Friday, 30 December 2011

A steep in the right direction.

Most people don't put much thought into their morning brew. If you're anything like me, then you're likely to put the cereal in the fridge on occasional. It's a good thing I like my frosted flakes.

I tend to stick with some kind of breakfast tea in the morning, appropriately enough, since, as you may have guessed, my brain needs a little encouragement in the mornings.

We all drink tea for our own reasons. Some need to relax and drink chamomile, while proponents of ayurvedic medicine drink a special brew of herbs that helps to balance out their particular dosha. What does tea do for you?

It's the end of the year and I am feeling particularly reflective, so I'd like to share with you what tea has done for me.

A few years ago, I took a course on abnormal psychology and met the person who would start me on my tea drinking quest. We were both particularly keen on learning about abnormal psychology, sat next to each other in class, and got along fairly well, so getting together to discuss the intricacies of the human psyche seemed logical.

It became a regular practice to meet several times a week, closing out multiple tea shops.

At first I would stick to basically the same tea at each place and would not stray far from "old faithful", aka Earl Grey. Eventually though, as our perspectives broadened through mutual exchange of ideas (She was very artistic and holistic in her thought processes, whereas I was much more logical and algorithmic.), the desire to branch out and try new teas began to grow inside me.

After the course ended and we both did splendidly, I more or less stopped drinking tea. (She went to Concordia University to take art therapy after that semester so the regular tea drinking escapades stopped.)

This summer, however, another friend of mine introduced me to a tea shop that I had never seen before, even though I had walked by it many times. My first cup of tea there, a buttered rum flavored tea, was pretty amazing, so I started going there more and more frequently.

They had a "tea of the day" deal on in the summer, where you could get a cup of tea for 1$ so long as you had a certain mug, which I purchased without hesitation. Little did I know it, but that seed that was planted earlier began to grow with every new tea and I eventually decided to try every tea from the store.

This quest had an unexpected consequence: I began to think about tea, and myself, in a new light.

 I noticed that certain teas could counteract particular imbalances. For example, chamomile tea can decrease anxiety, and caffeinated teas can counteract the tendency to refrigerate cereal.

I then started thinking about the tendencies that I have-how I react to certain situations, how I think about others, how I approach my daily life.- and began to look for "imbalances". In other words, which tendencies are helping me, and which are maladaptive? Moreover, if a certain tendency is maladaptive, what can I do to compensate for this?

In other words, the quest for tea drinking glory has caused me to leave some of my old tendencies behind. Which, I must say, has been a steep in the right direction.

Live long and prosper,


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