Media headlines abound these days saying, “Tea is trendy...” and we believe it until we read the first chapter of Ritual Tea: How the 9 Secrets of Tea Can Transform Your Life. Entitled, Tea’s Sordid and Holy Exploits, chapter one is a worldwide, whirlwind tour of tea history that leaves the reader knowing once and for all that tea has always been trendy for very good reasons. Next to water, tea is the world’s most popular drink.
Author Mario Zeleny, lifelong tea lover and personal coach, extracts the magic of tea from its history, uses, and benefits but also from its power to change the world. He brings the secrets of tea into modern light, and makes it accessible for contemporary lifestyles.
“We do not have to be a Buddhist monk, or study The Way of Tea for decades to be your own Tea Master,” says Zeleny, “but you must understand its secrets to reap tea’s transformative qualities in your life.”
Ritual Tea boasts over 30 links to free tea products, ten personal rituals to help with everything from anxiety to sleep, and 10 charts that make crafting our own ritual a breeze.
Discover the transformative power of tea hidden in its history, versatility, and essence through simple, timeless and individualized rituals. To help us on the tea path, the author has made a free Ritual Tea e-course available through ArtSpellz.com.
Tea has made a 5000 year trek to inhabit the world and in its wake it has altered not only individual lives but cultures and countries. Ritual Tea asks, “Who will we be in tea’s history?” Will we just make tea, or will we allow tea make us?
“Super Mom” Wants to Kill You: Stop Her with Tea
by Mario Zeleny
Super Mom isn’t the only one who wants to kill you, so do Martha Stewart Manics, Ace Achiever Addicts, and the Superior Over-Schedulers. They want to do you in as well.
What’s their problem?
We have become so comfortable with stress as a lifestyle, that we make our too-busy, too-demanding existence an achievement by racking up our self- appointed gold stars, so it doesn’t ‘feel’ like stress anymore. We have become good at telling ourselves and everyone else how party planning and hosting is fun and rewarding, homeschooling our children is fulfilling, or how much we enjoy “staying active.” Talk about turning lemons into lemonade! Except in this case, the lemonade is poisonous. You see, those gold stars and that lemonade are slowly taking moments away from our life.
The antidote to this poison is relaxation.
Relaxation will extend our life by:
• Reducing illness by strengthening immune system
• Improving sleep which reduces illness, helps with weight loss, and increases emotional stability
• Reducing blood pressure- improves cardiovascular system and reduces the likelihood of heart attack and stroke
• Supplying the body with more oxygen creating more energy, clarity and focus
• Balancing hormones- weight loss, avoid weight gain, reduces cardiovascular disease
• Increasing focus and clarity to accomplish goals and become more present in the moment
• Controlling emotions by reducing anxiety and depression
• Decreasing body pain and increasing control of chronic pain
• Increasing spirituality- research has shown that people who practice relaxation experienced the close presence of a higher power more significantly than those who do not practice relaxation
• Increasing life satisfaction
Simplicity, Accessibility and Pleasure
Relaxation occurs when we participate in an activity that triggers a relaxation response. Just because we enjoy an activity doesn’t make it effective at relaxing us. The key aspects for creating a relaxation response and cultivating its benefits are:
• Intentional, focused habit (ritual)
• Regular and consistent practice
• Must be something you enjoy which resonates with you
• 10-20 minutes in length
• Environment and atmosphere must support the practice
What this list is telling us is the relaxation response is created by performing a ritual. That’s easy! No really, it is. We ritualize life; it is what we do as humans. Rituals provide us with meaning, comfort and satisfaction. Rituals reduce anxiety and stress. When rituals are practiced intentionally and consistently, eventually they will create an automatic and instant change in the brain. Over time, this change becomes permanently accessible by just thinking about doing the ritual. Can you image being able to instantly access relaxation by thinking about it?
What stops us from doing an intentional ritual and creating a new habit, has to do with simplicity, and pleasure. If the ritual is too complicated, it is unlikely that we will do it or keep doing it. If we force ourselves to do a ritual and we do not resonate with a ritual, or do not enjoy certain aspects of it, the ritual will not be effective. Eventually, the ritual will become sabotaged. Forcing ourselves to perform a ritual leads to increased anxiety, stress and other unwanted life results.
Drink the Stress Away
Drinking tea has been a health and spiritual ritual for thousands of years, though many look upon tea these days as just something else to drink. Tea is the most consumed beverage next to water, and its health benefits are considerable, too. What is interesting for us here is that tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine that is known to calm, relax and increase mental alertness. Drinking tea is not enough, however. If we make tea drinking a ritual, it creates incredible rewards.
Teas especially known to foster relaxation apart from the amino acid present in tea are: passionflower, ginseng, lavender, chamomile, valerian, and lemon balm. To be honest, some of these flavors are not anything to get excited about. For a tea ritual to be effective, you really do have to enjoy the tea. That is why I recommend blending your own. Tea blending isn’t as complicated as you might image. Design A Tea makes it easy. Design A Tea is a virtual boutique teahouse that allows you to blend your own tea. There is a coupon in my kindle book for tea blending from Design A Tea, as well as an in depth interview with Design A Tea’s owner, Brian Pfeiffer.
Tea by itself can be a ritual; practicing mindfulness while making tea is an ancient and traditional practice. This requires that we be in the moment and there is no rush. The water can take forever to boil. We have lost our attachment to time. We appreciate the water. We notice the cool feeling of our china cup. We wade in the smell of the tea as the canister opens. We have nowhere to go, we have nothing to do but make tea.
We can take our tea ritual to the next level by combining it with other pleasurable, meaningful activities noted also for their ability to relax us and change our brain. Some examples of this are:
• Writing poetry
• Reading inspirational materials
• Listening to music
• Massaging pressure points
Rituals change our underlying psychology. They prepare us for innovation and creativity. Consciously creating rituals decreases anxiety and uncertainty and opens us up to infinite possibilities. Go with a tea ritual to reap big changes in reducing stress levels and fostering relaxation. Live longer with tea!
For more information about tea and how to create effective tea rituals, please read my book, Ritual Tea: How the 9 Secrets of Tea Can Transform Your Life. The book also includes a free virtual class beginning May 10th. My book is available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback. The soft cover is also available at my Art Spellz shop during the month of May for 20% off and includes free tea and a coupon for blending your own tea: Go to http://mariozeleny/shop.
Mario Zeleny – Lover of all things tea. Mario spent 15 years in healthcare and social services in clinical and administrative roles that offered coaching to employees and volunteers. An artist and entrepreneur from an early age, Mario now brings his love of writing, art, spirit, coaching and ritual together online at his creative living site, Sancti Spiritus and also from his transformational art site, Art Spellz. Mario looks forward to completing his education with Mentor Coach and St. Clement Seminary. He currently resides in Sacramento with his husband of 8 years, their children and their domestic sovereign, a pug named Brigit.