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Cacao Connection

My Personal Journey with Cacao

In July 2019 I journeyed to San Marcos, Guatemala to The Yoga Forest for my Sound Ceremony Immersion for 2 weeks. This is where I began cultivating my love and connection with Ceremonial Cacao.

I had a reading from a mystical Mayan medicine man who shared with me that I was meant to bring forth Cacao, my voice and my connection with the drum to the Western world. At this point I had only experienced the magic of Cacao a handful of times so I didn’t really think much of it.

This was an unexpected connection that continued long after my return. Little did I know that this beautiful earthly medicine would accompany me through the most challenging times of my life. Since my time in Guatemala, I have sat in a Cacao ceremony (on my own or with others) every day, deepening my connection with her magical essence. I connect with + share Cacao from Guatemala as that is where my deepest connection lies.

The Magical Essence of Cacao

Cacao is considered “food of the gods” so I feel it is fitting that we are connecting more deeply with this plant as we shift into a new era of life on our planet. The Incas and Mayans of Mesoamerica used Cacao as food, medicine, currency and in sacred ceremonies. We consume it these days as our modern-day chocolate, often with additives and sugars.

Cacao is a heart-opening essence in all ways. Flavonoids found in Cacao can improve blood circulation, may lower blood pressure and protect against heart issues. Anandamide, the “bliss molecule” improves mood while invoking feelings of euphoria. Phenylethylamine, the “love chemical” causes endorphins and opiate-like neurochemicals to be released naturally and functions like an MAO inhibitor to allow more serotonin to circulate within your body.

Raw Cacao contains the highest level of antioxidants in the world along with the highest natural source of iron, magnesium, manganese and chromium. These are important for de-stressing, balancing your mood, suppressing appetite and blood building in the body.

Theobromine

Theobromine is where much of the healing effects of Cacao come from. Neuroprotection, inflammation, cardioprotection, and immunity are the outcomes of theobromine that are being studied for the benefits it provides.

Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid compound with a similar chemical makeup to caffeine, but the two stimulants effect the body differently. Caffeine is fast-acting, short-lived, hitting the system with a jolt and then crashing. Theobromine’s stimulant effects are mild with more sustain, shifting into a more relaxed and focused energy. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant where Theobromine is a cardiovascular stimulant.

Theobromine effects last a long time, thus lifting your mood and energy levels. This is one of many reasons it is quickly becoming a healthier, more sustainable option to caffeine.

I have shifted my morning coffee to Cacao with incredible benefits to not only my physical vessel but also all other parts of my being (mental, emotional, spiritual).

Read more about Theobromine on Keith’s Cacao website here and why making the shift from caffeine to Cacao could benefit you here.

Ceremonial Cacao Sources

Embue

I destined upon this amazing company (previously Heartblood Cacao) once I realized that I experienced a deep connection with this plant and desired to sit with her everyday. It was during our global ceremony (aka pandemic) that I opened to connect with a company that aligned with my values and frequency and were able to ship to Canada (affordably)!

Most of what I currently use is this most delightful Cacao. I have had the pleasure of connecting with one of the creators of this company, Moses. I have gathered wisdom from and with him as well as co-created a virtual Cacao and Sound Ceremony together.

Check out a mini offering of Sound to enjoy with your Cacao
Link to video


RUK’U’LUX (Roo-Koosh-Ouh-Leh-Ou) – sourced here

I enjoyed many cups of Cacao here while the Mayan women infused their magical energy into the Cacao and the space. I still recall their smiles, their kind and gentle demeanour, and their beautiful traditional Guatemalan dress, called traje. It is a treasured memory for me where I not only cultivated my connection with Cacao + the Mayan peoples but I deepened my connection with many soul sisters and brothers that I met during my Sound Ceremony in Guatemala.

Keith’s Cacao – sourced here

I have a deep reverence for this Cacao. The frequency of this one is of divine love. Keith is one of the pioneers of this in Guatemala and his Cacao is prepared with much love and care using traditional methods.



Cacao Preparation

I place my Cacao on my Altar upon receiving it to infuse it with the energy I have cultivated, created and called in with my blessings, prayers and connection to spirit/source and my guides.

When I am ready to prepare my Cacao I dance, sing and infuse her with whatever energy is present. Whenever possible I do this outside, with the Earth among the elements. This is very intuitive and different each time. Connect with her in whatever way feels aligned at that moment.

As I chop it up I continue to dance, sing, and be present with divine loving awareness. I place it in a mason jar to keep it fresh and ready to craft my ceremony each day.

I then connect with the Cacao in my own personal ceremony each day with grace, gratitude + presence.

