Seek & You Will Find: Reading Tea Leaves Part I
What is it that you are seeking in these unprecedented times? In the midst of pandemic fears, violent riots, government-imposed shutdowns, frightful news reels, social media bickering, and (as always) political mind games, what is it that you are seeking in your little corner of the world?
Although times might seem so different than they were just a half year ago, I’m betting that in some respects your needs are the same now as they were in January or February. Or put another way, perhaps you are still seeking some of the same things in your life now that you were back then, but now you need them more even more profoundly.
Maybe you need clarity of thought, relaxation of body, and peace of soul in your daily life. Maybe you need increased self-love, more faith in God, or an extra measure of physical healing. Maybe you simply need reassurance that everything will be okay. Maybe you’re feeling raw and vulnerable and at your wit’s end.
To that I say, if you are feeling exposed and confused and at the end of a rope or a road, then use that powerful state of being to seek all that you need from life. And by seeking, you will find: you will find your answers, your inspiration, your wisdom, your love, your connection, and your purpose.
A few years back, when I was walking through the difficult and dark nights of healing and personal transition, I was raw. And because I felt uncovered and rather unprotected, the world hurt. My nerves felt exposed, my soul felt heavy, and everything was able to affect me in dramatic fashion.
But as painful as that feeling of newborn bareness was, it was also inspiring. And I was able to find answers and wisdom and growth, because I was constantly seeking safety blankets, solutions, and a way forward.
To give an example, I was, for a period of time, drinking a lot of Yogi brand bedtime tea to help me deal with sleep issues. And it helped. Perhaps it was the root and flower combination in the tea, and perhaps it was the calming ritual of preparing and sipping this drink before bed each night, but in those countless cups of tea I found comfort. And I also found some inspiration and truths that were delivered to me via aphorisms printed on little pieces of paper attached to the tea bags.
For example, one night I might have opened up a tea package and read: “Experience will give you wisdom.” And the next day I might have been told, as I brewed my potion: “Listen and you will develop intuition.”
Now, had I been a bit “healthier,” say in the state I was in five years prior when I was living on prescription medications, cigarettes, coffee and hurried autopilot, I probably would have never been drinking tea and certainly would not have been taking the time to reflect on the “fortunes” stuffed within the packages. However, the universe had other plans for me, so my life was slowed down a bit and I was crying and seeking. And something in my gut compelled me to hold on to all of these sage pieces of tea-time advice for some future purpose, so I stuffed them into a Ziploc bag and waited.
Well, the time to unearth the Ziploc bag has come, and the purpose of those “tea scrolls” is manifesting itself in this blog post and the next. In the course of my next several writings, in fact, I am going to share with you a few of those Yogi brand proverbs and my short reflections upon them. I hope that you’ll enjoy the first batch, and I urge you to keep seeking so that you can find what you need.
“If you ask for nothing, you’ll get everything.”
How spot on is this most days? Admit it or not, we enter into most days greedily. We go into most days with expectations that, if met, will barely satisfy us because like market traders we have already built the meeting of those expectations into the price of our satisfaction.
We ask—and expect—the world from God, from our family members and friends, from society, and from ourselves. But what about if we simply released those expectations and then allowed spontaneity and peace to follow. That is how pleasant surprises happen again and again in this life.
The water can’t boil when it is being watched, so to speak, so if you have been focusing a little too intently on certain outcomes lately, why don’t you try releasing your expectations. Instead, simply focus on doing your part and working toward greater spiritual peace and increased health in your life. Then, when you are least expecting it, you will get everything you really need and more.
“Let your heart speak to others’ hearts.”
This is a principle of the soul that I try to honor each week. In my writing and in my videos, I try to let my heart speak to the hearts of others. And while it takes some courage to do so, that act is rewarded more often than not. By sharing my pain, my joy, my dreams, and lessons learned with others, others are able to find their own strength and hope. And in turn I’m able to grow and find community.
If you’re feeling vulnerable right now, that’s okay. Use that state of vulnerability to open up to others. By doing so you will find support, comfort, and a sense that your own life isn’t as messed up or uniquely tragic as you thought it was.
Let your heart do the talking, and others will respond.
