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9 WAYS TO LIVE BEAUTIFUL (Simple Ways to Bring Hygge into your Life Today)

FIRST, DECIDE that you are going to live beautiful, be comfortable, and enjoy the small indulgences that bring calm and peace into your life.

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HYGGE – the Danish art of living comfortably

It’s fine to live a quiet life that is full of rich experiences and down times where you can recharge yourself and reset your mind.

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LIVE BEAUTIFUL?

  1. SURROUND YOURSELF with beautiful things and rich experiences that love.

How do I live beautiful? I love to …

  1. INDULGE IN WATCHING TV and movies. I love movies and can binge watch the same ones over and over.  Hello Netflix, comfy couch, soft home clothes and plush blankets.
  2. TAKE A WARM BUBBLE BATH and enjoy a home spa using the thickest towels, natural soap cakes, and home make facial masks made with fresh avocadoes and virgin coconut oil. Add candle light and meditative sounds to slow the mind and reduce brain clutter.

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Living beautiful means something different to everyone.  What do you consider beautiful?  When do you see something and … pause? 

  1. MAKE A CHARCUTERIE BOARD with decadent cheeses, artisan breads, thin cut meats, black pitted olives and warm olive oil, all paired with a smooth bottle of red wine. Take time to enjoy the preparation and eating.  Taste everything.  Savour the textures and feel.

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LIVE BEAUTIFUL.  EVERYDAY.  IN EVERYWAY.

  1. DRINK HOT CHOCOLATE with rich fresh cream and read my favourite blogs – something about minimalist décor- from within my softest blanket, wearing fuzzy reading socks.

REST YOUR MIND … everyday

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  1. RELAX ON A PATIO with a bbq dinner featuring grilled veggies, fish, chicken or steak. Think comfort fresh comfort foods: corn on the cob, heirloom garlic and potatoes, mixed green salad and chocolate fudge cake paired with wine or local craft beer.
  2. GO FOR A DRIVE with a hot coffee and listen to a podcast or an audiobook.

TAKE TIME TO THINK ABOUT THE THINGS YOU LOVE, THE EXPERIENCES THAT ALLOW YOU TO EXHALE.

  1. GO FOR A LONG WALK and stop into the library or bookstore to browse.   Unwind.  Undo.
  2. COOK OR BAKE while watching Netflix on my tablet. Fill your home with the rich warm scents of fresh hearty food and light fluffy baking.

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When comes that moment to pause for you?   What does it mean to live beautiful for you?


HYGGE YOUR WRITING SPACE (where ever you write)

As a completely undisciplined writer, I have to get out of the house to get any decent amount of work done.  Even though I’ll be home alone, my house has too many distractions to allow me a proper head space for uninterrupted work: the dog wines so I get up to put her outside, the turtle starts splashing which leads to me mopping the floor, and I do try to just look past the laundry pile but end up stopping to ‘just put it in.’

Sigh.

Fortunately there are a lot of great places in and around Ottawa where you can hygge down to write.  I haunt them often and never tire of the welcome sense of comfortable writing time they give.

The best writing sessions are done in a comfortable space that you have made your own, aka made it your hygge writing space.

To make your space truly hygge, add familiar things to make it warm and alluring, even if just for a little while.

For Ottawa people, recognize any of these places?

When at home, it’s very easy to hygge up your writing area by adding soft things, green things and fun things.

Where ever you are, make and keep your writing space, as ‘that space’ where you love to nest and get things done.   If it’s hard to leave you’ll be less tempted to get up and ‘do just one thing.’

Live hygge everyone!

Get your free copy of THE HYGGE WRITER here.

THE HYGGE WRITER (6 Fun Ways to Get Comfortable for NaNoWriMo)

 

  1. Make your DESK BEAUTIFUL and SIMPLE. Take everything off.  Then only put back on the things that are necessary.  Keep it simple.   Less distraction.   Some beautiful additions:    Pens and pencils. Notebook.  Research books.  Coffee or tea or wine.

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  1. Start READING. Delve into something fun and genre specific to get your ideas flowing and your creative well filled.  Take out and reread a few of your writing craft reads.  Go to the library and take out some research books to collect ideas that you can use over the next thirty days.

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  1. Develop a ROUTINE … routine routine routine. Wake up. Coffee.    Sleep.  Repeat.    If only it were that simple!?  However, develop a routine that will work for you.  Get things you will need to make things easier ahead of time.  Seek out some gourmet coffee beans and luxury cream ahead of time so you can skip that drive to the café and enjoy your morning write at home.  Find your favourite loose leaf tea and organic cane sugar cubes and set them up on your best tea service tray so your afternoon write time is sacred and special.

