Hygge, pronounced "hue-geh", is a Danish tradition that over the past few years has permeated it's way into our North American culture. Now, while there is no direct translation for hygge in English, the term loosely refers to "creating a warm coziness during the long, cold winter months".
But, I believe it is so much more than that. Hygge is an experience; or perhaps, an understanding of the important things, and moments in life. It is an attitude; a feeling of well being. It is the mindset of being truly present in each and every moment. And, it is how it should be. Hygge is where we unwind; where we recover; where we recuperate. It is where we reconnect with our loved ones and with our Creator. In this gentle enfolding of hygge, we are able to restore our emptied vessels, and allow them to be filled with a peace that rejuvenates our souls. To me, this is the epitome of hygge.
If you're at all familiar with my blog, you'll know that I share a lot about hygge;
about what it means to me, and about how I embrace it in my home. I love to integrate things like cozy throws, antique treasures such as vintage pitchers, bowls and books, and flickering candle light into my home. These are some of the simple ways I like to incorporate cozy, hygge style.
But the truth is, I could invest vast amounts of time, effort and money into creating a truly magnificent cozy, hyggeligt home, and still completely miss out on it's most important attribute. All the candles in the world would not be able to create a hygge atmosphere in my home, if I didn't carry hygge in my heart.
A couple of months ago, a girlfriend sat in my favorite living room chair sipping coffee, and spoke words to me that I'll never forget.
"I love being in your home." she said. "I feel safe here."
She couldn't have known how those words would, so completely, fill my heart. You see, her words, so casually spoken, confirmed to me that, love exists in my home.
This is one of my greatest desires; to have a home where family and friends feel safe. I want people to come into my home and feel loved. And worthy. And valued. And while I truly believe that the hygge atmosphere I strive to create in my home contributes to that feeling, the truth is, my heart, is where it really begins. What is a hygge home, without a hygge heart at the center? Everything I do in my home derives from a desire in my heart to express love to the people around me.
I know that so many people view hygge as self care, and, in a way it is. Hygge invites us to pull away from the clutches of busyness, and to bask in restful content. It allows us to unwind, unfold, and unplug. It provides us with an environment perfectly suited for restoration. And that really is, such a beautiful part of hygge's beneficial characteristics. But I feel, it is just a part. For me, the true beauty of hygge is that, it is an expression of love.
Much like simplicity, hygge is an inward reality that results in an outward lifestyle. You see, while I am far from perfect, Love is at the center of everything I do. It is because of my desire to lavish love on the people around me, that I strive to keep a home that is welcoming and warm; a place for the people I love to relax in, and experience a kind of peace that permeates into their souls.
I realize that I am taking liberties here. But I firmly believe that hygge should be embraced intentionally and personally. And for me, hygge is nothing without Love at it's core.
Fellow hygge lovers, light all of the candles. Snuggle up in a luxurious throw. String up fairy lights in a cozy corner in your home. These are all beautiful, worthy aspects of a cheerful, hygge environment. But above all, make room in your heart for Love to dwell. You, after all, are the greatest declaration of hygge your home could ever express.
May you declare it abundantly.
Love is patient and kind;
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing,
but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never ends.