The Healing Power of Ritual : Tea

It started many years ago.  My grandmother loved to throw us tea parties as kids and we loved the tiny sandwiches and pickle plates.  We had our own special cups and saucers and we spent hours giggling and pouring tea for each other.   I wish that I could say I carried this tradition on into my teens and twenties, but I didn’t.  It wasn’t until I was approaching motherhood that the ritual of tea drinking  came back to the surface, making a profound impact on my everyday experience.   I was pregnant with my first, my son, and I had been bringing herbs into my life little by little for a few years.  Mostly this curiosity was fed with natural skin care and aromatherapy, so I had a good base for what was about to unfold.  I took pregnancy very seriously! I wanted nothing but the best food, the cleanest products and tea.  I threw myself fully into researching herbs and studying plants and started to blend my own nutritious brews.  This is when I fell in love with herbs.  Pregnancy was stoking the fire of herbal wisdom that I knew I had longed to uncover deep down inside.   I started drinkin’ my tea everyday.  I would brew a pot of womb enhancing herbal goodness and relish each moment I got to sit and enjoy its aroma and flavor.  I was creating a ritual that encouraged my extremely Vata (high energy, frazzled) personality to take a freakin break and relax with my cup of plant power.  It was nourishing and stimulating which really fed my soul.   Along came motherhood.  It was busy and full of surprises.  Finding my pace in Motherhood made those tea drinking moments difficult to come by, many times I would make a pot of tea and by the time I would get to enjoying it it would be cold.  Now, I do enjoy some cold tea, but that wasn’t my intention.  I started to lose some of the ritual and it was beginning to take its toll on my emotional and spiritual health.   I got pregnant again a few years later, was very excited to welcome another baby into our family and was ready to re-establish my self care rituals.  I dove wholeheartedly back into herbal self care and it felt so amazing.  I began to feel myself regaining some deeper consciousness, my creative juices were flowing and it was pulling me out of the depths of motherhood.  Then I had a miscarriage.  It was devastating.  I honestly didn’t know if I was strong enough to overcome the loss that I felt.  I was mad at my body, I was mad at my uterus, I was mad at myself for potentially doing something wrong.  It was in these intense moments of self doubt and anger that my tea ritual resurfaced and started to help me process and heal.  It was in these moments that I desperately needed a hot pot of nourishing herbal support.  So, I began by drinking a soothing calming blend at the end of my day.  After getting through the toddler tantrums and feeling uncertain of my mothering skills this seemed to make me feel clearer and calmer so I could better understand what I was experiencing.  It was a place of comfort.  Feet up, comfy pillow, warm beverage comfort.  I felt snuggled and held, like the tea itself was giving me support to move forward, and forward I went. I got pregnant shortly after my miscarriage.  It was nerve wracking and hard to manage those first months, but with my attention toward my daily ritual, my daily cups, I was able to soften my anxiety and finally enjoy the process of growing a baby.  Throughout the months of carrying my baby girl I kept up with my tea drinking rituals.  I had my morning cup, which replaced my deeply loved cup of coffee, I nourished myself in the afternoon with Red Raspberry leaf and Nettles, and settled at night with Chamomile and Passionflower.  It helped me keep it all together.  I had something to look forward to when things got especially crazy and I had the herbs to support me when I thought everything was spinning out of control.  I felt comfort in the boiling of the water, pouring the water over the herbs, the aromas that they created, the tastes and the nourishment that they supplied my body.  It was therapy, pure and simple.  I started to connect with the spirit of the plant, the essence it was now filling me with and it has since made my motherhood journey so much more complete.  I was mending one cup at a time.   I’m now a mom of two incredibly intense children and the tea drinking is definitely a ritual I live by.  I’m more available to listen and direct the insane amount of “stuff” that comes at me each day when I’m comforted by my herbs.  It’s a small thing I can do regularly to stay connected to the love I have for myself and for mother earth.   I encourage you to create a ritual for yourself that can fulfill and nourish, like tea does for me.  Whether you run or hike, do yoga or meditate, snuggle your dog or cat, enjoy a deep massage or seek alone time...the possibilities are endless.  Ritual is a major component for the health and wellbeing of any mother.  It takes a tremendous amount of self love to care for those around you.  By giving yourself space, daily, to support a ritual I can surely say you will feel stronger and more fulfilled as woman, mother, partner, friend and all the many hats that you wear.

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