Monday, 27 January 2020

Venture Out

I hope you have all had a wonderful Monday.  Now, please take a moment to sit back and relax.  Enjoy that cup of coffee and reminisce about the beauty of life.  Hygge is most often associated with cold days, warm cozy blankets and comfort food.  However a hygge lifestyle is not bound to just one or two seasons, it is an everyday lifestyle and a year round mindset.  This week I want you to take yourself outside.  Here in the Southern Hemisphere we are blessed with the most beautiful summer nights yet we tend to spend our lives inside.  When was the last time you sat outside in the garden at twilight and watched the sun set in the distance?  When was the last time you counted the stars and searched for the different constellations?  I remember the many hushed conversations my parents had as they sat on the stoep after dinner.  Their voices were carried on the night air and found their way in through my bedroom window.  I would fall asleep to my dad's voice as he pointed out the stars to my mom.  Over weekends I would join them outside and tried to count as many stars as I could.  I usually fell asleep before I got to a hundred!  The scent of warm balmy nights still transport me back to those idyllic childhood days.  I treasure those memories of soft music coming from the hi-fi and the intoxicating smell of jasmine.  A warm feeling of belonging and safety, an uncomplicated life.  I invite you to take a trip to the outside this week.  Stroll through your garden at dusk, drink a beverage of choice under the stars, enjoy a meal out on the grass or stroll through your neighbourhood and great your neighbours, especially those who have also been enticed to venture outside by this post (wink wink)!

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

A Taste of Hygge

We have been blessed with wonderful rain.  The sound of rain on the roof and the scent of it wafting in through the kitchen window always makes me think of warm, sweet cinnamon pancakes.  In fact anything baking and filling the house with its delicious, warm aroma does the trick.  It is the smell of hygge.  That feeling of contentment associated with childhood memories.  This week I want you to fill your home with the comforting smells of precious memories.  Bake something which reminds you of home.  Fill every corner of your house with its warm scent.  Dish it up in pretty china and linger over it with a warm cup of coffee and treasure a moment of bliss.  Let the it take you back to times of long ago. Absorb every second of this one perfect pause in time and allow calm and contentment to be your companions.  Relax and enjoy.

Monday, 13 January 2020

More "Hygge"

In my previous post we spoke about the concept of 'hygge' and I promised that we will discuss ways in which we can bring more 'hygge' into our lives.   Therefore today, I want you to take a look around your home, or maybe just one room.

Take the one room in the house where you spend the most time.  Maybe it is your bedroom, or your lounge or maybe the kitchen.  Really look at it and evaluate it.  Is it a place that makes you happy?  Look at the space, the objects in it, the lights and the layout.  Does it fill you with joy being in there, being surrounded by all the things in there?  Does it give you a feeling of coziness or does it suffocate you, or maybe make you feel claustrophobic?  Maybe it makes you feel that there is something missing, or maybe it feels too clinical or empty.  Evaluate these feelings and perceptions.

Remember hygge is all about a feeling of comfort, wellness and simplicity.  Does your room make you feel cozy and content?  If not, what is it that you should change to feel more at ease in your space?  Maybe there is too much clutter?  Or maybe the lighting is too harsh?  Carefully take stock of your surroundings and make a list of the things you could change.  Perhaps clutter is not the problem, maybe you prefer clean modern lines but it feels too cold? Then all you might need is the addition of a few scatter cushions or a grouping of candles.  Does the room make you feel claustrophobic?  Perhaps it is time to let go of the things and objects which do not really fill you with joy.  Only keep those things which you love and which contribute positively to your mindset and space.  Let go of the clutter.

Do not mistake clutter for rubbish.  Your clutter may be somebody else's treasure, their hygge.  Clutter are those things which do not belong in a given space and do not serve a purpose, whether it be practical or aesthetic.  Clutter contribute to untidiness and messiness.  Very often our lives are overrun by clutter because we have simply not taken the trouble to decide what to do with something or finding a place for it.  However, clutter is often the very thing which contributes to our anxiety and irritations.  It takes the joy out of our living spaces and they become places of disorder.

This week I want you to take that one room or even just one area of a room and restore it to a place of comfort, happiness and a feeling of well-being.  Let go of the unnecessary stuff, replace it with a warm cozy blanket or a delicately scented candle.  Fill your whole being with a sense of calm.

Monday, 6 January 2020

They call it "Hygge"

A happy 2020 to all of you!  May it be a blessed and spectacular year for each one of you!  Today I want to share a new word with you.  Some of you may be familiar with it, but although I have seen the word around, I have only learned its meaning at the end of last year.

It is a Danish word and it is used to refer to a moment in time, a feeling of coziness, contentedness and of simplicity.  The feeling of being comforted, happiness, of feeling that all is well. The word is "hygge" pronounced hue-guh. The Danish people invented hygge in an effort to make the many long dark and cold days tolerable.  The simple act of drinking a cup of coffee or lighting a fire became something to celebrate and to treasure.  It is a way to turn the ordinary of each day into something memorable, something special.

The basic concept is simplicity itself.  You do not need to go buy anything or change anything.  You just have to be completely present in the moment, to be aware of what is happening around you.  It is being aware of the ice tinkling against the glass, noticing the way the sunlight falls through the window, the motes dancing in its light or the smell of the coffee in the cup, the steam against your face.

Hygge is about being aware, being alive and feeling the moment.  It is to celebrate the wonder of each ordinary perfect moment, this now we are in.

I want to encourage you to make this January, this year, with the perfect fullness of 2020, a year of hygge.  Be aware, observe, really notice the things around you and savour each moment.

In my next post we will talk more about bringing hygge into your daily life.