With curiosity and compassion.
Back in January my resolution was to simply acknowledge myself: physically, mentally, emotionally. There's nothing simple about it when I've spent most of my life denying, cutting off, or trying to alter my own perceptions to reflect acceptable values. Three months in, and I'm having a hard time. Thoughts are tricksy, tricksy. However, when I do remember, it's freeing since I really only have one step: feel.
A yoga teacher once said to be mindful in your practice with curiosity and compassion. I've found that to extend beyond the mat.
I do not want to review teas for this blog. I have gotten offers from companies. The most popular tea blogs do reviews. I could get free samples and more followers. But I don' wanna. There. Feelings acknowledged.
How exactly do I feel when thinking about tea reviews on Steepings? No judgement, just curious...
Another item on the to-do list, overwhelmed, guilt if I don't do it timely, guilt if I don't like it, sucking all the joy out of drinking tea by making it a measured obligation. It would be like homework, like doing dishes, like the feeling of the entire ugly, cold, wet month of March...
A+ for honesty there. Now, I do write about teas I'm drinking, so what are the feelings about that? Compassionate ears...
I enjoy randomly finding teas. I like to look at the cover art on boxes in a store, or try a free sample in a cafe, or accept a cup at a friend's house and discover something new. I received a packet of Republic of Tea Hi-Caf one month in their catalog and really liked it, so I bought a tin, and when a friend was over and needed a jolt, I brewed it for him. That made me feel happy to recommend.
I'm all for sharing my thoughts on tea but not because I have any authority-wielding tastebuds, just because...well, it's fun! I think of Steepings as inviting a friend over once a week to brew a cup with good intentions, sitting down on a couch together, then babbling about everything and anything on my mind. No expectations, just good company with good tea.
(Full disclosure now: I did write to Tea-rrific Ice Cream company offering to review their product. I can almost guarantee I'll write a good review if I get a coupon for a free sample. I can make a moral exception for ice-cream...)
I'm currently running a Hogwarts Philosophy discussion group for teens. We're reading selected essays from this book and then chatting. Last week, we discussed the different aspects associated with each House, and how any of them could be extremely evil or good. At one point we wondered what virtue was the epitome of all virtues, and most kids had "kindness" or a variation on it as their answer. I offered compassion, but I said that we had to be compassionate to ourselves most of all.
That got me confused looks. I tried to explain that we can only be truly compassionate to others if we practice on ourselves first- often we are our harshest critics. Not sure I sold them on that idea, but at least I snuck it in their developing brains. Mwa-ha-ha.
The latest Republic of Tea catalog had dandelion tea as their sample. Haven't tried it yet, but when I do I might write about it. Maybe I won't.
(Compassionate, I hope.)
Move with intention.