The value of a cup of tea

Sometimes, if I had my way, I’d be sipping a hot cup of Madura English Breakfast tea, not the tea bags, but the real tea, the loose tea you put by the spoonful into the pot and let sit for a few minutes to steep.

My cup would be my favourite double walled glass cup, the ones we see everywhere now, but well before it was fashionable, I was sipping my cups of tea from them.

Of course I’d be sitting in a comfortable chair, on my verandah, shaded from the harsh sun, but still warm enough to enjoy shutting my eyes for a moment and thinking, letting my mind wander and occasionally, opening up an eye to see if I can spot that bird I hear every day, but eludes me because there are so many beautiful plants to hide.

And the outlook, glorious rolling hills, sometimes yellow from the summer heat, but always green in winter, and if lucky, a view of the stunning ranges of Mt.Buller, Mt.Stirling and the Victorian High Country.

The only interruption in the outlook of my 100 acre parcel of land is my neighbours property. But if that’s the worst thing of the day, life is ok.

Fortunately my reality is similar to the description, because it includes the cup of tea, the verhandah of sorts, and the birds, the rest of it, well, that’s the personal escape when I need the solitude and space to think when working on projects and looking for solutions for clients.

I’m often curious as to how others relax, find their mojo, get their thoughts and ideas crystallised into an actionable ideas.

Recently, while working with my marketing coach, I was given a task to do, and it made me panic because it seemed so daunting. The questions seemed relatively simple, but the answers eluded me.

Diligently I took my big flip pad and markers and in my mind, I was going to spend the whole weekend ‘getting those answers out of my head’.

We were heading up to a little place in the hills to spend the weekend, no phones, no computers, so I could spend all day writing the answers.

I was set, paper, pen, thoughts, time, notes.. all there, ready for me to come up with the gold, and I did what I have done so often, came up with a blank thought.

It’s hard to describe – but I guess the closest thing would be so many ideas come to mind, that they are all forcing their way to be the one picked and each thought trying to out do the other until in the end, there is noise, confusion, and then nothing.

The cycle repeated itself in cunning ways and no matter how good my ideas are when not sitting down, it’s like the mind works on some form of self sabotage the moment a chair, pen & paper meet in unison.

It’s never like this when I am working on solutions for clients. I feel my mind is sharp, able to pull out thoughts, resources, ideas, scenarios, concepts, strategies, answers, deep understanding of where my clients need to be at their point in their online presence, but for me, it’s like coming to a brick wall.

It’s frustrating to say the least to start off with such good intentions and yet an hour later, the same scratchings, some doodles.. doodles-ja-vu if you ask me because I’ve scratched those shapes and squiggles so many times over waiting for the thoughts to become clear in my head. After two days of trying to force these ideas out, on the verge of awesomeness, but yet nothing but a scrambled thoughts I felt like I was going to go home empty handed, empty thoughts, blank paper and maybe I should be a cartoonist with the doodles I’d drawn.

So I gave up thinking too hard, I looked out the window of this lovely little holiday home and saw some fairy wrens, tiny little birds, vibrant blue and black tails, busy with their day. I made a lovely cup of tea, went out the verandah, looked at the trees in the valley, listened to the birds, took a sip of tea and shut my eyes.

I don’t exactly know how or why, but I started to think of myself as my customer, thinking of the exact words I use with my clients, but for me, my business and what I wanted and I had clarity.

It dawned on me that I need to think like I’m talking to myself as I am talking to my clients and since taking that approach, asking myself the same questions I ask my clients, those answers have become obvious. It took me less than one hour to answer the questions I’d been set.

Perhaps I’m a slow learner when it comes to doing things for me, who knows, but I’m holding onto that thought process of treating myself as a customer to flush out the best outcomes for my business as my clients have been able to do, after me helping them.

So now, my cup of tea, sitting on the verandah, listening to the birds, enjoying the moment, really has more meaning and it’s really helped me in my thinking.