Saturday, November 1, 2008

Emotional Warmth

I am enjoying the emotional warmth of a hot cup of chai at The Grind cafĂ© in Chicago. There was a study published in the journal Science showing a connection between holding a warm beverage and feelings of emotional warmth. My experience agrees. At an old job I shared “tea time” with a friend at around 3-4 pm. This may have encouraged the bond of friendship that remains today. And the experience of having a warm bowl of oatmeal just feels good emotionally, as well as hot soup. Some salons already seem to get this, and it is nice to be offered a warm beverage when entering a business. It is very comforting.

But, I guess I want to be aware, and not just manipulated by the pull toward animal comfort. For example I love to go to coffee houses to just read, use the Wi-Fi, or as a nice break between teaching engagements. But, one can become addicted to personal comforts. And in this country it seems to be a goal to earn more money to purchase more comforts. I’m okay with a simple lifestyle. Yet being too tuned in with my emotional comfort can certainly woo me toward complacency. And the fact is that I believe that I’m here to contribute my efforts to the world in the best way I can. And if I’m hiding this impulse under the enjoyment of lattes all day—it’s no good!

That said I also think it’s helpful to know if I’m feeling emotionally cold or anxious that a hot cup of tea might be helpful to be in the mental space I want (or maybe I can just pet my bunnies). Yesterday I found this to be of use when I was doing some tasks in my apartment I had been anxious about. I did a little work, and then drank a little tea. And repeated as necessary: some working, some tea drinking, and some bunny petting.

1 comment:

jackie said...

Brooks, I'm just catching up on your blog and enjoyed the entry about our "tea time". It has brought comfort to me and also acts as a reminder to take a break during a hectic day.
Thanks