Oh How I Love Coffee in the Morning

Oh, how I love coffee! To insure I have fresh coffee as soon as possible in the morning, I prepare it the night before. Sometimes I buy beans and grind them just right. Always I draw clear, cool water into a large Pyrex measuring cup; twelve ounces of water per serving, 2 tablespoons of coffee for every twelve ounces of water. Yes, I actually read the directions on the package.

How This Affection Began

My first memory drinking coffee was next door at my grandmother’s dining table. I was probably five years old or so. My Swedish grandparents had coffee and a sweet every afternoon. If I happened to stop playing outdoors and knock on their door from the garage, my grandma would bow down and give me a kiss and hug, inviting me in. Then she’d pour evaporated milk into one of her teacups about halfway, add sugar and then enough hot coffee to stain the mixture a light beige.

I felt so grown up having coffee with them, listening to their conversations in Swedlish.. a combination of Swedish and English that I never learned. Perhaps they preferred the privacy of speaking a language my sister and I didn’t understand. The only words they taught us were “tack så mycket” and “varsågod”. These mean “thank you so much” and “you’re welcome”. My sister and I also learned to count to ten, but I’ve long forgotten that.

My grandmother was born in America, but lived her early life on the farm as if they were still in Sweden. They spoke Swedish, attended church in Swedish, and continued the tradition of fika, the coffee break. The men would eat a hearty breakfast, return to the farmhouse for lunch and then return once again for the afternoon coffee break with a sweet roll. As the oldest child, my grandmother must have learned how to make a Swedish coffee roll at an early age. When I was a little girl, she often made cookies, froze them and pulled one out for me during her afternoon coffee break with my grandfather. It seems they always had a slice of her homemade cinnamon coffee ring.

Coffee Brands We Love

When I realized Swedes drank more coffee than any other ethnic group, except for Finland and the Netherlands, I understood why it was so important in my family.

At one time, I subscribed to the Swedish Gevalia coffee club, drank coffee from around the world, earned an airtight ceramic storage canister and loved every minute of the strong coffee, lightened with half and half and sweetened with sugar.

Soon, the chain, Dunkin’ Donuts arrived near me. After my first cup, I was converted from Gevalia to the Dunkin’ house blend. There were times I’d feel the pull of Starbucks when I was living in Denver, but since I had to pay extra to drink a palatable cup, I opted for McDonald’s coffee when I was away from home. You see, I bought Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in bulk before the chain arrived in Denver. I could always brew my favorite cup at home.

Why Somethings Still Matter

Oh, how I love coffee. It’s clear to me why coffee brings me peace, is a type of love in a mug, and will never be replaced by tea. There are too many beautiful memories, aromas, and love mixed up with it.

Do you have a similar experience with coffee, tea, or one particular food? Do you find comfort in it?

I’d love to hear about it in a comment, email or we can continue discussions when you sign-up for my newsletter.

Tack Så Mycket,

How Do You Deal With Being an Empath?

Perhaps now you know you’re an empath. How do you deal with being an empath? Still unclear what is an empath? Please, read my blog, How Do You Know if You’re an Empath?

What Can You Do About It?

Prior to my knowing I’m an empath, I’ve been a seeker of knowledge and self-discovery. Furthermore, I’ve come across many mystical / spiritual answers to dealing with the reality of being an empath. Have they helped? Absolutely. Can I recommend one mystical path to find your answer? No way. Hence, this route is one you must discover on your own, listening to your intuition.

What About Traditional Psychological Therapy?

Honestly, I’ve had a half-dozen professional therapists in my life. One, was exactly right for a specific need, others were either useless, helpful, or like my current therapist, Mary Joye, LHMC, a gift from God. Furthermore, I am grateful for Zoom, allowing sessions with Mary from anywhere.

How did I find Mary? I have a morning meditation where I take 3-4 deep cleansing breaths, place my hand on my heart and ask, “What do I need to know today?” For me, it’s like my subconscious gives me messages. I knew I needed to look up a suicide survivor group. That led me to the knowledge I was suffering from trauma with symptoms of PTSD. https://www.winterhavencounseling.com/ about it, which is raw, emotional, and gutsy… it’s a tough read. Finally, a search on Psychology Today, led me to a specialist in trauma… Mary Joye.

