Do you meditate? Is it productive for you? It has become essential to my productivity, (and my productivitea–more on that later) thanks to my friend, Bex.
About a year ago, my friend and meditation guru, Rebekah Borucki mentioned on Facebook that she had a publishing deal. I was stoked for her. I also had no idea what she was planning on writing about. I mean, she’s a meditation guide. How on earth does one write a book about a subject wherein the participant’s eyes are closed and their hands aren’t exactly cracking the spine of a paperback? Maybe it would be a book about the importance of meditation? Scientific study? Graphic novel/coloring book done with her husband on the joys of tantric sex? (I was hoping this wasn’t the case, because reviewing that would be so awkward.)
Turns out I was right and wrong. I was wrong about the Sting sex, and wrong about meditation not being a good subject for a book, and right that it did have a lot to do with meditation as a whole.
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I know. It sounds super woo woo. I mean, 4 minutes to change my life? I can barely brush my teeth in four minutes, so changing my life seems…a stretch. And yes, of course the title is hyperbolic, but the core of it is truth. The essence of this book is that if we are able to condense messages, and focus completely on something–with regularity–then we can change our lives. Rebekah (Using the first name, because, as we have discussed, Bex and I are on a first-name basis) is the mother of FIVE children, and she really understands the fast-paced world we live in. Therefore, in You Have Four Minutes to Change Your Life, Rebekah provides a framework for bursts of introspection that maximize their transformative powers in their efficiency and efficacy.
Yes, this book definitely includes wonderful guided meditations, but so much more than that, it delves deeper into why we need to change our lives, and how we can access the emotions and mental roadblocks holding us back, so that we may progress in our metamorphosis. She dives deep into our struggles with self-worth, negative thinking, our attachment to things and ideas, our inability to celebrate ourselves…She also emphasizes the power of positivity in healing ourselves. She writes about how gratitude and a spirit of abundance are paramount in success. It’s not The Secret, so don’t worry–she’s not talking about predilections toward creepy manifesting thoughts. Thank all the gods. She’s merely looking at how our thinking may or may not be lining up with how we may remain in that spirit of abundance which is that place where we accept changes and open ourselves to receiving the gifts that seem beyond our reach.
If we don’t understand that we are more than what we see in ourselves, how could we be open to accepting more than what we have, if that is more than we think we deserve?
Rebekah mentions and quotes Rahm Dass’ Be Here Now a few times throughout the book. That was her starting point to focused thinking and living the meditative life. It is understandable that many readers would first read this after inhaling Rebekah’s book. I’ve read it, it’s great, but to me, a companion book for Bex’s book, is actually an old Vietnamese Buddhist myth/legend, told in story form. Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Novice. It’s a parable about a woman who overcomes challenge after challenge and eventually recedes from this world to reach Nirvana. This is how I feel that Rebekah lives. It is certainly the impression that the book leaves us with. Maybe not monastically, mind you, but how many of us could live that way? (I could not groove on the ascetic lifestyle. I like sex and chocolate.) But definitely the abundant energy of the mindful lifestyle. Rebekah’s book is a great first step toward being fulfilled in a mindful, honest place in our hearts and bodies.
You Have Four Minutes to Change Your Life is the perfect gateway for a mindful existence which understands that a centered being doesn’t require the abnegation of all of one’s free time, but instead realizes that it is a practice that should be a daily part of your routine. Rebekah Borucki provides us a devotional which is a vitamin for our spirit; it is equal parts everyday and otherworldly.
NOW! What on earth would I make for this book? Easy. My daily Productivitea. (Idea for name totally lifted from Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles.)
This productivitea has so much brain food. First of all, ginseng and turmeric are two of the only herbs EXTENSIVELY studied. While the idea that ginseng is an adaptogen is still somewhat meh, I know that it DOES help me focus. Anything that helps my ADHD is a winner winner LOOK, SQUIRREL! dinner.
Alas, ginseng is NOT known for its deliciousness. Therefore, drinking straight ginseng is OUT. Straight-out. Thankfully, there’s ginseng oolong tea that makes it tastes earthy and floral–even a little bit licorice-y. Paired with the turmeric, garam masala, lemon rind, coconut cream, and honey–it’s delicious. I swear. I have an aversion to yuck. If you go overboard on the honey, you’re asking for a lot of kcals, but it’s not going to change the efficacy of the productivitea. I tend to go a bit heavy on the honey, because I take it right before I do a daily vocal warm-up, and I find the soothing coat it places on my throat to be very helpful. If you are a vegan who doesn’t eat honey, maple syrup works just as well. (I’d go grade B.)
What Goes In?
- 1 tsp ginseng oolong leaves
- 3 pieces lemon rind
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp coconut cream
- honey to taste
- 7 oz boiling water
- steep the tea for 2 minutes in boiling water in a pyrex measuring cup with the lemon rind
- in a mug, combine honey, cream, and spices
- strain the tea over the mug
- stir and serve IMMEDIATELY