In the past few months, TOMTE has served as reinforcement that we are not alone; there are thousands of people in Sydney who share a passion for pausing and sipping artisan tea. We’re not talking about loose leaf tea disguised with artificial flavouring and sweeteners (check the back of the box). We’re talking about farm fresh tea leaves straight from the source, served with nothing more than fresh water. The response has blown me away! This post was inspired by that response and how tea really is more than just leaves and water- tea is about connecting with ourselves.
Only by disconnecting can we truly connect with ourselves. By disconnecting we remove every distraction and are left with just the natural landscape and our thoughts, which we can shape by ourselves, for ourselves. The idea of pausing and removing yourself from your daily world reminds me of words written by Pico Iyer, a travel writer, “I lose myself in the stillness, recalling/knowing that it’s only by stepping briefly away from my wife and bosses and friends that I’ll have anything useful to bring to them”. It’s when distraction, opinion and noise fill us up that there is little room left to be original, to be great. And I believe there is no better way to disconnect and reinvigorate our thought process than through the ritual of tea. I believe that as we practice this ritual it leads to increased awareness, creativity, communication, health, and effectiveness.
This weekend, I propose a challenge to you – Take half an hour out of your day to turn off distraction. Power down your phone. Turn off your email and web browsers. Shut down any social media and alerts. Brew a cup of tea and find a quiet place in your life, preferably outside in the light. Try a garden nearby. Take a blank sheet of paper and keep it next to you for random thoughts, ideas and inspirations. As these circulate, write them down as a way to release them from your mind- create a scribble, a reflection, a list or an idea. It’s your moment to pause and reflect.
Pause. Take three full breaths and notice how you feel. Sip tea and realise you’ve disconnected. This is your place, no one can enter it but you. Enjoy it.