Didn’t see that coming did ya? Neither did I, and it all fell apart so gracefully. It’s was about a month ago when I began to feel a tug at my heart every time I walked by it, so I knew this was coming. It’s like God always gives me a heads up before anything big is going to happen, and I was pretty quick to follow suit this time.
I was asked to take on a project by my guys over at Zen Habits, and it was an overwhelming thought at first. They want me to assemble, pack up and mail 24 gift boxes for their Fearless Mastery program participants before the end of September. Our house is less than 1,000 square feet, but I’m a big believer in, ‘you have everything you need.’
The space was there, it was just being used as a coffee bar. I took a day and moved coffee paraphernalia piece by piece to it’s new location near the kitchen. How did I know this was divine intervention? Because it all fell together seamlessly, and it’s better than before.
I’ve drank some sad coffee this week, and it was of my own making. One morning I made a cup of instant just to use the frother, and it was too strong. I misjudged the balance between the oat milk and grinds.
I moved on to the French Press, thinking I wouldn’t get it wrong, but there again it was bloody awful. I didn’t weigh the grinds and just took a wild guess, before placing them in the press. There was not enough grinds for the amount of water heated, so it poured out and resembled muddy water.
I had all the tools at my disposal for good coffee, and had received beans from three different coffee roasters. My daughter walked by the coffee bar and asked, “You got enough coffee?” My response was, “Yes my darling I’m trying to decide which one I like best, and have it narrowed down to two.”
This one resonates at the moment considering all the rude boys I’ve encountered while learning to date again.
By Wednesday, I needed to savor a really good cup of coffee. This is when we go back to what we know, and I know the dripper will produce the perfect cup. I chose a cup from the coffee bar and measured the grinds and water specifically for that cup. That first sip was soothing and everything running through my mind for the day ahead melted away, as I embraced a moment of bliss.
It took constant practice to make what I classify as the perfect cup. I can’t control every part of my day, but I can control how it begins, and every step can lead to a sad cup or a perfect cup. Make it a priority and choose the perfect cup.
I bought a candle. That’s nothing new, I know, but it’s taught me well so far.
I posted a picture of it on Facebook. Not surprising for my friends either, but that’s not why it was posted. It was to tag the local business owner who I purchased it from. She’s one of my people who feels like sunlight, and adds to my world. By her inspiration I changed the tagline of my Blog this year to ‘Never Settle. Don’t even think about it.’
To be inspired, surround yourself with inspiring people. Their energy alone feels light sunlight.
I’ve been eyeing these candles for a while. They’re like art, so the price feels more like an investment than buying a candle. My friend who owns the shop said, “Once the candle burns completely out, the artist will refill the bowl with another candle, and I could even choose a different scent.” That candlemaker/artist has no idea what she’s in for!
When I brought it home, the instructions said to let it burn all the way across the first time. I did and blew it out, but have lit is several times since, each time allowing it to burn to the edges of the wooden dough bowl. This morning, I forgot it was lit and it burned for hours. When I walked by, this is what I saw.
Most all of the wax melted and you can see the beauty of the wooden bowl. There’s something strangely satisfying having a flame sitting in wood, but not catching the wood on fire. This candle reminded me to get down to the raw beauty of it all, it helps to walk away, forget about it and let it burn.
I woke up at 5:00 am. The house is really dark that time of morning. I reached over to turn on the lamp beside my bed and with one click the room was illumined. Glancing at the floor to my surprise there is a puppo curled up sound asleep. The click of the switch caused her to raise her head and give me a squinting look like, “Really?” Another click, click, and the lamp goes off resuming darkness.
Sitting in the dark, yet knowing it’s a new day.
I decided to go ahead and do my meditation, and then stumble my way toward the coffee bar to choose a coffee method. The French press sounded simple enough. I put the kettle on, but instead of turning on a light, I lit a nearby candle. During the day, I don’t think much about having a candle lit, (there is always one lit) but in the darkness is when it puts on a show!
I was so mesmerized by the candle, I forgot about the press, and didn’t do a very good job. The water was too hot, and I used too many grinds, so all it took was one sip to realize, this is not magical. I took another sip, trying to make it work, but just couldn’t do it. It was awful!
The beginning of the year, I changed my tagline for this Blog, and it was time to heed those words. “Never settle. Don’t even think about it.” The second sentence is the most important part. I can think about something long enough and settle into the idea of it, and it doesn’t seem that bad. That’s where the settling mindset begins.
I don’t want a life of, “It’s not that bad.” No darling, I firmly believe, “Life is good.”
I may be a perfectionist. Yes, I’ll admit to it, but I’ve tried watering that down with, ‘I’m picky, or particular’. None of those words sound very complementary, but they are a part of who I am.
I’ve stopped drinking coffee first thing in the morning. Make sure you read that entire sentence, because Barb has no plans of dismantling the coffee bar and giving away her gadgets. It’s taken years to acquire each and every one of them, and to learn how to not only use, but appreciate their performance.
But let’s back up a little bit to the comment of not drinking coffee first thing anymore. I drink water instead. This morning I woke up very early and walked through the house drinking my water. I noticed the birdfeeder hanging outside the window, and how it still bothers me it doesn’t hang in the center of the window. (Yes, I bought another one, but that’s another story all on it’s own.)
When I brought the feeder home from the store, I just hung it on an existing hook. The hook was off center and it held the feeder, but it’s bothered me ever since. This morning, I stepped outside to retrieve the feeder, but couldn’t reach it from the front porch. I remembered using a small ladder to hang it there, so I haven’t had any coffee, but I’m going to climb a ladder before dawn. That’s when I heard myself grumble ‘perfectionist.’
The lengths I go to, to line everything up in my life.
Yesterday, I noticed the kitchen island off center of the lines in the tile floor. That was an easy fix because the wheels weren’t locked in place tightly enough, but that’s what I do, I notice when things are off center and then figure out how to fix it. The birdfeeder was an easy fix too. The scariest part was climbing a 3 foot ladder that early in the morning, but I got the feeder down, moved the hook to the center of the window, and now it’s centered.
Two hours later, I sat down at the kitchen table with a fresh cup of coffee and began to type. It’s nice to know I don’t have to drink coffee to start my day, or to successfully climb a ladder and move a feeder. I can look at coffee more like a treat to be savored after drinking my water. My morning devotional reminded me of what each day should look like. It’s okay to have perfectionist tendencies, but I’ll never be perfect and that’s okay too.
“I have prepared this day for you with the most tender concern and attention to detail. Instead of approaching the day as a blank page you need to fill up, try living in responsive mode; being on the lookout for all that I’m doing. This sounds easy, but it requires a deep level of trust, based on the knowledge that My way is perfect.”-Jesus Calling by Sarah Young-March 10th.
Instead of using the word ‘perfectionist’, I’ll just tell myself, “I’m in responsive mode.” That sounds better! Have a beautiful day lovelies. This is Barb, signing off for today, in responsive mode.
My friend who I meet for coffee once a month gave me a beautiful mug. It’s a travel mug, which I didn’t have. I usually drink my coffee before leaving the house, so it’s rather liberating knowing my coffee can now travel.
The box has been sitting on the coffee bar, and it’s just as pretty as the mug. Every time I pass by and read the words on the box, the phrase sticks with me for a minute while walking through the house. It’s one of my favorite sayings, “Bloom where you are planted.”
I’ve written about ‘bloom‘ because it fascinates me. What does it take for something to bloom, and waiting to see when it will bloom. Nothing blooms all the time, but just like an actual flower, we have days where blooming comes naturally. It’s no secret 2020 has been a year, and everyone is anxiously awaiting a new year, but we can decide to bloom where we’re planted. To find contentment where we are, and to shower kindness on ourselves and others.
Do what you can, where you are, and with what you have. To bloom where you’re planted works best when you’re willing to stay planted.
My daughter has gone to meet a friend for coffee. They don’t get to see each other very often, because the friend moved, but she sent a text as soon as she hit town.
I encouraged her to go and enjoy their time. Gave her a hug and said, “Go get filled up.” That’s what friends do.
About a week ago, I received a text from my friend that I meet for coffee at least once a month. If we can manage, we meet twice a month. Once we set the day and time, I don’t let anything stand in the way of meeting her. We meet at the same coffee bar every time and it’s our spot.
About a week ago, she sent me this picture.
I recognized the drink, the table and even the reflection of light on the table before reading the text. We’ve had many a conversation there and I always feel refreshed and renewed when it’s time to go our separate ways.
Not to mention highly caffeinated.
I wonder if it felt strange that day for my friend to sit at the table by herself. She told me that drink was her reward for driving through Austin traffic. You need a medal for that, but I was happy she thought of that drink as a reward.
It’s a rewarding moment every time we meet and we need those in our life. We need friends who fill us back up and we do the same for them. I encourage you to put that mask on that has become second nature and go sit with a friend.
My friend sat at our table by herself that day, but she wasn’t alone. We both know that table is a table for two.
I asked my daughter, “Have you noticed the coffee bar smells like coffee?” Walking by the bar, you can smell the various grinds from it’s frequent use. She introduced me to this roaster a month ago.
I just love the name, ‘Hairbender’.
She used it to make a Chemex for us to share. Once that one was empty, she walked through the house and yelled, “You want another Chemex?!” This quarantine thingy is working quite well.
Yesterday, I found myself standing in the aisle of paper goods at one of my favorite stores. A lady was standing there along with me, six feet apart, and we’re wearing masks. The aisle was fully stocked with toilet paper. We were mesmerized by the sight of it.
I asked her, “Did you ever think seeing toilet paper would bring complete happiness?” She shook her head, and said, “No.”
I decided to check out the cold brew display, and there it was, the mighty Stumptown chilled and ready to drink. I hadn’t tried this one before, but it suddenly became my new favorite. What’s not to love?
I’m not sure if it brings it in, or if I have so much happiness, it’s a form of release.
Sloth’s and candles are happiness.
Being here with you is happiness.
Thank you for the love and care on my previous post. I was struggling to find my happy again. A friend asked if I was okay, and I responded with, “Yes. I did this to myself. I tried doing everything in my own strength.”
I’ve always been an overachiever and that includes giving of myself. Be mindful of where you give. It needs to be reciprocated, or you’ll find yourself empty.
There was a lot of glitter involved in bringing back my happy. I spray painted pumpkins with a clear coat of gold glitter and I’ve been working on the coffee bar. It’s a work in progress and every time my daughter comes home it looks different.
Change is an outlet for growth.
Coffee is complete happiness.
I added this to the coffee bar, so it’s one of the first things we see each morning. You don’t have to look for signs around here. I’ll buy ’em and hang ’em.