Food for Thought: “Dolce far Niente” (Italian for “The Sweetness of Doing Nothing”)…..

….is a phrase I caught from that movie with Julia Roberts, "Eat Pray Love"

I'm your typical guy, football and war movies is the norm, but I live in Seattle and work in Portland Oregon, where I am now, and can be down here at a hotel for weeks at a time. In cases like this, you watch whatever is on the TV, and the movie "Eat, Pray, Love" was on last night…..I said "What the heck? Julia is a cutie, let's watch".

Here in Portland Oregon, its a Friday, 77 degrees, perfect evening, but I just don't feel like hitting the bars and sitting around all night with my "fake smooth" Machismo pose at a bar. Had a date with a girl down here a few weeks ago, and in one word, I would call it, "uninspiring".

So tonight, I'm gonna do the ultimate "Dolce far Niente" within a "Dolce far Niente": gonna do nothing, drink a couple of Italian Peroni Beers, try a new recipe, look through some cool images of beautiful women (technically the same thing I do at a bar, only now on my terms 🙂 ), and write an article on "Dolce far Niente"…………

I found it interesting when I googled the words "Dolce far Niente" to confirm the meaning and spelling, there were many blogs giving instructions in how to do it, or achieve it or whatever…you know, turn of the TV, meditate, take a walk, put down the cell phone……and so on.

I will present no such instructions for practicing"Dolce far Niente", it is what it is to you, your own "do nothing style"

No scientific breakdown of "Dolce far Niente" in this post, is just a few random thoughts and pictures that came to me as I practice my own unique "Dolce far Niente"……………….

Well, here are all my random thought interspersed amongst the photos. (my mind has a mind of its own 🙂 )

"I will sing the young man's song, that you will sing on Remembrance Day, I will be the sacrifice, bells will ring on Remembrance Day"

–Stuart Adamson (lead singer of the band 'Big Country', from the song 'Remembrance Day')

"I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert, but I can live, and breathe, and see the sun in wintertime"

–Stuart Adamson (lead singer of the Band 'Big Country', from the song 'In a Big Country')

(From the "Eat, Pray, Love" movie)

"People are so afraid of being alone, they settle for living with someone in misery………people are afraid of ruin, but ruin can be the road to transformation……..and in life, there are endless waves of transformation"

"You who un-united to yourself roam about the world, seeking some person or some thing to be united. Seeking to ease away that pain in your heart. Deceive not yourself……." 

–Edward Carpenter (poet), from the book "Towards Democracy"

"It just came to me, in the four years since I left Chicago, after I got laid off, the further and longer I went away from home, the closer I got to the 'home' within myself" 

–Doug (me, the blogwriter)

(From the "Eat, Pray, Love Movie", about the word "Tutti", which means "Everybody")

"When you set out in the world to help yourself, sometimes you end up helping 'Tutti' ".

"You have to be a light onto yourself. Not a light onto this teacher or that philosopher, or onto Jesus, or onto Buddha, or Muhammad. You have to be a light onto yourself….in a world that has become utterly dark"

-Jiddu Krishnamurti , a philosopher

"Now I will dismiss myself from impassive women, I will go stay with her who waits for me….I will be the robust husband of those women. They are not one jot less than I am, They are tann'd in the face by shining suns and blowing winds.

Their flesh has the old divine suppleness and strength, They know how to swim, row, ride, wrestle, shoot, run, strike, retreat, advance, resist, defend themselves, They are ultimate in their own right–they are calm, clear, well-possess'd of themselves."

–Walt Whitman

"Before we know the trust it takes to walk up to that edge, we build a house of cards, with a wind that's always blowing, we build our little garden on a bed of sand and stone" 

–Stuart Adamson (lead singer of the band 'Big Country', from the song 'I'm not Ashamed')

"I think the real fear by many people of practicing "Dolce far Niente", is that our thought process  from childhood is shaped by external forces, and we are thus dependent on that "external shaping" as we become adults.

When the day comes where one has to sit and look within, with very little external influence, that can be somewhat terrifying….that is, to see the void within ourselves"

–Doug (me, the blogwriter)

"I have found two great things that I can say about myself………

One is that I love the me that is me. The second is that it is a great thing after all this time, to still feel you have your whole life ahead of you and all that you want to accomplish and experience is still possible….like your life is still on the ascent" 

–Doug (me, the blogwriter)

"We all have to be strong and fearless in this crazy ass world, but what has always amazed me is how difficult it is for some people to be courteous and kind in relationships, especially when the other person is being kind to them.

But now I see why that is, in that it takes a lot of strength and fearlessness to be truly kind"

–Doug (me, the blogwriter)

from the Bible (I interpret this verse to be talking about relationships)

"Unless the lord builds the house, he that builds it labors in vain"  –Psalm 127:1

"Did we ever have it good? While we lived in El Dorado did we find the gold we should? If it really was the truth, why are faces filled with anger that should only shine with youth?

–Stuart Adamson (lead singer of the band 'Big Country', from the song 'Just a Shadow')

"To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders" –Lao Tze

"Stop looking at what's behind you, fame and love is gonna find you, we're just here to remind you, Yearn and Learn is what you do" 

— from the band "Earth Wind and Fire" ( from the song "Yearn and Learn")

So that is it. Like I said, I am practicing "Dolce far Niente" tonight, and although in years past I was afraid of it, I really love it in a sense of I am truly coming in tune with myself.

Like Julia in "Eat, Pray, Love", sometimes you are literally thrown out here into the world, I suppose because divine energy has to get you away from your old self (and all its trappings), to find your new self. And I was lucky, the art of "Dolce far Niente" came to me, I didn't try to find or master it.

………now, I am only afraid of if I were not allowed to practice it

~stay healthy~


click here or photo below for all my articles in
"Food for Thought"

16 Responses


I haven't read all your blog posts (yet). But, this is by far my favorite. Bookmarking this page <3


…and that was the most spontaneous post I ever wrote 🙂


appreciate your vibe and the visuals. Thanks.


Thanks, I’m not for profit, these comments are my only payment. 🙂

~stay healthy~


I found it interesting that I am a teenager that practices Dolce Far Niente so often everyday, and I did not even know about it, nor hear about it, until I read your article. In Dolce Far Niente I feel peaceful, extreme tranquility, and I feel a positive pull away from all the negative stress that could be known, and onto a journey of almost a fantasy. My thoughts pause and nature is my biggest influence that has always helped me make a connection between me and the earth alone in what becomes a mysterious magical world. (I hope that doesn't sound too insane, but that is really how I feel when practicing Dolce Far Niente.)


Hi Gabriela,

It doesn’t sound insane at all, when you read about many of the Transcendentalists like David Thoreau and Walt Whitman, they said they would be in a similar state when they were out in nature.

I only wish I would have been at that level as a teen….life would have been so much different and easier I think…….

Great comment, thanks for stopping by….

Doug at Gaia Health Blog


Very interesting. I also liked the phrase and wanted to know more about it, thanks to Eat, Pray, Love. liked your presentation . Grazie! 


Hi Medha,

Thanks for the comment,

This was probably the most spontaneous article I ever wrote. Just posting a bunch of nice pictures and writing whatever quotes came to my head.

Bu that’s what happens when you are practicing Dolce far Niente

Doug at Gaia Health Blog


I’m from Korea. I happened to find this page by accident and I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you very much for posting and sharing your thoughts.


I saw your post while searching for ‘Dolche far Niente’ myself. And I must say that your definition of the term has inspired me to search for my own. Thanks for that. Beautiful blog and keep doing the good work


Hi Charu,

Just read your post on your blog, a nice little read

Good luck in your search. Not to use a stupid Cliche, but You will find what “Dolce Far Niente” is for you within yourself (….though you may already know that)  🙂

Doug at GAIA Health Blog


me like


It was from having seen the movie ‘Eat Pray Love’ that I came across the phrase, and in that moment I immediately got the sentiment as I know the value of having a balanced style of living that includes taking pause.

After reading the postings today, I considered what practicing Dolce far Niente has meant for me, and it is through the practicing that I found the difference between being by myself and being with myself and the loveliness of that.


Hi Amy,

Agreed. I can’t cay I was ever a “natural” at being comfortable by myself. But I really became an aficionado at it over time. To the point where I can now be in the house with no TV, Music, or any sound for hours and hours on end. It can pop in my head to turn on the TV and watch a ball game, and sometimes I do, but my mind will also say sometimes, “let’s just enjoy the silence, it’s the best music”

Thanks for reading and commenting

Doug at GAIA Health Blog



I have jùst fallen in love with a stranger…..


Hi Petro Zealand

Kinda exciting and a ego boost if you a female, kinda scary if you’re a male LOL!!!

Doug at GAIA Health Blog

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