We should all have something that makes us Stop, Relax, and Reflect -- "SRR." This is very difficult to do. This cup represents one tangible item that has enabled me take "SRR" Breaks. I've had this cup for more than 22 years. I have used it to enjoy the best tea and coffee -- before, during, and after hectic situations. Life is filled with bumps in the road and tough encounters: intense office politics and contentious meetings at work, scary medical procedures and impending results as well as general life issues and family relations. This cup hasn't magically removed them, but it helps me ready myself to deal with them.
One of my dearest friends gave this cup to me after I graduated from law school; we both immediately went our separate ways, thousands of miles and worlds apart. Nevertheless, this cup served as a tangible reminder of my friend, and the real reasons for the gift. It was a symbolic gesture because she knew how much I loved coffee and tea as well as an act of celebration and thanksgiving. During those intense years of struggle, I had also managed to serve as her unofficial mentor and avid supporter; therefore, she wanted to pay homage to our friendship that had blossomed, in spite of the adversities that we had faced. She was not only amazingly hopeful but also uncannily intuitive that this beautiful, little delicate cup might make me take a pause and not only enjoy the coffee, or tea, but also smell it.
I was recently reunited with my friend after 22 years. I had an opportunity to prepare coffee for her; she was shocked and amazed when she saw the cup, the little gift from so many years prior. Even though she had been physically out of my world, the gift had kept us mysteriously connected. Although we had been thousands of miles away from each other, we had somehow stayed linked together by this gift, which was evident from our conversation. Her gift had somehow, surreptitiously allowed me to make time to sit for 15 or 20 minutes, and slowing sip and totally remove myself from the distractions that so often unwittingly engulf us. Unbeknownst to either of us, 22 years ago she had given me the perfect item that had served as a conduit that made me stop, relax, and reflect on a regular basis; I seemed to know, instinctively, that I had to use it because she wanted me to use it, not to put it on a shelf. Our reminiscing session validated the role it had played.
I always feel joyful anticipation, and my spirit always lightens when I start to prepare for my "cuppa," coffee or tea. Somehow, my spirit intuitively knew what my friend's intent was when she bestowed this precious gift on me. She knew, from observing me for three years that I loved a great "cuppa" -- she also knew that I would rarely stop, relax, and reflect in order to clear my mind and rest my body. She really didn't know whether I would use it to really stop, really relax, and really reflect; nevertheless, I did!
When I take my "SRR" Break my goal is to slow the brain and the body down, relax, and simple reflect. I stay in a quiet, still position and just thankfully reflect on the positives in my life. It only takes a few minutes to realize my system is receiving and responding to this needed break. I reflect on the fact that I made it another day, that I'm enjoying and smelling the aroma of a great "cuppa," that I'm in a sedentary position, alone. The first time I took the "SRR" Break, I was amazed that I had no bells and whistles with me -- I had no music, no mantras were repeated -- no inspirational readings were pondered. It was just me -- there with the stillness, quiet reflections were slowly pulsating through a system that was at rest; I felt a strange since of lightness, mental freedom -- a peace halo seemed to cover me.
During my "SRR" Break I'm alone, just me. The individual, alone, is the only one who can find this place. Yes, the "SSR" Break is a place, and it's up to you to find it. I've been to this place so many times, and just the thought of it calms me. Honestly, as I type my brain and my body feels lighter because I know that you too will find it, and enjoy it. My mission is to confirm that it's a great beneficial place -- a place where you stop, with you -- just yourself. You are the only ingredient needed, and your commitment will lead to renewal and allow you to grasp a fresh perspective that can only come when your system relaxes.
My little cup has been there to make me take time for me. It helped me take time to clear my head -- time to be with me, and put the other issues on hold for a few minutes. My little "SRR" Breaks have been and continue to be worth it; the power of a gift is never realized unless we take advantage of its purpose. Inexplicably, I took advantage, and you can too.
For years my colleagues have commented about my little cup, which I frequently take to meetings. One colleague said, "Wu, with a cup of coffee you can do anything." The one thing I can do with a cup of coffee is take the "SRR" Break, which is a game changer. It allows me to pay homage to my friend and to myself. I'm offering you a gift, Take a 10-Minute "SRR" Break. You deserve it, and you can't genuinely thrive without it!
HuffPost's GPS for the Soul app is based on two truths about human beings. First: We all have a centered place of wisdom, harmony and balance within us. Second: We're all going to veer away from that place, again and again and again. What we need is a great course-correcting mechanism -- a GPS for the Soul -- to help us find our way back to that centered place, from which everything is possible.
Because no one knows better than you what helps you de-stress and tap into that place of peace inside yourself, it's important for you to create your very own GPS guide -- a personalized collection of whatever helps you course-correct. Email us at GPS@huffingtonpost.com and we'll set you up with your very own HuffPost blogger account to share your guide on the site. If you're already a blogger, we encourage you to upload your personal guide today. We can't wait to see what you have to share.