I am no coffee connoisseur. Nor a coffee snob. I just recently learned how to make a decent cup of coffee at home and it's a wonderful, therapeutic thing.
I've found it's very relaxing to make both tea, and coffee. If you're the same, you might find that a little bit of comforting coffee making at home, along with the boost of drinking said coffee, contributes a lot to your glow.
(If you're here for the coffee equipment & recipe, scroll down, it's at the end of the article.)
Part of what contributes to making it so relaxing, is having a set of steps to follow, seemingly without thinking.
When an artist looks like they're just making it up as they go along, it's usually based on a deep foundation of practice. Practice that almost certainly involved, at some point, a sequence.
The order of things matters, not just for nurturing your glow, but also for learning new skills in general.
In a yoga training lesson, I asked an experienced instructor how they managed to do these flows that look so effortless and natural.
They said practice, but also, that they stuck to the most basic order of sequences for a long, long time until they tried anything fancy.
Similarly, when you begin to learn something like Mandarin Chinese, at least in a class with me or Adila, one of the very first things you will be trained on is something called stroke order.
It means you learn the precise order in which you should write every line of every Chinese character. (And there are thousands of characters).
If it seems a bit difficult at first, it kind of is.
Some might argue the order doesn't matter so much for Chinese characters... but that's a conversation for another time.
For now, let's stick with the principle that stroke order does matter.
And that to be able to drop a perfectly beautiful, neat, Chinese character from your hand effortlessly, you need to do so with correct stroke order.
Learning Mandarin stroke order is a lot like learning other skills too.
Like making coffee.
There's a sequence, an order to the way of things. Especially when learning new skills, and honing ones you know well.
When I learned how to write characters with the proper stroke order, I noticed several benefits:
I was able to write more quickly
I was able to write more beautifully
I was able to remember characters more easily
Bonus: I was able to pass approval under the eyes of Chinese teachers who highly value characters being written properly. It earned respect.
These are some of the reasons why Adila and I insist on students learning stroke order correctly in all of our lessons and courses.
Taking the time to learn the order up front helps so much. We want writing, and communicating, to be smooth, beautiful, and easy.
All this to say, the order of things matters for your glow, and for learning new skills.
Getting the sequence in place is a comforting thing. And it allows for skills to develop more quickly, easily, and very often, to be more aesthetically pleasing.
Skills that produce smooth, beautiful results, fast.
That's how most of us would love a lot of our skills to feel straight away.
To get there, find and learn the sequence and then stick with it... until it truly is smooth, beautiful, easy and quick. Variations can come later.
*Bonus: Equipment & Steps for coffee at home*
Sharing here the equipment and tools for that lovely cup of coffee at home. I am glad the previous percolator kept breaking (it was made of glass). It led me to investigate stronger coffee makers, which, in turn, led me to the Bialetti Moka. It's been really solid for daily use so far.
Here's what I use:
Milk (optional, but these steps account for using milk). Remove Step 6 & 7 for an espresso.)
Step 1: Pour water in the lower part of the bialetti. Up to the little knob inside.
Step 2: Place filter over the water.
Step 3: Add ground coffee into the filter cup. Don't press down. Let it sit happily.
Step 4: Screw the top part of the bialetti on.
Step 5: Place it on the hob. Heat shouldn't be the hottest - a notch or two below.
Step 6: Meanwhile, in milk land - pour milk into the milk frother, or heat on hob.
Step 7: Wait til Moka has finished gurgling. Pour the coffee into mugs.
Step 8: Pour the hot milk over the coffee, if that's how you like it. :)