Best post from the Year of the Monkey

Year of the Monkey had many ups and downs, but here is the best posts from that year. Best luck in the new Lunar New Year of the Rooster, in your life, tea, spiritual life and that you seek creativity everywhere.

       Happy Lunar New Year! (Gong Hey Fat Choi! ) We are no longer in the year of the mischievous monkey. The year of the rooster is said to bring about change away from the craziness of the monkey (want more info check out Astrostyle for a glimpse into this new year ). Last year sure had its ups and downs. I sure know that I felt the mischievous monkey adding craziness to my own life (I am born in the year of the Rabbit). Tea Journey felt it the most as I was still working through anxiety and depression for the earlier part of the year. But on the bright side it let me re frame how I went about creating posts and the content I wanted to create.

        I have said that I wanted to get right down to the soul of tea many times, and in various ways. It was not till that break that I was able to reframe and find that place where both this blog and I were happy. Over the course of this year there will be changes to Tea Journey but it will be all for the good. For those of you who have noticed the lack of tea on here, it is because of this reframing.
      I truly want to go into the tea lifestyle of sages and modernize it. Many of us tea fanatics just stop short of understanding what lies beyond our cup that we forget about what truly makes it so special for so many around the world. I dearly hope you will stick around and come with me for this journey.

How to become a better person with Sen no Rikyu’s 4 principals of Japanese tea

Jump Start your own Tea Journey with these books on Tea

Releasing 2016 and greeting 2017 (Free new year planer printable)

Picking your word of the year (Free year ahead printable planner)

Three quick and easy ways to add a creative touch to a gift

Simple self care ideas for after a busy day

Create this for the Lunar New Year: Tea infused Liquor

Why you need to attend Networking Confrences Now

  What stood out last year (think beyond this blog) for you? No matter that it may be , share it in the comments or over instagram/twitter. Shout it out loud and be proud for the good that has come your way. Many wishes for you to have even more good come to you.

4 principals of Japanese Tea (Sado) that will help you become a better version of yourself

There is a lot to learn from japnese Tea ceremony. The best place to start is Sen No Rikyuu's 4 Principals which you can easily use in your life now to become a better version of yourself.

Since the beginning of my tea journey Japanese tea has been a focus. I feel for Sen no Rikyu’s vision of tea and how relations in the tea room should be. If you are new to tea or its your first time hearing about Rikyu then let me give you a bit of some points to start out.


  Rikyu lived during the Sengoku period which was very war stricken in Japan. Why is this point important? There was a very distinct divide between classes. Samurai, Aristocrats, Farmers etc were all in different classes with set expectations on how to interact between them. 

 But Rikyu was a rebel and began to teach that everyone is treated equally in the tea room (yup even the Aristocrat had to treat a farmer as an equal). It removed barriers and became even more ingrained into the Japanese Tea Ceremony. 

  To build further on his concept of equality, 4 principles were developed. These four are still taught to students of Tea Ceremony. For us we can use these four to change how we interact with each other and grow as a society together. Start with yourself by setting an example for those around you by taking these four in to your heart and making them part of your truth.

WA – Harmony

With his hope that tea guests respected each other no matter who they were, even the Shogun became an equal in the tea room. With that everyone played their part which contributed to the larger picture.
For modern times, working towards seeing everyone as equals and treating them as such. Also working along side with others by striving to have a harmonious relationship.  

  Apply this to your own life by letting status, dress, job/career etc not effect how you interact with those around you. After working a few years in Toronto’s Financial district, everyone was an equal. But that does not mean that I had moments where I slipped. When it happened I told myself that those identifiers had no meaning to who that person was when they are taken away (yes I had to ignore that great Kate Spade bag in the moment). Closing my eyes, breath in and out and try again.

KEI – Respect

Can you already see how these all link up together? Respect is something that we all wish to have from those around us. But have you thought about applying it to the world around you?  Rikyuu fostered not only mutual respect amongst participants and host, but also of the tea space and tools. 

Respecting tools was very important (okay any item) as it was widely  believed that after 100 years of its life it could come alive, while it is superstitious. It became common practice to repair items many many times till it was no longer usable. Once that time was up it would be given a little something like a memorial, in thanks for its service. 

   

 Now I am not saying being superstitious about your belonging, I am saying take care of them and thank them for their help once you are done with them. The KonMari cleaning craze even promotes thanking items, which the author also cites the same reasoning as I just did. The item has done so much for you. It may seem odd to thank them but would you not thank a friend for helping you? Treat everything around us with respect, people and the things around us.

