Freedom is a word we hear brandished about in life. And yet, as we rush about with daily living, there are things – ego, perception, grasping – that do not facilitate true personal freedom from anger, anxiety and stress. Through a humble cup of tea and awareness, we can use tea as a means of freedom in pursuit of personal change.
Reacting like a startled horse
Have you noticed how we react to others, based on the stories we assume about the person from what they said or did?
We have become gradually more distrustful of the intentions of other people, because we attach a reality to our perceptions about them. We react in reflex, subconsciously rearing up and kicking like a startled horse, when people don’t act the way we expect them to.
Like almost everyone else, I am guilty of this process, without being fully aware at that point of time, how automatic this subconscious process is.
Learning through tea and awareness
But when I slow down my mind’s chatter during a cup of tea at the end of the day, and I reflect on the day’s happenings, I can see more clearly how unhelpful to me to attach reality to such perceptions.
We are all the same. We have the same wishes for happiness, love and companionship. We are all imperfect. We try hard not to make mistakes, but we will make them as we are human.
If the fundamental premise is that everyone makes mistakes, I realise that I shouldn’t be angry or stressed out about the people who may not behave like how I think they should.
If I offended someone, I know it is an unintended mistake. But if someone does the same, I should be aware of my arising reactive thoughts, and make sure I don’t assign it a story involving deliberate intention.
When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.
Slowing down through tea and awareness
One simple way to step back and cultivate awareness is unhurried tea drinking.
I am often caught up during the day with the metaphorical juggling of many balls and making sure they don’t fall on the ground. I get too lost in my busyness, that oftentimes I go through the motions without being fully present.
Taking time to incorporate tea and awareness throughout the day can help place you more in the moment. Once there, you become more aware of what you are doing. I notice the simple joy in preparing and enjoying a cup of tea.
Letting go through tea and awareness
Boil your anger away. As you see the steam rise, think of it as carrying your anger, stress, worries and tightness away.
Breathe in the aroma of tea, as you imagine breathing in all the goodness nature has offered you. Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
Think of the personal connections as you drink the tea. The efforts and skills of all the people, near and far, who came together to bring you this cup of tea. People whom you don’t know, but are just like you. With the same fears, desires and hopes and dreams. You are all connected now through this cup of tea.
And as you swallow the tea, swallow your frustrations and your tensions with the world, but also with yourself.
Breathe out and smile!
Coming back to yourself through tea and awareness
With tea and awareness, I find myself in a calmer frame of mind.
I am more ready to say to myself – let it be.
I am able to let more things go.
When the world is all at odds, and the mind is all at sea.
Then cease the useless tedium, and brew a cup of tea.
There is magic in its fragrance, there is solace in its taste.
And the laden moments vanish, somehow into space.
The world becomes a lovely thing, there’s beauty as you’ll see.
All because you briefly stopped to brew a cup of tea. ~ Anonymous
Wishing you a great day,
Suk-yi is a caffeine lover, blogger, entrepreneur, air quality consultant, environmentalist, world citizen, wife and mother. She explores various topics related to coffee, tea, chocolate and everything in between on her blog. Make sure to follow her on her Facebook Page, Instagram Page and Pinterest Page.