Do I really want that cup of coffee?



Light up the Earth with your love and quiet joy.

This morning I’ve been writing since the early hours. Lately, over the past few weeks, I’ve been craving coffee, and giving into that craving more often than I’d like. This morning as I shifted to finished one project and got ready to move onto another, I had this very familiar urge to go out and grab a cup of coffee to bring back home.

I have to: I love coffee…especially Blue Bottle coffee served here in San Francisco. I love it, but my body does not. When I operate out of habit, I drink it. When I am conscious enough to consider what I am doing to my body, I don’t. I stop myself from doing this seemingly very average thing that so many people do because I know drinking coffee makes my body feel bad.

This isn’t to say that coffee is bad or good. There are a ton of studies that have been done on coffee – some say it is helpful, some say it is harmful. I know others who love coffee and their bodies have no issues with drinking it. I am not one of them. For whatever reason, my body doesn’t like it.

So, back to this morning, I didn’t step out for that cup. Instead, I made another cup of green tea. My body breathed a sigh of relief – a subtle sigh, for sometimes the body’s indicators are somewhat subtle. I have to be paying attention. And, I know I must pay attention to my body. In fact, just before moving onto that next project, I read this quote by Paul Hawken:

No matter what we do to nature—when we cease doing it, within a nanosecond, nature starts to regenerate. And WE are nature.

In reading these words, I realized this thing I go through, trying to become much more conscious about how I treat my body, what foods I put into it and the movement I make sure it enjoys, is no different than what I must do to become more conscious of how I mistreat the earth.

Habit and habitual responses can be hard to break, especially when we are addicted to them. We may not be addicted to the substance – I don’t drink coffee enough to have a headache when I don’t – yet, we are addicted to the habitual choices, and corresponding feelings, we get from making and acting on those choices. I love stepping outside in the early morning and walking the twenty minutes or so to get my coffee. I love the café and the people in it, and in the morning I love chatting with them. I love the routine. It’s important for me to see what I love about it, because perhaps I can separate out what I love and the things that support me and my well-being from the parts of this habit that do know support my well-being.

The same is true for the habits I have, and the corresponding choices I make, that contain actions that are ultimately harmful to the earth. Can I see where my actions are causing damage to the earth? Might there be things I do habitually, things I love and enjoy but also harm my body, others, and/or the earth, that I can untangle so that the harm to my body, and to the earth ends?

Habits sometimes come down to not wanting to feel, and sometimes it’s just about habitual stuff we do because we aren’t conscious. Can I learn to do without the plethora of choice I’ve become accustomed to? Yes, of course. Absolutely. I am not, nor have I ever been, entitled to have whatever I want. That’s a big one. Just because I ‘want’ it, does not mean it is best for the whole for me to take it…whether it’s the whole of my body or the whole of life. And, who is the ‘wanter’ anyway? It seems to me, the wanter wants to want more than it wants to get. I have to admit, sometimes just getting that cup of Blue Bottle is much better than drinking it.

For me though, the big reminder here comes from Hawkins’ wisdom that life regenerates and renews, and we are life. As soon as we stop the actions that cause damage, nature begins to renew itself and our bodies do the same. Our bodies are intricately connected to the earth. The earth feeds us, supports us, and provides for us. When we nourish our bodies, we nourish her; when we nourish her, we nourish ourselves.

Habit. Awareness. Choice. It’s in my hands. It’s in your hands. It’s in our hands.


An Unutterable Tenderness


A softness that defies language.
An unutterable tenderness.
To touch it requires complete and generous receptivity,
an awareness that is feather-light.

I’m beginning to know this place within,
this place that opens with the
touch of Grace and my
willingness to be loved.

Completely undressed I sit,
In silence I wait with
open heart and a willingness
to let my longing be known.

In this subtlest of subtle places,
I hear the whispers of this woman’s heart.
To do so requires me to leave everything I know
at the threshold into this world.

I am nobody special here,
in fact quite the opposite.
I am ordinary, undressed, and open
simply waiting to return home.


Innocence, Wonder & Creativity


Cherry BlossomsSpring is here in the Bay Area in all its beauty. The other day, a friend and I were sitting outside on her balcony that overlooks her garden. We were enjoying one of the first warm days of the season. With the sun’s warmth heating up the landscape, the fragrance of spring was in the air. There was something else in the air as well…Innocence. As we looked out at the tender shoots of green making their first appearance and the myriad of blossoms peeking out into the light, we were swimming in a sea of Innocence.

On Sunday, I noticed Innocence again as I meandered through the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Cherry blossoms, California PoppiesCalifornia Poppies and many others all were making their debut in Spring, 2008’s show. When I feel innocence in the air, and in myself, I feel a fresh awareness in the moment.

No matter how old we get, we still have this fresh awareness available at any moment. It’s this fresh awareness that allows us to experience the vibrancy of life, quivering with aliveness. And, when we tap into this vibrancy of life, we can feel our own vibrancy, our own innocence, which can also be felt as wonder, discovery and a simple joy inherent in life itself.

When I realize this natural sense of wonder within, I awaken to the fluidity of the Now. Wonder invites me to participate with life, allowing me to remember that I am no different than that cherry blossom peeking out for the first time. I, too, am life blossoming into wholeness.

What do innocence and wonder have to do with creativity? Everything. Engaging with the flow of life is creativity, the life that you are and the life that you are swimming in in each moment. If you are not seeing with fresh eyes, you miss all that is right here now. You can’t tap into everything that is available for your new creation, your new vision, if you have your mind made up and your expectations set. When you feel a vision wanting to be born from within, allow it to move as it chooses. You are the vehicle of this creation. Feed it. Nurture it. Love it as it finds its way. And, feed, nurture and love yourself as you carry it into being.

Every day you are creating…but not by yourself. You are creating with the world around you. Innocence and wonder bring you back to the freshness of what is here in each moment, a freshness that knocks at your door, ready to teach you what it has to offer.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin