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Siphon coffee, a donut shop, and the illusion of money

Recently our French press died. Not sure when it happened, but I was making coffee one morning and it started leaking all over the counter. I thought it was my sloppy pouring skills, but it ended up being a crack in the bottom of the glass. So, I started the hunt for a new coffee maker. A few months ago, our Nespresso died. It had a good life. Ryan bought it for me as a gift 7+ years ago and I used it consistently. When the Nespresso died, I started looking for a new coffee machine to replace it. The coffee maker needed to freshly grind the perfect amount of beans, brew automatically, and keep the coffee hot without burning it. After doing my research to find the best product to suit my preferences, I found that my standards for a cup of coffee might be a little too high. I wanted the same full bodied robust flavor I get from a cup of French press coffee, but without the hassel of doing it all myself. All the grind/brew automatic machines I researched were either 1. Very expensive without great reviews 2. without great reviews. The common complaint was that the coffee tasted watered down and routinely got jammed when grinding beans. Can't have that. So, I gave up the idea of automatic grind and brew.


I thought about sticking with the tried and true French press, but to be honest, felt a little boring. 2 days passed without my morning coffee routine, and Ryan was pressuring me to order something stat. When I was looking for grind and brews, I saw the siphon coffee maker. It looked unique, like a science experiment. Love that. Caleb loves helping me make coffee in the morning. I was certain he would love watching the siphon in action, but I just couldn't commit to making the purchase. Another day passed, and Ryan brought it up again. I was on the fence because I felt guilty spending money on a new contraption instead of getting the cheaper alternative that works perfectly fine...just not as exciting. Then, I saw it differently. I needed to honor my preference of being excited to not only drink my cup of coffee, but also to make my cup of coffee. I needed to trust that this decision, although a small decision, would get me more comfortable with making more decisions that honor my preferences. So, I bought it. We tried it out today (the story is on my personal Instagram @mrs.craven) and not only do I love it, but so do the boys. Just one more way to make me look forward to waking up in the morning.


Rewind to Sunday. Ryan and I were taking the boys for a car ride up PCH. Just a scenic drive to get out of the house and see the ocean. I was scrolling through Instagram and saw my favorite donut shop post a hiring ad. At first I jokingly made a comment that it was "my calling." If you know me personally, you know I love donuts. Not just any donut though. I love a perfectly crafted yeast risen donut, freshly made to order, with fresh glaze made from local produce. We refer to it as "tasting someone's dream." Because, if you think about it, someone had a vision before they created it, so by the time you get to consume it, you are eating the physical manifestation of someone's dream. There was a tiny voice in my head that said "Fuck it, you should apply." Another voice said "you'll be working for less money." Part of me felt like people might think it's a silly career change. Part of me felt like I would be honoring a part of my soul that I never allowed myself to explore.


Years ago, before I was married, and when I still lived at home, my mom sent me a newspaper ad for a recipe contest. It was sponsored by Aetna, the health insurance company, searching for the healthiest chef in America. The competition was being held in multiple states, they would narrow down to about 50 or so recipes, those winners would have a cook off, and then the final round would compete for $50,000 in new kitchen appliances or something. I didn't have my own place, so the grand prize wasn't exciting for me, but I thought it would be fun to participate. You never know what might happen. At the time, I was working full time as a X-ray Tech at a busy family practice/urgent care even though my passion was food and fitness. I had no formal training except for some random cooking classes. And, to be honest, when I cook, I rarely measure anything so I wasn't even sure how to formulate a recipe by specific measurements. But, I had some free time, so I MADE UP A RECIPE IN MY HEAD, wrote down measurements of what I thought made sense, and submitted it. I had never even made the recipe before. It didn't exist. It wasn't tried and tested. A few weeks later, I found out my recipe made it to the cooking round for a regional competition. Out of thousands of entries, my random recipe was chosen, and I was to cook for Cat Cora and the head of the Culinary Institute. Wild.


Here is where I got in my own fucking way. I misread my email, showed up on the wrong day to compete, missed my time slot, and almost didn't get to cook at all. When I talked to the event coordinator about the mix up, they were willing to let me cook if someone had finished cooking and I could use their prep station with the remaining time. I sat in the sun for HOURS hoping someone would finish early, so I could step in. I even remember sitting there, closing my eyes, having a one on one with God. Trying to find peace with the situation, I said, "If this is what I'm meant to be doing, then I'll get to cook today, and I'll know this is what I'm supposed to pursue." Well, guess what happened? I got to cook. Cat Cora said she loved my dish so much it was one of the most unique ones they had all day and it was something she could see herself serving in her own restaurant.


I lost by 1 point, for presentation. And went back to my day job.


So, when I saw this ad for the donut shop, it immediately reminded me about my experience of dishonoring my soul. I had to apply. The interview was the other day and I'm still not sure if it's going to work out, but I'm proud of myself for even venturing out of my comfort zone. It has me letting go of old beliefs that told me money was more important, schedule couldn't accommodate, or that I might be disappointed doing something I love. Even if I do it for the pure experience of just doing something I've always wanted to try doing...that's a win.


Do something you would do for free, then figure out a way to get paid for it. This is something I would pay to learn to do, and someone might be willing to pay me to do it.


Yesterday I bought "The Illusion of Money" by Kyle Cease on Audible. I have 10 minutes left to finish it. 1 book consumed in 2 days. Makes me feel excited about what I might learn next. This book was in sync with everything I just experienced. From making a decision about a coffee maker based on my personal preference to deciding to let go of my story about why I couldn't work in a kitchen. Felt like the universe was like, you're onto something, here's confirmation. This book is about the ways we limit our perception of what's possible when it comes to personal and financial growth. How to break the bad habits of participating in activities in our life that don't fulfill us. Trusting that your unique skills and talent are needed in this world, but you need to let your ego die a little bit to be in alignment with it.


I really struggle with my ego, but I've been focusing on feeling my way through life instead of thinking my way through life. Living in my body instead of controlled by my thoughts. My ego is not my amigo. My ego thinks I should stay small to keep it alive, because if I outgrow my ego it can't come with me, and we've been together a long time. I can't honor my highest callings and my ego at the same time. One is expansive and the other is fixed. One is unlimited potential and the other is a single theory. A lot of people think ego is cocky, but it can also be insecure. My ego is insecure. It attaches itself to the identity of not ready, not good enough, not smart enough, not experienced enough, not enough credentials....none of which are true. But if I continue living my same story, continuing the same habits that don't fulfill me, then my ego keeps it's identity and continues thriving. I can't remember who said it, but someone referred to the ego as similar to a parasite, and you're the host. It cannot survive without you giving it a place to survive. It thrives on self doubt and over analytical thinking. Eckart Tolle recommends simply practicing awareness of your thoughts and the awareness alone will be the destruction of the ego. He says, "you are not your thoughts, you are the awareness of your thoughts."


You are the observer. Let that sink in.


So, that's my exciting couple of days. I hope every time I sit down to write I have something just as exciting and expansive to share with you in hopes of inspiring you to fulfill your soul's purpose.


Stay well.


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