On Empty Houses, Teas, and Simplifying

Recently I had some people over to the completely empty house we’d just bought.  

We were planning to see it quickly and then go have a picnic, but to our surprise the kids were having a BLAST.

There was not one toy to be found, and yet we could not drag them out of there.

This reminded me of a book called Trees Make the Best Mobiles; Simple Ways to Raise Your Child in a Complex World, by Jessica Teich.  

I loved this book when I read it. When my daughter was a baby, I tried to put it into action. Instead of entertaining her, teaching her or constantly interacting with her, I tried simplifying. We would sit.

I remember sitting on the front porch and watching the sun hit the leaves.  It was not easy.  But I could tell that by simplifying our day, I was nurturing my baby as well as myself in a way that we both really needed.

tea slowing down yoga - the art of simplifying

In my view, wise teachings should leave us feeling clearer and spacious and not layered with complicated requirements.

Isabel Bilous, a super sweet and wise holistic doula who just returned from studying herbs at Ina May Gaskin’s Midwifery Farm in Tennessee, recently came to our prenatal class and offered a wise teaching by simply sharing samples of an herbal pregnancy tea she’d made.

So what is tea?  

Boiling water with some herbs or spice in it.  So easy. You can strain it or not.

It’s probably not that popular in our go-go-go culture because tea is more about slowing down and making things simple again, rather than revving up and getting a chemical boost as we run to our next activity.

Why don’t we like slowing down?  

Because this is where our truth arises.  Truth is powerful and scary and can change things.  But when we slow down and listen, it might not be easy, but we are guided to make things better. Simplifying means we get to reconnect to our meaning.

And believe it or not, warm tea can cool you down. The body can integrate it easier, so it doesn’t have to expend energy (and thus heat up) to process it.

Plus, certain herbs are considered cooling and great to have around:

tea mint slowing down - the art of simplifying

Mint – buy at the farmer’s market if possible

Fennel seed – one of nature’s most cooling spices – you can just nibble or strain, if you prefer. And it is great for helping with mama’s and baby’s digestion

Coriander and/or cardamom – from Whole Foods bulk and rich in immune boosting antioxidants

Add room temperature or hot water and let it steep for a few minutes.

Then take your tea, sit down and watch the sun on the leaves. You may end up feeling healed on so many levels.

Simplifying is do-able, Mama – and that’s where the good stuff is. 

Thank you for spreading the Ma love!

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