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The Sweetness of Doing Nothing

For most people, success is something that is judged by how much they do and achieve everyday. The more they fill their moments with endless activities - going and doing as much as possible - the more they feel that they're day was a success. Never mind that the majority of people feel completely burned out from all of this activity, and are overwhelmed by all of the things that they still need to do. They simply take this as a sign that they need to work harder and do more!

There is a saying in Italy however, that goes, 'Dolce Far Niente', which means The Sweetness of Doing Nothing. Let those words sink in for a moment as you contemplate the picture of the Happy Buddha below...

It points to the art of pausing in our busy lives, and simply enjoying the moment as it is, without thinking about what you need to do next. It is taking great joy in letting go of the constant need to be doing something, dropping our routine, and simply relaxing in the present moment with the ordinary unfolding of the day. Perhaps it's resting for a moment as we watch the clouds in the sky, or close our eyes to take a short refreshing nap. Dolce Far Niente is the conscious act of relaxing here and now, and letting go of the need to do anything to make ourselves feel that we are accomplishing anything special. Of course, for most people the thought of doing absolutely nothing sounds dreadfully boring and unproductive, but there is a much deeper meaning to this phrase.

In this letting go of our busy agendas, if even for a moment, we begin to appreciate the ordinary moments that make up the majority of our lives; the beauty of a sunset, a conversation with a friend over a tasty beverage, or the breath we are taking right now. The Sweetness of Doing Nothing is not a lazy ignorance of life's demands, but a rich savoring of the fullness that is always present in the here and now. As we learn to pause during the day to enjoy, and appreciate these ordinary moments, we find that life gives us more to be grateful for. Even more miraculously, we find there's absolutely nothing we have to do that is more important than enjoying our life, here and now.

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