Imagine a World

Imagine a world where your daughter has personal power, sovereignty over her own body, a broad understanding of beauty that includes her, the confidence to trust her intuition, healthy relationships and healthy boundaries, and a connection to the natural world around her.  Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Families Need a Network of Support

Families need a network of other supportive people involved in their daughter’s upbringing- coaches, mentors, teachers, etc to counterbalance the negative messages from politicians, main stream media, the public education system, and peer pressure, to name a few.  They need other adults in the community to link arms and provide a net of support for girls- physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

What Do We Hope For?

Katharine Krueger, founder of the Journey of Young Women program, asked, “What do we hope for girls on their journey from girlhood to womanhood?”  Her answers inspired me to earn certification as a Journey of Young Women coach…

  • To believe in her self-worth, regardless of popularity or looks
  • To be safe and make wholesome decisions
  • To claim her gifts, talents and strengths with self-confidence
  • To have good friends and to be a good friend
  • To speak her truth- to those in power and to peers
  • To understand, honor, and care for her changing body

A Retreat for Girls (ages 8-12)

I designed my retreat around qualities that every person has in some measure, qualities that need to be nurtured and supported in our young girls, such as compassion, wisdom, and self-care.  I integrated stories of the Divine Feminine, movement, role playing, conversation, and creative expression to support each theme in a meaningful way.  There was no “direct teaching”; everything was experiential, relevant, and fun!

Enriching Activities

When we talked about Kuan Yin, we made vessels to hold our own water of compassion.

When we spoke of Aphrodite, we looked through magazines geared to women and girls to see what messages were being sent.  They are savvy, perceptive, loving, kind human beings with wisdom beyond their years.  They recognize that the definition of beauty goes far deeper than makeup and far broader than a thin body (no pun intended).

Beautiful Inside and Out

The most poignant moment for me took place after our discussion of beauty.  Each girl held a mirror and said her own name followed by “You are beautiful inside and out!”  Already, at this young age, two girls couldn’t bring themselves to look in their own eyes and say that.  One couldn’t do it at all and the other asked, “Miss Susan, can I just say I’m beautiful on the inside?”

With encouragement from me and the other girls, she finally smiled and told herself what she needed to hear, “I AM BEAUTIFUL ON THE INSIDE AND OUT!”

Because meaningful rites of passage are woefully lacking in our culture, the retreat ended with a sacred ceremony that honored each girl individually as she walks the path of puberty and womanhood and also honored them as members of “The Nature Girl Tribe”.

 

 

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!!