I have been home for less than 5 days and I already miss Italy. I love Bethlehem and all my friends and family, but I miss the simplicity of life and the appreciation for acting with intention. I often find that in the US we move at such a fast pace that we often forget where we are going and why we are going there.
How often do we sit to appreciate everything that we put into our bodies from our morning coffee to our dinner? Admit it, there are times you don’t even remember what you ate an hour ago. How often do we sit and chat with our loved ones without thinking about what we are planning to do next? How often do we sit and admire all the beauty that surrounds us? We live in a society where multi-tasking is a constant obligation and no longer a skill set of a select few for a select amount of time. Our priorities have shifted and our to do lists are out of control!!!
After two weeks in Italy, my bags were not filled with Italian leather, fancy shoes or kilos of Parmesan. But rather, my heart and soul were filled with beautiful memories and new healthy habits that I will take with me wherever I go.
A meal in Italy often lasts two to four hours for everyone, not just those on vacation. We took our time enjoying each bite and savoring each sip of wine. We never had a quick meal and we never considered rushing through one of the most important parts of the day. We savored what fueled our bodies and filled our souls. Conversations regarding food, life, and, of course, wine required us to stop chewing and just enjoy. A lovely woman I befriended while in Italy, told me: “Chew your liquids until they are solid and chew your solids until they are liquid.” Do you take the time to enjoy each sip and savor each bite or do you chug a smoothie as you are walking out the door texting someone? (One of my favorite bad habits!)
As I walked through the hillsides of Tuscany, cliffs of Capri and the mountainsides of the Amalfi, grapes, plums, peaches, figs, pumpkins, zucchinis, lemons, limes, pears, tomatoes and even kiwis grew in abundance. I could easily reach my hands into the trees and pick a sweet treat. As I walked through the courtyards, lavender, rosemary, basil and so much more beautified the area. I often would run my fingers through the scented herbs and take it all in. I savored each moment and indulged in the free time from emails and social media.
As I reflect back to those amazing 14 days, I realized that I had many conversations with Italians regarding the beauty that was surrounding us. They took the time to absorb the sunset, watch the storms and love the natural beauty that surrounds them. I heard the word, bellissimo, more times than I can remember. Beauty was recognized and savored! How often do we stop to love what we have and love who we are?
I know this is a lot to think about, but I desperately hope that you can give yourself a moment to take it all in. I am asking you to not only digest your food, but also your words, your thoughts, the beauty that surrounds you and the beauty within. Can you learn to recognize beauty and digest it? Can you slow down enough to know yourself and truly understand others? As I conclude my words to you, tears roll down my cheeks because I want you all to know that passion, love and beauty lies within us all and surrounds us all. Sadly, our quick paced lifestyle often numbs our awareness and our feelings. I beg you to take a moment, and hopefully more than that, to live with full intention. As this beautiful Italian Proverb states,
“Non ci ricordiamo dei giorni, noi ci ricordiamo dei momenti.
We do not remember days, we remember moments. “
Sip, Savor, Digest!
With admiration and love,
P.S. A Big Thank You to Sadie Nardini for choosing me as her assistant on her Yoga, Wine and Tuscany Retreat. This trip to Italy has and will change my life forever. Namaste!