Chakras & Chardonnay

Ep 2: Mindfulness, Unconscious Consumption, Wine Blends & the Sacral Chakra

May 10, 2023 Maria Mayes Season 1 Episode 2
Chakras & Chardonnay
Ep 2: Mindfulness, Unconscious Consumption, Wine Blends & the Sacral Chakra
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Chakras & Chardonnay, Maria explains a bit more deeply about how karma cycles can clog our chakras.  She bravely shares part of her personal journey of how she used mindfulness to step out of unconscious consumption habits.  She’ll offer you a tip for stepping into conscious consumption and then explore the love of wine blends with you and how that relates to the Sacral Chakra. Stay tuned till the end where she’ll lead us through a guided relaxation to help you arrive for whatever you are consuming, whatever you are doing, and whomever you are with. This can be used again and again to help you step into more conscious living.  

Featured today on Chakras & Chardonnay: 

Wine Blend Recommendation: Tank 2022 Crushed Hearts, Carbonic White Wine, Solano County

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Episode 2: Mindfulness, Unconscious Consumption, Wine Blends & the Sacral Chakra

Maria Mayes: [00:00:00] Hi friends, welcome back to Chakras and Chardonnay. It's episode two and today we're going to explore the chakras in more detail and also hone in on mindfulness. Mindfulness. Why? Because mindfulness is one of the most empowering tools out there for really stepping out of unconscious habits. And so for me, my unconscious habit of numbing my anxiety by self-medicating with wine is something that took me some time to step out of.

And mindfulness has truly been a key component in that to allow me to step into an enjoyable relationship that serves me and that isn't pulling me down. So, let's get into it. If you Google mindfulness, you're going to get a definition like it's the quality or state of being aware or conscious of something.

Now, I like [00:01:00] to put things on my own terms, and so for me, mindfulness is slowing down enough to become self-aware enough to become fully present for everyone and everything. So how does that translate into the consumption of wine? Well, to look at that, we first kind of have to look at the broader picture of this chaotic, busy productivity society that we are in.

So I invite you to think about your own life. Think about the speed at which you move through your activities. And maybe it's shifted a little bit. I know for me, pre-2020 versus today, a total different ball game in terms of speed. I've really throttled it back, but I do still have the tendency to want to go, go, go.

And I think that's something that's come of being born into this [00:02:00] culture of productivity and achievement. So if you look at all the activities. That you do in a day, if you look at the different hats you wear, the roles you play, you know, there's always that next thing to do. There's that project deadline to meet, there's the quota to hit, there's the client to take care of, the patient to take care of, and then there's all the paperwork after it, right?

All the admin. And that's just on the work front. What about the demands of running a household and caring for children or caring for aging parents? I mean, there will always be... All the stuff to do. But when we are so caught up in the doing, we can forget to be truly just being. And by that, I mean being fully present.

So have you been in a conversation ever with someone or in a meeting? And the topic being discussed has nothing to do with the chatter going [00:03:00] on in your head. Or maybe there's been times when your children come and ask you a question and your response is an automated yes or no because you're knee-deep in your to-do list mentally.

And you don't even know really what they said. Alright, maybe that's just me. But if that resonates with you at all, let me encourage you that there's a certain type of beauty that occurs when you liberate yourself from the multitasking that our culture has ingrained in us to expect and step into a more mindful and intentional activity.

What would it be like if in the next staff meeting you had, you were just fully present, actively and compassionately listening to what a team member shared, rather than thinking about what your next talking point was going to be. Or imagine if when your kids walked in the door, That you dropped everything and just gave them your [00:04:00] complete undivided attention to receive the response to your question How was your day?

If you're like me and have teenagers the response might be like "fine mom Why do you ask that every time I walk in the door?" Now, let me just go on record and say that I don't have it all figured out. I am still very much a work in progress, but I've come a long way, baby. And that is why I'm offering this podcast to share some of these teachings that have been so impactful at helping me step into more conscious living.

So let's look at how this applies to our consumption habits. Throughout season one, I'm going to be dropping some personal history in here or there in regards to my relationship with wine. And it's gonna be the good, the bad, and the ugly. This one's gonna fall into more of the ugly category. In my early 30s, I found myself on complete autopilot in terms of my consumption.

Now, [00:05:00] partially learned behavior or karmic pattern, which we'll talk about shortly, And most definitely a survival mechanism to get me through the day. I found myself coming through the door, hugging my children, setting my bags down, and immediately walking to the wine fridge and pouring myself a glass of wine.

Now, is there anything wrong with that? Well, it depends on who you ask. I'm going to look at one piece in particular that I believe is the root of what is wrong with All that's wrong with that. And that is the autopilot. See, there wasn't anything consciously intentional. about my consumption. What do I mean by that?

