Lagom is a Swedish term that means 'not too much and not too little,' 'everything in moderation,' or 'just right.' Its about balance, mindfulness, and conscious consumption.
I was gifted Niki Brantmark's book, LAGOM: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life this past holiday season. After reading just a few chapters, I realized that Lagom was already playing a small part of my life, but was far from being centre stage.
Leading up to the holiday season, I was mindful to consume consciously, maintain a healthy diet and be active, but the hustle and bustle still managed to catch up with me. My friends and family are very accepting of my approach to consumerism, therefore it wasn't the excess of material possessions that brought on this feeling. Maintaining a (relatively) healthy diet and exercising also meant that it wasn't over-indulgence that brought on such a desperate need for balance.
Rather, I believe that it came to be from a place of over-exertion and over-commitment. 'Not too little and not too much' is something that can sometimes feels like walking a tight rope. Finding balance is difficult for anyone that wants to do everything they can, to the best of their ability, all the time. Maintaining relationships, an active life, a healthy diet, a fulfilling yet fruitful career - everything is often perceived as all in or nothing.
Needless to say, Lagom has come into my life at an opportune time.
From work to leisure to family and friends, to physical health and interior design - Lagom is applied in everything in Swedish culture. This gives moderation, balance and equality the main stage in life.
For me, embracing Lagom has manifested itself in unexpected areas of my life, and has meant much more than decluttering and colour coordinating my closet.
It has meant not going to a yoga practice when I don't feel like it, but then walking to a grocery store instead of driving. It has meant turning down invitations to go out for drinks but calling a good friend to catch up. It has meant pointing out when someone interrupts another, but listening intently to what they, in turn, have to say.
In essence, it has meant listening to my intuition and to my body. Whether I be energized or drained, Lagom has meant finding balance, moderation and equality, and propping them up onto the centre stage of my life.