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It took a health crisis for my relationship with myself and sugar to change.

I would like to share a little back story on how I was led to start offering Cacao and Shamanic Healing Wisdom Ceremonies in a yurt surrounded by horses in the West Sussex countryside.



Growing up, we would always have something sweet to complete the ritual of our TV dinner, anything from suet pudding and custard or, when money was tight, tinned fruit in sugary juice washed down with evaporated milk.

A habit was forming… a craving for something sweet after every meal became firmly embedded, a notion that sweet food was a source of comfort and reward for eating everything on the plate.

It wasn’t long before I was spending all my pocket money on sweet treats before walking to school, providing me with an unconscious sense of support in my school bag, and assisting me in enduring the endless and agonising days at school.

As I traversed childhood and pocket money increased, so did the weight of sugar purchased in that little shop at the top of my road… large boxes of Smarties and even larger bars of milk chocolate became a source of artificial comfort and set up a drug-like effect in the reward centre of my brain.

Unwittingly, I had learnt that substances could be used to distract or self-medicate, bring me up, bring me down, knock me out, pep me up and so on.

I had grown up in a culture where a quick fix or external validation had become the norm, whether it be a momentary sugary boost, scrolling the internet, chasing that promotion, a better relationship or material acquisition, enjoying a few glasses as a reward at the end of a long day or rolling up a note and inhaling my way out of that dopamine dip.

I have grown up in an era of relinquishing power to patriarchal systems and structures that are designed to manufacture good workers with the fantastic byproduct of becoming excellent consumers that seek the ‘thing’ that will bring lasting satisfaction and the promise that one day you will wake up and all your dreams have come true.

Walt Disney, you have a lot to answer for, but that’s another story! Let’s keep on track….

I am amazed at the coping mechanisms we adopt, how we two-legged folk find ingenious ways to manage strong emotions and muffle out deep-rooted suffering.

When I look back at my younger self, I have great love and affection for her. She found marvellous coping mechanisms that enabled me to hide the fact I felt damaged and defective, and that it was all my fault and for the ability to portray the image of a strong woman who had it all together.

This act carried me into my 30s but by then my body had started to scream at me to stop punishing myself, stop pushing, stop hating, stop striving and start taking care instead.

I had reached a tipping point and my health had started to suffer the consequences. By checking myself into a detox clinic in a desperate attempt to alleviate the symptoms that the doctors and health professionals couldn’t and by taking along a little book called ‘True Love’ by Thich Nhat Hanh, I had unwittingly embarked on a new way of living with myself, one called Self Love.

Self Love. Yes, I know it could sound excessive and possibly a little egocentric in a culture that doesn’t revere this concept and at worst makes us feel guilty for even thinking about it.

Quite frankly it can feel hard to navigate. What does it mean? What is enough? What is too much? What does it feel like? What does it look like? How do I bring it into my life?

No wonder so many of us can’t imagine embarking on such an endeavour or knowing where to start.

Firstly, I had to start small to make it work for me. It had to fit into my day without feeling pressured or a chore, but I did need to meet myself halfway and carve out a little time on my yoga mat, even if it was just for a few minutes.

Having always had a sense of detachment from myself, cut off from my body as if it was something quite separate from me, this new and emerging relationship with myself threw up all sorts of emotions.

I resisted (hugely!), cried, shook, laughed, and ached but most importantly I started to reconnect with my home, my body. I began to care about myself!

Then something quite strange took place… I started to look forward to sacred time with myself, becoming in touch with what movement felt good and what didn’t. I started to cultivate agency over my body rather than feeling swept away by life or the illusion that awful things just happen to me.

I started to enjoy the sensations of movement for movement’s sake with no goal or end game. I arrived at the realisation that movement practices don’t have to be punishing or extreme to provide a significant reward.

I was now entering a new phase, one in which I could start dealing with the intense emotions long suppressed and as a product of this finally be able to bid farewell to the substances that had supported this facade for too long.

