Today, Well-Lived

I love tea.

The scents. The flavors. The warmth of the cup against my palms. The steam rising from the surface in an ascending swirl. A simple cup of tea can be a comforting, grounding ritual for me.

Recently, I opened a bag of tea and read the little tag attached to the end of the string. Here’s what it read.

“What is done today is the tomorrow.”

Ah, Yogi Tea wisdom! One more reason to love tea.

Kelly Burkhart, Life Coach, "Life, Well-Lived" blog post

Photo Credit: Milchdrink via Pixabay

That phrase has stayed with me ever since. Maybe because it appeared at a time when I was giving myself a much-needed respite and particularly open to simple wisdom. Maybe it was because, like everyone, I need reminders to help me stay focused. Maybe it was because truth always rings like a clear bell within us.

Yogi Tea wasn’t the first to profess this wisdom. Another quote I love comes from Francis Gray who said, “Today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”

It’s just that it happens so gradually that it’s easy to overlook. In my front yard there’s a spruce tree. When it was planted, 20 years ago, it was a scrawny, scraggly cast-off from a landscaping project. Today it’s 25 feet tall and has grown into a classic Christmas tree shape.

Someone said to me once, “We don’t become old and cranky. As we age we just become more of what we already are.”

That tiny, Charlie Brown tree, eventually matured into what it already was. And yet, had it not been given the water, sunlight and other conditions it needed, with a gradual, day-by-day regularity, it would not have survived.

We live in a fast-paced, result-oriented society and we want those results now. Like that spruce tree, often the most profound and meaningful “results” happen gradually, over time, one small step at a time.

A child is raised into a strong, independent adult one birthday, one skinned knee, one heartbreak, one brave success at a time.

A friendship is cultivated one get-together, one phone call, one laugh, one shared silence at a time.

Advanced degrees are acquired one class, one exam, one research paper at at time.

A house is built and transformed into a home, one brick, one piece of lumber, one holiday, one family tradition, one disagreement, one resolution and one tender hug at a time.

Tomorrow’s vision of hope is realized one day at a time. This day. This moment.

Maybe your values include education, a successful career or a comfortable retirement. Maybe they’re more intangible, like integrity, compassion, spiritual growth, or perseverance. Whatever is most important to you, one of the simplest, most effective – and for some of us most challenging – practices is the act of taking small steps toward those values, every day.

“Small” and “every” are the key words here.

It’s the simple, seemingly small choices made each day that form the trajectory of our lives.

You know that.

You knew it before you read this.

I just thought, like me, you might appreciate the reminder.

“Take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves.” ~ Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

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