Over the summer, a friend showed me how to make chai tea from individual ingredients: black tea, masala spices, milk. Since summer is a period when I have the luxury of time, I adopted the practice of making tea in this slowed down way. Not only do I enjoy the way it tastes and how it makes me feel, I like to remember my friend and her teaching me something new.
Author Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the whole earth revolves—slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment…”
As part of our Positive Behavior Instruction & Supports (PBIS) framework this year at Horace Mann, several of us will be exploring mindful practices for both adults and students. This will include noticing what is happening right now, becoming aware of how our bodies feel, and paying attention to what our senses are telling us. We hope these strategies will help us feel calm, improve our ability to focus and be happier. We’ll also keep up with our school-wide emphasis on the 7 Habits of Happy Kids, starting with Habit #1: Be Proactive – You’re in Charge.
As the pace of the school year picks up, I hope to continue to enjoy cups of tea, though perhaps I’ll have to use an abbreviated process during the work week. In any case, I can use this daily refreshment to remind me of being attentive and present, not rushing toward the future. That way, I’ll be my most available for the students and adults who need me at any given time. If ever I may be of assistance, please be in touch.
Welcome to what is sure to be an amazing year at Horace Mann!
With warm regards,
Dr. Merritt F. Waters