You’ll be on the Autobahn and stressed in a traffic jam, and someone in the car says, “Let’s pull over at the next rest stop for a coffee.”
After a stressful day of errands or shopping for household furnishings, shoes, or whatever, your friend says, “Let’s stop at a café for a coffee.”
You had a rough day at work and come home stressed. Your partner or roommate greets you in the kitchen, “Here, I’ll make a coffee.”
You have long line in security at the airport, or stressful train connection. You have a few minutes until the next boarding time. Your travel buddy suggests, “Why don’t we pop over there for a coffee?”
All of these mean roughly the same thing: stop… shift gears… relax a minute… take some time to regroup. To a European, the meaning is clear. An American might think about stopping at Starbucks for a to-go cup, but Europeans know when it’s time to relax, and answer the call. No one has to explain it. It’s all understood.
Of course, coffee could mean two friends meeting up to catch up and connect, a chat with a coworker, or relaxing on a vacation between sights; but in any case, the coffee is simply an excuse to stop and regroup.
It could be a tea, a smoothie or hot cocoa, but the meaning is the same. Of course, at cafes in Europe, there are other options to chose from.
Something magical happens. You make a pause in your day. In a period of 10 – 20 minutes, the body slows down, whatever is behind us is temporarily forgotten, and most problems are solved. In some cases, one can go back to what they were doing before, and everything magically works out.
On a metaphysical level, something happens in the body, mind and soul. You hand everything over to an unseen force and let it go or release. On a scientific level, your body might be creating new neurons in your brain and ceasing to repeat uncomfortable thought patterns. On a physical level, your muscles start to relax and your heart rate slows. On a spiritual level, you are handing over your problems to the Divine.
It’s a shift to something, and it means much more than a hot beverage.
It’s not all about coffee. It could be a walk in the woods, a sit on a park bench, meditation or breath work.
See how you can incorporate this practice in your life. Try it – you might enjoy it.