Caffeine is the devil. Caffeine is a drug. Caffeine is bad for you.
This is what we are told by all the health propaganda. Increasingly however there are suggestions that this substance does offer some health benefits. Anything can be a drug. Yoga can be a drug if we are using it to fill a hunger within ourselves that cannot be satisfied by any kind of consumption or activity. Addiction denotes a faulty attitude to something. Sugar is a drug. Anything can be a drug – absolutely anything.
The issue is the over-consumption of caffeine, the lack of recognition towards it as a sacred gift of the Divine Mother. There is a reason the Japanese tea ceremony is so sacred. We may think our morning tea or coffee is ‘sacred’ to us, but are we honouring and using these gifts of nature in the way they deserve? They are not designed to be a crutch. We reduce so many things to this status, even really beneficial things like exercise! Anything can morph into an addiction when we are not addressing our core needs. It’s not about what you’re taking, but the attitude with which you are ‘using’.
In January I grew increasingly concerned as I had a daily headache that none of my usual tricks would shift. It was more worrying because I don’t usually get headaches. I’ve never been a big coffee drinker, but I had got into the habit of drinking one matcha latte a day. Then it became two. It was delicious, comforting and helped my introverted nature dive into my socially connected daily experiences. It made me feel better about my sugar-free diet choice, (yes, I’m a sugar addict!). As a last resort before attending a doctor’s appointment I stopped drinking caffeinated drinks. Then I realized the 100% cocoa solids chocolate I was modestly consuming also contained caffeine. I stopped it all. After a day or so, the headaches stopped. I was just replacing one craving with another.
This life can seem like such an uphill walk, we feel the need to fuel ourselves with things that somehow numb the experience we are in, or distract us from it. But it’s not fuel. It’s a sacred tool – all of it is. For the more constitutionally sensitive amongst us caffeine is a tool that should not be used every day.
However, if you do use it every day, take note of when and how you are engaging with that coffee, green tea or matcha latte (or five). Are you honouring yourself and the properties of that substance? Or are you abusing it, and your body? Can you be in the experience instead of trying to escape from it? These are very difficult questions to ask ourselves. Taken in the right attitude, that sencha can become a window to a revelation as you commune with a soul-sister, or greet the rising sun.
I read last year that we are running out of coffee. The Earth literally cannot supply the incessant consumption of coffee by the humans of this world. Maybe it is time, as with many other over-consumed resources, to treat caffeine with the reverence it deserves.
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