Posts Tagged ‘sweet doing nothing’

The Sweetness of Doing Nothing

I recently watched the hit movie Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts, based on the best-selling book by Elizabeth Gilbert, and learned the Italian phrase “il dolce far niente,” literally “sweet doing nothing.”

Gilbert learned the phrase from new friends in Italy on her year-long journey of self-discovery. In Italy, “il dolce far niente” means sitting in a café talking with friends, perhaps enjoying a bite to eat along with a bottle of wine, or just watching the world pass by.

This type of mindfulness reminded me of meditation guru Jon Kabat-Zinn, who in this YouTube lecture calls it “much to do about almost nothing.”

I decided to explore the pleasure of relaxation in carefree idleness over the long Presidents’ Day weekend. To get out of the mind set of being totally plugged in, 24/7, I purposely did not check my e-mail for 3 days. We took a family trip to East Hampton, where we walked on the sparkling, snowy beach, played board games (Apples to Apples, Risk), went bowling, and ate comfort food (meat loaf for dinner, pancakes for breakfast).

I felt refreshed, recharged, and reconnected.

How do you experience “il dolce far niente”?