Psychotherapy Doesn’t Appeal Me

Okay, that’s a valid feeling. There’s another way you can explore how to survive this life as an empath. Explore the website of Dr. Judith Orloff. She has an online course to support her best selling book, The Empath’s Survival Guide. You will find the course on her empath support page. Of course, you can also buy her book and go through it on your own. We are each unique, seeking the best option for ourselves.

How Do I Know This is Right for Me?

Caution and skepticism are good. As an empath, it can be difficult making good decisions.

Here’s a step-by-step way to clear out the feelings you may have picked up from others. By doing this, you can tune into your real self and make better decisions.

1. Remove yourself to a quiet place where you are alone.
2. Silence your phone and lay it down away from you.
3. Sit upright.
4. Close your eyes.
5. Lightly cover your eyes with your palms, fingertips resting at your hairline.
6. Take three deep breaths, in through your nose, out through your mouth.
7. Slowly move your hands, fingertips tracing your hairline down to behind your ears.
8. Place your hands on your heart.
9. Take three more deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
10. Ask yourself about your decision, “Is this (insert your situation, purchase, choice, etc.) right for me?”

Your yes / no answer may come in myriad ways; you just know it, you hear the answer, you see a symbol or the actual word “Yes” or “No”, or you feel it in your gut, tingling, goosebumps… whatever is right for you.
Certainly, you can start this exercise with a question where you know the answer.

Test How YOU React

Here’s a testing example for the ‘Clear Out Your Feelings’ exercise:
in #10, ask the yes / no question. “Am I wearing jeans?” Then ask an opposite question. “Am I wearing khakis?” Note how #11 plays out differently between your two known, opposite questions and answers.
Once you’ve mastered this process, you can use it anytime you feel ‘off’. Those times may indicate you have picked up the feelings of others.

In Closing

I hope these ideas help you answer your question, “How do you deal with being an empath?” Since I believe we are the answer to the woes of the world. Does that sound like more responsibility than you desire? Don’t fret. There are many small steps to finding our fulfillment in this role. Through my posts about how we can practice self-care, live life to the fullest, and make a difference in the lives of others, you will find solace. If you believe this is part of your reason for being here, I invite you to sign-up for my weekly newsletter.

See you soon,

How Do You Know You Are an Empath

This week I asked myself, “How do you know you are an empath?” My love of research led me to begin with the Google query, ‘definition of empath’.

Definition of Empath

The top result from Dictionary declared empath is a term used in science fiction literature, suggesting it’s a figment of our imagination. The second definition result is from Merriam-Webster. This one, I like..mostly.

One who experiences the emotions of others: a person who has empathy for others

Don’t you love it when the root word you are trying to understand is now used slightly differently in it’s definition? Now we need to understand empathy too.

The Google results from ‘definition of empathy’ were skewed exactly opposite from empath. Here is the top result from Dictionary for empathy.

The ability to understand and share the feelings of others

Certainly, my definition of empath is one who experiences the emotions of others.

How Do You Know You’re an Empath?

Your experiences and reactions are unique. Therefore, some of these circumstances may ring true, if indeed you are an empath..

  • Large crowds cause discomfort
  • Relationships with ‘users’
  • Craving the peace of alone time
  • Saying yes too much
  • Over sensitivity to noise, smell, or conversations
  • Feeling exhausted after social situations
  • Finding you startle easily
  • Hearing “You’re over sensitive”
  • Preference for sleeping alone
  • Overeating to cope with stress
  • Difficulty making good decisions

Still not sure you are an empath? Take this 20-question self assessment test from Dr. Judith Orloff.

What to do Next

If you took the assessment and know you are an empath, don’t despair. In contrast, celebrate your naturally loving nature. Furthermore, give these ideas a try.

It Appears I’m an Empath

This realization may be difficult to swallow.  In contrast, you have a lot to give the world and the world needs you. Sit with this new knowledge and take the first step toward a more fulfilled life.

Ground and Reset:

  • Move to a quiet, private location
  • Sit upright
  • Relax your hands in your lap
  • Gently close your eyes
  • Slowly breathe in through your nose
  • Out through your relaxed mouth
  • Repeat this slow breathing three times
  • Feel the weight of your body in your hips
  • Now feel this heaviness down to your feet
  • Imagine this weight extending into the earth
  • The weight becomes roots into the soil
  • Continue slowly breathing
  • Gently open your eyes

Doesn’t that feel soothing? It’s a wonderful way to start everyday. Certainly, use this technique whenever circumstances feel overwhelming.

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Moving ever forward,