Sunday, September 22, 2013

On caffeine.

A double espresso every morning. I've been on the hard stuff for years. In my line of work, attention to detail is a requirement. I can't afford to make mistakes. I have to be alert, awake and on task. I have to drink coffee, right?

Wrong. All I needed was sleep. The right amount, when I needed it, and of high quality.

I thought I was getting it; I wasn't.

I'd noticed the more yoga I did, the more meditation I practiced, the more agitated caffeine made me. It completely reversed my calm and harshed my mellow. Not cool, man. So, I cut back from two shots each morning and two shots each afternoon, to one shot each morning. I experienced none of the terrible side effects normally felt with quitting cold turkey, and it took a few days to notice any positive changes.

The more yoga and meditation I practiced, the less caffeine I wanted.

My sleep quality noticeably improved, and suddenly I was awake and alert without all of those extra mg. of caffeine. I suddenly had more control of my moods and thought processes, instead of the caffeine telling me how I felt.

You see yoga does thing to you- It slows your mind and body down. In my little Type- A world of success this is a terrible thing. I have client meetings, tax returns to file, emails to send and an MBA to study for. I'm busy, dammit!

Until slow isn't terrible anymore. Slow is the state to achieve.

Slowing down has actually made me smarter, in a happier and less agitated way. I see more, notice more, and can do more. All in a calm, much happier way. I swear slowing down has made me smarter. When you are calm and smart, you see things you hadn't taken the time to notice before. My clients don't irritate me like they used to. I just notice things and watch them float by without reaction.
Sure I still get mad and I still get upset. But much, much less.

Maybe one day I will quit my one shot of espresso in the morning. But I don't feel the need to just yet. I still love its creamy, bold flavor. I love the ritual of sitting down each morning with a steaming cup, allowing my mind to wake up slowly.
I order decaf if I am at Starbucks for an afternoon meeting (which I may need to stop doing because I swear I can feel it). If I am tired and feel the need for a pick- me- up, I take a nap, or I tough it out and slow down.

Slower is better, and in this crazy fast world we live in, that is a strange lesson to learn. Slow doesn't mean stupid. And multitasking isn't a good thing.

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