I would have thought it’s the rest of the world’s search for the flat white. So many Americans I know who’ve been to Australian and partaken of this very addictive drink are trying desperately to find a description for a flat white so that their US baristas can assuage their predilection.
The serving of the ‘flat white’ is taking British and European cafés by storm and it has come to be seen as a mark of sophistication on the board of any eating establishment that values being up with the current trends. The only problem is that very few people seem to know what it is.
In Australia the flat white is almost synonymous with coffee and has been so since the late eighties, this is because it was developed in that time between then coffee hot spots Wellington and Sydney. Very few foreigners will believe you if you tell them that Australia is the coffee mecca of the world. Germans will say “oh… I don’t think so, I will have to check” (always thorough), South Americans will laugh casually, make one of those amused and amusing noises that South Americans often make and say “no we make the best coffee in Colombia, man”…
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Yesterday I took my two rather large dogs and my son’s Great Dane cross, Marvin, to the dog beach.
The three dogs were playing near a family, and I was concerned they were being a bother, so I spontaneously called them and ran along the beach in the opposite direction.
I had no leash and no poo bags – just the dogs, and me in my bathers and sunglasses, with a ball thrower and a tennis ball.
We were enjoying the morning. The sea was sparkling and the waves were gorgeous.
I threw the ball for the dogs, and they swam to retrieve it, competing with each other to bring it back to me.
Then Marvin decided to do his business on the wet sand, near the water.
I felt embarrassed as I didn’t have the poo bags with me. I used the ball thrower to push the mess into the water. I imagined that the nearby swimmers could have been upset at what I was doing.
My mindfulness left me as I hurriedly pushed the muck into the ocean.
We went on our way, with me enjoying the walk a little less as I questioned my behaviour.
On the way back, in almost exactly the same place, I threw the ball a little too far out for Sammy and as he was swimming to retrieve it, I saw a rather large wave coming.
I quickly dived in, grabbed him and we got dumped together, but I hoped he felt safer in my arms.
However, once we were on the beach after the dramatic rescue, I realised my favourite prescription sunglasses were missing. I’ve had them for years, and was very sad that I had lost them.
I believe that the day would have been different had I stayed mindful with the poo incident. I could have been more centred and gracious. I could have asked if anyone had a bag, or buried the mess in the sand, or even scooped it into the water in a more mindful way. I would have then stayed more focussed for the rest of the walk.
I believe had I stayed mindful, the next incident would not have occurred. I would have kept my focus and perhaps remembered that I was wearing the sunglasses, or been a little more mindful in the way I helped my dog.
One bad seed leads to another, and next time I will keep my shit together.
As many of my readers know, I am a bit of a yoga bunny. Having recently read the book How Yoga Works, by Michael Roach and Christie McNally, I am very interested in the concept of how one good (or bad) deed can embed itself in us, and lead us on a path of being more authentic and content, or less, depending on the type “seed” that we plant in our minds as a result of our action. Seeds can be either good or bad, and grow according to the actions that we take.
My philosophy is to always (try to) live my life according to a good motivation, or “right action”. Right action is hard work – especially if we decide apply the goal in every moment. But if we take up right action as a matter of course, we encourage perseverance of mind and create a series of interconnected right actions that will lead to a much happier life. Right action will lead to the best outcome for ourselves, and for others. If we act in a kind manner, and live our passion sweetly, rather than avoiding the hard stuff, we will achieve much more than if we envy others and long for what we don’t have. That will lead us nowhere.
Today I randomly opened my book Meditations from the Mat (by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison), to Day 29. It talks about right action, and says that each right action infuses us with the energy and ability to take the next right action.
This fits perfectly with my claim from my blog “Keeping your shit together”, that had I been mindful in the first instance, when I was trying to deal with the dog’s business, I would have had a more mindful approach to the rest of the walk.
The quote from the book from Day 29 is one I like very much.
Those forms of concentration which result in extraordinary perceptions encourage perseverance of mind. Yoga Sutras.
Welcome toJenniferonline@muses 🙂 Today I encourage you to look out for happiness, rather than focus on things that could go wrong. Be Vigilant for happiness.
I work with many clients on vigilance. People who have suffered PSTD are very vigilant. They sit with their backs to walls in restaurants, facing out so they have as much perspective as possible on the surrounding environment. In my office they always check that they know the way out. I have clients who are vigilant to criticism, so that they can protect themselves from feeling hurt if they hear a negative comment. Some clients are very vigilant about change and notice the smallest shifts in my office. An ornament may have been moved, a favourite book is no longer on the shelf, or a new coloured coaster shocks them. It might take some time for them to recover their steadiness in my office, which is understandable, as their safe place has been disrupted. The other day a traumatised client and I came up with the concept of Vigilance for Happiness. She felt the phrase was an oxymoron, but I am not so sure. The origin of vigilance is keeping awake (from the verb vigilare – admittedly a 15th Century interpretation), and keeping awake for positive outcomes is probably a good thing. These days vigilance is usually used in the context of danger or difficulty. But today let’s go back in time, and be vigilant for the good things in life, such as the loving eyes of a dog, the aroma of coffee, a nod from a stranger – or the small smile you have on you lips all day as you stay with our new extrapolation of Vigilance. Today you are being Vigilant for Happiness. Look out, here it comes 🙂