Saturday, 10 June 2017

Grenada Chocolate Festival 2017 :: Find You Lookin' Kinda Shaky Balance Yuh Self! : Growing Slow at the Yoga Chocolate Meditation

I had the joy of being a part of The Grenada Chocolate Festival 2017 as a performer and a blogger. First, I performed my poem at their opening and then I got to rise and shine early in the morning and head down to the yoga chocolate meditation.

I love yoga. I find it a great form of exercise that forces me to give special care and attention to parts of my body that I often neglect. Now I'm a mover and a shaker and what I mean by that is that I'm terrible at slowing down. The only time I slow down successfully is when I sleep. Yoga is a form of exercise that allows me to take care of my body and my mind together. It doesn't whisper to me that I should slow down, it demands it. 

The Grenada Chocolate Festival has paired this form of exercise and meditation with one of the greatest of God's gifts to me erm us. They have done this by incorporating into the festival a Yoga Chocolate Meditation. 

Hold on, don't get too excited before I explains this to you. This exercise I can truly say holds balance as it's foundation, metaphorically as well as in the usual expected ways yoga tends to do.

This is me, this is me falling down while trying to balance for a Yoga move. I always want to do this move because I have no reason I just like it and really want to do it but I always fall. I have a good relationship with the ground too; I fall down a lot. In public while everyone is watching sometimes, I even fall down a lot when I trip over nothing or things my eyes thought they saw but actually didn't and yet... I have a terrible relationship with balance and the act of falling itself. 

It doesn't matter that I fall so often, it doesn't matter that me and the ground have become so close (if we've met I bet you have a memory of me sitting on it rather than on a chair completely and comfortably by choice)  alas every time I fall, I'm like: what happened, who put that there and who moved it?!

This translates to my personal life. I'm always thinking, it's the hazards of having a creative brain while living in a time when creativity is not only accepted but embraced. My brain is always thinking up plots; characters and other writing forms I want to explore and master. So even when I'm sitting still, I'm actually building the socio political system of a fantasy civilisation from the ground up... backwards. I always feel like there are so many stories yet to be told bubbling up inside of me...I feel an obligation to get it all out. 

So... I lose sleep and I love my body but... I wish I could do a little more for it, to appreciate all it does for me every day.The Grenada Chocolate Festival's 2017 Chocolate Meditation helped a lot in creating an avenue for me to do so.
The Yoga workshop was hosted on the cosy grounds of the True Blue Bay Resort. A fun mash up of comfy and rustic environment that works along with nature instead of atop it. It was taught by Malaika Brooks-Smith Lowe. I've attended a yoga class with Malaika as the teacher before, it wasn't a disappointment the first time and with chocolate and cocoa tea involved I knew it couldn't be a disappointment this time either even if it tried.

The room fills with natural light from floor to ceiling and the class took place early in the morning when it was cool and refreshing. 
 Pictured: myself, tailored by terrieann and our yoga instructor Malaika

When we got there and all were found spaces and mats, our instructor Malaika and her assistant for the day kindly explained to us how our class would be tied into this year's theme 'honouring our chocolate roots.' She talked about how important it is for us all as people to stay rooted in order for us to grow up right and nourished.

I've been mindful of growth and how so often it happens slowly. As I venture into the unfamiliar ground of being a business woman alongside being a creative I've been having moments of mindfulness were I think back on
how it's only in the looking back that we often realise that we have moved from a place of discomfort.  
So how does one grow slow AND healthy if you don't ever make room to slow down and schedule wellness? During our Yoga Chocolate Meditation, we were able to let something amazing teach us about growing slow: cocoa and chocolate, both organically grown and ethically made on my beautiful island Grenada!

As I later learned at chocolate on a shoe string, you'll read about that in a different recap to come, you can't rush good chocolate. You have to let it go through its cycle of growing from cocoa pod to delectable dessert. From alternating through perfect temperatures of cold and hot to realising that there are times of day that just are not right for making good chocolate. It is imperative to understand that a good end product is reliant on the following of a good process.
I have found that this is the same for a healthy self. You must be mindful of time and environment, you must let your senses inform you what is just right and what is not quite there.

During our Yoga session Malaika forced us, yes I do mean force because oh the temptation, to stop, to hear with each ear, to see our present and dwell in it, to feel with the smallest part of our body because the messages it sends is just as important as the biggest parts. I remember her talking about the softness of our bellies and the hardness of our chest and how we can find our selves detesting one or the other for being itself.  All, in a time, when we are quick to hear carried on the wind the importance of self care and the quickness with which we say 'I love myself' while we continue to hate sums of the whole...

At our yoga chocolate meditation  this exercise was in aid of teaching us how to taste dark chocolate correctly, how we must slow down and embrace the whole to taste the sweetness of something that at first glance is known as bitter...sipping warm cocoa tea and nipping on tiny naturally made pieces of chocolate as we did. Tasting warm wealth, feeling home grown health and acknowledging that it's continuance was in our hands and on our own tongues. Just like are own health and wellness.

I loved our Yoga Chocolate mediations, I loved that it said sit down and grow slow. I love that it allowed me to take a physical step towards physical health and a mental step towards mental health by saying embrace the bitter with the sweet and be thankful for the morning. Oh yeah and the chocolate tasting, cocoa tea and chocolate breakfast after was pretty awesome too!

Now when I eat I find myself reminding my mouth to slow down, to taste more than hunger, to be okay with this too being a moment of rest even though the world says get on with it you've got things to do. I don't always succeed but I'm trying to balance my quick with my slow. I'd like to think I get a little closer to a sense of balance everyday but who knows, if nothing else I know I taste a little more each time I try...

Want to know more about the Grenada Chocolate Festival? Check out their website here. Want to know more about that 'Indulgent chocolate breakfast' at the end of our workout? It was so good I did a plate tour that has been featured on the Grenada Chocolate Festival 2017 facebookpage. I HAD to share that plate y'all! Who knew cocoa could be used in so many ways?! Or you could always, you know...come visit! In the meantime...

Peace. Love. Grow slow without shame.


  1. I enjoyed this so much! Thank you for taking the time to write this reflection. It was absolutely wonderful to have you there.

    1. thank YOU for being such an amazing teacher and for taking the time to comment <3


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