How to Tap into the Simple Joy of Tea
A daily loose-leaf tea habit keeps you healthy-hydrated with loads of wellness benefits: tea contains antioxidants, has been shown to strengthen your immune system, may help with weight loss, and soothes the digestive system.
A cup of tea is associated with ceremony, positive energy and relaxation. It’s inexpensive and delicious, a low calorie treat to enjoy hot or iced. So why don’t more of us drink it?
Years’ worth of conversations over 100’s of chai samples shared with passers-by wherever Tonic & Bloom was vending taught me a lot about the way most people think of tea. People love the taste of it, they love the idea of it, but they haven’t made it a habit because they find the brewing process…cumbersome.
Sharing samples of anything during a pandemic is clearly off the table, but something else has changed relative to those bygone sampling days as well. As a nation, we’ve been forced to slow down. It’s hard to point out the positive without sounded naïve, there is no dismissing the harsh reality. Yet where we can we, in spite of the chaos, create some space for new beginnings?
One of the most effective ways of changing unhelpful thought and belief patterns is through a daily mindfulness practice.
The simple act of making a cup of tea presents the perfect opportunity to create a mindful moment. It’s a multi-sensory experience that requires a small amount of effort to prepare; the perfect opportunity to create a ritual, or reflective routine to embark on your day.
People have harnessed the power of ritual, or reflective routine, to add meaning and intention to their lives since ancient times.
Ritual, or reflective routine, requires you to pay attention to the present moment. It’s a time to listen to your inner voice, to reconnect with your values. From there you can start the day from a place of intention, less likely to be swept away by worries and distractions.
Study after study shows the benefit of incorporating mindful practices into your daily routine. This time of forced slow down is also an opportunity to let go of negative thought patterns and reconnect with your inner voice.
If you’re a tea lover, or even liker, a morning tea ritual lets you tap into the simple joy of tea and set the course for your day with meaning and purpose.
TAP INTO THE JOY OF TEA, A MORNING MEDITATION
•Create your space
This could be any space, but dedicating it to the experience is essential. Find a space that’s private and at least temporarily free from distractions. Clear any clutter, turn off your phone. If you enjoy background music, include it! If you like to journal, be sure to have a notebook and pen handy to write down your reflections, gratitude list or an intention for your day.
•Find your Focus
Remember, everything should be done with attention and intention. Decide to focus on the present throughout your tea drinking meditation, clearing your mind, focusing on your breath and returning to the present whenever a distracting thought or worry seeps through.
Pay attention to your breath. Practice diaphragmatic breathing; very deep breathing during which the belly expands as opposed to the chest. Breathe through your nose if possible, in long counts of 5.
•Brew your Tea
Choose high quality loose leaf tea that you enjoy drinking and cold, filtered water, if available.
Find a mug that has meaning for you. Boil your water on the stove or in a tea kettle. Add 1/2-1 tablespoon of tea into an infuser or tea filter; place in your mug and add boiling water. Let steep for 2-3 minutes per cup. Add a touch of stevia or honey if you like a sweeter brew, and plant or dairy milk to taste if you prefer a latte.
Don’t rush the process. When you find yourself getting impatient while waiting for the boiling or brewing, return to the present and focus on your breath, the aroma of the tea, the quiet calming space.
•Set your intention.
This is your time – instead of rolling your eyes because your tea is still too hot to drink, use this time to set your intention. Is there something you need to let go of? A story you’re telling yourself that’s no longer serving you? Is there something you need to step in to? A new identity you’re hesitant to claim?
Decide, set your mind, make a commitment to harness this day to get one step closer to the outcome you’re seeking.
•Drink your tea.
Finally, right? The moment you’ve been waiting for, so savor it. How many subtle scents and tastes can you notice? The tea has a lot to offer. Steep in this awareness and let the pleasure of the moment both fill you and ground you at the same time.
•Appreciate the journey
Consciously recognize your part and the external pieces at play to creating this simple time of joy and connection, which would not be possible without EACH of the other steps you took.
If you have a journal handy, you may want to write down what you’re grateful for. Like my teacher Kelly Blaser always says, “Gratitude to the self for the willingness”. You may want to capture any reflections that come up, or write down your intention for your day.
When you’re ready to complete your meditation, return to your breath and ground yourself in this moment. Use this experience as a touchstone to embark on the rest of your day with joy, intention and purpose.
Learn more about the benefits of high quality, hand-crafted tea at www.tonicandbloom.com!