“You will always live happy if you live with heart.”
How many instances of modern neurosis occur because we are living in direct opposition to ourselves? We are afraid to pursue the things that make us happy, we are afraid to speak and act as ourselves, and we are afraid to admit that we are unique and have unique needs and ideas. This all results in pain and confusion. However, if we can get closer to being in perfect union with our heart and soul, then we can find joy and excitement and that elusive contentment. Live with heart. Be yourself more and more each day, and find happiness by doing so.
“May this day bring you peace, tranquility, and harmony.”
When I was going through periods of high stress and confusing illness, more than anything I simply desired peace in my life. Tranquility, calm, and relaxation: Those were the things I dreamed about. And if you are currently feeling as if your hope is diminished and your nerves are frayed, I think that peace and tranquility are what you desire most of all, too. More than money, more than a promotion at work, more than adventure, more than fame, more than being proven right in some argument, we all just want peace in our lives!
May you find your peace and tranquility today. As you are reading this, I’m sending both of those things to you.
“Appreciate yourself and honor your soul.”
There are too many people out there who are either living in self-hatred or living a life that denigrates the very idea of their own soul. Some people give up on their dreams, and some get forced into a state of learned self-loathing because they’ve been abused by the actions or words of others who deep down aren’t feeling very loveable or satisfied either.
But there is always a remedy for such pain. Love, both from others and of self.
Love yourself today. Appreciate yourself. Take a moment to marvel at what a wonderful creation of God you are. Take a moment to appreciate the talents you were born with and those you have cultivated. Think of all that you bring to the world, and appreciate yourself.
Honor your soul by vowing to make the most of your life. In ways both large and small (and in some ways that are as of yet unimagined), vow to make greater use of your unique talents and energy. Make your contribution to the world. Do the things that interest you, and contribute to the lives of others in a way that only you can. Get closer to God, and allow Him to show you why He created you. You are unique and one-of-a-kind, so honor your soul.
Michael Priebe is a writer and personal development coach who has studied psychology, literature, and print journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with honors. and over the years he has used both fiction and nonfiction formats to write about health, sports, professional life, politics, relationships, and spiritual issues. He puts out a variety of spiritually inspiring content at The Lovely Grind, and he blogs about his life at www.michaelpriebewriter.com. He invites you to find out more about his life coaching here, and he hopes you'll reach out to him on Facebook and Twitter.
“Michael helped me in a way that no doctor or therapist has been able to! His personal experience combined with his optimistic, constructive input and guidance is priceless. I highly recommend his coaching sessions.”
“I contacted Michael for coaching because he has the ultimate credential of having been through it all himself! I liked his warm, empathetic manner. He is easy to talk to, and I felt as if he were a family member in his warm caring toward me. Michael has a very reassuring way of communicating, and I would highly recommend him.”
Jon - British Columbia, Canada
“I came across Michael’s videos by chance while looking up information on prescription drug withdrawal. I found his YouTube videos to be very informative, honest, and consoling. I was watching one after the other and even converted the sound on the videos to MP3 so that I could listen to his advice while going for walks. That was very soothing for me, and therefore I decided to try his coaching services. Great decision.
"Michael is a great and patient listener, and during our time together I felt that he sincerely cared about my healing progress and had genuine empathy for all those going through withdrawal. He is a positive-minded individual who disseminates hope, and I appreciated the useful, personalized follow-up notes he sent after our session. Most certainly I would recommend his coaching.”
Yasmin - Cairo, Egypt
“No one else is doing what Michael is doing. It truly is a ministry! Michael is willing to make himself vulnerable to help others during their journey in the valley. He is very easy to talk to (I felt like I had known him forever), and I would most definitely recommend his coaching to others.”
Andi, North Carolina
“Michael’s coaching is truly a game-changing experience. I appreciate the level of understanding he brings … tons of knowledge on how to survive the days and get closer to recovery. When you finally get to look someone in the face and know they understand exactly what you’re going through, it can bring a different level of comfort; that is what Michael’s coaching provided me, and without a doubt I would recommend it to everyone going through this.”
