I shouldn’t drink coffee. But I love it so much. I love the smell of it brewing in the morning. I love the color of it when I put in the cream. I love holding my mug with both hands and breathing in the steam with all those earthy aroma’s wafting up into and I love that first sip. I don’t love what coffee’s caffeine does to me, though, I like the wake up that it brings to me, but I don’t like the edginess and sharp edges it brings to me. I don’t like the way the acidity in it plays with my gut and sinuses. I think I might have a mild allergy to it. So for the most part I have given up coffee entirely and have found a pretty good substitute morning brew in Java Mate, a blend of Yerba Mate and Java nut that gives me an easy caffeine wake up with no edginess or allergic reactions. It gets close to the color I like when I put my milk in it and it is soothing. So I have trained myself that when I am home to have this Java Mate be part of my morning ritual.
We have guests here at the house, who arrived last night and as good hosts we have prepared a pot of coffee to greet them with in the morning and as I stepped out of my shower and my nose picked up that awesome aroma wafting through the house my body followed the cloud of coffee scents through the house to the kitchen, just like we remember seeing in the cartoons when the vapor cloud would creep along to our hero and go into his nose and he would float along in the trail of the vapors to the origin of the deliciousness, I too drifted out of my shower and floated to the origin of the deliciousness. Poured myself a cup of coffee without thinking about it, much, and came up here to write. Sure enough as I am writing my eyes are beginning to water a bit and my nose needs a blow, my fingers are trying to type faster then they can so I have to go back and correct more then I normally do, my jaw feels a little tighter and my skin feels a bit jumpy. I used to love this feeling and now it feels abnormal and not completely pleasant.
Why two paragraphs on coffee? Well of course it is a metaphor for me on restraint or lack of restraint, on slow vs fast, on reaction vs creation, and on victim vs conscious. I know exactly what coffee will do for me and to me. I know that the eventual cost is not worth the momentary pleasure. I am conscious and have made simple choices around what works for me and what doesn’t and I know that coffee falls into the “what doesn’t work” category. Yet here I am finishing up my second mug of coffee. Here is what I want to do with this. I want to get out of the shower and deeply inhale that wonderful aroma filled with such memories and savor it and the memories associated with it. I want to slow down and smile in delight at all of my pleasant associations I have with coffee. I want to practice restraint in that moment and realize that remembering and savoring the aroma is enough. I want to sink into my commitments with mySelf and stand strong in my relationship with all parts of me. I want then to walk with ease into the kitchen and look at that pot of coffee and honor it and then I want to make a nice cup of Java Mate. In a nutshell this is the process for all temptations that waft in front of me. Many of these temptations upon being submitted to this process may be ones that I follow and choose to partake in with moderation, and many of these temptations I powerfully restrain mySelf from partaking in and feel more connected to mySelf as a result.
It is sometimes the little surprises that provide the most learning.