Spring: Tea Meditation

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This is an excerpt from the Ebook: Heart of Blending It can be purchased here for $10

Spring, a new season of growth and abundance greets us with a merry heart and a promise of new beginnings.

With a deep sigh and a graceful stretch, Mother Earth is waking up from her peaceful slumber and life is being renewed. Nourish your beautiful body, mind and soul with fragrant floral teas that will help dispel excess cold from the body and revitalize the senses. 

It was once thought that if you bathe your face is the morning spring dew- beauty would follow you the remainder of the year.

This ritual is intended to stimulate the senses and encourage growth from within.

You can do this simple ritual anytime of day, but I find it more pleasurable in the late  morning when the dew is fresh and the sun is warming up the earth. Steep yourself a cup of fragrant floral tea and go outside. If it’s still a bit chilly were you are- wear layers. You can practice thismeditation sitting or standing.

Begin by cupping your tea in both hands at your heart center. Feeling the warmth of the mug you are holding radiating into your hands and into the heart. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, filling your lungs with fresh air- releasing slowly.

Visualize your feet and legs rooting into the ground below. Imagine you are growing roots deep into the earth center and tapping into that vital restorative energy. Now visualize that current moving slowly through your feet and up your legs, swirling into the belly as if it was a soft spring breeze.

As this current continues to flow  upward allow it to sit within the heart center where the warmth of your tea is filling your hands. Pause here for a moment and with eyes closed- listen. Do you hear the singsong of birds in the trees? Can you smell the sweetness of the  earth coming back to life? Appreciate this moment you are creating for yourself - bathing your senses in the beauty of nature.

Continue visualizing the energy of the earth ascending from your heart center towards the crown chakra. Visualize a cascade of warm golden light falling down around your body. Pouring over you like warm honey and into the cup you are holding. Sip your tea reverently and mindfully. With every sip- filling up the wisdom well with the energy of the earth and the feminine season of Springtime.

Copyright Lindsay Holt, Altar & Leaf 2014

Tending

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I am constantly needing reminders to tend to my self care. There are days that go by where I forget to eat a healthy meal, or slow down long enough to actually enjoy a hot cup of tea.


I tend to the needs of my family, friends, neighbors. It is just in my nature. It make me a great gardener actually...

I'm not complaining. I enjoy being the tender. I enjoy being there for others. But if I don't stop one and a while to tend to my own needs what kind of example am I being to those who look to me as inspiration or for guidance.

You teach what you need to learn the most.

This past weekend I made a point to practice some sacred tending that re-ignites my inner fire. I hope that at some point this month you will do the same for yourself.

I invite you to participate in the following act of self {love} care.


Body as Temple

This activity is one that requires you to become a bit more intimate with yourself. Some quiet time alone in the bathroom or bedroom is essential. Enjoy!

In your bathroom or bedroom, create a sanctuary. Dim the lights, light your candle and if you have an ipod handy, set it to your favorite relaxing music. Have a cup of tea steeped. Float a few rose petals in it for a little extra magic.

Remove your clothing and if you have a full length mirror stand in front of it. (don't shy away- candlelight works magic on the naked body).

Spritz some rosewater around you and take a few deep, cleansing breaths.

Next, scan over your body starting with your feet. Give thanks to your lovely feet for carrying you through life.

Move up to the legs,  pelvis, stomach. With each pass giving thanks to that specific part of your body.

The stomach is an especially vulnerable place for many. Place your hands on your belly and hold for a moment. Releasing any fears or insecurities surrounding this sacred area. Do the same for the heart center. Continue upwards giving thanks to each part of your beautiful body.

Once you have completed all areas, cup your tea  in your hands and recite the following with soft speak into the cup:

I love myself unconditionally and accept myself as I am.I recognize the divine within me and honor the wisdom I hold. I respect myself and treat myself with kindness and love.

Now you have charged this tea with all the energy of this soothing ritual.

Take your first sip. Admiring your beautiful body that is  steeping in the glow of candlelight and self love.

Tend to your sacred self.

Much love,

Lindsay 

In Winter I Dream

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My heart is dreaming of Spring! I know winter has just begun and we have a ways to go, but isn’t winter all about the dreamy rest before we spring back into action?

Over last weekend my hubs and I made some headway clearing out a very overgrown area of plum trees. They were dripping with Usnea Lichen, which I have been greatfully harvesting for medicine before we run the smaller branches through the chipper for mulch and store the larger cuts for firewood. 

Even during the sleeping season we are busily prepping for the forthcoming Spring garden and tending to some overdue feathering of our nest.  

Today however,  is another soggy day here in the PNW and I finally finished up the  labels for the Spring seasonal share. I took a long look back at the roots of when I began blending tea and creating herbal medicine. I’ve had just about as many looks as Madonna. 

But the one that has always had a hold on my heart was the simple hand drawn look of a collection of herbs, flowers, butterflies and bees. Simple and beautiful medicine. 

