With fifteen years of personal development courses under her belt, today’s guest, Pia Edberg, is a self-proclaimed “personal development junkie.” As a self-published best-selling author and coach, she aspires to teach others about hygge and happy living. This episode is perfect for everyone as we grow to design our most authentic life.
In this episode we explore:
Pia’s journey through personal development (1:01)
Pia’s book-writing process (4:00)
An introduction to hygge + Pia’s hygge story (5:49)
The connection between hygge and minimalism and mindfulness (9:21)
Pia’s favorite book and personal development course (10:42)
Finding balance in a Myers Briggs personality type (12:32)
Advice for writers – Ignore the fear (13:29)
Message for the world – The source of true happiness (15:14)
Links: Pia Edberg
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Welcome to the Lavendaire Lifestyle, the podcast on lifestyle design for millennials. I’m Aileen and I’m here to guide you to become a master artist of life. Every Sunday you’ll get new insight and inspiration on how to create your dream life. After the episode, the conversation continues in our Lavendaire Lifestyle Facebook group, so I can’t wait to see you there. Life is an art, make it your masterpiece.
With a passion for human nature, Pia Edberg has spent the last fifteen years studying personal development and has worked in the human resources field for the past ten years. Most recently, she’s decided to pursue her own entrepreneurial dreams and dig deeper into personal and spiritual growth and the art of life design. She’s now living her dream and has successfully written and published three books that inspire others to live more authentic and happy lives.
Aileen: Hi Pia, welcome to the show.
Pia: Hi, thanks for having me.
Aileen: Yeah, I’m super excited to talk. So first off, can you share about your background? Tell us about yourself and what led you to personal and spiritual development?
Pia: I think I’ve always been a bit of a self help junkie. As soon as I figured out what it was I think I started reading tons of books and then I even started studying it in school. I originally had a psych degree from university and it just built upon that. With that, I didn’t know what to do for a living and I wanted to get a job, so I ended up in human resources because I liked helping people and the psychological side of it. Eventually I kind of realized and listened to my true self and started going a different way and started writing books.
Aileen: Yeah. I want to talk about that transition, because going from human resources which is basically the corporate version of personal development and coaching, right? It’s the corporate version, which was pretty cool already. But talk about that transition into writing. Did you just quit your job and start writing? How did that happen?
Pia: I think, deep in my soul, I always knew I wanted to work for myself because my dad was an entrepreneur. But I didn’t know how and I didn’t really have the self esteem or the confidence or skills, maybe. But once I started doing human resources, and I kind of climbed my way to the top of the corporate ladder, so to speak, I realized that I wanted more because I had been climbing for my whole life. I thought that’s what I wanted, but it wasn’t.
Then I thought about my childhood and things I used to love. And I used to create a lot of books, several of them. I have piles of them, still, from when I was a kid. Then I was like, “Hmm. Maybe I’ll try that.” I took a course on self-publishing and then I just started writing. Then the book became successful so, transitioning out of HR, I asked to work part-time just so I could play it safe a little bit. And then, slowly and surely, I started building the book side of it. And then eventually, I was able to quit my job and make money from doing that.
Aileen: Cool! So did you say you started writing your book while you were still working, right?
Aileen: By the time you finished your book, were you still working or was that when you were already quit?
Pia: I kept working until I saw money coming in from the books.
Aileen: Oh, good.
Aileen: Because I think this is really important. I know a lot of listeners out there, they’re in the same position that you were in. You know, they’re working a job they’re not quite fulfilled at and they want to make that leap into the creative world. It’s always like “How do you do that?” And I always tell people, “Keep your job and work part-time. Do whatever you can to take care of yourself financially, first. And do the creative thing on the side, for as long as you can.” Right?
Aileen: But I think that was really smart of you.
Pia: And especially when you have a supportive boss who’s like “Yeah, of course, you can work part-time. And we’ll support that.”
Aileen: Yeah. That’s awesome. So was your first book The Cozy Life or was it another one?
Pia: It was The Cozy Life.
Aileen: Awesome. That’s your big book, right?
Aileen: I’ve seen your other ones. You have a children’s book and also a poetry book.
Pia: Yeah. And the children’s book, it does okay. I mainly wrote it to raise money for animals causes. But the other poetry book was more of a personal project.
Aileen: That’s cool. So what was the time frame between writing those three books?
Pia: I actually did that all within a year and a bit.
Aileen: No way.
Pia: I was quick, yeah.
Aileen: Oh my gosh.
Pia: When you can do it all yourself, you have full control. And yeah, that’s kind of the benefit of doing it self-published as opposed to traditional publishing.
Aileen: That’s really cool. So you didn’t have any kind of creative blocks or … you just decided to write and you just did it?
Pia: Yeah, pretty much.
Aileen: That’s cool. Because I think a lot of people have issues. Even if they quit their job or whatever, the working on the creative part can also be tough, right?
Pia: It is. And I would say the main thing to remember is persistence. Every morning, just say, even if you have butt in chair in five minutes, you’ll end up sitting there longer. Even when you don’t want to, you just do it.
