Do you constantly hear about mindfulness and gratitude being the key to greater connection to society and self?
Are you looking for ways to be more mindful in today’s fast paced life and how you can be grateful even when life feels overwhelming?
What if the answer is simple and is hidden in your daily cup of coffee or tea?
Datamonitor states that in Australia alone, the “hot drinks market has total revenues of $1.4 billion annually”, so there is plenty of opportunity to practice the art of being mindful when you indulge in your favorite cup.
It is weird to think that I grew up hating coffee. The smell made me feel sick and up until my mid twenties I was disgusted by the idea that anyone would want to drink the stuff.
Fast forward a decade and I enjoy a barista made cup each day. It’s not the caffeine, as I am someone who can consume the last sip and take a nap a few moments later.
I like the taste but I’m not addicted or obsessed by it. I have given up and can easily do so again, with no side effects.
For me, it is the ritual, an indulgence, a romantic gift to myself celebrating how amazing my day and therefore my life is.
For you, it may be a herbal tea or espresso, but in the simple act of ordering, take time to recognize the privilege of the exchange.
Here are some ways and insights to really appreciate your favorite treat and savor this ritual of drinking coffee:
You are wealthy enough to ”throw away” a few dollars on a hot drink that is purely a delicacy, not a necessity nor a source of nutrition.
Someone is kind and passionate enough to dedicate one minute of their day to create something with the sole intent to please you. If you prefer to make your own, recognize the indulgence of valuing yourself enough to do something full of kindness. Even better if you are offering a friend or colleague a cup, make it with tenderness.
You live in a country that has free flowing clean water and electricity readily available to heat it instantly. UNWater says that “783 million people do not have access to clean water” and here you are drinking a latte without a care in the world.
You are blessed to have a lifestyle that allows 10 minutes out to simply sit and sip. Be present in these minutes, breathe fully and enjoy the moment.
Make your ritual more of a celebration and savor each sip in the company of a dear friend
Regularly coffee is in one hand and a book or pen is in the other. Look around and many other caffeine comrades are reading a paper or magazine in their time out. Give thanks that you are literate. Unesco* will tell you in 2012, “775 million adults lacking minimum literacy skills”. Further appreciation for all that you are and all that you have.
Drink with a view, dine alfresco or grab take-away and sit in the park. Rejoice in the fresh warm air and blue skies that caress your skin. Senses alive, it becomes a daily reminder to be mindful and in the moment. At home, look out the window as your beverage brews or sit outside and drink with all 5 senses. Take a moment to smell the aromas before sipping the delights. Look at the shapes, colours, textures, shadows and light surrounding you. Feel the warmth as your hand caresses the cup. Wake and connect to your senses over your cuppa and be more attuned to them as the day continues.
Celebrate nature, gifting you the ingredients of coffee beans and water, along with the human energy and effort to process and present.
Coffee alone is estimated to provide economic livelihood for millions, so as you sip and consume, you help provide. “Approximately 25 million farmers and coffee workers in over 50 countries involved in producing coffee around the world” according to Global Exchange.
Numerous cafes are small businesses, so value the dreams, fears, courage and hard work that has gone into the establishment. Re-connect to what your dreams are. How much are you willing to do to get there?
Coffee shops are an amazing place to sit and watch life. Notice the couple stealing ten minutes together in their day to just hang out. The child so proud to be having a drink with a grown up, feeling so special as they sip their babycino. The regular who is validated and truly seen, when the staff greet by name and make their “regular”. Cafes are places of connection, celebration and presence. Do you see it? Take time to notice.
Overall a cup of coffee is so much more than the sum of its parts. It reminds you how blessed you are to live the life you do. Allow the aroma to stir your appreciation levels.
Feel blessed as you ingest, connect and practice presence.
Be right there on each sip. Meditate in mindfulness. It’s like a big hug in a cup, follow the hot liquid warming you on oh so many layers.
Order with eye contact, pay with acknowledgement and sip with celebration.
In this small daily routine, you begin to live a more mindful and grateful life. Your drink of choice will taste better and become more than a liquid drink. It will offer nourishment to your soul and to all who donated energy and passion into getting that cup just right for you.
By Amy Booth
Amy is a yoga and pilates teacher and personal trainer in Brisbane, Australia, where she runs a cute riverside studio and a personal training business. In addition each year she runs a yoga retreat (Bali, August 2018) and hiking retreat (Australia, 2018).
To find out more:
Facebook: Amber Tree Yoga and Retreats
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