Find networking dry and exhausting? You’re not alone. So how about shaking things up and hosting a cacao ceremony for female founders in your area? Forget name badges and small talk, it’s all about going deep…
Words: Samantha Hadadi
It’s no secret that women take on the majority of household chores, admin, childcare and social planning, while also working. And this often leaves us exhausted; dashing from one event to the next, trying to keep up with way too many WhatsApp messages.
So to then throw awkward networking events into the mix – well, it’s just a bit much, isn’t it? Dry, dull and full of forced conversation, we often see them as something we should do, rather than something we want to do.
But what if there was another way?
What if we could network with other women in a way that would help us to fill our cups?
What if we could go beyond simple niceties and names and use these networking events to connect with one another on a deeper, more meaningful level?
What if we could create events that we looked forward to?
If you’re looking for a networking event that becomes a sanctuary rather than a chore, then hosting a cacao ceremony may well be the answer. <
These ceremonies can provide the perfect networking backdrop for business women who crave – and need – something more.
What are cacao ceremonies?
Cacao ceremonies have been practised for centuries, rooted in Mayan and Ancient Aztec culture.
Shamans were also believed to hold ceremonies to help prepare them for awakening and guidance.
And they have seen a resurgence over the last few years. Due, perhaps, to the pressures of our lives, and an ever-growing need to escape.
After all, what could be more soothing than settling down with a steaming mug of silky smooth, rich and indulgent cacao?
Cacao ceremonies are just as they sound – a celebration of cacao, ritualising it and turning it into an act of self-care.
They are designed to harness the healing, medicinal qualities of cacao (known to be rich in antioxidants, as well as calming magnesium – a crucial nutrient when it comes to relaxing), packaging it up into a loving, spiritual practice.
And while these ceremonies are ideal to try on your own, they are also perfect as an alternative networking event, creating a powerful way to connect with others in a group setting.
What are the benefits?
Cacao ceremonies help us to connect to our heart space. The more we do this, the more we are able to sweep our gaze over areas of our lives or businesses with new-found clarity, wisdom and even intuition.
When we slip into a heart-centred space, we are also able to connect with others more deeply, making these ceremonies the perfect practice for today’s modern business woman.
What’s more, the cacao from the ceremony also provides the body with a natural caffeine boost – no espresso shot needed – making it ideal for breakfast or morning events.
What do I need?
To host your own cacao ceremony at networking events, you’ll need a designated sacred space (this can simply be a quiet, peaceful and comfortable room) and access to hot water.
You may also like to arrange notebooks and pens around the room for jotting down any wisdom or guidance that pops up during the ceremony.
Finally, you’ll need to purchase some ceremonial grade cacao, or you could try simple cacao powder for a more accessible option.
How to hold a cacao ceremony
Set up your space
To host a ceremony, start by ensuring your space is calm, clean and peaceful. How you’d like to do this depends on you and the women you’ll be networking with. You might like to dot cosy blankets and candles around the room, pop on a playlist of healing music, burn some incense or even arrange crystals of your choice around the space. The choice is entirely your own.
Make the cacao
Next, follow these simple instructions to prepare your drinks…
Healing Cacao Elixir
20-40g ceremonial grade block of cacao (start small if you’re not used to cacao, you can also use powder)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch each of salt and cayenne pepper
Drop of vanilla extract
Sweetener of choice, to taste (eg maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey)
Cut your block of cacao as finely as possible. Gently warm your water – taking care not to boil it – and then whisk with your ingredients. Alternatively, blend until frothy and creamy and the cacao is dissolved.
As you hug your cacao close to your heart, guide the group in relaxing their bodies and connecting with the breath. Breathe deeply, in through the nose and into the belly. Eyes can be closed or the gaze can be softened. Simply relax, and let it all go.
Next, it’s important to share or acknowledge what you’re grateful for in that moment. This helps you to connect with the heart. It could be a successful meeting, an exciting new venture or contract – the choice is yours.
What’s your intention?
Either alone or as a group, set an intention for the ceremony – what is it you’d like this time to help you to achieve? Is it to listen to your inner guidance, for example, or to enable you to connect with others?
Sip your cacao
As you sip your cacao together, try to take pleasure in the experience. Enjoy the enticing aroma of the chocolate, the richness of the taste, or any of the different flavours you may notice.
Close the ceremony
When you’re ready, close the ceremony. Gently guide everyone’s attention back to their breath, encouraging them to repeat their intention from before.
As you close the ceremony, jot down any insights or wisdom that may have been received. If it feels appropriate to do so, share these insights together.
See this as a moment for peace, as a moment for sanctuary, as you connect with one another.