The Secret to Danish Happiness? I want that Pyt button!

When a word continues to appear on my radar, I need to pay attention.

I first heard about Pyt last year.  The Danish Library Association chose Pyt as the nation’s favourite word.  I was immediately intrigued. The Danes are known as the happiest people on Earth.  I want to know their secret.

This is the same culture that coined a favourite word, hygge, a few years ago.  I easily adopted hygge as a way to relax and destress. Reading, cocooning, snuggling, a feeling of contentment.  A favourite way to spend my time. 

 

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                           Long Beach, Vancouver Island

 

Now the word Pyt has surfaced.  I have read a variety of translations describing the meaning of this word, how to pronounce it and when to use it.   I understand how a cultural word may not be easily translated into the English language. I speak German, and we have words that do not directly translate into an English word.

 Pyt (‘pid’) is used for minor frustrations and annoyances.   Pyt is used to express ‘don’t worry’, ‘accept it’, ‘move on.’   weblink  link

When I read further about Pyt, I found out that the Danes had even created a button with Pyt on it.  When you press this button you will hear the Pyt word. A reminder to pause, gain perspective and let it go.

 

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                                     photo credit:  Karen Rossinger

I could see how a physical symbol would help the expression Pyt seep into a culture’s language and values.   I had a Happy Face button.  The Happy Face emoji is still a part of popular communication.  😊

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The underlying message that continues to surface for me is “acceptance.”  This concept is emphasized in one of my favourite books, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.  In 2017 my one word intention was “acceptance.” 

I still need to be reminded to accept the things I cannot change.

I am usually a glass-half-full kind of person. Yet, we all have stresses in our life, even the Danes. Many of us use strategies to gain perspective, like walking in nature, meditation and creative outlets.  The Danes also use words to help prompt a more peaceful, happy life.

 

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                            Long Beach, Vancouver Island

 

We can learn from other cultures.  We can share secrets.  We, too, can be the happiest people on Earth.

 

postscript:  amazon sells Pyt decals and wall stickers.  I may have to create my own Pyt button, even if it is in my mind.

What does the word “Magical” mean to you?

The rain stops.  The sky clears.  The air is crisp and cold.

Just for one night, time stands still.

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Tens of thousands of twinkling lights.

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An illusion. A mystery.

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A feeling of enchantment.

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Children’s smiles.

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Removed from everyday life.

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Thankful for this moment in time.

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For we are all children, in awe of the Magic.

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I wish everyone a year filled with Magical Moments in 2019!

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What day will you remember from 2018?

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Do you remember the day your child was born?…. the birth of your grandchild?….your wedding day?.…the day a loved one dies?

The end of December is often a time of reflection, recalling many of the events from the last 12 months.  2018 was filled with many positive moments, some noteworthy and some long forgotten.  I have to refer back to my photos and to my calendar to jog my memory.

The one day in 2018  I will never forget is the day my Grandson was born.  

I remember the adrenaline cursing through my body when we received the phone call to rush to the hospital.  I remember my daughter’s labour and how I wanted to alleviate her pain, yet how helpless I felt.  I remember the love on my daughter’s face when she held her son for the first time.

I remember the joy I felt and how I was overcome with emotion hearing his newborn cries, seeing him for the first time, the miracle of life.

These memories are forever etched in my mind.  I vividly remember the details of that day.

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 Yet, I cannot immediately recall what I did a week ago.

There has been a great deal of research done investigating the relationship between emotion and memory.  We create longer lasting memories in emotionally charged situations. 

This is a complex subject with many individual variations.

Events surrounded by positive emotions are usually remembered better than events surrounded by negative emotions. 

Different emotional states may impair memory.  Strong emotional states can result in persistent vivid memories of stressful events (PTSD).

 Gender differences influence memory.  Men and women may remember events differently.

Our age affects the details we remember.  As we get older, unpleasant memories fade faster and pleasant memories get stronger.    learn more here   and here 

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I can look back on my own life and clearly recall details from emotional events that occurred many decades ago.  I can also remember how I felt on that day and tears (of joy or sadness) can easily resurface.

                 the birth of my own children……. the timing of events on that day, the colour of the socks I was wearing, even what I had to eat that day…….my feelings of relief, euphoria and love

                  my Father’s funeral…….how my body would not stop shaking and my daughter held my hand to steady it, memories and photos shared that day, the blue sky…….an overwhelming feeling of sadness

                    my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding…….the beaming, genuine smiles on their faces, the look of love in their eyes, the ocean breeze…….my tears of love and joy

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I think most of us have vivid recollections of events when we were in a heightened state of emotion.  We can recall details from that day and how we felt. 

The end of the year is often a time we reminisce on the special moments of the last 12 months.  2018 was a good year for us, creating many memories with our loved ones.  What events took place?  What did I do?  Where did I travel?  What do I remember?

I do know that I will never forget the day in April that my Grandson was born, an emotional day filled with intense feelings of gratitude, joy, and love. 

What day will you remember from 2018?

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What the Bleep do I know?!

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Do you ever arrive at your destination in the blink of an eye, unsure how you managed to get from here to there? Do you look up and notice most of the leaves have fallen from the trees and wonder what happened to Autumn? Do you go about your weekly routine, deep in thought, oblivious to your surroundings? 

This past week I was watering my Christmas Cactus plant and I noticed that a flower had already bloomed and dropped to the table.  Darn!  I had missed it! 

