Feng Shui can learn a few things from the Scandinavians.
How do people in Denmark, with their long dark winters survive and be ranked #1 in a global happiness survey (the US ranks #10)? Hygge!
Hygge (pronounced hYoo-guh) is hard to translate, but it means “coziness”, “enjoying the simple things of life with family and friends, or alone.” “Coziness” is not smallness, but a space that encourages comfort, connection and intimacy between people.
Food writer Mimi Sheraton rated “harmonious surroundings” as her #1 most memorable food experience:
Nordic lights. The pervasive effect of harmonious surroundings on the dining experience became apparent… when…[I] visited Scandinavia…. Lucky to be invited to dinners in several homes in Denmark and Sweden, I was introduced to the local custom of dinner by candlelight, the only illumination in the room throughout the meal. I was enchanted by the warm, sunny glow of candles on tables, mantels and wall sconces, casting flickering light on the impeccably prepared foods…The candlelight had a quieting effect as voices dropped to intimate levels and an almost spiritual aura pervaded the table, but fortunately not to the exclusion of the mischievous sardonic Nordic humor.”[emphasis mine] – Mimi Sheraton
Can you just picture this?
This tradition of candle-lit meals and gatherings is not limited to special occasions.
In feng shui we know that light is a form of energy and enhances chi. As one of the nine feng shui cures it is often used to energize a space or area of the ba-gua. A more subtle use of lighting is to calm energy, to draw people together in a space. Huyge does that.
Creating Hygge For A Client.
One of my clients told me up-front that she wanted hygge in her home. (She knew the word and what it meant!) We did various things with furniture placement that would create cozy spaces and encourage her family to hang-out together. But with several active children, candles where not an option. We chose a pendant lamp to hang above the family eating table. The light illuminates the table top, inviting family members to gather there where they eat, do crafts, games and homework. Not only does the pendant lamp illuminate the table top, but as they sit around the table their faces gently glow. Dimming the other lights in the room creates a calm atmosphere for meal times. She and her family love it. It is their favorite place in the house.
Candles are not just for romantic dinners.
Think of the feeling of connection and intimacy you experience as you sit around a campfire (without the smoke and mosquitoes) and a calm gathering point of light can do this for a room and for you.
Feng shui is about creating harmony between a space and your self. Fine-tuning the chi energy of the space to support your chi energy. Borrowing some ideas from the Danes and creating a space with hygge will influence how people feel. You can fine-tune the energy in your the space to support a feeling of harmony among family and friends.
Click to learn more about how to create a better meal time in your home.
See how improved furniture placement prevents “shouting distance”.
image by thskyt