SEI – Purity

  I previously made a reference to KonMari, this is a great example for purity.  While you may have thought I was going to point towards meditation or tea, cleaning our space is just as important. One problem we have (I do too) is too much stuff. We have so much that it is nearly impossible to keep things tidy and clean. 

An idea from KonMari is to only keep what brings you joy. Yes you read that right joy. Not “I might need this” or “I am going to use this someday”. All those excuses need to go. Keep just what brings you joy. Like makes you feel all bubbly inside and adoration. The rest needs to get gone (don’t forget to thank them) or be donated. There after you will be able to keep things pure and tidy.

  In Japanese Tea Ceremony it is traditional to clean all the instruments infront of guests. Now they are clean before starting but it is to show the purity and respect towards the tools. Give yourself (and your mind) a “cleaning” buy tidying your space.

JAKU- Tranquility

 As you may have guessed this is where (finally) meditation comes in. But I am going to also say that it does not need to be traditional meditation. Tranquility is cultivating calmness, quiet and being serene. If traditional meditation is not your thing this is for you.  

  Last week we talked about self care, those are amazing ideas to use to cultivate tranquility. We really zone out as we dive into something to just pamper ourselves. Or if you are a creative (any type of creative practice), get lost for a while as you make something new. For me that has been creating things for my planner, creating printables (for you all), scrapbooking, painting… you get the idea. 

   In Rikyuu’s terms this would have been traditional meditation but there is so much more out there that we can do to live up to the definition of the word.

There is so much to learn from Japanese Tea Ceremony and its masters. I hope that you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it for you.
If you have any comments please share them either below or over twitter. I can not wait to hear from you. 

My Favorite oils to diffuse to boost productivity

Saje is a Canadian wellness company which has made life much more productive. This selection of their oils is what has helped me not only stay healthy but be more productive in all parts of life.

Staying productive can be a struggle without a little help. With so many options for productivity systems sometimes we want something a little simpler. Over the last year I have been experimenting with different oils and have created a collection to help with focus and resetting.

Brainstorm Collection

This set has been on my list since I got a nebulizer. Every blend in this set was curated together will wake you up and gear you up to hustle. Refresh is perfect for breaks (or if you need a kick while under the weather). Quick Study puts you in the right mindset instantly. Exhale will help you clear your mind before a deep brainstorm session (or even a meditation session). Lastly, Energy is a citrusy wake up call to start any project you have on your plate

Saje is a Canadian wellness company which has made life much more productive. This selection of their oils is what has helped me not only stay healthy but be more productive in all parts of life.

#Wellness Limited Edition Collection

When you are working mobile, this is the set to have on hand. Place a drop or so on three finger tips and massage into the crook of your neck or behind your ears. It’s the quick and easy way to use oils but be cautious, check the application area regularly. If there is any irritation, wash it off with a bit of soap and water. If you want to be a bit more cautious, then a slight sniff will be better. But let’s check out what is in here. Calm Down is perfect for when a problem is really stressing you out and you need to clear your mind. Chill Out is for when you really get into your work but need to come back to the real world (and need to relax). Get Going will kick off your work session as soon as you get to your destination. It’s a small kit that will easily fit in any bag or purse, the ultimate mobile oil set.

Saje is a Canadian wellness company which has made life much more productive. This selection of their oils is what has helped me not only stay healthy but be more productive in all parts of life.

Liquid Sunshine Blend

This blend is also called “cheerful diffuser blend”, which is so true as it blasts away the seasonal blues. On days I know I need the extra help to wake up I turn on my nebulizer, with this oil in it that I placed there the night before. While sipping my morning cup, this oil urges me to wake up quicker than usual. Perfect oil to jump on a project earlier in the day (for me that is anytime before 10am) or you have a few minutes to get ready before going out last minute.

Saje is a Canadian wellness company which has made life much more productive. This selection of their oils is what has helped me not only stay healthy but be more productive in all parts of life.
These oils can be used alone or mixed together. Such as Energy Boost with a touch of Refresh gives you just the right amount of balance, relaxed yet with a bit of a kick. Head to your nearest Saje to give them a try.

4 meditation videos that will change your life

We all have tried different things to keep up with life that is going beyond human speed. Thankfully through that time research has been done to find solutions and it’s completely free. Meditation. Sitting in silence while either being guided through a voice clip, focusing on your breath or using a mala to count chants.
It can be quite intimidating the first time , so check out this selection of short guided meditations. Each one was hand picked for an easy length, tone and use. Pick a time of day and try one (or all of them) out.

