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Accentuate the Positive by Gail Gastelu

Monday, September 29th 2014 @ 2:50 AM

I’ve just finished reading a fantastic book written by Zhena Muzyka, founder of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Company.  Having read and reviewed over 200 books related to tea, it is highly unusual for me to go on and on about any book in particular but for this one I must and I encourage you to read this entire post.

The book, entitled Life by the Cup: Ingredients for a Purpose Filled Life of Bottomless Happiness and Limitless Success is a must-read. And, I very strongly and sincerely mean that… IS a must for many reasons. . .This is not another book about our beloved tea leaf, but a motivational memoir as Zhena recounts her life story and what she has learned along the way. Her insight will help you find your life’s purpose whether you think you know it already or not. It will help you overcome setbacks and live your dreams.

In this book, “Zhena tells her extraordinary story of struggle, hope, and audacity, inspiring women to overcome setbacks – no matter how daunting – and pursue their dreams,” according to the press release I had already shared. But, in my opinion, this is a motivational book that should be read by men and women because it will help you to think about and accentuate the positive aspects of both your personal and business lives, help you to realize the good you have done, and what more good you can do in fulfilling your own dreams and sharing love, kindness, and the beauty that comes from any work you do in this world.

This post is aptly titled, “Accentuate the Positive” because I don’t think enough people do it.  But, not everyone airs their dirty laundry and not everyone shares the negative side or trials of their lives and not everyone is what I call a “negative Nelly.”

On the outside most of us look to be leading perfect lives when we do not share the ups and downs of life with others. Reality is we have all gone through hard times, hard financial times, and hard times when loved ones are not just sick but seriously ill long-term, not so perfect relationships with your life-partner or friends or business associates, and struggles to realize work-related or other personal dreams.  That’s life.

What I love about Life by the Cup is Zhena’s willingness to share her story, her struggles, and her triumphs in business and in realizing personal and business dreams. Through her story she is helping others in countless, very positive and supportive ways.  Throughout the book Zhena tells the tale of growing her business while also trying to balance her personal life and take care of her son.  “As a 24 year old single mom, Zhena had a young son in need of life-saving surgery and only six dollars in her wallet.  But she also had three other powerful motivators: hope, a love of tea, and a dream to share beautiful, aromatic, organic teas with the world.” I don’t think I need to explain to you how hard she worked or the struggle. But her triumphs were/are outstanding.

Each chapter of the book illuminates an inspirational life lesson through stories, wisdom, and exercises that you need to stop and do. The exercises force you to reflect, think, and illuminate the positive of any circumstance in your life. One very important exercise near the beginning of the book is to write a list of where you are today, and where you want to be in six months or a year from now in the following: Love, Money, Work, Family, Friends, Body, Mind, and Spirit. Some other exercises include: How to turn a Burden into a Blessing / Repurposing Burdens! – Mapping Limits and Making Opportunity – How to See and Celebrate a Success – Steep your Greatness! – How to See and Appreciate your Traits, Habits, and Unique Characteristics – and Promises.

It is difficult to put into words the importance of working through these exercises for your own well-being.  I do feel that it is important to stop and think and reflect upon your life especially when there are periods of change, growth, or adjustment.  I similarly read a motivational book just before I started my business some 11 years ago. It was at a time when my children were old enough that I felt comfortable venturing out from the norm and taking a chance to start my own business.  I took time to evaluate my strengths and used them to create a business that not only brings me deep joy and fulfillment but allowed me to also be present for my family.  As my children have now left the nest (both away at college), I find myself at another crossroads and a good time to reflect upon all of my life’s ups and downs –good times and bad - evaluate, and realize the good I have done for my family, for my business, for anyone in my life. Yes, I can say it now because I have gone through Zhena’s book and very seriously worked my way through the exercises to evaluate what I have done and where I am headed. Words can hardly express the powerful inspiration I have realized thanks to Zhena. This book could not have come to me at a better time.

Friends, I encourage you to read this book.  It may help you with your tea business, it may help you to accept change and realize growth, it may help you to forgive someone, it may help you to love someone, it may help you to love yourself, it may help you to live a more positive and passionate life in every way. 

“A simple cup of tea can be a daily ritual for personal transformation and growth.” Zhena Muzyka, Life by the Cup

Accentuate the Positive!! - - For the Love of Tea. . .


P.S. Please enjoy a series of quotes in our Facebook Photo Album created to highlight the book - click here


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GAIL GASTELU is Publisher of The Tea House Times, Producer of continuing education and among other numerous products and services to connect businesses and consumers to everything tea. Gail lives in NJ with her husband and two children. Her motto is "Just Do It!"  Learn more about Gail's work here.

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Gail is RINGLEADER of this fantastic group of Guest Bloggers!  Enjoy stories of our careers, tea experiences, and overall joy for tea.

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