Hygge (or to be a hyggeligt) doesn't require you to purchase anything, or to learn "how to." It's not a thing and sure isn't about adopting a lifestyle. You can't go buy a hygge living room or shop in a hygge supermarket. Hygge is a concept...a feeling. It only requires a conscious appreciation of the present moment; not just recognizing it but fully appreciating everything that happens in the here and now. It is the ability to be fully present. If you don't feel hygge than you're probably not using the word correctly. Some humans refer to hygge as the 'art of creating intimacy.' There aren't any English words to describe hygge, although there are several words that convey its meaning pretty well; coziness, charm, happiness, contentedness, security, familiarity, reassurance, and simpleness. I see hygge as the ability to achieve happiness in simply living; being able to enjoy whatever comes your way.
The Danes created hygge as a way to survive the boredom of the long, cold, and dark months of winter. Hygge, for them, was a way "to find moments to celebrate and acknowledge; to help break up the days, months, and years. For them, hygge can be appreciating the simple glow of a candle, the scent of freshly washed clothes, or the aroma of coffee perking in the morning. Learning to savor these small but special times can go along way to lift one's spirits and make life more enjoyable.
We all can get into the spirit of hygge by creating small rituals; brewing real tea and serving it in a real china cup and saucer; stopping by the flower shop once or twice a month for a bouquet of fresh blooms. Setting an evening aside each week for dinner with a loved one or friends is one of the best ways to feel hygge. The Danish people see both their personal and domestic life as an art form...not simple everyday drudgery. They learn to incorporate hygge into their daily existence so it never feels forced. It becomes a natural extension of life.
With the first weekend of new year upon us, I thought this might be the perfect time to begin incorporating hygge into my life. Saturday I plan to clean my lily pad...and actually enjoy doing it; to derive pleasure and satisfaction from having everything neat and tidy. With my favorite tunes playing in the background and a lovely scented candle burning bright, these mundane chores are transformed into something special. Later, I will have a meal with my wonderful family and watch a silly movie with my little brother. On Sunday, I will "hang out" with friends, catching up on all that's happened since I last saw them before the holidays. These may not seem like very exciting events on the surface. And they're not...unless you look at them with fresh eyes. But in the spirit of hygge, they become an art form. Living simply and enjoying day-to-day activities is really what makes life worthwhile. I hope this blog inspires you to start enjoying the simple pleasures in your own life. All that is required is your attention. With hygge, the old saying "Wake up and smell the coffee," suddenly has a new and pleasurable meaning.
See you all back here on Monday!
I wish you peace (and hygge).