I don't quite remember when I fell in love with tea but I do remember the most special moments of me drinking tea. I was eighteen years old and I went to live with my biological mother for four months. I had just met her months earlier and it was awkward for both of us. She and her ex-husband lived a very quiet life in Boulder, Colorado. He was a professor at one of the universities and she was a housewife. After years of drug addiction and being in and out of jail, she deserved the break. I was homeless so she and her husband agreed to let me come live with them. Each evening my mother and I would find a spot in the living room with a cup of tea and a book.

Now, years later, I'm a self proclaimed tea expert. I start each day with a wonderful English Breakfast tea to get me going. As the day progresses, who knows what wonderful tea I will crown queen. But for sure, I have at least three cups of tea a day. And yes, when I can, I have tea everyday at about 3:00 P. M. I love to invite my friends over for tea and cupcakes and so far everyone thinks it’s a delightful experience. I am always in search of the best blend of tea. Yes, I’m a tea snob, I prefer loose tea but I do like some bags also. I have learned not to judge a book by it’s cover. Some bags can be quite nice. And yes again, any Diva knows, what you drink your tea out of is very important.

Tea for me is a way of life. It's wellness for the mind body and spirit. Here, I will explore every expect of tea possible, with a high concentration on wellness. I will review the best teas, the best places to have tea, the best ways to brew tea, the best tea accessories, what tea goes best with what foods, and the list goes on and on. I plan to share my passion for tea with you. And I've been told, nothing I do is ever boring so be prepared to go on this tea journey with me.

RLT Collection Tea Ball Frosted Clear Beads!

Mint Medley by The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

About This Tea:

Until recently I had never drank Peppermint Tea made with loose leaves. And Honestly, I will probably never go back. The freshness of loose Peppermint Tea cannot be denied. When I open the can of Mint Medley, From The Persimmon Tree Tea Company, I feel as if I stepped into a garden of peppermint leaves. It is a perfect blend of organic peppermint and spearmint leaves grown in the US.

Mint Medley has become a favorite and I find myself reaching for this tea tin almost everyday. It is great for on-going nausea. The health benefits and endless. It relieves muscle aches, headaches, migraines, stress. And now that it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and I have a mean cough, I'm sure it will help to relieve some of this congestion in my chest. Mint Medley has been in my tea cup more than any tea as of late. It has really helped with my winter cough, congestion related to this bout of pneumonia. You can read my full review on The Persimmon Tree Tea Company Mint Teas.

RLT Collection AIDS Awareness Tea Ball!

Welcome to my world of books! As an pre-teen books changed my world. I fell in love with the writers of the Harlem Renaissance period and the more I read the more I wanted to read. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It spoke to my own degradation and gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

I love to read! Inside a book I escape into someone else's life. There is something wonderful about turning to the next page of a wonderful story. Something intoxicating about the smell of the book and the story it brings to life. Reading brings me joy, and these days with my health in the balance, I find solace in my books.

I spent hours in my bedroom sequestered with the door closed reading the classics from the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes, Larsen, Hurston, Wright and Baldwin. Books became my escape and my salvation. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

Reading is the one thing that the pain of my life could never take away from me. It was the thing that helped to make it better. And even today, living with AIDS, books continue to be the safest place for me. It’s the one thing that belongs to me that AIDS cannot take away from me.The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS.

The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS. I have read hundreds of books from many different genres and I will pick the best of my reads over the years. I warn you, it will not be exclusively white or black, male or female, fiction or non fiction, it will be all of them.

I’m so excited and I’m grateful to everyone who wants to be a part of this venture. We already have 110 Book Club Members. You can email me @ RLTReads@raelewisthornton.com. The Twitter hashtag is #RLTReads. We can make this book club as wonderful as we want to make it. Who says that Oprah has to have the only ownership to a wonderful book club?

This Month We are Reading In My Fathers House by E Lynn Harris

Read along and join our discussion July 19th at 7 pm CST

For more Tea with Rae "Vlogs" Click here to visit her youtube channel

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Reflection: Stop Listening to Sybil and Listen to God!

A year ago today I launched this Diva Living With AIDS Blog. Honestly, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. And I was scared as hell. I don't consider myself a writer and after the publisher at Hyperion Publishing told me I couldn't write, and walked away from the book deal, well my self-esteem took a complete dive. That was a kick in the gut with combat boots. #ForReal

People encouraged me on Twitter. This one blogger Dwana, started sending me messages giving me the lay of bloggerland. Huh? I didn't even know who she was. BTW: Once I realized she wasn't crazy, we became great friends!

This blog felt right. I knew that this is what I was supposed to do. I wasn't sure how it was all gonna work or even if people would support me, read it, and better yet, like it, but I was willing to take the chance.

But then I heard Sybil in the back of my head. Yes I did, that heifer said, "Remember Hyperion -- you are not a creative writer. What if you attach your name to this and it's a failure? How you gonna live that one down Diva?" And Lawd Lawd, my Mama's chimed in, "Bitch, you ain't never gonna be shit, stop tryin to act all white."

Me, Cover of Washington Post 1996
Yep! Yep! And they were talking loud and clear! But it wasn't that I had to fight doubt. There was no doubt. I felt it in my spirit. It felt right. Just like when I quit my well paying job as a political stagiest nineteen years ago to start speaking. I didn't have any speaking engagements arranged, or knew how to go about doing it, but I could hear God's voice saying, "This is what I want from you my child."

Me and JustJay 15 yrs ago!
Nope, I didn't have to fight doubt, I could hear God loud and clear, but I did have to fight self-worth. I'm telling you, it's something I have had to tackle all my adult life. But think about it. Mama had a lot of years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds to drill it into my head. "You ain't never gonna be shit, Bitch." And when I excelled, instead of her saying, "I'm proud of you," she said, "Child you need to stop trying to act white?" That Sybil voice will always work against you, that's why you have to be in a constant relationship with God. Talk to Him constantly. No, He's not gonna come sit in your living room, but if you are still, you will be able to hear His voice in your heart and your spirit loud and clear. Yep, God will sit on your heart and spirit like a ton of bricks.

Sometimes, Sybil can come disguised as a friend. That's why you gotta be careful about the company you keep. Yep... Yep... There are some people that I have never had more than a 3 minute conversation with about my Blog or any of my social media work. I've had some say, "Girl, you too old for all that stuff."

All it takes is one honest conversation to know they didn't understand God's vision. And how about, Sybil can switch personalities in the middle of the game. One day you think you have her sincere support and the next day you find out that was the OTHER Sybil that actually supported you. It just took a while to see who they truly were. Now, STOP explaining her crazy shit away. When Sybil shows you who she/he really is, BELIEVE him/her and Keep It Moving!

Me, Audrey and Her Girls
But God will send people to support you. Like my friend since college, Twitterless Audrey. She has been my official Blog editor since day one. And she takes her job seriously. She even gets irritated when I publish before she hasn't edited because I cannot spell. LOL! And then there are all my new blogger friends that are not competing, but sharing in such a way we can all grow.

And then there is all of you! Your support has been overwhelming. I read your comments, get your e-mails and tweets about how a particular blog touched your life. Thank you. And my commitment to you is to #doBetter. I will respond to your comments, I appreciate them, and should acknowledge them. PROMISE! Starting today!

I'm so glad that I listened to God and not Sybil. I'm so glad that when Sybil switched up personalities in the middle of the game, God sent sincere people who really wanted to help me with this blog project and didn't want anything in return. You know who you are!! The thing about sincere people, they don't get mad if you don't mention them by name. I love you ALL and am grateful that you are in my life.

This has been one great year! I didn't have any speaking engagements, but I had something to say. God gave me a new place to say it and for that I'm grateful! I stepped out on faith and did this thang! For that I'm proud. I'm humbled that you thought what I had to say was worth saying. This has been one great lesson. My ministry was standing still but I was willing to find another vehicle to do the work, to touch lives. I listened to God voice telling me, "I have more work for you my daughter." I heard Him loud and clear.

Honestly, yes, I cried about the fact that speaking had almost halted, which meant that my income had halted. But I didn't let it take over, consume my purpose. I just shifted gears. God will always have a path for you to take, you just have to be willing to do it. Doing God's work has to be the most important thing! The rest will work itself out. #ForReal. It may not be how you expect it, but a donation from a blog reader still helps to pay the bills just like a speaking engagement. Thank you!! Your support has meant the world to me...

And a special thank you to all the tea companies that have joined my #TeaWithRae Partnership. It's a big thing for tea companies to attach their name to a blog that has nothing to do with food but instead presents provocative topics like mine that make some people uneasy.

That is no small thing and I understand it's implications all the way around. And thanks to all my readers that have checked out my tea recommendations. I hope that they lived up to my explanations.

Where do we go from here? Glad you asked. First, I'm getting a facelift! A wonderful web designer is working on my new look as I write. Maybe this week, maybe another week, but soon we will have a new look.

Second, I will continue to be honest, candid and transparent. I will continue to tackle topics that help us grow... help us to do and help us be better to ourselves and to others. I will keep content current! Unless my health takes center stage, I will be blogging at least 4-6 times a week.

Third, I will reach out to more tea companies. And I will make the current relationships solid. My goal is to get more products to review and product for you. Giveaways are in the works. Also, I will be working out more discounts for you as well.

Last: I need you! If my blog has blessed you, please tell your friends... Email my blog to your entire email list! The more traffic I get, the better position I will be in to receive financial support. It's crazy that people like Kim Kardashian gets paid to Tweet. Huh? I need the support. Come to my blog daily. You can also post a blog you like on your Facebook page... Tweet my blogs to your followers....

The more you come to my blog the better position I will be in to do more for you!!! This has been a great start for a new blog... But I need you to help me grow!!! I have been getting between 10,000-12,000 visits a month. I need to make that 50,000 a month... 50,000 a day... #IcannotdoitAlone.

Thanks for a wonderful year!! #TeamRae

blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics