Cover of The ShackI have prayed for and been working toward a change in my life.
It sorta hit me over the Thanksgiving holidays - I have been searching and not really finding any solid reasoning to motivate change.
Then it dawned on me that I had just completed a book "The Shack" and I had finally watched the movie "Eat Pray Love" (two media I had been drawn to and were really on my list of things I wanted to do).
In my prayer time I listened (meditative state) and I heard this -- No More Rules and Guilt!! This is after watching a movie which empowers the viewer to let go and learn how to live a life of pleasure! This is after reading a book which stresses a "relationship" with God over rule following!
I want to examine a few cultures that seem to "have it right"
The Italian Lifestyle: library.thinkquest.org
The Italians take a lot of pride in their cooking. They usually eat their main meal at midday. They have big meals, such as a pasta meal, which
is followed by the main meal of either meat or fish. Another popular meal is risotto, a rice plate with vegetables. The most popular meats are veal and pork. Cheeses are also important. They are either eaten alone or used in other meals. Pizza is a popular snack and is also eaten as a light meal. Fresh fruit is a popular desert. Traditionally, wine is served with every meal except breakfast.
Not only is food important - but so is a laid back lifestyle with the importance of family stressed. Italians can be passionate with greetings and arguements. Being expressive and living life to the fullest are charactaristics found in an Italian lifestyle.
Image via WikipediaNow let's turn to Mediterranean way of life:
Paraphrased from Mediterraneanlifestyle.blogspot.com
Mediterranean lifestyle is all about how to enjoy the simple things in life- the sea, sun and fresh air.They also like to eat well and after centuries of cooking they have developed unique delicious tastes..The main ingredients are olive oil,fresh fruits and vegetables and lots of fresh herbs.All that is well complimented by wine.What people are really talking about is a lifestyle based on the lives and eating habits of the people based on the north coast of the Mediterranean coast.From Spain in the West to Greece and Turkey in the East, the various cultures have developed diets based on using large quantities of olive oil, fresh vegetables, fish and the unstinting consumption of wine. You would be surprised to know that the first cook book was written for the ancient Athenians,where mealtimes were pleasurable affairs where the spirit as well as the body was nourished.They have continued this mealtime philosophy of relaxation and enjoyment amongst family and friends.
The Mediterranean diet lengthens our lives. A Mediterranean lifestyle is something that is not just about the diet but also nature.The weather is fully enjoyed by the people while sitting and talking in the Mediterranean sunshine,while sipping coffee or having a meal.The long gatherings around the table lead to long philosophical conversations about life.
Mediterranean lifestyle is simple, vibrant,colurful,sunny and tasty."
Image by rogersmj via FlickrFrench lifestyle:
The French genuinely do live for their food. They plan their day around mealtimes and look forward to those moments around the table with family and friends.
A French lifestyle is a relatively easy and healthy way to live – it’s all about choosing good quality, fresh ingredients and taking time to enjoy them. This may mean spending a little more but the flavours are far superior. Also, everyone knows that a freshly cooked meal rather than a processed ready-meal is a far healthier option, and considerably more enjoyable."
The French take time to "get it right", and enjoy life to the fullest as well.
Image by sophiecarnay via Flickr
These cultures have these things in common;
A love of good quality food and wine
A love for family
A love for enjoying life (taking the time to relax)
I think I have been approaching life in too regimented a fashion.
I want to spend more time doing things I enjoy with and for the ones I love the most -- My family.
I also want to eat better, move more,and pray when moved to.
The key is probably letting go and doing what fulfills you and gives you pleasure.
These things guide you to naturally do for others and to stop stressing so much about goals and expectations.
Just live life and really enjoy the moment.
Looking at a beautiful sunrise as I am writing this :-)
Image via Wikipedia
Slowing down - sipping coffee and enjoying the morning. I hope you start to "let go and let God" more often too.