I’ve just come inside from enjoying a cup of coffee outside, in my front yard. It was about 20 minutes after 8, and dark has settled in. The wind was whispering and sighing through the big pines at the end of the property, and a half moon played peekaboo with the scudding clouds. Crickets and nightbirds. My neighbor talking to his television. Flags billowing at two houses across the quiet country road – the same road where I grew up. Off in the distance, an occasional car, and the sound of a train in the distance, out on Coons Crossing and Usher’s Road, where I know the tree frogs and bullfrogs are sounding off.
I’m intimately connected to this place, to its sights and sounds and smells and textures – to its life. I sent countless hours outside after dark, when I was a girl. We played tag and statues, hide and seek and kick the can, my siblings and I. We laid in the freshly mown grass, breathing in green.
I’d forgotten, in some ways, what the evening breezes feel like against my face.
How often, I wonder, is that true? How much of our simple childhood joys have we forgotten, in our oh-so-busy adult lives?
How much can we be renewed, by remembering?
I owe this returning awareness to Amy Kennedy, and the fact that she shared the realization she made during her staycation, when she discovered herself not able to even settle long enough to enjoy a single cup of coffee, and realized that there was something wrong with that…
She decided to do something about it, and to blog about it, and the #onegoodcup project was born.
The idea, like many wonderful concepts, is simple. Each day, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea – without devices, without to-do lists (which I wrote about last week).
I think it’s was a beautiful idea. Just reading about it was a fresh breeze in my mind, and my soul. I decided that I would begin that afternoon, and that, when I can, I’ll have not only a morning cup this way, but also an evening one- bracketing my day with the opportunity for mindfulness.
I’ve made it a priority for the last several mornings, and I’ve missed only one afternoon. I took my Intentions Journal outside for that first cuppa, and, while randomly jotting what came to mind, I remembered that I bought two themed journals during our Oregon vacation in February, simply because I liked the covers, they would support local causes, and – well, they were …small enough to fit in my carry-on luggage, since we weren’t checking any bags, and I have a long and abiding passion for paper, books, and journals.
After I finished that first cup, I went looking in my study, and there they were, tumbled into a basket, forgotten no more – waiting for me, and my words and thoughts.
Here’s a bit from my first morning writing session, with a cup of coffee and my first journal…
“This feels a little uncomfortable, maybe even unnatural, but that’s okay. Often, growth feels that way.
Quote of the Day – “Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung (I got the quote from further into the journal; it’s got some yoga-centric quotes and art, and I happen to like Jung).
I like this quote, because I’ve always been inward-focused in an outward-focused world.
So much of what happens in my life in internal, often invisible from the outside. It’s not a sparkling clean house and yard, a put-together look, a fancy car and kids with lots of trophies and awards.
It’s a rich internal vein, growth and change beneath the surface, small or enormous inner shiftings that make me….
More myself? More real? More human?
Happier, and more centered, for sure. Better at being me, and allowing others the space to be who and as they are…”
That was just the thought that was at the top of my mind, then, but it wouldn’t have been there, if I hadn’t given it the space and time to be born…
And that speaks to me about mindfulness. We can’t be as mindful if we’re rushing around, never slowing or stopping, never giving ourselves time or space to – well, just to be. To think, to ponder, to feel.
So much of popular culture in ‘first-world’ nature is about doing, accomplishing, having something to show for our time and life.
But there’s so much more to life. There’s what’s beneath the surface, hidden.
And that’s us, too, as much as all the stuff other people notice.
I’m becoming a bit more aware of that, with every good cup I enjoy….
How about you? Do you have times when you allow yourself to simply be? To think and feel as you do, without any goal? Do you find something compelling in #onegoodcup? Will you join us, and discover yourself?