How the jungle life of Costa Rica with our baby shifted my mind and awoke my soul

by ona praderas
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In February 2018 my husband and I made the conscious decision to co-host a transformational event in the jungle. Little did we know that this trip would change our life forever.

The event was 11 days but our trip to Costa Rica lasted 6 weeks. We had no idea how transforming yet challenging traveling with a 14-month old baby in the jungle would be.

Our journey began with a 5-hour flight and a 4-hour bus ride to Uvita, where we met with some friends that showed us around and took us to our first destination deep in the jungle.

I remember the first time I heard the creatures of the jungle. It was such an intense and loud noise that I thought it was electricity cables buzzing.

That night when we went to sleep unlike in Canada, there was no silence. The jungle had a soul and was telling us that life doesn’t stop at night, it simply transforms.

After realizing how wild the jungle is, my husband and I decided that we were going to embrace everything and let the jungle heal and teach us what we needed to learn.

In the first 2 weeks, we spent most of our time finishing up the details for our event but also enjoyed the sun, the beach, the amazing views and of course the delicious fruits.

Our daughter Maya was amazed, she wanted to touch and eat everything… my OCD wanted to kick in but I opened my heart and let her explore.

Before our event, we attended a Mastermind organized by our friends from Superhero Academy in Punta Mona, a remote off-grid island.

To get there we had to take a 6-hour bus ride and then a short but exhilarating boat ride. It sounds simple right?…well, the day we had to take the boat, the waves were wild. So wild that any parent would probably not have gotten on that boat. But we trusted the universe and got on the boat.

We were scared and feeling very tense so much that our daughter started crying but something inside me decided to let go of fears and embrace the adventure. I grabbed my husbands hand tight and said: “It will be OK, it’s just water, let’s breathe…” We started to breathe mindfully together and suddenly our daughter calmed down.

Getting to Punta Mona was epic, this place is paradise with the most friendly people I have ever met. They welcomed us with love and such kindness that all our stress from the boat ride disappeared in an instant.

Maya loved Punta Mona, it was a huge playground for her. But as a mom, I had to be extra careful as this was a wild place. I will never forget the first time I saw the spiders in the jungle! I have a huge phobia of spiders and some of them were the size of a hand. Again, I decided to let go of fear and embrace nature. I kept my distance from them and was respectful of my surroundings at all times.

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In Costa Rica she has slept in the most remote places. . She slept next to the fire. . Slept on me while partying at @envisionfestival . Slept on the road. . In fancy tents in the jungle. . On sarongs while people practiced yoga and meditation. . She slept on parks and beaches surrounded by loving people. . I’m sure she has had the most beautiful dreams. . May she continue to carry this magical energy. . May her dreams always be calm and sweet cheering up her heartbeat! . Photography by @danieldav_is . . . #junglegirl #costarica #nature #sleepybaby #sarong #beach #babiesofinstagram #babygirl #mindfulmaya #mommylovesyou #familyportraits #holisticmoms #babiesofinstagram #familyadventures #researcher #consciousfamilies #parenting #familylife #motherhood #momlife #mom #babylove #familylove #healthyliving #healthyfamily #healthylife #healthylifestyle

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As if having to take care of a baby who doesn’t walk yet in the jungle, wasn’t hard enough, our daughter decided to stop breastfeeding and started to bite my nipple every time I tried. She also wouldn’t drink water and considering how hot it was I was paranoid she would get dehydrated.

Luckily I had brought my breast pump with me so I managed to pump and give her milk from a small baby bottle I had brought in case of emergency. If you are a mom and have pumped before in normal conditions, you will understand how complicated it would be to do this in the jungle. Someone from the Mastermind gave me the title of “Jungle Momma” because of all my troubles.

Regardless of all of the hiccups, we managed to embrace the jungle’s beauty. We let Maya interact with everyone and we noticed how she evolved fast. In a few days, she started to stand up and hug people. She was having the time of her life and was spreading love just like she was receiving love.

