Tea Meditation

“You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea.
Only in the awareness of the present, can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup.
Only in the present, can you savor the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy.
If you are ruminating about the past, or worrying about the
future, you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of
tea.
You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone.
Life is like that.
If you are not fully present, you will look around and it will be gone.
You will have missed the feel, the aroma, the delicacy and beauty of life.
It will seem to be speeding past you. The past is finished.
Learn from it and let it go.
The future is not even here yet. Plan for it, but do not waste your time worrying about it.
Worrying is worthless.
When you stop ruminating about what has already happened, when
you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the
present moment.
Then you will begin to experience joy in life.”

Written by one of my favorite spiritual leaders, teachers, and authors, Thich Nhat Hanh.

I was recently searching for the perfect teacup and found it unexpectedly from a colleague of mine who made it at St. John’s University (photo above).

Now I savor every mindful sip.

 

Advertisements

Psychology of Tea

I met Dr. Dave several years ago when our paths crossed while working in the field of mental health. Recently he offered to mail me some herbal tea that he had grown in his garden. Being a tea lover, I was interested in his background and personal history of herbal teas.

“For me, growing tea allows me to reflect on my family and our history. As a child, I remember being at my grandparent’s resort, smelling the chamomile and rosehip tea that my grandmother Rose harvested each year. She would explain the benefits of these exotic and foreign teas with love, passion, and excitement, sharing that chamomile was used by the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians to sooth the muscles, calm the nerves, and promote sleep. Now I know that Chamomile is used for many different ailments including my grandmother’s list, but also to help with diabetes, fight against diseases such as cancer, and aids the digestive system. My grandmother loved rosehip tea and would patiently wait for the flowers and pods to dry. “This tea”, she informed me, “Helps make you feel better and has 50% more vitamin C than an average orange, and contains vitamin D, E, and K.”

It wasn’t just about the tea for me, as much as it was about the time I spent connecting to such a wonderful and loving person in my life. I still have fond memories of processing, harvesting, and drying the tea and sharing a warm aromatic cuppa with my grandmother.

I once read a quote by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, “If you ask Zen people they will say that tea is something that you pour with unawareness and drink like any other drink. It is not a drink, it is meditation; it is prayer. So they listen to the kettle creating a melody, and in that listening, they become more silent more alert.”

“For me, the entire process of relaxing has taught me patience, as it is processed, just as change is a process. My life used to be a daily borage of seeing patients, answering phone calls and writing notes, with little time left for myself. By creating a space to heal, grow and slow down, I have changed.”

Dr, Dave said that he has traveled to many exotic and remote locations in the world, including Egypt, Israel, and Europe, where he had the opportunity to taste and sample many different teas and coffees and learned that tea is a staple in many cultures.

Dr. Dave reported that he used to be a coffee drinker, but about ten years ago he developed acid reflux. He noticed that after drinking coffee, he would wake up in the middle of the night with horrific acid reflux. Dr. Dave said he tried to cure the symptoms with Rolaids, but eventually went to the doctor who prescribed medication for the condition unsuccessfully, so he stopped drinking caffeine and went back to his family roots, drinking Chamomile and Rose Hip tea, which improved his symptoms.  He also began exploring other teas including ginger and mint, which both have been reported to help aid in digestive problems.

Dr. Dave was asked if he incorporates herbal teas into his work with patients.

“Yes, I have dealt with a number of individual’s who have significant anxiety that is ramped up with caffeine. Each person has his or her own journey, and sometimes it’s not about just making mental changes.  I have noticed as a person begins to change, they make changes in other areas of their lives such as spiritually or physically. Many people struggle with sleep disorders, so I encourage them to reduce caffeine intake, as this allows sleep difficulties to ease.

“I have been an individual that has dealt with depression and anxiety since childhood. It’s not easy, but through support and making changes in my own life, I have become more resilient when dealing with issues and problems. Alcohol was used as a way for me to cope, but I can say that through the support of my family, friends, and programs available, I have been able to develop other coping skills. Tea is something that allows me to escape for an hour with a good book, a friend, or through gardening. My grandmother offered a sense of comfort and love for me which is far better than a drink at this point in my life,” Dr. Dave said  “As Audrey Hepburn once said, “When you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you, that’s when I think life is over.”

“Life has been a journey over the past several years.  Just like tea, as a detox, I have detoxed my life and made my life simpler and less chaotic. I have eliminated people, places and things that have caused me to live in fear and shame. While this has not been easy, it has been a journey that has allowed me to show up and be present with people who are meaningful to me. I have been in the field of mental health for over 25 years, working in both the public and private sectors. My current work focuses on coaching, writing, speaking, traveling and creating workshops on professionals in recovery.”

Dr. Dave’s story is an important reminder of how the simple act of drinking tea can benefit us psychologically, physically and spiritually.

Each day I have a mindful cup of herbal tea.  It gives me a break from my daily routine and brings a sense of calm to my day.

Time for a tea break!

 

A Fun New Dice Game about You!

Therapy Cubes Comes to Life!

We are creating new prototypes for this fun, interactive personal storytelling game. The whimsical cartoon style was created for children, adolescents and adults in mind.

Each role of the three dice creates the basis for a new story that can either be a fictional or personal story about a specific issue. You decide! The game is different every time you roll the dice.

We are seeking backers to help support the project.  See link below:

Check back for more designs.

https://www.kickstarter.com/discover/advanced?ref=nav_search&term=therapy%20cubes

Killer Careers

Is your job killing you?

Most people think of toxic careers as in working with poisonous or toxic materials, but killer careers are actually high profile jobs that people stay in too long that rob them of their life’s energy.

I have worked with numerous people over the years who have stayed in careers that they grew to hate.  Getting out of bed in the morning became a struggle.  Evenings and weekends became a time of regenerating from the hard work week.

All of these people had similarities including, depression, lack of energy and little to no motivation.  Most of the people stayed in their careers for health or financial benefits, but what they didn’t realize was that their careers were actually making them sick, and because of this, they would need benefits to treat their depression and health problems to keep them in positions that were not aligned with their souls purpose.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you feel energized at the end of your work day?
  2. Do you feel inspired by the work that you do?
  3. Do you intuitively know what you are doing does not feed your soul?

We always know what’s right or wrong for us.  Staying in the wrong position can have toxic results on your body, mind or spirit.  Staying in a career that does not fit or no longer resonates will lead to stagnation and can have negative results on many levels.  Our bodies, our minds, our spirits are all connected.  You cannot affect one without affecting the others.

If you find yourself in this situation, make a list of what you would really love to do, or the fields that you want to work in and list the steps that you need to take in order to get there.

Whatever you do in life, do it with passion!

 

The Dirty Cloud Maker (Revised)

New Release on Amazon!

The Dirty Cloud Maker is an inspirational story about a troubled character who turns his bad thoughts into dark dirty clouds and sends them out into the universe where they negatively affect others.

Journey with the Dirty Cloud Maker as he transforms his dark and miserable world into a joy-filled, happy life. The Dirty Cloud Maker is a reminder of the power of choices, and how each choice we make either brings us closer to happiness or leads us deeper into despair.

Available on Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1686857268

 

Flying High in 2019

Breaking away from old patterns, negative people and difficult situations, 2019 brings a sense of adventure, new energy and promise to all those who seek a new beginning.

Adventure calls in many ways.  Be open to exploring both your inner self and the world around you. A new path emerges, as the old one fades away.

Fly into the unknown and brave the future.

Adventure is calling…