Good-Bye dear Coffee…


By Ulrike Selleck.

Little did I know it would change my life. Twice.

Yes. Coffee.

10 years ago my ex of 23 years and I were going through a painful divorce. My life was upside down. No husband, no money and no home.

On the bright side: My then 10-year-old son starred in several operas: The Magic Flute, Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Little Sweep, Otello, and Carmen.

Rehearsals often lasted a good 10 hour day, so there was a great need for feeling energized. The nicely set up coffee table in the middle of the lobby was positioned in a way I could not ignore it.

Now, I had never been into coffee before.

At the opera, many of the singers gathered around it. It was a meeting point. And, as you know, I LIVE for connection. As much of an introvert as I may be, when it comes to loving and connecting with others, it’s what I do.

Plus, just walking by that darn table, the aroma was captivating. I pulled off one of those white Styrofoam cups, poured the coffee, added sugar and cream, and took a sip of that steaming hot, sweet, creamy liquid. … I was hooked!

What could be better? Opera, music, singing, the company of like-minded friends, my son, newly found freedom… and coffee!

Back home from the 6 week rehearsal and performance residence, my son and I bought our own coffee maker and grinder. The cheapest kind. Money was tight, and after all, even the cheapest coffee maker did its job: Brew coffee.

Coffee has been a source of comfort ever since then. I’m very aware of it now. I wasn’t then.

Coffee has dried my tears many times. It was the one thing, other than my son, that gave me love. Silly, I know, but coffee became a dear friend, always there for me, whenever I needed it.

It also somehow helped me carve a new identity. From protected wife to kick-ass mom and solo entrepreneur. Something like that. Although, admittedly, I never felt cool or kick-ass, and most likely never will. 😉

So when 2 months ago I realized I had been having trouble sleeping for quite some time, I made the brave and mature (ahem) decision to try cutting out coffee. I had tried everything else.

It was time.

My boyfriend and I got some loose rooibos, grated fresh ginger root, added some Chai spices, Stevia and soy milk, and slurped the unctuous concoction. It tasted wonderful to both of us.

This has been our go-to morning brew now for over 6 weeks. And yes, we both sleep way better.

Then today, I decided to “treat” myself to a cup of freshly ground and brewed coffee. After all, I had been so good, and it being the weekend, worst case was, if I didn’t sleep, I could catch up on a leisurely Sunday morning.

Well, here’s my official report:

I just had my first sip of coffee after being “off it” for weeks. And was in total shock. I didn’t care for it any longer. The taste seemed odd, my heart started racing, and I ended up pouring the whole thing down the drain.

I was speechless.

What had happened?

Was the coffee poor quality? Had my body adjusted to the nourishing quality of the rooibos Chai? Or was I finally so cool and kick-ass that I no longer required coffee to make me feel that way?

The answer may just be a resounding Yes. Sure, maybe the quality wasn’t top notch. More likely though my body, always on the look out for true nourishment, got quite used to the simple purity of the nurturing Chai I had fed it. After decades of vegetarian and vegan foods that would only make sense.

But maybe the real reason is the third: I can stop trying so hard to fit in, be cool, be tough, work so hard, and think of coffee as something that will give me love.

After all, I’ve come a long way: from homeless, penniless, divorced, single mom on food stamps to singer, teacher, speaker, and author of a book. Helping others for 17 years now… maybe I can finally allow myself to help myself. Be simple and listen to what my needs are. And then fulfill and express them.

Just like I teach my clients. 😉

Let’s drink (rooibos Chai) to that!


Ulrike, and, is a holistic Voice Coach, Classical Singer, Author, Performer, Writer, Mother, and Healing Voice Expert with 25 years of experience.





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