cacao, ceremony, people, ritual, honoring, life, amplified, mexico, retreat, heart, day, journey, feel, sacredness, moments, bringing, sacred, wellness, bit, coffee
Kassie Rhodenizer, Megan Swan
Welcome back to energetically you where we talk about optimal wellness, abundant mindset and empowered decision making. I'm your host Megan swan, a wellness coach and consultant and the founder of the Sustainable Integrated Wellness approach. I help high performance women's read more wellness into their lifestyle so that it becomes a way of life and not another checkmark on their to do list I design custom approachable wellness lifestyles because I know there is no one size fits all wellness. After working with me women have more magnetic energy and confidence from within and ultimately make more aligned and empowered decisions for themselves. I am on a mission to empower more women through optimal wellness today on the podcast, I am so excited to welcome Kassie she is a sacred transformation guide, cacao ceremony facilitator and energy healer. She specializes in holding sacred space for her clients to awaken their capacity for self compassion, self acceptance, and a deep honoring of themselves and their human journey. So excited to jump into this conversation with Kassie, I am a huge fan of cacao and here where I live in Chiapas. It is an abundant resource. And I feel like it is this last wisdom that is going to be increasingly brought to the forefront. And I really want to understand better the ins and outs of the cacao ceremony. So let's dive in. Welcome Kassie. I'm so excited for this conversation. Thank you for being here. How are you this morning?
Oh, I'm really excited to be here. You know, just reflecting on getting to share what I love so much, which is about ceremony and cacao. And really the essence of that is opening our hearts as we move through this crazy wild time and humanity. So I'm excited to be here.
Today. Well, I'm excited to because this is something that's kind of been on my radar honestly, to dive deeper into personally. And it's definitely going to be part of my upcoming retreat that I haven't really talked about publicly. It's still in, it's still planning during the planning. But I live in Chiapas, Mexico, where they grow a lot of cacao. And this is a big part of the historic history of Mayan culture. And so for a lot of reasons, I just love cacao love cacao nibs. And I'm very curious. And let's, let's start. Did you get into ritual before this specific ritual? Or did this specific ritual bring to the forefront for you the power of ritual?
Question, I would say I was already deep into exploring what ritual meant. And in my own life, I had already been facilitating retreats and women's circles and in my own life being very intentional, you know, starting my morning with, with a grounding in with some breathing with a morning routine. And then when I discovered cacao, it was like all of that amplified and, and for me, and for the people I share it with as well. It's like, it's like that one constant. It's like an anchor in my morning. So you know, if maybe if maybe breathwork doesn't fit that morning, or, or meditation or whatever else I like to kind of pull into my morning. Cacao can always be there. And all it requires is it does require at least an intentional moment, before running off and drinking it on the go. But as long as there's that intentional, it Take three breaths with the cacao, say my thank yous and set an intention. It's like that's become the anchor in my day. And I was exploring cacao personally, almost every single day for for over a year before I started bringing it into the ceremonial spaces that I was holding. And it's just amplified the effects of people coming in to heart connection with themselves and with each other. So it's been really beautiful.
All right, well, I don't know where to go next. I always have so many questions. Let's Can you tease out for us? First off, you know, I know that there are sort of more elaborate ceremonies that are done with cacao. So tease out the difference between bringing it into your life as a daily ritual versus like the benefit of what it looks like the other types of ceremonies that exist around it.
I mean, personally, in my own experience, ants I found that coming together in a group with other energies with other souls that are here. The experience that you'll get in a ceremony like that is so amplified because all of our energies are merging together, we're we're connecting heart to heart with each other. So, for those who are curious about cacao, experiencing it in a group, especially for the first time is so powerful. You know, I've, I've had people come in and say, after they've had the cacao, and we've done some connections, that they've never experienced such such deep inner peace that they've, that their minds haven't been this clear in years. And, yeah, I would say that the effects in a ceremony are definitely amplified. And really, like you can do anything you want in a ceremony and the company that I work with like a cow, we're very clear that we're not trying to imitate any, any Mayan or Aztec rituals, per se, we're really bringing it into the now and just connecting with our breath, connecting with our hearts and allowing people to experience that, that heart opening. And I would say that in my day to day when I use cacao, that's, that's really the same intention, just coming back into myself, coming into my center and allowing myself to feel my heart, which, so often of the time, we're allowing our minds to lead through through this world and through this life, and so it's really coming back into that heart connection. And for me, my ceremonies and my, my personal practice are quite similar in that way, it's all about coming back into the heart.
