Friday, January 11, 2013

Good Bye Caffeine Jitters and Hello Comfort and Joy

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions: they are a resolute way of making one feel bad about one’s self because they set us up for failure. Picking one day to suddenly change something, usually negative, in one’s life is like expecting to wave a magic wand to make a wish come true. A true transformative change occurs when an intention is set and given enough mental energy to bring a person’s behavioral patterns slowly up and over a new horizon. It takes concentration, planning and a crescendo of momentum to build.

My intentions for 2013 were to become more mindful in my every moment, to stay completely conscious in the present, and to nurture only authentic connections in my life. Why? Because I am going to turn 40 this year and let’s face it, with age we start to finally pay attention to the fact of our mortality and we no longer want to waste time. There were a few small things I could see that would help along my goal if they were erased from my habits. One of them was accepting social invitations to parties where the only thing occurring would be small talk and drinking and the other was to stop drinking coffee every morning and switch over to the poignant ritual of tea.

For fifteen years, I have been a three-cup a day girl and oh how I loved the smell of fresh roasting beans and the taste of a cup sweetened with cream and sugar. Oh how addicted I was to instant jolt of “hello world” a cup of java would bring. Oh how I would sail through the morning getting work done a plenty only to crash around mid-afternoon into the much-needed nap of coming off of my drug of caffeine. Oh how I realized that in my new intent towards mindfulness I no longer wanted to ingest anything into my body that caused it to operate on rote and then come down into a cloud of funk. I wanted coffee to be placed back in a proper place of the occasional after dinner party drink or a quick espresso in a smoky cafe while traveling, relegated back into the land of a special treat.

So I did it. I packed up the espresso machine, cleaned the French press for its new life as a steeper of tea, told the Cute Gardener he could put the pot I use for sleep-overs away in deep storage, ordered up a bunch of fresh leaves of Earl Grey, Yerba Mate, Chai, Morrocan Mint, Vainlla Rooibos and Sleepy Time Chamomile from Teavana and started my new life as a tea girl.

Everyone told me I would experience migraine headaches from quitting the amount of caffeine I would consume, but strangely enough because I meditated daily filling my head with white light and visualization exercises to counteract the potential aches, I miraculously had NARY A ONE.

What I have come to love deeply about tea is the way you have to mindfully prepare a cup knowing that each one is different. The way you treat each one especially for its own identifying properties whether it be the length of time the water heats or boils to the amount of time it steeps. The way some cups go better with warmed milk and the way others go better with honey. The way you hold a hot cup in your hands and breathe in the life-affirming scents of deep roots, herbs and leaves. The way your belly rises to meet the stream of liquid diffusing anti-oxidants and other soul-essentials into your berth.

My body and my mind are my temples and this is the year I treat them as the powerful vessels they are with respect and a disciplined ascent into their full powers. I think 40 is going to be my best year yet …

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