"A journal can help one cultivate the ability to live in the present, to become deeply aware and appreciative of life. A journal records the movement of one’s inner experience. The more mindful the writer becomes, the more likely it is that he will capture the essence of each day." ~ Journaling, ContemplativeMind.org
As part of your hygge ritual, during this step, you take note of any guidance that has come your way, and you make sure to write something down so you don't forget it.
Hygge practices offer an opportunity to relax deeply and slow down your experience so that you're likely to be more open to the wisdom that comes your way. This step creates space for that to happen and places your journal nearby so you can capture it when it comes.
But if you are seeking guidance during your hygge ritual, and nothing seems to be coming to you, there are ways to prime the pump, so to speak. The exercise below is one of them...
Journaling Exercise for Intuitive Guidance
Free writing: "It is a method of inner inquiry: you never know what you will learn until you start writing; then you discover truths that you did not know existed." ~ same source
Do you have a question or concern on your mind or heart today? This exercise may help
If you have been reading along this week, you know that this intuitive guidance exercise would take place within a hygge ritual. And the first few steps would create a familiar container of comfort and safety, so that by the time you get to the wisdom portion of this ritual, you're relaxed, and things are cozy.
To review, start by going to the most comfortable place in your home. Take your journal, and a cup or glass of tea with you and light your favorite candle.
Get cozy in all the ways that you love. Spend a few minutes imagining your wishes coming true, meditating/daydreaming about whatever is most on your mind at the moment.
Then, hold in your mind for a moment, whatever it is that you're wanting guidance about and then, start the writing exercise. Write for 5 minutes or so without lifting your pen from the paper.
If you get stuck, just write "I have no idea what to write right now," etc. But keep writing and you are likely to surprise yourself with the wisdom and insight that shows up on those pages.
Tomorrow, step five. See you then!
"Reflective practices are a way for us to become aware of our own state of being. Mindful reflection brings us back to ourselves, allowing us to come closer to our own body, emotions, thoughts, and spirit. In reflection and contemplation we find an openness to seeing things as they are, not how we think they should be. We find we can let go of our usual self-imposed boundaries and hierarchies, along with our many doubts, anxieties, plans, regrets, ambitions, and other distracting thoughts." - Reflective Practices, Whole Systems Healing
This week, we're looking at suggested practices for a hygge ritual. Today's step is meditation and it can be a brief one or a longer one, whenever you have more time. And the possibilities for what to focus on are endless.
If you're just getting started with meditation, it might be easier to start by just focusing on your breathing, noticing that you begin to relax as you breathe more slowly & deeply. You also could try a recorded guided meditation, and all you'll have to do is listen and let it bring you peace.
And right now, you can try this brief, virtual meditation below...
Give Yourself this 1 1/2-Minute Experience
Just lighting a candle can be both hygge & spiritual, so can easily become a part of a hygge spiritual practice. A ritual is just a series of steps that have meaning & are connected in some way.
So even for a few minutes, gazing at your candle can give you a moment of spiritual practice even if, right after that moment, you go back to reading a book or watching a movie.
It can be very soothing to breathe deeply and watch the flickering of a candle flame. Want to try it right now? Watch the video below..
See you next time!
"There is something in the nature of tea
that leads us into a world of
quiet contemplation of life." ~ Lin Yutang
"Has it ever occurred to you when you are drinking your precious cup of tea
that it is a form of meditation? ‘Tis true! And it’s one that stands the test of time
– enjoyed by nearly every culture on the planet." ~ Spirituality & Health
The search I did for that picture led me to several pictures with the word "hygge" on them. I used the words "tea and meditation," and I can see how the combination could create hygge moments.
"With a cup of tea, we are invited to relax into all of ourselves, not letting the busy mind run the show. Keep breathing deeply, savoring your tea and any chosen mindful activity. Receive this gift of sacred ordinary time." - Katy Taylor
A tea moment can be an occasion for slowing life down, breathing deeply & slowly, focusing on your breath, saying a quick prayer or meditating briefly on or sending love energy to what's coming up in your day or what you want to happen in the future. Or it can be a moment that connects you to the divine in a way that is already calming, soothing and comforting.
