The sacred beauty of an ordinary cup of tea
I have enjoyed my daily ritual of a cup of tea in places all over the world.
Sweet ginger tea, sipped on the floor in a crowded room in Bali amongst translated stories, mint tea savoured in a hotel on the banks of the Nile in Egypt after a long journey on a small boat, iced black tea with lemon, relished whilst watching masterful net fisherman go about their work in the Mekong River in Cambodia, orange pekoe sipped daintily from fine china in a lavish tea room in Sydney.
Each of these cups of tea is linked to a special memory, an experience far from my ordinary life that I am grateful for. But the majority of the tea drinking I have partaken in has been ordinary, gloriously ordinary. And it is these cups of tea that I celebrate, that I see as sacred. The cups of tea that I have had at my kitchen table, on my back step in the sun, curled up in my bed or sunk deep into my lounge. This simple daily act is not glamorous or exciting but has been a comforting contribution to my daily equilibrium, and to be honest, my sanity.
It is these everyday cups of tea that I am most grateful for. These small daily acts represent comfort and solace. On good days, this moment with my cup of tea is an opportunity to ponder all that I have to be grateful for. On overwhelming days, it grounds and soothes me. On hard days, it gives me a moment to connect with my faith and my hope. On mundane days, it allows me to find the wonder in small moments.
There are correlations between maintaining our wellbeing and maintaining an intimate relationship. Whilst grand gestures are a wonderful thing - they provide adventure, surprise and create beautiful memories - our intimate relationships are built day by day, small gesture by small gesture. The ordinary acts of love, thoughtfulness and respect. A smile, a touch, a kindness, an in-joke, the comfort of loving familiarity.
In the same way, whilst our wellbeing is served by our grandiose offerings, such as the holidays and health retreats, it is in the small acts of daily self-care that our personal wellness is truly strengthened.
Our life can be seen as the sum of what we do regularly much more than what we do occasionally. Yet interestingly, we often let the repetition of our everyday acts stop us from seeing the sacredness of these rituals. My everyday cup of tea, drunk in the most ordinary of ways in the most ordinary of places is extraordinarily sacred to me.
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