Relationship Inspiration from the great Marianne Williamson

In case you don’t know Marianne Williamson, she’s a internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. As Valentine’s day is fast approaching her words on relationships speak wonderful truth…
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According to A Course in Miracles, relationships are “laboratories of the Holy Spirit.” They can be the Spirit’s garden of love, but they can also be the ego’s lair of fear. And most of us have experienced both at some point in our lives.

Love is not just a passive something that the conscious person “hopes to find” someday. It is also an emotional skill set, a consistent way of being as opposed to an occasional stroke of good luck.

The universe is the handwriting of God, moving with mysterious intention toward the fulfillment of love’s desire within every interaction and circumstance. When our hearts and minds are open — when we are forgiving and compassionate — the light of the universe moves through us to harmonize and uplift all beings. Yet when our hearts and minds are closed — when our accumulated layers of pain and mistrust shut down our capacity to love as we wish to be loved — then chaos prevails and suffering ensues. That is how powerful we are; conscious or subconsciously, we drive the drama of how our relationships unfold.

 
All my best,

ALL NEW!!! Help us select our new truffle flavors and WIN!

It’s that time of the year again. Fall has hit (well not Los Angeles but the rest of the country!) and soon it will be Halloween followed by Thanksgiving. And it’s when we at Intentional Chocolate, come out with our intentional truffles. This year we will be offering not only our 4 pack but also 2 packs of truffles! And with a new artisan handmade truffles you cannot go wrong with these holiday gifts!

truffles

But we want to know what four types you all are interested in having. We’ve narrowed it to 7, now we need you to help us choose. We will choose 3 of you who response to us either here or on Facebook by receiving a 2 pack of our truffles!

So here are the choices:

 

Chocolate Wellness

As part of our partnership with DBSA we have been providing chocolate meditation tasting kits to support groups around the US. Please read for a lovely story of wellness…

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“Your gift of the chocolate meditation kit was very timely as the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) challenge for the month of July was to find ways to relax and prevent stress from building up.  Here at the Recovery Cooperative of Muskegon we are a peer run drop in center for people who live with a mental health diagnosis.  At our DBSA meeting today we had two staff and five members attend.  We began our group today by practicing chocolate meditation.

These are the comments from the people who participated:  I loved the flute music, enjoyed it, this was a relaxing way to get ready for group, I enjoyed it but thought the chocolate was bitter, this is a good way to calm down from anxiety.

Again, thank you so very much for the gift of the chocolate meditation kit.  We all enjoyed it very much and thought it was a great wellness tool.  We plan to practice chocolate meditation again at future meetings.”

DBSA-Logo-Horiz-Bluehttp://www.dbsa.org for more information.

Tell us how you enjoy chocolate for wellness and be entered to win a free bag of chocolate!

Share the Love WINNERS!

Maya Angelou “Touched by Angel” highlights the power of love so beautifully:

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

And we thank you, our IC customers, for loving us and sending us your love notes! They brightened our day. We have chosen the two winners!

love255x384Our second runner up is JENNY HONTZ, who sent us this love note”: (receiving a bag of chocolate and our chocolate meditation!)

“To start this year off in a loving way I’m participating in the Pay-it-Forward Initiative… The first FIVE people who comment on this status with “I’m in” will receive a surprise from me at some point in this calendar year – anything from a book, a ticket, a visit, something home-grown or -made, a postcard, absolutely any surprise. There will be no warning, and it will happen when the mood comes over me, and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy. These five people must make the same offer in their FB status and distribute their own joy. Simply copy this text onto your profile. Who will be the lucky 5?”

AND OUR WINNER IS….Suzanne Heneghan, who wrote this touching commentary. (receiving the IC Love gift set)

I would give this gift of Intentional Chocolate to my boyfriend on Valentine’s as a gesture of deep love  – not only romantic love, but a deep, spiritual love.  We are all energy…and the chocolate is imbued with positive thoughts and affirmations.  As a spiritual person, my gifts to him reflect the positive intentions and wishes from deep within my heart and soul. This is perfect! What a beautiful gesture to offer him – the vibration of optimal health, especially since he has experienced a heart attack recently. Good health is truly our greatest wealth and such a blessing.