So that the moment becomes both hyggelig (hygge-like) and spiritual.
Try it today with your next cup of tea?
See you next time!
So that the moment becomes both hyggelig (hygge-like) and spiritual.
Try it today with your next cup of tea?
See you next time!
"...[the answer might be] starting a regular spiritual practice routine that can both enrich your spiritual awareness and strengthen your faith. This practice becomes your religion and in turn, an integral part of your life."
~ Tom Rapsas, Patheos.com
Sometimes, people come to the process of creating a spiritual practice with religion or spirituality in place, already.
But for those who are spiritual but not religious, like me, and are not sure about beliefs or are wanting to avoid dogma, creating a spiritual practice can become a meaningful faith practice all by itself.
"At its heart, hygge is about finding the pockets of light when covered in a blanket of darkness. How often are we challenged to do this within our own souls? How often do we face life and spiritual trials with a sense of dread, instead of looking for the silver lining? I find being intentional about hygge is not only comforting in the temporal sense, but it makes for wonderful spiritual training." ~ Blessed is She
Three Video Questions (25 Seconds)
Will a hygge spiritual practice still be spiritual? Yes.
You won't be taking anything away, you'll be adding warmth, coziness, comfort and anything else that makes for a spiritual practice you can look forward to each day. Adding the feel-good doesn't have to mean that anything gets lost.
"To light a candle by myself is one of my favorite prayers." ~ David Steindl-Rast
At its best, hygge spirituality is or can be a gentle, comforting way to shine light into the dark places.
It can be a doorway for coming back to spirituality. A way to start again before you know what your spiritual practice will become.
A warm and cozy container for all your spiritual explorations, for every moment of connection with the otherworld.
More on that as we continue.
"To the Danes, hygge is less about a particular aesthetic and more about feelings of belonging, conviviality, and contentment, so essential for the soul. In that sense, hygge could almost be considered a spiritual practice: a stance and attunement that helps you return to your true self and pay closer attention to the many blessings and Sacred stirrings that surround you."
-Lacy at A Sacred Journey
Yesterday, I suggested an exercise that would help you explore the idea of creating a spiritual practice that would be perfect for you. If you didn’t get a chance to try it, you can find that post here.
In this post, I’ll be sharing my own thoughts about what an ideal spiritual practice would be like, and you may get some ideas from that, but I have a surprise for you, too, that I .
And it will be much more meaningful if you were there yesterday or you take a moment to try the exercise now. I’ll be right here when you get back.
My Ideal Spiritual Practice (1 min, 20 secs)
When I first did this exercise for myself, I was just waking up & the ideas began to come to me so fast, I stopped to write them down before I did anything else that day.
Then, I went back to them, for tweaking, when I had my cup of tea & could give it a little more time.
This is my dream spiritual practice…
It brings me peace, and creates moments of happiness or contentment. It engenders hope & the sense that everything’s going to be alright.
It connects me with my deepest truths & highest self, and inspires any change I need from a place of safety & comfort. It guides me, helps me let go of what no longer serves me, gives me peace & helps me daydream about & send energy to the life I want most.
Does any of that resonate with you?
Or inspire any other thoughts about what an ideal spiritual practice would be like for you?
What about Winter Blues?
For me, having winter blues means that I probably won’t want to do my spiritual practice in the morning.
Because in the morning, my hygge strategies are designed to do one thing & one thing only: wake me up and get me going in a way that doesn’t annoy me. At first, I don’t even want to ask myself to think coherently. I just want to get myself to my primary source of bright light – my light box – and be there in front of it.
Know what I mean?
