I’ve been thinking about warmth a lot lately. I’ve decided not to live without it at all. I live in a place where until the past few years, we anticipated snow by October and a final frost all the way into April or May. Is it one of the happiest places on earth? Not in the Gallup Poles perhaps, but always in the mind of the beholder.
The past few years, the snow has diminished, replaced with arctic bitter cold, dipping below -20 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s cold. That’s take your breath away cold. That’s a wake up call for the issue of global warming on a macro scale and for some soul searching on a micro scale.
To me, happiness can be defined as a feeling of warmth. A comfort. Joy. Contentment. Our ability to focus on what matters most can be described as an attainable goal once we feel that feeling of fitting in. The warm fuzzies come to mind. That feeling of safety and security, of belonging and nurturing our mind, body and soul.
Our external world and internal world, when in sync with each other create a climate of oneness with living our best lives. We grow through what we go through when we can feel the glow of knowing it was for our greater good. If something is off kilter about our experiences, we know we don’t feel well. If we can’t warm up to a thing, we aren’t going to invest ourselves in that thing fully.
Learning comes to mind. I didn’t love it when I was a kid. I never truly caught on to the rigors of a public school system. Now, as an adult, I love every minute of it. I warmed up to it in college. The same is true for so much of what we spend our days doing. Our jobs, lives, homes, routines, thought patterns. All of it is a part of us, yet, we choose to discuss it as we can compartmentalize our experiences into tiny boxes. We don’t flow with it.
When we fully engage or stay present in our lives, we’re in flow. We in positive psychology know this from the great work of Dr. Csikszentmihalyi. When we’re in flow, there’s also a physical feeling of warmth and belonging to that thing with that thing being part of us in return. I feel this way when I paint, or write fiction, when I’m helping others, or nurturing my pets or children. When I’m nurturing my learning.
The beautiful thing about feeling that warmth and belonging in one’s life is, it also protects us from the cold one feels when socially, physically, emotionally, and even financially isolated from our optimal life. When we shift our lives toward that ultimate sense of purpose, we shift our thoughts toward what brings us the “warm fuzzies” or the sense of belonging on the right path.
Feel the power of warmth in our flow and like the Frozen song says, “the cold never bothered me anyway”. Here’s to celebrating the hygge, that warm comfy feeling of being secure in our happiness.
About the Author: Karen Henry [Daly], MA CRM owns Henry Healing as a holistic well-being practitioner and writer. She’s a former university professor and current scholar practicing the infusion of positive, existential and community psychology.