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(post, Sarah Price)
Last Thursday, thankfulness settled into my bones like a disease. This was long after I had sent the traditional “I am thankful for YOU” texts to my loved ones. It was hours after my family had gathered for turkey. It was after the sun had set, and I sat alone at my house. Tryptophan had taken a toll on my weary body. I ran a hot bath, lit a few candles, and poured myself a glass of wine. It was in that solitary hour that I became overwhelmed with gratitude, as if it were the hot liquid that I lowered into. It seeped into my pores and took hold of my tense flesh. Thankfulness slowed my mind and massaged my heart. I thought of my family, my friends, the many people that I am so lucky to have in my life. I felt their presence, there, in my body. It was a feeling like love, like loss—a physical feeling that radiates from your chest and down into your limbs—and I was taken by it. But as moving as this moment was for me, it was nothing out of the ordinary. If you ask anyone on Thanksgiving what it is that they are thankful for, the answer that undoubtedly comes is “good family, good friends, good health, and good food.” We are all thankful for the many blessings in our lives, and for the positive impact that others have on us. But how many of us look at it from the opposite perspective? How many of us are thankful for the things that we can do for others? That is exactly the gratitude that Manish and G.T. Dave of Synergy Drinks express in the Thanksgiving episode of Steeping Around. “If someone had told me when I first started that (Synergy Drinks) would get to where we are I would never have believed it,” G.T. muses. At only fifteen, G.T. began commercially producing the kombucha that had so influenced his own life. He wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, wanted to spread the positive effects of kombucha beyond his immediate family and into the greater community. It was a small start, a little line-up of a single product at a local health food store, and G.T. Dave would have no way of predicting the future growth of his product and business. The success of Synergy, according to G.T., was built upon the pure motivations of the company. “If you’re patient,” he says, “and if you’re really being fulfilled with the little stuff—just the little impact you’re making, the responses, or the creative aspect of what you’re doing—the money and success will eventually come. That’s the perspective that I had when I started, and that I have to this day. I feel so blessed to be where we’re at.” Manish shares his sentiments. His own company, Maya Tea, began as a small booth at a local farmers’ market and also featured only one product, his mother’s chai recipe, blended and packaged into teabags. Today, Maya Tea offers hundreds of varieties of tea and is expanding to tea education, via Steeping Around. “We just do this putting one foot in front of the other, and one fine day you realize what kind of positive impact you’re having on other people’s lives.” For Manish, that day was the Monday before Thanksgiving, when a couple from California dropped by the tea shop to express their love for Steeping Around and to check out the company behind the show. Manish was surprised and delighted at the response of his fans. “It was something stunning to me,” he confesses. “What we’re doing really matters. I’ve got tons of things to be thankful for, but having a positive impact on so many people’s lives could be the best of all.” What a profound blessing—to be able to give to others. Next Thanksgiving, I hope to have that kind of thankfulness seeping into my bones. From all of us here at Steeping Around, I’d like to thank you, all of you, for allowing us the opportunity to give something back to the world. We could never have predicted where this path would lead, and such a wonderful trip it has been!