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, June 18, 2012

Monday Reflection: Self Care is Self Love!

I've been threatening to take better care of myself for months, but something always seems to get in the way. Yep, one project or another always seems to be more important than me. I work and work until I crash.

I keep a breakneck schedule almost never coming up to smell the roses, literally or figuratively. And that only adds layers of stress to me both physically and emotionally. STRESS is a KILLER People!!

I never ever listen to my body! In spite of the fact that Markeeda and Luke screams it from the top of their lungs. I understand that, but no matter how I plan time for myself it never seems to work out, I break the plan within a week. For real. It is a sad reflection on my self-care.

Then I went on vacation and there I realized how much I needed time to renew, not just yearly, but daily. I came back to Chicago rested and committed to get more balance in my life and then after a week that commitment went to hell in a hand basket. I started to think about the fact that there are no speaking engagements on the books, and everything changed. Work became my best friend yet again. It became my God and I dropped the goddess in me like a hot potato.

Me and Sophie In the Ocean in Turks and Caicos
Within a week I was back to my old workaholic self, but my body started to feel the stress right away and right away and I was singing that same old song about how I needed to find BALANCE!

Then last week I had a welcomed interruption, well not at first but sort of. My good friend Peter called out of the blue and said he was driving to Chicago to lay his eyes on me. He was tired of seeing me through Facebook. I was happy to see him, but the visit came at a bad time... Ummm I HAVE WORK TO DO!

Entertain, ha and I told him, "You can come BOO, but I have WORK to do! Well Peter brought the spirit of renewal with him and it became contagious. Every time I started to work, he would start a new and profound topic that distracted me from my work and forced me to sit on the sofa with him and relax. It became infectious. So we spent most of the time curled up on the sofa with a cup of tea, hashing out life.

One View on My Morning Walk!
During that same time, I had another friend to drop by and Peter thought that he had a wonderful spirit.  After he left Peter convinced me to go walking with my friend, who has been pleading with me for two years. OK, so I agreed mostly to shut Peter up, but OMG it was exactly what I needed.

My visit with Peter helped me tremendously and I figured out part of my problem. I work against myself not with myself. My body was in sync with the schedule we kept in Turks. The mornings are a gift from God to my body and my spirit. I am my best at the top of the day. The only reason my  days became a drag was that I extend myself way into the night when it's not necessary and that affected the next day. In Turks I gave myself permission to chill and to go to sleep. With Peter hanging out I gave myself permission to stop and enjoy the moments.

I'm coming to terms with it all; the need to renew and how that directly impacts your mind, body and spirit. There will always be a next project and something that needs to get done, but there will only be one of you. There is no need to destroy you in the process of getting it done.

Living with AIDS is hard enough. It works against the body and the spirit and there is no need in helping it to kick my ass. I'm clearer than ever! Self-Care is Self-Love! I no longer have any guilt when I stop my morning project to take my morning walk. The walk is just as important as the work. They both serve to add value to my life.

This has been a breakthrough for me of sorts. The combined trip to Turks and then Peter's visit helped me to see the path that I must take to be a better me for me. Then, actually taking the time, I mean TAKING it proved its own point. I had been playing lip service to rest, but once I really allowed myself to rest guilt free, I could see more clearly. My body was happy and grateful and my spirit was thankful.

Another Morning View...
It does not matter if you have a high paced job or work at McDonalds, whether you're a student or a mother, you must create some time to take care of you for you. At the end of the day, your worth to others and most importantly to yourself will only grow if you are able to be the best you can be. If you spend every moment of your day, until you lay your head down being busy, you are doing yourself a disservice.

As I am working to be the best I can be for me in this next half century of my life, I challenge you to start now! Join me in self-renewal and self-care. Step away from the crazy of the day! Step away from the crazy of the people, even step away from your goals for at least an hour every day. Take a walk, read a book, flip through some magazines, listen to some music. I downloaded Sting's Symphonicities, I had forgotten that I like soft rock.

See this as an investment in your feature. No one will love you like you. Don't devalue your life like people devalue their things. Invest in yourself! Continue to let the value of who you are grow. Happy Monday!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics