by Jane Keep, UK

My body is a great guide: take coffee and caffeine for instance – we simply didn’t get on.

Currently, coffee shops make up the fastest growing part of the restaurant business, and many people have a relationship with coffee: for instance, Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day as the leading consumers of coffee. It wasn’t the same for me. Coffee and I simply didn’t get on.

When I was growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s, everyone around me would drink coffee. There were few posh coffee machines or roasted coffee beans – mostly instant coffee – and people around me would take what they could get. I thought, well, this must be something great – everyone drinks it, I will too. I began drinking coffee when I was in my late teens. Around that time I started to get regular cramping pains in my abdomen, diarrhoea, and I used to get a lot of palpitations, as well as getting sweaty and uncomfortable. I went to the doctors who had my abdominal pains investigated. I was coffee intolerant – it gave me intestinal cramps and made my heart race into palpitations –uncomfortably so.

Consequently, at age 20 I stopped drinking coffee, and all of the symptoms immediately reversed. I haven’t drunk a cup of coffee since. I did though, one day some years later, accidentally eat a chocolate that had a coffee bean in it. This time my reaction to coffee was stronger, and the pain in my abdomen and the palpitations were far worse. A strong reminder of why coffee and I never actually got on.

My point here is that our body is a most amazing guide to help us to navigate through our daily living choices – it knows so well what harms it and what nourishes it. By taking a single point of focus, such as which warm drinks feel harming and uncomfortable, and replacing them with drinks that nourish me, or are gentle for me, I have found a far gentler and more self-caring way of living and working. Using my body as a guide in this way, and listening to it, has supported me over time to gently review other dietary and lifestyle choices: these include the foods I eat, along with ensuring I get the rest and exercise that supports me.

373 thoughts on “Coffee

  1. We have sensitive bodies and there are many foods and drinks that we react to and those where we override our reaction because we think we cannot function without it until our body becomes too intolerant and communicates how it can no longer digest it. The key as you say Jane is to keep listening to our body and ask ourselves why we think we need it when our body is clearly rejecting it.

  2. Why do we need a substance that wakes us up or makes us function during a day in the first place. Why do we accept being tired by living and call this “life”. We are not designed to wake up tired. Helping us with substances like coffee only delays to look at the truth behind that phenomenon.

  3. Wow Jane that is quite a strong reaction your body has to caffeine. Our bodies are deeply sensitive and so if we are not feeling the effects (eg with coffee) have we in fact numbed ourselves from feeling to this extent as we would then need to address what drives us to push ourselves in the first place? It is not in our nature to live ahead of ourselves.

  4. It’s really worth listening to our body, to building and developing a relationship with it and ourself where we allow ourselves to be aware of how we feel after eating/ drinking/ having a conversation/ exercising/ shopping/ reading/ watching TV etc. to tune in with what really feels harmonious in us and perhaps be open to doing things differently. There’s always more to learn with this I find.

    1. Looking deeper into conversation and how it feels to communicate in them is a huge area to look at for me. When I let it slip and actually abuse my own sensitivity in reducing how I express or even choose a vibration that insults my being, it feels horrible. But horrible enough to change it and dedicate myself to every situation, with no more slipping? Development in progress.

  5. Coffee shops are absolutely everywhere, it is such an easy go to, they have become like fuelling stations for the body, the only difference is that it is a false fuel that may give people a momentary boost and a quick fix, but at the expense of the body, by masking the truth of the exhaustion they are living with on a daily basis

  6. I would say that almost everyone if not all are naturally coffee intolerant. It is simply not natural for us to drink it. It is in fact abusive and abuse is not natural to our being, we have just been so conditioned to accept and say yes to it.

    1. True – abusing the body and its clairsentience and sensitivity through food, substances, medication, emotions etc is a Normal in today’s society. Did you ever put coffee for instance into a babies body? If not, why so in an adult´s body?

    2. I would agree – as we know when the body is still and deeply settled caffeine is very disruptive – we don’t give babies coffee… so why do we drink it as adults?

  7. It is so true that, “our body is a most amazing guide to help us to navigate through our daily living choices – it knows so well what harms it and what nourishes it”, yet for many years I so abused my body in many ways that I and it had grown accustomed to the abuse and adapted to it. It is only in the recent years have I come to appreciate the wisdom of the body and now my body and I have a very different and more loving relationship.

  8. What is also interesting to note, Jane, about your experience with that ‘accident’ involving eating the chocolate covered coffee bean is that perhaps you had a much more severe reaction to the caffeine the second time because you had moved on and said no to allowing that artificial stimulant into your body, thus not accepting something like that to disrupt its normal settled state of being, and then by eating it again it had to give you a more extreme reaction to show that it was no longer tolerated in any way. What a gift that was and a marker of your own level of self-love!

  9. A coffee machine alongside the toaster and kettle I now see as something most people have in their homes. But Serge Benhayon predicted a while ago that our behaviours would become more ingrained and the need for coffee and hence coffee shops would be on the increase. The intensity of the behaviours within myself and within others are certainly something I have noticed which I am finding interesting to observe and learning not to react to.

  10. It really shows how our bodies hold a greater intelligence than our brains as we can manipulate our brains but not our bodies. Yesterday I ate some hot cross buns- I was able to justify my reasons for doing so but this morning my body is showing me the consequences of that choice with severe stomach cramps and a feeling of exhaustion.

  11. I did not drink coffee for years and years and then I moved to Holland. There are so many terraces where people sit out and drink coffee that I got swayed into and starting drinking latte coffee when I was around 37. But I did not need coffee first thing in the morning to wake me up, thus a few years later it was easy to drop.

  12. Our bodies really are amazing, but I have only discovered this when I started to listen and honour my body. which in return, my body supports me back with increased awareness of what truly nourishes it and what dosen’t. My body is my first and true friend.

  13. That is truly key observing not just the obvious signals and reactions from our body, but also the more subtle ones.

  14. My relationship with coffee was similar to my relationship with alcohol when I first tried them. I thought they both tasted horrible, yet I persisted with them as it seemed to be the ‘cool’ thing to do, I am so grateful that I finally listened to the messages from my body and gave them both up. I may not be ‘cool’ but I feel heaps better and clearer in my body now.

  15. I suppose that everyone who drinks his or her first cup of coffee is not fond of the taste. That is understatement. And then you see everybody doing it, and you “learn” to drink it. You body says no, but you mind overrides it.

    1. I was just thinking about this yesterday Wilem, how I forced myself to be able to stomach and enjoy a cup of coffee. My very first job I would have made myself at least 10 cups of coffee and only drink a mouthful and tip the rest out, before I could actually have a whole one. It required lots of sugar and milk to lessen down the taste. The same is though for when we try our first alcoholic drink, our taste buds and our bodies react and at times quite repulsively to the taste and the sensation of it but if we want to fit in and need it to ‘loosen up’ then again we teach ourselves to like it. All of it is at the expense of our body.

      1. I agree Willem and Aimee – I never actually got used to the taste and smell of alcohol, more so the way it made me feel – just the smallest of mouthfuls and I didn’t like the feeling and for many years in my adult life I would try and avoid alcohol but drank it because everybody else did and because of peer social pressure. With coffee it was different as is said here in this blog – I drank it and it made me very ill very quickly so I have lived a life of never drinking coffee and not knowing what all those cappicino or various other coffees are like – I have never tasted any of them. So our body does know even though we over-ride it and carry on regardless. Many people I talk with in workplaces say they can’t start their day unless they have had their first cup of coffee. And, many also say how they feel the impact coffee has on them and they are trying to drink less of it because they don’t like the effects.

      2. There is a sense of missing out with many of us when our body shows us clearly it can’t digest or stomach particular food or drinks. That ‘missing out’ belief then keeps us going back, just giving it another go, to fit in or not to be seen as different. I know someone who takes tablets before they eat dairy so they don’t have a big reaction but just a little unsettled stomach. Imagine, if our body was celebrated, like our closest most sincerest loving friend that had our back 100% and we thanked it every time it showed us that something was hurting our sensitive delicate insides.

  16. I don’t know if some would know what to do with themselves if they didn’t drink coffee…. as in, there would be something missing, a big part of their day cut out. There is a repetitiveness with drinking coffee no different to eating sugar, a large part is due to the addictiveness to what it chemically gives us and also emotionally offers but also a way to connect with others. In work places, treats and coffee is what brings people together… so I can see the pull to not let go of that. Same goes for smoking and alcohol, it has been sold as a way to meet people and be able to drop guards and connect. Underneath it all, it is super clear to see, we are all wanting to connect… it’s our natural divine way, of course we do. It’s just looking at all the pictures that have been sold to us of ‘how to’ do that, that get in the way of us truly connecting and having relationships with ourselves, our body and others.

  17. Lately I have found that my body is very much more responsive to foods, and particularly picking up on anything that my body is reacting to, it is as if my body is shouting louder to get my attention, and I am now listening very intently.

    1. I’m with you there Sally – my body is also shouting louder – and the impact of not listening is greater – the stakes are high when we choose to over ride our body.

  18. Creating the environment from which to listen to our bodies means we hear the conversation so much better. There is no question you can feel the rhythm of your heartbeat change when you drink a stimulant, the point is what does it give you that means you will put up with that physiological change at the expense of your body’s natural rhythm?

  19. I still remember my first taste of coffee in our farmhouse… There was such a ritual to grinding the beans, and putting them in the old perculator… And this amazing smell that came out… And then I my gosh the extraordinarily disgusting taste… Which I incredibly became used to

    1. It’s interesting about how things smell so seductively delicious and sometimes even taste so delicious – and yet how the body always tell the truth in the way it responds or reacts to that substance/food. I loved the smell of coffee – but my body reacted so strongly to it I knew never to drink it after my first cup of coffee.

  20. If we all took the time to listen to our bodes and become more honest about the messages we were constantly receiving, I am sure we would see a decline in the amount of coffee, alcohol and sugar intake worldwide.

    1. Absolutely agree Anna – I’m sure we would see a decline not only in food and beverages, but also in pass-times, sports, and other activities that we undertake in life, as there are many things that are not true for our body (e.g. years ago I did kick boxing for a few years – but my body screamed out time and time again that it was not true for me to do kick boxing, and in the end I stopped doing it as it was damaging me in so many ways – aches, pains, bruises, broken toes, hardening and tension in my muscles etc).

  21. Listening to the body, accepting what it says to us, accepting it as our greatest tool to confirm truth, welcoming the feedback it gives us regarding our choices is the only true way of learning.

  22. I find my body has similar reactions to some foods but when I am living in a rushed way I can override these feelings to the point of not being able to notice them. This then keeps me in the cycle of reaching for certain foods and staying racey and not feeling the reactions of them.

  23. I used to be addicted to coffee and really felt the withdrawal effects when I stopped drinking it some years ago. The few times I did have a coffee after not drinking it for months, I was really shocked by how it made my heart race and how uncomfortable I felt. I must say I really dont miss it.

    1. One of the things Ive observed recently when talking with others about food and drink choices is that some people (and I know I used to do this with alcohol) say that they don’t like the taste or the effect of something e.g. coffee or alcohol, yet they’ve learned to get used to it so that they can continue to drink it. It’s interesting that we would do that and override the signs that are loud and clear from our body that something isn’t right about that drink/beverage.

  24. I agree – our sensitivities are beautiful and powerful guide for us to navigate through our daily choices. When we consider something to be ‘normal’ it can be hard for us to accept our own reaction to it – as to what food/drink doesn’t agree with our own body, how much is too much etc. and we may even force our body and try getting used to it. There’s a strong belief that says ‘everything in moderation’ and that we should be able to eat anything and if we have any reaction then it should be cured, which is very dishonouring of our body.

    1. Yes Fumiyo ‘everything in moderation’ is often a phrase I hear about life, daily living choices, and foods in particular – which feels like a justification to have everything/something – no matter what the impact on the body – so long as it is ‘in moderation’. But who set the bar for ‘in moderation’? does that mean Six coffees or five? does that mean one apple or three?

  25. I agree Jane, our body is a great guide to all things in life. It constantly communicates to us and when we listen there is so much we can learn about food, exercise, sleep, work, etc. and our relationship with ourselves and with people.

  26. The rise in coffee consumption is telling of another rise – and that is the sheer exhaustion the majority of humanity are in. Coffee is the go-to substance as the perk-up substitute for not giving ourselves what our bodies truly need – deep, rejuvenating rest instead of being in a constant relentless momentum to get somewhere, be someone, in order to tick the ultimate box that can never really be ticked anyway.

  27. We are mainly good overriding the initial adverse reaction against a substance, be that coffee, alcohol or a cigarette and often stubbornly get over and used to it so we fit into ‘normalcy’.

    1. I agree Gabriele – and that applies not just to food and drink but to many things that we normalise in life – e.g. its normal to be exhausted, it’s normal to struggle through life.

  28. Can you believe the explosion in coffee, I mean I remember years ago people drinking it but not the quantities they are now. I remember not drinking coffee at first because of the taste but then starting to drink it and being put off again from the tummy feeling but then starting again and now stopping again. I love chatting to people but don’t like the taste or the feeling of coffee. From where I stand it’s looking more and more out of control on the coffee front and I am pretty close to the industry even though I don’t drink the product. People say to me very frequently how addicted they are and how they can’t function without of coffee. There needs to be more conversations around it’s affects and how we are more and more regularly using it.

  29. Coffee shops march to total world domination continues… I was driving in the countryside and another Starbucks popped up literally in the middle of nowhere. Yes I’ve seen them in towns and cities, yes they are becoming connected to garages and pit stops, but this one looked like it had replaced a country pub or restaurant. It was a new sign of the times….

    1. I agree Simon – there are now many ‘drive-in’ coffee shops along our roads too so you don’t need to leave the car to get a coffee. Maybe one day we will have a world without coffee drinking – which could mean a lot of empty shops in the high streets.

  30. My body speaks as loudly as yours Jane. I used to think that was a curse, but now I realise its actually a blessing. It lets me know when food or drinks are bad for me, and it lets me know when I am being unloving or unkind to myself. I would much rather know than not know, as then I can change.

    1. I agree Heather, I would much rather know. To not know is to be at the mercy of an outside force, but this is a decision we have made to consume something that is affecting the rhythm and flow of our bodies. It is in our best interest to listen, to pay attention and to act according to the message.

    2. I agree Heather. I’m constantly amazed and appreciative that the body is so sensitive, and can and does show us everything – the ripple effect of every daily life choice. Once we get to know the ‘language’ of the body it is such a blessing to have that guide consistently with us. Its also super helpful when we are experimenting new ways of living, new daily rhythms, new foods etc as we can tell from the body what works and what does not support us.

  31. In a small town near where I live, there are cafes popping up everywhere, this shows the high demand for coffee and the consumption of coffee is huge. This makes me wonder how people feel after drinking numerous cups of coffee every day, maybe racy, tired and not themselves?

  32. With food intolerances and allergies on the rise listening to our bodies and making the appropriate adjustments is the wisest thing we can do to care for ourselves in both the short and long term.

  33. I didn’t used to believe in my body having any sort of intelligence. i just thought it did what I told it too and that was that. It’s taken some years and some very impactful health conditions to realise that in fact, my body is talking to me all the time, and I’ve just found ways of avoiding listening to it or putting it down to other factors. These days I hear it loud and clear and my sensitivity and awareness is increasing all the time as a result. I’m really enjoying having so much more understanding around what goes on for me.

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