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09.21.23 | Sage Advice

Understanding the Japanese Philosophy of Nagomi

Words have the power to evoke profound feelings, emotions and connections. Much like the warmth captured by Hygge, or the humanistic beliefs shared in Ubuntu, there are countless philosophies from across the globe that make life more vibrant for all. Today, we’re diving into an ancient philosophy that embodies everything calm – Nagomi. 

What it means

Nagomi, pronounced “na-go-mi”, is derived from the Japanese verb “nagomu”, which means to calm down or to be comforted. At its heart, Nagomi is all about finding a sense of calm, peace, and tranquility within oneself, and by extension, with the world around. It signifies a harmonious balance between the inner self and the outer environment.

This philosophy emphasizes the importance of feelings over thoughts, promoting the idea that our emotions often harbor deeper truths about our well-being than our minds. For the Japanese, Nagomi is not just a fleeting feeling but an art of living that involves deeply respecting oneself and others and finding serenity even in the presence of chaos.

How you can practice Nagomi 

Much like Hygge’s invitation to enjoy the cozy and comfortable, Nagomi encourages us to cultivate moments of introspection and inner calm in our lives. Here’s a few ways you can incorporate Nagomi into your daily routine:

  • Nature Walks: Japan has always held a deep reverence for nature. Take a quiet walk in nature, in a garden, forest or along the beach. Breathe in the fresh air, observe the colors and textures and let nature’s symphony soothe your soul.
  • Mindful Breathing: Spend a few minutes each day focusing on your breath. Deep, conscious breathing can instantly bring a feeling of calmness and clarity. 
  • Traditional Arts: Engage in traditional Japanese arts like flower arranging or tea ceremonies. These activities require patience and concentration, allowing you to be fully present in the moment. 
  • Minimalist Living: Embrace simplicity in life. Declutter your living spaces and keep only what is truly essential. The external calm will reflect internally. 
  • Connection: Like Ubuntu’s focus on human connection, Nagomi also values the serenity that comes from harmonious relationships. Regularly engage in meaningful conversations and activities with loved ones, cultivating a space of mutual respect and understanding. 

At Sage, we believe that life’s beauty lies in its intricacies. From the vibrant moments of togetherness that Hygge brings to the profound interconnection embodied by Ubuntu, and now, the tranquil harmony of Nagomi, there’s a world of philosophies awaiting to enrich our lives. Embrace them, and find your own path to a vibrant life.

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08.17.23 | Sage Advice

National Relaxation Day: Your Sacred Space Matters

In the rush of everyday life, moments of tranquility can seem elusive. But what if you had a sanctuary within your home? A place where the cacophony of life takes a backseat, and you reconnect with your inner self? With National Relaxation Day around the corner, it’s time to delve deep into the art of creating personal spaces that epitomize peace, reflection, and Vibrant Living.

Crafting Your Personal Oasis

Creating a sacred space isn’t about grandeur or opulence. It’s about resonating with an environment that feels intrinsically ‘you’. A place where every item, scent, and texture evokes a sense of serenity.

Curate with Intention: Begin with what you love. Do certain artifacts, photographs, or mementos evoke peace or cherished memories? These items, when arranged thoughtfully, can form the cornerstone of your sanctuary.

Embrace Nature: Whether it’s a potted plant, a vase of fresh flowers, or the gentle sound of a water fountain, elements of nature can bring an unmatched serenity to your space. Natural light, too, can be a rejuvenating force, so position your space near a window if possible.

Digital Detoxing: In this era of constant connectivity, our devices often feel like extensions of ourselves. They keep us updated, informed, and entertained. But with the incessant pings and notifications, they also intrude upon our quiet moments, pulling us away from true relaxation.

This National Relaxation Day, consider adding a ‘digital detox’ component to your sacred space. Turning off our phones, or at least silencing them, is a powerful gesture of self-care. In the hush that ensues, we give ourselves permission to be present, to listen to our thoughts, and to engage deeply with our surroundings.

A Journey to Self-Reflection

Your sacred space is more than just a physical entity. It’s a reflection of your inner world, a tangible extension of your quest for Vibrant Living. As you sit within your created sanctuary, let the boundaries between the external and internal blur. This National Relaxation Day, may your sacred space be a conduit for self-reflection, tranquility, and a deeper connection with the essence of who you are.

In the heart of our homes, amidst the familiar and cherished, we can find a space that is uniquely ours. A space that reminds us of the simple joys of relaxation and the profound journey of self-reflection. So, as the world celebrates relaxation, take a moment to step into your sanctuary, breathe deeply, and embrace the tranquility it offers.

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06.29.23 | Sage Advice

The Healing Power of Nature: Embracing Botanical Gardens

Life sometimes feels like it’s zipping by, doesn’t it? We often get so caught up in the rush that we forget to pause and simply be. But the beauty of vibrant living is in those pauses. That’s where we step in at Sage Collective – to invite you to stop, breathe, and immerse yourself in the vibrant living that nature offers. With its rich colors, textures, and diverse life forms, Mother Nature brings an oasis of tranquility and peace into our lives.

