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

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Living With Intent...

We make a lot of decisions about our lives, from what to eat, to who we should have sex with. What I know for sure, is that every action has a reaction, some for the good and others for bad, some that are permanent and others that last for just a moment in time. Since I've been editing my memoir Unprotected,  I've had to give my life a lot of thought. The good, the bad and oh God even the ugly. The good we tend to celebrate but the ugly all I can say is thank God I'm not, "that girl" anymore. For sure looking back over my life has made me think about the rest of my life. 

For sure I never imagined to be at this place. An AIDS Activist, a minister, a blogger, a jewelry designer and at the end of the day, Alive. What kept me alive through all the chaos from childhood to AIDS was that I never gave up. I sent energy into the universe that said, I am more than what my Mama said I was. I am more than what people say about people with HIV. I'm even more than living with AIDS. And what I believe is the energy that you send out, is what you get back. Paulo Coelho writes in his book, The Alchemist, "When a person really desires something all the universe comprises to help that person realize his dream."

Sometimes we get where we are suppose to be because our intent is clear. I'm not talking about just professionally either, but also in our personal lives and even our inner most self. Like loving oneself and honoring who you are with the best that life has to offer and we never deter.

Honestly,  I was not "that girl." I had some valleys to dig through and even some mountains to climb. Life was stacked against me at birth. I was abused and I then self abused. How do you love yourself, when you are told that you are told that you are, "never going to be nothing." I had to learn to love myself, but first I had to learn what love is. 

And everything I did had an impact on my journey, every action gets a reaction.  But there was something inside of me fighting for a better me, a more loving me. I kept sending energy into the universe that I am better than this, I am not "that girl." I am more than what people say I am and I am more than what I'm capable of in my right now. I am more than how to live in this right now. I was always clear that God had a plan for my life and once I got through each messy mess, the compass pointed me in the right direction and I was on course yet again.

Staying on course even in the darkest times of my life was important to me. Even the most self-abused times of my life. I knew that God had a plan and I sought it out before I even learned to love myself. 

I believe with all my heart that our life purpose has many layers and there are many chapters. I thought that I only wanted a life in politics when I was nineteen. But after that first time I spoke at a high school about living with AIDS, I knew that this was what I was suppose to do right now. I took the first step toward that mission and the universe lined up on my behalf. Six months after I started actively speaking at high schools in Chicago, I met Susan Taylor and then came the cover of Essence Magazine and now it's been 21 years of doing this work.

But this is also true for my chapter in politics. After I organized seven bus loads of college students on my college campus to work on election day for  mayoral candidate Harold Washington, I knew that was what I was suppose to do. I took the first step and the universe lined up on my behalf. And two months later I was an intern at Operation PUSH and three months after that I was moving to Washington, D. C to be the Deputy National Youth Director for Rev. Jesse Jackson's 84 presidential campaign. I found myself traveling across the country organizing students to vote. The universe paved the way for the path I was suppose to take. My life in politics was for twelve wonderful years and many historical political campaigns under my belt. 

And now as I age with HIV, I've started to think about what's next. My doctor said that I probably won't live as long as a person without HIV or someone who hasn't had all the health related issues around HIV/AIDS that I have had, but she sees me here for a while. As speaking engagements are drying up more and more for me and the world want younger activist to keep HIV a sexy topic over and above experience, I know for sure that Its time to write the next chapter of my life.

 I'll always work around HIV/AIDS and I'll always speak, but what I'm no longer going to do is sit here and cry about the lack of speaking engagements and how freaking broke I am when God has gifted me with so many talents. I don't  willow in misery, I'm not "that girl." Never was and never will be. I believe that academia is my next chapter. I mean, I got all this education for a reason. I've started putting energy out into the universe and as it lines up for my good I'll do the work to help it along. I believe like Oprah, that we must live with intent. You can't say you want to go to school and you never complete an application. You can't get a man who will appreciate the best of you when you are dating men that only brings out the worst in you. #Imjustsayin

I know that my memoir is the very last of what I must do in this chapter. It's time to tell the whole story of how I ended in this place and how I made the best out of a fucked up life. It's the Amen to my first two chapters of life as I transition to what's next. 

 I will end his blog how I began, what I know for sure is that every action has a reaction. And everything you do matters. What kind of energy are you sending into the universe? Are you really living with intent; From who you have sex with, to what you eat, to loving yourself, to living your purpose not just talking about it. 

blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics