Worth It.

I feel like I have several conversations happening in the background of my thoughts these days. Not in a “voices in my head” kind of way, more like a “checking in” on where my subconscious is with a program process, and noting that progress has been made.

I’ve mentioned how Sweetie has been using her manifestation list to drum up stuff like crazy, but I didn’t really expand on my own hesitancy to use these techniques. I probably wasn’t ready to get into it, exactly.

It all started with the coffee maker. Remember how our coffee maker broke right before Christmas? It’s one thing to have a cheap-as-they-come coffee maker, but entirely another thing to be using the decrepit remains of a deceased cheap-as-they-come coffee maker to fix your morning brew.

Yes I have a caffeine addiction – it flares up whenever I need to use an alarm clock to wake up. For all y’all who are bemoaning the recommendation to “quit coffee” (Errrrikkkk!!!!! *shakes fist*) as part of your psychic development regime, let me tell you that drinking a morning cup of coffee is not going to slam the door to the spirit world shut. In fact, here’s a psychic who talks to dead people *just fine* with a bit of caffeine in the system. If you WANT to give up coffee, go for it.

If you need coffee every hour or two in order to function during the day, that would certainly cause some problems, I think we can all understand that.

So anyway, you can just see me setting my alarm FIFTEEN MINUTES earlier just to get the darn water boiling so that I can make coffee by pouring the pre-boiled water through the filter in the broken coffee maker. I am not a morning person, people. Fifteen minutes earlier HURTS. Brewing coffee manually is not a quick process either – it requires me to actually stand beside the coffee maker for five minutes or so, adding boiling water bit by bit until we have enough to function.

What do I do? I decide I’d like a better coffee maker, and so I find the *cheapest* coffee maker that is slightly better than the one that broke.

Well wouldn’t you know it, but on the very day my new, cheap coffee maker arrived in the mail, Santa sent us ANOTHER coffee maker. A beautiful, state-of-the-art, cuisinart ode to coffee makers!

I have never owned a coffee maker this nice before. No one in my family owns a coffee maker this nice. None of my friends have coffee makers this nice. It *never occurred* to me that I deserve anything better than the bare-minimum get-my-fix coffee maker.

That’s the amazing thing about gifts – sometimes you receive something you’d *never* get for yourself, but you enjoy it so damn much!

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this new machine. Not only is it programmable, but it gets the water hotter before it runs it through the grounds. It “showers” the grounds resulting in a more-rounded flavour because the water isn’t just tunneling through the grounds. (Can you tell that we’re a bit of a coffee nut?) Before I move on from the subject of coffee and get to my *actual point* I did want to address this issue for you conscientious coffee drinkers: (If you’re not interested, just skip past the numbered points.)

1. Find a local roaster. Small roasters are ideally supporting small coffee growers and purchasing their coffee via only one middle man. Small coffee growers are an important part of saving the planet’s delicate ecological balance. If you’re interested in learning more, just ask, because I could talk about coffee for hours. If you don’t have a local roaster, go online – most small roasteries have mail order programs that they depend upon to survive. Getting coffee in the mail will make you the envy of the entire post office!

2. A small roaster will provide you with fresh(er) coffee, and will be date-stamping the bags with not an expiry date, but a “roasted” date. Ideally, coffee should be ground and consumed within 30 days of its roast date. Careful storage can push back the date of coffee going rancid by a week or two, but it’s inevitably going to happen if you leave it sit. Coffee is not considered a perishable product, because it’s not going to kill anyone if you drink year-old roasted coffee, but most coffee that has been sitting around for more than a month has begun to go rancid. This is why a lot of large roasteries will BURN THEIR BEANS (dark roast) because it covers the acid taste of the oils on the coffee beans going bad. The darker the roast, the oilier the coffee and the faster it goes rancid – but if it’s going to go rancid anyway, you may as well burn the heck out of it. Have you ever thought about those plastic little vents they put in coffee bags for “freshness”? Yeah, it’s not for freshness. It’s a release valve for the off-gassing rancid coffee within the bag so that the bags don’t EXPLODE on warehouse shelves.