Aileen: Right. So did you set that schedule to write everyday?
Pia: Yep. And there’s a plan that I was working on so it wasn’t too confusing.
Aileen: Can you share a little bit about your plan and the process?
Pia: Yeah, sure. I guess I could plug: I took a course called Self Publishing School and they have a step-by-step online process. It just teaches you everything you need to do from beginning to end, from coming up with the idea to the practical side of it on how to format and get an editor and how to get it up online and then the marketing piece. It was just very simple and as long as you have an idea, you just follow along and you learn it.
Aileen: That’s cool. I just want the listeners to know: you can find all the information on the internet. Basically, you can technically find everything for free. But there are benefits to paying for an actual course that can take you step-by-step and tell you exactly what you need to do in order to get to where you want to go. There’s that.
Let’s talk about the actual book: The Cozy Life. You talk about–I’m not going to pronounce this right–you talk about the Danish concept of hygge?
Aileen: Okay, so that’s spelled H-Y-G-G-E. And for those of the listeners out there who don’t know what the heck that is, can you explain?
Pia: Yeah! Hygge is–man, it’s such a huge concept–the Danish words for coziness, but it’s not the same kind of coziness we have here in North America or the english language. It’s more like, on top of the physical coziness like, you know, maybe having lots of blankets and candles and things like that, it’s also an emotional wellbeing type of coziness. That means valuing connection and simple things and people that you love, just living your core life within that.
Aileen: Yeah. Okay, so can you paint the picture for us? What would a day living with hygge look like, just briefly? I don’t know.
Pia: Okay, let’s see.
Aileen: Maybe not a full day, just a morning. I just want to get detailed.
Pia: Well, if you’re really gonna do it perfectly–and we’re not all perfect like this–
Aileen: Yeah, I know. I just want to know what’s the ideal here?
Pia: I would say: Don’t jump on social media or your phone or computer right away when you’re getting out of bed. You know, wake up, take the time to be slow, go over to the kitchen. Be mindful when you’re making your tea. Pick your favorite tea and your favorite mug. And just enjoy the process. If you have comfy slippers, throw those on. Maybe read a book. It’s all very slow and simple. But then of course, if it’s later on and you want to invite people over, then it’s not about worrying about your house being so clean and everything’s prepared. It’s just really casual and authentic. People can come up in their pajamas and it’s just relaxed.
Aileen: I love that. I guess it’s a combination of a lot of different things. There’s the mindfulness, being present in the moment and also taking things slow, keeping it simple. And also just enjoying life in general. I feel like everybody should be living this way in their life.
Aileen: I want to ask: Where did you learn that from? Because I know that you were born in Denmark, so did that come from your family upbringing? How’d you learn this and I also want to know, why did you want to write a book about it?
Pia: Yeah, so I was born in Denmark and I have a very, very Danish family. So it is just part of how we were growing up. I remember going to people’s houses as a kid and I was wondering why it wasn’t as cozy when we were having dinner over there and stuff like that. But I didn’t think it was a thing until I asked about it later on. And when I look back, it was definitely present. So I wanted to write about it because I felt like it was something missing, especially with technology, constantly being distracted.
Aileen: Yeah, totally.
Pia: Consumerism and buying things, because this concept, it’s really about simplicity and it’s not about materialism. It’s about connection and I just thought it would be a good concept to write about.
Aileen: Yeah. I think it’s definitely something we need right now. And I wanted to interview you because I see this trend popping up. I see more and more people using this word, “hygge”. The first time I heard it, I was like, “What is this word?” But now I get it, and that’s super cool. And I’m curious: Do you know anything about minimalism and that movement going on?
Pia: Yeah, I actually used to blog about it. I have a blog called Less of the Excess I haven’t touched in a long time, but it was all about minimalism.
Aileen: I think they both tie in together as almost the same thing. Not exactly, but they come from the same place of wanting to live a more simple and authentic life.
Pia: Yeah they do. I even write about it in the book. For me, it was about–I found minimalism…sometimes you can take it very far. But hygge adds that extra kick of “Ooh, this feels good,” you know?
Aileen: Oh yeah! I agree. I’ve delved into that minimalism world and I’ve shared about it on my channel, but sometimes you get a lot of criticism. People judge you. They’re like, “Oh, you’re not minimalist enough,” or “You’re not doing it right,” or “You should have less things”. I’m like, “What’s with the rules?” It’s not about the number of things. It’s really about how you feel in your day-to-day life
Pia: Exactly, yeah.
Aileen: Okay, yeah. I’m on board with this hygge. I’m totally doing this and I’m gonna share with everyone I know.
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Alright – back to the podcast.
Let’s move on to talking about personal development because you said you took so many courses. I mean fifteen years of studying this stuff. So I want to pick at your brain. First of all, I want to ask: what’s your favorite or most impactful book and also next question is your favorite or most impactful class that you took.
Pia: Oh, good question. Right now, off the top of my head, I would say “The Untethered Soul” is one of my favorite books, because it helps you step back. Have you heard of that one?
