Dolce far Niente – The Art of Doing Nothing

One of my favorite Italian sayings is “Dolce far Niente”, which means “the sweetness of doing nothing.” It does not mean being lazy, it is referring to the pleasure one gets from being idle. … Dolce far Niente is something Italians embrace and something they do very well.  Maybe this is why I LOVE Italy so much and hope to spend more time there in my retirement!  🙂

A friend posted an article from Elephant Journal recently and it reminded me of this saying.  You can check out their article here: Elephant Journal

The idea that “doing nothing,” is actually an event in and of itself. The idea that we no longer run on a treadmill of activity from getting the kids to and from activities, to staring at social media, to picking up dry cleaning, to working your job, to grocery shopping and cooking, to washing clothes and making beds, and the list goes on until we wake up and do it all over again.  The idea that our actions day to day become influenced by our intuition (listening to and honoring as best we can to that still small voice that is telling us what we need) and no longer by routines, have to’s, and musts.

This kind of relaxation exists within each of us and is ours for the taking if we’re willing to put in the effort.  The “la dolce far niente” relaxation can be cultivated. The sweetness of doing nothing and enjoying where we are in the present moment- is the greatest thanks we can give for the lives and blessing we have.

If you are a fan of Thoreau, as I am, in Walden, he said, “When I go out of the house for a walk, uncertain as yet whither I will bend my steps, and submit myself to my instinct to decide for me, I find, strange and whimsical as it may seem, that I finally and inevitably settle south-west, toward some particular wood or meadow or deserted pasture or hill in that direction.”

How different would your quality of life be if you made time throughout the day to experience la dolce far niente? Instead of using your free moments to catch up on what happened on Southern Charm or Housewives of _________________, instead of looking at your Instagram or Facebook page to count your LIKES over your latest post, instead of checking your email one last time to see if anyone else is needing you to do something, instead of using your free time to find mindless uninspiring distractions; What if you just did nothing?

For observant Jews they keep the Sabbath.  We all can take time, maybe not an entire day, but a small amount of time to carve out to honor the idea of doing nothing.  Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad, Moses, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and many more great saints and sages have all practiced the art of doing nothing.

Let’s all take a page from their books!  May you enjoy NOTHING!


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