About the blog

Il bel far niente means the beauty of doing nothing.

In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert says that even against that backdrop of hard work, il bel far niente has always been a cherished Italian ideal. The beauty of doing nothing is the goal of all your work, the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated. The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life’s achievement. You don’t necessarily need to be rich in order to experience this, either. There’s another wonderful Italian expression: l’arte d’arrangiarsi –the art of making something out of nothing. The art of turning a few simple ingredients into a feast, or a few gathered friends into a festival. Anyone with a talent for happiness can do this, not only the rich.

After many years of doing plenty but feeling disconnected from my life, I am now in pursuit of truly being here. The immeasurable gift of doing nothing is that we have the opportunity to sit quietly and expectantly as our authentic selves are revealed to us.

As a mom and a friend and a sister and a wife and a business owner, I’m of course still billing hours, managing projects, cleaning the house, and filling out paperwork. But what is most true about me?

I am a woman who plays, prays, creates, celebrates, inspires, laughs, gives and receives love. My riches come from seeing beauty in the people who surround me and from expressing gratitude for the life I’ve been given.

This blog is therefore dedicated to my pursuit of exquisitely and delightfully doing nothing. (And preferably in a hammock.)

Rachel Greenhouse

Minneapolis, Minnesota


8 thoughts on “About the blog”

  1. Brava, my beautiful, talented, expressive friend! I applaud you in your pursuit of the art of presence and connection, and look forward to hearing more.

    • Michele White said:

      I am just reading this post, Rachel, for the first time and along with it, Anna’s response. And I say, yes, yes and yes to the both of you!

  2. Warm wishes on your blog. The name reminds me of my semester in Rome decades ago. My best memories are those fa niente ones. All the senses alive and full presence in the moment.

    • Milissa: I have only been to Italy for one day. Isn’t that a travesty? I am sure this will change sometime in the near future. All the senses alive and present, indeed.

  3. this is lovely, and centering, and exactly what I needed right now. thank you.

  4. Rachel,
    wow – you are a beautiful writer – I wish I had half the energy, sense and motivation to try even an ounce of your accomplishments. Your writing is wonderful.

  5. Dear Rachel- your site is so very nicely done! I look forward to reading more of it. What a special time we had in Wis this weekend- hope we get a chance to connect again in the near future! Happy gardening!

  6. wonderful blog.. : )

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