Our relationship with nature isn’t just a primal instinct. It’s a two-way street – nature nurtures us and in return, we protect and preserve it. Just think about how a simple walk in a park can melt away your stress and energize your spirit. That’s the healing power of nature, promoting not just our physical well-being but also boosting our mental health.

Think of botanical gardens and conservatories as front-row seats to the spectacle of vibrant living. They’re not just clusters of plants but treasure troves of biodiversity, acting as sanctuaries for plant conservation and research. At the same time, they give us a chance to explore, appreciate, and understand nature’s beauty and the significance of biodiversity.

Imagine strolling through these green havens. It’s more than just a pleasant walk. It’s an education, a stress-buster, and a celebration of global biodiversity all rolled into one. Plus, it’s good for your heart health too!

The best thing is you don’t need to step into a botanical garden to connect with nature. You can experience vibrant living right in your backyard or even on your balcony. A simple walk in your local park or some quiet time spent gardening can be your quick escape to nature. And don’t forget to engage your senses in these moments – feel the breeze, listen to the bird songs, or simply admire the greenery around you. These simple acts of mindfulness can bring an immensely calming effect to your day.

Vibrant living is all about embracing the healing power of nature. Whether it’s through visiting a botanical garden or finding moments of connection in your everyday life, it’s essential to let nature soothe your soul. Amidst the fast-paced chaos of our modern lives, let’s take a moment to step back, breathe, and find our peace in nature. Because when we connect with nature, we connect with ourselves, and ultimately, each other. So let’s celebrate our symbiotic relationship with nature and continue on this journey of vibrant living.

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06.08.21 | Sage Advice

Where to go for scenic walks on Chicago’s South Side

We’ve previously shared how incorporating a 30-minute walk into your daily routine brings with it a surprising array of health benefits. While you enjoy those healthful benefits on your walk, why not enjoy a good view too? Some days it’ll be easier to take a walk around the block, but for those days where you want to elevate “taking a walk” into a special occasion: here is Sage Collective’s guide to the best scenic walks on Chicago’s South Side.

Japanese Garden, part of Jackson Park in Woodlawn, Chicago.
Japanese Garden, part of Jackson Park in Woodlawn, Chicago.

Jackson Park – Woodlawn

Jackson Park is a sprawling 551-acre park on Chicago’s South Side with an impressive history. Designed by the same names behind New York’s Central Park, and once home to the World’s Columbian Exposition, Jackson Park continues to bring exciting seasonal events and features to the Woodlawn community. Just this spring, the park’s 160-tree grove of cherry blossoms bloomed for the first time ever, attracting locals and tourists alike to see the beautiful display. 

The park is the perfect place for a short jaunt or longer “hike,” with landmarks like the lushly landscaped Japanese Garden and winding Bobolink Meadows lagoon-side trail serving as your backdrop.

View of the Chicago skyline from 31st Street Beach in Bronzeville, Chicago. Photo via Flickr.
View of the Chicago skyline from 31st Street Beach in Bronzeville, Chicago. Photo via Flickr.

31st Street Beach – Bronzeville

While most people know it as 31st Street Beach, the beach’s formal name became Margaret T. Burroughs Beach in 2015. Named for the accomplished artist, arts advocate, poet, teacher, civic leader, historian, and founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History, the beach’s official name serves as an homage to the history and vibrancy of both Burroughs herself, and the Bronzeville neighborhood overall.

The beach, which is nestled next to 31st Street Harbor, boasts sweeping views of Chicago’s city skyline, and invites swimmers, joggers and walkers alike to enjoy the beautiful scenery.  

When it comes time to plan your next weekend excursion, we hope these parks provide some inspiration and an exciting backdrop. After all, nothing makes a regular, leisurely workout more vibrant like a little bit of good scenery. 

Burnham Nature Sanctuary. Photo courtesy of Chicago Park District
Burnham Nature Sanctuary. Photo courtesy of Chicago Park District.

Burnham Nature Sanctuary – Kenwood

Located at 1600 E 47th Street, Burnham Nature Sanctuary is just one serene pocket of a larger stretch known as the Burnham Wildlife Corridor. The corridor is a 100-acre ribbon of urban wilderness running through Burnham Park.

The sanctuary itself is the perfect location for novice and expert birdwatchers alike as they meander through the woodlands. These woodlands, full of native plants, attract many forms of wildlife for visitors to enjoy, from birds, to caterpillars, to butterflies. Beyond the woodland path, there’s also a boardwalk that winds through a hill and swale grassland. Overall, Burnham Nature Sanctuary is the perfect way to reconvene with nature all while remaining in the close confines of the city. 

Japanese Garden, part of Jackson Park in Woodlawn, Chicago.
Japanese Garden, part of Jackson Park in Woodlawn, Chicago.
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