Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Art of Loving Your Life (mass blogging event!)


I wrote today’s post as part of the WOW-Women on Writing’s “The Art of Loving Your Life” Blanket Tour celebrating the release of Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore by Barbara Conelli (www.barbaraconelli.com).



Barbara Conelli is an internationally published bestselling author, seasoned travel writer specializing in Italy. In her charming, delightful and humorous Chique Books filled with Italian passion, Barb invites women to explore Italy from the comfort of their home with elegance, grace and style, encouraging them to live their own Dolce Vita no matter where they are in the world.

Her latest book, Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore offers an intimate view into the unpredictable and extravagant city of Milan, its glamorous feminine secrets, the everyday magic of its dreamy streets, the passionate romance of its elegant hideaways, and the sweet Italian art of delightfully falling in love with your life wherever you go.

If you comment on today’s post on this blog or any of the others participating in The Art of Loving Your Life tour, you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore!

Oh. the art of loving your life! The Dolce Vita!    

If you have a rich imagination like me, then you can envision yourself beside me as we sip cappuccinos while sitting at an outdoor café in a quaint Italian village that bustles with activity: artists, musicians, fountains, sexy men complimenting our beauty, an endless array of decadent food choices … and children screaming and fighting in the background– wait a minute – rewind, back it up – oh yeah, that’s reality sneaking into a perfectly good fantasy, again.

Happiness, that gem of a word that is the whole key to proclaiming that you love your life, so many times seems as elusive as the possibilty that I’ll be sitting in an Italina café any time soon (which, as far as I know, is highly unlikely).  But that’s exactly the point.  It shouldn’t take a shift in geography to suddenly figure a way to love your life.

Philosophers, magazine articles, self help gurus, you name it, I Google-searched it to provide you, my fine readers, with the answer of how to perfect the art of loving your life.  If Ponce de Leon could search for the Fountain of Youth, then I could sift through the internet to discover the Fountain of Happiness.  (Yes, I’m pretty sure the actual fountain would look like something found in Italy with half-nude statues and flowing water.)

The secret to loving your life, I found, was about as ambiguous as that scene from City Slickers: remember when Curly played by Jack Palance held up one gloved finger in order to explain to Mitch played by Billy Crystal what the meaning of life was and Mitch said something like, “What?  Your finger?”  and Curly said something to the effect of finding that one thing that means the most to you … remember that?  Well, it seems good old Curly wasn’t too far off.

My findings summed up nice and neat:  It is an art, the whole loving your life deal.  And as an art, it takes work, dedication and nurturing just like anything else in life.  Such as, if you want to be in good physical condition, you can’t sit around eating chips and wishing for it to happen.  It takes work in the form of exercise and eating right.  The same goes for happiness.  When I discovered this fact, it actually made me depressed.  Ugh, can’t anything be easy! 

Luckily, I had learned what it takes to become happy and start loving my life once more:
  1. Being passionate about doing something (also known as “what Curly from City Slickers meant when he held up one finger”).  Figure out what are the things that you enjoy doing most?  And then, do them as much as you can.  Of course, if you’re like me, there will be a thousand obstacles in your way.  Do it anyway, no matter what. 
  2. Get enough sleep and, if possible, quality sleep.  If you’re a parent, then you know it’s true for the kids.  Make it a priority for you and try not to feel guilty about not getting other stuff done.
  3. Laugh.  Honestly, most of the time, I think of my life as fodder for a stand-up act or a sitcom.  It does seem to make the most excruciating of circumstances better, simply by thinking about how I could recount a difficult scenario in a comical way.
  4. An attitude of gratitude.  I know I’ve heard this one a thousand times before and you probaly have, too.  So count your blessings, blah, blah, blah and now I’ll continue.
  5. Live in the present.  There’s tons of stuff out there on how to meditate or act child-like by living in the moment.  It seems from what I read, that people who weren’t holding onto grudges about the past or stressing about the future actually report feeling happier.  Who knew?
  6. Last one:  If Nick Jr.’s Yo Gabba Gabba has taught me anything, it’s this – It’s fine from time to time to have “a party in your tummy”.  I’ll be inviting pasta, wine and chocolate to mine.  And, it’s important to “think happy thoughts”.  Afterall, happiness is a choice that can be found anywhere in the world!

I’m sure there’s more that I could add to this list.  I’d love to hear your comments!  Plus don’t forget that commenting makes you eligible to win a prize.  I’ll say it again: If you comment on today’s post on this blog or any of the others participating in The Art of Loving Your Life tour, you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore!
  
Today's post was inspired by the writings of today's
featured author, Barbara Conelli.
To read Barbara’s post about loving life and view a list of other blogs participating in The Art of Loving Your Life tour please visit The Muffin (http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/)

 To view the book trailer for Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore:

17 comments:

  1. Audry, I love your post. You're absolutely right - it shouldn't take a shift in geography to love your life! It really is about being open to life and its magic, enjoying the beauty of the present moment, and counting your blessings. It's interesting how many "gurus" try to teach us happiness, and how complicated we often think it is. The joyful energy of your post is contagious!(By the way, you might be sitting in an Italian café sooner than you think!)

    Thank you for participating in my blog tour!

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  2. Barbara, I am so thrilled that you loved my post! It is truly a pleasure to participate in this blog tour as I am always looking for new and different inspirations for my posts each week. (And, I hope you're on to something that i might be sitting in an Italian cafe sooner than I think!)

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    1. Absolutely, Audry. Actually, we might be sitting there together, sipping cappuccinos, gossiping and enjoying la dolce vita!

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    2. Now, that sounds awesome :)

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  3. For me, the "one thing" is my relationship with God. When I escape that, I am unhappy. But contentment is truly a choice. You have to choose to get over everything that doesn't really matter and focus on what is good. And you are totally right. It is NOT easy. But worth it, for sure.

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    1. Tracy, you're right, it's not easy but it's a choice. Choosing joy is a blessing...

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    2. Tracy, you found one I left off the list. I did read that people who have a strong sense of spirituality in their lives do tend to have a greater sense of contentment and are able to cope better under difficult situations. Thanks for bringing that up!

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  4. Hi Audry,
    Loved this post; I got a smile and a giggle!
    For me, finding the funny side of things is so important...

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    1. Yes, laughter is a gift! (Every Italian would agree! :) )

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    2. So glad you loved this post. It's always my goal to get a laugh. And, I agree laughter is a gift!

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  5. Laughter sure helps! For me, attitude is so much of how we perceive things both good and bad. So, that's what I work on--framing things in a positive light!

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    1. Jean, yes! There are always more ways to see a situation or circumstance, and every challenge eventually helps us grow, enjoy and love our life much more. Dolce amore at its best! :)

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    2. Jean and Barbara, I couldn't agree more!

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  6. Great post....Sleep...really....I'd love to sleep if I could turn off the stories battling in my head past their bedtime!! LoL

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    1. Joy, try replacing the nasty stories with better ones. I'm sure they'll run away once you start thinking about enjoying a great dinner and delicious wine on a seaside terrace while watching the sunset in Positano! It always works :)

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    2. Joy, I added "sleep" to this post because it is one of those things that seem so simple, but actually takes dedication. Believe me, after having twins when their older brother was just two and a half, I know sleep deprivation well! I agree with Barbara: a little escapist day dreaming at bedtime is always a good thing!

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    3. Ladies, I know what you're talking about. I'm a light sleeper and I know how to appreciate a night of delicious, blissful, restful sleep. Sleep is Chique! :)

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