 

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  1. Take our your HYGGE WEAR. Think of your comfy plush clothes as your hygge writer uniform: soft pants, warm shirts, thick socks.  Designate your best and keep them on reserve for writing time.

 

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  1. Organize your MUSIC PLAYLISTS. Set up some Youtube favourite lists or Spotify playlists just for writing. You want to hear the music and have your mind automatically switch into creative mode.

 

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  1. Figure out your QUITE WRITE time. Most important.  Set aside sometime during the day for just writing.  It’s only for a month so get disciplined.  Get comfortable.  Go write.

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bullet journalHow do you Nano?  Everyone has some way they prepare for and write during NaNo.  What’s your way?

HYGGE FOR THE MIND AND SOUL (Finding Comfort when seasons change)

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THIS FALL has certainly started out as one of true change for me as my mother of 88 years just passed away.  Though she was elderly and you always know that one day you’ll lose your mother, everybody does eventually, I can honestly say that I was just not ready. 

Looking back, and I have been doing plenty of that with her passing, I felt changes coming in early September, and though I paused to contemplate those feelings of coming change, I never imagined this.  I thought life was getting me ready for different changes and maybe some new life lessons. 

June 4 birthday (13)But this season has taught me a lot about …

Feeling completely lost and then strangely found.

The pain of hopelessness and then wonderful budding hope. 

Having to let go and feeling oddly weightless before the crushing relief of finding some sure footing again.

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NOW IS THE TIME FOR COMFORT, to give in to that pull for comfort, comfortable spaces, comfort food, and comfortable writing.  Retreating to your comfort zone brings a welcomed solace and quality time to recharge and breath.

APPRECIATE THE GOODNESS, WARMTH AND COMFORT IN YOUR LIFE.  Take pleasure in routine and the things that are familiar.  They bring a wonderful sense of comfort and reassurance that life continues on and everyone moves in their own way.

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FEEL GOOD WHERE YOU ARE.  Make it beautiful. Make it comfortable. Make it cozy.  Surround yourself with your creature comforts.

NOURISH YOUR SOUL.  Bring warm and happiness to your heart with familiar things, music and meditations. 

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LIVE IN THE MOMENT (when your mind races forward and goes crazy with too many thoughts of what if, maybe I should have, why didn’t I, someday I could) bring yourself back to right now and appreciate every day before slowly creeping forward toward a new reality. 

3 Ways to bring yourself back to the present.

bullet journal motif (1)Adult colouring pages if you have the time to sit and clear your mind.

Crossword puzzles, word searches and other mind puzzles, will bring your thoughts back and focused on something right here and now.

Take stock of five things around you and name them: tree, park bench, stop sign, yellow car, sleeping dog.  Sometimes it might take naming ten things, or just three to bring yourself out of a thought spin and back to the present.

 

MOVE FORWARD – Bullet journal to reflect and find direction.

 I don’t know what kind of changes life has whirl winded through your soul, but know that hygge can bring you some balance.  Life without your mom, the woman who was just always there, when far away, is now…gone.  It’s time to change and live in a new reality, one that can be made beautiful, secure, comfortable and safe. 

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DO NOT BE AFRAID to create a new comfort zone.

 

MULLED WINE and CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPES

 

Mulled Wine

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of sweet red wine
  • ½ bottle of brandy, Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • Handful of cloves to spike the orange and lemon
  • A few cinnamon sticks
  • Pinch of mace
  • Sugar and water (simple syrup) OR maple syrup

POUR liquids into a heavy pot on the stove.  Low heat.

SPIKE the orange and lemon with clove, then cut zest strips and add to pot.

ADD cinnamon sticks and mace.

TURN up the heat but do not boil.

ADD simple or maple syrup to taste.

SERVE hot in a glass.

 

Chocolate Chip Twix Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 2 packages of Twix bars, cut into small pieces

COMBINE wet ingredients and fold into mixed dry ingredients.

ADD chipits and Twix pieces.

ROLL mix into small balls, and bake 9-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Montreal July 2017 (26)FIND a book and comfy blanket. 

Read.  Sip. Chew. Repeat….

 

 

TAKE CARE YOU (What Anxiety Can Look Like and Self Care is the Only Option)

Your mind just does not turn off ….

You start to mourn and grieve and romanticize your relationship with your elderly mother while she’s still alive.

You think and plan ahead for when another random tornado hits your city … and I mean planning how you’ll call 911 to come and help you get out of your basement and it’s a clear day without a forecast for rain.

You glance through a blog post about someone dealing with Parkinson’s disease and you freeze when you feel a muscle jump in your finger, then you look around your living room and start trying to figure out how you’ll maneuver the wheelchair you’re going to need around the space.

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And your mind keeps going … your thoughts keep spinning … and you wonder how you’ll stop everything from spinning out of control.

