Feeling Stuck? You Can Always Try Again

The truth is, I have not attended a yoga class in almost 3 months. At first I felt guilty of this. A couple weeks ago, I sent my teacher a message to be sure she knew I still existed (she was not even worried because she understands life) and it was my way of saying to myself “you’re okay, right?”

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Where Does Love Flourish?

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

I recently read “All About Love” by bell hooks and it’s a book I will continue to return to often. One of the many quotes that caught my attention is, “self-love cannot flourish in isolation,” and since reading that I’ve been thinking more about the spaces where love flourishes.

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How an inappropriate interaction introduced me to pumpkin spice

Photo by olia danilevich on Pexels.com

A few years ago I met someone through a professional mutual contact and we connected because we had a few things in common. We communicated via email for a few days figuring out each other’s schedule to set up an in-person meet-up and finally found a day and time. Then we exchanged numbers in case we needed to reach each other on the day we planned to meet. I asked to meet at a public place and he agreed.

Continue reading “How an inappropriate interaction introduced me to pumpkin spice”

Loose leaf tea and life lessons

I’ve always been a lover of tea. Growing up as a child in the Caribbean, we drank a lot of hot tea (must be the British influence on our islands?) throughout the day. On mornings we would have tea before breakfast, with breakfast, and sometimes after breakfast. During the day we would make tea and at night after dinner we also had tea. I’ve maintained these tea-drinking habits to this day! After each main meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) I drink hot tea (or coffee) and I usually like having dessert with tea after dinner. I drink hot tea/coffee 375 days a year and I have a small cup of tea before bed.

Fun fact: I never knew about iced tea until I moved to the US and after all these years, it still seems like a weird concept to drink cold tea. However, last year I tried iced coffee for the first time and it was mind-blowing! You can tell I don’t get out much, right? Anyways…moving on…

I did not grow up on loose leaf tea as we used teabags (some brands included Tetley, Red Rose, and Lipton) and there was the occasional coffee (either instant or brewed). So, drinking tea is also a form of comfort for me. A few years ago, I visited the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco (very awesome experience) and I had jasmine tea for the first time!

When I was in grad school for my masters degree, I started drinking loose leaf tea. It was fun learning to brew tea. I also really got into buying teapots, ha! I didn’t pay much attention back then, but in the past couple years I notice that making loose leaf tea taught me a few lessons.

  • Patience: in a world where we’re always quick to get the most convenient things, loose leaf tea takes time and requires patience
  • Good things don’t always come instantly: when I want a really good hot cup of loose leaf tea, I have to be willing to follow the process and take the time. In the end, the reward is always worth it
  • Flexibility: I don’t have to brew the same cup the same way each time. I can make more or less tea or, I can make it stronger or weaker. I can also make the tea in several ways: using a french press, an infuser, a double pot, a regular pot on the stove, or use tea sachet filters. I can also make a different blend of tea each time!
  • Mindfulness: the process of making tea can be a mindfulness practice. In fact, I read an article recently by Thich Nhat Hanh about the mindful practice of pouring tea and I try to practice the art of pouring and savoring tea as often as I can.

Do you drink loose leaf tea? What are your favorite tea blends?

~ Karisse C

Lessons from a morning walk practice

A few weeks ago, I shared about a morning walk practice I started after reading an amazing book, Do/Walk by Libby DeLana. I always enjoy my morning walks and since reading Libby’s book, it’s become more of a grounding practice for me. I contemplate on life, sometimes I say a prayer or practice a walking meditation, and I try to be very aware and observant of my surroundings – I try to stay in the present moment and notice what it feels like to just walk with my dog.

It always amazes me how many small things I notice on my walks. I don’t always walk for a long distance, and in reality it’s really not about the distance, it’s about the experience. I was pretty excited to follow This Morning Walk on Instagram and joined the Walk to 22 community – you walk every day from December 01 (2021) no matter the distance. It was so fun to take pictures on my walks and share it with this online community. I took pictures until Christmas eve, then reduced my social media time for the rest of the year.

I learned a few important lessons on my morning walks that I want to share with you. If you don’t have a morning walk (or any walking practice) I encourage you to consider it. Let me know if you want to know more about my experiences or need an accountability buddy!

  • I am less focused on stressful thoughts when I walk because I am intentional about tuning in to the experience of walking and noticing what is around me. It really is an incredible feeling to be all in with an experience.
  • When I’m walking I have an opportunity to be with my body and to really pay close attention to how I feel with each step
  • Walking is a great way to practice mindfulness!
  • It’s so easy to judge ourselves for not doing enough. When I walk, I know that no matter how many steps I take, those steps will always be enough for me in that moment
  • Walking alone (well…with my pup) gives me an opportunity to mentally process while engaging in this moving meditation. I sometimes replay the previous day or think of how I will take care of myself that day.
  • Walking is in itself a natural form of therapy. I feel mentally and emotionally better when I take a walk (not only the morning walks). I realize now that walking is a way I self-soothe and the movement helps to lower anxiety
  • I allowed myself to go out of my comfort zones when I walked. I tried new routes and explored my neighborhood more. It was a great way to feel more connected to my neighborhood

The next time you go for a walk (even if it’s from the garage to your front door), allow yourself to just be in the moment, as it is.

~ Karisse C