As a mother of three, I have been know to keep odd hours. Laundry at midnight – check. E-mails at 3am – check. Having an “ah-ha” moment with the rising of the sun – check! I turned on the television around 6am this morning to create some soothing background noise for my almost-asleep-but-not quite baby Savanna to stumble across one of my favorites (the book & movie) “Eat, Pray, Love.” It was at the exact moment when a group of Italians are sitting in the barber shop with “the American” explaining her feeling of guilt since all she has done for three weesks in Italy is “learn a few italian words and eat.” It is at this moment when her mostly Italian friends enlighten her (and all of us!) to the magical concept of “dolce far niente” – the sweetness of doing nothing. Although I had seen this movie before, at that moment, this concept came to life and settled right inside of me. I thought, of course; yes, yes yes – it is really all very simple. It served as a beautiful reminder to me that the essence and magic of life happens not when we are searching, doing, and acheiving, but when we are receiving. It happens in stillness, not chaos. Rather than measuring the success of your day by how much you’ve planned, produced and consumed, start counting your successes by the number of times you laughed with a loved one, how long you lingered over great conversation and a cup of coffee or the time spent enjoying your yoga class. When we pause and allow life to unfold around and within us, the sweetness of it all is ever-present. Embrace this daily and watch your life truly transform. Be present with everything and resist the urge to do something about it – daydream, take the day off, disconnect. This is the true elixir of life, happiness, beauty & health. How will you practice your dolce far niente? I know I’ll enjoy practicing mine.
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