Mindful Exercise / Coffee

You may be sitting in your local café, with a steaming cup of coffee before you. Perhaps today you felt sophisticated and ordered a cappuccino.

When you are ready, take a steady breath in through your nose. Let the air fill your chest completely, and exhale naturally. Repeat this circular motion until you feel your heartbeat gradually slowing down. Together with your heart, the movement in your surroundings seems to lose its beat. All sound becomes gently muffled and quietly retreats to the background.

Now, carefully observe your cappuccino. Try to describe its appearance in a few words. Can you describe the color of its crema – the tan foam of the espresso? How about the strip of light reflecting from its smooth surface, or the patterns formed by the air pockets in the white froth? If possible, note down a few of your thoughts.

Slowly bring the warm cup close to your chin. Your nose is suddenly struck with a spectrum of smells. Can you find a word to any of those nuances? Does the aroma feel creamy, bitter or sombre? Maybe there is a hidden tint of something chocolaty, or floral-like. A hue of walnut. What feeling does the smell of your coffee elevate? One of heightened motivation, exhilaration or simply comfort? At this moment, you may be able to recall all those past encounters with this particular ensemble of scents, and they make you feel warm inside.

Finally, bring the coffee to your lips and have a wee taste. Let it slowly unravel in your mouth and savor it on your tongue. Are your taste buds met with something delicate, or conversely something piquant? Full-bodied and buttery, or citric and light? These flavors may overwhelm you with their seductiveness. Indeed, you must take another sip.

Now that your senses are awake, try to widen your circle of focus to the surrounding room. What features or details in this space can you feel or notice? Is there anything you can appreciate?

Something, however small and seemingly insignificant, that you are grateful for?

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