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, July 16, 2012

Monday Reflection: Gettin To Your Victory!

How many times have you declared something for your life and then within a matter of months and for some even weeks that thing falls off the radar? I know I've been there in my own life more times than I would like to admit. Yep, I've been there with men, with my finances, and with my body.

I've learned over the years that making real change only begins with a declaration. The rest requires WORK! I MEAN REAL WORK! The question then becomes how low do you have to go to make the positive changes in your life to be the best you for you? Like when do you get fed up with yourself to do what you were capable of in the beginning?

I understand the first step is acknowledging the need to change, but some people have learned behaviors that become their "Norm" and that is a way of life.

Like with me and men. I had to learn something new about myself, men and relationships to get to this place where I actually understand that sex is not love or that good sex, chemistry with a man will not determine if he will treat you right.

Lawd that was painful, and it took a lot of therapy to help me get to the root, so that I could pluck it out. Then plucking was hard, and it left me lonely but overtime it left me liking me and then in more time, loving the me that I liked.

My growth has been a journey in and of itself. I watch on Twitter all these positive thinking women telling other women about self-love as if it's just that easy to will it so, baby, you gotta make it so. But first you gotta change your mind. My first love used to say, change your mind and your ass will follow. He ain't never lied. But you first gotta understand the need for change and what got you there in the first beginning. I remember Oprah saying, once she realized that she didn't  just like potato chips, but there was a reason she ate the whole bag instead of a few, she could then work on her weight in honesty.

People say when you know better you do better, but that shit ain't always true. It just ain't TRUE!  I know I shouldn't spend my last dime on some designer shoes, but I've done it anyway. Not just one time, but two, three, four and five.

I had to have EVERYTHING I saw, #ForReal. At first the need to change was out of necessity, speaking engagements had dried up and money was not rolling in like it had in the past. But I was still stuck no matter how hard I tried. I would always find an excuse to spend my last dime on something I truly didn't need in the first beginning. It was a vicious cycle. I would save and then spend it on bullshit in a matter of minutes.

Then as I was writing my memoir a few years ago, it hit me like a ton of bricks. My relationship with my mother started me on that path. Mama was an interesting functional alcoholic. She went to work every day, drank her liquor from the pantry, beat and cuss me at whim but she took personal care of me right down to the letter T.  I never went hungry and I never wanted for a thing, not ONE thing.  In fact, it was the only consistent thing in my life. I asked and Mama gave, the more she gave, the more I asked.  I remember asking for that Maxi leather coat in 8th grade. She raised hell, but she got it. Now looking back that was deep, she didn't come to my 8th grade graduation, but she bought me a coat that was probably at the time, as much as her paycheck. That was sick and her sickness nurtured my sickness. So knowing better, does not always translate into doing better.

To make real change in your life, you must dig deeper. You must be willing to answer the difficult questions. How did I get here? Then you must answer with raw honesty. But then after that is all said and done, you must be willing to do the work. Facing yourself is the easiest part, actually applying it will be the only thing that will ensure change.  Is change possible? Absolutely! But you have to put on your boxing gloves and go all 10 rounds with yourself. This is your life, your battle and your victory to being the best you for you.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics