When Was The Last Time You Practiced ‘Dolce Far Niente’?

If you don’t know Italian or have ever read the book “Eat. Pray. Love”, dolce far niente means roughly the sweet art of doing nothing. I am from an Italian and Polish background but it was through Elizabeth Gilbert’s book I discovered the true meaning of it.

A few days ago I found myself list free, no obligations, absolutely 100 percent on me time. Was I excited? Far from it. As an entrepreneur, I often work 6 to 6.5 days a week so having a solid day free from it all unplanned bothered me. The rain kept me hostage inside for far too long. I finished my series of “Sex And The City” and caught up on “Mad Men”. And then what?

I was left with my thoughts. Oh, did my mind wander. The emotions of having a long distance relationship flooded my brain. My plans with friendships being rescheduled which made me feel rejected. When the rain had stopped, I put on my running shoes and headed outside.

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I can usually put on some fast music and run until I exhaust myself to drown out my thoughts but this time was different. I continued to walk, soak in the cool breeze the rain had left, and listen to nature. With each step my lingering thoughts came back. Instead of fighting them, I embraced them all.

Just when I thought I was going to cry to pour out my pain, my phone started to ring. It was an old friend. She only talked for 12 minutes but those precious moments refreshed me and somehow managed to clear my head. I had a new tone in my thoughts. I had a brighter perspective than when I had left my house.

An hour later I was back in my home. As I took off my shoes I felt a smile forming. I knew this peaceful hour was bittersweet. I started out in a funk, detoured myself into a better mood, and realized moments like that were going to be few and far in between.

So what does this have to do with practicing the sweet art of doing nothing?

  • It is a sweet reminder to not feel guilty when time allows you to be unglued or disconnected.
  • Embrace it and be fully aware of your thoughts.
  • The peace is a recharge to your regular routine.
  • Appreciate the stillness.
  • Be honest with yourself during this time. If it was beneficial, do it again soon. If it was daunting, you probably didn’t achieve the sweetness part yet.

How have your found dolce far niente?

If you LIKE my business page on Facebook, you will see a common thing happening on Fridays I call a “Friday Focus”. The topic varies by what you suggest or what comes to mind. My goal is to help YOU, the reader, to take away something valuable than you may not have considered before. If you want to contribute to an upcoming Friday Focus, please leave me a comment and we can make it happen.