At the very least, someone was going to serve me some gourmet hot chocolate.
This was how I convinced myself to try a “Sacred Cacao Ceremony” this afternoon. No, not Cocoa, Cacao* (pronounced ca-cow), which to anyone who has never heard of it sounds as though I am either very pretentious or an idiot who doesn’t know how to say “cocoa” properly.
I had heard about these ceremonies, but I had only a vague idea of what to expect. When I googled “What is a cacao ceremony?” I found this link, excerpted below:
“A cacao ceremony is an opportunity to connect to yourself and open your heart. Because of cacao’s ability to increase your connection to your inner self and your heart chakra, it aids in any transformational shift you are working towards, whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of who you are, release old patterns and traumas, or move into a more self-confident space. Whatever your path, the intention is yours to set, and the cacao allows you to the insight and awareness to move towards that goal.”
Flashback to a few weeks ago, after the Elephant arrived. I wrote to a friend, “Being the perpetual Damsel in Distress is getting old.”
Always the philosopher, he replied, “Distress is the wind spirit of transformation.”
I loved that. It made me feel as though I was headed somewhere…that all of this pain and upheaval was going to have been for a reason. Feeling distressed or weakened was actually a call to rise up, and to grow…
Still, I struggled.
So, when I read, “…it aids in any transformational shift you are working towards, whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of who you are, release old patterns and traumas, or move into a more self-confident space…”
I was in.
Nola, the woman who led the experience, was warm and luminous and inviting. Any residual apprehension melted away with the warm and delicious cacao.
A group of about twelve women and one man gathered for the experience. We drank, talked for a bit, and then Nola guided us through about two hours of meditation. There is always something magical about group meditation. The shared intention and energy in the room is transcendent.
Afterward a few people chose to share their experience. There was a range of emotion that came up for people, from anger to elation. During the meditation I had even heard a woman openly weeping.
For me, it was a very grounding and empowering experience. For most of this year, I have been weighed down by the heavy (and as Nola described them, “damp”) emotions of loss, grief, and fear. I own those emotions and I know that I have been entirely entitled to them.
I have come to recognize that my personal journey (or transformation) involves shaking off all of the weight of despair and worry, and standing firmly in a position of power and grace. To come from a place of light and strength, rather than of desperation, no matter what gets thrown at me.
I felt an important shift today. I hope I can carry the experience confidently with me through what lay ahead.
If not, I may need more chocolate…er, cacao.
*Cacao is a pure form of chocolate that comes very close to the raw and natural state in which it is harvested