April is our Bhoomie month to appreciate me-time, something Miss Tea-Time is very good at helping us with as she realises the “value of relaxation to the mind and the body”. There are many ways that I can think of relaxing, a bath, listening to music or meditation, but when do I actually make alone time for these in my day? Well, pretty much never – and that is where a cup of tea flows in.
Beauty in the mundane
Teaism is a cultural belief in Japan that teaches simplicity and celebrates beauty in the mundane unpleasantries of daily life.
“It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life” – The Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura.
So as I pour hot water, smell the swirl of the leaves and wrap the warmth of the cup between my palms, I take a deep breath as the tenseness from my shoulders evaporate. The first sip almost always initiates an ‘aaaah’ moment and for that instant, all I can taste is the tea. For me this first sip of the warm cup is a form of meditation as at that moment my body and mind is only focused on how great the tea is.
Celebrate your imperfections
I can be very critical of myself, constantly revising whether I’m contributing enough, emotionally and financially, and there are parts of my body that don’t even get a glance in my morning mirror. Self-criticism is the archenemy of me-time and it humiliates our self-image, making us feel like spending time or energy on our own wellbeing may not be worth it.
But what if instead of being critical I try and compliment myself. The criticism may be my automatic first reaction to something, but if I counteract it by seeing something beautiful in it, then rather than drown in all the things that I believe to be wrong I can balance it out with something good – which could potentially create more ‘aaaah’ moments. My shoulders will relax and I can take a deep breath knowing that I have just celebrated beauty in my imperfection.
There is another Japanese wisdom that instills this philosophy – Wabi-sabi – that celebrates not only imperfection, but also impermanence. So if like me you tend to waste time on criticising yourself then try to remember that life is fleeting and nothing is perfect. Relish in your imperfections, it is after all a form of me-time and it won’t require any extra time from your day.
Keep your kettles and mirrors at the ready!