How joyous to receive belated birthday wishes. I get to celebrate all over again. Yet more importantly, I am reminded of the deep, powerful, healing connections I share with others. My heart breaks that many people tell me of their profound sense of isolation and loneliness. I consider myself exceptionally fortunate, for I feel safe in the knowledge that I can rely on my support group. Yet, I need to remember that relationships require tending, just like plants, infants, and...tea. Leave the tea unattended, and the cup can be ruined. You need to understand your tea, what it requires. Does it thrive in boiling water? Would it prefer a quick cold rinse first? Does it like to be steeped for several minutes or for several rounds? You must listen to the tea lest it become bitter and unpalatable.
My good friend, Christy surprised me with a some Green Ecstasy tea by Samovar Tea & Chai. I recently discovered their San Francisco store front a few months ago during a trip to the Bay Area. Wandering around Japantown, I decided I need to visit as many tea houses serving matcha, in any form, as I could within 2 hours, and Samovar was one of them..
Unlike a typical genmaicha matcha, this is an organic green tea from Kagoshima, Japan infused with matcha. The tea is a beautiful vibrant green. The packaging instructs you to cover the leaves with cold water for a minute before steeping with boiling water for 2 minutes, however, I found cooler temperatures, like 170°, made it less bitter, even with the cold bath. I can see readily see this tea becoming one of my mid-afternoon tea meditations, perfect for these current cold, gray Seattle wintry days.
As I sat down with this tea, the second part of Christy's gift, a book by one of our favorite artists, Brain Andreas, Bring Your Life Back to Life. A Guide to Effortless Joy, and discovered today's mediation:
When you finally
let people love you
exactly the way they do,
it's pretty easy to see
they've ever been
trying to do
the whole time.
How often are we guilty of saying, "If you really loved me you would _____ (put your dishes in the sink, never ask me that question, know when I need help, ask me about my day...). I have a mantra I share with patient: "Relationships are conditional; love can be unconditional." To assume a partner doesn't love you because they fails to put their dishes in the sink is misguided, and just plain inaccurate. The behavior - leaving dishes on the counter or on the coffee table - has nothing to do with the capacity or willingness to love. While this could become q condition of the relationship, it should never be confused with the motivation or ability to love. When we make love conditional, we are blind to the gifts of love already surrounding us.
I am so grateful for all the amazing people in my life! Thank you for loving me the way you do.