3. Try a medium roast. There’s more caffeine in lighter-roasts, but a light roast will better highlight the *actual* flavour of that particular coffee bean. Coffee is like wine, with multiple factors affecting flavour. Without that dark, burnt flavour covering the rancid oils, the subtle flavours in the coffee bean can come through, and they’re delicious! Flowers, orange, cinnamon, caramel, chocolate, berry – the flavour profile of GOOD coffee is absolutely amazing. If you’ve developed a taste for a dark roast, as I have, the fresher the better. Really fresh dark roasted coffee can taste like toasted marshmallows.

4. Dark roasted coffee is more likely to have things in it that your body will need to flush out. All burned things have carcinogens, so the darker the coffee the more it’s been burnt. (Medium roasts should be cooked but not burnt.) However, carcinogens are all around us all the time and our bodies are amazing cleansing machines. Personally, I think I’m exposed to a lot more carcinogens in my day to day walking around than I am from a good cup of dark roasted organic coffee.

5. Organic. Seriously, organic. Certified organic. Did you know that the word “organic” doesn’t mean ANYTHING unless it’s accompanied with some sort of certification? It’s like in the 80’s when companies would market a cheese as “light” when it really meant “light in colour”. Check those little logos and seals on the side of the coffee bag, and then look ‘em up online to see if they’re real. Some coffee companies will actually make up their own logo to market their coffee as organic. Some coffee companies will call a blend “Organic”, like “the flavours complement each other naturally”.

Why should you care if your coffee is certified organic? Because coffee is the WORST food crop on the planet for pesticide use. It’s almost as bad as cotton EXCEPT YOU EAT IT, and there are no real regulations about quality. A roaster could throw a handful of dirt into a coffee bag and still sell it legally. If your coffee is not CERTIFIED organic by an independent watchdog, it could very well be poison, and you could be drinking it every day; that can make you feel sick on this base, background level. I noticed a big difference when I switched to certified organic. Some people think that coffee gives them headaches – it might be the caffeine, but it’s more likely all the poison. In my humble opinion, all that poison is going to screw up your psychic development faster and more thoroughly than caffeine. Nutrition is an extremely important aspect to energy work, and while it’s not always possible to ensure all of your food is organic, if you’re only going to buy organic in one place – make it your coffee! You drink that every day, right when you’re waking up. It’s the first thing you put in your system, and it’s potentially containing the highest levels of pesticides of anything else you could eat during the day.

6. Water Process Decaf. Decaf is good. There is nothing wrong with a nice, decaf coffee before a reading… but it MUST BE a water process decaf. That means the raw coffee beans were soaked in running water to draw out most of the natural caffeine from your (hopefully) certified organic coffee. Do you know how coffee is decaffeinated if the bag doesn’t say “water process”? With nail polish remover. Acetone. Among other things. I have seen pregnant women buy decaf coffee at the grocery store, because they were told caffeine was bad for their baby… but no one told them that drinking a daily cup of burnt seeds that had been soaked in nail polish remover was worse. They just said “drink decaf.”

7. If you decide to become a coffee nut, you can roast your own beans and purchase green ones directly from a small farm, or from a middle man. There is *nothing* more awesome in a mug than a cup of coffee that had been roasted yesterday. Just google it. The stories behind small coffee farms can be fascinating and compelling. Might I recommend starting here: https://doichaangcoffee.com/ If you really want to treat yourself, try their “aged two years” coffee – the coffee beans were stored in the humid climate for two years before they were roasted, which results in an incredibly rich flavour with no bitterness. It’s one of my favourites.

Okay, are you sick of me talking about coffee? Can you tell that Sweetie & I used to own a roastery? Sweetie’s coffee won awards in Toronto. We know what we’re talking about.

So if you just skipped all that stuff about coffee, don’t worry, here’s my main point: If you’re going to drink coffee, make it a fresh-roasted, certified organic coffee. Now where was I? Oh yes, the Cuisineart coffee maker.

You can see how important a good cup of coffee is to me… so why *hadn’t* we ever thought to purchase a really nice drip coffee maker? Yes it’s pricey, but not unattainably so. We have other appliances that cost more. Then I realized why I’d never even considered a quality coffee maker: I didn’t think I was that sort of person.

For some reason, a fancy percolator was on the other side of some invisible railroad track – I live on the wrong side of the tracks, and only people on the right side of the tracks own fancy coffee machines.

Have you ever seen those “dress for success” charity clothing runs? When they’re well done, a struggling woman or man will have been given a professional outfit for job interviews, or a teenager will have been given her very first beautiful dress / his first suit for prom. The whole idea behind these programs is to help a person not just look good, but to really *feel* their worth, to help them really see their potential life on the right side of the tracks.

For some weird reason, this coffee machine was my prom dress. I don’t know why it’s had such a profound effect, but it cracked some shell I’d put around me to separate my world from another, outside world that at some point I had written off as unattainable.

The funny thing is that I know the lovely woman who gave this to us had *no idea* how profoundly her gift would affect me. She’s probably thinking, “Geez, it’s just a coffee machine! It was just this nice thing I spontaneously did, it’s not that big a deal!”

And that’s the neat thing about random acts of kindness – the potential outcome is often far greater than you ever could have anticipated.

As I drank coffee from my new machine, I looked at Sweetie and finally saw what the universe had been hitting me over the head with all damn year: Sweetie is my Office Goddess. All that stuff I’ve wanted to do with this blog and with my psychic business can all happen with her actually doing what she does best: being creative.

The second we agreed upon this decision, we were both filled with so much happiness, excitement and gratitude for each other. I’m so grateful to be in business with my partner again! I missed it! Suddenly expanding the business feels *good* and *right*.

Suddenly I started to see all the other little ways I’ve neglected myself. I’m wearing shoes that are six years old. Oh no, I haven’t worn them for six years, only the last year after Sweetie discarded them. I picked up garbage shoes and put them on my own feet! Every day after work, I have a pain in my right foot. (Louise Hay would ask if I had a fear of moving forward?) Do you think this pain might be because I’ve been wearing six year old running shoes that were broken in my another person???

And don’t get me started on my clothes. I have so many clothes with holes in them, it’s just sad. I layer them to hide the holes. Part of the reason is just the lack of access to clothing outlets. I haven’t been “to town” in over a year. No chain stores, no walmart. All the t-shirts I bought at walmart a year and a half ago are understandably worn out (walmart does not make things to last.) All of the good clothes I bought before moving out here are worn and washed thin as cheesecloth after six years of use. The shape of my butt has changed in my thirties and my underwear is no longer comfortable – I need something higher-waisted. I’m wearing socks with holes in them and second-hand bras.

It’s ridiculous.

But you get into a habit of making do, and in the acceptance of a situation that *should* be temporary, you are in danger of slipping into a belief that you don’t actually deserve better, and so you may miss the opportunity to upgrade. We all occasionally fall upon hard times, but hard times are not permanent. They’re just supposed to remind you to appreciate improvement, to live mindfully and in gratitude, to really see the riches that surround you.

So Sweetie and I have decided to embark upon “Project Kate” where I will actively reset my “normal”. No more bodily pain and discomfort caused by ill-fitting or worn out clothing. I had neglected my body’s signals for so long, I was UNABLE TO WALK this summer. Months of chiropractic treatments have resolved the issue, but the cause was months of ignoring pain. I didn’t even realize I was in that much pain until my chiro started to sort things out. I tend to perceive pain as “fatigue”. This is something I want to shift, something I want to recognize and attend to as soon as possible.

