My double espresso is pouring slowly and with intent into my favorite doppio cup. It is not yet five in the morning. In a few minutes I will go outside to wake up the morning song birds. My mind wants my body and five senses to be up and at it. My super and subconscious minds know that it will be a good day today. As a result, they woke me before the alarm. They know because my conscious mind, physical body and five sense worked on this yesterday and the day before and before that. I cooperated and got out of bed. This is a routine, a bargain, an understanding that I call the “mind grind”.
From grind to mind
It follows then, that in order to have my clear, energized mind produce and create the day I want, I have to prepare. If I want a great doppio at 5 in the morning, I have to prepare for it. It don’t just happen. Nothing does, nothing just happens. One conscious action I took a couple weeks ago to make a great doppio this morning was to buy the correct type of beans to make my doppio.
I like to use Fresh Thyme espresso. It is bulk whole bean coffee. Just what I need. I don’t live close to the Fresh Thyme. As a consequence, when am there, I buy an over full bag of the beans. It is more than a pound but it gets me a month of doppios. Once home I store the beans in an airtight container on top of the fridge near my grinder.
On Sunday, I grind a week’s worth. I have decades of practice listening to beans being ground. I know when they are ground fine enough to produce a perfect shot. Then I transfer these grounds into in a smaller, glass airtight container next to my espresso maker. There they sit until the follow day, waiting to become my doppio. The intensely flavored, crema topped doppio is the perfect start to my morning. Again, it doesn’t just happen. It take a series of conscious intentional thoughts to create the actions that create the perfect doppio.
Find your mind grind
Apply the same process to creating the morning mind you wake up with. It takes intentional actions and preparation but like my cream topped doppio, it is well worth it. The doppio won’t make itself. Nothing just happens. If I want my mind to match the beautiful, functional simplicity of my doppio, it takes work and preparation as well.
I don’t want to exhaust the metaphor here, but the beans in the equation here would be my yoga practice. The body and mind are clearly linked. The issues are in our tissues, as the wisdom goes. I do quick practice every day before work. This practice is brief but intense with focused thought. The weekends will usually find me doing two longer practices. One of those days I will add a meditation, a rite of yoga related exercises called the 5 Tibetans, and some resistance with weights. Other weekends find me hitting the treadmill and sauna at my local gym. In each and every case, I have developed mental exercises that accompany and enhance the physical. For example, in the sauna I image my fears and doubts leaving my body and mind in the form of drops of sweat. Hey, it works for me.
Be your own mental barista
There is more. I could add journaling, writing fiction, blogging, recording voice memos and many other practices to my mental self-care routine. The common thread to all of them is that they are intentional. They are all things I feel like I have to do to create my simple functional, clear and energetic mind. It is work though. To me that means it would be easier NOT to do them. But, I do not want to drink a doppio, or any coffee drink, made for someone else, by someone else. That would be like grabbing someone else’s drink from the counter at a busy Starbucks and taking it with you. You are stuck with it. It may work, but was it really yours? Ask the same of your thoughts. Who made them? Was it really for me or are they made by a mental barista who really doesn’t care?
I ain’t sayin’ this from a mountain top of course. I am just sharing that I have found a coffee grind and a mind grind that works for me. There is no doubt that you will find your own mind grind. Don’t worry, you will know it is working when you taste it.