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: Watering The Seed God Planted!

About four years ago God planted a seed in my heart and spirit but I was waiting on Him to make it happen. Yep, after all of my stepping out on faith, I mean come on Rae, speaking, cover of Essence, news reports with an Emmy in tote, blog, social media, I did it all on faith. I felt it in my gut and I acted on it, not knowing what the outcome would be, but just believing the voice of God.

But on this one I was stuck in fear. A radio show, with no experience or expertise, "God has got to work this one out," I kept saying to myself. It seemed like a good idea. I mean, my storytelling way of reaching people has worked well on the speaking circuit. My cut to the chase, no nonsense, candid honesty and transparency works.

I have a gift to reach people in a way that touches the very core of them. People often walk away loving me or hating me, but they all walk away thinking. And for me, that's all that really matters. As long as I got my baby girl Sophie, I will always have someone to love me... Just Sayin... I do this to help enrich lives... That's my bottom line! I cut through the bullshit! My life coach style is not only a gift, it is God doing His best work out of my human mess.

So why have I been so stuck? It don't make sense. I did that series of hard news reports for CBS. I sat anchor and told my story in an eight part series that won me an Emmy. What's the problem Rae?" I asked. But Sybil answered, "Well, on TV you had a team of people, a producer, a writer, a cameraman. Who the hell do you think you are to possibly think you could have a radio show with NO technical support? See, there goes Sybil again. *SMDH* And for 4 years Sybil kept me from watering the seed God had planted. I kept saying, "Surely someone will give me a "real" radio show.

I fought hard against the idea of Blog Radio. There are so many blog shows. #ForReal. I didn't want to be another one in the bunch. Even at the beginning of the year when I got, honestly, more than 25 tweets in one day asking me if I was gonna do a radio show this year, I fought it. Even after someone sent me the link to blog radio, I fought it.

And I guess if I'm honest, pride was in my way. Come on and be honest with yourself Rae. I've been on the cover of countless magazines, I have an Emmy, I'm one of the most name recognizable black women in the US with AIDS, why wouldn't someone want to give me a radio show. So I floated the idea around, I even shopped the idea around. Nothing!

So I came to that place about two weeks ago, like with a whole lot of things in my life, God wants me to step out on faith yet again. Do the work, He will do the rest. It clicked!! Just like that from having the very same conversation with my BFF's Luke and Audrey in the same day. It's time to take it to the next level.

Over the years I've done everybody's show under the planet, now it's time to do my own. If it's just me and one listener, then I've done what I am supposed to do. I can't let my ego and crazy ass Sybil get in the way of God's work. And by the way... At the beginning of the year, God also planted a seed in your spirit... What have you done with it so far this year?

I'm stepping out on faith. Watering the seed God has planted. This show will give people a chance to talk to me about the complicated issues of life. Staring today -- Tea With Rae: Wellness for the Mind, Body and Sprit will air each Monday at 8:00 p.m. cst, for one hour. It will be a talk radio show in the truest sense. I will present a topic and I need you to call in. My call-in number is 626-414-3495. Let's talk about it... I hope that you will support the blog talk radio show, just as you have supported all of my social media: Diva Blog, Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, and really Blog Talk Radio is the next step. I will need you to not only listen but to call in... #IcannotdoitAlone.

In this show I explore the complex issues of life. My hope is to push the envelop that will force us to reexamine our lives in such a way that we make healthy decisions that will enrich our mind, body and spirit. In my life couch manner, I will bring provocative topics that will be discussed with candor, honesty and transparency.

I say it again, God has given me a unique gift to explore life’s topics that help to enrich the lives of others. I will bring all that I have to this show as an extension of my ministry and work. I will utilize all of my expertise! I will draw on my experiences as a renowned AIDS activist, a seminary educated minister with a Master of Divinity degree, a woman with 27 years of education, a seasoned political organizer, and a woman that has triumphed against all the odds. This show will be educational and inspirational.

It’s not a health show or HIV/AIDS show, but it will have a wellness overtone. The mind, body and spirit are very much connected. This show will give information to help people live whole and healthy in all areas of their life. So grab a cup of tea and join me as we sip wellness and talk wellness!

PostScript: My hope is to upgrade the show to two times a week and to a 1-800 call in number. But I will need financial support to make that happen. I am working on a patronage program which will be a concrete way to support the show. I will introduce it soon... In the meantime, just tune in!!! And follow the show...

Show Schedule: The first show  A Woman's Worth is in honor of National Women and Girls' HIV Awareness Day this week. We will discuss the rising cases of HIV among Black women, how we got here, and how we can change it.

The entire month is dedicated to Woman's History Month. I will be discussing issues that impact the very core of woman and what we can do as women to change things for the better. This month is about women for women, but we don't live on an island, we live with men so these topics will intersect with the lives of men.

3/8/2011- A Woman's Worth 
3/14/2011 - Pretty Woman's Syndrome
3/21/2011 - The Honest Truth About Trust
3/28/2011 - Self Worth
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