Please read Walking…#1: Introduction before this or any other post in this Series. Thank you.
Good things happen over tea. I saw that quote on a gift mug today. It’s true. Perhaps I’m particularly English 😉 though it’s my coffee I really can’t get through a day without!
This one follows quite well from#2 and is another way of practising grounding and mindfulness.
If it’s not too wet a day, I like to sit outside for a few minutes with my tea. I don’t mind if it’s cold – I wrap up well and the nip in the air adds to the sensations that keep me rooted in the present.
I hold the cup. Enjoy the smell. Watch the delicate progress of the steam wafting upwards and maybe feel it on my cheeks if it’s a particularly cool day. I sip slowly and really enjoy the flavour and the comfort the warm milky drink brings inside.
Then I turn my attention further outwards. A good place to start, I’m told, is to name 3 things you can see, 3 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 3 things you can smell. Sometimes I start there and then go on to appreciate in detail something in my familiar surroundings. For example, how many different shades of green / gold / brown are there in the big tree opposite my flat? Count them. What shape are its leaves? Are there fewer today, if it has been windy?
By this time, if I was feeling okay when I started I may be feeling calm enough to try some slow breathing exercises. If I was in a state of very high emotion, turning my attention outwards in this small way may have been enough to just slightly take me away from the extreme, to a place I can be a bit further from acting on dangerous impulses.