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Out of Solution

Tea cup , tea

You stir a little sugar into a cup of hot tea.

Notice the crystals dissolve and “disappear.”

As the tea cools, you notice a little sugar crystal appear at the bottom of the cup. A sparkling glimmer catches your eye as the light glances across it.

What’s happening? The sugar is “falling out of solution.”

sugar crystals

Think of sugar crystals like a bunch of kids (sugar molecules) packed into a special school bus shaped like a six-sided crystal.

When you put the sugar in hot tea, it’s like taking the kids to Disneyland: the crystal bus dissolves, and all those child-like molecules run out the door and diffuse into the hot sea of other highly excited children (water molecules from the tea).

When the tea cools, it’s like the sugar kids lose some of their playful energy and need to take a nap. Finding each other, they clasp hands tightly and recrystallize on the bottom of your cup. And they do so as simply as they did when they went into solution.

If you heat up and cool that cup a million times, they’ll go back and forth into and out of solution like it was just a playful game of jump rope across dimensions.

No one had to tell them how or when to do it: every child just knows how to play.


 What message can we take from this little gem shining up at us?

The first is that, of all the random possibilities in the great teacup of the universe, you and I fell out of solution in this form: as us. And, someday, you and I will both dissolve back (whether we like it or not) into that "teacup" of planet Earth (and wherever else you believe).


Second, just as no two snowflakes are alike, so it is with sugar crystals and people: we are absolutely unique and, as far as the cosmos goes, an absolute “one of a kind.” It’s hard to fathom but nature has the infinite expressive capacity to create the “same” thing (sugar crystal or a human being) completely differently each and every time. That’s quite a feat!

The third takeaway is about the transformation and alchemy we take part in every day. You and I started our morning with our own metaphorical cup of tea filled with infinite possibilities for the day. And it is we who will choose what to create from it – what to manifest or cause to fall out of solution.

You and I are doing the work of dissolving and crystallizing notions into and out of solution all the time! So is everyone. But we aren’t homogenous like sugar. Nor are our individual beliefs, thoughts, feelings.

How then do we collectively agree what to manifest anything out of all this chaos?

Somehow we figure it out. It’s not always neat or easy. But look around you: look at all that we have created. We’re magnificent!

Surely, if the grand universe can have us fall out of solution in this complex form, we – in this tiny teacup called Earth – have the same capacity to manifest anything from the infinite solution. Sweet!

By the way: I work with executives to develop their vision, world-altering impact, and leadership of others to their own greatness. If this is you, then let's connect.

Share your thoughts or reactions in the comments at the bottom.


As an executive coach, I work with leaders to transform their influence and impact on their organizations and the world. You can reach me at  

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