… And that’s another thing I’ve been thinking about. I’ll go through these phases where I won’t even look in a mirror for weeks at a time, because it really doesn’t matter to me what I look like. I’m just not that attached to it, and somewhere along the road of adult acne, I stopped wanting to look at my face. It just didn’t match the way I felt inside. I wasn’t stressed or ashamed of my pimply presentation, I just withdrew my self-esteem investment in my appearance. When a coworker would helpfully suggest I might benefit from a facial, I would just think “well that was rude,” but not internalize it. I never cried about it. I tried so many things and somewhere along the way I just accepted my face as it was, so I stopped trying to hide my acne.

But I learned that weight, acne, clothing – these things affect our energy. They affect how others perceive us. When I didn’t care at ALL what I looked like, that sent a message to everyone around me. People would ask me if I was feeling okay – without makeup, people think I look ill. (I am descended from a long line of white people.)

This same attitude is what created this situation where I have a closet full of holey clothes and a dresser full of uncomfortable undergarments. This is why I never saw myself as a person with a fancy coffee maker, even though coffee is VERY important to me, even though I used to own an industrial roaster!

But I’m starting to really feel what it’s like to live on the right side of the tracks and every day, first thing, that coffee maker reminds me.

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9 thoughts on “Worth It.

  1. 1) Congratulations on making this important connection! I am thrilled for you that you put the pieces together and you are placing the value on yourself that you deserve, as I’m sure you would extend to anyone else.
    2) Thank you so much for the expert information regarding roasting of coffee, rancid oils, and the importance of organic. I had no idea! Time to make some changes! I am aware that rancid food oil wreaks havoc in our bodies, but never considered coffee oils as one of the culprits.
    3) Acne is awesome (yes, I said “acne is awesome”) for what it tells us about what is going on in our bodies. The presence of acne is a wonderful reminder that something within our bodies needs attention. My own experience was adult acne pointed to the need to eat probiotic rich foods (fermented stuff like kombucha, sauerkraut, etc.) to correct dysbiois in the gut, a common problem. Maybe your message is regarding a different problem, but either way your skin is doing you a solid to let you know to look inside for the reason. It’s a positive thing!

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  2. I really enjoyed and appreciated that entry. The recognition that you’ve come to was great… you are beautiful… you are worthy! Know it and believe it and feel it. And take happiness from the simple things, small changes. And damn good coffee. :0)

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    • Thanks Allen, you’re awesome too. 🙂

      Lynn, Yeahhhhhhh, I think you’re asking a lot of me to call acne awesome. It would be awesome if it were a simple issue easily solved by a positive, healthy change.

      For a lot of people though, it’s not. For over two decades I’ve committed months to various products, years to various diets (including eliminating wheat, all animal products including dairy, sugar, coffee and chocolate from my diet for years) and I’m a proponent of fermented foods as well.

      Even if, after 20 years, I found the one simple cure-all, I wouldn’t ask someone else with an acne issue to call their acne awesome, because my solution isn’t necessarily her solution. Besides, I know enough about it now to understand that a lot of the factors contributing to my particular acne aren’t always within my control.

      I appreciate your positivity, but you’ve gotta watch where you shine that thing! 😉

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  3. What a great post. Isn’t it fun when something finally clicks? your realization mimics a recent one of my own. A sudden awareness that We ARE worthy of awesomeness. Perfect health, well being, and anything else our soul desires. We are perfect and deserving of abundance. It’s that “ego/fear” thing that tries to convince us otherwise. A great start to 2014.

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  4. I try not to put to much pressure on myself to be awesome. I was very sick last year and I sort of beat myself up trying to figure out why I was “making myself sick.” I thought I was somehow manifesting it. I think the lesson for me was to not pass judgement, even if I’m sick or whatever. I decided to be human, illness, acne, holes in my clothes and all. Just to be. And I love coffee,too. I am embracing my addiction.

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    • Jane, I’m not sure if you’d recall my resolution last year was to be healthier? And a few weeks later I was in the hospital???

      I think I learned this year that sometimes, when you’re trying to change a pattern in your life, you might actually create more of what you don’t want.

      Having gotten through a rough year, health-wise, I really am in better shape now than I ever was… But yeah, I agree I think it comes easiest from a place if acceptance… But not complacency.

      Ah, brain farts!

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