“Those who manage to be where their coffee is will grow, stretch and emerge stronger, smarter and more prepared as we find peace and gratitude in the pause after the sip”
This expert is from the above book and has been modified by me.
This morning, I am where my coffee is
I am thinking, between sips, about “what be where your feet are” means to me. It took a minute or two and more than two sips of coffee. Then it struck me. It means to me that we should live each and every moment with thoughtful intention, taking that moment for what it is while accepting that the time is going to pass anyway. I find it easy to do this on my front porch, on my laptop, so early in the morning that it is still dark and the crickets and gentle drops of rain are the only sounds. In the interest of transparency, I am in fact on my second up of coffee.” God help me, I do love it so’ George C. Scott as Patton.
But he was talking about war, I am referring to coffee. The energized calm it brings to my mind is, to me, priceless. It engenders a confidence in my being and by extension my writing. The rituals I cultivate and maintain based on when and where I have my coffee are sacred pillars of my daily routine. My hierarchy of values would crumble without coffee. Bring all of life’s distractions and troubles to me here and now. I got this.
Well, since life doesn’t work that way, we have to prepare to take part in it without getting overwhelmed, frustrated, depressed, anxious. I took and modified the above expert from the book, Be Where Your Feet Are by Scott M O’Neil. I haven’t read it, but if I plug it on my blog then I feel I bit better about altering the except. It’s National Coffee Day, 2021 today so I feel like it’s appropriate. Plus, we will all take something unique from the book, when reading it. So, why wait? I am already feeling confident, as I said. Therefore I am going to cheat and give you my takeaway with the coffee angle.
Leaving my coffee behind?
Be where your coffee is and you will not longer waste time looking for things you have lost. Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not. I’ve have had lots of practice. What this modified wisdom means is that if we remain intentional with every thought, every moment, every cup of coffee we will never lose or misplace things of value to us. Impossible you say? Hell yes it is. Because, we cant’s stay on our pre-dawn porches sipping coffee an listening to it drizzle for the rest of our lives. But when we lose something, like a ball cap or pair of glasses, we can mentally remain or return there. We can return to the mentally calm yet energized place and wait for the glasses or ball cap to come back to us. Believe me, they will. I know because for me they just did. But I knew they would- and that is the secret. Intrinsic and internally generated thoughts are what are best observed and obeyed. Nothing is external. Or, more accurately, I’ll modify that also to nothing of truly gives us return on its value is external.
The losing of
On the very same day about three weeks ago, I realized I had “lost” my fourth pair of glasses and my Ohio State Buckeyes baseball hat. These items are useful to me. I have four spots in and around my house where I need and keep my glasses. The ball hat I use to keep the sun out of my eyes when I drive. I discovered that both were gone as I went about my Saturday machinations. For most of my adult life, I thought anger, frustration and withering self-criticism were the answers here. Losing something meant getting pissed and wasting a lot of time looking of it. Not any longer. I have spent the last several years practicing the understanding that misplacing something is an act of a distracted, unintentional mind.
Therefore, the resulting action is to not to look for the glasses or cap. But to to wait for them to come back to you when you need them to. That is, after you have relearned the lesson that in that moment when you misplaced them your mind was distracted by the external. It was was not in nor on that moment. Your mind was not on sitting calmly on your porch taking in the calm pre-dawn drizzle. Your mind, meaning you, was NOT where your coffee was.
The finding of
Last Saturday I was in Bloomington, IN taking a few things to my son who attends IU. I was taking a few thing out of the hatchback of my car. There was my Buckeye hat. The following day, I was at my writing table in the living room. I got up to heed the call of nature and when I returned to said table there seemed to be one more pair of glasses there than before. I stood at the table for a moment as I counted the pairs of glasses on the table among the books and old journals. Two. I looked on my spot in the house where I pay my bills and the usual pair was there. Lastly, I stepped quickly to this spot on the porch and saw pair number four. How the hell?
Always try to be where your coffee is
Both the hat and the glasses had found me. I had not wasted time looking for them. I had understood that I had been distracted and living a moment without intention when I misplaced them. That is the real value here, not the found external objects. Useful? Yes? Replaceable? Yes. The time I would have spent looking for them replaceable? Hell no! My feet were not where my coffee was. This is not the first example of me waiting for something I had lost to return to me, just the latest. We can not always be sitting calmly in the predawn drizzle with a nice Saturday morning cup of coffee in our hands. But with a lot of practice, intention and internal focus we can keep that mind moment with us, not to mention our glasses and favorite ball cap. Next time you misplace something, take a breath, find your mental coffee cup and do NOT look for it. It will be there ready and waiting-when you are.
Soon enough, I will be working at a coffee shop