Both winners please contact ashley@intentionalchocolate.com for your prizes!

Giving back in December to Tunefoolery

The holidays are such a joyous time for us here at Intentional Chocolate. It’s the height of the season and lots of people are enjoying chocolate and hot cocoa. Because the holidays are about family, connecting and giving we wanted to give back to one of our favorite past charities, Tunefoolery.

insideLogoTunefoolery is a unique and courageous group of over 50 musicians with psychiatric disabilities who play and perform music as a way towards healing and recovery. They perform in ensembles and solo acts (folk, classical, blues, rock, showtunes, etc.) mostly for other consumers of mental health services and social agency clients, but also for the general public, bringing hope and inspiration to thousands of other consumers every year. They also visit schools and other institutions where they educate children and adults about the talents and vast capabilities of people with psychiatric disabilities.

We felt it was a perfect charity to help during this time as music is such a big part of the holiday season. In fact join in the cheer and listen to some of their music here: http://www.tunefoolery.org/musicians.php. On their website you can also find out how you too can donate directly to their cause.

We here at IC will be donating 15% of our profits from now until Christmas to them, so enjoy some chocolate and know you are giving back to a wonderful cause.

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Happy Holidays!

Intentional relaxation

In an article on About.com by Sheldon Ginsberg, a top fitness professional, he explores the corner stone of looking good which is feeling good. He explains how to practice the art of relaxation. Intentional relaxation requires you to actively focus your attention inside your body and purposely relax.

He claims that by following his steps you will get the following benefits:

  • Deep relaxation
  • Heightened body connection and awareness
  • Increased flow of energy in your body

So he says to find a quiet place and follow the below guidelines:

  • Begin by making sure the small of your back is firmly pressed against the back of the chair and your feet are firmly on the floor. Focus upon your body as it breathes.
  • Where in your body does your inhale begin?
  • Focus upon this targeted area and breathe in and out through your nose. Allow your breathing to be natural. If your breathing is shallow let it be shallow, if its deep, let it be deep.
  • As you exhale, let it seep out of your nose as fast or as slow as your body lets it go.
  • Each released exhale is a direct experience of how to “let go.”
  • Each time you exhale relax your body, just let go of your body and allow it to sink deeper into your chair.
  • Start at your head and relax all the muscles in your face one by one. Continue down your body until you reach your feet.
  • Allow the surface beneath you to completely support your weight as you let go.
  • Be aware that breathing in this way may make you lightheaded. Please take care of your needs and do not continue if you feel uncomfortable.

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Enjoy the steps and hopefully a new found sense of intentional relaxation!

To read the full article on About.com – click here

 

Chocolate consumption can lead to lower total and central fatness?! What?!? YES!

We love having a doctor in the family, Mauro Zappaterra MD. PhD. (Harvard Medical School), as he is always researching new and amazing studies on how fantastic chocolate really is for us. And this newest study might be the best yet!

THE STUDY:

It is a study that was looking into an association between chocolate consumption and fatness in European adolescents. As there is a substantial interest in the potential role of chocolate in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. It has been recently reported that a higher frequency of chocolate intake is linked to lower body mass index (BMI) in adults. The aim of the present study was to determine if higher chocolate consumption also is associated with lower BMI, as well as other markers of total and central body fat, in adolescents.

METHOD:

This study comprised 1458 adolescents (ages 12.5-17.5 y) participating in HELENA-CSS (Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence Cross-Sectional Study). Dietary intake was self-registered using a computer-based tool for 24-h dietary recall on 2 non-consecutive days. Weight and height were measured, and BMI was calculated. Adiposity was estimated using skinfolds (Slaughter’s equation) and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Waist circumference was measured. Sexual maturation also was recorded. Physical activity was measured by accelerometry.

CONCLUSION:

Basically this study shows us that a higher chocolate consumption was associated with lower total and central fatness in European adolescents.

INTENTIONAL CHOCOLATE’s conclusion on this study – EAT UP!!! More chocolate please! Visit http://www.intentionalchocolate.com

SOURCE: Department of Medical Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Granada, Granada, Spain by Cuenca-García M, Ruiz JR, Ortega FB, Castillo MJ; HELENA study group.