Settling in for Tea

Two months ago, I gave up coffee.

More specifically, I gave up drinking coconut milk espresso miel lattes, which (when drinking 16 ounces every morning) had increased both my waistline and my migraines. It was a choice I had been considering for a while, but after a minor health scare, I realized it was time.

But the ritual of a warm mug, quiet reflection, and the thoughtfulness of my morning coffee is so important to me -- a time for me to slow down and really settle into my skin. I knew I didn't want to give up this experience, but how to keep it a sacred journey while honoring my body and needs?

I return to tea.

The exact origins of drinking tea are a little cloudy, but the truth is that the ritual began with the holy ones: the preachers and teachers and mystics of ancient China. Over centuries, drinking tea has traveled continents, survived wars, and divined a great many amazing (and sometimes tragic) events. Though the tools and the ingredients may change, drinking tea is a staple of world culture, and it is the perfect solution for my aching heart.

My friend Lindsay cultivates dozens of beautiful tea blends on her farm in the Pacific Northwest. She writes about the ways one can brew a cup of tea (based on the kind of tea and how you wish to drink it) over here in The Alchemy of Brewing.

But what is most important to me isn't the act of preparation, but the showing up. Allowing the space for your cup of tea to be a time of personal reflection and integration: into your day and back into your body. While you might choose to journal your responses, I also encourage you to simply show up and consider your thoughts on these questions.

* What is going well for me this week? * What would I like to change the course of before next week? * What one thing can I choose to do today that will help my heart feel whole? * How do I choose to meet the world today? * What is my message to other weary travelers on this journey? * Who am I showing up as, in this very moment? * How can I, in this moment, honor my wild heart?