Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Practicing Stillness with JING Tea
The other day, I had a terrifying thought: I wasn't sure I could blog anymore.
Because blogging isn't just about writing: it's about meeting people, shaking hands, sending tweets, posting comments, editing photos, composing emails, sourcing post ideas, reading other blogs, and, essentially, always being distracted.
It's busy. It's noisy. And I love it. But every once in a while, I think, "I haven't posted anything today." And instead of shrugging my shoulders and moving on, I feel a rising panic. I think to myself: "Will I be forgotten? Am I still relevant?"
My social calendar is perpetually full with meet-ups and events and blog post deadlines. I can't seem to eat out lately without thinking whether or not the dish that's just been placed in front of me needs to be photographed. Yesterday, I literally couldn't walk to my friend's daughter's first birthday without stopping to take photos of wisteria creeping over the doorway of a beautiful house or of a cherry blossom tree that had just begun to shed its petals like pink snow.
Somehow, along the way, I've managed to stop appreciating life for what it is; rather than how it would look as an Instagram post.
So, as soon as John kissed me goodbye as he headed out the door for a work trip this weekend, I gave myself a reality check. I turned off my phone, turned off my music, and sat down ... to make some tea.
Not your usual, boil-the-water-dump-a-tea-bag-into-a-mug-add-milk-to-taste kind of tea, but rather, JING tea.
There's almost a meditative quality that comes along with making a cup of JING tea in their trademark, glass Tea Infuser Mug; I love the ceremony of it. I understand why the company's trademark is, "The definitive tea experience." Because - quite simply - it is.
Watching the sparkling sands of the JING Tea Timer slip through the hourglass as my tea infuses and brews? An experience. Holding the timer up to my ear so I can listen to the barely-audible rush of the sand slip through? An experience.
A quieting, calming, grounding experience. In a world of noise and distraction, this is both a treat - and a wake-up call.
Now, I'm a green-tea sipper: always have been, always will be. I grew up in a household that only drank the best ti kun yin (also known as "Iron Buddha") and oolong tea.
When I inhale the scent of JING's Jasmine Silver Needle, it smells like home: a beautifully fragrant, scent that rises as the tea brews. A gorgeous tea to enjoy after lunch, dinner, or after a soul-cleansing yoga class.
The Organic Jade Sword green tea has quite a different scent: lighter, more subtle, and delicate. It's described by JING as being, "clean rounded, full and grassy, with palate refreshing finish." Picked from the Jinshan Tea Garden in the Zhejiang Province of China, smelling these tea leaves again instils a pang of familiarity; that moment I walk into a Chinese tea shop in Hong Kong or Vancouver B.C., with their rows and rows of tea tins, sealed shut for freshness and often requiring a screwdriver (or a firm hand) to lift the lid.
I've been in love with JING's glassware for quite some time now. Ever since John and I tried JING for the first time in a little cafe years ago, we wanted to buy a set of the Tea Tasting Cups (they're glass! They hold hot liquid! But they don't burn your hands! Mind blown!), but ended up buying a set for his brother's birthday instead.
Now that I own the Tea Infuser Mug, I'm thinking of getting one for my dad too, so that he can enjoy his loose-leaf tea in this beautiful glassware. Befitting for an architect who appreciates the beauty of good design, don't you think?
I think I'm going to make JING tea a part of my Sunday afternoon ritual - a reminder to stay calm, still, and grounded despite the busy week ahead. Sometimes, it's so nice to stop and (literally) smell the roses.
What about you? Do you have any rituals or ways to practice stillness in a world that seems to be perpetually rushing by?
My JING Tea Timer, Tea Infuser Mug, Organic Jade Sword Tea, and Jasmine Silver Needle Tea were all generously provided by JING Tea, a company whose tea (and glassware!) I love. You can purchase your own JING tea and glassware here.