A while back, I was invited to my daughter’s kindergarten for a parent-only event. The teachers wanted to discuss a lecture they were giving on a particular area of child-led learning they were introducing. This did not sound exciting and I am guessing the teachers knew that. To entice us along they promised a relaxed evening including something called ‘chocolate meditation’. I didn’t know what that was but it was a combination of two things I loved. Nom + Om. I was in!
The whole experience is worth remembering as it forced me to slow down, to truly rest. I say I want to relax but then I don’t actually put aside time to do it properly.
Even though that chocolate meditation evening was almost a year ago, I think about it often. It was everything I needed but didn’t know it. I want to try and replicate it on my own more often. Not just the chocolate meditation part, although that was great, but the opportunity to purely relax.
Here are the three musings from a chocolate meditation experience…
1) Before Chocolate Meditation
Of course, I forgot all about the parent evening until earlier that same day. I had a to-do list a mile long that I wanted to get a start on once the kids were in bed. I was almost going to skip it but parent guilt and a sense of duty got the better of me. I tucked the kids in and sped off to the kindergarten, deciding on the way that I didn’t have to stay long, just show my face, listen to the lecture, perhaps nibble at some treats, or whatever was involved in a chocolate meditation. I could be back early enough to get some work done before bed.
When I arrived, the kindergarten had been transformed. I was used to seeing it full of racing kids, full of noise and full of dress-ups, toys and discarded art work. Instead, it was sparkling clean and spacious. The main lights had been dimmed and fairly lights strung up. Classical music was playing quietly in the background.
I could immediately feel a change in my body. My jaw lost its tension, my shoulders dropped and I could breathe easier. My mind was still racing, future focused, but my body knew exactly where it wanted to be.
2) During Chocolate Meditation
That was the start of the most tranquil evening of my life. We politely listened to the upcoming lecture and then were directed to different areas of the kindergarten for some relaxation experiences. You could play with clay or get a foot spa. I opted for a short restorative yoga session which involved laying down for 10 minutes, tucked up in a blanket with my eyes closed. I then reluctantly escaped my cocoon and woke myself up with some abstract drawing.
Then came the best part – the chocolate meditation experience. On plates in the middle of the room, different types of chocolate were broken up into small chunks. I chose a piece, and then with the other participants, popped it into my mouth and slowly savored it. At home, I would be breaking off large bits and swallowing them without really tasting anything. But there, feeling rested, it was easy to relish in the sweet indulgence. Remarkably, I didn’t need much chocolate to feel very satisfied.
3) After Chocolate Meditation
When I came home, I didn’t do a speck of work. I didn’t even want to do any mindless scrolling. I instantly fell into a deep, dreamless sleep which is incredibly unusual for me. You tend to remember your handful of best-ever sleeps. That was definitely one of them.
The next day I went for my morning walk and felt more energetic than usual. I smiled at strangers. And I actually noticed things. The day seemed clearer, the birds were chirping and flowers looked bright. Without thinking about it, I stopped and literally smelled the roses. What had gotten into me? I felt like I was skipping through a fairy tale. That positive, calm feeling lasted a good day or two.
I hope that describing that magical evening not only reminds me how to take it easy but also helps anyone else who has forgotten how to leisurely and mindfully just be in this crazy-busy world. The three musings before, during and after a chocolate meditation experience epitomize the importance of simple rest.
The most interesting thing to remember is that to let yourself relax you don’t need a fancy island holiday, or even a weekend away at a yoga retreat. This is useful to remember during a global pandemic that has shut down borders and limited travel.
Rest can be accessed at any time. Dim the lights, play some soft music and indulge in some silence or a creative pursuit, with or without the chocolate.
For more on the importance of rest check out Rediscover Your Sparkle – the ebook is currently free!