Meditation has been proven to help in many areas of our lives, namely health. Try one or all of this collection of meditation videos to change your life.

Ease Anxiety

Combat fear and worry that can make you anxious, preventing you from carrying on with your day. If you ever need help calming down or want something to use to prevent, and control, any anxious feelings.

Increase Productivity

  Give yourself a little meditative “pep-talk” by banishing any thoughts that will keep you from getting everything you want done. If you have a project that you want to get done before your deadline, this is the meditation to turn to.

Boost of Energy

 It is often that we need an extra boost of energy at some point in the day. This short meditation is excellent to do during a break to refresh your mind and body. Afterwards you can go back to your to-do list with confidence that you can get through it all.

Restful Sleep

 It is no surprise that this type of meditation ended up on this list. Sleep is very important, we need about 6-9 hours depending on your age (more once we get close to 50). Set yourself up for the deep sleep you need by following this meditation to lull you off to dreamland.

Positive Morning Start

  Deepak Chopra is one of my favorite authors and he also creates meditation videos. This one has a focus on setting the right intentions for a fruitful day with a positive mindset. The best part of this one is its very short under 4 minutes! Try it before you get out of bed and feel the difference it makes.

Whether you are looking to try out meditation or start a practice, I hope this collection of videos helps you on your journey.  If you have discovered any other videos, share them in the comments below.

5 Crystals to help you balance your life

Crystals have different vibrations which can help us balance our lives. Their metaphysical and spiritual properties may assist with health and  emotional balances. Pick up a stone and try it out.

    Whether you are looking for something that will help you stay grounded or new way to energize your tea, crystals are a great way to go. The energy vibrations of crystals can assist with many things. While there is no scientific information to back it, but that does not count for the experiences of the many. The only explanation is through quantum physics, which If you are interested in this I would urge you to look more into it.


     On a simplistic level, these stones give off vibrations which work along with the energetic vibrations of our own bodies. This is good as it can improve certain aspects of ourselves just by having them near us. Today I am going to introduce to you my top 5 crystals that you can use to balance out your life, or even add to your kettle for tea.

Jade

     This stone can come in a variety of colors, the most commonly found is green. With the color in mind it is no wonder this stone is thought to bring good luck, money, and wealth. Less common ones are aid in decision making,balance out the heart chakra, balance out nerves, and has been known to assist in recalling dreams.  Global Tea Hut sent out a small selection of stones in 2011, which included Jade and Quartz. Adding crystals to your tea is a great way to infuse your tea with other energetic properties.

Moonstone

        I picked this stone up as a child due to its name and my attachment to Pokemon. Today, I feel off balance with out having the stone with me. It’s said properties include aid in fortune-telling with use of intuition, enhancing feminine power, and aid syncing with the moon. It is known as a women’s stone as it resonates strongly with the bodies natural cycle and functions. Try having the stone on you for a few days and take note of how you feel, if you tend to feel floaty this stone should help bring you clarity.

Clear Quartz

       As mentioned before Jade and Quartz were sent by Global Tea Hut to add to our kettles. This is because Clear Quartz is helpful for grounding and balancing any of the bodys chakras. While quartz comes in many colors, clear is the most common out of all of them. It assists in meditation, clearing away negative energy, increases inspiration and healing. It can help with more than I have listed if you “program” the stone, but that is for another day.

Amethyst

    This stone is very important for those who have anxiety or stress related health problems. It is a version of quartz but  for on this list it needed its own spot. It has been also known to help with recalling dreams, assist with sleep, eliminate impatience and promote inner strength. Give your meditation practice a boost and hold it it during your next practice, it has been known to assist in calming the mind for deep meditation.

Aventurine

  This stone is relatively new to me but it has been a great addition to my everyday stones. My first mala had a lovely green adventurine, which I felt helped me communicate and see the big picture. The stone though is also benificial to release any habits that are keeping you from moving forward. This is to help you along your life journey to reach self discovery and strengthen spiritual connection. Just having it near can help break down blockages so that you can proceed towards your lifes purpose.

Like most metaphysical practice or tool, they are not a replacement for help from certified help. Such as, doctor or councelor. They are ment as a secondary tool to be used along side traditional help.
 
    Which stones do you use? Or which ones are you thinking of useing in your life (or tea)?  I would love to know. Share your thoughts in the comments below with the Tea Journey Community. Love and light.