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Equanimi’tea … life composure

My hot black tea is sitting here steaming, and I am taking a moment out of my day to do what I encourage everyone else to do, take a tea break for your soul. Take 5 minutes to reflect, focus, recenter, whatever it is you need to do, and breathe.

I haven’t posted anything in this blog for a very long time, and I was drawn to write today as I reflected on this last year, and the challenges and life intensities that so many of us have endured.

The concept of equanimity has been prevalent in my life for many years, and it means having mental or emotional stability or composure during times of difficulty, to enable  clear, focused, non-reactive decisions or choices to help us move forward coherently.

Many of our business leaders will practice the art of equanimity to help make effective decisions, whilst inspiring and motivating others to do the same. Meditation and heart focus breathing help to build that equanimity. It becomes a daily practice of self-work, especially important during times of peace and calm so we can build our inner reserves to tackle life challenges when they arise. For me, equanimity is about being able to move through all the ups and downs of life being constant and available, but not drained.

However, as we all know, especially after this year’s tumult of environmental disasters and political unrest, it is not always easy to stay in that place of equanimity and calm when everything is falling apart, and sometimes all we can muster is a super quick immediate tool, to help us calm down and feel nourished.

I know everyone laughs at the British ( I am a Brit) for drinking tea during times of difficulty, death, challenge, stress … ‘put the kettle on, let’s have a nice cup of tea and talk about it’… is a common phrase heard at work or among many households, but they do have a great point.  What they are really saying is ‘breathe, stop and just listen’.  When we do this, it becomes easier to re-evaluate, revisit or perhaps see new options around a difficult or fearful situation.

Drinking my KeeMun black tea from China with its delicious somewhat bitter notes mixing with the lemon and a tiny ting of honey sweetness, reminds me of home in London, my Mother’s stories of drinking tea during the Blitz in World War II, happy times with tea, cake, and friends, birthdays, so many good memories, as well as drinking tea after my Dad passed away when I was young.

Tea helps us to take a moment, a meditative pause, recollect our equanimity and help others to do the same, by just listening.

 

 

 

 

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Creativi’tea

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I have to be honest, with all the fabulous teas on the market I am still sipping traditional English Breakfast tea in the afternoon… with a biscuit … or a cookie… traditions die hard I guess… and the tang of the tannins on my tongue (quite a tongue twister) invigorate and inspire me to write this blog today.

I want to share something with you. Something that has been threading its way through my consciousness as a result of the work my clients have been doing to reveal their unique brilliance, life purpose in the world.

Building your pallet of experiences in life is like creating a tapestry of opportunities for discovering your true self, painting your life story, and at the same time gaining the opportunity to rediscover forgotten parts of yourself.  True creativity is about coming home to who you really are, despite the struggle and the challenges, in fact, once we understand why we are struggling, with some help, we can take gigantic leaps forward in our personal growth as all the keys start to fit in the locks and we begin to ‘see’ more clearly how our stories are shaping us to meet our destiny, our legacy.

You are designed to want more, (its not selfish, its just being human …) if we didn’t want more, we wouldn’t be able to put men on the moon and shoot them into orbit to Mars… and it is your right to creatively express yourself … as you send ripples of creativity into the world … they impact others.

Fulfill and enjoy your creativity, discover your brilliance, LOVE your purpose.

Warmly, Nicola

 

 

 

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Festivi’tea

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There is a magic in the air … despite the frantic dashing about to put up holiday lights, host parties, attend parties, purchase gifts, send holiday greetings .. there really is a magic in the air.

The other night my friend Voula was working very hard on yet another unusually cold evening in LA to put up her Christmas lights, on her own, a massive job with large polar bears, reindeer and sleighs, fir trees and stars, icicles and candy canes … we were both wearing hats, gloves and puffy coats. Bulbs were fusing, the fake snow had gone missing, extension cords were needed as we put as many plugs as we could into one outlet praying there wouldn’t be an explosion. Ladders, screw drivers, hammers, Christmas music belting out of the radio in the garage… all life had been put on hold for the sake of the reindeer and the Christmas tree …

“Why are we doing this … tell me one more time?” I asked sipping my peppermint tea.

Voula grinned.”I love doing this” as she hung from the ladder swinging a hammer in the air. I ducked. “Why?” I asked.  She laughed, “haven’t you seen how many people smile when they pass by here and see all of this? People smile, these lights bring joy. I like that. I feel like I’m giving something back and  that makes me happy!”

Exactly! All of this business with the lights wasn’t because she had to do it, or impress the neighbors, Voula’s holiday gift to herself was that she wanted to make people happy. How does that song go?

” Make someone happy. Make just one someone happy.And you will be happy too….”

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Sending you much love and light always.

