Author: Stacy Kamala Waltman
A group of us were bathed in chocolate aroma last week as we toured the Scharffen-Berger Chocolate Factory in San Francisco.
Our tour guide was an interesting man who had been with the Scharffen-Berger company for many years and had a lot of provocative stories to tell. To me, the most interesting tidbit he shared was right before passing around the first of three plates of differing chocolate samples for us to savor.
Our guide encouraged the group to indulge our taste buds and experience how each chocolate bite blossomed into varying flavors. He reminded us that our stomachs don’t have any taste buds and that by letting each chunk completely melt into our mouth before swallowing we would experience the truest and richest flavors of these tasty morsels.
I was grateful for the reminder. I might have missed the full intoxicating experience of each chocolate piece because instead of being present, I had been living in the future – rushing the occurrence by wondering how the other chocolate samples on the plate were going to differ from one another and how long it was going to take before he passed the next sample around.
My mind was also observing the entire process: how the company was marketing its business, our tour guide’s skill at remembering details, how adept he was at delivering jokes, and more. If left unchecked, my mental chatter might have dulled the full sensory enjoyment of each individual chocolate mound only allowing the first delicious layer of sweetness to register before swallowing so that I could resume my mental analysis.
But with my mental prattle now quieted, I returned to the lesson of chocolate and was amazed to find that the rich thick goo in my mouth actually tasted different the longer it remained on my tongue. And as the treat oared through my mouth, there were a variety of different flavors that blossomed – just like he said they would. I am forever in our tour guide’s debt.
We miss so much by rushing through our lives and allowing our minds to overtake the rest of our being. Whether it’s a morsel of chocolate or slowing down to enjoy our children, the rewards of life are found in taking the time to experience the richness of each and every moment.
Where can you slow down? Where can you turn up the quiet? How will you savor the day?
Enjoy a virtual tour of the Scharffen-Berger Chocolate Factory in San Francisco!
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