"Words are things. I‘m convinced" said Dr. Maya Angelou.
Language is a powerful tool to help us fully understand what we already know,
or as Oprah Winfrey says - 'An aha verifier'.
This is how I felt when I first came across the word LAGOM, it was an ‘Aha Moment’, a better understanding of something I've already known.
So what is LAGOM? Lagom is a Swedish word that can be translated as 'just the right amount'/'in moderation'/'in balance'/'just right'... But more than just a word its a word to live by, a lifestyle.
When I read about Lagom I had a flashback to another aha moment I've had with another word a few years back when I was living in the Netherlands. It was just the beginning of spring, the birds were twittering, the temperature was just perfect, I was cycling by the canal with the first rays of light on my way to a yoga class. It was such a simple moment of pure joy, which could have been easily missed if I wasn't fully present. That was the first time I fully understood the meaning of living in gratitude. In that moment (just like any moment) I had all the 'legit' reasons to be unhappy or unsatisfied but none of those mattered. That moment I realized this is the meaning of being CONTENT.
For me LAGOM is CONTENTMENT. I truly believe that this is the secret to live a thriving fulfilling life which is also sustainable. The problem is that we live in a society that measures success by things; money, cars, properties, likes on social media... It creates a scarcity culture of NEVER ENOUGH, never enough money/time/energy/stuff/likes... This is the stress that everybody is talking about. People tend to think that it comes with a tradeoff, but the truth is that there is no tradeoff:
A. Because it's never enough when you're always busy chasing shiny pennies
B. When you are exhausted, overwhelmed and highly stressed you are often confused, you make the wrong decisions and you miss opportunities.
This scarcity mentality is also reflected in our ‘notion of health’. Why is it that when most people think about health or diet they are thinking deprivation & restriction? Instead of demonizing food groups like fats and carbs or counting calories why don't we just focus on the richness we can find in 'good old' real foods? Really the secret is simplicity, it's about finding YOUR way to eat healthy for YOU.
So, to recap - how do we live by Lagom?
1. Drop perfectionism. Stop trying to 'have it all'
2. Identify your core values, set priorities and make sure you are aligned with both.
3. Honor your sleep & take time to rest (sleep deprivation is not a badge of honor)
4. Slow down
5. Learn to say NO
6. Create healthier habits, not restrictions
Keep it SIMPLE – studies show that simplifying and doing less rather than doing more contributes to our happiness in our day to day. We try to cramp more and more things into less and less time. We pay the price in the quality of our presence (in our jobs, in our relationships and with ourselves). Doing less is when you stop filling up every single moment, when you leave some space for things to unfold, when you stop constantly checking your phone and allow yourself to SIMPLY BE.
I was inspired to write this blog while I was preparing for a one day retreat I am delivering in the new year! It's all going to be about designing a healthy lifestyle which is sustainable. For more information and booking click this link: https://www.wearewellness.co.uk/service/design-a-healthy-lifestyle-leeds/
Hope to see you there!