“I decided to use Michael’s coaching services because he seemed very genuine and trustworthy. After speaking with him a couple of times, I realized that I am strong enough to overcome certain obstacles, but also realized that I need not rush the process [of becoming medication free]. It was comforting talking to Michael about my withdrawal issues so that I could realize that what I’m going through is common, and it was also useful that Michael took the time to give me feedback in specific areas—like making a schedule and forming realistic expectations for myself. Michael gave me more useful feedback than a lot of mental health counselors I’ve had. Michael has helped me, and I hope he continues to help others. I would definitely recommend his coaching services.”
“I learned a lot from Michael. At first I was so confused by withdrawal (wondering what I was going through and if I would be this way permanently), but Michael helped me to realize that we do heal and that things do get better. I had a lot of worries, but he helped to ease my mind and he gave me positive feedback regarding how to approach each day in this process. Michael has a caring heart, and I would 100 percent recommend his coaching to others going through this.”
Erikka, South Dakota
“It can be frustrating having to deal with [withdrawal] symptoms for months on end and getting next to no support from doctors or anyone in the medical community (people who for the most part are clueless). Simply getting a chance to speak with Michael—someone who has gone through what I have and is able to offer support—was comforting. I also really enjoyed his follow-up notes. They were insightful and helped me to consider things I hadn’t thought of. I very much enjoyed working with Michael, and I would recommend his coaching to anyone who is going through this process and looking for support.”
“Michael is relatable and non-judgemental. I liked his positivity and follow-up notes. He provided good support overall. I believe that if a person really wants to withdrawal from medication, then support like this, from someone who has personal experience, is invaluable, and for that reason I would recommend Michael’s coaching to others going through this process.”
Leanne – Ontario, Canada
"Because of Michael’s own experiences, he knows what serves and what damages. He helped me to control my intake of negative information, he made me more optimistic, and he gave me a sense of the “whole [healing] picture.” Michael is a good listener and his comments are very precise. I would definitely recommend his coaching to others going through withdrawal."
Miguel, Atlanta, GA
"I really enjoyed my coaching sessions with Michael and looked forward to each call. He is very easy to talk to and offers very good advice. Our conversations gave me hope and coping skills, and his follow-up notes and progress plan were very helpful; I reference them often to stay on track. I found it comforting talking to someone who has been through this and really understands the struggle. I now look at withdrawal as something that can be overcome, something that I can heal from. I felt very comfortable talking to Michael, and I would recommend his coaching services to others going through the withdrawal and healing process."
“I decided to try Michael’s coaching because, in his videos, he seemed so honest, relatable, upbeat, hopeful, and knowledgeable. I believe I got more out of Michael’s videos and coaching than I got from years of professional counseling. It is very comforting talking to him because it is like talking to a very knowledgeable, long-time, close friend. I have more hope for the future after talking to Michael, and that helps me to survive the times when I am feeling blue. I would recommend his coaching to those going through the withdrawal and healing process.”
“I really enjoyed the care that Michael put into every contact with me. I appreciate how he shared his own experiences, found out about my overall context, and made direct suggestions; it was so important to believe that I was not losing control of my mind and body and that I could carry on with living while going through the process. It was also helpful to set goals and a plan and check back in on these things. Michael’s coaching is very professional and authentic, and I would highly recommend him to anyone who is going through the withdrawal and healing process.”
Emma, United Kingdom
“I always refer back to what Michael coached me on in the past regarding dealing with such times during the recovery and healing process. I enjoy working with Michael because he takes his time answering each of my questions in detail. Michael has true answers and guidance. It is comforting being coached by someone who understands my symptoms, and also Michael is a very compassionate person. I would definitely recommend his services to a person in need of help during the withdrawal process.”
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CONTACT ME ABOUT COACHING
If you or someone you know is struggling to survive the pain and confusion of prescription drug withdrawal or chronic stress, I would like to offer my coaching services. Stress can suck the joy out of life, and the withdrawal process can be challenging (I know from experience). However, with the proper tools and mindset, these things can be survived and even used for greater growth. If you or someone you care about is trying to quit antidepressant or benzodiazepine medications (or simply trying to reduce stress levels), please click here to email me about coaching options and availability.