I always used to be an “over” person. I over-worked to achieve the best result, over-planned and over-analysed sometimes (most of the time) to make sure I would make the best decision. I was always planning and worrying about all the tasks on my to-do list. I rarely had a moment to relax. I always believed in the saying “rather burn out than fade out”.
But the concept of mindful living has changed me.
Mindful living is not a buzz word for me and it’s the turning point in my life. In the global pandemic, what has limited me the most is mobility – no more business trips, fancy holidays, even meeting friends for a drink.
Basically, I need to live with myself 24/7 and it can be overwhelming and brutal. The most asked question to myself is “how can I calm my over-functioning mind?”
I started with baby steps. I begin my days by waking up at 6 am with a meditation session, followed by yoga and then journaling with a cup of hot tea. It gives me the best quality me time ever! I also created a no-screen time (time without using electronic devices) before work so I am able to take care of my body, mind, and soul before taking care of others.
Watching the sunrise from my kitchen window, I listen to the boiling sound of water in the kettle and while the steam rises. I open the kettle lid and let the water slowly cool down to 80°C. Then, I separate my favourite loose silver needle tea leaves one by one and carefully place them into the handcrafted blue and white porcelain Gaiwan. I enjoy the sensation of listening to the water pouring into the Gaiwan and watching the tea leaves floating freely on the surface of water. It’s all about connection – body, soul, and mind. Focusing on the temperature of water, observing the colour changes and inviting the beautiful aromas of tea to linger in the air. It brings me the serene moments that I will never forget.
This is my first beautiful brew of the day.
After a cup of carefully made white tea, I start work at 7:30 am and face the world with a warm and welcoming smile. Turning on my laptop and opening my to-do list, I feel everything is under control and that I have the confidence to achieve my goal today. I believe that it’s not possible to be joyful or to focus clearly on work and relationships without truly taking care of your own mental and physical health. That’s why I insist on stepping away from my workstation at lunchtime so I can concentrate on making myself a healthy meal.
Of course, I always, always leave enough time for the second brew of my lovely white tea.
After a quick but healthy lunch and a few sips of my refreshingly sweet second brew, I put the lid of the Gaiwan back on the bowl to avoid my tea getting cold too quickly. I lie down and enjoy my 10-minute long rejuvenating guided meditation with “Purely Lucy” which gives myself a relaxing moment before I start my second half of the day.
When all my conference calls across different time-zones finish, I usually end my day with a hot bath while listening to health and wellness podcasts. “Feel Better, Live More by Dr Rangan Chatterjee” is one of my favourites. I relax in the evening with a book or chatting with my friend while enjoying my final and wonderful third brew of white tea. Afterwards, I tidy up my workstation and prepare things for the next day. I also carefully empty the tea leaves in the bowl and clean my Gaiwan, and put my beloved blue and white porcelain back to the cupboard ready for the next morning.
Three rounds of my lovely tea. What a perfect day!
Remember, serenity is not avoiding uncertainty and worries. It’s about feeling conscious and calm enough to embrace them as part of your life. It’s Dao and it is how the world works. You don’t fight against them; you live with them and you work on yourself to find your inner peace.