Get Your Hygge On!

Picnic in the Park

Hi Lovely Readers,

Can you believe March is already almost over? ¬†I guess I’m a little over the wind, but then again, that means we now move on to the rain ūüėČ ¬†But I did read a nice quote today on Facebook that gave me a little perspective: “Partly cloudy with a chance of rain, or partly cloudy with a chance of a rainbow. ¬†You choose.” ¬†Something to think about.

Today I want to introduce you to a Danish concept I think we can all benefit from: hygge (pronounced HOO-ga). ¬†I first learned about this unique approach to life in an article on Today.com¬†titled, “What is hygge? ¬†Why the world’s happiest country says this is their secret.”

The basic translation for this word is “cozy” and in broader terms it relates to the way you can cultivate more happiness in your life by learning to make your life more cozy and taking time to feel cozy everyday without experiencing the guilt that often goes along with it. ¬†Here in America, we’re prized for how much we can get done, our worth is measured by how successful we are, and we see happiness as something we can buy or own. ¬†But in Denmark, they’re operating under a different system.

According to the article, they take time to slow down and create little moments in their day, adding cozy elements where they can.  This includes stopping for a coffee break, reading a good book, putting on a pair of fuzzy socks, walking in the woods to get fresh air, and catching up with a friend.  The focus is on fun, whether that be playing a game or telling a funny story.  And the more you share this experience with others, the better.

You can set the mood for hygge in your own house by lighting candles, decorating your house with silly or whimsical elements like old toys or funny pillows, or placing some dishes of chocolate within arm’s reach in different rooms. ¬†The idea is to make yourself laugh and not take life so seriously.

You can even employ the concept of hygge at work by adding plants to your cubicle or a comfy sweater to the back of your chair.  And since hygge is also about connecting with people, consider bringing in lunch for your co-workers or organizing a weekly potluck where you can share yummy food and catch up with co-workers on non-work-related stuff.

I think we can all use a healthy dose of hygge in our lives. ¬†So stop being so hard on yourself if you don’t finish that 10th item on your to-do list. ¬†Instead go run barefoot in the fresh, spring grass or make that cup of tea you like and read a funny article in your favorite magazine. ¬†Just remember that hygge is not another routine or rule to follow. ¬†Make it spontaneous and remember to just let go and have a moment of fun just for the sake of it ūüôā

My friend reminded me of this today when she sent me a text reminding me to take time out to breathe slowly and meditate. ¬†The advice sounded so good, I immediately got up and did some random yogic poses. ¬†After stretching, I felt completely relaxed and energized! ¬†She also sent me a little joke that allowed me to laugh at myself and how our bodies change as we get older. ¬†So now, I think I’ll go have a couple of maple cookies, because life isn’t all about fitness, either.

Okay it’s your turn to share. ¬†How do you plan to practice hygge and bring more moments of joy into your everyday life?

Mad Tea Party

March Magic!

Happy March everyone! ¬†It sure is coming in like a lion ūüėČ ¬†But I’ve never been more excited about it. ¬†I’m very happy to see February go, mostly because it means spring is right around the corner.

I started thinking about the best way to welcome a new month and the coming of a new season.  How about with some magic!

I recently read a great article online titled, “33 Ways to Invite & Invoke More Magic Into Your Life” by Kara Maria Ananda, a Healing Arts Educator, Holistic Business Coach, Speaker and Writer. ¬†I’d like to highlight a few of my favorites, some of which I plan to focus on for this year.

  • Drink more water.
  • Dance, stretch, do yoga and move your body.
  • Play with children.
  • Go somewhere new in your own town.
  • Pay attention to synchronicity.
  • Get a massage.
  • Meditate.
  • Leave secret notes with positive messages¬†in public places for people to find.
  • Make art.
  • Read your favorite¬†books from your childhood.
  • Walk barefoot on the Earth.
  • Get all dressed up just because.

Check out Ananda’s article to find out even more ways to cultivate magic in your life.

And here are a few magical quotes from some books I’ve been reading lately. ¬†The first is from a book I just started called The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle¬†by Janet Fox. ¬†The other¬†two quotes are from the 2017 Newbery-winning book, The Girl Who Drank the Moon¬†by Kelly Barnhill, which¬†I highly recommend. ¬†The quotes from these books take two very different tones but they intersect in interesting ways, just like everything in life.

“In times like these, according to Great-Aunt Margaret, magic bubbled up, rising out of the confusion and strife of war. ¬†Troubled times stirred up magic like dumplings in a stew.”

“And there was something else, too.¬† This surging feeling in her bones.¬† This clicking inside her head.¬† This feeling as though she had an invisible gear inside her, pushing her, inch by inch, towards…something. ¬†Her whole life, she never knew what. ¬†Magic, her bones said.”

“Her grandmother had taught Luna…how a caterpillar lives, growing big and fat and sweet-tempered, until it forms a chrysalis.¬† And inside the chrysalis, it changes.¬† Its body unmakes.¬† Every portion of itself unravels, unwinds, undoes, and reforms into something else… ¬†“It feels like magic,” her grandmother had said…”

Magic is my word for the year, so it is always fun to see where it pops up. ¬†I think everyone can use a little more magic in their lives. ¬†It’s that spark that makes life meaningful and gives us hope.

How will you invite magic into your life this month?  Please share!