A situation happens and your replay every moment infinite detail again and again and again; you over think everything and start adding thoughts of what if … why now … what will happen next … I could do this … maybe try that …

And as your thoughts turn and turn, your tummy fills up with an army of butterflies that have shockingly sharp teeth, and you feel like there is no possible way to ever calm down let alone sleep.  There is just no way you’ll ever sleep tonight.

When it all finally comes to a head, and you’re sure the only thing left is to run screaming into the night, you’re so exhausted all you can do is shake … tremors run all through your system and you alternate between feeling like you want to throw up or curl up in a ball and slide into the abyss.

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN POLARIZED BY ANXIETY AND FEAR?

 

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SELF-CARE.  There is nobody better to take care of you, than you.  You know what you need.  You know how you feel.  You instinctively know how to heal yourself.

TRUST YOURSELF.  Hard when you feel like your mind has taken control and your body is limping after it. But, remember that the universe may be ultimately in control over the larger picture and general goings on in your life, but you have complete control over how you react and deal with it all, and you can deal with it all and will.  Trust me.  Trust yourself.

SELF CARE PRACTICES FOR ANXIETY

TAKE A MIND BATH

Build yourself a mental self-care space.  You’re already living in your tumultuous mind so lean in and push out.  Put yourself in the center of the mess and take control of your own mind.  Push outward until you feel you have enough space to breathe.  Close your eyes and push all those overwhelming thoughts away; like you’re in heavily packed snow and you push out to make walls for a snow fort.  You can deal with all those thoughts and worries in a minute, but for now you need to give yourself space.

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IMAGINE yourself in middle of your anxieties and you push everything outward until there is a hefty gap between you and all your thoughts and fears.  Don’t try to figure everything out or even deal with them right now, concentrate on moving things away so you have breathing space.

TAKE A SOUND BATH.

MEDITATE to quiet your mind and reduce the overwhelm.  Fill the gap you just pushed out with ambient music targeted to calm anxiety.

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“Weightless” by Marconi Union (eight minutes of guitar, piano and electronically created nature sounds features Buddhist like chants that induce a trance-like state) is said to reduce anxiety by 65%.  According to Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, the song uses several musical principles to create the ultimate calming effect on anxiety.  “It contains a sustaining rhythm that starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slow to around 50.  While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat.  The reason why the piece is eight minutes long is also carefully calculated as it takes about five minutes for this process, known as entrainment, to occur.”  https://hackspirit.com/neuroscience-says-one-song-reduces-anxiety-65-percent/

PROTECT YOUR SELF CARE SPACE.  Go ahead and:

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CANCEL A COMMITMENT or don’t answer a phone call.  You will get back to them.  Right now you’re taking care of yourself because you need to be there for yourself.

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION to change your mind, say no, take the day off and do nothing.  It is okay to be alone and regroup.  You need this time to reset or risk operating out of control.

GO FOR A WALK.  There is great power in the release of your body’s natural endorphins, one of the brain’s feel-good chemicals.  A walk is a natural way to process things and then let go of them.  Letting go is hard.  Trusting the universe is hard.  No one likes that free-floating feeling.  We all prefer to ultimately be grounded.

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ANXIETY AND FEAR are often wrapped up in fear of the unknown.  If we knew how things were going to work out, we could focus on a point and work toward it.  Only life is just not so simple.  It’s messy and unpredictable and thought we’d like to always be ready for whatever life will toss us, often we aren’t.  We can only trust in ourselves, our inner selves to help us gain that core stability we need to take a breath, step forward and lean in.

When that feeling of mad fear and anxiety sets in, what coping methods do you use to still the crazy and regain balance?

 

 

6 WAYS TO KEEP PEACE AND BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE

peace of mind blog post (9)“Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.” ~Brian Tracy

If you’d also like to develop a greater sense of peace in your life, you may find these suggestions helpful:

MEDITATION

Take five to ten minutes for a simple seated meditation moment; especially in the morning before you start the day.  Clear you mind and begin …

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COMMUNICATION

Write down everything that’s weighing you down mentally and then burn it as a form of letting go.

Write down everything you’ve learned from a difficult experience so you can see it as something useful and empowering instead of a time that was stressful.

Apologize for a mistake and move on; instead of rehashing it.  Choose to forgive yourself and accept that you’re human.

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CREATIVITY

Engage in art therapy; colouring with crayons, markers, or paint can bring deep feelings of peace and relaxation.  There is a reason why adult colouring books have exploded in popularity.

Create a peace collage with images that make you feel relaxed and at ease.

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ACTIVITY

Take five to ten minutes for stretching, syncing your breath with the movements.

De clutter your personal space.  Clear space.  Clear mind.