I weave together + honour ancient traditions and wisdom with modern-day conveniences and science in how I prepare my Cacao. I invite you to explore different ways to make it yourself as you may align with methods other than what I share.

This exploration is meant to be enJoyed and it may evolve over time. I began making my Cacao much differently than how I do now. Much of my connection with Cacao has been intuitive as I feel we have innate wisdom once we open to connect with these magical gifts from the Earth.

I will provide some measurements so you have a place to start with but know that I don’t measure anything out, I rely purely on my intuition. This has beautifully translated to living more from my intuitive nature in all areas of life. I feel that trusting in your intuition with the foundation of gathered wisdom is how we are meant to thrive in this world.

INGREDIENTS + DIRECTIONS

  • 1 oz / 3 tbsp Ceremonial Grade Cacao
  • 1 cup of hot water (just before boiling)
  • Sweetener of your choice (I use dates, maple syrup or honey)
  • Spices (I use 4 to honour each direction) : cinnamon, turmeric, sea salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla
  • Other additions I add as it feels aligned: tahini (makes it creamier), nut butter, maca, mushrooms


Place all ingredients in the Vitamix/blender and blend until frothy and topped with rainbow bubbles!

If you don’t have a Vitamix or blender simply add ingredients in a pot of hot water and whisk or stir until combined or add all ingredients to your mug and use a handheld whisk/blender and combine until you reach the desired consistency.

Singing + dancing while blending are delightful ways to further infuse your joy and essence in this divine nectar.

Pour in your mug and begin your ceremony!


Ceremony Vibes

Each ceremony is unique to each moment. I’ll share some of the ways I create my ceremonies yet know that it is always different. The ceremonial aspect for me is about reverence and honouring your energy, the frequencies around externally and the Cacao, while offering gratitude, love and anything else that feels aligned. Connect with your heart and allow it to lead the way. There is no wrong way to do it!

Outside with the Earth + elements (especially the sun) if possible, I hold the mug of Cacao to my heart and begin to connect with my own energy through breath and awareness of the present moment.

I call upon the Spirit of Cacao and honour it in whatever way feels aligned. I open my heart to receive the essence of the cacao, then I open to be received by the cacao so that the connection is reciprocal. This is an important aspect that I have discovered from sitting daily in ceremony.

I offer gratitude and blessings to all those that were a part of sharing the Cacao with me, then I set and weave my intentions into the ceremony. Once I feel complete with these elements I sing a magical song that I received while in Guatemala to amplify my intentions, gratitude + love outwards to all.

Finally, I honour the Gods and Goddesses of Cacao with gratitude by raising my cup to the sky. I offer gratitude to anyone/anything else that I feel called to (the elements, the directions, my guides, myself). I kiss the Cacao and enjoy each sip with divine reverence + love. The perfect way to start my day!

Blessings to you as you embark upon your Cacao ceremonial connection.

Cacaocita Song

If you wish to receive + connect with the song I sing with my Cacao, here it is:

Cacaocita Song

Lyrics + Meaning

Cacaocita, la medicine
Cacaocita, la di di di
Cacaocita, la medicine
Cacaocita, la di di di

Cura, cura cuerpecito,
Cura, cura, la di di di
Limpia, limpia, espiratito,
Limpia, limpia, la di di di

Dear Cacao The Medicine
Dear Cacao la di di di
Dear Cacao The Medicine
Dear Cacao la di di di

Heal Heal our Dear Bodies
Heal Heal la di di di
Cleanse Cleans our Dear Spirits
Cleans Cleans la di di di

Events

Strong & Free Women’s Retreat

SFWR_Postcard

February 17–23, 2019


LOCATION

Bambu Guest House
Tzununa, Guatemala
An eco-center located on Lake Atitlan with stunning views of the lake, volcanos, and nature.

Check out the Bambu Guest House


An immersive journey into connection, empowerment, and freedom anchored in shamanic healing traditions of discovery, exploration, and expansion. Blending ancient practices from the West and the East to embrace wholehearted wisdom.

INCLUDES

  • 7 days + 6 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers (shuttle to the eco-center is approx. 3 hours)
  • Nourishing vegan meals for cleansing + detox
  • Coffee, tea, snacks, desserts
  • Yoga + movement
  • Meditation
  • Pranayama
  • Workshops
  • Traditional shamanic healing ceremonies
  • Energy healing
  • Sound therapy
  • Culturally immersive tour
  • Nature connection
  • Free time to explore

SAMPLE ITINERARY

7:30 Yoga + Meditation
9:00  Breakfast + Freshen up
10:00–12:00  Workshop or Ceremony
13:00  Lunch
14:00–17:00 Workshop/tour/ceremony/movement
18:00  Dinner
19:30–21:00  Movement + meditation or evening ceremony



INVESTMENT

$1,555 for a single bed
$1,755 for a queen bed *only 2 available

All accommodations are shared with a bathroom, a balcony and a hammock to enjoy the stunning view of the lake, volcanos, and nature. 

