Welcome to another installment of Three Gems Tea Breaks, where we have tea with our interesting pals doing interesting things! Today we're sipping tea with Tiffany Trieu.
How would you describe yourself and the work you do?
I’m an inner child advocate, community cultivator, but most of all the mother to my own inner child. Basically, I create spaces for us to create the homes we’ve always wanted inside and out with our inner child.
What are your three gems for nurturing your inner child?
Patience: Just like nurturing a friendship, nurturing your inner child needs time and patience. Spending time with your inner child can look like play time (imagine a craft date with a friend), journaling (imagine writing to a pen pal), and even having a heart-to-heart with yourself out loud (like a late night talk).
Forgiveness: Forgiving ourselves is essential in learning and growing. For those of us who grew up in environments where mistakes were discouraged or even punishable, we can easily turn those mistakes into fuel for self-hatred. As adults, we can nurture our inner child simply by saying, “It’s ok. Let’s try again.” or asking “What can we learn from this?”
Keeping Promises: Do you ever make a promise to yourself and not follow through? This can look like telling ourselves “Tiffany, I’ll take a break after one more hour of work.” or “We’ll get to eat this pastry after we finish today’s errands” These might seem like small promises to keep, but over time, a part of us begins to disregard what we truly want because it doesn’t seem to matter anyways. Keeping small promises can help us believe in the bigger promises we’d like to keep, like “Tiffany, you deserve a fulfilling life and writing that children’s book you’ve always wanted.” So practice building your self-trust by taking that break and eating that pastry :)
How do you define play?
Play is trust and spontaneity. Through our education system and capitalism, we’ve been taught if we don’t have a clear deliverable or goal at the end of it all, then we’re not doing it right.
Play is the opposite of that. Play is trusting what we have now, being present to the process, and tasting as we go. Knowing that the only way for us to concoct a great idea or memorable moment, is to be here right now.
Why is play important, especially now?
Play is super important because who can be serious all the time? That’s exhausting. Even as I type this right now, I’m thinking “where could I use some play today?”
Without play, we become burnt out, bitter adults. We check out. We become cynical. We start believing there is no point to keep going, to solve the problems we face in our society, because the process feels never-ending.
With play, we remember how trusting the process feels. We remember what’s important to us. We let go of the planning and strategy to truly be creative — create originally and imaginatively. And that’s the kind of energy we need in our movement towards creating an anti-racist, decolonized society.
What tea are you sipping?
Before brewing the Sweet Cassia Oolong smells warm and fruity, almost like taking a steamy bath in brown sugar boba. After brewing Sweet Cassia Oolong smells slightly smoky. The tea is caramel-y and soothing, I would imagine it would taste delicious with some pastries. Did I already mention, I like pastries?
When and why do you take a tea break?
Real talk, this tea break time was scheduled around when I could take photos today at 5pm. But on my usual days, I enjoy starting my morning with tea. It feels like a ritual for myself before I feed my dog or answer emails. The process of picking out tea is also a daily practice of intuition! I also love taking tea breaks when my brother is over because he shares his stash of tea with me, hehe.
Side note: Sadly, I haven’t had a chance to enjoy my Three Gems Gong Fu set with friends yet. I know that day will be a good one!