The pressure to be constantly productive can be overwhelming, leaving little room for relaxation and self-discovery. I’ve recently discovered a lovely Italian phrase – dolce far niente. What does it mean? The dictionary defines if as pleasant idleness.
Cultivating Dolce Far Niente
Dolce far niente is more than just idleness; it’s about embracing the art of leisure and finding joy in the simple act of being. It’s a celebration of life’s quiet moments, allowing ourselves the time to appreciate the beauty of existence without a specific agenda or purpose.
The Guilt From Idleness
In her prime, my mother, was a bundle of energy. Always on the move. Coming up with new ideas to make the home look more appealing. Looking for causes to lend her help to. She was not really one to rest a lot. We grew up with the adage ‘idleness is the Devil’s workshop’ constantly being repeated.
I was made of different stuff. Nothing gave me more pleasure than reading . I could spend hours curled up in some quiet place. I loved to day dream too. Gifted with a vivid imagination, I travelled and created scenarios in my head that I’m sure would have given my mother more heartache if I shared them with her! 😉
While I admired my mother’s energy, I couldn’t keep up or measure up to her. This created a kind of guilt, something that still lingers. The need to spend time productively.
This is something I really want to work on in 2024. Dumping the guilt and spending more time quietely and pleasantly unproductive!!
Mindfully present in the moment, I want fully appreciate the small joys of life – a warm cup of tea, the rustling of leaves, or the beauty of a sunset. This will keep me from the constant need for productivity and let me immerse myself in the richness of the present.
I’m planning on setting aside time to disconnect from work and simply be. This may involve a quiet walk, a few moments of meditation, playing with my dog, reading a book just for pleasure, listening to music or enjoying a leisurely meal without distractions.
Since my healing is an ongoing journey, I must make time to just be.
There’s a mistaken belief that constant busyness fuels creativity. I’ve found that creativity flourishes in moments of stillness. By cultivating dolce far niente, I can create space for my mind to wander, explore, and connect ideas in unexpected ways. It’s in the quiet moments that my most profound insights and creative thoughts emerge.
I haven’t picked my word of the year for 2024, but I’m pondering on something quiet and restful. Some dolce far niente! What about you?
This is Day 39 of My 66-day Journey of Healing Through Writing and Sharing.