A Cup of Zen


During chemo treatments I was vigilant about my diet.  I was motivated by fear.  It’s amazing how easy it is to stick to healthy habits when you think falling off track may kill you.  Now that I’m through with treatments I realize that I can’t stay in that place of fear and vigilance forever.  There is something called quality of life that I need to balance.  I’m struggling to find that sweet spot where I can enjoy food and also do what I can to keep my body clean and discourage those pesky cancer cells from reappearing.  I’ve been playing with the idea of rituals and I think you’ll enjoy this post for a snowy Saturday!   

To me rituals are something that you do that you no longer need to think about.  You just do them.  I have a theory that whatever we turn into a ritual will become part of our lives.  Once the ritual is established it won’t take much effort to maintain.  This is especially important because the thought of adding anything more to my “to do” list might send me right over the edge!  So here goes, I am working on developing a tea ritual.  It’s a healthy habit I want to add to my life, but I don’t have that emotional connection.  You know the one…..that feeling you get when you pour your glass of wine on a Friday night (or Monday….no judgement!  J).  I haven’t proven it yet, but I think with a little work I can make this ritual something I look forward to. I am making it special, a treat and a time for escape.  It is a time to give myself a little care and love (one of my ingredients to inner peace).   Such a little thing, but that emotional connection is something that we can create with good things not just alcohol or a bag of Cheetos.  We all have some habits we want to create or healthy habits we need to establish.  Maybe we’ve been going at this all wrong.  Maybe we break the emotional attachment we have to food and beverages by creating new emotional attachments.  It’s not going to be easy.  It will take real work, but I believe that the results will be far more lasting and more fun to turn it into a ritual and something we really enjoy.  Tea first.  Next up is my chocolate obsession!  No more mindless eating of chocolate to calm my nerves or my sweet tooth.  Instead of eliminating I need to come up with a plan to make it a special ritual that I look forward to instead.  Something rich and indulgent!!  I’ll keep you posted!! 

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I’m excited about this ritual making!!  I used things around my house that have meaning and pulled them forward to help create the emotion.  In this case I desperately wanted a nice tea pot with a strainer before I could build my ritual.  Lucky for me my awesome mom bought me one for Christmas.  Now that it’s January, it’s time to start working on feeling some self-love and indulging myself in a cup of tea, a little quiet, a cozy blanket.  I bought this tray from a barn sale at my church and the mug from a craft fair with my husband a million years ago.    My ritual is simple.  The tray is essential.  Just looking at this brings me a warm feeling and I can’t wait to heat up a cup.  I boil the water & pour it over the tea.  I want to really indulge today!  While it steeps I set up my alone space.  Today I just want to sit and stare,  to empty my brain.  Tomorrow might be music.  The next day I may not do it at all.  The thing about this is there is no commitment.  I’m trying to create something I want to do not something I SHOULD do.  Now I sip and enjoy.  Could it be as easy as that?  The whole process took no more than 15-20 minutes, but oh so nice!!  I’m looking forward to testing this theory out in other ways too.  I hope you’ll join me.  I’d love to hear how it works for you!