To understand what I mean by that, we need to widen our view a little bit and back up to the chakras. I mentioned in episode one that our karma is stored in our chakras and it has a [00:06:00] tendency to create blocks or stagnation. And so if you recall, karma is a Sanskrit term that translates roughly to action and it applies the action of conscious choice making.

And every moment we have this access to an infinity of choices. So some are made consciously while others are made unconsciously. I'm going to pause there and just let you think about your own life. Do you believe that to be I'll give you an example. If I were to forget your birthday, do you have a choice to be offended by that?

Do you also have the choice to be unbothered by it? We can become imprisoned by these unconscious cycles, or we can live with the true freedom that everything's a choice. To understand how we get caught up in them, we've got to look at the cycle itself. [00:07:00] In the world of Chopra teachers, we refer to this as the software of the soul.

Of course, how it resonated with me because I was in the software industry for a couple of decades. And so think about it, just like our phones and laptops have been programmed with software, so have we. Years of conditioning, cultural expectations, familial behaviors, media influence, all of it, all the stuff.

That programming can result in unconscious cycles. Now, our actions reinforce that programming. So I mentioned in episode one that I learned pretty early on in my career that it was acceptable to take the edge off with a glass of wine after a long day at the office. And that reinforced earlier learning of me observing my dad when I was younger, taking the edge off with a cocktail or a glass of wine or having a beer after work.

So let's look at this cycle in detail. Using the [00:08:00] example of where I found myself in my early 30s. And that is the action of coming home, loving on my babies, then going directly to the wine fridge and pouring a glass of wine, resulted in a sensation and a memory. It took the edge off my anxiety. I didn't feel the stress or the pain as much.

It allowed me to relax and then just focus on having fun with my kids rather than worrying about work. And that created a desire. The next time I come home after a long day, what am I going to do? I'm going to go straight to the wine fridge. Now, it wasn't a bottle I was drinking every night. It was a glass.

On occasion, maybe two. If you know me, you know I'm a lightweight. The important thing here is that I got caught up in an unconscious cycle, that learned behavior being reinforced by my own actions, creating then a [00:09:00] memory and then a desire to do it all over again. Action, memory, desire cycle. Now, one of the coolest things about teaching and mentoring on Ayurvedic lifestyle is that all these old wisdom teachings are being validated by modern science.

I mean, there's two books in particular that come to mind that support the same cycle, but in different terms, and then offer some neuroscience behind it. One is, um, Atomic Habits by James Clear. And then the other one is Unwinding Anxiety, uh, by Dr. Jud Brewer. Both great reads. Highly recommend them both.

So maybe it's not wine for you. Maybe it's a tub of ice cream. That's been my choice on occasion too. And maybe it's something a little less mainstream like a pharmaceutical or something in a pipe. Whatever it is, I'm going to challenge you in this moment to just look at your own life and ask yourself Where in your consumption habits are you on [00:10:00] autopilot?

So how do we get out of autopilot and into presence with our consumption? I have tried a lot of different things and I'm going to tell you the number one fastest, most powerful way to become present is with your breath. Our breath is a healing tool. It's literally our greatest medicine and it's our most accessible healer.

There are no barriers to accessibility. Everyone on this planet is a breather. And did I mention it's totally free? So here is your tip, your takeaway. From episode two and that is with whatever it is that you're on autopilot on in your life in terms of consumption The next time you go to consume, I want you to stop and ask yourself Am I fully present?

Have I arrived? And then just notice what your next thought is [00:11:00] So that's actually step one in my five step mindful tasting process that I teach Arriving and that's useful for not only looking at our consumption habits that tend to be on autopilot, but also just Everything we do in life, how we walk through it, just taking a moment to arrive in each activity or with each individual sounds incredibly simple and it is, but actually applying it can be difficult because as humans, we make things really difficult and because our world has conditioned us to be multitasking, noisy, craving chaotic being that are in a constant state of productivity and doing.

So the challenge is stopping [00:12:00] and arriving. And when you arrive, you're actually being not doing. And we are after all human beings, aren't we? To help us move from a state of doing to being, we can leverage the power of the breath, as I mentioned. So stick around. I'm going to guide you through a relaxation at the end.

Let's talk why. This week's focus is going to be on wine blends. Why blends? Well, because I love them and because it's all about the creativity of the winemaker. So in Ayurveda, we look at teachings that offer us this wisdom. That is we are all infinitely creative. So let's talk about the creativity of winemakers.

It's either out of necessity. Or it's out of just pure creative fun. So let's talk necessity. Historically, if you look, winemakers needed to blend out of necessity, like [00:13:00] needing to make volume demands, or let's say a result of mother nature, because you really never know what you're going to get with her, right?

Last few years have definitely shown us that. And it might be due to, let's say, a flaw in the wine. So a need to improve quality. Maybe it's just not quite what they need. Or maybe there's actually an issue. Like maybe the tannins are really too high for what the winemaker is looking for. So they need to blend in a grape with softer tannins.

