What a Cup of Tea Taught Me About Mindfulness

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We talk a lot about taking moments for yourself, but what does that actually mean? Does a moment for yourself have to include a cup of tea, a face mask, a massage, or a guided meditation? Certainly not. These are merely helpful tools — means to an end — but the only thing necessary to take a moment for yourself is you. All of you. 

A great example of this is an article by Beth Reacher entitled "What a Cup of Tea Taught Me About Mindfulness.” In it, she discusses her growing frustration with not being able to find a satisfying cup of tea. From the article:

“The pleasure I used to get from drinking a heart-warming cup of tea had totally escaped me. I tried different tea bags, different brands, and although some were ok — mildly enjoyable even — that past pleasure I used to get from a good brew was frustratingly amiss.
Then it dawned on me as another half drunk cup of tea went cold by my laptop — the problem wasn’t with the tea itself, the problem was with me.
You see, crazy as it sounds, I wasn’t fully in the experience of drinking the tea. I had fallen into the habit of popping on the kettle for a distraction and then half-heartedly sipping away whilst busying myself with answering emails. I’d pick up a cup of tea for an early morning meeting, but my head was lost meandering through past memories and planning future events.
The reality is I wasn’t being mindful — in other words, awake and connected to the experience of drinking the tea.”

So if a cup of tea is the tool you choose for your mindful moments, be aware of the whole experience. Watch the steam dance. Savor the aroma and the color becoming more full as your tea steeps. Be the captain of your tea — toss the timer and determine by observation alone when your cup of tea is ready for you. Take a sip and see which flavors sing to you. Is it chamomile? Mint? Take a deep breath and enjoy.

Hugs and bućas!

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