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  • Writer's pictureNeha Joshi

My ‘Chai Sessions’ with me

Updated: Jun 25, 2019

It’s 11:00 am and I look at the clock with a certain hurried sense. It’s that time of the day when my work has gained momentum and this is especially very important when you are a writer. But this is also the time when I take my tea break. I quickly get up and let the tea leaves boil to a perfect concoction in the water, add the necessary extras like lemon grass, ginger, cardamom or other things, milk and finally strain it in my small single cup size and very chic kettle.  ‘My Chai session with Me’ for the day has begun!

My ‘Chai Sessions’ with Me - As strange as it may sound to many of you, it is a very important part of my routine now. To sit and enjoy a nice cup of tea with ginger and lemongrass, sometimes cardamom-cinnamon-pepper or just simple plain chai. I have been a tea connoisseur of sorts since I was a child. I simply loved tea since ages and wouldn’t mind admitting that this has been the only addiction of my life. I have followed several diet plans but have never given up on my quintessential tea. I always found a way to have it come what may.

However, another angle to this phenomenon of my life is that I love to enjoy it in complete silence at times. Although the toxic addiction of smartphones has taken away a bit of a charm from that time but now that I am savouring some alone time at home with ‘work from home’ options, I have got back to that very essential ‘ME TIME’ where I am in complete ‘Solitude’. Yes, that is the most important ingredient here – ‘Solitude’. Solitude is nothing but a time and state where you sit with yourself and just ‘BE’. Be in your own company and enjoy it. Maybe even have conversations with your own self and introspect on life and circumstances. Most importantly just observe your own life from outside without trying to judge. It’s a very relaxing feeling.

People always associate it with loneliness but it’s so wrong. We must understand that being with your own self is the most important thing that you can give yourself. Lonely is a feeling that makes you feel that no one accompanies or understands you. However, you are your own best friend and should always be. After all who will understand you better than your own self?

So, although tea is something I love, I also use it as an excuse to escape from the hustle bustle around. To top it, if you get to do this when you are alone then nothing like it! When you get tied up with kids, home, job and house to take care of you may just feel so lost and out of touch with yourself. These small breaks taken during the day can just bring you back to sanity. It’s a given now that when we are posed with responsibilities we tend to ignore ourselves and never even think of what we are feeling about anything that’s going on.

Picture this. It’s a busy day and you are supposed to get up early and pack a nice lunch because one of your kids has a picnic and another one has a regular school. You have an important assignment to complete the same day and also make sure that some errands at home like plumbing or a filter needs a repair. Frankly, these things are a routine for working parents since they need to be super-humans and manage all these tasks deftly. Amidst all this chaos where you are finishing one task after another, you may feel lost and ignored. Suddenly when you are done or get some free time in between just try making yourself a nice cup of tea and enjoy every sip of it sitting quietly with no one but yourself. You will suddenly feel a sense of calm over-riding you and it will give you a fresh new energy to carry on with the remaining one million tasks of the day.

Many times in my career life I have had opportunities to work from home in absolute solitude. I must admit I have enjoyed them with very few streaks of boredom when I missed people, but largely I have valued that time. You must value the ‘Me Time’ and make sure no one gets an entry there. Although I mostly spend it having my tea, cooking up something I like at times, reading or just plain staring at nature. The free-wheeling thought process at times baffles me when I just let those thoughts come. You can do so many things in this time and once you get into a routine, you actually start taking time out for it.

There are so many indulgences in life on which we spend a fortune in a hope that they bring joy and happiness. However, we often forget that the simplest things in life are the ones that bring the greatest joys in life. I have learnt this innumerable times in life. Who knew that having a ‘Cup of Tea’ with self can lead to so many realisations and joy? I even went ahead and bought a teacup and kettle set for myself to make sure I enjoy my time in some style, peace and tranquillity. What an addiction it has become !

I am reading a lot of spiritual books these days by Swami Paramhansa Yogananda and he teaches the importance of being connected with your inner silence even when you are going through the worldly duties and being amongst crowds. This small effort of having my ‘Me Time’ connects me with that silence within and helps rejuvenate my mind. Just like we exercise to keep the physical body fit, making the mind silent is the way to keep the mind fit and healthy. It’s the servicing system of the mind. We must empty it every now and then to re-ignite the mind’s capacity. To increase its ability to perform better and reach its full potential. It can have miraculous results when we just allow it those few moments of calm.

So go on and claim this time of your life and remember that as Ellen Burstyn said: “What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be”.

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