“Italians are the masters of Il bel far niente. This is a sweet expression that means, the beauty of doing nothing. Italians have traditionally always been hard workers. . . But even against the backdrop of hard work , Il bel far niente has always been a cherished Italian ideal. The beauty of doing nothing is the goal of all your work, the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated. The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life’s achievement.. . Anyone with a talent for happiness can do this, not only the rich.” Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love Il bel far niente is a concept that has the potential to really stress out individuals living in American society today. Why is that? Because perhaps we feel guilty if we are not accomplishing something. We feel like sloths when we take the time to actually just sit and relax. We see ourselves as human “doings” rather than human “beings”. We spend the majority of our time working hard at whatever profession that we have chosen, striving to achieve a goal that we believe will make us happy. Many times we spend our days striving to get to Friday so that we can wind down, however when we get to the weekends we busy ourselves to the point with all our activities that we are more exhausted when Monday arrives again. As we approach the beginning of another weekend, I challenge you all to embody this Italian art form for as long as you can. Then, if it works for you, apply it to your lives on a daily basis. Can you imagine making a shift to where you are actually congratulated for this rather than for your achievements. I certainly believe that you are able to enjoy more of the sweet life if this were the goal. I also believe that we can lower our levels of stress on ourselves as well as our loved ones if instead of trying to “do” more, we make a conscious effort to “be” more. If you need some inspiration, put on inspirational music and just dance to your own beat, surround yourself in the company of good friends and be present to them, and enjoy the moments of your life wherever you are. You don’t need money to enjoy these blessings in life. You just need to do nothing so you can truly appreciate the beauty that is there before you. There, you will find true happiness. It is a talent that is truly worthy to be learned and mastered. You don’t have to deserve this, it is already your gift that you get to embrace for free. When you learn this skill, you truly have won life’s lottery!
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