Routines give us stability — rituals provide us with sanctuary.
We are taught routines at a very young age, and they are believed to be notably beneficial for children because they provide a sense of security and surety. Most of us hold fast to our routines in adulthood, and I’m sure every one of us knows what it is like to have our routines upset; just as many have probably experienced what happens when you disturb the habits of another. It throws people off — and they don’t like that!
For some people, their routines give them a sense of control and for those that only have that going for them in their lives — one is advised not to mess with it!
Alarm clocks set to a specific time followed by the exact morning routines are how most people begin their days. Many prepare the night before even right down to what they will wear the next day — this is helpful because it cuts down on the decisions one has to make first thing in the morning. Yes, we easily become creatures of habit. Our daily routines: brushing our teeth, showering, dressing, eating, exercising, going to work, cleaning, making meals, etc., often end up being done mindlessly and meaninglessly — entirely on autopilot. We end up taking these things for granted — things that billions of people on this planet can only dream.
We take our rituals much more seriously — or do we?
Rituals are often associated with religious celebrations, cultural and spiritual traditions, to rites of passage from birth, to puberty, to marriage, and to death. Birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and such are all rites of passage that we acknowledge but tend to marginalize and gloss over the greater meaning.
Often regimented, rituals do take more thought and effort and therefore have more meaning. This is a deep subject that I wish to touch upon for the sake of tying into our rituals as tea drinkers. Oh yes; for many, tea drinking is a routine as well, and one for which many take pride. Just as routines become mundane, we can turn rituals into mindless events, too.
So, let’s not do that — let’s wake up — period!
Many “gurus,” spiritual or business, will often tell you that how you start your day sets the tone for the success of your business, and for your life.
To begin the day being mindful of the many blessings we all have is a powerful way to start the day — this also takes what is routine, elevate it, and can turn it into a ritual.
As I’ve been saying for almost fifteen years now — a simple cup of tea has the power to transform one’s life. Turned into a personal ritual — the graceful act of mindfully sipping one’s tea refreshes and resets the mind, the day, the mood, the situation, the problem; and a mind and heart relieved of stress and strife is unstoppable.
The ritual of preparing, serving, and sipping tea becomes sacred, as we’ve witnessed and been taught about in the tea industry.
Water is often involved with sacred rituals as it is in our routines, morning and otherwise. From cooking, cleaning, cleansing and nourishing the body, or boiling it for tea, water is a reminder of the sanctity of life — without it, we perish — life perishes. Water is purification, it’s baptism, it’s fluidity, it’s renewal, it’s fertility, it’s transformation, and deeply symbolic in every culture, and essential for a perfect cup of tea.
Each ritualistic sip is a blessing — it’s an expression of gratitude — a reconnection with something that joyfully returns us to our higher selves.
More on the rituals of tea in my next post …
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