So is it? I mean, I know it's always or understood, it's always a kind of around love, and it's a heart opener, you know, we talk about it working on the heart chakra, can you kind of paint the picture, you know, how it might be the same and how it's dramatically different from coffee? As soon as I feel like people have this idea that it's like, oh, just another sort of, you know, energizing beverage I could have in the morning,
right? Oh, well, cacao is known as the heart opener. And it's known to be a feminine energy plant medicine. And so the feminine energy is all about receptivity and openness. And with cacao, you get an increase in blood flow and increase in circulation. So it's actually it's actually stimulating the heart to open and, and the mind to soften. And, yeah, it's like, compared to coffee, you know, I've had many, many clients switch from coffee to cacao because it is energizing, but it's not energizing in the same way. It's not that like, Okay, I'm on for the day, like, now it's time to go it's go time, like, let's get stuff done. It's more of and it's more of a softening and a feeling of, okay, there are these things I have to do. And I can flow my way through them. And I can kind of weave my way through the day instead of sort of more I find caffeine is like more of like a power like a force, like, let's get this done. And cacao was more of a softening, but it still brings the same like, okay, I can I have the energy, I have the focus. I have the creativity. Yeah, the focus, the creativity to move through the things that need to be done in my day. I feel like it's for me, like, yeah, coffee is like, it's it gets me kind of like raw, like, Okay, I'm here. I'm here, I'm, I'm on I bought this. And then with cacao, it's a softening into the, I've got this, like, you know, I've got this day, I have the energy. And I'm going to do it in, in a way that flows in a way that's not pushing and forcing things.
Yeah, you've inspired me to get back to more seriously into this. It's one of those practices where I like, you know, bring it in once in a while, but it's it really isn't a habit. And I wanted to talk as well, because here there's this. I mean, there's several but I guess I won't name names, but there's one place that has like a very cool concept around bringing, you know, Mayan Cacao Culture. And you know, they make beautiful chocolates, but I love that they have like, they do serve for coffee, but the majority of the big menu that sort of, you know, similar to what you would see in a coffee shop with all the different choices. You know, there's six, if not seven types of hot chocolate or cacao that you can order just based on like the percentage of cacao and the Mayan is 100% cacao. So knowing like I think it's important for me As people to understand that, you know, the Mayans didn't have sugar the the Spanish brought them sugar and they never drank cacao in that sense and that there's nothing wrong with sweetness sweetening it. So I was curious, like, how do you prepare it every morning? What is your, your recipe?
Yeah, I am a, I like I like it a little sweet. So typically I prepare it with a little bit of cayenne pepper. So that gives it a little bit of spice and also helps helps it circulate through the system. And I find it it also opens the heart as well. And then I also use a little bit of maple syrup. So pure Canadian twist. Yeah, that's a nice sweetener. And, you know, I've, I've shared cacao with with many people, and some people like to use out a little bit of cinnamon, some people like, Honey, but I agree there is no there is something really, really beautiful about honoring it in that way in that traditional way. And not not adding anything. And I've been to ceremonies where where people do that. And it's, it can be quite bitter.
Bitter, but I think what I always find interesting when I drink it that way is just to appreciate it. Like it's one of those things that our concept of, you know, what a hot chocolate should be in taste. And, and this drink that's much more like filtered coffee, you know, like, it's, it's this, you know, different a slightly different flavor, but the same idea of like, you probably add things to it to make it taste better or just appreciate. I mean, there are of course that people didn't really enjoy that level of bitterness, but I like it actually know that 90 Or, you know, 70 But I can't Yeah, no, I'm not a huge fan of sugar, but I'm gonna try it with maple syrup. And like you say, the the Cayenne, how much Cayenne would you put you prepare it by the cup? Or?
Well, yes, I prepared by the cup. And I would say use at your own discretion. I love it. So I pile in the Cayenne. I really liked that heat that spice to it. But at my first few ceremonies that I facilitated I, I did force quite a lot of coughing on some of our participants because I overestimated the Cayenne. So I would say play around with that. And for Yeah, for the people who come to ceremony with me, I just use like a little dash like the smallest amount, and they can still taste it. There's still like there's something spicy in here. Yeah.
And do you put cinnamon? No,
I don't put cinnamon? No, but a lot of people do.
Amazing. So tell us more about your current work and the way that you sort of bring this knowledge and rituals specifically to people and your clients? Mm hmm. Yeah.