Nicola

www.nicolasalter.com

Festive Tea Recipe from ‘Hot Water for Tea’

Cranberry Gin Mar’tea’ni

Take one cranberry tea bag and steep it for 3 minutes, then remove the bag and freeze the tea for 20 minutes.  Take a cocktail shaker and add ice, gin, a squeeze of lime and orange juice, add the tea and shake.  Serve in a chilled martini glass with a curl of lime zest and enjoy! (for added sweetness, use cranberry juice instead)

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Connectivi’tea

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I stepped off the plane at Charlotte Airport and was late for my connecting flight to LA.  As I nimbly ran dodging the world and his wife to find my gate, I decide to chance my luck even further with my tardiness  by diving into a nearby restroom.

Chances of course were that is would be super busy and it was,  there was a line.  As I patiently crossed my legs waiting, praying that the plane would indeed wait,  I heard a delightfully rich female voice bellowing through the restrooms, directing everyone to nearby waiting stalls that had just become available for use.

As the line very quickly began to melt away, a very stately African American woman came around the corner, slightly salted and peppered hair, wearing the airport uniform and grinning from ear to ear. She was the air traffic controller of the ladies restroom, or powder room as she preferred to name it.

I didn’t have to speak with her long to discover that this lady, Gloria, absolutely loved her job. She was quite a joy to listen to as she proudly showed me her basket of peppermints, rolled up fresh hand towels and her words of encouragement as she moved all of us swiftly through the restroom so we wouldn’t miss our connections. There was an air of lightness as we all jostled through chatting with each other and waiting for our turn, Gloria all the while, directing and admonishing us like a group of school girls as we all hooted with laughter.

“I see the world here” she grinned, “I don’t have to go far and I love it. Every night I go home with a new story, new adventure, new people I have met. I am proud of this restroom, I see to it that everyone enjoys their visit …”

I sat on the plane (thanks to Gloria) and pondered the heartfelt scene I had just experienced. I work with many people from all walks of life to help them discover their unique brilliance and true nature for being here, supporting them as they redefine themselves. I mentor them to create better lives.  Here was Gloria, who was so connected and switched on that she had already discovered that being of service brings true fulfillment, freedom and success in whatever field you choose.

More than that, she had listened to that spark within her and followed her heart. Each and every woman who passed through that restroom received full on Gloria attention and whether they knew it or not, she was sparking in them motivation, fulfillment, grace, kindness and humility. She was showing them that it is not about the job you do, its how you do it, and then how you become it…. as I added more lemon to my green tea, I felt my heart smile.  Thank you Gloria.

http://www.nicolasalter.com

 

 

 

 

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Spirituali’tea

17542096_xxlI am sitting here sipping my chilled hibiscus tea, loving it with a dash of lemon and a peppermint leaf daintily placed on the top of the ice.  It needs more honey, but I feel so quiet and peaceful I really don’t want to break the moment by moving to the kitchen.

‘Life is short, make it sweet’, Sri Kaleshwar once said, and he’s right. Savor those moments of stillness and peacefulness in your life to listen to your soul, that inner voice that reveals your true essence and all of those inspirations that come to you, or Ah Ha moments … Your personal tea ceremony for a few moments each day can become the moments you use for inner contemplation and and inspiration.  A tea break away from the rush of the day provides the opportunity to look at your life and perhaps create some new realities or life changing events for you to truly experience the freedom and adventure that your life wants to offer you.

For divine inspiration and perhaps opening more to a greater understanding of your life’s journey, the bigger perspective that your challenges and gifts bring you to help you connect with your life’s purpose, I like to drink green tea matcha.  Just as the Buddhist monks drink matcha to help relax and yet focus for 6 hours of meditation in one sitting, we can drink it to help us tap into our deeply creative states and sustain concentration. Even ice blended on those hot summer days will help to relax and create space in your brain.

Create the space, stretch into the moment of making your cup of tea and stretch time in your day for a few more minutes at least. These are the best of times11914866_xxl

In good health. Nicola

I hope to see you at the World Tea Expo in Long Beach, CA on Friday 8th May, I will be giving at one hour lecture at 12.30 pm on the Beau’tea of Tea.. see you then 🙂

Hot Water for Tea. An Inspired Collection of Tea Remedies and Aromatic Elixirs9781480802476_COVER.indd

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Personali ‘tea

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 Today I am quietly sitting at my desk looking out onto the sea in West Palm Beach, how lucky am I? The sea is quite beautiful and calm, the fish are jumping on this clear day, and even though its  already hot and humid at 84 degrees at 830 am,  I am enjoying a cup of soothing warm rooibus tea.

Teas, just like us, have their own personalities.  I could feel rooibus tea calling me this morning  with its big and soothing personality ready to wrap its arms around me and give me a big hug. A much needed hug which makes me grin from ear to ear, relax and know that life is good.

