What do hot chocolate meditation and a terrarium-making class have in common? Both of them are random things I tried in January to fill out my new life mission: finding a hobby.
Since I started working seven years ago, I’ve never had any hobby. My job have always been my life and my passion. I’m an over-achiever too, so why would I want a hobby to distract myself from achieving more?
And then I moved to a new job in London. The job is… ergh. I have two values in my life: constant learning/challenge and bringing positive impact to other people’s lives. This job doesn’t satisfy any of those. I went home every night feeling empty – and resorted to Netflix.
I didn’t like this situation so I decided to go out and find a hobby. I came across Obby.co.uk – a website containing tons of classes and workshops, exactly what I needed as I actually didn’t know yet what I wanted to learn.
My first class was hot chocolate meditation. I’ve dipped my toes on meditation by subscribing on Headspace but I don’t do it regularly. The hot chocolate bit intrigued me and it was only £19 with a £10 discount for my first class so I just went ahead and booked. The class was held in a lovely studio near Angel, Islington.
Meredith, the meditation “coach” was also a chocolate lover – so she made the hot chocolate herself (coacholatte perhaps in this case? Sorry.) She explained that the one hour would be structured in 3 sections: 20 mins meditation/breathing, 20 mins drinking hot chocolate, 20 mins closing meditation/body scanning. I honestly couldn’t wait for the hot chocolate, but as the whole point of meditating is to train your mind and body to just be and not desiring anything, I guess that served me right.
Fast forward 20 mins and it’s finally time to drink the hot chocolate. She poured us a tiny cup of hot chocolate. Really tiny.
How am I going to drink it in 20 mins? I thought. I eat my lunch in 10 mins.
Meredith explained that cocoa, especially when it’s in the form of hot chocolate, has intense flavours that will fill your whole mouth. You should be able to taste all different flavours in a good cup of hot chocolate: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, even umami.
Sour? I thought.
She didn’t let us taste it yet. First, we were just holding it. It was a winter morning so holding the warmth of the cup felt nice. And then we looked at it. Really looking at it, staring at the cup, at the chocolate marks on the edge of the cup, looking at the colour, the texture. Then we lifted the cup to our nose and smelled it. This whole process was guided, a bit similar as wine-tasting, but in a much gentle, less rushed way. I don’t even usually look at the food I’m eating (hubby barely even chews, he just swallows) so this experience was fascinating for me.
Then, after a good 5-10 mins of utilising all of your senses other than gustation, we were finally allowed to take a sip.
It felt divine.
You thought you know how hot chocolate taste? Well, probably you don’t. The sensation of taking a tiny sip of something that you’ve waited for 30 mins for was unbelievable. The liquid filled my mouth with deliciousness, spoiled my gustation with sweetness, bitterness, saltiness, and yes, a bit of sourness. (Not sure how exactly umami tastes like!)
After that first sip, we were allowed to take more small sips. I swirled it in my mouth before swallowing – then felt the warmth in my throat and chest as this deliciousness went down to my stomach.
I work in a company whose motto is to “move fast”. Food is served for free in office’s canteen: breakfast, lunch, dinner. Food is abundant and tasty, too. But I never really paid attention to what I ate – I ate breakfast while reading the news and checking Whatsapp. Ate lunch with colleagues while talking about work. Skipped dinner to rush home. I’ve never enjoyed food as much as I did in that meditation class.
I quickly bought a package of hot chocolate from Meredith’s Food At Heart but I sadly can’t replicate the same experience when I’m alone.
This post is already longer than I thought it would be, so I’ll just leave the terrarium class for next time! If you’re struggling with your busy mind and schedule in the city, I’d thoroughly recommend to try this class. If you book using my link you’ll get £10 off your first class and I will get same too!
PS: This blog is not monetised in any way, I paid for the class, and I’m sharing my Obby link just so I can get more credits to book more awesome classes like this :)