Well, for me, like ritual, and really, the essence of ritual is sacredness. And over my healing journey, I've discovered how important it is to bring in this, this essence of sacredness into everything that we do and how it amplifies everything in our life amplifies our ability to be present to be fulfilled in each moment, to feel connected. And so yeah, ceremony ritual. It's such a big part of my life. And I started when I started my my healing journey about seven years ago. And when I got into energy healing, I really started to see because you know, you're taught a framework essentially for for a modality of healing, like energy healing. And over the last few years, it's really been about bringing in like, ritualizing a session, like really getting people into the sacredness of this life of this moment of their bodies. So even in my energy healing sessions, I really focus on grounding people in and bringing them back to the present moment, bringing them into their breath and really feeling the sacredness of, of life. And that translates into my ceremonies as well. It's like, you know, all people really need is a space to come and feel safe and nurtured and like they can just be however they're showing up and ceremony is such a beautiful, beautiful way to bring people together like that and, and obviously, it's been used for so many centuries, in this way to help people come and release and process and through whatever's coming up for them. But yeah, it's like, I really, I would say that when I started doing holding ceremonies, it was, it was a huge catalyst for me to deepen my own practice in my own life and bring more ritual into my own life. And I would say that now I'm, yeah, now it's now it's everything to me, you know, I'm traveling, I just have a carry on backpack. And in there, I've got all my crystals, I've got my sage, I've got my partner's, like, Thank you for being all of that, like, Thank you for being so prepared. And it's like, now I can't not have those things with me. Because I, I feel like taking those intentional moments, in whatever way that looks like for you is so important. And it helps me to stay grounded to come back to my body. When life gets chaotic. Maybe when my mind gets out ahead of me and really, really ground back into Okay, everything's okay and safe. I'm here and I'm safe.
Yeah, can we deconstruct that word a little bit, because to me, it can be I think, a little woowoo for people or not, that maybe, maybe not intimidating, but they don't necessarily resonate or think they resonate with the word sacred to me, it just means bringing a lot more presence and intention to whatever you're doing, be it a ceremony, be it the way you're starting your day, the way that you're having a conversation with a loved one, the way that you're sort of trying to do you're doing something to commemorate or make an event more special. I'm curious, how would you define sacred?
That's a great question. I feel like every single thing that we move through in this life is sacred, all of our shadows and pains, you know, whenever those challenging things come up, that that is sacred, this is the journey in the jury that we're on, and it is kind of a little bit woowoo. And it is, it does bring in more of that, that spiritual aspect. But I just tell people, you know, almost everyone that comes to ceremony has, has some connection with with a higher source or with the universe, or they're like the universe has my back, you know, whatever it is that they that they say and believe. And for me, sacredness is really coming into the knowing that every single thing that I'm moving through, is exactly what I meant to be moving through and deserves to be honored. And by taking those intentional moments to reconnect with myself, whether it's through cacao or with sage, or with crystals or meditation, it reminds me to honor every piece of this journey that I'm moving through. Because I find that for so many people, we can really relish and it makes sense, we can relish the high moments and the achievements and the successes and all of that. But the more challenging moments, it's like we want to rush through them or we want to push them down or away or we want to pretend that they're not there. And I find that ritual brings me into the space of honoring whatever is showing up in me and being okay with that. And it really helps me honor this human journey and find more and more fulfillment in everything that I'm moving through, which is sometimes super, super challenging. Like it's not easy to be a human right now at times.
Yeah, I mean, I completely agree with everything you say. And I also add, like, I feel like even the celebrating the good part. Like I feel like everything's just accelerated and rushed. And I do see a bit of a juxtaposition Well, living here in Mexico where sometimes it's like the other extreme where it seems like things are not happening. In fact, we're spending like, copious amounts of time honoring and celebrating. But I think it provides like this this nice spectrum and balance where you can just also honor a culture that really focuses on all those little events of you know, instead of everything needing to be like a big milestone to be worth celebrating or I also feel like here in Mexico they do they do a better job of honoring pain and death and more ceremony around and ritual around. In fact, we're we're about to come up to now you know, my my kids are live between two cultures in there. They love Halloween but they also love Day of the Dead and all of the rituals that we get to do to you know, here in Mexico you you come refer to your dead meaning you know, the group of relatives that you have, that you are, you know, friends and relatives that you bring on to your altar and celebrate annually. And kind of just, you know, spend a little bit extra time and be more intentional about visiting with them if you will, and celebrating their lives. And, you know, I think the more that we are comfortable with all of that, like you say, all of the, the the gamma of emotions and ebbs and flows of being human, the easier it is to just be at ease in your own skin, when you know everything is not necessarily really great or really bad, but just on the day to day because otherwise, I feel like you're there's just this ongoing sense of limbo, I don't know if you can speak to that. Or if you feel the same way that I feel like more people, particularly women are coming back into this realization that they are missing this piece of ritual or spirituality or sacredness in their lives, and I love how you presented because it doesn't need to be everything you do. But you could just have like one little grounding practice like this drinking cacao in the morning with intentionality. I can be really powerful. Yeah. Yeah,
I'm, I can definitely understand the sense of limbo that people feel like they're in, you know, we've been taught for so long to be chasing these external things, these accomplishments, achievements, looking outside for validation. And I think now, people are starting to look inward, more. And when we look inward, we're like, Wait, who am I? What? What have I really been chasing? And the journey for me has been discovering that I'm not looking for anything outside of myself. I'm looking, I'm looking to discover what's actually in here within this heart, what's in this body. And as you said, that's, that's where we come into a place of ease and moving through life with ease and gentleness and flow. Not to say that we don't get things done, we do. It's just from a different space. And I think this is such a powerful time in humanity, in, in our evolution, where we are being forced to look at that, and it is uncomfortable to look out and, and feel that maybe that limbo, that unease and realize that we've been living in unease in our lives for so long, and maybe living for others living for the society and not having had that journey of self discovery, that journey inward. So that's very exciting. It's challenging. And that's why having a place where you can come and arrest and have your heart be held. And even for me, you know, participating in in ceremony and events like that, and having space hold for me. It's just so important for all of us right now. I agree.
