Trust social entrepreneur Anthea Ong to start a movement to encourage mindfulness and silence among busy urbanites. Hush Tea Bar (www.hushteabar.com) is a social project whereby hearing-impaired tea servers visit workplaces to conduct silent Tea Rituals. During these sessions, participants surrender their electronic devices before being shown how to perform a tea ritual in silence. They are then encouraged to reflect and pen down their thoughts.
"Why start a business when you can start a movement?” asks Anthea candidly. She shares five tips on how to find silence in everyday life.
Start the day right
“Instead of jumping out of bed, be still and spend a few quiet minutes appreciating the fact that you are alive and breathing. Then, outline your goals and intentions for the day ahead.”
Enjoy the act of walking
“Make full use of your daily walks, even if it’s just from the carpark to your office, to invite some peace and quiet into your life. Focus on your breathing or how your feet touch the ground rhythmically.”
Eat with gratitude
“Don’t tuck in immediately; take a few minutes to be grateful for the food you are about to eat, as well as the company at your table. This also encourages you to be more mindful of what you eat.”
“We usually focus on thinking about what to say next, instead of fully empathising with what is being said. In taking some time to listen wholly and completely, we not only carve out more opportunities for mindfulness, but also forge deeper human connections.”
End the day well
“Refrain from using your electronic devices before going to bed. Instead, practice breathing awareness by inhaling and exhaling deeply and completely for seven cycles. Your own breath becomes a lullaby of sorts, easing you into slumber.”
This article was originally published in Simply Her May 2015.