as winnie the pooh would say, you don't spell it, you feel it. it is comfort, feeling, happiness, cozy, calm... it is the absence from what some may describe as annoyance. it is a state of living well.
not so unique to its origin
I read a book specifically on Hygge this week, it's literally called "The Little Book of Hygge - The Danish Way to Live Well". Not many people know but my mom's father (Morfar - Danish for Mother's Father), immigrated from Denmark when he was 17. He's the one I can thank for my natural blonde hair and weird eyes (I don't know if they're considered grey or blue or green, who knows, I just see with them). Apart from physical appearances, he also brought along a very special heritage when he came to Canada, something that not many people get to experience on the daily.
A few years ago, I heard this saying that Danish people are considered the happiest people on earth, and I wondered why. The more I looked into it, the less it became about the fact that their education is paid for, the more it became about the fact that they prioritize family and self-comfort, just two examples of what truly makes Danish people, the happiest people on earth.
The question I began to ask myself is why is it that it is so unique to Denmark? It's actually not, the only drawback is that Hygge does not directly translate into anything specific in the English language. We can all relate to what it is though.
Think of the times that you throw on your favourite cozy socks, you make yourself a decadent cup of tea, you turn on your favourite lamp or dim the lights, you throw on your favorite music, you snuggle up next to a loved one, you light a few candles to set the mood...
Wait, set the mood for what?
Why do we light candles anyway?
They're a feel good thing. They bring instant warmth and comfort to our souls, which is why some people light two, three, sometimes more candles every day to bring themselves down to earth.
You get the idea. All of these are perfect examples of what hygge really is. I'm more than confident that you can all come up with great examples of your own, but what I'm getting at is how important it is.
a holiday vibe, but all year round
You know that feeling you get around the holidays, where you're all cozy with your family members or on your own just being the spirit of Christmas... that's so hygge. This exact same act can be practiced on the daily, whether it's on your own or with a pile of people. Hygge is for everyone, and can be practiced as little or as much as you'd like. Hey, if you want to have a whole day of hygge, have at it. Your hygge is unique to you.
My personal favorite way to hygge is to put my pyjamas on, light a candle, drink my favourite tea and shove my cold feet under my mom's legs (she thinks it's as wonderful as it sounds too, right ma?), and just be in the moment. We may not do this all the time, but when we do, we do it the same way every time.
In fact, if I can recall, doing it that exact way (minus the tea because 'tea is for old ladies') even as a kid. Spending those little moments with my mom were very precious to me as she worked a lot when I was growing up - but you better believe that I looked forward to it. One of my favourite things to do with my mom growing up is to play with her hair. My mom, like me, is also blonde with a ton of hair. I'd grab my favourite hairbrush and, like, a hundred colourful scrunchies and I would make it my duty to get each and every one of those little scrunchies on her head. It was beautiful.
It also felt wonderful when she had to take them all out after I was done.
We still do this, but I braid her hair instead of put ponytails in it.
Ahh, childhood nostalgia.
Slow down, embrace your hygge
Take time for you, take time to recognize that you are a living, breathing life form that requires time to rest, relax and regenerate. Whether you do this in the morning, at night, or dedicate a whole day or a week to do it, the importance of it is substantial to our overall health and well-being.
The fact is that we actually don't know this until we actually experience a moment in it.
That sense of comfort, homey-ness, calm and happiness... we all have the ability to create this for ourselves and others. You can even carry it with you in your presence. It's up to you on how you choose to embrace hygge in your life, and I believe that it is completely possible. We are all unique and have our own sense of pride when it comes to displaying how we do it, if we choose to show it at all.
The choice is yours.
Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the hygge, the good life.
a year to grow
the moment i took my thoughts and wrote them down for all to see, was the moment i realized i no longer cared about what others thought about the person that i was becoming.
it's happening again.
I think the more that we stress about what others think about who we are as individuals, the less likely we are allowing our souls to be as vulnerable as we'd like them to be.
Vulnerable. You like that? I do.
The year of 2017 was a big one. It was a HAUL of a year. I never in a million years would have expected any of the circumstances that occurred in that year to actually happen. Here we are, just one week into 2018, and it's already set off with a bang.
I've grown to believe that the more that we put on our plate no matter what it is related to, the more proactive we become for our future selves. Challenging yourself and your work ethic in a way that helps you grow within yourself. To understand the depths of what you're capable of doing. We can all be our own superheros, it's just up to us whether we want to accept the challenge or not.
"You're crazy. You work so hard. You train too hard. You're too strict with your diet. You don't eat enough."
Interesting! Your opinion is flaccid it is not a fact. Always remember that.
The way that we choose to live our lives is our choice for ourselves. If you are doing something that you truly believe in your head that will benefit your future self or bring you happiness in some way... DO IT. What is the worst thing that could happen? You learn something?
Never regret any decision you make for yourself. This is an opportunity for you to become better as a person, even if it doesn't work out. Just trust that the choice that you made will bring you some form of benefit in the long run, no matter what. Always, always, always see the brightness of the sun.
refrain from resistance
Many of us go through life experiencing the what-if's that passed us in time. I wonder what would have happened if I had done __________. Why did you hold back, anyway? My question to you all is if you have a thought, an idea, a desire or dream... Why are you waiting to do it? We live in a time where the opportunities for us as humans are absolutely endless.
I will never forget that feeling I felt when I decided I was moving home to Kelowna after literally swearing I would never move back here. I was coming back to visit my mom for a few days as a getaway. I was ready to dip my toes back in the water of the city I used to call home, although I was terrified. I was coming down the connector which overlooked Peachland and I saw Okanagan lake. My eyes filled with tears and my heart sunk through the floor of my car. I decided, I was going to quit my job that week. Yup, decided. I'm quitting the job I worked so hard to achieve, and move back to the city that brought me so much confusion, bad energy, growth and love. I was ready to face my past, and move forward, and holy Hannah did I ever come home to everything I left behind, but it didn't phase me. I made a choice that I was not going to associate myself with the negativity I was previously involved with. I literally started over, and it was amazing. In the six months that I have been home, I have learned everything from opening up with a whole new level of vulnerability, trusting the process of life, accepting that people do come and go in your life, and all of this is perfectly normal.
I learned so many amazing things about myself while I was living in Vancouver, including adaptability. Taking things that just happen in life and saying to myself, okay. This thing that happened is a lesson that future me is going to be like yes girl you learned about this and now you know how to handle it, so move forward.
I have stopped living in the past, I stopped looking at what caused me distress previously and instead looking at what will be in the future, and believing that I can get there. Do you follow?
It's all mental. Overthinking, racing thoughts, stress. We've all been there. What I learned that worked for me is taking a step back, thinking about all that is causing this stress and anxiety, and processing why it's making me feel that way. Teach yourself how to process instead of react. In recent weeks, I have taught myself how to meditate. Every night before bed, 10 minutes, is my time to do the following:
from darkness to light
Being in a place where you feel unsettled and unsure, requires nothing more than time, time, time. I am a firm believer that human beings are capable of achieving practically anything in life, the key is to set yourself in a position where you, and only you, believe that you can get there. Encourage yourself that the choices that you are making are good for you. The negativity you may find in life isn't actually negative, rather it is just a form of teaching that life has. Accept challenges. Push yourself. Take time to unwind. Grow yourself. This year is less about resolutions for me. I'm focusing strictly on taking life by the reins, being scared shitless, and enjoying the ride. Here's to 2018, and another year around the sun.
Providing you with the knowledge that I encounter on a daily basis through my fitness lifestyle.