[PLEASE NOTE: THIS EXPERIENCE WAS GIFTED BUT THIS IN NO WAY INFLUENCES WHAT I’M ABOUT TO WRITE NEXT…]
The cynic in me never thought I’d be attending a Cacao Ceremony (of course, I’d never even heard of one) and experiencing a guided meditation in Manchester (or technically the outskirts in Alderley Edge) – but I am so glad I did and here’s why…
Guided Meditation in Manchester
I agreed to go because I know the amazing woman Ashleigh Guthrie, who would be leading the ceremony and meditation. I’ve known Ashleigh for years – she’s an amazing woman, incredibly talent and one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. I used to attend Ashleigh’s spa in Manchester city centre regularly, she massaged me throughout my first pregnancy and following a lot of travel and discovery (from her), we’ve always remained connected. So when she reached out to invite me along to a Full Moon Cacao Ceremony, I knew it would be something special and unlike anything I’d experienced before…I was right.
The experience was hosted at One Aesthetic Studio in Alderley Edge which is an amazing, intimate and welcoming space run by Miss Jonquille Chantrey and her team of experts and as soon as I set foot in the space, I felt relax and calm.
Experience a sensory immersion starting with a Sacred Heart opening Cacao Ceremony and Sensory Sound Meditation that grounds you back to your roots, liberating your authentic self, aligning to what awakens your soul, and harmonises your mind, body and soul to support your best life.
The above sums up the feeling perfectly.
What is a guided meditation? What actually happens at a Cacao Ceremony?
I’ve been taught and practice self-hypnosis at moments of anxiety (my main one being flying), which is also not dissimilar to the techniques used in hypno-birthing which worked during both my labours. So I already agree and enjoy the principals of meditation but have never been guided through one in such a way.
We were welcomed to our yoga mat in a darkened room with candle-light, scents and warmth. We were invited to bring a comfy cushion/pillow and blanket so we could get truly comfortable. Ashleigh talked us through the importance of Cacao (which I won’t try and regurgitate on here, you should hear it for yourself) and the effects on our body during the guided meditation. We drank the warmed, bitter, natural cacao and were invited to lie down and make ourselves comfy (the bit I was truly looking forward to!).
The following hour to hour and a half, we were taken on a journey, led by Ashleighs calming voice and sensory music and sounds, smell and even touch. Each element created an incredible depth to the experience and for me personally, I felt like I was deeply into my meditation in a way I’d never quite been before. The visualisation was powerful for me and emotional.
At the peak of the guided meditation, I found myself crying, having truly connected with my emotions and in a wonderful group-sharing session after the meditation, I also was overcome with the emotion I had just felt. (Luckily I wasn’t the only one to cry!).
It’s hard to explain and honestly, my words won’t give the experience justice, but for me personally, the guided meditation gave me the space to connect with some emotions I’d been feeling and truly understand them and push them away. It helped me see how I could rid myself of these negative emotions and introduce new positive ones.
A regular part of my life
Having experienced something so emotional, profound and cleansing, I realise that I need this to be a regular thing and not a one-off. It becomes all too easy to have revelations like this and slip back into your old ways within months, weeks, even days. So I’m vowing to have a regular guided meditation in my life, something just for me.