Letting the Tea Steep


Letting it steep …interesting what comes up.


First off I’m not a huge tea drinker but I have always loved the ritual of it and of course, the holistic benefits always had me sort of fascinated from a distance. I mean sure I’ve drunk my fair share of tea over the years. My stepdaughter Hannah Rose loved to drink in high school, so much so we even designated a whole drawer in our kitchen to it.

Anyway, when I started teaching Tai Chi I had all these great ideas for how to market my events. One of my first class offerings was a monthly “Tea and Chi” sampling. It sounded good, rhymed, and seemed like it would appeal to my prospective clientele. I actually didn’t give it much more thought than that. I figured I’d go out and buy some sort of zen labeled, healthy, natural, organic iced tea to compliment my desire to convey how zen, healthy, natural and organic I was, serve it up after class and call it a day.

A few weeks before my first monthly Tea and Chi, the owner of the studio I was using cornered me. He said, “you know you should really do your event BIG, decorate and have tables set up and signage and all that jazz for your tea and chi event…blah blah blah”.  So me being me, if it’s not my idea it’s not an idea at all…promptly replied, “I got this covered.  I’m keeping it simple, thanks.” I turned and walked out the door. He was a bit of a marketing major pain in the you know what. In fairness, he was a great guy and knew how to get people excited do BIG events and life for that matter BIG!

Driving home I was consumed with thoughts of maybe he was right. I remember thinking “why does everything have to be such a BIG deal? Why do I now feel I need to throw a party? Why am I not jazzed? Why? Why? Why?”

It hit me, the Tea and Chi event was fast approaching and I had about a million other things I was juggling for my family and myself first. I liked the idea of doing it BIG but I needed it to be easy and fun and it had to wait. Doubting myself was not the energy I was in need of.  So rather than brew about all the ideas I had, I employed a tactic I call “letting it steep”. I had my plan for the event.  Fun and easy could steep along with his (not my) BIG plans.  I just let it all steep a bit on its own.  And set it aside.


Like letting tea steep, at times, I like to let my thoughts about ideas steep sometimes. Especially when I’m busy.  Nothing beats back stress better.  It is so critical to discovering whether or not the ideas are worth drinking up or tossing down and out the window like bath water. Ideas are like tea leaves. There are so many subtle nuances that occur from letting the “leaves” steep.

When ideas steep a bit quite often what you’ll begin to sense is whether they are weak, strong, bitter, sweet, healthy, worthy, or a totally watered down waste of your time. Steeping does NOT mean waiting and watching and brewing over it. Steeping means stepping back and letting the magic happen then noticing and honoring what comes up.  Tea and Chi ended up being so BIG. This event changed my life in ways I had only before imagined while other ideas were steeping.  Infused with lots of what came up for ME, my excitement, my inspiration, and more good chi filled ideas.  When you let it be easy and let it be fun, WOW, it can be a powerful potion.

Hannah Onderdonk