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, and when my daughter was a baby, I tried to put it into action. Instead of entertaining her, teaching her or constantly interacting with her, 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.
In my view, wise teachings should leave us feeling clearer and spacious and not layered with complicated requirements.
Several weeks ago, Isabel Bilous, a super sweet and wise holistic doula who just returned from studying herbs at Ina May Gaskin’s Midwifery Farm in Tennessee, 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 or not.
Why don’t we drink it more in our culture? Probably because it’s more about slowing down and making things simple again, 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.
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:
mint – buy at the farmer’s market if possible
fennel seed – one of nature’s most cooling spices – you can just nibble them, or strain if you prefer. great for helping with mama’s and babys digestion.
coriander and/or cardamom – from Whole Foods bulk.
Then, add room temperature water or hot water and a couple ice cubes (not enough to make it super chilly though – this can actually heat us up, as according to Ayurveda the body turns on the heat from the inside when we put it out).
Take your tea, sit down and watch the sun on the leaves. Please let me know what happens. But I think you might just feel healed on so many levels.
Keep it simple this week, Mama – that’s where the good stuff is!