Embracing Hygge Before I Knew What It Was

Silly socks are cozy and are one way to let hygge into your life.
Silly socks are fun and cozy. I try not to take footwear too seriously.

 

Introduction to Hygge

As the rain fell this morning, I was savoring a cup of coffee and the latest issue of Bella Grace magazine when I came across the word “hygge” (pronounced hue-guh).  Reading through the articles, I got the impression that this term describes what I’m attracted to and what I aspire to in my daily life- coziness, comfort, intimacy, simplicity, joy, and presence.

I googled the term and found that it is a Danish word meaning “the art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel openhearted and alive; a coziness of the soul.” (LaWhimsy-WordNerd)

“A Coziness of the Soul”

Without knowing the word or its origin, I have embraced the feeling of hygge for years- in my home and garden, in my personal sense of style, and in how I try to relate to those I hold dear (all admitted works in progress).

My sanctuary is my backyard. Hygge is exemplified in everything I see; especially my hammock for two.
Comfort, relaxation, intimacy- all in the sanctuary of my cute and cozy backyard.

 

Hygge At Home

  • a hammock for two
  • a garden designed as a sanctuary- full of herbs, berries, flowers, birdhouses, and whimsical lawn art
  • lawn furniture on the deck for enjoying the sunset or watching fireflies sparkle in the nearby field
  • pillows
  • candles
  • soft throw blankets
  • soup in sturdy handcrafted mugs
  • zinnias- the more, the better!
  • inviting bed linens that make it hard to get up in the morning
  • open windows that let in the breeze or the sound of heavy rain
  • meditation area in a spare bedroom
  • my art studio… the ultimate sanctuary
  • lots of books in practically every room

Hygge In My Personal Style

  • Sensual fabrics that envelop me
  • Bath salts, essential oils, and scented lotions for a bit of pampering
  • A great selection of music for every occasion and mood
  • Yes, silly socks!

Hygge With Those I Love

  • Walks in nature
  • Free summertime concerts in the park
  • Casual cookouts or potlucks so no one is stuck in the kitchen
  • Picnics
  • Relaxing time in a coffee shop or diner
  • Browsing leisurely through a bookstore
  • Laughter… lots of it!
  • Just being together- comfortable in the silence

Alex Beauchamp wrote on her website, Hygge House, that “Hygge literally only requires a conscious appreciation, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present- but to recognize and enjoy the present.”  She goes on to say, “Some also refer to hygge as an ‘art of creating intimacy‘.”

May 2018 bring you all the coziness, intimacy, joy, laughter, and comfort that you desire.  Happy New Year!!

 

 

 

 

Appreciation for Life’s Little Joys

Art is one of Susan Korsnick's greatest Little Joys.
Creating art is one of my favorite Little Joys. It invites me to be present  and playful in body, mind, and soul.

 

EXPRESSING MY APPRECIATION FOR LITTLE JOYS

Several years ago, I became more aware of my appreciation for life’s Little Joys.  I actively sought them out.  I didn’t have to look far or put much effort into finding them.  They were, and are, around me every day.  These treasures come bundled in gratitude, reverence, nostalgia, and humor.  At times, I capture some in photographs and post them to Instagram and Facebook; at other times, I write a blog post like the one titled Little Joys Part 1 from April 2015.  More often than not, I just stop, allow my Self to be fully present, and imprint the moment on my heart and soul.  These memories later flow out of me and into my artwork.

Snowy Days are another of life's little joys.
Snowy days give me permission to slow down and savor each moment.

 

STOP AND SAVOR THE MOMENT

Some treasured experiences are so fleeting that all I can do is stop and savor the moment.  After a playful session in my art studio, I laugh at the rainbow of paint on my hands and most likely, somewhere on my clothing, too.  A single leaf flutters past on the crisp autumnal wind; I float with it.  Sunlight dances on a sycamore’s mottled bark; I let my eyes dance over it’s surface wishing my hands could touch it, too.  The snow falls with the distinct sound of silence; I let the silence wash over me and fill me.  As I dress, I pay attention to the feel of various fabrics against my skin- the practical warmth of wool, the snuggly comfort of polar fleece, the luxurious softness of velvet, or the heightened femininity of lace.  The strong, bold taste of coffee in a ceramic mug delights all my senses; the feel of the mug warms my hands as the coffee warms me inside.  Obviously, my list goes on and on with all the Little Joys that reveal themselves to me!

Coffee is a Little Joy
What’s better than fresh ground coffee in a sturdy ceramic mug?

MY MOST TREASURED MOMENTS ARE SMALL

While I love life’s big adventures, my greatest appreciation is for treasured moments that are “small”.  Julie Cameron writes in her bestseller Finding Water, “Life is made of small sweetnesses, and they come to us when we are willing to be little, instead of big.”  She goes on to say, “Sometimes, we must play the sleuth with ourselves, asking ourselves what makes us eager.  We must follow our noses and allow ourselves to pursue curiosities.”  I agree with Julia, that at times we may be out of touch with ourselves and need to ask, “What makes my heart sing?”  But for me, more often than not, I don’t have to analyze my Little Joys.  I need to step out of my own way and simply allow them to be.  They having a way of finding me!

Dogs are at the top of my list of Little Joys
Goofy dogs like Sophie and Freyja have to be on my list of Little Joys. Just look at those faces!

 

TO FIND LIFE’S LITTLE JOYS

When life is super-busy, it’s easy to miss the Little Joys.  I’m preoccupied with to-do lists, obligations, and errands.  I’m reflecting on the past and planning for the future (as every good teacher does).  It’s at these times that life gives me a reminder (sometimes a friendly reminder, sometimes a not-so-friendly kick in the pants!), saying, “Be still and notice what brings you joy.  Fill your life with more of that and savor each precious moment!  Take time to share your little joys with the special people in your life.”

Stillness connects me to Little Joys
Stillness is at once a Little Joy and the light that illuminates other Little Joys.  I’d delete the word “alone” if I created this now, for I’ve learned that Little Joys are best when shared with someone else.

 

What are your Little Joys?  I’d love to know.  

 

Awaken to Creative Possibilities

This week, I’m sharing how “saying yes” in my creative process awakens possibilities beyond the realm of intellectual decision-making.  Last week’s blog post “Saying Yes Leads to the Next Yes” explored how opening to possibilities in life as they speak to me on a soul level, can create space for profoundly wonderful things to happen.  The same is true with my artistic process.  Sometimes, I start with an idea or sketch which makes its way to the canvas or paper.  Other times, I like to sit in the stillness and wait.  Rather than put my idea on the surface, I want to see what will reveal itself to me.  Being receptive rather than being “in charge”.  Allowing rather than controlling.

Awakening to creative possibilities means saying yes as images appear.
The sketch for “Awakening” came when I allowed music to guide my process.

INSPIRATION THAT AWAKENED MY CREATIVITY

Several weeks ago, I decided to do something I had never done before.  This isn’t news.  I love trying new things!  Sounds of Spirit was performing nearby and I had the opportunity to attend.  I had never heard of them before but their website intrigued me so off I went with a sleeping bag, my journal, and a water bottle.  It was a spiritually moving and creatively inspiring experience.  The group uses a rich variety of instruments, nature sounds, and human voices to transport the listeners to a different place.  The outward experience of being in the space with them led to an inward journey for many of us in attendance.  I was so deeply moved that I bought their CD and listened to it over and over as I worked in my art studio.

 

Colorful washes both hide and reveal.
During the creative process, I have to allow each bold choice to guide me to the next choice.

 

ALLOW MYSELF TO BE A CHANNEL

On the day I created the sketch above, I turned up the volume on my CD player and let the music wash over me and through me.  I kept my eyes closed until imagery started to appear.  Then, I opened my eyes and simply transferred those images to the paper.  I felt like I was a channel not a creator at that point.  I said “Yes” to one image, which informed the next, which informed the next.   I allowed the process to happen freely without interference from my analytical mind or pesky inner critic.

I started with the 3 large repeated shapes in the background.  Then, the larger seated figure wanted to appear.  Then, little images around her began to tell their own story.  These figures informed the border and smaller symbols around the edges.  Each “yes” lead to the next “yes”.  The same thing happened when I chose my first color to wash over the larger areas.  Each choice naturally flowed into the next.

 

BEING BOLD MEANS BEING VULNERABLE

Who said being bold meant being confident or certain?  Not me!  Having the courage to be bold is also having the courage to be vulnerable and exposed.  Being bold doesn’t mean I’m always going to get it right in art or in life.  It means I have the courage to try.  There is a measure of risk  in creating art that is a genuine reflection of who I am and where I am on my journey.  There is even greater boldness and vulnerability in allowing others to see it.  For I’m aware that those who truly look at my art with open minds and hearts will have the ability to catch a brief glimpse inside the soul of the artist.

The finished piece by Susan Korsnick is an example of what happens when one is open to creative possibilities.
The finished mixed media piece titled Awakening is the result of saying yes to creative possibilities.

 

AWAKENING

After many hours in the studio and many layers of pencil, gouache, and ink, AWAKENING was complete.  I was awakened to the possibilities created by saying one “yes” after another.  I hope this piece awakens something in you, too.