Is there anything better than a cup of freshly brewed coffee? That first sip in the morning may be one of lifes most perfect moments. I feel for that moment the way Thanos feels in the moment he walks out of his bungalow in paradise at the end of Avengers Infinity War (only I don’t need to destroy half the universe to feel that kind of tranquility and notice the simple pleasures of life… but still). Truth be told, we aren’t here to talk literal coffee, though heaven knows I could and would talk about coffee/coffee shops until the cows come home. However, this post may be more enjoyable if read while sipping a cup of (preferably hot) coffee, otherwise you may find yourself distracted and craving a cup of joe than a Gilmore Girl.
As I sat in meditation the other morning I got a download that I want to try and unpack, it isn’t a fully fleshed out idea, but I want to start processing it with all of you, rather than keeping it to myself in one of the stacked up notebooks on my shelf (of which there are many). The ‘download’ was of a metaphor for life which, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense (if you aren’t a coffee person, this may be a little harder to follow, email me with any and all of your questions please and thank you).
We all know that life can be lived a million different ways. You have power and agency and like it or not, you get to choose how you will spend your days, view the world, what you believe in and how you will feel/behave in any given situation. Forrest Gump once said that “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gunna get”… which is so very true! But I would argue life is also like a cup of coffee, what you get out of it depends on how it is made or rather how you make it.
There is percolation, steeping, filtration and extraction which lead to the final product, a cup of coffee… but not all brewing methods/styles are equal, not all cups of coffee are the same (unless you are my Grandpa Phil who only drank Foldgers Original 24/7…but that doesn’t count).
Things, ideas and external influencers bubble up within us, percolating in our minds, actively (or in some cases passively) permeating our beings. We allow these things to steep within us- saturating and imbuing us with information and ideation, we absorb the beliefs and ideals, allowing them to filter through our hearts and minds. We leave behind what won’t serve us and what we are left with is our extracted values, beliefs, knowledge, wisdom, and truth.
Growing up we had a Bunn coffeemaker, you know the one, it was black with a brushed stainless steel pot. Every night my dad would fill the tank with water, grind the beans, put the grinds in the filter, and close the lid. Every morning he would wake up and flip the little ‘on’ switch before going about getting ready for the day. The smell of coffee would fill the house, comforting, warm, deep. I would come out into the kitchen, shuffling in my pink fuzzy slippers, grab the biggest mug I could find and pour myself a cup before the liquid life was gone. I would shuffle to the kitchen table, sit down, put the cup to my nose, inhaling its delicious aroma and then sip its steaming hot contents… this was my literal favorite thing… until I discovered the French Press. It revolutionized coffee for me. How could the SAME exact beans, ground the same way, with the same water taste SO much better?!? It can’t get better than this I thought. But, of course, I was wrong. I then discovered the ‘pour over’ and I never looked at coffee the same.
You see, each and every day we gather information, knowledge, facts, and stories, we grind them up and place them in the ‘filter’ of our minds. We pour water through them and allow them to steep within us, transforming them into an extraction, a finer, more useful substance, which permeates our beings.
The issue with the ‘traditional’ drip coffee method is how quickly the water goes through the grounds. You end up with more muddied, rushed cup of coffee, where (even if there are good things in the filter) you don’t get a fully fleshed out cup; it tastes flat, like something is missing. Taking the time to slowly pour water over the ‘grounds’ in your heart and mind, allowing them to steep longer, yields a finer extraction. It is more pure, there is clarity; a full bodied flavor to the wisdom, knowledge, beliefs and truths.
The question becomes, what method are you using? What filters do you have in place? What are you filling them with? How are you extracting the values, truths, beliefs, and wisdom for your life?
Take a moment to think about how you process information. Do you take time to let it steep or rush through? Do you rely only on yourself to filter all you are taking in or do you have friends, community, faith, Source to help you process? Where are you getting your ‘grounds’ from? Are they fear based? Are they future based? Are they driven by the feeling of not being enough? Or driven by your full and actualized self?
I have been giving this a lot of thought and I have decided I want my heart to be like a Chemex. Allow me to explain how a Chemex works for those that aren’t familiar. First things first- in order to brew a beautiful cup of coffee with a Chemex you must BE PRESENT, you must SLOW DOWN. I once read that this brew style yields ‘practice and patience’ such good things to cultivate in life. Anyways! You weigh, measure, and grind your beans while your water boils to 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer or temperature regulated kettle remove the water from the heat once boiled and allow to ‘rest’ for 30 seconds. Place the filter into the top of the Chemex and pour water over it to prepare it (removing the papery taste), BEFORE adding your grounds (be sure to remove the excess water from the bottom of the Chemex). Add your grounds to the prepared filter and ‘bloom’ them to remove CO2 (this is where the top of the grounds gets all bubbly and frothy looking). Then, slowly, methodically, pour the hot water over the grounds (in a circular or spiral motion) until saturated, allow to filter through, then add more water, repeat until desired amount of coffee has been brewed (per the ratio of the grounds).
Do you understand? I want to be present, to slow down, learn the art of practice and patience in my life. I want to know that what I am placing into the filter of my heart and mind are good things and that I am allowing them to steep so I can fully absorb what they have to offer, so that I may yield a good result. But the reason I love the Chemex is that one step which sets it apart from so many other methods- you prepare the filter by cleansing it, by pouring boiling hot water over it. I want the waters of the Holy Spirit to cleans my filter. I want the Living Water to prepare me for what I am about to receive.
If I am using Living Water, Holy Spirit, God, Source, Jesus, to prepare me, to filter my longing, my knowledge, my passion, desire, truth and wisdom, how much greater will my life be? There will be more clarity, purity, a richer and more full flavor to my life.
Truth be told, some days I still rush it. I don’t prepare the filter right, I don’t slow down and go through the steps that it takes to yield a good result. BUT as the Chemex process states PRACTICE and PATIENCE when partnered with CONSISTENCY over time, will (ultimately) lead to something extraordinary.
Talk to me about how you filter? What is your ‘method’… what are you ‘extracting’ and do you feel you are yielding a good result?