A non-refundable deposit of $555 is required to secure your spot. The remaining amount is due January 15, 2019. More details to come about additional payment installations.

ONLY 10 spaces available!

Not Included
Flight to Guatemala
Additional activities (paddle boarding, massages, hikes)
Additional energy work > Reiki and energy healing sessions, intuitive reading, chakra reading, and clearing.

For more details and to register >>> Strong & Free Women’s Retreat

Events

SELF-LOVE

Soul Nurturing Day Image

This past Sunday 8 beautiful souls graced me with their loving presence at my very first SOUL NURTURING DAY. They all arrived with an open heart to truly honour themselves and their needs. I was in awe of their willingness to be vulnerable and show up authentically. It was truly a blessing to witness and hold space for these magnificent women.

I am beyond grateful for what they have taught me—courage, authenticity, laughter, rawness, connection, love. I am always aware that I will learn from guiding these events but I am always pleasantly surprised just how much I receive out of it. Thank you to each woman for coming out and being a part of my ever-evolving journey.

To continue the theme of being vulnerable I will be honest in saying that it was a bit challenging for me to receive all the love, thanks and words of encouragement and gratitude from these women. Receiving love from others has been something that I have been working on for some time now. I am now aware when I try to block it or feel uncomfortable with it.

I was able to receive it (eventually!) through my awareness and I am feeling so filled up, inspired and empowered to continue to show up this way in the world. It is needed. Even when I feel the fear creep up around running these events…and yes even receiving the love…I know that in order to invite others to show up authentically I must do it myself.

Since this event was so transformative for those that attended as well as myself I am inspired to offer another one in September!

 NEXT SOUL NURTURING DAY >> Sunday, September 16!

Mindset

My time with Depression

 

depression2-alex-boyd-262019-unsplash

Photo by Alex Boyd on Unsplash


 

I believe we all experience mental health in some capacity. I am so glad that we are becoming more aware of it and are more confident to speak up about it.

Personally, I have experienced depression and slight bouts of anxiety. I didn’t even know what the feeling of anxiety was until I realized last week that I do experience it from time to time.

In my teenage years (around 16 years old) when my older boyfriend broke up with me, I was severely depressed for weeks but was thankfully able to bounce back with the support of my family and friends. Also, I ended up getting back together with this same guy…not the best choice but one that I learned greatly from, and am still learning from.

In my early 30’s when I had a life-altering event happen (a post about this to come another time!), I fell into a deep depression for months. I rarely went out, I slept a lot and cried a shit-ton. I released so much pent up anger, sadness, and energy that I believe had been stuck in my body for a long time. It was horrible…I felt like I was in a pit of mud and couldn’t get out.

I did again have some support from my family and friends but it was different this time. I was a grown adult so it was harder to ask for help and I had learned how to put on a ‘brave face’ and weather through it alone. I had also broken trust between some of my family and was very embarrassed. I really didn’t know how to deal with it alone as I had never been given tools or resources to handle this. I muddled through hoping that with time it would get better.

I began distracting myself in various ways (I often refer to this as buffering) which seemed like they were helping but in all honesty, it was just sinking me deeper in the pit. I can see this now…I really couldn’t see this while I was in it.

So what shifted…I got pregnant with Nolan (which we had been trying for 3 years to do!) and it forced me to stop some of the buffering and then I found YOGA. I had practiced on and off for several years before this but only for the physical benefits of the practice, nothing more. Finding yoga was the turning point in my time with depression.

I started Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) when I was 3 months pregnant and finished it a couple weeks before he was born. It was completely life-changing in a good way. I was finally making progress getting out of the mud pit. I learned to listen to my body, find calm and quiet spaces in my mind and thoughts, I found solace and peace within myself (not outside myself) and began the journey into really finding out who I was…I am legit still working on this! It is the most profound, incredible journey ever!! Is it easy? Not always, but it is so powerful and I am so grateful for all of it. The bad and the good.

I have met so many during my journey that suffers from depression, anxiety and all other forms of mental health struggles. I’m not saying that yoga and/or meditation is the answer for everyone but it may just be another tool in your toolbox of resources when you happen to be in the mud pit.

Here is an article that explains a bit more about what yoga is and how it may help those with depression and/or anxiety:

Best Types of Yoga for Anxiety and Depression

Reach out to me if you have any questions or may be interested in giving yoga and/or meditation a try.

Sending peace and love to all.