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My very sparse plant has only a few buds that bloom once a year.  I was now determined to check on these buds.  I wanted to enjoy these rare beautiful flowers.

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 As I would stop by my plant each day, I started to wonder, why is my Christmas Cactus still alive at all? I inherited this plant when it had only a few leaves, most of them brown.  That was over 40 years ago. 

 All I do is give it water.

I can’t help but think about the documentary “What the Bleep do we know?!”

This movie discussed the concept of thoughts and energy specifically related to water. Although I watched this movie many years ago, I still remember how it gave me goosebumps and made me think differently.

One scene in the movie described an experiment questioning whether the molecular structure of water can change depending on mental stimulation.   Positive thoughts versus negative intentions were directed at the water.  Did the cellular structure of the water change?  Yes, according to these scientists.  

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The experiments in this movie have been criticized and considered pseudoscience containing only grains of truth.  I still think it is a good movie. Sometimes questions are more important than answers. It opened my eyes to a unique perspective.

There are likely many reasons my plant is still alive today.  Of course, water is one of them. 

Do my thoughts and intentions affect the water and ultimately my plants?  Do my thoughts affect the water within my body.  What are the resulting implications for our planet?  “Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?”

I think many of us can agree that positive and negative energy does affect all of us. 

 What the bleep do I know?!

I do know that I want to navigate through my life more keenly aware of my surroundings, paying attention.  I want to enjoy the Autumn leaves before they fall on the ground.  I want to watch the flowers bloom on my Christmas Cactus plant. 

 I want to be fully present for the beautiful fleeting moments in my life. 

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I have been going about it all wrong…….and I want to make it right

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I was listening to a very interesting, informative interview on the topic of Wellness.  It may have been how the information was presented or possibly when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.  It was an aha moment for me.  I became aware that I needed to rethink how I approach self care.  I have been going about it all wrong.

I often focus on what I need to remove from my life.  I try to eliminate unhealthy food, toxic environments and clickbait news and entertainment sites.

I learned there is a better approach to self care…………the concept of “adding in”. 

When I add in motivating and empowering media sites, plenty of nourishing food, and soul enhancing, good people in my life, I do not leave any room for the unhealthy, negative sources. I would rather live life from a place of abundance versus elimination and deprivation.

I may not have been going about it entirely wrong, although I am willing to learn new ways to make it right.  The bottom line:  adding in the Good doesn’t leave any room for the Bad.  A simplistic phrase for an in-depth topic, although, it works for me.  I like and need reminders.

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I make and review my lists first thing in the morning.  The top part of my page always contains a thought, a conscious awareness on “how” I want to live my day.  

Lately, my headings have contained the words “Soul food….Good food…..Brain food”.  This is a reminder of how I want to nourish myself, what I would like to add into my day and ultimately bring into my life. 

7 Books that changed my life

I would love to hear which books are on your list

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Heidi” Johanna Spyri:   lost count as to how many times I read this book as a child and the lessons I carried with me throughout my life – when you think life is not going as hoped and planned- it’s because something better is in store for you

The 4 Agreements” Don Miguel Ruiz:  read countless times, taped the main concepts inside work cupboards and day planners, given as gifts…….yet, I still need to reread and remind myself…… especially when interacting with people in all parts of my life

Big Magic” Elizabeth Gilbert:  the concept of creativity…..everyone is creative……..art, music, carpentry, designing cakes, writing……it has all been done before, but it hasn’t been done by you

Tiny Beautiful Things  Cheryl Strayed:  I enjoy her writing in general, although, it was actually one sentence in one of the chapters that changed how I think about writing…….’what is your story…….and more importantly, what are you REALLY trying to say’

Seat of the Soul” Gary Zukav:  huge impact in my life (almost 30 years ago) ……..when you are going in the right direction, following the ‘Mother Ship’,  life will fall into place……not a constant struggle……..helped me pay attention, change direction, make choices……yet, let life unfold 

The Power of Now” Eckhart Tolle:  an Awareness of your thoughts being separate from actually You – tough to wrap my mind around this one – although worth trying to grasp….. staying in the present moment

I’ve been thinking” Maria Shriver:  my most recent book – many gems in this one – I appreciate her honest, succinct, relatable words:  life is yours to create….and to re-create, listening to your gut, stop worrying about what others think…..it’s a huge waste of your time,  learn how to turn off the critical voice in your head

Many more books on my list that have made me think differently, changed me and enriched my life. 

I would love to hear which books made an impact on your life……any gems?  Thank you for sharing.

We are in this life together.  Thank you for stopping by.

I did not know it had a name

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A woman I really like and respect asked me how I was doing. The response I would normally give is, “good, how are you?”  Only the two of us were in the room.  I decided to share with her a challenge I was facing, causing increased worry and sleepless nights.  She looked at me and listened quietly to my story.  When I was finished, she said “I will hold space for you”.

I paused.  I had not heard this phrase before, although it felt right.  She did not interrupt me or give me any guidance.  She had silently listened to me.  I immediately felt better.

We all have challenging parts of our life and worries that keep us awake at night.  We all benefit from a safe place, a friend, where we can share our story.  

When someone shares their struggles with me, I often want to jump in, give advice, fix it.  There are times where possible solutions and other perspectives are welcome.  

Often, what we need most is a kind, loving presence, someone who will be there to give us unconditional support.  I now know that it has a name.  “I will hold space for you.”