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We just wrapped up a 17 day jungle experience with an epic group of humans in Costa Rica. . As I look back at these intense days I can’t stop thinking of the positive effect this has had on Maya. . Her development has intensified so much and her personality has never shined so bright. . It has been a hard journey to camp and travel with a 14 months old baby at @superheroacademy_net @envisionfestival and exotic off grid locations! . But it has made me so much more grateful and provided a clear understanding of my life mission. . It has been inspiring to see individuals open up and tap into their inner child just by seeing Maya. . Her energy is so calm and pure that people see the potential of a better future for humanity in her. . Allowing conscious individuals to share their knowledge with her is essential for her to grow into an epic human. . As a parent I must always embrace new experiences so she can develop new skills. . This is why Pedram and I will be organizing family retreats based on all the knowledge we received in this journey, so stay tuned! . Thank you to every single individual that laughed with her, shared a smile and provided love towards her. . Thanks to everyone that acknowledged how challenging this adventure was. . Thanks for your feedback and your encouragement to inspire others to open up to the possibility of having a life with children were adventures don’t stop. . Thanks for your support and love! . I love you all! . Photography by @danieldav_is . . . #mindfulmaya #mommylovesyou #junglegirl #costarica #parenting #travel #festival #envisionfestival #superheroacademy #babiesofinstagram #jungle #family #familyadventures #mindfulmaya #mommylovesyou #familyportraits #holisticmoms #babiesofinstagram #familyadventures #researcher #consciousfamilies #parenting #familylife #motherhood #momlife #mom #babylove #familylove #healthyliving #healthyfamily #healthylife #healthylifestyle #magnificentmama

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After the Mastermind, we headed back to Uvita for Envision Festival where our own event would start. We actually had to return to Punta Mona once again at the end of our event and didn’t realize we’d be camping for the toal of 18 days. But the journey had begun and we were all in.

Envision Festival was amazing! This festival is full of open-minded and open-hearted individuals that embody positive energy. Everyone wanted to say hello to Maya and it was beautiful to see her responding lovingly towards everyone.

My husband was extremely busy with the organization of our event and I was mostly taking care of Maya on my own. Many frustrations surfaced and we had a hard time with logistic challenges of our event. But we embraced whatever came our way and realized how important it is to stick together as a family.

The thing is that when you face extreme conditions, being those physical or emotional situations that push you to your limits, you have two options. You can let the negativity of your mind overwhelm you and have a terrible time, or you can let go of whatever doesn’t serve you and be grateful for life.

We chose to be grateful for life, grateful for having our daughter experience such extreme conditions and watch her grow.

After the Envision Festival we repeated the journey to Punta Mona, but this time we stopped in what I would call the most peaceful place on earth: “Puerta La Vida”. This place is absolutely stunning, it’s located in the interior of Costa Rica so it felt a lot calmer than the jungle. Staying here for a couple of days allowed us to regain energy and return to a peaceful state of mind.

Here Maya could crawl freely and take dips in the pool. We spent time drinking coconut water and making smoothies. Some of our event attendees had to leave us after this point and it was humbling to see how much of a deep connection humans can have if we simply open our heart and stay true to who we really are.

Visiting Punta Mona for the second time was less challenging. It’s as if the island knew how we feared it and calmed its energy to embrace us. This time around we experienced the island with an emotional intensity not so much physical.

Our event encountered a shift of energy due to misunderstandings with our co-host, but I was extremely inspired by how everyone handled the conflict. I have never seen such open-hearted debate in my life. I truly believe the only reason why people opened up is because of the energy the jungle evokes.

We left Punta Mona feeling tired and challenged but also hopeful for a transformation in humanity as we saw first hand how people can create positive emotions regardless of challenges.

As the only family in this adventure, I would say that it’s extremely important to expose children to these environments and to people that are willing to open up and embrace nature.

We were lucky enough to be hosted by the friends that picked us up when we first arrived in Costa Rica. They provided a safe space for us to settle down and understand the crazy journey we had just experienced. I will be forever grateful for the time with this family as they helped us get back to positivity, have faith in destiny, trust nature’s message and embrace life as it is.

Going to the jungle with a baby might sound scary, it might sound unsafe and crazy. But it made us rethink life. It showed us how when faced with adversity, only love and positivity can shift destiny.

I wish everyone could go through the journey we went through and see the possibilities to bring light into the world.

It’s been a few months since we are back in Canada but we still feel the effects of nature’s awakening. As a family, we have realized how we can live a great life with simple things. We can change the course of humanity if we truly believe we can.

Going to the jungle with our daughter taught us how no matter what happens in the future of our family, we can make a huge impact in the world.

My most cherished memory in the jungle is bathing our daughter in a ceramic sink. We all hugged and kissed each other after the bath and simply stood still. This was a special moment where we rediscovered love and trust after all the chaos we had experienced. It was a simple act yet it’s engraved in my heart forever.

What I’ve learned is to cherish every moment even if that moment is a negative one. And to realize that after every storm the sun will shine and that you have the power to change your state of mind. You have the power to make choices that will either bring yourself down or expand your soul allowing others to see your true self.

If you are facing a challenge in your life, how are you using your power to overcome it?

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