When I was seventeen, I fell head over heels in love with ballroom dancing. I began teaching in a studio before I even graduated high school.
It was this glorious world of pink and mirrors, shimmery experiences on satin heels, waltzing across hardwood floors, being enveloped hour after hour by new dance frames, new students, expensive perfume, and sensuous, subtle, sweet, romantic, fast, furious, elegant songs.
It was heaven, but it was relentless. No one ever tells you at seventeen that what you fall in love with then will likely haunt you ever more, that the decisions you make, what you let in, what you get used to . . . they all set the stage for the rest of your life.
It’s funny, the act of writing when you feel filled to overflowing with things to say: it’s almost always a surprise how it starts, what story really wants to be told. This relates to cacao because it’s about the numbing strategy I adopted with caffeine during this time. Dancing all day was elegant and fun (mostly, on the surface of things), that’s why my unawakened empath heart loved it so deeply. But I was also surrounded by new strangers’ energy every hour, turning on the light, being all charming and bright, high energy, for everyone else, on my feet non-stop, and absorbing aaaaall that energy.
Caffeine As A Numbing Strategy
I started drinking coffee. As you can imagine, it was a kind of religion to all of us instructors. It was what we did in the five minutes between lessons, for nine hours a day, every day: we downed styrofoam cups of coffee.
I kept that pace for nearly six years before I fell into adrenal exhaustion and got sick. After that, caffeine exhausted me. Can you recall on your own highly sensitive journey, when you started noticing your threshold was different than everyone else’s? The first few things you just couldn’t keep up with? This was one of my earliest. I’ve always been a writer, too, and the straight magic of over-caffeinating with a latte then dissolving for hours inside headphones and a notebook is still my favorite thing in the world.
Lately I’ve been slowly, cautiously cracking open spaces into past me, the girl still there, the things she once loved that she loves still, even after a spectacular amount of trauma. I’ve been opening myself to that creative feeling again, that floating dancing writing feeling, and I’ve started drinking coffee again too, though I immediately feel bad when I do.
The Downside of the Lovely Addiction
Caffeine stimulates our cortisol (stress hormone) production (which highly sensitive bodies do not need more of . . !), eats through our B12 stores, exhausting us and lowering our immunity, overstimulating our adrenals, making it hard to get to sleep, making us feel edgy and hurried (another feeling that overstimulates hsps).
Cacao Invites Us To Slow Down
My life really changed when I intentionally slowed things down. My healing journey has been lifelong, and will last the rest of my life, I know. Because there is no stasis, really, no level we sensitive ladies can reach where we will finally be (and stay) fine. Our wellness is about the choices we make, one after the other, to crash our system or nourish it, to process something or deny it, to accept our sensitivity or be angry at it.
For me, it’s atavistic. The dark magic longing for coffee is intrinsic to my creative self. It’s a comfort blanket, a safe little distracting device. Think about how twisted and zipped up and hyperdrive we feel when we drink caffeine. (Highly Sensitive People are famously super sensitive to caffeine.) We move through time like a film reel on fast forward, we’re doing, but we’re not really feeling anything. We’re safe from that. Not only are we productive (and accepted by greater society! Yay!), but we’re also protected from all the subtleties we otherwise drown in on a day to day basis.
Raw Cacao Is Incredibly Nourishing For Highly Sensitive Women
Not only is it a powerful antioxidant, it is grounding, calming and returns us to our divine female selves. Cacao is heart-resonant, grounding, intuitive and deeply sacred. This is a big deal as the reclamation of ourselves is, at it’s core, a divine femininity issue. It’s so so common for deeply sensitive women to have languished, at some point, in relationships with men who did not know how to behave in a church (if you know what I mean). A huge part of our healing journey is about reclaiming the innocence of our authentic selves before the confusing (sometimes toxic) inanity of the greater world scrambled us like an egg.
Making the Most of the Moment
This elixir is best drunk in the early morning or at night when things inside you can be quiet. Light a candle and consider standing there at the stove. Whisk the ingredients together slowly, savor the beauty of the steam rising. Ask your heart: how are you? Notice if it feels heavy. If an uncomfortable feeling comes up, its okay. It’s releasing; that’s a good thing. Honor the immune-boosting adaptogens you’re adding, see yourself as Juliette Binoche in the movie Chocolat: a beautiful, powerful, feminine force who is only ever herself and therefore inspires beauty wherever she goes. You have that in you, too. Do you feel yourself smiling a bit thinking about that? (Maybe a tiny smile?)
I hope you will invite this energy into your whole heart and body. This cup of heaven is free of absolutely anything not good for you, creamier than coffee on it’s best day, grounding, takes about 5 minutes to make and is deeply, deeply nourishing to our bodies.
Divinely Feminine Hot Cacao
Warm your favorite mug’s worth of coconut milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat and add:
- 3 liberal pinches of sea salt (the trace minerals support adrenals)
- 1 teaspoon Reishi mushroom powder (anti-viral, super immunity boosting)
- 1 teaspoon Chaga mushroom powder (anti-viral, powerful adaptogen)
- 1 teaspoon raw Maca powder (powerful adaptogen, lends creaminess)
- 1/2 teaspoon Madagascar Vanilla (non-alcoholic is best)
- 1 heaping tablespoon of raw Cacao powder
- (*optional) 2 tablespoons of quality collagen powder (I like Great Lakes. Collagen is amazing for our hair, skin and nail health as well as healing and reinforcing a healthy gut lining)
For an extra emotional boost, add one drop of doTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil. Peppermint is the Oil of a Buoyant Heart. If you’ve been through (or are in) emotional pain, feel depressed or just heavy in your heart, Peppermint provides temporary encouragement. It doesn’t do our work for us, but it does lift that veil in the moment. It helps us rediscover the joy of being alive. (Plus, it makes your hot cacao taste like a Peppermint Patty . . !)
Last Little Note
If you need a quick, easy way to get your hands on some therapeutic-grade Peppermint Oil, you can follow the link in my Instagram bio @highlysensitivehealing to grab one right up. It’s super easy.