Grace of Tea
Grace of Tea
I discovered the beauty of tea from my grandmother and my mother.
Each morning as I was growing up I watched the morning ritual of pouring tea.
It was a typical tradition : boil the water, grab the tea bag and put it in the mug, pour the water and sit. They would sip and sit and sip and sit.
Sometimes my grandmother would see the birds out of the window and make a comment. Sometimes my mother would look out into the distance and smile.
Words were not often spoken. Nothing seemed to be happening.
In reflection, however, I witnessed a routine each morning that I have come to know as their own version of contemplative meditation.
Meditation can take many forms. And one of my favorite paths of meditation is found in an ancient practice called the Tea Ceremony.
The essence of the Tea Ceremony is to be fully present to your Self and to the process of preparation, pouring and sharing tea. It is with an open-heart and mindful attention that we serve for the benefit of ourselves and of others.
It is a kind of meditation in action. And it is a way to bring attention and intention into your daily routine and make it a shared experience, as well as a solo endeavor.
One of the most delightful things about a Tea Ceremony is that it can be created for your Self or with others and so, the meditation becomes a process of expansion and spaciousness. A shared experience for guest and host.
Each moment is unique and transient. There is only one moment – this moment. It will never occur again in this way.
Whether you are preparing tea for yourself or for others, it is an opportunity to celebrate the moment and care for yourself and others.
See the magic in what is ordinary.
This magic is always available to us when we slow down, pay attention to our ordinary experience and allow ourselves to simply be.
Global Tea Hut
To bring extra joy to my personal tea ceremony, each month I receive a beautiful package of tea, a gift and a magazine about tea from the Global Tea Hut, a tea community in Taiwan, China.
This month's gift was about honoring the Year of the Sheep and it's lessons on abundance. And in the spirit of sharing, I share this process with You.
I always look forward to this subscription ~ more than any other mail I receive each month. The magazine is incredibly thoughtful and educational and insightful.
The gifts each month are surprisingly generous and the tea is amazing.
You can subscribe, too, and be a part of the community that serves others so kindly.
In the meantime, whether you are a tea or coffee drinker, please remember to sit, breathe and be still.
Want to learn more about tea + meditation, check out mydailyom.com.
This is the Dalai Lama Calling
Are you Ready?
In New York City there is always someone doing something amazing, off-the-charts, innovative, out-of-this-world, gorgeous, connected, and well, just BIG! And living in New York City now for over 20 years, I have noticed the cycles of creativity and the rhythm of flow and there are seasons for everything.
There are moments in our lives when we feel that nothing is happening. We are bored, flat-lined, depressed, out of sorts, not motivated.
And then comes the existential wondering :s What am I doing with my life? What's the big picture? or maybe you consider questions of happiness .... What's going to make me happy? Is what I'm doing now bringing me joy?
The cycle of inquisition and reflections starts and the mind, the heart and the body start to move in all sorts of directions. What's is all about? And what am I supposed to do now?
Wherever you go with this cycle, it often-times may feel like it is a state that lasts too long and yet, this "flat-line" time period may be the most important times of your life. Pay attention to them. And watch and listen and take action. One conscious step at a time.
When it feels like there is NOTHING happening in your life is precisely the time when you need to PREPARE and PLAN for the moment when something IS going to happen.
Because when the Dalai Lama calls for you, you want to be ready!
And you don't know when that time will come. SO get ready.
The time you need to go deep is during that downtime when there is no creativity flowing, when the world feels dull, when the days are long and you feel lonely and disconnected from your source.
This is the time you need to go deep and it looks a little different than you might expect. Maybe it is going on that yoga retreat or meditation weekend or writing or getting the therapy appointment on the books. But, if you've been down this road a couple of times, you know, those activities may be good for a short-term fix but then the duldroms creep back into your life. So what makes real change?
It's not what you think. Ready?
Get organized with your external space and your internal space will miraculously shift, too.
Here's your homework:
Clean the closets, wipe down the counters, organize the pictures and the mail, sit for longer meditations, stock the pantry with food, sweep the floor, buy candles and incense, do the laundry, clear out the cobwebs and button up the shirts! In other words, PREPARE for your magic day. And do it with purpose and intention and clarity for as long as it takes until you have the moment when you get the call from the Dalai Lama. And it will come.
And You will be ready! YES!
The "call from the Dalai Lama" is code for the opportunity that you've been waiting to arise. And when that opportunity comes, you want to be ready. And furthermore, you want to be ready to CHOOSE if you wish to engage and receive it or not.
