We never pay attention to the coffee or tea or whatever beverage it is that we drink in the morning / evening. It’s always a rush to either get a shot of caffeine to awaken ourselves or to just have something to sip on whilst we watch something or read a book or during our commute to work etc etc. My point is that very few of us actually take out some time to simply sit down with our mugs of tea / coffee and give our 100% attention to it.
The one thing I started to do recently is put away my phone whenever I drank my tea / coffee [for convenience’s sake, from now on, I’m simply going to say tea, though I’m a fan of both of the beverages and switch between them depending on my mood]. Anyway back to the point.
What I realized is that when I paid attention to this mug of hot beverage, I began to enjoy that moment. It didn’t matter what was going on around, it didn’t matter what my mood was, it didn’t matter whether I was ill or not, it just felt so very serene. Now at first I thought it was just that particular day, but when I kept putting away my phone every time I was drinking tea, I instantly got this sense of peace. It was like my brain started to recognize that this is my time out where I don’t think or worry about anything and just focus in that moment, live in that moment and most of all just be grateful for what I have.
Another thing I realized was that once I started doing this, I got used to it. What I mean is that now my brain reacts almost on reflex in that when I pick up my cup of tea, I put away my phone and if I don’t and I happen to simultaneously be reading something on my phone whilst sipping on my tea, I feel this sense of unease, almost like a tiny annoying buzz in my head.
The thing about those two to three minutes of holding on to the mug of tea whilst sipping on it is that one, I truly enjoy the essence of what I’m drinking, I enjoy the warmth of it and I appreciate the fact that I am blessed enough to make this beverage whenever I want; two, in this moment I feel very much grateful to God. Yes, I know that being a Muslim, I pray five times a day, but in all honesty, most of the time I’m always in a rush because I have to go back to uni or I’m too tired or something of that sort, which means that I don’t truly take a moment to sit down and thank God for everything that I have been blessed with. But ironically, every time I am holding this mug of tea, just focused on it, it hits me how blessed I am and how grateful I should be.
Ideally this is what I should be doing with literally every single meal. Just putting away my phone and focusing on the food I have in front of me and being appreciative of it. But like many others of the current generation, I’ve gotten into the toxic habit of watching something whilst eating and never realizing what is going down my throat or how much I actually consume and hence on many occasions I end up feeling dissatisfied with the meal or still continue to feel hungry despite having a whole meal. It was only when I started focusing on this mug of tea that it truly hit me that I should be focusing and being very much conscious of what goes into my body because truly understanding and being aware of what I feed my body does change the whole experience of consuming food.
Old habits die hard and I cannot expect change to happen overnight. I’d like to think that the mug of tea is step one and slowly with time and effort, that I can eventually reach the point where I put away my phone and every other distraction and simply focus on the plate of food in front of me during every single meal and also be very much appreciative and grateful for every single meal that I am blessed with. Because in all honesty that feeling you get when you realize how very blessed you are to have that food or beverage or whatever it is, it is truly an inexplicable feeling of gratitude.
I’ve comprehended that the art of practicing gratitude genuinely makes life ten thousand times better and being appreciative of a mug of tea is simply a very, very small step in this huge journey.