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  • Writer's pictureGenia Young

Let´s Talk Tea



 

Where there’s tea there’s hope. ~Arthur Wing Pinero


I don't recall when my tea drinking habit began but tea is now my constant companion and an essential part of my therapy ritual (along with my oil diffuser) since starting my private practice. My clients have become accustomed to seeing me with a warm beverage in a mug from my expanding collection (Thanks, Chris). As a bonus, this steaming hot beverage is not only a conversation starter but hopefully signals to my clients to take care of their own needs.


Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves — slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. ~Thich Nhat Hanh


The ritual is not so much about drinking the tea as it is the hypnotizing aroma of the steeped tea leaves and the warmth of the cup. It's a sensory experience that also hydrates, and soothes the nerves. A cup of tea can jumpstart my morning, recharge my afternoon, or reset my off button to prepare me for a proper night's slumber (goodnight). Aside from the caffeine, mood enhancement, and other medicinal properties of tea, each sip slows things down so I can be focused and present in the moment.


It is probably no surprise that tea is the second most consumed drink (after water) on the planet (or maybe that's no surprise to a tea drinker). Tea has a long and complex history. It is consumed in many forms and is strongly associated with ceremony and ritual. What I bet you didn't know is that drinking tea is believed to increase creativity. Yes, in addition to its health benefits or mood enhancing properties, tea also has a positive effect on creativity. Reading on, I ask that you expand your definition of creativity. We often say someone is creative if they can produce an aesthetically pleasing piece of art like a painting, a poem, or a song, which is why a lot of people protest ¨I am not creative¨. Creativity not only includes expansive media and expression, but it is also the ability to generate new ideas or bring a fresh perspective to a problem or situation.


Benefits of Drinking Tea

  • Increase attention or alertness

  • Decrease mental fatigue

  • Improve brain function

  • Decrease stress

  • Improve performance on mental tasks

  • Fight disease

  • Boost immune system

All of these have a positive impact on creativity. In addition to the benefits to mind and body, some say tea also invigorates the spirit. The purpose of the tea ceremony is to teach us about the art of living and to gain inner peace.


“When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?” - Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog


Tea in all its forms has also been prominently featured in literature, art, and cinema.


Writers Who Loved Tea


Tea in Art


More Tea Quotes

“Tea is the magic key to the vault where my brain is kept.”- Frances Hardinge


“Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea! How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea.”- Sydney Smith, A memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith


I´m not here to convince you of the science behind tea or convert any coffee or smoothie drinkers (although I do recommend you venture out and try the lesser known mushroom teas- taste better than it sounds.). Can´t forget hot cocoa either. I invite you to challenge yourself to see beyond the seemingly mundane and create your own rituals. As a therapist, I think rituals are such an important part of our work. They provide connection and stability in times of uncertainty and teach us gratitude. They mark time as the beginning, middle, and end of a story. Rituals, like tea, are an ancient part of our human history.


I would love to hear the story of your own collections, a personal ritual, or favorite beverage.


Tea for Two?

Looking for new ways to nurture your mind, body, and spirit through the creative process? Visit my page for more information about my services or contact me here to schedule a free consultation. I´ll put the kettle on.


 

Genia Young is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Board Certified Art Therapist and Certified Art Therapy Supervisor in southern California. For more information about individual art therapy services, art-based clinical supervision or creative coaching, visit www.geniayoung.com or click here to schedule your free consultation.

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