So what are you currently working on? Tell us a little bit about your work?
Oh, well, my, my big passion the last few years has been our liberated woman retreats. So my business partner, Victoria, my divine co creator, and I started liberated woman retreats. A few years ago now and and we just did our 11th retreat. And yeah, it's Thank you, it was amazing. It was 11 participants are 11 through three and that's really just traveled through essentially word of mouth, people telling friends about their experience and coming and joining us so we're really excited to continue with those. And I'm actually my journey is taking me to Mexico as the I'll be spending the fall in Mexico and just really seeing Yeah, really immersing myself in the culture there and seeing seeing what kind of things I can get involved with there. I do I will be obviously working remote then. So I do do my energy healing sessions online as well as some coaching and yeah, but really seeing how I can Yeah, how I can be of service and also how what I can receive from from being in Mexico I know that there's so much to offer and as you shared, like the the honoring of more aspects of life and we tend to honor in Canada and in the US. The honoring of the pain, the honoring of The ancestors, I'm really excited to just be immersed, falling in that space. Yeah,
I shared a quote today that I think is really incredible and pertinent here. beautiful in its simplicity, that healing is ancestral wealth or generational wealth, killing yourself. generational wealth, and I really hit home. So yeah, well, I if you need any tips on where to look for centers of cacao ceremony, because there, I'm sure are some of the more touristy areas, but I know a lot of people that have done deep dives and studying this, and they were never going anywhere that I'd heard of. They were going to like very isolated parts of Mexico. So there's that. And then also, so is it to be announced the next the 12th retreat? That'll be next year?
Yes. It'll it'll be early 2023. Oh, my goodness. I have not said that yet.
Wow. Yeah, that's the plan. And I've also been working with, with another two wonderful soul sisters on a retreat for spiritual entrepreneurs for lightworkers. So the heart of creation, we've called that, and it's going to be a full immersive experience as well for for people who are already healers, or who are who are wanting to get into this space, and really want to make sure that they're doing it from a heart centered space and creating that vision, creating that flow, creating that work plan from a heart centered space. And, and I think that, yeah, that's the journey that we're all on is the journey back into the heart.
Well, I think that's a perfect place to leave this, we'll share the links that you sent me in the show notes. And yeah, looking forward to hearing all about your upcoming retreats and offerings. So let's definitely keep in touch and yeah, any anything else you want to leave us with?
Oh, this has been wonderful. Thank you for inviting me. I love Yeah, I feel really full of getting to share about cacao and my message to everyone is gentleness, lots of gentleness on yourself. It's, it's something that I see really, really beautifully comes in with the cow is like a gentleness around what we've been moving through a gentleness around. Anything that we might have been being hard on ourselves for or feeling like was was too painful to bear is like, a gentleness that it's okay. And so calling and lots of gentleness and compassion for whatever you're moving through as this is a wild time. But it's, it's meant it's meant everything that's happening is is meant to open you up to your heart to your beautiful heart.
Oh, thank you. That's beautiful. And I hope we get to share code together someday me to be here. Maybe they're I don't know.
Touch. Sounds good. Thank you so much. Again.
Thank you. Thank you, everyone, for listening today on energetically you if you enjoyed the episode, please share it with a friend that you know, might also enjoy it. You can also support us by subscribing to the podcast on the platform that you listened to us and leaving a review. You can connect with Cassie through the show notes. You can also connect with me, you might have noticed I'm now on Tik Tok as well. Really having a lot of fun just being a little bit more raw and myself and a little less curated than I am on Instagram. And yeah, I'm always you're all ears to hear of any particular topic you would like to have covered on the podcast. You can always email me at Megan swan email@example.com Have a beautiful day.