Most of us begin our day with a good cup of coffee.  The story I would like to begin with today, will offer a new perspective for you to reflect on each time you drink your morning coffee. 

A professor once invited his students over who had qualified already and were working.  As they came he made a pot of coffee and offered the coffee in various cups and mugs.  Some were old, some plastic, some were porcelain etc.  As they were sitting and sharing many of them were commenting on their challenges and how stressful life was .  After some time the professor shared his observations…. he told them that they all chose the more expensive looking mugs and cups for their coffee.  That reflects how we tend to give priority and focus to in our lives.  The mugs or cups represent our positions, acquisitions, fame, prestige and wealth.  The coffee represents life.  A mug or cup is just a container that holds the coffee, it isn’t the coffee itself.  Irrespective of which container holds the coffee it doesn’t change the taste of the coffee. 

Similarly in life, our roles, positions are simply containers for our life but they are not the essence of our life.  How often our priority shifts to the container – that we forget to taste the coffee.  The container will also never be permanent and hence we end up striving to preserve something that is constantly changing.  It is no wonder that we  end up being stressed and strained.  It is like chasing after an ever moving goal post.  It is so vital to pause for a moment and taste the coffee.  Step back and enjoy the present moment… the simple things like enjoying the singing of the birds in the early morning, the beautiful jacaranda trees lining our streets at the moment, the laughter of your child.  Pause and acknowledge what you have around you rather than what you don’t. 

As we become more present to what life has to offer us now in the moment, we learn gratitude.  The power of gratitude is that it creates within us a feeling of contentment.  We must pursue goals, but we have the option of chasing after things from a place of emptiness or from a place of inner attainment.  When we create this approach of acknowledging what we have we live life with a feeling that it is blessed, and this sustains our enthusiasm and love for life.  The alternative is that we end up experiencing life simply as a struggle, and with time this drains one and you begin to feel tired and ultimately depressed.  The quality of our experience in given time depends on our attitude.  By consciously teaching ourselves to inculcate this attitude of gratitude we shift our experience.  But more so we shift our capacity to deal with things. 

Keep this affirmation with you… that in everything that happens there is something positive that I can draw from it.  There is something in this moment or situation that serves me.  By holding that as an attitude, perhaps you will taste the coffee of life more rather than worrying about the mug that is holding it.