The best time to do your spiritual practice is the time that will work for you. Do not believe anything you read that says it must be at this time or that time. Choose the time of day you feel most alive and open and that will be a much easier time commitment to maintain. ~ Jeanine
During the winter blues part of my year, my state of being before I spend extended time with my light box reminds me a little of that Dolly Parton song. It’s not a time for deep thoughts or holy reckonings.
So for me, a hygge spiritual practice would need to happen in the afternoon. Perhaps, an afternoon tea occasion.
And by then, my light box time is over, my son and I will probably be done with homeschooling most days, and I’ll even have gotten some work done.
So I can settle myself into coziness, with tea, a candle, my journal and something to read nearby and I’ll be ready to begin.
What about you? How would you plan your hygge spiritual practice in light of your winter blues experience?
Thanks, again, for doing that exercise yesterday and for anything you may have added to it today.
And, surprise! It was a hygge spiritual practice exercise.
And tomorrow, I’ll share more about how to choose your hygge spiritual practice.
Love to you!
"For me, there’s no better time to contemplate the world and my place in it than in the early morning. When the house is dark and quiet, with my family still sleeping, I sit for a few minutes in a comfortable chair with a warm cup of coffee, breathe, and just be."-Tom Rapsas, Wake Up Call, Patheos.com
Last week, I mentioned that before we dive into what a hygge spiritual practice is, I had an exercise I’d like for you to try first.
The hygge exercise: make yourself a cup of your favorite tea and grab your journal or a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. I have questions for you to answer…
If you could create an ideal spiritual practice, what would it be like?
What would you do each time?
How would it feel?
What would be the best thing about it, for you?
How to Do the Exercise Step by Step
Step One: Relax into Peace
Take a few minutes to relax, breathe deeply and slowly in between sips of tea and let yourself release any stress you brought with you to this moment.
Step Two: A Moment’s Meditation
Close your eyes for a moment as you consider those questions. Ask your mind & heart to offer up possibilities while you watch on your inner movie screen.
Your mind may be sneaky and offer up “wouldn’t likes” along with the “this would be goods,” so expect you might have to do a little sorting.
Step Three: Journaling
Open your eyes and continue the process by asking yourself which ideas you liked most and writing those down. Is there anything you are doing already and could tweak to make it into one of those possibilities?
Write that down, too, and choose something you could try in the next day or two as an experiment.
How Did it Go?
Were you able to come up with any ideas you might try or current practices you might tweak?
Let me know in a comment, okay? I’m hoping it went well for you.
But if you’re feeling like there might have been more & you can’t quite think of them, tomorrow, I’ll tell you what I came up with for my own ideal spiritual practice and you can see if it inspires any other ideas. I also have a surprise for you I can’t wait to share.
See you tomorrow!
Each week, on Sunday, I'll offer you a hygge self-care reading. It may give you an idea to try that you hadn't yet considered, or connect you with the practice you need most. Ready to give it a try this week? ...
Which spiritual practice do you need most this week?
What's on your mind or heart today? When you think of the week ahead, is there wisdom or insight you need? Or, maybe there's a problem that doesn't yet have a solution. Hold space for getting an answer today, and then choose one of the numbers below.
Which one did you choose?
If you picked the first one, it's all about the tea! Or whatever your favorite beverage is.
Pour a cup or glass and take time both to savor and to sip. Make it a quiet moment, no distractions from your phone, TV or computer, and what you need will come to you. The guidance you need, the insight, or that creative idea you've been waiting for - whatever it is, your quiet tea moment will provide it. The third choice represents taking a dance break, for a few moments, or for longer, if time permits. Dancing may cheer you up, energize you, give you a few moments' break from stress, or help you connect more deeply to the truest parts of yourself. it.
If you chose the second one, daydreaming is your best self-care resource right now. You haven't had enough alone time lately, just to relax and think things through. Give yourself at least ten minutes. Daydreaming, about nothing in particular, about an imagined solution to a problem that's been bothering you, or about the next great thing you want to create in your life, will give you a moment's peace. And if you do it often enough, will help return you to your best self.
