The 358th year of British #Tea: time for a #mindful pause?

I see Google is celebrating the British cuppa today. Which is a good thing I think. In spite of Britain supposedly falling out of love with tea in favour of coffee, anecdotally, I know loads of people who drink both.

I like most drink coffee out and tea in. Although, i’m bucking the trend and like my teabags round (I also like them fairtrade)…

At the end of the day however, there are less tea drinkers in Britain, and why? Bcause we just cant be bothered. The Independent says:

Tea’s fading popularity is attributed to faster-paced living, a generation gap and a stodgy image. Many people these days do not want to take the time to brew tea, and even fewer will interrupt their busy days for the leisurely, civilized ritual of afternoon tea, a 19th-century invention of Anna, seventh Duchess of Bedford, who decided that tea and cakes were the best antidote to a late afternoon ”sinking feeling.”

But wait, isn’t that the point of a cup of tea? A time in the day where we can stop, and savour the moment rather than rush on by? Perhaps in our modern world we need a touch of old fashioned.

Maybe the humble British brew could in fact help us all not rush headlong into busy oblivion….

And then again perhaps it is just, a nice brew.

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Drying #mint for #tea and #mindfulness

I like herb tea more and more, especially since I was given this:

It makes the whole thing so much more of a treat. 

And it turns out, drying your own herbs adds to the experience. I know green tea is good for you but that doesn’t stop it tasting too earthy for my liking on it’s own. 

Mint to the rescue. And mint on its own, especially if you pick it and steep it straight away is just heavenly. 

So I thought I would also try drying it. So far, so good:

All this time taken, just for a cuppa you ask?

But the time taken allows me to savour and enjoy my cup of tea in a way slinging a bag in a mug just wouldn’t allow for and it leaves me much more satisfied.

Mindfulness has its uses.

#mindfulness, #God and the present moment

I’m on day 29 of the headspace app, and at the moment I am supposed to be doing a particular mindful exercise. Each time I get up or sit down I am to be present to the movement as it happens.
It is ridiculously difficult. Who would have thought?
I mean all it is is getting up and sitting down! It’s a good exercise and makes the point about being present to your own life.

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While I was thinking about all this, God spoke to me, and said:

You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
Psalm 239:2

Oh wow ❤

Think about it, I’m not even that present to myself, and yet God is.

What love. It fills me with joy just thinking about it.
I long to be present to God in that way, and present to other people. Surely this kind of presence, of selfless attention, is the road to loving God and neighbour, the two things Jesus says everything else hangs on.

Perhaps my mindfulness meditation and practices might help me with this most beautiful of things.

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#mindfulness and #dogwalking in #Thetford

It’s grey today, but the weather has been just lovely this week. It has allowed me to pause and really drink in life.

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While the dog mooches around I have been able to stop and savour the now: the warmth of the sun on my arms, the sound of the leaves moving gently in the trees, the sight of blossom everywhere and upturned geese in the river searching for a little breakfast.

It’s all balm for the soul.

My new #blog offering #mindful workshops and courses

I work four days a week at the moment, and it has given me the chance to think about and now finally act upon an idea I have carried for a long time. This is from the new blog,

Blue canary bird house 

I hope you might go and take a look 🙂

For fifteen years or so, I have carried a dream. To begin with, it looked like a retreat centre, but how expensive is that? Now I am attempting to go to where people already are.

I long to provide a space where people can find rest for their minds and souls, a place where they might find skills to help them in their everyday lives and a little oasis of calm in the meantime.

Hence the Blue Canary Birdhouse. It is an obscure reference, but if you remember the80’s song by they might be giants about a little blue canary night light, it makes more sense:

“Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch

Who watches over you

Make a little birdhouse in your soul”

So here I am, offering courses and workshops for community groups and churches in order to help people build their own birdhouses for their souls.

All things #New Year’s Day including first #journal page of the year

This year instead of resolutions, I have decided to go for goals.

The difference may well only be in my head, but it feels much more positive and doable to me.

They are fairly predictable and revolve around my relationship with:

God
Family
Work
Me

But they are all things which feel hopeful.  It has been born out of the middle of a mindfulness course at the moment.

It is helping me take a different approach to life. Instead of fighting the things I want to change, i am instead, learning a more peaceful approach.

For example instead of fighting the temptation to eat my own weight in chocolate, I am learning to walk away and do something more productive instead.

Its how I have been teaching teens to deal with bullies for years.

Anyway, the bible puts it this way:

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18

I think that includes living at peace with myself.

To finish, one of my goals is to journal smash book style each week. This is today’s page:

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And if you would like the journal cards I made, here they are:

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Happy New Year x