I’ve always been someone who likes to be comfortable. Sure, I like to have little adventures every now and then, but at the end of the day, I like to sleep in my own cozy bed. And I LOVE cuddling up on the couch with a blanket (and my beloved hubby).
The apple certainly hasn’t fallen far from the tree: Growing up, my family life was full of little daily rituals, family dinners, candlelight, incense and reading books. Seriously, the whole family could be in the same room without saying a word, everyone deeply immersed in their own book in their own cozy corner.
Recently, my parents send me a book full of essays about the Germans and their quirks. I’ve always thought the need to be comfortable was just prevalent in my own family, but according to the author it’s a typical German thing. Even Baloo from the Jungle Book doesn’t sing about the bare necessities in German, but claims that being comfortable and relaxed will bring you good luck and happiness!
We Germans love our comfort so much that we have a special word for it that doesn’t have an exact equivalent in English: Gemütlichkeit. It means feeling comfortable and safe; feeling at home, arrived at your destination, ready to put your feet up; it’s absolute contentment; it’s candlelight, a wood burning stove, a cushioned couch, a warm blanket and a cup of tea. Curtains in the windows and apple pie baking in the oven, filling the whole house with a comforting, sweet cinnamon scent. Preferably, it’s dark outside, or overcast, or raining. Aw, the Gemütlichkeit!
What got me thinking about this whole topic in the first place is a quote from the above mentioned article. Translated, it goes something like this:
“The less comfort and contentment naturally live in one’s heart, the bigger the need to create castles of comfort all around oneself.”
For me, that’s 100% true! I worry easily and frequently, I’m very sensitive and I need a lot of alone time to process things. There are a lot of vague, underlying fears in me, and therefore I always need to make sure that I feel safe in order to be my best self. Plus, life in general is pretty hectic and busy these days! So it makes sense that I have this need to make my surroundings as cozy and comforting as possible.
Especially now that I live in a completely different part of the world: Three years ago I moved from small-town Remagen in Germany to the famous, crowded, traffic-y and always hustling San Francisco Bay Area.
Perhaps I’m not the only one here in need of more comfort – perhaps some of the hyper busy Northern Californians could use some more Gemütlichkeit, too! 😉
Here are some suggestions from a life-long expert:
Sit down and take your time for dinner with candlelight and nice music – no matter if you have a partner, kids, both or none of the above!
Light your favorite incense in the morning as you get ready for the day or in the evening when you get home from work
Cook dinner together with your spouse or a friend
Schedule a cozy couch night with tea and a good book and a cuddly blanket once a week
Always have breakfast at the same time in the morning
Take a couple precious moments to really savor the first sip of your morning coffee
Enjoy a hot shower every morning
Go for a hike every Saturday
Put up the same Christmas decorations every year
Meet with friends at a certain restaurant once a month
Buy some extra comfy socks
Have some nice pillows or stuffed toys sitting on the couch
Establish a morning routine that makes you feel energized, happy and focused
Comfort is really about slowing down and savoring the moment. It means feeling calm and centered in every situation. It means discovering the things and activities that soothe your soul and recharge your batteries, so you can relax into the uncertainties of life. As much as a calm, content heart can ease any stressful situation, a safe, comfortable environment can bring more ease and joy into your heart. Practicing Gemütlichkeit regularly can give you the strength, clarity and contentment to take on anything. (Yes, I have listened to shamanic drumming music in Bay Area traffic before to successfully prevent road rage ;))
Now it’s your turn: What does being comfortable mean to you? How can you bring more comfort into your life? What makes you feel calm, centered, strong and content even when life gets all crazy around you?
Please share in the comments below, I love hearing from you! 😃
Much love and ease for your week ahead!
*This post was first published on http://www.energiesinmotion.com on August 29th, 2016