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

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Expert Your Damn Self!

In just two days I would have lived one full month in my 50th year of life. I am so liking 50! It's as if I've been reborn. No, not as a different person, the same person with a better understanding of life; MY LIFE!

 I have discovered some stuff about myself. Self discovery at any age is always good, but I think the older you get, the more you should be comfortable in your skin. I've been trying to make sense out of life for a very long time and actually I've been trying to make sense out of me. Not because I don't know me, but because sometimes life and people make me doubt me.

Which is another thing I've discovered at 50, I don't want to spend the rest of my life trying to figure out people's issues in a way that it helps to explain their issue with me. There is so much more to life than to be stuck in bullshit, mine or anybodies else. Spending more energy on trying to get people to like you, rather than liking yourself is wasted time. Self-approval must come first, and if you are mad crazy about what other people think, then you are not comfortable in your own skin. When you like you, you will draw the people in your life that will value, the value in you. If your time is spent people pleasing, then you don't like you as much as you like other people liking you. 

My Diva Yesterday Wearing Summer RLT Collection Bracelets!
I don't know how much longer I have to live, shoot I thought that I would be dead by now. But I'm not and I'm not wasting one more moment on hogwash. It took me a long time to learn to like myself and then love myself; years of tears, prayer, and therapy but I've arrived! I have drawn that conclusion. I like me and I'm comfortable with me and it's showing in everything that I do, from how I dress, to what comes out of my mouth, to my work, whether it is life-coaching, designing bracelets or challenging stigma around HIV, I'm good!

Yes, self discovering is a wonderful thing. Sometimes we let life and people keep us hanging in the balance trying to make sense of it all; afraid if we name it someone will criticize us. That's deep, we be scared to name who we are for fear that someone will say shame on you! But then what's the point of knowing who you are if you can't name it?

You can't grow if you don't understand your starting point. Don't let others define for you, what you can define for yourself. You are smart enough to know you. There ain't shit a person can tell you about yourself that you don't already know. You must speak truth to power!  If you don't name it, you cannot grow. Acceptance is half of the ball game.

Truth be told, at the end of the day, another person's spin on your life, may be bogged down with their shit and they may be defining you based on their own madness. Your madness is what counts and is enough!

I know I'm speaking some truths right here... Don't miss it. There have been times in my life where I've done some shit and said, "Girl, now you know that shit was wrong for you and everybody involved." Often times we go into situations with best intentions, and sometimes, shit happens and we try to figure out how we even got there, but that's life. Figure it out and move on. Grow from it! And no you don't have to explain it to anybody else. See, when you do that, you are asking for approval in a sort of way. BIG MISTAKE!  People will never understand your journey the way you understand your journey. Don't spend one moment trying to make them say, it's ok. That approval will have to come from within. You are the most important person to you, you have to be the one that is ok.

You are living in your skin. Your experiences are yours, take ownership for you and be ok with that.  You don't have to kick your ass, the lesson learned was enough and you certainly don't need someone else kicking your ass.

Then there have been other times, when I've said, "I don't like how this feels." No one had to tell me to stop, my honest introspective said it for me.  Everyone wants to be your expert, expert your damn self! True growth will only come from introspective.

Lynn, Me and Michelle!
Why work on you if you can't validate you? I had a Sista Girl Lunch yesterday with relationship expert and author Michelle Mckinney Hammond and finance Guru Lynn Richards and we talked about being authentic. Michelle said, "When you have been set free, you are free indeed."  She also said, "Religious Folk are so bound up." Give yourself permission to set your self free.

Be your own expert! Know that you know, that you know. But to know, you have to look within and be honest and then live in your truths! Don't let people shame you for you.  The longer you stay bogged down in shame, the longer it will take you to be a better you.

Summer RLT Collection
As I move in this universe in this next half century, I'm moving with more confidence and self assured then ever before! That I know for sure.

I also know that I'm on an awesome journey right now. With this self-assurance I've come to an openness in life that I have never had before. Something is changing in me. I can't name it but I can feel it. But the starting point was accepting me for me.  And I'm ok being ok with the fact that the me I'm ok with, won't be ok with everyone else. I can't live my life for everybody else, I live for me and the purpose that is within me.

PS... Don't Forget RLT Reads has a new book.  In My Father's House by E. Lynn Harris. The book discussion will be held on July 19th, so START reading. Also if you are a big FAN of E. Lynn Harris's books  there is a wonderful contest with Cuisine Noir Magazine connected to this book... Don't sleep on it! Click here For Details. 

blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics