Midwest Tea Fest 2016 was …..nice.

It wasn’t particularly huge. (Although I hear it was bigger and better than last year.) I didn’t really learn much about tea production or blending. I tasted some great teas … and some not so great teas. I discovered they make green tea Kit Kats but chose to try the homemade matcha brownie instead. I brought home plenty of samples (although Brian isn’t sharing from his accidentally double stuffed SWAG bag.)

It was nothing overwhelming or groundbreaking. I didn’t come away with a new knowledge of what makes a great Pu er or how to develop my palate. I confess to leaving a session with a bad PowerPoint that included making me watch a YouTube video. (The black and white bullet point PowerPoint is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. It’s totally my issue and no reflection on the knowledge of the speaker.)

What saved the weekend for me (besides the Greyliner from Hugo Tea Company) were the people. It was the  wisdom and valuable life lessons shared by those who make tea their life.

Stacie Robertson, owner of Tea Market, gave some great insight into teas and wellness. As she talked about some of her wellness blends she made several important points about tea for health.

Tea isn’t a cure all but it sure can help.

Tea will not cure cancer or diabetes. It can help your body do what it needs and wants to do, like reduce inflammation, and support the healing process. Herbs can have medicinal effect but it may not replace your blood pressure or cholesterol medication. What I took from Stacie’s words, and what I have always believed, is that traditional and western medicines often need to work together. Tea is preventative and complimentary to other forms of healing, which brings Stacie’s next point…

There is too much talk about health care and not enough about self care.

Most doctors are treating illness, not making you healthier. Self-care and taking control of your health and wellness is up to you. There are many ways to do this, tea is just one of them.

You can lose weight drinking tea….if it is in place of your usual Snickers.

It think Stacie was quoting Oprah here and making a reference to diets in general. The point is there is no magic weight loss tea but if you have a cup of chocolate tea instead of a candy bar you are cutting calories which may lead to weight loss. The same idea applies to your nightly glass or two of wine. Replace it with Sleep tea and you may find your sleep and body changing for the better.

I sat in on a session about how to have a tea celebration because I want to have a glorious 41st birthday tea as part of my 100 Dreams List Blitz in July. Lorna Reeves of Tea Time Magazine had me fascinated with her beautiful photos and menu ideas but it was the deeper meaning behind her party planning tips that really hit home.

Don’t try a new recipe the day of the party.

Practice, practice, practice! Nothing is perfect the first time. If you expect it to be then you are setting yourself up for failure. Have some patience with yourself and give everything time to work.

Vary your menu by size and shape.

Fitness is not a specific size or ability level. Fitness is a state of mind, a lifestyle and a commitment. We all do that in different ways. In looks different on all of us. When we acknowledge and honor that not only does our own journey become more fun, life for all of us is far more joyful.

The last session of the day was about my favorite combo – tea and travel. Someday I want to do tea tours and I hope to offer my first wellness retreat this year. Dan Robertson of World Tea Tours gave me some great ideas and a pearl of wisdom or two.

Value vs. cost, what is the value of your time?

The tea tour that costs the least isn’t always the best value. When we look at the cost of something we often forget to think about the value of our time. The older I get the more aware I become of how precious time is. This makes me willing to pay someone to clean my house (this happiness booster has also improved marital harmony) and deliver my groceries (more time for my happy place – the farmers market). Don’t just look at the price of something in dollars. Think about the value it can bring to your life overall.

Seize the tea? Yes…life is too short to drink bad tea. Embrace tea with zeal and let it help you make the best of each day.

There is a lot of wisdom in your cup. How does your tea speak to you? Which of these life lessons did you need to hear today?

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