Guilt is so “American”. If you have ever watched the movie Eat, Pray, Love, you will know what I mean in reference to the Italian phrase dolce far niente, or the “sweetness of doing nothing.” In the movie, an Italian explains to Liz (played by Julia Roberts) that the difference between Americans and Europeans is that Americans live plagued by constant guilt, whereas Europeans relish in pleasure. They enjoy the dolce far niente, they feel no guilt in simply enjoying life, and they enjoy the beauty that can be found in doing nothing.
Too many of us are in “surivival” mode – trying to make it through the ruins of our choatic daily lives in order to make it to the weekend. Or, we forbid ourselves treats and pleasures throughout the day, only to “allow” ourselves to splurge at the end of the day if (and only if) we “deserve” it. Stop thinking so black-and-white about life and start realizing that you do deserve pleasure, kindness and, as the French would say, joie de vivre (the joyful things in life). Remember, ruin is the road to transformation, — it is a gift. It is when we are able to see the challenges in our lives as gifts that we truly transform as human beings.
Enjoy the dolce far niente of your day today.