The Art of Tea Ceremonies

I have always preferred tea to coffee. Waking up with a steaming cup of Earl Greyer or relaxing in the evening with a cup of Chamomile tea is my favorite way to start and end the day. I have to admit that I would drink my tea without giving it much thought. It just became another thing in my routine. Earlier this year I was introduced to the Japanese Tea Ceremony. This got me thinking about what rituals various cultures have with tea.

China: (The Art of Tea) the ceremonial preparation of tea leaves in  clay pots and cups served in bamboo boxes.

Japan: (The Way of Tea)  the tea ceremony in meant to bring people together. It may last several hours and also may be paired with a light meal.

England: (Afternoon Tea)  in addition  to the tea this ceremony includes sandwiches and pastries. It is often prepared and served in the afternoon. Hence how it got it’s name Afternoon Tea or sometimes referred to as High Tea

When performing a tea ceremony at home I always keep the following in mind.

  • Clearing the space both physically and energetically. I will burn a bit of sage while preparing get my tea.
  • Pick your favorite tea. I prefer a loose leaf tea.
  • Use your prettiest tea set or mug.
  • Most importantly is to savor the flavor of the tea as you drink it.

A large part of the tea certea timeemony is to be mindful within each step you perform. Heating the water, pouring the water over the tea,  letting it steep and finally enjoying the tea are all important steps. Making these adjustments to the way you prepare and drink your tea can create a whole new experience. If you choose to try the Tea Ceremony I would love to know your thoughts on it.

When clients wish to share their birth story with me I will always pair it with the tea ceremony. It make for a beautiful setting for releasing and sealing one’s birth experience. You can find out more about how journaling my help to heal your birth experience here.

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Healing Birth Through Journaling

I think we can all agree that the act of giving birth triggers all sorts of reactions. There’s physical, emotional and mental strain that takes place. In the weeks that follow; a mama’s body is healing and processing all of these changes. In the upcoming posts I will be sharing an in depth look at ways of healing the various aspects of birth.


This post is dedicated to journaling. Particularly, journaling one’s birth experience. Below are my top 3 reasons to journal your child’s birth story.


  1. Processes the emotional aspects of birth
  2. Aides in recovering from giving birth
  3. Makes a beautiful gift for your child.


You may be asking how does the simple act of writing help a woman physically heal from giving birth? It is quite simple really. Studies show that emotions are often stored in your body. Your body has memory. When something happens such as giving birth your body will mentally and physically remember it. When you put your pen to paper and write out your emotions your body starts to release what is stored. Here are a few tips to remember when journaling your story.


  1. Write all aspects. The good, bad and ugly. Birth is an amazing and beautiful thing but let’s face it sometimes it can be an amazing beautiful hot mess 🙂
  2. Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar.
  3. Include pictures (pregnancy pictures, birth pictures, most importantly pictures of your little one)
  4. Write in 10-20 minute spurts. It’s OK if you don’t get your whole story out in one sitting.


When you havbirth journale finished writing your birth story I encourage you to share it with someone. While the act of writing the story works to release emotions. Giving it a voice will help to emotionally close the birth experience. You can view my birth experience here.


If drinking tea is your thing then you may want to consider sharing your story over an afternoon tea ceremony. Check back in two weeks for the upcoming article dedicated to various tea ceremonies around the world and how to use it as the perfect back drop for sharing your birth experience.

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Vivienne’s Earth Side Journey

It was 3:50 in the morning when I woke up and felt like I had to use the bathroom. When I stood up from the couch I felt a rush of fluid. What at first I thought was needing to pee actually turned out to be my water breaking. So I ran to the kitchen since the bathroom was upstairs. Didn’t want to get my living room carpet wet 🙂 After getting cleaned up I called my midwife to let her know that my water had broke. I remember it being difficult for her to understand me since I hadn’t had a voice for a week. She told me that the water breaking was just my body warming up and to try and get some sleep. My contractions had not started yet and there were so many things going through my head there was no way that I was going to get back to sleep. I didn’t have the baby’s room ready. I didn’t have my bag packed. Although she was a day earlier than what our guess date was in my mind I had another week to prepare for her arrival. About 45 minutes later my contractions started. They were about 20 minutes apart. At about 6:15 I texted Jen and told her how far apart they were. By 7:30 am they were getting pretty intense and felt like they were really close together. I called Jen and woke her up for the second time in 3 hours. She told us we could head out and she would be to the facility in 30 minutes. So we were on our way.


Getting to the facility was a little tricky due to the fact that it was the last snow storm of the season.  What would have been at 45 minute drive turned in to an hour and 15 minutes. We were five minutes from Jen’s facility and hit a patch of ice and ran off the road. We got stuck in somebody’s yard in literally 2 feet of snow. I felt like it was something straight out of a movie. My contractions were coming one right after another. He was so stressed out. Between contractions I had to tell him what to do. I remember telling him “Go to this guys house. See if he can pull us out.” Then another contraction. Then I said “Call Jen tell her what has happened.” Then another contractions came. I find it quite funny when I think about it.


Jen came and picked me up to take me to her center. As soon as we got there I went straight into the bathroom to clean up a bunch of fluid that had released. As I was cleaning up I noticed there was a little bit of blood on the toilet paper. I was worried that something had happened with the seat belt. Jen check the baby’s heart rate and said that was normal. Right after she said that my body started to “bare down”. I remember thinking should I  push yet; but it was as if I didn’t have control over my body. I couldn’t have stopped it if I wanted to. All of this took maybe about ten minutes. He got to the center 5 minutes after we did so he didn’t miss much. He was on the bathroom floor kneeling in front of me for support. I went through a series of pushes and he said “Danielle, I think we should move to the pool. You said you wanted to do a water birth.” I told him “I don’t think I can move.” We went through another series of pushes and he said again “We should really move to the pool.” Again I said “I don’t think I can.” He said ” Danielle, you can not have this baby in the toilet!” So we moved the whole ten steps it took to get to the birthing pool. Honestly, at the time it seemed a lot further away.


I was in the pool for probably a total of 45 minutes before she was born. I was on my knees leaning over the side of the pool, hanging onto the lapels of his coat (he didn’t have time to take it off). I remember through the most intense part of her crowning I could here Jen in the kitchen saying words of encouragement. Thinking about it now I know how much that help but I probably would not have been able to have him saying the words because he was right in front of me. I feel as if it would have irritated me. I have always heard that when a baby crowns the stretching kind of feels like a ring of fire because it burns. I can definitely say that is exactly what I felt. After her head and shoulders were pushed out the rest of her just kind of slipped out. I can best describe it as the sensation you get if you suck jello through your teeth.


I remember being in such a daze. After she was out. I pulled her up out of the water and she was splayed in my arm. I remember thinking “What just happened?” I can’t quite remember if to was him or Jen that said it was a girl. I just know for a minute or two nothing was registering. I was jut looking at her and couldn’t believe that I just did that.


So when I look back on the day thHello worldat I gave birth I remember that on Thursday March 21, 2013 my water broke at 3:50 am,  we left our house as the kids were walking to school, and Vivienne Beatrice Stewart made her appearance earth side at 10:35 am. She weighted in at 7 lbs 6 oz, measured 20.5 inches long and I instantly loved her more than anything. In those six and a half hours I had no concept of time.  When we arrived home that same day the kids were walking home from school. It was definitely an experience like no other.

This picture is the first picture I ever took of Vivienne. It was taken probably about 45 minutes after she was born. She is laying on my chest and I was trying to angle the phone to get as much of her as I could. It’s not your typical newborn photo but I love it.

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