In working with cacao in ceremony and daily life for almost a decade, there are some key pieces I’ve learned in treating this plant as sacred and as a partner in inner work.
The first lesson I learned, during my very first ceremony, was to be gentle with myself. I had previously had an unconscious pattern of pushing myself with inner work, imagining that I had to try really hard to get somewhere better. Cacao slowed me down and helped me realize that there was no need to push, no need to get somewhere particular. This gentleness has become a corner stone of my relationship to both my inner world and to others as I support them in their inner work.
Abundance. That’s the second piece. Cacao gently challenges the beliefs that are rooted in scarcity, in lack and it does so by reminding me that abundance is also possible. It helps my heart expand when it’s contracted so that life doesn’t seem as much of a limited place as I may have thought. This is true for me both in doing inner work for myself and others, and also in a larger way in running a business based on this beautiful plant. Western culture tends towards zero sum thinking; that my gain is your loss or vice versa. Cacao helps me challenge that story and open to mutual gain and the feeling that there is enough. Cacao helps open the heart and given that scarcity thinking is rooted in experiences of lack that closed the heart, it is a powerful medicine for slowly un-doing this way of experiencing life.
Love is always possible. When I feel the energy of cacao filling my body, and especially my heart, it becomes much easier to remember that love is possible. It becomes easier to access a place of unconditional joy & love. The gentleness of cacao helps me expand without forcing it or holding on to it. That state comes and go, and cacao reminds me to tap into it more often and more deeply. It lures me in with how good it feels to love and be open.
Non-judgmental presence. Cacao widens the gap between thought and experience. It helps us see more clearly the thoughts and emotions that frame our experience of reality. The space created allows us more room to work with those thoughts & feelings, as well as to recognize their limited nature. They are not the entirety of life itself. In that gap, we can find new and creative ways to respond to life. We can allow ourselves to feel emotions that are habitually shut-down before we feel them fully. We can re-examine long-held beliefs about life and our place in it. Experience is more simply there and what is, is, without our usual stream of thought dictating the confines of our reality.
There are certainly other teachings from cacao, such as allowing pleasure, accepting all emotions and letting life be as it is, but most of them stem from these core lessons. Cacao is a slow, gentle and accepting energy that can add a powerful dimension to your inner journey.