My Cacao Story: Part 1

If you would have told me in 2015 when I found out about cacao that I would be traveling around the world holding hot chocolate parties I would have laughed in your face in disbelief. I came across an article back then about the superfood qualities of cacao. I did so research and found that it would be a good idea to add it to my diet at the time.

“The cacao bean is full of antioxidants, fat, carbohydrates, protein, polyphenols like flavanoids that are antioxidants, minerals like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, iron, zinc and potassium, oleic acid which is a heart-healthy essential monounsaturated fat, fiber and vitamins E, B2, B1, B5, B3 and B9.”

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This breakfast bowl has banana, coconut, cacao nibs, and chia seeds. YUM!

I had started eating only raw food. Mostly out of necessity of not having a kitchen in my yoga studio which I moved into for about 6 months. Since I didn’t have all the space and tools for a kitchen I would just eat foods that didn’t require it. My breakfast was simple. Wake up and drink 2 glasses of water. I would then teach the early class. Afterwards, I would eat a banana, 2 tablespoons of raw cashew butter, and 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs. It was just the right mix for sustained energy to get me through 2 more yoga classes before I would eat my lunch.

I eventually left Wisconsin and my yoga studio to travel. I ended up on a beach in Baja Mexico at my old yoga school were I met a man named Matthew. We had decided to meet in Guatemala in a month and have a retreat together. Before he left Mexico, he gave me a one pound brick of cacao and gave me instructions on how to have a ceremonial drink experience. A few days later on a surf beach I remembered the cacao and had a ceremonial cacao experience with a good friend. We walked down the beach for hours during the sunset. It was the perfect set and setting to experience the heart opening effects of cacao. I was continually aware of the epic beauty of walking on the Pacific Ocean at sunset. Warm euphoria is what I can best describe the experience as.

@nicholasjohnbauer on instagram – Baja Mexico

A short while later I meet Matthew in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala so that we can lead our retreat together. I was immediately thrown in the mix of ceremonies that were offered in this Mecca of open minded travelers and healers. During my first month I was swept into different cacao offerings from shamans and healers almost everyday. I magically ended up in the right place and time to be a part of some very intimate ceremonies. There are so many different ways that space holders can use cacao I am so thankful for the education I got my first season at the lake. San Marcos is a magical place that I believe helps people learn how powerful they are. This school of magic can sometimes come with hard knocks

I was robbed. I was staying at a retreat center that wasn’t the most secure and I didn’t lock up my things in lockers. I came back to my tent and they had gone through all of my things. They stole my guitar, amp, iPad, and money. It was nice of them to leave me some clothes and my passport. Standing over my tent I only could say one thing.

“What am I supposed to do now?”

I was back of my tent to get my guitar to play a show. I was pretty sad, but actually taking it pretty well. I walked down to my friend’s restaurant and told him the story. They fed me. Cheered me up as best they could. Then I met this guy who ran these Full Moon gatherings. We chatted for a while and he asks me if I want to hold the cacao ceremony for the next gathering?


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Local Cacao made by Mayan Woman’s collective in Guatemala

2 hours later I am walking down the street and I run into a friend of mine and she tells me she is holding a tantric New Moon gathering and wants me to hold the men’s circle portion of the event.


@nicholasjohnbauer on instagram – Cacao Singing Ceremony

2 days later I get a message from a man that I met in Guatemala a month before asking if I would come to Iceland to bring cacao and help hold ceremony there. All expenses paid.


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Cacao Ceremony for Nordic Permaculture Festival in Iceland

This was just the beginning of the cacao path. I was seeing the magic in it. And it was asking me to play with it. I let go, and it brought me so much more than I could have ever imagined.