PRAY in Nicaragua.

Yes, we ate our way through Italy, Biked it off in Croatia and then as mentioned in the previous blog, my father died. We had to leave Croatia urgently not able to make it back to Italy, five flights later we landed in Billings, Montana, a slight detour from our Eat.Bike.Pray mission. (This is the 4th blog in a continuation - scroll down to start from the beginning).

As Thelma and I boarded the plane and found our seats, five flights ahead of us to get back to Billings, Montana, we chuckled hysterically thinking about all the tumultuous insurgents the universe had brought into my path. Then, Thelma said out loud as a challenge back to the universe ... “Nothing else can go wrong at this point. This is it Louise -if this plane decides to go down...BRING IT ON! We’re ready for it!”

I was speaking to a dear friend of mine the other day that has read my blog up to this point and she said, “it looks like you had to lose control and then surrender to the flow.” That’s exactly what I did. Thelma and I truly believed that it could not get any worse from this point forward. We made it back safely to Billings, Montana where we threw a celebration of life karaoke party at the bowling alley for my father after the memorial service. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. After my duty was done, I flew back to Canada for two days, repacked my bags. Exchanging high heals, dresses and bike clothes for Lulu Lemon yoga wear, flip-flops and yoga mats. For the next 30 days I was gong to be living in neoprene, spandex and organic bamboo cotton. I was going to Nicaragua to pray. To meditate. To learn about Yoga. To sweat. To unite with myself, to become connected to the universe. To heal my heart and ignite my soul. To find my purpose.

Pray in Nicaragua.

I’m going to write more than just one blog about my time in Nicaragua because I have so much to say but so it doesn't become too long and boring I’ll start with what I wrote for my Guru’s website after my training and what she wrote about me.

About Julia McCabe, my friend, previous co-worker and most importantly my Guru....

“How cliché to say that Julia McCabe and Yoga changed my life. But that’s what happened. In April of 2009 I stepped on the mat for the first time new to yoga and signed up for the 30-day challenge. I arrived for the physical practice and was oblivious to the positive transformation that was about to happen mentally as well: Involution. After practicing sporadically for a year under Julia I knew from that point that I could not live without yoga. Or Julia. She is an inspiration. She is a lion. She is a butterfly. She is the definition of strength, intelligence and beauty all wrapped up. I was struggling with my parents’ recent divorce, a corporate job that wasn’t challenging and an unhealthy relationship to top it off. Yoga was the light at the end of a long dark tunnel and Julia simply held the flashlight that lit the way. The universe draws a small line in the sand. Pay attention to the signs. Or don’t. Nothing is random. I found peace on my mat and an internal stillness that keeps my mind calm.  I decided to join Julia in Nicaragua for her yoga teacher training. My practice was not strong but she welcomed me with open arms. And then the unexpected: my Dad died. An accidental death, while I was in Europe. It was my own personal Eat Pray Love mission. I ate my way through Italy, biked it off in Croatia and went to Nicaragua to pray.  Nicaragua is a magical place with some of the kindest people I have ever met. Words cannot describe our time together but here are a few: Praying. Sweating. Pain. Transformation.Chanting. Love. Life. Death. Baby Sea Turtles. Shooting stars. Meditation. Spanglish. I came a long way. I’ve been offered a teaching job in Nicaragua! I learned to surf despite my dad’s drowning. Yoga and surfing are meant for each other. There is no yoga without the strength of mind required to show up for practice. There is no yoga without the flexibility you need to respond gracefully to the demands of every passing moment. This is about you, a mat and inner stillness.  Julia set me up for more than just teaching yoga. She helped guide me towards my new life. It’s up to you. What are you waiting for? This is your life. You only have one. As they say in Nicaragua, “Una Vida.”

From the mouth of my Guru Julia McCabe … There’s a book called “She’s Come Undone” and I think of you Heidi and how you have wholeheartedly and gracefully shared your story of coming undone. So fresh from wounds that just undid.  One by one (like a refined tailor I once watched in Asia restitching a garment torn apart) you too will, and already have begun to suture the gaps between loss and loneliness….Only to see, ten steps back, a whole new garment of colour and texture. A haute couture of re-invented loss and loneliness, into a gown of abundance. Your heart will become even brighter and warmer as the days march along. The more you stoke it and be vulnerable welcoming all walks of love and life in, the bigger it will arrive: Shiva – Wild and big, dancing around a bonfire. – Julia McCabe