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ACCEPTANCE

Create a list of things you love about yourself instead of dwelling on how you wish you were different.

Focus on what you appreciate about the people in your life instead of wishing they would change.

Accept the here and now and enjoy it for what it is, not as you would have it.

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SOLITUDE

Start reading that book you bought.  Create a hygge space and nest for some personal reading time.

Schedule a date with yourself, a time when you don’t need to meet anyone else’s requests, and do something that feeds your mind and spirit.  Take time to enjoy your own company.   

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Be your own best friend for a while.


Adapted for the Hygge Writer from: 40  Ways to Create Peace of Mind.  By Lori Deschene

WHAT ARE MY STORIES ARE REALLY ABOUT?

There’s always something, some spark of an idea that captures my interest in writing a story.

Often it’s quirky and ridiculous, a what would happen if . . . thought that takes off running through my mind until I get it down on paper.


THThe SEALs Undivorce CoverE SEAL’S UNDIVORCE.  What if the hero, a soldier was so caught up in his duties he returned from a mission to find out that not only was his wife divorcing him, it was because he didn’t even notice that she was pregnant before he left?

Who are the people that find pregnancy erotic?


Church Mouse COVERCHURCH MOUSE ON HIS MOTORCYCLE.  What would happen if I paired a church girl with a biker? How would they have ever ended up together in the first place?  What if she wanted to Rise! from her current situation to become something more.

What if we all had a bucket list for living and starting a new life instead of a list of things to do before we died?


Romantic Heartbeats COVER

CHIMERA TEAM.  What if there was a secret team within the Canadian military’s special operations unit?  A unit made up of highly skilled special operations soldiers who only come together to carry out classified missions then disappear back to regular duties to hide in plain sight.

 


Spanish Security CoverSPANISH SECURITY.   What would happen if you woke up in a strange mystical country, a virtual prisoner of a man who has hated you for over a year?

Beautiful things can happen when you stop trying to prove your worth in a toxic workplace that doesn’t appreciate you.

 


A SEAL TO SLAY DRAGONS bookcover

A SEAL TO SLAY DRAGONS.   What if you chose the wrong men to avoid being hurt; because your whole life, you thought you had weird sexual quirks?

What if the heroine finally lets go and trusts the hero enough to orgasm, but then faints?  Can you orgasm so hard you pass out?  I did a lot of research and found out that you actually can!


pexels-photo-943999.pngFOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME

What would happen if a straight-laced virgin who faces an arranged marriage decides to explore erotic sex with a hot man whore first?

coming soon …

 


 

THE HYGGE WRITER (create a comfortable writing life)

HYGGE WRITER cover

WRITING.  One person’s business, another’s comfort zone.  I fall into the comfort zone category.  

HYGGE:  The Norwegian and Danish word for a mood of coziness and comfort with feelings of wellness and contentment.  Wikipedia.

Creating a comfortable writing space, physical and headspace is very important to me, so I habitually surround myself with rich and decadently writing materials and listen to soft music with quiet lighting and wine nearby.  

That settles my creative brain.

THE HYYGE WRITER is my pocketful of creative inspirations for making a comfortable writing life.  Download it with my PAUSE newsletter.

hygge writer pdf book (10)* Make Personal Zen Spaces * Creative Energy for Introverts

* Reading Retreats and Comfort Spaces * What’s Your Creative Default Setting?

* Ghost Writing is Wonderful for Introverts * Creative Provocations and Musing

* Bullet Journals – Organize That Mess In Your Head  * Build Your Own Creative Loft – make a great space to work in. * Find Your Online Tribe


(EXCERPT)                                      BULLET JOURNALS:  Build A Creative Process

laptop (5)NEEDED:  Routines and rituals, familiarity and trust – disorganization need not apply!

Creativity can be elusive, but if we can set up some loose parameters into a process, we can capture ideas and pin them down long enough to smooth them out and make them useable.

Bullet journals put organization to random thoughts.

Figure out where and when you do your best free-thinking – times when you feel safe to think out of the box—then go there and throw out all of your ideas, everyone no matter how ridiculous.

If you’re stuck you’ll have to get out of that comfort zone, see new people or go to a different place.  Watch.  Learn.  See what people do.  Listen to how they talk.  Take in the new experience.  The world looks different when you see it from another place, another perspective or from someone else’s point of view.  Pencil it all down, no matter how random, into your journal – bullet form.

Use your bullet journal to make note of every idea that might be just passing through, then when you’re stuck, smooth these ideas out.  Try them in your head, turn them around and see what happens if you follow just one crazy thought through to the end.  Trust your instincts and remember you’re an introvert so chances are you’re doing this alone.  Who’s going to judge if you come up a bad idea?

 

HYGGE WRITER coverebook download