La Dolce Far Niente: The Sweetness of Doing Nothing

Elaine Mead
Dec 17, 2019 · 6 min read
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

To wander now is my abode;
To rest, — to rest would be
A privilege of hurricane
To memory and me.

-Emily Dickinson


La Dolce Far Niente

“Doing nothing is actually an event in and of itself. I can tell you from personal experience that it’s not as easy as one might think. We are so ingrained with the idea of the working or studying to set time frames and the idea that we must constantly be doing something, looking busy, following a routine, adhering to ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’. Our daily lives are so intensely entwined with our online lives that the concept of ‘doing nothing’ seems utterly unrealistic. Taking the time to sit, and pay attention to nothing, is really actually quite a challenge.”

Learning to Embrace Doing Nothing

“When I go out of the house for a walk, uncertain as yet whither I will bend my steps, and submit myself to my instinct to decide for me, I find, strange and whimsical as it may seem, that I finally and inevitably settle south-west, toward some particular wood or meadow or deserted pasture or hill in that direction.”

— Henry David Thoreau

Reflect on what allows you to do nothing

Try a little mindfulness

Be conscious but don’t force it

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Elaine Mead

Written by

Educator, Psychologist + Writer | Creative Careers & Living | Sharing thoughts, ideas & memories | More words: coffeeandbooks.co & Insta: @wordswithem

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