Tea, Food and Community

Tea, Food and Community

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Power of Writing Thank You Cards

Last month we were inspired to practice gratitude for our physical selves, to better ourselves from the inside out. This month, after diving deep into John Kralik’s “A Simple Act of Gratitude : How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life”, we’re taking gratitude a step further, using it to improve our relationship with the worlds around us-- our families, friends, loved ones, nature, work, etc. 

Once we establish a gratitude-relationship with our physical body, we recognize the power of gratitude in the relationship with all that surrounds us. In his book, Kralik explored writing thank-you cards as a way of expressing gratitude, for anything and everything. These notes were his tool to take suffering relationships and revive them, not taking any relationship for granted, while also finding the positive in those he never before valued.

So how do we use this tool? Here’s what we’ve got so far:

Thank you, roommate, for sharing your dinner with me last night,

...I was so exhausted, you made my day.

Thank you, doctor, for giving me a thoughtful diagnosis last week,

...I was so scared, but you made me feel like it is going to be okay.

Thank you, mom, for calling me once a week,

...I can get too caught up in my busy schedule, but you remind me of the important things in life.

Thank you, to my ex, for keeping our dog’s best interest in mind, and letting my walk him once a week,

...He is so special to my life, and I don’t want to lose him, although our parting was for the best.

Thank you, boss, for the constructive feedback on my latest project,

...I worked really hard, and although you suggested I make changes, I appreciate your perspective            and commitment to my success.

To you, barista, for never forgetting my order,

...You help me start every day feeling cared for.

Wow, that felt good. Now let us remember that the timing of these thank-you cards is of the essence. The hardest time to express gratitude is when we don’t feel it at all. So, make a conscious effort. Take out a pen and paper exactly in those moments of self-pity, of frustration, and of anger. Gratitude is exactly the tool to get rid of invasive negativity. Through this exercise, we remember that there is never a lack of good things in this world, it is all a matter of perspective. 

Let us all set an intention today, and every day, to find gratitude, even in the toughest of times.

What are you grateful for? Let’s spread the positivity. 

With gratitude, be well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

A “Thank You” a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Practicing Gratitude for Physical and Mental Health

One of the first lessons in manners we teach our children, as we were once taught ourselves, it to “say please and thank you,” and add a smile while you’re at it. And it’s a beautiful practice. We express gratitude for life’s smallest gestures- a door held open, and hot tea handed over the counter, or a fellow driver letting us in to a jammed lane.
But do those “thank you”s follow us throughout the day? Do we remember them, do we savor them? If you do, you’re ahead of the game- and welcome to what is probably your favorite month of the year! But if not, here’s a quick highlight on the magic of gratitude, and its benefit to the body and mind.
Through the years, we’ve come to recognize little things that make us happy. For me, it is a warm cup of tea in the morning, followed by clean socks out of the drier and wearing the comfiest, baggiest sweater I own. Those are my happy moments. Those little moments of action spike my happiness for a moment, and then I am back to my balanced, stabilized, happiness level. My “normal”. This is called the hedonic treadmill.
The hedonic treadmill is our normal state of being, despite small positive or negative stimulus. It is the state we remain in when we do not acknowledge happiness. Throughout the day we see people we love, eat yummy food, use modern infrastructure, and are surrounded my incredible nature all around us. But if we do not acknowledge it, we remain on the treadmill.

Jumping off the treadmill means acknowledging happy moments and expressing gratitude. Dr. Robert Emmons, a university Psychology professor, performed a gratitude experiment on 300 students. They were broken into three groups. Each group, for one week, was to keep a log of what made them happy, what annoyed them, and what they did during the day, respectively. The “happy list” group was shown after one week to have increased well being, as expressed in deeper, longer sleep, and higher levels of motivation as expressed in exercise levels.

This month we not only celebrate Thanksgiving, but the 15th anniversary of Passiflora, all in the same week! To say “thank you” to YOU, our incredible community, we are offering 15% off all teas and a free cupcake of the cafĂ©’s choice on Saturday, November 24th.

If you’d like to cater your Thanksgiving with Passiflora at Home, it’s not too late! All ordered placed before Saturday 11/17 will be honored, pick up ready on Tuesday 11/20 and Wednesday 11/21. Check out our Thanksgiving special catering menu here.

Really, it’s as easy as “thank you”. Acknowledge it, express it, savor it, and be well.