Hygee Challenge Journal Week One
Each week I will post a page to track my progress and thoughts about my hygee challenge. I will add all entries for the week to that week’s post.
Today the hygee challenge was born. It started when I had about 30 minutes of down time and noticed that my default thought was to “work some more”. Instead I forced myself to do something creative. I got out some cool gel pens my husband bought me for Christmas (that I had only used once) and started to doodle. And the message from my soul? SLOW DOWN. I had recently come across the word hygee (hoo-guh) and the idea of slowing down sparked an idea–a blog challenge. I quickly brainstormed 10 ideas that I could do for a week each to add a little slow to my life. So here goes!
Today I got a little more slow than I bargained for. I homeschool my youngest and typically we work in the office/schoolroom. We work side by side and while he works independently I answer emails, process photos, update web stuff, or prep stems for bouquets–things I can easily stop and walk away from to answer his questions or tutor a lesson. I multi-task. To me, there’s no point sitting there doing nothing while he’s working on something he doesn’t need my help with, or when I’m not teaching.
Well, today he wanted to go outside and do math and literature on the trampoline (something we do from time to time to break things up and enjoy the nice weather). So we went outside. The problem with outside is there are so many wonderful things to distract a young mind from book work, like red-breasted robins, and fat flying bumble bees, crane flies, and cotton floating on the breeze, not to mention a front flip on the tramp now and then. These are all good things, but needless to say, math and literature took a lot longer than it usually does.
There I was on the trampoline with nothing to distract me in the moments between his needing my tutoring. I vacillated between the knowledge that these are precious moments that will never be given again and the nagging feeling that I should be doing something to maximize my time. I forced myself to lay back on the trampoline while he worked his math problems and enjoy the warmish breeze and the overcast skies, to listen to the birds chirping, and to just BE. It’s hard for me. But I am learning. I’ve experienced tremendous healing over the last year and this pattern of being too busy to feel life is a left-over coping mechanism from my past. My soul knows that I need to rid myself of it, and make room for joy. I’m clumsy at this. I stumble along, falling frequently into patterns of too busy. But the thought to slow down is a welcome disruption to that pattern. Just having the thought means I am healing it. The thought creates space for me to choose differently. Awareness is a beautiful gift.
Later, in the afternoon, I spontaneously did something else slow. I turned the sound off on my phone and left it in my bedroom while I did my strength training downstairs (trying to get back in shape). After I was finished, I did the unthinkable…I laid down on my bed for 20 minutes and perused Instagram. I NEVER, and I mean never, lay down during the day. And I must admit, it felt like a delicious treat. I felt so at peace when I got up.
This evening I did the writing challenge. I switched back and forth between dominant and non-dominant hand writing. It went slowly, as planned. I also treated my senses by using a beautiful cotton cardstock. It has the most divine texture. I love how it feels. I don’t use it enough.
I think today was a good beginning to slow….
Don’t you love how life shows up to support your intentions? Last night I had some weird random, but pretty severe abdominal pain so I didn’t sleep well. I woke up feeling slow. And I’ve been slow all day. Slow was the goal, right?
For my challenge, I switched it up a bit today. I’m by no means a calligrapher and I’m definitely a rusty artist (haven’t been drawing for about 10 years). Instead of writing I sketched carelessly with a calligraphy pen in my notebook for about 10 minutes. It’s nice to just put pen to paper and not worry about mistakes or how things turn out. It’s messy. It doesn’t look that great. And I’m totally okay with that. Sketching without expectation breeds contentment with that human and imperfect side in each of us. And when you’re at peace with your imperfections, you feel more joy.
Didn’t feel so great today, so it was naturally slow. It was rainy and overcast in the afternoon so I switched on the fireplace, sat by the big window in my living room where I could see the rain, and wrote my thoughts in my journal. That felt cozy, which is what hygee encompasses–slow and cozy living.
Still didn’t feel so great. Didn’t do my writing. Challenge a fail for today.
Slowed down in a different way today. Watched my son compete at FitCon, then spent the day indulging in good food and the good company of my husband after a crazy work week for him.
Sundays are always slow. It’s a day of worship–church, study, family–my weekly fast from fast living. Today I even took a nap. . . I don’t remember the last time I did that. 🙂
Next week I’m challenging myself to do one slow activity each day, like reading, baking, something outside, whatever I choose 🙂 And also to indulge in daily self-nurture. Wish me luck!