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, August 25, 2015

Stop Blocking The Next Chapter of Your Life!

I took an unexpected vacation from blogging. No, it was not health related. My emotional and physical health is great. It's just that I've had so much work to do in other areas of my life, that blogging took a back sit. Be clear though, while on this blogging vacation, I realized that I LOVE blogging and I've missed it like I miss bread when I'm doing my Paleo diet, LOL but For Real. 

Yet, I also realize that you sometimes have to step back so that you can move forward. Sometimes you have to let go of somethings in order to grab onto that other thing hanging in the balance. If not, you risk it all tumbling down. You can only hold so much in your hands and that's an undisputed fact. And while it all may be important to you, there's nothing in the book of life that say's you cannot put it down and then come back to pick it up.

So I've  been plugging away and even at times simply muddling through with the edits on my memoir Unprotected. (Thanks for the pre-orders)  I'm still planning to release it December 1, 2015, so I suspect the next couple of months I'll be really super single focused. I'll try to get a blog or two in weekly. 

I'm in hump time and it needs to be finished. It's like one of those things you just have to do. It's like when you are at the end of a wonderful book and you're sleepy, but you can't put it down. I have that urgency in my spirit, I gotta finish! There is closure at the end of a good book no matter the outcome. You can sit back and say, "WOW, But, How-come," and to me that's the thing that makes a book good, it leaves you thinking. And the best part, once it's all done, you can pick up yet another good book. And the new book, gives you something new to think about

That's how I feel about my memoir, I need to finish this era of my life so that I can start writing the new book. Maya Angelou did just that. Most of her books where memoirs of different era's of her life. Now I'm not saying that I'm writing a new book, who knows what the future holds. I am saying metaphorically it's time to write this book, tell that story and move to the next phase of my life.

Even though I know all of this, I've still been paralyzed. I think that this paralysis is caused by the fullness of my story and the things that need closure. Like who infected me with HIV; Who molested me as a child; My dysfunctional relationship with my white biological mother and my black step grandmother, who raised me; How I dealt with homelessness at 17; My work on the Jesse Jackson presidential campaigns; How my childhood lead me to HIV; that marriage of mine; and of course how God undergirded my life, despite my life. 

The fact of the matter, finishing this memoir brings a certain kind of closure to parts of my life. I get that!!! Finishing this memoir will break the chains of my past and render it powerless over my future.

And just maybe I've been stuck on the edits because of the fear of my past being so public. And that in turn  is controlling my outcome, my future. Another fact, I've been so authentic and transparent up to this point, I know that I can't let this fear block the best of my gift, that is, being able to tell my story in a way it enriches the lives of others. I can't be chicken shit now that I done told you all the other stuff.

At the end of the day, we all have things that we are  holding onto that we should have let go a long time ago. Like that man you should have unfollowed on Facebook or that "sometimey" friend who's pictures you should have stopped liking on Instagram like yesterday. 

I don't know about you, but I don't want anything to hold me back from what's next. Whether it's physically or emotionally, I'm trying to be my best me. So I'm going  to bunker down these next two months and finish my memoir. 

I understand that you have to do what's necessary to break the chains of your past. Sometimes adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse write their abusers a letter and then burn it as a way of releasing the abuser hold over them. I know they tell people in recovery to remove themselves from people and places that facilitated their addiction. Maybe moving on means, accepting a marriage proposal from a wonderful man as a way to  let go of what went wrong in your last marriage. 

I don't know what you have to do in your own life to move forward whether you have unfollow, delete, write it out, burn it out, accept something new and wonderful even if you can't predict the outcome, but I do know, as long as you continue to hold onto the past, you are placing limitations on your future. And as sure as you are reading this blog, God has a next for you. But in the end, it's up to you to embrace it. The bible says that you cannot put new wine in old bottles. Stop blocking the next chapter of your life by holding onto what was.

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