What I’ve Learnt from Coffee Cup Reading

What I’ve Learnt from Coffee Cup Reading

What I’ve Learnt from Coffee Cup Reading

After Adele’s coffee cup reading, we went into a smoky, humid restaurant in a cave in Central Turkey. People in traditional Turkish clothes sitting on colourful tasseled cushions on the floor. Kids running around. Goats sleeping in the corners. Donkeys joined the crowds smoking water pipes. There were laughters, quarrels, whispers, giggles. Men’s voices were so amplified that they echoed and lingered for a long time before they disappeared. The 2000-year-old murals on the wall were slowly washed out by the smoke of human ignorance.

Anett and I sat down in front of a skinny, dark skinned woman. The woman started a tarot reading for us. Her reading is unclear to me now that I wake up. I remembered Anett wasn’t convinced so she thanked the woman and went with the most popular fortune teller in the cave, who was smoking a breeze-flavoured water pipe on the other side of this smoky place. It was surprising that the new reading was the same as the skinny woman’s reading. Anett freaked out. The time when I realised where I was, Anett already took me to a crystal shop in a 60s’ American city. We sat down, waiting for a more realiable reading from this modern city psychic. As soon as we realised the reading was again, same as the previous readings, the two Turkish psychics turned up in the shop and whispered to us in a deep voice, ‘How dare you not believe in what we said. We knew it so we told you same readings! Ha ha ha!’. I was shocked so I woke up in case Anett turned to another psychic to find a satisfying reading.

By now you may think my coffee cup reading with Adele must be horrible as hell, but it was completely the opposite. It was heart-warming, funny, honest and inspiring. Adele is a friend of ours. Beautiful, strong, charming Australian-Turkish young lady. I love listening to her stories and opinions about the world. I never really talk to her about myself because I think she has already known, at least about my feelings. I don’t feel uncomfortable about it either because I trust her and admire her ability and imagination.

By the time the cezve (coffee pot) was put on our table, we had already been laughing, drinking and eating for two hours. I haven’t been laughing so much for a while. Since our European trip I had been feeling quite insecure. I didn’t tell anyone about it, but it slowly built up inside me like layers and layers of skins wrapping a dry, wrinkly shelled walnut. Sticky and dark. I had been feeling sick. Allergic to my cat. Non-stop sneezing. In fact before meeting Adele, I pretended to be sick and sneaked into bed for hours till Anett pointed out that I wasn’t sick but unmotivated and dragged me out of bed.

‘You have a blockage. Something is bothering you. Tell me what it is.’ Adele asked as she rotated my coffee cup and looked at the leftover coffee grounds. I was stunned by how spot-on she was, but didn’t know how to tell her what was bothering me. I just admitted it and smiled. She continued, ‘You are distracted. You have been focusing on others. When I saw you earlier this year, you were different. You are not focusing on yourself but others.’ Her voice became so deep. She looked at me so fiercely that tears started to flood into my eyes.

‘I know it. I know it all. You are right. But I don’t know what to do.’ I finally felt the urge of uttering all the words out of my chest. All the fear and worrying that had been inside me since our European trip. The fear of not being able to continue Mundane Matters. The fear of going back to full-time job and losing my freedom. The struggle between running Mundane Matters without any income and freelancing as a designer to be able to pay my bills and travel. The uncertainty of the future. The contradiction inside me. The loneliness of creating something completely unknown by myself. I said I tried to be positive but there was always a moment when all my positivity was swallowed by self-questioning and the fear of failure.

‘I completely understand your feeling and I do too, have similar struggle.’ Adele smiled. ‘But you will have to keep focusing on yourself to let your creativity flourish and lead you to the answers you have been searching for. You are on the right path. You will have to do this alone because you are the only one who knows what is the best for your project than anyone else. Don’t stress about your income. Money comes and goes. Follow your heart. You will always be able to survive.’

‘The problem is within you and the solution is within you. This is what my reading is for you this time.’ Adele ended the reading as Anett impatiently moved her coffee cup in front of Adele wanting to know about what her coffee cup had for her.

That night I couldn’t fall asleep. It was the strong Turkish coffee at night, but also my thoughts. Adele’s words kept repeated in my mind. I knew what my problem was. I also knew that focusing on myself was the best solution to the problem, yet I can’t help judging what I was doing based on other people’s theory. The way I treat things is often out of logic, intuitive, which is said not the right way to make a project successful. But the more I wanted to do things ‘the right way’, the more I felt defeated, disappointed and unmotivated. Adele reminded me, ‘do what you are best at and learn from there’, which was also what I believed in, but buried in my mind long ago as I was distracted by many noises. I thought it was too easy to do what I was best at so I should challenge what I wasn’t good at. But that night I realised, it is in fact the most difficult to focus on our strengths, because in this world, we are too busy trying to find shortcuts and copy others’ strengths.

I never believe in any reading before I had my first session with Adele. Although I have been amazed by how accurate she said about my past and present, even though I never really told her anything about myself; and the promising optimism of the future (yep, she told me I will have a new pair of shoes soon!), I see it as a healing conversation to open up myself, rejuvenate my mind from an outsider’s perspective and living in the present without any worrying and fear. The future is a consequence of what we do today.

A lesson learnt: The problem is within us. The solution is also within us.

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Posted on at 10:20 am by Danling Xiao.