A new way of living with myself had begun and love of gentle yoga was born, a crucial part in the jigsaw puzzle of my way back to purpose, passion and chocolate!

More importantly, my relationship with all things chocolatey and sweet changed. It no longer served as a crutch or band-aid. As my relationship with myself flourished so too did a new love… no, not my new husband but cacao!

Cacao ceremonies have been held for thousands of years to heal the mind, body and spirit. Depending on the dosage and where you are at, each time you drink you can gain more insight into the power of this beautiful plant.

From the energised to tender, you are able to release, heal, and gain new perspectives in all areas of life, which starts the process of self-love that ripples out into all areas of life.

For me, this included my relationship with foods including all the sweet ‘reward’ foods, alcohol, shopping, and the list goes on… and on!

This is one part of my life's jigsaw puzzle, bringing me back to a stronger sense of my true self with a new purpose and passion in sharing this beautiful sacred plant medicine.



Did you know you can come together with loved ones for a private cacao ceremony?

There is a new way to celebrate special events in your life and mark significant birthdays ~ one where experience and heart connection with your loved ones supersedes the superficial and material gift that holds no real meaning or lasting impression.

When you give your loved one a bespoke cacao ceremony with an overnight stay at Ellasfield, you will share an extraordinary experience that will bring alive the senses as you gather in the candlelit yurt, connecting you to your heart with the soothing plant medicine of cacao that brings balance and a sense of peace.

In these times of fast-paced living, this is a real chance to step out of the chaos into a magical place where time stands still.

Honouring a particular life event with family or friends with cacao opens the heart, lifts the mood and enhances creativity and connection. It is the perfect conduit for an alternative way to celebrate or honour a moment.

After a phone chat, I can design ceremonies, especially for you just for you and your guests.



When to hold ceremony

Couples Ceremonies

Birthing New Projects

Coming of Age

Intention Setting and Letting Go Of Outdated Patterns or Behaviours

Hen and Wedding Celebrations

Family and Friend Unions, Birthdays and Memorials


Each is created and orchestrated for the current moment. No ceremony is ever the same and I work with an ancient medicine wheel in these lands. Your personally created ceremony experience is a magical weaving of many elements.

‘When we work with nature’s rhythms, we bring ourselves into alignment: simultaneously finding strength and openness.’

Working with cacao is a way to allow people to quieten their minds and sink into their hearts; to connect to their authentic power, creativity and connection to all. When we begin operating from our hearts, the shifts can be huge.

I create ceremonial circles for people to connect to their hearts and strengthen the unity of being human, release pain and limitations and rediscover their inner passion, compassion, wisdom and clarity.


Each ceremony is themed differently, relating to the seasons and collective energies and connects us to working with the ancient medicine wheel of these lands.

There is a reason people all over the world love chocolate and it isn’t just the taste. But chocolate doesn’t touch the sides of the experience you can embody when working ceremonial grade cacao, which is heightened within the ceremony.

My solid intention is to deliver all offerings from a place of heart and assist clients on their own path, bringing balance and healing using only heirloom ceremonial cacao paste ethically sourced through workers' co-operative of small family farmers to chemical-free organic standards.



Birthday or Special Event Cacao Ceremony

plus Overnight Stay


Day One

3 PM Arrivals ~

Robin Shepherds Hut with Private Wood-Fired Hot Tub

Homemade Birthday Cake or Brownies with Berries

Private Use Of Spa Facilities ~

Sauna

Cold Water Swimming Pond

Swim Spa

Cacao Ceremony

Pizza Supper

Private Wood Fired Hot Tub

Day Two

Home Cooked Breakfast



Choose From ~

Mindfulness Session

Guided walking meditation, The Halo Method is a connection to Mother Earth like no other ~ one which quickly releases negative thoughts and emotions technique.

or

Shamanic Healing Wisdom Journey

Staying close to mother earth, it’s time to relax and let the beat of the drum carry you to meet with your animal spirit guide, reconnect with your intuitive senses, creativity and joy ~ the truth of who you are.

or

Two Hours Use Of Spa Facilities


Price ~

£233 per person based on two people sharing the

Robin Shepherds Hut

10% discount 5-8 people per private party

*This offer is available Sunday to Thursday

Extras ~

Shamanic Healing

Working at the point of the trauma or root of the wound. The process is for individuals who are ready to undertake and address their wounds, release past stories and step into their power. This process works to clear attachments and the blockages that prevent us from living with ease, power and grace.

