Top tips for creating Christmas coziness

Now is the time to sprinkle “HYGGE” all over the world

“Hygge” is a Danish word that commonly gets translated to the English meaning of  “Cozy”. But actually “hygge” means quite a bit more. Hygge means being surrounded by people you love, family, friends, colleagues; but it can also be with people you don’t know, with someone you meet and feel connected to. Hygge can be planned, but it can also happen simultaneously. Hygge also happens in solitude. It’s an atmosphere, a feeling that captures life’s essence.
Hygge is being present, authentic, hygge is being in the now, content in the moment, hygge is not thinking about it, it’s just being…… in the moment. Hygge is fun. Hygge is peaceful. It’s intimate, It’s homey and relaxed.

Hygge is creating a special atmosphere, logs burning in the fireplace, lighting the candles, fresh flowers, fresh fruit, nice surroundings, but it can also be on a bench in a park with a stranger, communicating, sharing the moment. Often hygge is enjoying good food with great friends and family. Hygge is sometimes, just the two of us, connecting, reconnecting. Hygge is cuddling up with a warm blanket, it’s a good book and a steeping hot pot of tea.

Hygge is not invented by the Danes – each nationality have their own form of coziness and hygge – but Danes are obsessed with hygge – as some have suggested – to escape the long dark winters.

It could be that the amount of hygge Danes practice every day, is the reason why they occasionally are picked out to be the happiest people in the world!

There is no excuse for not creating hygge – in any situation, even at work there is created space for hygge. Places to relax and connect with colleagues and recharge the batteries.

“Come let’s hygge” – is an everyday expression, it’s cultivated, at any and all possible moments. To light the candles and make everyday surroundings ‘hyggelige” – creating that space for coziness and hygge – together or alone. It is crucial for our health and well-being.

Hygge is a good reason to hurry home from work – we long for it and treasure it. There is always an excuse to hygge! Hygge is a sanctuary for the soul!

And Christmas is the ultimate high season for hygge!

That is why I want to sprinkle hygge all over the world

Read more about hygge, here and see a video about hygge, here

coziness

My best hygge/coziness tips

  • Create time every day for hygge – (even 5 min is better than no hygge)
  • Light some candles
  • make time for hygge in the morning
  • Invite the family to sit down to just be together (even if only for a few minutes – no electronics)
  • make hygge a priority
  • Create a cozy space in the midst of all
  • Give someone a hug
  • Have dinner together  – as often as possible.
  • Cook together
  • Initiate play
  • Fresh flowers
  • Take time to create hygge for yourself – a good book, candle light, a hot bath whatever it means for you
  • Put on some good music – tidy the clutter
  • Dim the lights
  • See a great movie together

Another article about Hygge here

Lets play!

I knew it – I’ve said it all along – play is a need! I feel the truth of it in the core of my very being – we need to play – as much as we need to be loved, feel connected, eat, drink and sleep – we need to play. But, seriousness reigns, it has taken over, work and duties rule the world.

We play when we are children, but as soon as we start school we are trained to sit still, put play aside, in order to learn to concentrate on more important stuff, like Math, Social Studies and English.

We are hushed and told to behave, we learn what is appropriate and what is not – and as we grow, sadly, play becomes more and more inappropriate. “You are too old for that! ” Play becomes a guilty pleasure taking our focus away from the “real” things in life, like work.

Dr. Stuart Brown, a researcher who has dedicated his life to the study of play and how play affects us, has found wonderful things about the importance of work, and so sorry: play! His research shows that play is good for us!

Kids do it, naturally. People in love do it, naturally. Animals do it, naturally. We all do it, naturally! But most of us work to suppress that part of us, many of us have actually forgotten how to do it and  become uncomfortable even thinking about it. The old messages come up – don’t be silly now – it’s not appropriate – don’t make a fool of yourself, and so on.

I am so happy I stumbled upon Dr. Stuart Brown and learned about his research on play. Play is a need.

At the moment I am devouring Dr. Brown’s book that is simply called Play. On the back of his book it says:

Play is fun, but it is anything but trivial. It is a basic biological drive as integral to our health as sleep and nutrition. When we play, we are open to possibility and the sparks of new insights. Play – defined as any kind of purposeless, all-consuming,restorative activity – is the single most significant factor in determining our success and happiness.”

I am sure he is right – if we don’t play there is an imbalance, there is something missing. I am sure you will agree with me that nothing heals like a good laugh, play makes us forget and we are in the moment, nothing else matters  –  it is food for the soul, and at the same time we connect with others and create bonds.

I hope you will enjoy this Ted Talk

The message is clear – LET’S PLAY 😉

More about the book,  http://www.stuartbrownmd.com/

Life is too important to be taken seriously – Oscar Wilde

Soul Blossom

Springtime is full of new beginnings. It is time to let the light in and and the darkness out. Its time to breathe in the fresh air and the new life and let ourselves bloom like the flowers in the garden.

But there might be things that are holding you back from the full bloom or to from spreading your leaves out.

Try to look within and see if there are any old grudges laying around, shame, fear or pain that need to come out in to the light and be embraced, loved and be set free.  In fact the things we have felt the need to suppress and store, are the things that need the most love and compassion.

Sometime we store experiences and the accompanying emotions inside in a corner of the soul, because it was too painful to deal with them at the time. But those emotions are still in there and draining us of energy and new life.

I am not telling you to forgive, forget, move on and pretend. We know it doesn’t work to suppress and pretend it robs us of health and happiness.  It is important to feel the emotions of the experiences we have had in order to truly be able to forgive and move on. In fact, forgiveness comes naturally when we have felt the emotions.

I encourage you to look in, be gentle and compassionate with what ever comes up. Is there anything that is causing you pain or regret? Write about it, talk about it, feel it, share it with someone you trust – do what ever it takes to finally set yourself free.

” And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” – Anais Nin

The truth is:

You are worth it
You are lovable
You may speak your truth
You may feel and have all emotions
You may be YOU with all there is

I love this poem by David Whyte – Questions that can make or unmake a life

SOMETIMES

Sometimes
if you move carefully
through the forest

breathing
like the ones
in the old stories

who could cross
a shimmering bed of dry leaves
without a sound,

you come
to a place
whose only task

is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests

conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.

Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
and

to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,

questions
that can make
or unmake
a life,

questions
that have patiently
waited for you,

questions
that have no right
to go away.

David Whyte