everyday I get better at changing my focus and finding a better motivation than fear and worry. Fueling my actions with ease and enjoyment has been such a game changer and the cool thing is that it shows. People start to notice. And when people notice, they want to know what you’re up to which is an awesome opportunity to invite them into ease. Everybody can do it.
You have a cookbook! Can you tell us where you get your inspiration for your recipes?
Christine: I get inspired when I experience something pleasing to my senses. Like watching chocolate melt, listening to the sound of almonds being chopped up, chewing on a crispy cracker, feeling the soft skin of a perfectly ripe mango, or noticing the smell of freshly baked banana bread. Of course I also find inspiration on Instagram, in cookbooks and so on but the best inspiration that I get starts with my senses. Experiencing food is the best way for me to feel inspired and get into recipe making-mode.
P.S. VEGANSK is gorgeous and the recipes are delicious. Grab your copy and learn some Danish also if you’re not already fluent.
Do you have a favorite go to recipe that you make for yourself regularly?
Christine: I hope you’re not expecting a typical healthy Insta-worthy salad bowl kind of thing because honestly, at the moment, what I tend to make for myself is brownies. Haha. I recently created what I call breakfast brownies but I think I’ll have to change the name to allround brownies because I eat them no matter what time of day it is. Let me share the recipe with you.
Ingredients (makes approximately 12 small pieces):
1 can of black beans (240 grams in total)
1,5 dl of quick oats
50 grams of coconut sugar
50 grams of creamy peanut butter
25 grams of cacao powder
1,5 dl of oat milk
75 grams of dark chocolate
3/4 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of powdered vanilla
a pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (hot air oven).
2. Blend up the oats until the consistency resembles flour.
3. Mix all ingredients (except the chocolate) in a food processor or in a high speed blender until the consistency is smooth.
4. Poor the thick batter into a big bowl, chop up the chocolate and mix everything.
5. Transfer everything to a baking tray with parchment paper.
6. Bake the brownies for 35-40 minutes and let them cool before you cut them into small squares.
You have a studio! It looks gorgeous and we can’t wait to visit. Congrats. Can you tell us the vision for your space and how it feels to this kind of home for your creativity?
Christine: Thank you! This is truly a dream come true. But it’s actually my man’s studio and he deserves all the credit. Ever since he got into photography and built his own company, he’s been dreaming about having his own studio. At some point I managed to squeeze myself into that dream and we started expanding it together.
When I decided to leave my Master’s program in 2016, I jumped straight into entrepreneurship and allowed myself to dream big. This was also when I got very interested in the whole idea of manifesting. I never wanted to run a yoga studio but I dreamed about having my own space. Just like you put it; a home for my creativity. A place where I could merge all of my projects and ideas together. A place to do food photography and styling and have coaching sessions with clients. A place to host workshops and do yoga classes. A place to build a community and play around in whatever way. A place to fulfil my dreams and help others do the same.
The studio is called Nicklas Ingemann Studio but we actually always call it “the Space” whenever we talk about it. I’m really trying to convince Nicklas to change the name. Haha. It’s placed in a huge factory building with six floors and has the most beautiful windows. I’ve always had a thing for windows, partly because of the way they look but mostly because of the light they bring to a room. Frankly, the light in our studio is absolutely breathtaking and it’s always a topic of conversation. One thing is what it looks like, another thing is how it makes you feel. It’s so special to spend a whole day in our studio. It doesn’t matter how intensely you’re working or how dark and dull the weather might be. That special light that comes through those huge windows leaves you feeling energized, nourished, happy and calm.
Our studio also has a special meaning to me because it somehow shows the partnership between Nicklas and me. It feels amazing to have a space in which all of our dreams can flourish – individually as well as together. On a more practical level, it’s also just nice to be able to work side by side. Sometimes Nicklas will be in the little office area while I guide a yoga class. Other times I will be in the office doing coaching sessions while he is doing a photoshoot. It’s pretty cool.
Thank you so much Christine for making the time to share your process with us. See you soon. Love, Tara