“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Art of Sprezzatura, Encore…..

Img 5835Photo: D. Paul Graham, “Sprezzatura”, Savannah 2022

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Art of Sprezzatura, Encore…..

I felt it only proper that I give Lee Ann and the people sitting on either side of us fair warning that there was a high probability of me (a) breaking out into song, and an even higher probability that (b) at some point, possibly multiple points, through the performance I would break out into tears. Having delivered the disclosure, we settled in to watch Andre Bocelli. He did not disappoint. I marveled at his relaxed stage presence that juxtaposed the intensity and range of his voice along with his ease of sustained notes. Bocelli epitomized sprezzatura.  And just like his three encores that night, I dug into the M5T archives for an encore to start this week.

Sprezzatura is an Italian word coined by Renaissance author, Baldassare Castiglione, in ‘The Book of the Courtier’. Castiglione took 20 years to write the book and it was published just before he died in 1558. He defined sprezzatura as “art which does not seem to be an art.” In other words, when you act and live your life naturally, seemingly effortlessly with a certain nonchalance; a joie de vie, or to stick with today’s Italian tema, a gioia della vita. This morning’s M5T was written with sprezzatura with a nod to the art of living as such.

1.The Art of Being Authentic

After almost 58 years on this earth, with much money invested in counseling, and finally starting to understand and be honest with myself, I feel like I’m getting to the sprezzatura of being authentic. The sprezzatura of authenticity is living without façades. It’s exposing and being proud of your true colors, your values, your morals, and where you place your faith. Authenticity comes from loving yourself before you can truly love someone else. It’s knowing what you love, who you love and being able to communicate that love unabashedly, truthfully with humility, and without embarrassment or regret. The sprezzatura of being authentic is digging deeper into who you really are, striving to better yourself with a mindset of being a positive influence in all who may cross your path on any given day.

2.The Art of The Pause

There is an art to taking a pause. The sprezzatura of a pause can give our bodies and minds a chance to rest, to recharge, to reevaluate. The art of the pause gives us a chance to question and challenge how we are living, assess our goals and priorities and recalibrate our dreams if needed. Taking a pause helps avoid burnout and can breakdown creative blocks. A pause when talking with someone else, allows them to finish their thought, and gives you time to absorb and acknowledge what is being said. Pausing for someone is respect and honor to the person talking and a way to connect on a deeper level. I am always amazed at what and how much people will tell you when you actively listen and pause.

3. The Art of Accepting Change

This year has been all about change for everyone of us. The question is, what will you do with the changes that have been thrust upon us? The art and sprezzatura of accepting change, allows us to accept detours, to look at ways to move on and to reassess how we want to live now and in our future. The sprezzatura of accepting change allows us to confront our fears, our insecurities, and allows us to grow. Accepting change opens our eyes to new people, new places, new emotions, and new opportunities.

4. The Art of Finding Peace

Our world is, by and large, not a peaceful place. It’s no wonder so few people have the sprezzatura of peace. The art of finding peace is about eliminating stress in life. Focusing on what you can impact, sway and affect change and letting go of those things that you have no influence over. The sprezzatura of peace comes from figuring out what really matters in your life and dropping the issues that don’t. It’s about removing toxicity of negative thought or people from your head, your heart, and your life. The art of a peaceful life is about acknowledging your weaknesses but focusing on and cultivating your strengths. Peace is found from uncluttering your mind and the space where you spend time. It about taking time for walks; talking honestly, candidly and fearlessly with someone you trust and love; and expressing genuine gratitude for the blessings in your life. And sprezzatura of peace is found through forgiving others for the hurt and pain they have inflicted on your life and forgiving yourself for the hurt and pain you have caused others.

5. The Art of Reckless Abandon

Many may think that living with reckless abandon is a dangerous or negative mindset. I don’t believe that. I am all for risk, calculated risks, and accept that failing may be the end result, but I am willing to take those risks to live a full life. The art and sprezzatura of reckless abandon is about being all in, eyes wide open and fully committed – with yourself and with who you love. It’s about embracing passions and being unwavering and unapologetic with your faith. I want to genuinely laugh out loud with friends, to cry when moved, to explore, to sing at the top of my lungs, to create, to embrace experiences of both unbridled fear and unrestrained joy, and to love passionately. All with the sprezzatura of reckless abandon.

Here’s to the fresh canvas of a new week to create the art of sprezzatura in your life. On this week before Christmas, I wish you and your family’s blessings for peace and gratitude as we celebrate the King of Kings, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. Merry Christmas!

© 2022 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

 For over 11 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T ™.  Each Monday, Paul shares his observations, thoughts and passions on people, life, and culture.