In the last couple of years as I've learned what is really important to me and learned to let go of what isn't, how to say no to things and how to check in with myself about what I am doing and how I am doing it. Moreover, I've learned how to identify for myself what is important to me, how to turn off all the voices of what I "should" be doing or who I "should" become, what my body "should" look like or how much I "should" love myself even when it's hard. I got tired of shoulding and wanted to instead be living and enjoying my life. Thus, I have created a practice whereby I check in with myself about my priorities. I try to do this every week, but basically it comes up for me when I feel off balance.
Last week I went away with my sweetie to a tiny town near Woodstock, NY in the Catskill Mountains. A friend of ours gifted us with the time at his rental property as a nice pre-chemo getaway. It was really lovely. I can feel myself completely relax when I’m around nature and out of the city. Part of my relaxation rituals, especially in Winter, involve the consumption of tea.
Dara and I are both big fans of rooibos teas and we ran out of a few favorite varieties while at the cabin. Since we’re conserving pennies we didn’t want to “go into town” to spend money, but the idea of taking a wander through the adorable storefronts of Woodstock was super appealing. I thought that perhaps we could combine an errand with an adventure and googled tea store in Woodstock thinking I’d find a coffee shop with a smattering of teas. Instead we stumbled upon this gem of a store right in the “downtown” area of Woodstock called The Tea Shop.
It was gorgeous, light-filled and had a literal wall of loose teas, each in a big tin that the shop keeper opened for us and then spilled onto the lid so we could get a good whif of the tea and see the components. Fantastic presentation!
We settled on a few rooibos varieties, and we each picked a black tea (decaf for her, full caf for me) to order a la carte as a cup of tea. I was so delighted by the experience I had to film a Lesbian Tea Basket right then and there. Watch this video below and find out how magical the tea experience was, as well as my rating of the Orange White Chocolate black tea.
You can order from the Tea Shop of Woodstock online. Many thanks to my wonderful friend Leo for editing the video for me.
Other things I loved about visiting the Phoenicia/Woodstock area of the Hudson Valley:
Mirabai–super cute New Age book store. We were drawn in because of the sign that said “Calm, this way.” It was basically the catalog of Hay House in a store, plus a whole bunch of other related awesomeness. Great kids books and virtually all the self-development, spiritual and/or beautiful books you can think of. A giant selection of tarot cards–all on display so you can touch and feel them. There was also a really sweet meditation room that you can just go in and meditate in when they aren’t giving workshops. I almost bought a 40% off calendar but see above about trying not to spend money. (I still don’t have a 2014 calendar so if anyone out there has one to unload on me get in touch!)
Mama’s Boy Market–seriously it’s called that. They have tee shirts if you’re interested in repping that way. Also, they have an awesome Pay it Forward board where you can buy stuff for your neighbors. One of my favorite bloggers blogged about a woman whose sister had Down syndrome and passed away. On the anniversary of her sister’s death they were doing a social media Pay it Forward campaign, and I thought it was too much of a coincidence not to participate, so I bought a random Phoenician a cup of coffee in honor of Maura.
If you want to check out more episodes of the Lesbian Tea Basket click here!