I grew up in the countryside of Latvia, waking up with the sun, playing in Nature all day long and eating vegetables and fruits picked straight from the garden. My everyday life was natural and carefree. My mother and grandmother would collect herbs over the summer, in a loving and very respectful way, dry them and store them for the winter. They knew that living in harmony with Nature would help them keep their family healthy.
We moved to the city when I was a teenager. I found it difficult to adapt, but I soon learned to survive, enjoying all the comforts the colorful commercials on television offered. Then, in my twenties, I often felt there was something missing from my life. I experienced the days passing too fast, and every night before falling asleep I would ask myself, "Is this it? Is this how my life will pass by?" I often felt scared and anxious at this prospect. In my twenties, I also knew that this feeling of something missing, and of time passing too quickly, was related to my busy lifestyle and being away from the Nature that had surrounded me when I was a child. I now know I was searching for spirituality.
This went on, and my life continued to fly by too fast for my liking. I became a chef and opened a small café in Ireland, where I'd moved. We serve raw and baked cakes, coffee, tea and offer a nice place for gathering and socializing. Though life was fine on the outside, I was still searching, but I didn't even know what I was looking for.
Then, one day, I came across a photo online: A beautiful picture of a tea ceremony. It shocked me. It felt right; it felt peaceful and serene. This was what I had been looking for! This was the feeling I had taken for granted as a little girl, and then lost once I moved to the city. Somehow, the photo was like looking through the ceremony into my own soul. In fact, I felt like I was standing outside myself looking in. I instantly started to look for more information about tea ceremonies and the people in the picture. And that's how I discovered this Global Tea Hut! I immediately contacted the Center, and, believe it or not, the very next day I booked a ticket to Taiwan!
Visiting Tea Sage Hut changed my life. This is where I really met Tea. I felt at home right away. (I've heard this from tons of other guests as well.) Every moment spent at the Center was a blessing. There were so many lessons to learn, so much love to share, and, of course, so much tea! There is so much about staying at the Center that is beyond description. All I can say is to make the leap and go. The journey is amazing, Taiwan is wonderful and the spirit and hospitality at the Center re-aligned me with my spirit, my heart and practice and with the Nature I'd been unknowingly looking for since I was young.
Returning home, I sat with tea every morning and just listened. Soon after, I started to share tea with my family and friends and noticed how quickly people fell in love with Her and the ceremonial space. Every ceremony is always very special and heartwarming. Tea is teaching me to share, accept, be still and be myself. More importantly, She is teaching me to listen. Discipline is another quality I was always looking to improve in myself, and I am happy to tell you that I feel Her gently helping me to cultivate focus and discipline in my daily life.
I'm so thankful for every moment spent with Tea, for getting to know this beautiful community and for the opportunity to learn and share. If you are ever in Galway, Ireland, know that I will be more than happy to share some Tea with you.