Dec 9, 2010 by

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.

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  1. Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or
    maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?
    My website addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I
    think we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you might be interested feel free to send me an e-mail.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

  2. Hank Quagenti

    Is it possible to get a “dolce far niente” t-shirt?!

  3. I think it’s wonderful you drew so much from the movie. You know, I once read on this same topic a man posting “Why do women flock so to movies like Eat Pray Love?”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. With such a strong message, how couldn’t we? Not only did Julia Robert’s character face the same thing all women in America do, but more importantly she led the way in showing the journey to finding ourselves. Which I think I speak for all women when I say, that’s all one could ask for. The ability to know yourself.

  4. Nicole Sullivan

    Love it Pinky! I think I’ll take a lunch break today. :)

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