Taking a break is freeing. Relaxing, having fun, going to new places. All sounds great. However, along with a sense of freedom comes a whole bunch of unexpected stuff. Feelings of depression, guilt, undeservedness. They come up too.
Humans are very strange creatures. We have to be constantly undoing the stuff we’ve been storing for most of our life. At least for the parts of it where we have not be very conscious.
Consciousness means to be constantly looking at what we are doing and thinking and deciding if it’s really in our best interest. At first it might seem daunting and overwhelming. But after awhile it is exactly that scrutiny that frees us.
There is always more to discover. We will never run out of things to look in ourself. But each time we take our courage in hand and do it we feel better and more open, creative, joyful. So, its worth doing because the payoffs are so huge.
At the same time it’s important to take joy in everything we do. Sounds contradictory? Yes and no. There is so much that is good in life. So much to learn and discover. So much right there for our pleasure.
I saw an older movie last night - Eat, Pray, Love. In it one of the characters says, “You Americans, You know having fun but you don’t don’t know pleasure.” “You work all week and become so burned out you spend the weekend in your pajamas drinking a six pack.”
He’s right. There is a difference. Pleasure comes when we allow ourself to enjoy fully where we are and what we are doing. Without recriminations, guilt, etc. It is giving ourself permission to take what is given to us knowing that we deserve it. He calls it - “La dolce far niente.” The pleasure of doing nothing. But that doesn’t come easily. But like all things if we make the decision to experience it we will. We and only we determine our experience of life. How we look at things, how we interpret things, what we project onto circumstances determines what we take away from them.
Along with that, again, we come to the fact that each of us has an inner compass that guides us. It is infallible. Some call it spirit, angels, God, the Universe. But it’s what lets us know what our work is and when we are honoring who we are. So, all of the above work I described doesn’t have to be done alone. In fact, we are really never alone except in our mind.
Have you noticed when you are feeling as if the Universe is a wonderful place, people seem nicer, things seem to flow easily to us? When we are open that’s what life is like. It’s when we close down that life gets touch. So how we are experiencing life lets us know exactly where we are.
A thoughtful friend gave me the book, The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. She talks about exactly this kind of thing and it is definitely worth a read. I’m sort of an old hand at this kind of thing. So when another friend told me she was taking her time reading it I sort of dismiss it. However, I am also reading it slowly. Taking it all in. Hope you will do the same.
Hope you enjoy Dolce Far Niente for yourself in whatever way works best for you. Even for a couple of hours. It will change your life because you will get back to yourself in a way you haven’t for a long time.