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Jill’s Hygge Journey

Even though I didn’t know it, my Hygge journey started long before I ever heard of it.

Some of my fondest memories are looking back to the annual ski trips my family would take; we’d road trip to amazing places in order to hit some of the best ski slopes and to connect as a family. Part of the memories that I cherish are the moments after we’d return from an exciting day of skiing, bodies tired, cuddled up in a warm cabin, drinking hot chocolate in front of a wood-burning fireplace, and spending true quality time as a family. As I grew up I continued to seek out and adore these types of moments, whether it was during a s’mores filled family bonfire at our lakeside cabin, a long hike in the woods, a fishing excursion, horseback riding along a scenic mountain top or finding a quaint bed & breakfast when travelling.  But what was it that brought the feeling of comfort, contentment and connection?  Was it the activity itself …. or was it that state of mindfulness that comes with true Hygge moments?

Life was good, discovering new adventures and finding comfort in the special moments. But, as life does, everything changed with the blink of an eye.

Having experienced the worst imaginable loss, losing my second daughter, everything suddenly came to a halt.  My world was turned upside-down and the grief I endured was in ways I didn’t think were humanly possible. I was pretty certain that I’d never smile or laugh again.  Through the grief, I was forced to look at life and reevaluate everything; having sudden *clarity* on what is truly important in life. The beautiful family that I did (and do) have.

Working my way through that grief was not easy, but I was lucky enough to find solace in my family while also discovering a new hobby: gardening and urban homesteading.

I became more *connected* with the ideas around traditional farm-to-table food preparation and began to appreciate the slower simplicity of it all. During this time, I developed The Urban Homestead, where began delivering customized workshops on fermentation and traditional food preparation. I felt excited again about something that brought me so much joy!  During this time I was back in touch with my adventurous side and not only did I convert my home into an urban homestead oasis with a massive front yard edible garden, I started looking for other ways to connect again with nature and the world around me. I started to seek out ways to have heartwarming adventures from hiking explorations, canoe trips, yoga retreats, horseback-riding journeys to day trips filled with wild-edible foraging.  Having always had an adventurous soul, these meaningful times provided me the personal space to feel reconnected with myself after my loss.  At the same time though, looking at those moments, I can also see that it wasn’t necessarily the travel or the activity itself that helped in my (ongoing) healing.  It was being in a mindful state and experiencing the comforting essence of hygge that brought me so much closer to the peace I was seeking.  One doesn’t need to travel the world to find hygge, I know that now. Hygge also doesn’t need to cost you anything.  It’s really an internal state of mind as for me, hygge lives within you and you can carry it anywhere you go.

How did I learn about Hygge? When I was first introduced to the idea of Hygge, I didn’t think much of it.

The word itself rattled around in my head, not meaning much to me, until I came across it again a few years later and things started to click into place. These moments that I cherish and lived for finally had a definition that I could grasp. Unknowingly, I’d been craving and working towards a very Hygge-centered life, through finding the importance of the quiet moments from my childhood, to becoming more grounded in my gardening and appreciating the wholeness of it. I also realized that these moments and small adventures were what helped me work through the grief I was feeling from losing a daughter.  This very acknowledgment has helped me without even knowing it;  I have become calmer, happier and more at peace with the grief that I have been carrying with me.  Being able to define these moments through Hygge, and becoming more mindful of enjoying the simplicity of them has made me a more positive and lighter person, a change that even my friends and family were able to see in me.

While I’m still working on my Hygge journey, I felt that it was important to share with others.

I think that the world needs the idea of Hygge now more than ever. In the society that exists today, everyone is constantly on the move, working and being ‘busy’, so there really is something to be said about taking a step back and being mindful of enjoying the “inner” comforting moments that life has to offer. Moments like the heartfelt cuddles from loved ones (fur babies count), to the quiet calm in the morning with a hot drink and the flicker of a candle, to the joy you find when walking in nature and soaking up the beauty of it all. So many of us spend our days working and feeling a great sense of being ‘disconnected’ and I believe that there’s a way to bring Hygge into every aspect of your life.

Through it’s carefully curated events, retreats and subscription boxes, Hygge Canada’s mission is to bring others a sense of Inner Comfort, Clarity & Connection.