Aileen: I’ve heard of it. It’s on my list but I haven’t got to it yet.
Pia: Yeah, it’s really good. It’s about stepping back from your thoughts and your feelings kind of running you so that you are more centered and just not caught up in, maybe, negative thinking or things like that. I really love that one. Connecting to the higher self, so to speak.
Aileen: And then your favorite class that you took?
Pia: I think it’s just–I’m not really sure. I’ve taken so many.
Aileen: Is there one that sticks out? You’ve taken so many. Can you list a few? I’m just curious.
Pia: I definitely enjoy taking classes on–Do you know the Myers-Briggs?
Pia: That one I took the certification so I could learn about personality types and how we all are different and work together, and I took some emotional intelligence stuff and a lot of business and personal success courses as well.
Aileen: And just for anyone out there who’s interested in taking courses like these, do you have a recommendation on where to go to find this stuff?
Pia: Actually I get a lot of Facebook ads that are related to things I’m interested in. you can actually tailor your ads to be related to personal development and a lot of local things will pop up. So I’ve taken a lot of local courses in person because of the ads I saw.
Aileen: Oh cool. That’s really cool. Okay. I want to ask you about your Myers-Briggs.
Aileen: Do you want to share your personality type?
Pia: Yeah, I am an INTP. I started as INFP but I became more balanced later on
Aileen: So when I took that test in high school, I think it said ENFJ. And then as I got older, it’s more INFJ. I consider myself INFJ right now. But I’m just curious: do people change over time?
Pia: I feel like you can. I think it’s all about–you never want to be too extreme, because then it’s just like you haven’t grown enough in the other areas so I think working towards strengthening the areas that maybe you aren’t as strong at, helps you balance out your personality. So it does change over time. At least it has for me.
Aileen: Right. So the goal is kind of to be in the middle?
Pia: Yeah. When you show up in the middle, it shows that you’re choosing more balanced answers than the test VS. if you’re so extreme on one end then maybe you’re not choosing stuff on the other side, but it’s all about balance.
Aileen: Alright, so next question: Do you have advice for aspiring writers out there who want to make this their living? What are the first steps that they should take?
Pia: I think the biggest thing that I always tell people is “Don’t give in to the fear and the doubt,” because I think that’s the biggest thing that holds us back. All the practical things are easy, but if you can get over not listening and giving into those things that your brain’s telling you then that’s just a huge step.
Aileen: So don’t give in to the fear and the doubt.
Pia: Yeah, because it’s just a defense mechanism. It doesn’t mean anything.
Aileen: So when you said that once you quit your job you wrote and it was easy, is it because you got over that earlier on? Do you want to share about your process?
Pia: Yeah. I had a lot of fears, but then I just–I think joining this book publishing group really helped because they also have a lot of–they have a Facebook group and coaching and stuff like that. And once you know that there’s just physical steps to take, it’s just getting over your fears that helps you get there. I think once I had a support group, I just got more excited so it just helped me and I just stayed persistent and sat in the chair everyday. Then I just tried to ignore all the feelings that came up that were scaring me and I just keep going, you know? One step after the other.
Aileen: Yeah! That’s awesome. So it sounds like you get a lot out of these courses. Yeah, I encourage anyone out there who feels stuck to maybe sign up for a course or find a support group. Some sort of Facebook group or physical support group where you can just get that encouragement to keep going. The rest of it is just putting in the work
Pia: Yeah. If you can find like-minded people it’s just that much more exciting. I’m in a business course right now and everyone’s just so happy and excited, so we keep each other moving.
Aileen: Okay, so any last words for anyone out there? I also would like to ask: If you were to share one message with the world, what would it be?
Pia: Society tells us to do so many things. We have so many expectations. But I think really taking the time to listen to what you truly want to do and doing that fearlessly, and don’t worry about what other people are going to think. We only have this life, right now anyways.
Aileen: Yes. Just do you. Don’t listen to what society tells you because everyone’s just figuring it out anyway, right?
Pia: And true happiness comes when your values are matching your actions. If you can do that, then everything’s easy.
Aileen: All about living authentic life, living with hygge.
Aileen: I love it. Lastly: where can our listeners find you online?
Pia: I think the easiest place is my website because everything comes from there, at PiaEdberg [dot] com.
Aileen: And that’s spelled P-I-A E-D-B-E-R-G, for those out there. And all the links to everything we talk about will be in the shownotes on my blog, lavendaire [dot] com. So check that out. I’ll have the full transcript as well. Thank you so much for being here, Pia. It was a pleasure.
Pia: Thank you for having me.
Aileen: Alright, have a good day.
Pia: You too.
Alright, that’s it for today’s episode. Thank you so much for listening to The Lavendaire Lifestyle. If you like the podcast, please show your support by leaving a review on iTunes. It helps me so much. It also helps other people find the show. You can also catch me on YouTube and Instagram at @lavendaire, where I have even more content for the Artist of Life.
Alright, love you all. Bye!