About a year and a half ago I decided to stop drinking milk in my coffee. I’ve always been sensitive to milk products and was heavily allergic as a child. During my teenage and early adult years I ignored any physical indications that certain foods weren’t good for me and rather just went with whatever tasted or looked good to me, so for many years I had milk with my coffee. It was something I treasured, almost as though it was sacred and I defined myself as someone who takes their coffee with milk. I could never imagine myself drinking coffee without milk and whenever I even thought about it, I would feel anxious and anticipate the loss of taste and texture and would imagine how I wouldn’t even be able to drink coffee anymore if I couldn’t add milk to it.
A couple of years back I started to notice that I had distinct reactions to milk products. I started by cutting out cheese and other dairy products but never even considered skipping the milk in my coffee. Eventually I started testing using alternatives to milk like lactose free cow’s milk, cream, soy milk, oats milk and almond milk, but none of it was satisfactory and I eventually went back to my usual coffee with milk.
Two years ago I started having hay fever every day. In the beginning it was rather mild but eventually I would have these sneeze ‘attacks’ every morning when I woke up, easily sneezing up to 20-50 times having to blow my nose constantly and continuously. It was very uncomfortable to be constantly sneezing so I sought out medical attention and got tested for allergies. It turned out that I had allergies towards dust-mites, grass and horses so I figured that my daily morning sneezing attacks was an irritation in my respiratory system due to the dust mites. I started cleaning my bedding more regularly, used anti-allergen detergent, but the sneezing didn’t stop. Eventually I sought out the aid of a homeopath who explained to me that it is very common for people who are milk-intolerant to experience this type of respiratory symptoms where the body for example produces an excess of mucus, so she suggested that I stop consuming dairy products, at least for a moment to see if it would have any effect.
I was petrified to let go of my precious milk in the coffee so I resisted doing it but eventually I made the decision to try lying off all dairy products to see if it would have any effects. Within a few weeks of me stopping adding milk to my coffee as well as consuming any other products containing milk, the symptoms stopped.
I went from having daily sneezing attacks and flu-like symptoms often lasting from 30 minutes to a couple of hours to now experiencing a sneezing attack perhaps once every week or every other week. My theory for why I still have the occasional sneezing attack is that it happens when I’ve slacked on my decision to not consume dairy and have eaten something with dairy in it. So now I have decided to completely stop all dairy consumption. (I might add here that I eat tons of eggs so when I say dairy I mean any kind of milk product, whether lactose-free or not.)
I haven’t been drinking milk in my coffee for a year and a half now and I don’t take any other replacement or alternative in my coffee. What has surprised me is that I didn’t actually miss out on anything by stopping drinking milk in my coffee. On the contrary I have discovered the joy of black coffee and obviously the side effect of no longer having to constantly sneeze and blow my nose. For years and years I thought that it would be impossible for me to skip the milk and I was even willing to compromise my own body just to keep drinking the coffee with milk, based on an idea and belief that it would be horrible to drink coffee without milk. It is not. It’s simply a different drink. Letting go of even the idea of milk-replacements where I so desperately for months tried to find a replacement for cow’s milk was an important step, because I see now how as long as I was doing that I was holding onto a fear of lack and an incessant belief that “coffee CANNOT be consumed without milk.” I basically refused to give up the milk instead of giving myself the chance and opportunitiy to try something radically different from what I was used to: plain black coffee. Once in a while I eat soy or oats ice cream (which is surprisingly good!) or have a cappuccino with soy- or almond milk, but I suspect that this also isn’t the best product to consume and therefore I limit it to once in a while. Most importantly however, it is something that I don’t experience any reactions to.
What this process has assisted me to see – however trivial and trite it may be, is how accurate and specific the saying ‘never say never’ actually is. If I hadn’t had the physical consequences showing me that I must stop consuming milk products I probably never would have stopped. If I hadn’t walked the Desteni I Process, wherein I’m learning how to care for my body and myself for the first time as well as pushing myself through limitations, I would have continued regardless of physical consequences – all because of a fear of lack and an incessant idea that ‘coffee is best with milk’. Well, I proved myself wrong because now I prefer coffee black for several reasons, but most importantly because I can see that my body prefers it, and that matters more to me than how something tastes. And I’ve come to rather enjoy the bitter taste of coffee that isn’t masked by the sweetness of milk. As a result, I drink a lot less coffee but I enjoy it in equal measure. If I hadn’t pushed myself through this process, I would have never discovered that black coffee is equal to coffee with milk, not anything ‘more’ or ‘less’, simply different. I would have never discovered that it isn’t actually a ‘loss’ or a ‘lack’ – and this has made me curious as to what other points in my life I have seen as ‘impossible’ to change that might actually not be so – where a ‘gift’ is waiting on the other side of that limitation or fear or preference, to show me sides of life I never knew existed, to show me sides of myself I never knew existed, if only I allow myself to open up to, embrace and expand myself into the unknown, rather than holding onto the ‘known’ in a perpetual state of fear of lack that wasn’t even real to begin with.
I’ve found that it’s the same as when we for example say: “I’m just not that kind of person” or “I’ve never been good at that” or “It’s just not my thing”, where we define ourselves and accept ourselves according to a limitation, feeling good and comfortable within boxing ourselves in in a certain framework of skills, preferences and abilities.
What this process has shown me is that it is not valid to claim that some things cannot be changed, especially the things we do to ourselves that harms us or harms our bodies or even harms others. It has made me realize that preferences aren’t valid simply because they are ‘MY preferences’. It is cool to have a preference, like if coffee with milk supports you and your body and that’s what you prefer, then by all means carry on – but it is possble to change one’s preferences and to make principled living in self-support a preference too, and to within that discover that maybe our preferences weren’t real to begin with, but was based on ideas, beliefs and cultural forms of programming that we’ve just come to take for granted as part of our comfort-zone and self-definition. We don’t actually know how much it is possible for us to change, I mean look at me; I never thought I would ever be able to drink coffee without milk and now it is something entirely normal to me that I don’t even consider or question because I have changed my preference to include a consideration and care for my physical body. So consider that for yourself, especially if there are points in your life that you see is compromising you or harming you somehow but that you’ve seen as impossible to change – that it IS possible to change, it may take a process, it make take thinking out of the box and being creative in coming up with solutions, it may take taking baby-steps in the beginning – but it IS possible, and that means that nothing (within the realm of what’s physically possible) is impossible. What that means is that there is no limit to what we can become, to who we can become, to how far we can expand ourselves through changing that which we’ve come to take for granted and accept as ‘who’ we are.
Investigate Desteni, investigate the forum where on is invited to write oneself out in self-honesty and where any questions regarding the Desteni Material will be answered by Destonians who are walking their own process. Visit the Destonian Network where videos and blogs are streamed daily. Suggest to also check out the Desteni I Process and Relationship courses as well as the FREE DIP Lite course