Allow me to explain a little more. As you sip your chosen tea,  very slowly the tea will reveal its color, aroma, taste and then  finally, the impact you feel on your senses.  You will retain this sensory memory and for the future will choose your tea as you recollect how it made you feel, whether it was soothing, uplifting, calming, made you sleepy, helped you meditate, gave you stamina, helped you focus, opened your heart to reach out to someone …  however it works for you, the tea is encouraging you to trust your inner voice on what feels good to you.

Peppermint tea for example, to me, is peppy, peppermint patty type personality, bubbly, light and makes me laugh when I drink it!  Black tea, on the other hand, is my traditional afternoon drinking tea to help me focus and always shared with a decadent cookie, or biscuit as we say in England. No matter how hard I try to avoid it, that little nibble of sweetness is my delight … 🙂

Back to my tea of choice this morning. My rooibus with  a beautiful reddish brown color along with  a tiny amount of ginger powder and honey added adds to the depth of flavor.  As the earthy almost chocolatey fragrance rises from my teacup I feel relaxed, and I purposefully close out the rest of the day, the projects, the schedule etc and have a mini vacation.  For any scientists out there, Rooibus is known to melt away tension or irritation owing to its nothofagins (antioxidants) that calm the output of my adrenal hormones, and the quercetin (a super antioxidant) is easing inflammation in my body … In addition the ginger is warming and settling my digestive system… and all I did was put a tea bag in the teacup… and I have become the tea alchemist.

The personality of rooibus originally came second to the forcefulness and power of black tea, but rooibus made its debut during World War II when black tea supplies were difficult to secure. Produced in South Africa, rooibus won through with its abilities to regulate blood sugar, Diabetes Type 2 , and help insomnia and even high blood pressure.  Its skin care benefits are also legendary with its ability to cool sunburn when applied to the skin (cold tea), heal eczema and rashes, and can even slow down the aging process.

I love tea! Its so simple and so amazing.  If you would like to find out more about the healing qualities of herbal teas, traditional teas, essential oils and follow my suggested recipes and blends for  health and skin care, perfume, tea cocktails  and more, I am happy to be offering my Hot Water for Tea, e-book for Kindle, Nook and  I Book for a limited period of $2.  To become the tea artisan visit my apothecary store to download.

In good health,

Nicola

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Tea and ch’i for inspiration

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Until I started writing my book I hadn’t really thought much about the impact of tea on our inspiration. In fact, now I would rather have a cup of tea and ch’i and forgo the tea and cookies any time! To begin with, ch’i is the subtle energy of life that runs through all living things. You can’t see it but some people can feel it.  Ch’i is an energy or electricity if you like that is created in our cells and helps to keep each cell healthy.  When we drink tea or eat foods that have just been picked we absorb the ch’i of that plant, and it helps to expand the ch’i in our bodies.  Eastern medicine recognizes that illness can originate in the subtle energy field that surrounds our physical body.

In Qi Gong and Acupuncture we use techniques to move ch’i that has become stagnant in an area of the body and may be contributing to ill health.

We can take care of ch’i  with simple methods at home.  I see tea as a plant medicine. A simple fresh handful of herbs picked straight from the garden and placed into a teapot, with hot boiled water, and then left to steep for 10 minutes, will bring you the goodness of the herb plus its ch’i.  The ch’i/energy will impact on your energy through smell and its ability to help you relax and expand your energy field.

With this, comes room for inspiration.

Inspiration means being ‘in spirit’, in touch with your inner voice, as I say in my book, ” .. that inner feeling of being inspired to follow your dreams and follow the beat of your own drum”. When you are quiet your ch’i is more expanded, your energy field reaches out further around you, you are able to ‘hear’ ‘feel’ intuitive messages for yourself.

I like using powdered green tea matcha to help me get to this space, its great for relaxing the mind, and builds stamina for meditating or exercise.  In addition, one cup of matcha tea is the equivalent of 10 cups of green tea in terms of antioxidant content. It also has a high level of L-theanine which helps put the brain into an alpha state – good for relaxation and happiness.

Combine this, with 2 drops of Frankincense essential oil at the base of your neck, earlobes and wrists, and you are set for a relaxing 10 minutes or more, of tranquil contemplation.  You can also use Frankincense in a room diffuser. Frankincense is widely known for its ability to deepen breathing and is often used for asthma. The deeper you breathe, the greater you relax.

Today, I am drinking my green tea matcha with almond milk and honey, whisked to a froth, and delicious.  🙂

Gain more fun and informative insights into the use of tea and essential oils for health issues , meditation, cooking, skin care and weight loss, in my new book Hot Water for Tea, as seen above. Available at Amazon.

For QiGong and Acupuncture experts visit my site at www.nicolasalter.com