No. 5 - On what if

I had the most incredible week attending the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas. So many teas tasted, so many wonderful people met, so many 'What ifs'. What if those new ingredients (hello lemon myrtle and white hibiscus) can bring to life some beautiful new blends? What if I could introduce you to some beautiful teas created by 3rd, 4th and even 5th generation tea makers? Time is required to forge these budding relationships but I am revelling in imagining 'What if'.


Ask me where I can find serenity and I have a list as long as my arm. Each and every one includes gazing into the distance whether physically or in my imagination and, preferably, a cup of tea. I can close my eyes and remember the feeling of standing in the presence of pounding waterfalls and sitting in sanctuaries of quietude. Where do you find serenity?

"Out into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul." - John Muir (maybe) 


'What if' can be both forward and backward looking: 'What if I take the risk?' is forward-looking, while 'What if I had reached out?' looks to the past. Daniel H. Pink explores the four core regrets—foundational, boldness, moral, and connection—and how they correspond to our basic human needs for stability, growth, goodness, and love in The Power of Regret. In the book's final section, Pink examines the concept of anticipatory regret to aid in decision-making. From my perspective, this boils down to using 'What if' as a tool to live in alignment with our core values (if you've cocked your head in curiosity, I recommend Brené Brown's tool on living into our values as an invaluable resource on the subject). In this respect, what if is a method to travel into the future and reflect on today.

What if I commit to the work?
What if I embrace the risk?
What if I make the ethical choice?
What if I initiate contact?

These forward-looking 'What ifs' provide a lens through which to evaluate our current decisions against our goals and aspirations. They're perseverance prompts. They also encourage us to dream: 'What if I do the big scary thing? And what if I achieve something great?' Just imagine.


Just as nurturing the tea plant lays the foundation for exceptional tea, nurturing ourselves lays the foundation for exceptional well-being. As someone who can too easily neglect my fundamental needs in pursuit of daily objectives, self-nurturing is a work in progress. Being a self-described night owl for the last 3 decades, I have made the agonizing decision to become a morning person (much to my parents amusement, I imagine). Reflecting on my incredibly inspiring grandmother - who, at 96, still walks nine holes of golf, plays bridge, and generally remains a formidable presence - I realized my path wasn't aligning with the positive potential of 'What if I can be the healthiest I have ever been?' So I established a rule that my first cup of tea awaits me only after I've taken my vitamins and exercised. The gravity of that first spirit-nurturing sip draws me forward. I admit to making the odd misstep but, on the whole, am finding better well-being. If I can make the shift toward my 'What if', really so can anyone. A little gravity helps.

One more thing ...

"Everybody's been there, everybody's been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
But don't run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is"
- "Brave" by Sara Bareilles

Until next time,
Steep Calm.

No. 5 - On what if
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