I have been concocting some lovely medicinal’s for the Spring Share and I am excited to put this box of seasonally supportive medicine together. 

Altar & Leaf has shape shifted in so many ways over the years as I have gotten to know myself through each incarnation. This work has always been my saving grace when I’m feeling unsure about the world and all it’s tribulations. I find that many folks look to nature when they are in a healing crisis. Using herbal remedies re-connects us to our wholeness.

That is the magic of nature. She’s there to heal us in a myriad of ways. When we give back to her in what ever way we humans can, she rewards us with the medicines that promote a sense well-being.  

I hope you consider supporting the work I am doing on our farm and the work of your own healing through the Community Supported Herbalism Share I have created.  

To learn more click here.  

Yours in all your wild and weedy dreams, 

Lindsay  

 

 

Simple Joys For The Winter Season: Recipes & Wisdom

Thank you for joining me on my blog space where I will share seasonal bits of wisdom and simple joys. During each season I will be sharing wee morsels from my ebook, The Heart of Blending: An inspired sensory guide for the budding herbalist & tea enthusiast.

Photo by Lindsay Anne Holt

Photo by Lindsay Anne Holt

The Winter months are blanketing us once again. An inward time where we can rest our minds and bodies in hopes to restore the vital essence of self for the forthcoming Spring. We make efforts to slow down and retreat into the cozy warmth of our homes. Sip on nourishing teas and tisanes that gently provide our bodies with nutrients to enhance our immune systems.

It is during this "Sleeping Season" that we can embark on a quest to gather our dream seeds. Foraging through the tender areas of the imagination where you can pluck daydreams from the skies and stand before still waters of self reflection. There is a palpable shift in mood this time of year. The natural rhythms of the season encourage us to pause and reflect on who we are and what we are to become.

But oh, this mood. A crystalline pool of introspection. Look deep into yourself and can see all those lives lived. Those moments where lessons were learned and the light bulb went off! Those moments of pain and suffering that were really a gift of strength in disguise. Smiles, joy, tears, pleasure, birth and death. The ebb and flow, the wax and wane.

As we embark on the beginning of a new year-I challenge you to look into the reflective surfaces around you and look into the eyes of the person staring back at you.

Don't get caught up in the self criticisms or imperfections. Just look at yourself.

What stories have been written in your life lines this past year?

What dream seeds are you planting for the year ahead?

There is a beautiful glimmer of light that perches in the soul this time of year. Outside we see the twinkle of lights, the sparkle of frost covered grounds, fires crackling in the fireplace can serve as a reminder to nourish the flame that burns within us.

The energy of Winter can be likened to a seed. An acorn is not an oak tree; however, it contains the potential of becoming an oak tree. The potential of becoming is our destiny. With the hustle and bustle of holiday festivities we can become distracted by the outward goings-on and forget that the brilliant fire  within our hearts still needs to be stoked.

Time indoors can be used to feed that flame so that once spring rolls around we have nourished the spirit enough to pursue our goals and see our dream seeds take root.

Photo by Lindsay Anne Holt

Photo by Lindsay Anne Holt

Recipe: Gingerbread Man

This sweet and spicy brew is a wonderful sweet evening cuppa when the world outside is cold and grey.

Based on my moms gingerbread cookies recipe. Every holiday season she makes gingerbread cookies. The house fills with the scent of blackstrap molasses and ginger. My mom has only shared the secret spice mixture with me and I keep that proprietary in this blend...until now. 

Tip: To really invoke the magic of this brew, try  adding a thimble or two of molasses. Stir in well and a touch of cream is also a delightful.

  • 1 part Orange Peel

  • 1 part Allspice

  • 1 part Clove Bud

  • 1 part Pink Peppercorn

  • .5 parts Vanilla Bean

  • 3 parts Rooibos

  • 2 parts Ginger Root

  • 2 parts Sweet Cinnamon Chips

  • 1 part Candied Ginger 

  • 1 part Chicory

Winter Tea Meditation

One of my favorite way to enjoy a cup of tea is to get lost in the surface  reflections. I will watch as the sky, trees, birds & clouds become mirrored on the nectar's surface.  Sometimes I will gently tap the side of the cup to cause ripples that produce a shift in the perspective of the reflection.  You can do this simple meditation by sitting near a window and placing your cup on the window ledge. My preferred way is to bundle up and take my tea outside.

Another addition to this beautiful introspective meditation is to rest your gaze on your own reflection. If you position your cup just right, you can see yourself reflected on the surface of your tea. To see a reflection of yourself can bring up a myriad of emotions. A internal dialogue begins. Take a moment to sit with this. Dean Koontz wrote,

  “There’s just something unsettling about studying your reflection. It’s not a matter of being dissatisfied with your face or of being embarrassed by your vanity. Maybe it’s that when you gaze into your own eyes, you don’t see what you wish to see—or glimpse something that you wish weren’t there.”

Can you honor what you see in yourself?

Enjoy your inward time this season & may all your reflections be as beautiful & as authentic as you.

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