Time for some fall reflection and thankful thoughts.
In our current North American culture of a never-ceasing desire to have more thing, become more influential, and gain more status, the art of doing nothing is being slowly rediscovered by some select few.
Truly, my summer has brought me to the realization that "comparison is the thief of joy" (thanks Theo). I found myself comparing what I have done in my few-hours-a-week investment into my own small business to others who have dedicated their entire 40-plus-hour workweek to building online empires. To be honest, I don't even want an empire. I don't want the pressure of having to come forward with impeccably written blogs and articles and stunning food photography every few days, especially anticipating those challenging periods of life when one can become overwhelmed. And I most certainly don't want my self-worth tied into social media. As wonderful and enticing as the lives of these people seem, I'll bet you a high percentage of them really don't feel like they have life figured out. (Note the large number of famous people that also have a serious deficit of happiness and hope, revealed by sudden deaths from suicide and related issues.) As for me, I'd much rather embrace a life of less stress and more freedom than spend my free time worrying about how to get ahead in life.
Pardon my chick-flick diversion, but in the movie "Eat, Pray, Love", Elizabeth Gilbert, played by the classically beautiful Julia Roberts, visits a barbershop with a friend, where the Italian men speak to the "art of doing nothing". "La Dolce Far Niente" is something that is hard to fathom on this side of the world where free time is spent cleaning up a never-ending list of to-do's, squeezing in exercise, or catching up on TV or social media and current events. Instead, free time with "niente" is invested in wandering, sipping wine at sunset, casual coffee and food, and many other simple pleasures of life.
Looking at what I have, I feel so blessed. I had to ask myself if it is okay that I am completely satisfied with where I am at in my career and relationships, but still willing to embrace change and growth. Yes! Gratefulness is one of the surest ways to happiness. I look around me at all the countless ways we are wasting away free time in hopes of gaining more money, status, influence, control, and fame. I think that we too often fall into a trap of allowing dissatisfaction be our motivator, which is a cruel way of coaching yourself. Instead, try counting your blessings, and allowing creativity and positive energy to move you forward!
What is your "niente"? Give me some inspiration below in the comments!
And more of "less"...
Doc's to watch for inspiration:
The Minimalists (on Netflix)
Feel-good movies to watch for inspiration:
Eat, Pray, Love
The Thousand Foot Journey (okay, this one is also about food)
Into the Wild
Books to read for inspiration:
*Anything you want!*
Happiness in B.A.L.A.N.C.E; What We Know Now About Happiness by Dr. Colleen Long
All the love,