5 things I learned in Italy + pics!

Beautiful, I have just come home from 2 glorious weeks of being *unplugged* in Southern Italy. No phone, no internet (it’s been 6 years since I had that much phone/computer free time)!

I experienced great clarity, creativity and insight while away and I’m excited to share some of those insights with you….(I also created a free webinar based on my biggest ‘AHA’ moment –see below)

5 Things I Learned in Italy

1) Eat slowly

The first day John and I arrived we fell asleep and ended up going out for dinner around 9:30pm.  We were in a small village in the mountains called Cava di Tielli, and were surprised that the restaurant was empty.  Little by little the restaurant filled up with families and couples – children included!! We learned that it’s most common to eat 3 courses: appetizer and first and second course, followed by dessert and coffee.  It surprised us that although we were first to order it took sooo long to bring out our food.

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This theme continued throughout the trip and we learned that dinner time is usually between 9pm and midnight and we should expect to spend AT LEAST 2 hours at a restaurant (we usually ordered an appetizer and one main course each).  I grew to love these long meals with big stretches of time to sit and chat between courses.  Occasionally we’d stop for gelato as we walked home and savour the heat of the night and a cool sweet treat.  These long slow meals taught me about stopping to savour life.

2) It’s ok to nap

Along the Amalfi coast unless you’re in a super touristy place all the stores shut down from 2-6pm.  It’s very hot and it makes sense to sleep during the hottest part of the day (this also explains why children were eating late and not getting all crazy-fussy-pants!)

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I have NEVER been a napper.  I usually feel terrible when I wake up from a nap, however I thought I would give it a try.  Low and behold I began a routine of afternoon napping!  In the end I found it very refreshing to have a mid-day rest.  Now that I’m back home I see the value in having a long pause sometime before the day is done.  And I’m not talking about pausing to do yoga or pausing to take a dance break or a bike ride – those things are already part of my routine, and I love them, but there’s something different about coming into stillness.  I’m talking about slowly enjoying a nice cup of tea, settling in for a cozy nap, sitting in meditation, taking an afternoon bath or reading a chapter of a good book.

3) Remember to celebrate

We launched our Italy trip with the wedding of my German-Italian friends (who I lived with in Mexico).  It was so fun to be in celebration mode – my cheeks were hurting from so much smiling.  The meal lasted almost 5 hours (until 1am) and then we all went down to the beach and danced until sunrise.  

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Why is it that we so seldom stop to celebrate ourselves, our joys and our achievements? Making it through a difficult conversation and keeping your cool, getting yourself dressed in the morning without any negative self-talk, pulling off a fantastic dinner, moving in with the love of your life 😉 … I think there are so many reasons to stop and celebrate, and give ourselves a pat on the back, or a massage, a rose, a pedicure, a glass of wine, a country-drive…. I’d love to know how you celebrate…

4) Choose peace

The first week of our trip was over-the-top romantic, we would gaze into each others eyes professing our love and swooning over each other
(even more than we do now)… During week two I experienced something new for us.  I call it getting “snippy”.  I’m sure you’ve seen couples get a little bit short with each other, using a tone of voice that has little patience.  

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Driving through very narrow winding roads, with motorcyclists all around doing crazy maneuvers (in the blazing heat) can wear on the patience.  I was navigator and was responsible to get us where we wanted to go…John’s responsibility was to deliver us safely.

So here and there we got snippy with each other.  I knew I had a choice, take it personally and judge our behaviours, or be the witness and be at peace with the fact that romantic week one has evolved.  When you spend hundreds of hours non-stop with a person, it can happen.  I chose to celebrate this new form of exchange (and even found it funny).

Life is like that… we can get attached to feeling happy and joyous and feel sad when we don’t feel that way, or we can be at peace with the variety of emotions.  I don’t feel happy everyday, sometimes I feel anxious, sometimes sad, sometimes indifferent – but I try my best to choose peace every day, and be at peace with what I’m feeling.

5) Every day is an adventure

Each day of our Italy adventure brought breath-taking sights, unexpected surprises, sacred moments and new discoveries.  What if we lived each day like it was an adventure?  What if we woke up each day with curiosity and excitement?  How would everyday life change and feel different?  We would change our relationship to life and our lives would change.

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I invite you to join me for a free 60min webinar Fall Back In Love…With Your Life where we will explore 5 daily choices you make that can either support you to thrive and experience deep fulfillment, or contribute to burn-out and a feeling of dissatisfaction with life.

Ready to bring back the fun and adventure to your life?  Register here.

Sending you my sincerest love,
Elisha Signature_red