Love and Chocolate

Love and Chocolate
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

I love chocolate, very dark chocolate. I also love pasta, papayas and very dark chocolate. (Oh, I already mentioned that.)

It’s interesting that we might be a big stingy or hesitant about professing our love to family and friends, yet we blurt out our affection for our favorite foods, movie stars, or musicians without a second thought. What the heck!?

Focus for a moment on the things you might dislike or hate, like rush-hour traffic, mosquitoes or getting up early. How do you feel now? Grrr. Not so good, right? Do you think it might be a good idea to connect with that feeling of love more often? It feels good. And it is good. The act of loving another improves the health of our physical heart. But that’s not all.

According to the HeartMath Institute, learning to generate increased heart rhythm coherence, by sustaining positive emotions, not only benefits the entire body, but also profoundly affects how we perceive, think, feel, and perform.

Rollin McCraty of HeartMath says, “The heart generates the largest electromagnetic field in the body, about 60 times greater in amplitude than brain waves.” So for those of us who tend to be more oriented to the head versus the heart, know that your heart is really running the show, sending more messages to the brain than the brain sends to the heart.

In an exercise from the book The HeartMath Solution, the heart lock-in is prescribed to get the heart, mind and emotions working together (coherence), “retraining and reprogramming your nervous system and reorganizing your cells, organs and electrical system.”

In a nutshell, here’s what you do. Become still and quiet, focusing on your heart center while imagining breathing through the heart. Then focus on someone you love or an appreciation for something positive in your life. Send that love/care outwards. The process takes about five to fifteen minutes. It’s a short love story, but a powerful one.

On this one day a year we are encouraged to express our love. And why not? But let’s not limit ourselves to one day or to romantic love. Love your neighbor and your neighbor’s barking dog. Remember to love yourself too.

And when it comes to chocolate, if you love it I suggest eating it like you love it, not casually or rushed. Eat it with the utmost loving care and attention – with all your senses tuned in, slowly and mindfully. 

Love is not merely a feeling or an expression. It’s also an action. How do you express love, besides gifts of chocolate, flowers and Valentines? (Yes, please.) Acceptance, kindness, care and service also come to mind.

From my heart to yours, Happy Valentine’s Day.