Meraki is a Greek word meaning doing something with soul, creativity or love. When you put yourself into a project you are doing it with meraki.
I think anybody who has ever started a real labour of love, be it a crocheted blanket, a picture, a pottery vase or even a meal cooked for someone they love will appreciate the idea of doing something with meraki. It’s like attacking a project with gusto (meaning enthusiasm, energy) but with mindfulness and a heavy streak of love thrown in.
I have been clearing the small bedroom this week, since my sons have decided after nearly 15 years that it’s time to have their personal space. They were sleeping on bunkbeds, and at 19 and 17 that’s not a good vibe. So I’ve been sorting through stuff collected and crammed into the room’s cupboard since we moved into the house. I found half-finished projects that obviously hadn’t been worked on with meraki, I found a pile of wool waiting for something and toy stuffing enough to stuff an elephant, all marks of projects in waiting that never came to be. Perhaps I just didn’t feel the need to make them really, or I wasn’t prepared to do them with meraki.
A lot of the cupboard’s contents went out to charity, or to a good home to be completed with enjoyment. But tucked at the bottom I found a small bag with baby clothes in. A couple of cardigans that I made that never fitted my children who, at 3 weeks old, were all the size of a 3-month old. And a little set of leggings, matinee jacket and bonnet that were knitted by my late Mother-in-Law. She only ever lived to see one of my children, although she knew we were going to have another child when she died. This set was the only thing I remember her knitting, because she hated knitting. The only reason she would have ever picked up the needles was to make something with love, to create it for somebody special.
I didn’t know about the word meraki last week, but if I had I would have labelled this little set as a product full of meraki. She put herself into the clothes that she hoped would keep her grandchild warm. I’m glad she lived to see David in them, even though by the time he was born in February 1998 it was unseasonably warm that year. I hope she would have smiled to see Sarah wrapping her dolls up in them as well, and laughed at me as I sat, wet eyes gleaming, and whispered a prayer of thanks for the people who have gone before in my life.
How to Live with Meraki:
Do you have a project on the go, either one for yourself or for a friend? Make sure that when you work on it you think positive thoughts for you and them, weaving your best wishes and prayers into every stitch, mark or move.
Look around your home for things that have been made with meraki. You may have doilies created by a great-Grandmother, a stool made in woodwork by your father or a painting done by your child and given as a birthday present. Honour these items this weekend, and enjoy the love and soul that was built into them
Meraki can be applied to ephemeral creations as well. Really enjoy cooking this weekend. Take the time to choose a menu, buy quality ingredients and make a meal to share with friends or family. Food is always hygge, but food made as an expression of love to comfort, support and sustain is even more hyggely.
Above all, when you create something, create it for yourself, no matter who you may give it to. Creating things with love is such a powerful confirmation of yourself. Go, enjoy. I’m getting on with my Hygge throw this week, with time to sit and cross-stitch the pattern.
My blog is on Facebook as How to Hygge the British Way and you can now follow me on Bloglovin as well. I’m personally also on Instagram and as a member of The Hygge Nook on Facebook. Positive thoughts shine out of this group, and I swear they make everything with meraki!
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