Ceremony: The first of these reasons is this concept of ceremony. I didn't grow up in a religious or even spiritual family, so naturally the idea of praising of or being obedient to an un-seen all knowing being was hard for me to understand much less believe in. It wasn’t until later in my life that I started seeking for more, what that “more” was I had no clue. All I knew was there was more to life than just working and surviving. I started getting hints of this “more” when my yoga practice deepened and I began to meditate on a regular basis. I didn’t yet understand it, but I began to “feel” this concept of spirituality, but was still far off from connecting to it in any tangible way. When I saw an ad for a cacao ceremony and my wife insisted we attend, I wasn’t as excited as you'd expect, quite the contrary. I was worried I was committing time, energy and space to something I might not enjoy at all. We began the ceremony by sitting in a circle, receiving our cacao in small but very strong cups, we then began to bless the cacao spirit, and called on the directions, we set our individual intentions for the ceremony and began to drink the very bitter dark substance in the cup. At the time I really had no idea the difference between 100% pure ceremonial cacao and the hot coco you’d order at a cafe. The taste was a little bitter, but at the same time rich and earthy. I knew this wasn’t a drug, but almost immediately I felt the strength of the uplifting chemical compounds of cacao in my body. We were instructed to lay down in this circle of people as the ceremonial hosts provoked deep and meaningful notes from their various instruments. They walked around us, in between us and showered us with their soulful melodies. I recited what I was there for in my thoughts, I was there for healing for forgiveness and what a perfect intention to be supported by cacao. I felt my heart begin to crack open and then I began to cry, small quiet sobs of tears poured down my face, not because I was sad, but because something so heavy I had been carrying on my heart was suddenly lifted and I was filled with a light and a feeling of joy. The ceremony ended and I left that place with a deep sense of gratitude and belief in this powerful combination of ceremony and cacao. It was the end of the ceremony but the beginning of my very meaningful journey with cacao.
Connection: this is a big one, if you are reading this you are most likely a human, and as a human our very survival used to depend on the connections we had and maintained. The connections we had with our people (our tribe) and their various social structures. The animals which we prayed upon understanding their habits routines the ability to understand their mating rituals and mimicking their calls. The seasons guided our movement and where we chose to settle during the different parts of the seasons for our greatest chance of survival. The skies we needed to be intimate with, reading the calls of the birds, the clouds and the whispers in the wind to know when a storm was brewing and when and where to take shelter. And most importantly the life giving earth mama, who nurtured all of the living kind from the very beginning. As tribes and bands of people, our ancestors understood the importance of these connections, and they celebrated them with many forms of rituals. These rituals functioned as the gateway of communication, they were the portal of give and take between the humans and the various elements, creatures, and heaven and earth. Ceremony is in our blood, it has been passed down for 100s of thousands of years, and it is only until recent history have we broken this connection with the advent of technology. Life has maybe become easier in ways with it, but people are starving for ceremony and the way I believe this shows up, is in the extreme level of mental health issues people now suffer. The feeling of being lonely, disconnected, and just overall feeling a sense of meaningless in their lives.
I haven’t given up technology and by no means do I live off the land, but I have begun to take back my ceremonial rights. Most mornings I light a candle and I begin my day with a cup of rich cacao in my hands, as I whisper into the portal of connection, honoring my ancestors, the elements, the heavens and the earth for all that is and all will continue to be. Whether it is cacao or something else, ceremony is who we are, and to feel deep connectedness is to be healthy and balanced.
“There is no fixed physical reality, no single perception of the world, just numerous ways of interpreting world views as dictated by one’s nervous system and the specific environment of our planetary existence.” – Deepak Chopra
How we see the world is truly our reality. I do not see the same color blue as you see it. We all have our different filters of how we perceive and interpret the world around us and the way we do so, is largely affected by our internal environment (mood). When we are tired and grumpy it is easy to see someone's actions as irritating. If we are feeling great and enjoying our existence we view the world through a much “rosier” colored lens. Drinking cacao daily has helped me keep my “happy glasses” on as I move through the day. Of course it's never that easy as just drinking a cup of a yummy beverage, but it does play a part. I will get into the chemical makeup and breakdown of cacao a little more thoroughly in a later article, but it is important to know that cacao has many beneficial vitamins, nutrients and micronutrients in it that lend themselves well to an uplifted attitude. The main mood/energy elevator of cacao is theobromine found in cacao. “Research suggests theobromine may help protect the heart in several ways. For starters, it naturally lowers blood pressure. This, in turn, decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease. There’s also some evidence theobromine may reduce “bad” cholesterol and improve “good” cholesterol. Additionally, the substance may improve blood flow throughout the body, further supporting the heart.” Cacao has assisted me to be more present, to feel connected to myself and the greatness of life, and most importantly it has assisted me to look at daily life a little sunnier. That being said, all good things are only good if you don’t overdo them. Therefore I encourage you to see how Cacao affects you and what proportions support the best and healthiest YOU.
Shop your ceremonial cacao here!