From the Heart

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Happiness…

Is the ultimate goal in life, we want it for ourselves and wish it for our loved ones. Yet, despite happiness being the universal aspiration we humans find it incredibly elusive. The concept is so interesting however, because we all have different ideas about what it is and how to get it. There are many definitions of happiness out there which have come from different schools of philosophy, psychology and religion.  Ask a hundred people to define their notion of happiness and you’d get one hundred different responses.  For me, I think that the definition of happiness is a of feeling of contentment and joy and that a happy life means being in this state as continuously as possible no matter what life throws at you. Lots of different things can make one happy.

For me…

I can define my notion of happiness in two ways. The first…are the BIG things in life that would make me happy. They are more global in nature – factors that would make the world a better place, where more people could be “happy.” For instance,…it would make me happy if there was a time when poverty, hunger, thirst and illness wouldn’t be a major issue anymore. Or it would make me happy if we lived in a world where racial discrimination was rejected, and instead cultural diversity was respected, appreciated, valued and treasured.

Then there are the LITTLE things in life that make me happy: my family and friends, the sound of my daughter’s voice on our weekly Saturday night Skype calls from Japan, a good mystery to read, making soup on a cold wintery day, eating soup on a cold wintery day, the smell of freshly baked bread that my husband makes, Christmas, Barnes and Noble, my dog “singing” to Feliz Navidad, songs that remind me of wonderful people, times and places, Charleston South Carolina, prime rib, auctions, being with people who make me laugh and smile, coloring mandalas …. The list could go on and on.

But there is another thing that makes me happy…

Tea is one of my biggest sources of happiness. It’s one of my biggest passions and it fulfills my life in many different and diverse ways. I love sharing my ever – growing knowledge of tea (but there is ALWAYS more to learn and always more teas to cup) with others. I take great pleasure when people begin to realize and understand that tea is not only a simple pleasure but also a complex subject. I want them to begin to savor all the vast wonders and complexities of tea.  I’ve seen how the power of tea can bring people together, to create and support a sense of community.

In a much simpler way tea refreshes my mood, gets rid of tensions and tiredness and just plain makes me feel HAPPY! Happiness in a cup with the power to relax, refresh, relieve and activate my body and mind. Once I start drinking a cup of tea I feel cozy and relaxed, even on the worst of days – it’s always been the answer for me. So, I don’t know what makes you happy or brings a smile to your face, but for me – a cup of tea in my hand does bring happiness and a smile!

There’s an ancient Fujian saying, “No one ever learns everything there is to know about tea.” Isn’t that a lovely pursuit?

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