Our preparation leads us to the awakening to more opportunities. And these opportunities are happening in every day many times a day. When we are busy with other circumstances and conflicted with extraneous noise, some opportunities do not have a place yet and we have to wait for an opening.
When you get skilled at this preparation practice, you will notice that you may sometimes desire the periods of flat-lining to return again so there is time to relax and renew and reassess values, goals, intentions and quality of attention. Then the time comes and we start again.
This flow is not always so smooth. There are big waves and small waves and obstacles and setbacks, but the important thing to remember is to continue to prepare for the future that is awaiting you. And when opportunity knocks you can say, "I'm Ready!" and choose if it is what you wish to create or wait for the next opportunity that comes.
It is in the preparation that we have the power of choice.
And that is ultimate power : self responsibility, self accountability and freedom of choice!
So make your bed, take a bath, fold the laundry, do the dishes, sweep the floor, fluff the pillows, prepare the flowers, pour the tea and sit.
Your opportunity will come and you will be ready!
Power of Presence
I have a big wig New York City yoga client who is one of those hot shot merger and acquisitions dudes. If I shared with you the companies he works with, you might be uber impressed. He's got a family, a couple of houses, a huge business and a big life.
I see him each week in his townhouse on the Upper East Side, New York City, that he dedicates to his well-being...meaning he has another home where he lives with his family. The townhouse is his space to chill and renew. But who cares about the rich and famous, right? What's the point?
Well, there are many things that are super impressive about this man, but what I find incredibly inspiring and empowering is this: HE IS PRESENT.
When we work together, his smart phone is in another room and he is completely in his practice.
A man with three kids, a wife, a household, a huge business and a heck of a lot of responsibility beyond the scope of most people, is off line and unavailable for a solid hour. No multi-tasking. He is in the moment and completely dedicated to his learning, his health and well-being and his purpose.
This got me thinking about success and the amazing successful people that I know in my life and what I notice is that people who have success in their live have certain qualities that they embody.
Commitment, Dedication, Presence, Goals, Clarity, and Coaching
I'm sure they have many other important qualities that keep themselves operating at the top of their game, but it seems like these leaders know what they want, they know how to delegate, they know how to perform, they know how to be accountable and responsible and they really get things done.
They are ALL IN with their life and their responsibilities. They are connected to the understanding that they are in charge of their lives and what they create in the world is up to them. They make it happen and stick with it with consistency.
They know how to delegate and what they are good at and what they can give up and keep moving towards the goal.
They are in alignment and stay connected to the moment and look at big picture goals and visions, as well as the details that need to be congruent to make it all happen.
They know what they want and seek out ways to make it happen in manageable bites and bigger chunks. But they create goals that are specific, measurable, accountable, reachable and timely (aka SMART goals).
They know what they want and they go for it. With clarity, they keep moving forward despite obstacles or setbacks. Clarity brings freedom.
Successful people seek coaches and other leaders and colleagues who are better than they are to continue to learn and accelerate their growth and potential. They build and seek a team around them that is stronger and more knowledgeable than themselves to keep evolving.
In the yoga industry, it is like teachers seeking teachers. We all want someone who has "been there before" to show us the way.
Here's Your Homework
Ask Yourself? Am I in alignment with my Highest Potential? Where could I be better with these leadership qualities in my life? What do I want? Am I ready when the big opportunity comes knocking at my door? What steps do I need to take to keep moving forward?
One step at a time the house gets built. Build your house on a firm foundation and make it a beautiful representation of your Self and your Dream.
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Chocolate + Poetry
Chocolate + Poetry are two of my favorite things EVER!!!
When you buy a ChocoLove bar, you get the best of both worlds!
If you but knew
How all my days seemed filled with dreams of you.
How sometimes in the silent night
Your eyes thrill through me with their tender light,
How oft I hear your voice when others speak,
How you 'mid other forms I seek -
Oh, love more real than though such dreams were true
If you but knew.
- Unknown Author
Pitango's Tea Surprise
I discovered iMovie on my iPad and it's been so much fun exploring different elements and aspects of life to share in different ways of mood and temperament that come together in harmony. This is my second insta-film. Hope you enjoy it!
This insta-film is about my dear friend, Pitango.
We met in 2010 on Prince Street where he sold his rings. He was a street vendor there for 20 years and I walked by him for 20 years before I actually "saw" him. When we met, it was a friendship from the soul and heart that will last forever.
He is a great teacher of life and love and laughter.
Please share on social media!
Four Steps to Bliss
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