£120 2/3 hours

1:1 Yoga and Meditation

A delicious mix of slower-paced blend of sacred, heartfelt yoga infused with many elements to reconnect you with your own inner guidance and a sense of peace and personal power

£60 1 hour

Massage Treatments

£45 (bookings for 3 or more guests)



True Love

Through a series of health issues that culminated in a year-long debilitating skin condition that no amount of steroids or antibiotics could settle, I had to rethink my approach to healing.


The first step was to check into a detox clinic. This is where a little book by Thich Nhat Hanh called True Love found its way into my life.



Taking the opportunity to catch up on my studies while I had some time away from the demands of home and work life, I packed a few books from a reading list. As I came to write an essay around this little book, I realised that said book wasn’t actually on my reading list at all… but the seed had been watered, and the words on each page landed deep within my heart.


This little book and its simple yet powerful teachings led me gently by the hand and onto a different path, one of loving-kindness, of compassion, and back to a sense of peace and equanimity, I could start to feel deep within my bones.


On this new pathway, I started to feel my edges softening with a new way of relating to myself and my pain, one with a kindness I hadn’t been able to access before. I started to understand that to truly move past fear and deep-rooted anger, I must start to take care of my strong emotions with loving kindness, to hold my suffering like a newborn baby (or puppy if you prefer that imagery!).


I realised that through meeting myself with a harsh and critical voice, the voice you wouldn’t talk to anyone else with, I was going to keep myself stuck at the point of trauma, the place I had received these messages as a little one. This little girl needed love and compassion, not more fear and anger.


My Experience

Let me share how it was for me. There was never ‘that day’ when I woke up and all my problems had packed their bags and waved a cheery farewell.


There wasn’t ‘that person’ who made it all go away, that guru or psychologist, there isn’t ‘that pill or potion’ or ‘that distraction’ such as hopping, overwork, over achievement, a new and better relationship, or the material ‘thing’ such as a better house, car, or dress that will take you away from your suffering.


Now, you may be thinking, "Why is she telling us this?" I shall tell you why… it is because the sooner we come to this realisation, the quicker we get back in the driver's seat of our lives, reclaim our power, stop relying on others or external distractions, and learn to dance with what is and truly heal from past hurts, however long we have been living with them.


Mindfulness Works

Through this little book, I found a lifeline, a language that I could understand and techniques that weren’t challenging or dogmatic. I could actually start holding my anger with self-love and compassion through mindfulness techniques that I will share with you.


When feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do, we can say to ourselves ~


"Breathing in, I know that anger is in me. Breathing out, I know that I must put all my energy into caring for my anger."


Alcohol and Healing

I had spent the last three decades in a deeply emotional and entrenched relationship with alcohol. I was either thinking about my next drink or thinking about kicking the habit. My health and relationships were suffering. However, once I started to be kinder to myself, I was able to end this toxic relationship that had kept me medicated for so long.


There was another medicine in town: self-love! I hope I haven’t lost you here as you recoil in horror at the thought of being kind to yourself. Yes, yes, I know we’re taught this one is self-indulgent and egotistical, but I’ll let you into a little secret… that’s a lie!


This is the point I started to feel the most tangible healing. I felt I had enough within me to take action. I was ready to discover myself and what I was truly made of.


Through this new and kinder way of communicating with myself, the alternative of spiralling into the darkness was no longer the direction I was willing to head. I realised that I was worth it and had something to live for. And this is why, my dear friends, I’m so deeply in love with sharing these experiences with others on their own deeply personal paths of healing.

