Ciaran has shared with us the most traditional of tea time rituals: the tea ceremony. But, the best rituals are personal; they're customized to suit your needs and circumstances. Maybe you only have 15 minutes. Maybe you're exhausted and need something simple but nourishing.
Here's how to create your own (tea time) rituals - great for tea time, but they work regardless of the beverage consumed. :)
Create space. Literally & figuratively.
The one thing I always find the most fascinating about tea is that you can't rush the steeping. If it says it needs 5 minutes, it needs 5 minutes -- we haven't invented a contraption that makes that happen faster.
The same goes for ritual time. You need to clear a physical space, as well as uninterrupted time for the ritual occasion to happen. I suggest finding space that is typically free of distraction so you can get into a routine.
Notice I didn't say you need to clear hours of uninterrupted time. If you only have 15 minutes, make it 15 minutes. If you can spare 45, make it 45. Take what you can unapologetically take without berating yourself or suffering negative consequence.
And then...get comfortable.
Like all great moments, a ritual needs something to set the tone of the occasion.
Ok, now that we've cleared some space and you're comfortable, get your ritual started. Here are some great ideas for how to do that. (I'm assuming that your tea kettle is already on the boil, and you've already been prepping your tea -- I find this activity itself quite meditative. The same applies for chopping vegetables, cleaning house before guests come over, making a sandwich before curling up in a reading nook....)
- Read a poem. Out loud.
- Say a little prayer. (Some might say these first two bullets are one and the same!)
- Play a special song or music.
- Light a candle, or incense. Focus on the light and think on your intentions for this tea time.
- Just sit quietly. Sometimes, less is more.
Line up an activity (or activities) that feels good.
You can sit and just relax for your tea ritual, but something tells me you're itching to do something. I understand.
You could meditate. (We have a great tea time meditation, in fact.) Or write in your journal/diary.
How about coloring? Our new tea-themed coloring pages are flying off the virtual shelves. Coloring is fun. Or you could paint something!
Honestly, the world is your oyster here. You could bake bread. You could call your mom. You could listen to nice music. You could eat your favorite macarons. You could go outside and smell the roses, literally.
Just do whatever you do with intention and meaning.
Close the ritual with a moment of gratitude.
Now that you've spent some quality time with your yourself and your chosen mindful activity, it's time to close things down and head back to your to-do list. I like to close down my tea time rituals with a pinch of gratitude.
It's just the mental acknowledgement for this time. Thank yourself for making the space. Give thanks for being able to enjoy great tea and being able to relax with a nourishing activity.
Last, but not least, a reminder: create rituals that work for you, that support and nourish you, that make you feel happy, healthy, whole.
Yes, you deserve it.