I got to do a photoshoot a couple of weeks ago. First of all, I think this is an experience that everyone should have at least once. Working with a photographer in a one-on-one setting, there’s a certain magic about it.
But I digress. I want you to see how hygge is portable. I want you to see that time in nature is hygge. I want you to see that hygge can be a solo activity. It’s taking time to be in the moment, to be somewhere beautiful. Most importantly, it’s taking time to be beautiful to yourself, in your own company. That’s where the magic happens. How often do we pour out love and beauty for the benefit of others? And why oh why, don’t we do it for ourselves?
I’ll tell you why, it’s because we let ourselves off the hook. The story goes something like this: “I’ll just eat dinner standing over the kitchen sink, or sitting in front of the TV or computer. It’s only me here, and I don’t feel like setting the table and dirtying up the dishes.” Or maybe something like this: “I’ll be at home all day today, why bother getting changed out of my pyjamas? No one will see me.” Now, I don’t know about you, but usually when I get obstinate like that, it’s inevitably the day the delivery guy turns up! Hey, I get it, life gets busy, and we all get tired.
Well, I’m calling BS on that, it’s a feeble excuse for not treating ourselves right. Remember when we all used to be told we should treat others the way we would like to be treated? When did we let that go? Why did we let that go? Trust me, the people you meet on your daily round will appreciate the consideration. However, let’s put a pin in that for now though, because I want you to think about how you would like to be treated. Muse on that for a bit. Would you rather wink at yourself in the mirror before you leave the house? Or not even bother to look because you haven’t put in the effort to look good for yourself? Would you rather delight in reading a good book and sipping a cup of your favourite tea or coffee on a rainy afternoon? Or do you prefer running yourself ragged trying to catch up to a never-ending to do list? Would you rather tell yourself how grateful you are for your own pleasant company? Or not even consider yourself, whilst knocking yourself out to be prim and proper for the benefit of everyone else? Candles and china? Or fluorescents and Styrofoam? Flowers and chocolates? Or empty, dusty vases, and fish sticks? Forget about how other people treat you, focus on how you’re treating yourself! I recently watched a terrific video from Will Smith, and he was discussing the difference between fault and responsibility. If someone else behaves badly, that’s their fault. However, it’s your responsibility to go forward and be happy, vibrant, and dazzlingly magnificent anyway. Personally, I think he hit the nail right on the head.
Start setting boundaries. We all need them, even when we’re all grown up. The fun thing is, as a grown up you get to decide for yourself what parts of your life need protecting and cultivating. Do it, for your own sake!