Updated: Oct 4

There is a new way to celebrate special events in your life and mark significant birthdays—one where experience and heart connection with your loved ones supersede the superficial and material gifts that hold no real meaning or lasting impression.


When you gift your loved one a Bespoke Cacao Ceremony with an overnight stay at Ellasfield, you will share an extraordinary experience that will bring alive the senses as you gather in the candlelit yurt and connect you to your heart with the soothing plant medicine of cacao that brings balance and a sense of peace.





In these times of fast-paced living, this is a real chance to step out of the chaos into a magical place where time stands still.


Honouring a particular life event with family or friends with cacao opens the heart, lifts the mood and enhances creativity and connection. It is the perfect conduit for an alternative way to celebrate or honour a moment.


After a phone chat, I can design ceremonies, especially for you and your guests.


When to hold your ceremony:

Couples Ceremonies

Birthing New Projects

Coming of Age

Intention Setting and Letting Go of Outdated Patterns or Behaviours

Hen and Wedding Celebrations

Family and Friend Unions, Birthdays and Memorials


Each is created and orchestrated for the current moment. No ceremony is ever the same, and I work with an ancient medicine wheel in these lands. Your personally created ceremony experience is a magical weaving of many elements.


‘When we work with nature’s rhythms, we bring ourselves into alignment, finding simultaneously our strength and openness.’


Working with cacao allows people to quiet their minds and sink into their hearts, allowing them to reconnect with their authentic power, creativity, and connection to all. When we begin operating from our hearts, the shifts can be huge.


I create ceremonial circles for people to connect to their hearts and strengthen the unity of being human; release pain and limitations; and rediscover their inner passion, compassion, wisdom, and clarity.


Each ceremony is themed differently, relating to the seasons and collective energies and connecting us to working with the ancient medicine wheel of these lands.


There is a reason people all over the world love chocolate, and it isn’t just the taste. Chocolate doesn’t touch the sides of the experience you can embody when working with ceremonial grade cacao, which is heightened within the ceremony.


Cacao ceremonies have been held for thousands of years to heal the mind, body, and spirit. Depending on the dosage and where you are at, each time you drink you can gain more insight into the power of this beautiful plant. You can release, heal, and gain new perspectives as you move from energised to tender.


My solid intention is to deliver all my offerings from the heart and assist clients on their own path, bringing balance and healing using only heirloom ceremonial cacao paste ethically sourced through worker co-operatives of small family farmers to chemical-free organic standards.



A Birthday or Special Event Cacao Ceremony with Overnight Stay


Day One

4pm Arrival and Check In ~

Robin's Shepherds Hut with a Private Wood-Fired Hot Tub

Homemade Birthday Cake or Brownies with Berries

Use Of Spa Facilities:

Sauna

Swim Pond (cold water)

Swim Spa

6pm - 8pm Cacao Ceremony

8.30pm Pizza Supper

8.30pm Private Wood-Fired Hot Tub


Day Two

7:30 - 9am Home Cooked Breakfast

Choose From One Of The Following Options:

11am Mindfulness Session With Lee Cuddis - Guided, walking meditation with Lee, The Halo Method is a connection to Mother Earth like no other. One which quickly releases negative thoughts and emotions will be guided into the walking technique.

£120 (max 5 people)

Or

Shamanic Healing Wisdom Journey - Staying close to mother earth, it’s time to relax and let the beat of the drum carry you to meet with your animal spirit guide, reconnect with your intuitive senses, creativity, and joy—the truth of who you are.

£120 (5 people max)

Or

Two Hours of Spa Facility Use

(Massage treatments can be booked separately for £45)

11am We ask guests to check out, but we can store luggage if using our facilities

Total £665 ~ 2 people sharing

Extra person ~ £332 up to a maximum of 8 per party

*This offer is available Sunday to Thursday