Who doesn’t love chocolate? The combination of cacao, dance and a mind-expanding experience must be one of the most luscious things I can think of. I also love how plants and other natural substances can give us insights that we usually can’t reach. I call them imprints: once you felt them, you will always be able to reconnect to a certain feeling and apply it in new situations. I never tried ritual doses of theobromine, the active compound of chocolate. Raw cacao in ritual doses is celebrated for its capacities to open hearts and supports transformation through self-love. Raw cacao is also a powerful antioxidant, enhances the immune system, lowers the risk of heart disease, lowers high cholesterol and blood pressure, contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, vitamin C, natural sulfur iron and B-complex vitamins. It also increases vitality, focus and sensitivity. But that’s what I learn now. Before yesterday I had no idea what a cacao ceremony would be like. And so the time had come.
Time for a ritual cacao ceremony!
I joined a ceremony with the lovely Ruby May and Melissa Honeybee
in Amsterdam. They explained us all about the ritual while stirring in two gigantic pots. Ritual cacao is different from regular chocolate. It consists of a high dose of pure cacao, grown in an organic and conscious way. For the ceremony, pure cacao mass was heated with some coconut oil, agave syrup and spices.
We drank the cacao while humming and setting intentions. I realized how little time I dedicate to my spiritual practice lately, and how that leaves me feeling disconnected and distracted by all the input and sensations coming from everywhere.
Guided by music, the cacao helped me to feel my body. There was slight pressure on my forehead, behind my third eye, after a couple of sips. As the cacao found its way into my system and the music invites us to dance, I could feel my heart opening, a sensation that slowly lowered into my belly. Tension melting away. The mind at first still being critical and overthinking as usual, but slowly softening, hushing, letting go of the need to understand.
Even more so, I felt super aware of how self-centered my thoughts usually are. It’s such a self-fascination, that constant focus on how the world will see me, what they will think of me and how I can make the best impression. Isn’t it all insecurity, a search for how to be and feel loved?
It all melted away into a bigger notion of interconnectedness. This whole life experience isn’t about me as an individual, but as a collective. My dance moved towards the floor as one sentence echoed in my head: ‘Stay humble’. This life isn’t about getting what I want; it’s about finding joy in unconditional serving. How can I help? How can I make the world softer, more beautiful, more connected, without expecting to gain from it? How much can I let go? How far can I open my heart and be really vulnerable?
My dance brought me to people that I knew and didn’t know. As the mind was quiet, it felt easy to connect energetically with people, making the dance a playful act without thoughts, and the connection so much deeper.
The cacao invited me to show myself right in the moment. When I felt soft, my mouth formed a soft smile and my hands were stroking my belly. When I felt fierce I growled, showing my teeth and moving wildly. Little moments my mind interfered and told me to hold back as people might find me ‘too much’. But then, why should I hold back? This is me. This is what I want to embody: the whole spectrum of a woman, with all her flavors. It’s not up to me to decide who can handle which part of me. It’s up to me to not hold back, rather to invite and to celebrate.
We danced for hours, but the energy I felt was endless. As the critical thinker stops thinking, I notice that sense of time disappears. During the closing circle and afterwards, it felt easy to connect with other people. No worries about feeling liked or not. Just happy to sit together and share tea and food.
I noticed a similar effect in lovemaking later that night. There were few thoughts and a lot of energy. My body felt delighted with touch and affection and surrendered deeply, moving in many directions, guided by an inner flow as sweet sensations overtook.
Today, the day after, I still feel soft and open. I can more easily feel into other peoples’ energy and needs (which seems to be, surprisingly often, just a hug and some presence under layers of emotions and stories).
I feel how much I want to take care of myself. I put on clothes that make me feel pretty, put on make-up for no reason and combined some necklaces that out of practical reasons I never wear anymore (having kids that used to pull anything shiny when they were younger). I feel like meditating, taking things a little slower and more conscious. I feel like enjoying life on a deeper level.
Ruby explained that cacao is here with a mission: to remind us of the beauty of life. I can definitely relate to that.