Maybe the wine needs more acidity. Or maybe they're looking for a more aromatic. Wine and the base wine just doesn't have enough aromatics for him. There's just tons of reasons why winemakers need to be creative and leverage other grapes in order to make what they want. So if you think about Some of the well known blends like Red Bird Doe, Super Tuscans, Chianti's, Rojas, all these legacy [00:14:00] blends that have been around for years that we kind of know.

Um, but then now, today, there's just some off the wall creative blends and that's why it's a lot of fun. So if we look at the blending done for just purely the love of the blend. They might be experimenting with mixing in the same grape, but different lots or different vineyards of that particular type of grape.

Or it might be the same vineyard and grape, but different vintages, so different years. Or it might be several... Completely different grapes in one bottle and in some cases even some white wine grapes with some red wine grapes. So there's just all sorts of creativity. Now in the US, there's a regulation that says that 75% of the grapes in that bottle must be the same varietal in order to have, uh, the name of that grape on the label.

So if you want a pure Cabernet Sauvignon on the label, it has to have [00:15:00] 75% of that grape. Um, so that's what we end up calling varietals now. But what about the other 25%? Well, chances are there were some other, uh, other wine grapes blended in there. Let's talk about what I pair a blend with now. I love pairing blends with the Swatistana chakra, the sacral chakra.

Yes, I'm not talking food in this case. I'm talking chakras because this is chakras and chardonnay and Why would I look at the sacral chakra? Well, let's look into it we've learned a little bit of the basics of these energy centers that can empower you and We'll learn more about each particular one. In fact, we'll go in depth on each particular one But for now, why am I pairing it with the sacral chakra?

well, the sacral chakra or the Svatistana, which is the Sanskrit That word for it is all about creativity. It is our creative [00:16:00] center and our pleasure center. So creativity, if we go back to the examples of the winemakers need to be creative out of necessity, I'm just gonna ask you to think about times in your life where you have had a roadblock or some sort of challenge that you had to then think out of the box to resolve or get around.

I think about it myself, the most creative. Times often in my life have been Workarounds, you know when something didn't work out. I've got a figure out another way make some lemonade out of those lemons, right? and so our creativity is Truly something that we want to cultivate and nurture and working with the sacral chakra is a way to do that So in future episodes, we'll talk more about how to do that.

But for now just take away The tidbit that the sacral chakra is associated with your creativity and your ability to just really [00:17:00] experience pleasure and joy in this life. And that's truly what this life is about. And for me, that's what wine blends are all about. So with that, I'm going to suggest that you try out tank garage wineries.

2022 crushed hearts. So I fell in love with Tank about, oh, five years ago. I was up in Sonoma, Calistoga on a work trip working with some vineyard owners up there, actually. Fell in love with Tank because you walk in the tasting room, warm welcome, not pretentious at all. Um, very welcoming to just having fun and bringing playfulness and creativity into not only the winemaking, but into the tasting room environment.

So, if you ever get a chance to go when you're in Calistoga, it's right off the main, um, highway there. I can't think of it, the name of it, but it's on the main intersection. And they do... All blends and all unique [00:18:00] labels. And this particular blend, 2022 crushed hearts is a really interesting white blend. So it has 44% Albarino, which I love me some Albarino.

And then it's got 42% Gewürzteminer, which is hard for me to say, even though I'm of German origin, 9% Greco, and then 5% Falanghina. Uh, let's see if I can say this right. Falangni. Falangina, I think would be the proper way to say it in Italian. My Italian's not good. Anyway, really unique blend and I really dug it.

It was pretty aromatic and it had some honey on the nose, like almost like an orange blossom honey. There was some sort of citrus with the honey and then a little bit of grassiness and lemon balm. And I say that because I actually went and picked one of my lemon balm. Uh, one of my plants and smelled it after I smelled the wine because I thought this really reminds me of something but I couldn't [00:19:00] figure out what so I go around and grab my herbs and smell them to help me, help guide me and it really was, uh, kind of right on.

So a little bit of apple, maybe some pineapple in there in the nose and just So soft on the palate. So just a really clean, bright, tasting wine with a real tropical burst in your mouth on the palate and just a really soft finish. Great for a late spring, early summer, afternoon, in my opinion. So I will have the link to that wine in the show notes.

Check it out. Check out Tank Winery if you are ever in the Calistoga area. And now I am hoping that you will stick around as I guide you through a relaxation. I'd like you to consider this short guided relaxation as a tool to help you arrive. So we oftentimes go from One activity to the [00:20:00] next. Rushing here, rushing there.

Taking off one hat, putting on another. And as a result, we're not fully present for those we love. Or for the activity at hand, or for what we're about to consume. So I want you to just notice how you feel in this moment. Physically, emotionally, energetically. Have you arrived? Here's a practice to help you do so.