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Dolce far niente- What I am learning from the Italians, and Liz Gilbert

It’s been nearly a decade since I read or watched Eat, Pray, Love, which is a favorite of mine, so when I rewatched the movie a few weeks ago, it was wonderful to experience the themes and messages in a whole new way. In the movie, there’s a scene between Liz and Luca Spaghetti, a new friend she makes in Italy. She tells him she’s feeling guilty because though she’s been in Italy for nearly 3 weeks, “all” she’s done is eat and learn a few words of Italian.

He responds with something along the lines of: You feel guilty because in America, you’re taught that in order to enjoy something you feel you need to have earned it. And while you know entertainment in America, the value and sweetness of enjoying and doing nothing is something you don’t really learn.

Yes! His response resonated so deeply with me. Dolce far niente. The sweetness of doing nothing.

In American culture, we’re taught to value working hard. We know how to keep our heads down, push through, just keep going and tell ourselves “we’ll rest when we’re dead.” Yet, how to bask in the sweetness of doing nothing, simply enjoying the moment? Not so much!

While there’s a deep sense of satisfaction in rolling up our sleeves and getting to work, there is also an essential need to bask in the sweetness of what we’ve created. To pause, to savor the stillness, and to remember…our value is inherent. And in creating space for the ebb and flow of our energy, we also create space to soften, to release, and to feel like we’re coming alive again.

In the Northern Hemisphere, we’ve now shifted into Fall, the season of the harvest, and a perfect time to embrace this idea of dolce far niente. A time to reap and relish in the fruits of our labor. So often we skip over the celebration and reflection that come with a time of harvest, but what nature really teaches us is that it’s in support of our wellbeing and our own essential nature to pause, create space, and enjoy.

Learning to live in dolce far niente has been a work in progress for me. Just a year ago, I was on my own journey through Italy, and—as I made it my mission to taste all of the pizza and gelato and to let myself fall in LOVE with Italy—I got a taste of that sweetness. I’ve been deepening my relationship to dolce far niente ever since.

So this week, I invite you to play with the sweetness of doing nothing. To bring the essence of dolce far niente into your own life. Even if only for a few moments, I invite you to connect to your breath, look around at all you’ve created, and savor the sweetness that you are.

xo,

P.S. There are still a few spaces open for my newest incarnation of the Yoga’licious 6 month group program: Re-aligning with your natural rhythms and Essential expression. If you’ve been feeling burnt out, disconnected, like you’re just trying to keep your head above water then this program is a great support to breaking that cycle. It’s a sacred 6 month journey home to yourself.  I want for you to wake up every morning with deep confidence in yourself, your choices, your sense of self, and your ability to create what you want. I want you to feel alive in each moment, feeling pleasure instead of constant burden and anxiety. I want you to stop living the life you thought you were supposed to live…and start living the life you’re meant to. If this resonates for you send me a quickie email that you’re interested and we’ll set up a time to speak, no strings attached, and see if it’s a good fit for this year. I’ll also offer you a special enrollment period discount. Trust your gut, let’s connect!

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