The third choice represents taking a dance break, for a few moments, or for longer, if time permits. Dancing may cheer you up, energize you, give you a few moments' break from stress, or help you connect more deeply to the truest parts of yourself. Whether you choose slow music or fast, you may find that dancing for a few minutes leaves you different than you were before you began, if only because it breaks the spell of whatever moment you were in before.
How do you feel about the reading? Was it a match for what you need today?
See you next time!
"The experience of a crisis immobilizes us for a long period of time. Our mind is focused on the disaster aspects of the situation, and we are unable to function effectively. We are unable to sleep or eat, and do not know how we are going to get past the terrible set of circumstances. We use our minds to focus on what is wrong, how painful it is, and how terrible it is going to be in the future." -Wayne Dyer
What Wayne Dyer says in that quote describes perfectly how I got stuck. And he goes on to say that when we're in it, we have no idea that what happened could be the beginning of a transformation. That one day we might even be glad for it, in some way. Raising my hand here about that, for sure.
Have you ever looked back on a time like that and realized that, awful as it was, it led to a positive transformation in your life? Maybe even to a deeper faith or spiritual practice?
That is what I am hoping for from this experience I am having. But what do you do when you want to find your way back to a spiritual practice, or take the next step in the journey of transformation, but you're not sure where or how to start?
"Perhaps you spend your time in centering prayer or meditation, practicing yoga, journaling, creating, or reading poetry. Simply choose a practice that helps you connect to the Divine and enables you to feel like your true self, whether the practice is traditional or unique to you. Do one or many, or perhaps consider changing them monthly or seasonally" ~ ASacredJourney
I like what she says here, and I agree. There are many ways to be spiritual, to connect to the truth of who you are, and choosing a spiritual practice you enjoy, whether it is traditional or not, is the best way to honor your desire for spirituality.
It reminds me of a woman I met right before I graduated from high school. She told me she wasn't much for going to church, but she felt close to God whenever she was out in nature.
Did you ever watch The Waltons? Much to Olivia's consternation, she could rarely get her husband, John, inside a church. But he'd say that he believed; he just didn't want to practice his faith by going to church.
When I was younger, I thought that was the main reason for deciding what you believed - then, you'd know which church (or synagogue or mosque) to go to when it was time to worship. Now that I am older, I know that faith and spirituality can be practiced in any number of ways.
And it's personal. So you can get lots of ideas that might feel right to you, but you can't know for sure, until you try it.
So finding your way back or moving toward a deeper expression of spirituality or faith may look and sound and feel different to you than it does to your family or your best friend or your next-door neighbor.
And what has become important to me, in this weirdness where I kinda believe this, but may no longer believe that, and sometimes have a tuned-in moment but mostly only wish I did, is to let it be whatever it is right now. And to know that it just doesn't matter how it compares to what others are experiencing.
Even if they are people I love and admire.
"Someone or something forces us to look beyond the veil ... now, we know there is more to the story than we had previously thought."
~ Dr. Kelly Brogan, KellyBroganMD.com
My Own Way Forward
I am still waiting to see what comes to me in the way of faith or beliefs. But meanwhile, I decided I wanted to find a way to be deeply spiritual even if I don't yet know what I believe.
And I used to be very active with an online spiritual group, and I decided it could be a guide to what might be a good way to start finding my way back.
In the middle of an online spiritual practice, we often would be told to go find a candle to light, ostensibly one that matches what we we're focusing on that night. But I'd go get my favorite one that smells like cookies every time.
Or, knowing of an online spiritual ritual I was about to do, I'd make a cup of tea and pray while sipping it.
So even before I fully understood what hygge was, I was taking these moments of spiritual practice with a group and making my own participation more hygge.
So I decided to choose hygge practices partly because I already love it & it is familiar. But also because I was doing it instinctively already.
More on hygge spiritual practices in the next few days.
See you next time!