I’m not much of a Monday sort of
person. It’s an important day, I’ll give it that, but after a nice
weekend with my son I’m inclined to take it easy. Keeping up with a
two-year old is hard work. Working from home with said son running
around makes Mondays even harder. When I’m out of the house the
change in surroundings helps to reset my mental state. At home, I’m
still in the same frame of mind at the start the day.
This Monday set itself apart from the
usual run-of-the-mill by starting off at a gallop. A storm of emails
and calls forced me to move quickly, shooting off responses and
explanations at a blistering pace. Meanwhile some family business
finally came to fruition and I worked out a better explanation for
one of the methods I use in holographic analysis.
In this environment I had to find the
stillness required for action by balancing four basic competing
The financial press created by the
business of having a family
The psychological pull to assist
my wife and child while still having to work
The intellectual stretching
required to track all of the ideas and communication threads flying
The emotional oscillation caused
by my own hopes and fears as I reviewed various opportunities
Now, I could just repress one or more
aspects of my personality so I could focus on one thing at a time.
Focus is one of the most important aspects of the disciplines I
practice; with that one thing you can move mountains. However, I
know from practical experience that repression leads to greater
problems over time. It’s also somewhat addictive, since it allows
you to generate great activity without necessarily addressing the
things throwing you off balance.
In order to deal with the situation I
deployed one of my favorite tricks; making a cup of tea. Yes, tea.
Let me explain.
When it comes to a drink of choice, I
know a lot of people like coffee. The caffeine helps us to get over
our near chronic sleep deprivation. For historical reasons it’s
also the drink of choice in work related social situations (from way
back when, when beer was about the only thing you could drink without
getting sick). That said, I’m a tea man.
Why tea? It is the flavor? The aroma?
The fact I sometimes have very high blood pressure and don’t like to
take medications? The availability of herbal preparations which
generally make an appearance in island intoxicants? All of those
mean something, I guess, but the reason is really much more
Tea is about ritual. You prepare the
water in particular, idiosyncratic way. You select a tea, place it
in your tea bag/ball/tripod. When the water is ready, you decant it.
Then you wait while the tea steeps; nothing can change the need to
wait but you can decide how long you wait based on your tea selection
and preferences. When the moment arrives you strain the tea into a
cup (or two) and then move forward.
Rituals allow us to both create order
and return to focus. In this case, the time-honored elements of
making tea allow me to focus in on something simple while my
subconscious chews away at how to organize everything else. That
focus calms me, which in turn allows me to use the answers I come up
with during the down time to greater effect.
I choose tea as my ritual for a lot of
personal reasons; that’s what makes it effective.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go
brew a pot. I have some things to not think about.