As I step out of the plane and am I am washed over with the most incredible tropical sight. The palm trees and the brilliance of the birds of paradise and bromeliads lace the edge of the runway. The air is full of “ocean” and warm. A short distance away is a beautiful waiting area, so I wander over to wait for my ride and have a quick drink if I have the chance. Only moments later a car arrives to whisk me away. I should say jeep of sorts. The driver jumps out to great me. “You Amelia?” with his thick Spanish accent. “Yes” I respond.
J: Welcome, my name is Jorje. Hop in and we will have you to the compound in no time.
I jump into the jeep, roof down excited for the journey ahead. Enjoying the sunshine and heat on my vacation starved body I soak up the sun and the warm and the ocean air. About an hour later we are climbing up a short ascent. I can see this incredible house almost hidden, camouflaged in the lush jungle and as we draw closer I see the expanse of the clearing…the gardens and the generous, spacious, welcoming surroundings. As we pull around back I see this bronzed smiling face heading over to greet me, and coming up behind her is her husband I think, even more tanned and happy than she looks. Can this be?
As I step out of the jeep I am hugged like a long lost friend and guided to the house and straight to a spacious bedroom for me to freshen up. 30 minutes later I come out and am served some fresh mango juice with lime and mint. It is heavenly.
Kate is as vibrant and bubbly as I have been told. Her story has to be told and I was the lucky one given the opportunity to go out and get it. We make our way to the front balcony which offers an incredible view of the tropical jungle and crystal blue of the ocean below. The day could not be more spectacular.
A: So tell me how did this all come about? I mean you were living in Toronto, enjoying life but it was not out of the ordinary by too much and then everything seemed to blossom very quickly.
A:You became very well known in Toronto in a short period of time as a jazz vocalist and people flocked to see you. Your popularity grew very quickly it seemed. You jumped into the acting scene and things started to happen there for you as well? You and Bruce got married? You have a cooking show and a business where you mentor people to help them find their dharma? It must be a very full schedule you keep and yet you look relaxed and positively vibrant.
ku: Well Amelia, it may have looked like it happened overnight but there was alot of struggle. I bought into the survival mode for so many years and no matter how many courses I took I kept doing the same circle. I was frustrated and burned out. Don’t get me wrong I really did have a great life. I had a healing practice and I loved the difference I could make, and worked in that field for 18 1/2 years. It had many aspects that were fulfilling and it was amazing to be able to help people in that way, but I knew there was something else as I could feel it. I occasionally sang but did not take it on. I was involved with an amazing opportunity in network marketing but did not jump in with both feet for years. I did not believe in myself and I made it so difficult. Again, I am grateful as I made good money, but still in survival. There are many levels of survival. How many people do you know that are living just over broke?
In 2015, my company came up with this really cool 60 day program to impact your mindset and health etc. Daily homework to work on that inner journey. I was also really blessed to be working with a spiritual director at that time and improving my relationship with God which was remarkable. I prayed about having something show up to take everything to a new level and the very next day I received an email from a man by the name of George about this pay it forward scholarship and mkmma and if I did not act fast I would miss the opportunity. Even though I did not know what I was getting into I had this very clear moment of hearing, “you prayed for this”. So I jumped in and qualified, and this journey through this program called mkmma changed everything and took my life to a whole new level.It was a journey of self discovery and self mastery. A journey that I would either take on or let the excuses take over and take me out. The resistance from old programming, but I believed this might be the key to making the changes I so desired in my life.
Maria is making some lunch and I can see she is waving for us to sit for lunch. Let’s go sit by the waterfall and enjoy one of her amazing salads. Bruce is heading over already. Looks like he has gone for a swim. Nice. We can talk some more over lunch ok?
A: Sounds great. I so appreciate you taking me in and making me feel so welcome.
We sat in the warm tropical sun, the 3 of us and chatted and laughed. It was so laid back and they made me feel so welcome.
After lunch we went on a tour of the place. Outside of the main house in what I’m going to call the back 40. Here there is a phenomenal series of gardens overflowing with organic vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. In amongst the gardens are larger buildings and 8 smaller huts each far enough away to lend privacy.
The first larger building we walk in and its 2 stories. On the main floor is a music studio fully equipped with a whole variety of musical instruments. Its impeccably pristine. Ready to record. Through 2 doors we step into a landing and a spiral staircase that upon reaching the top opens to a 360 degree view of the surrounding gardens,the ocean, the tropical jungle encompassing all the beauty. Skylights are plentiful so there is plenty of natural light to create by.
KU: Its an art studio outfitted for painting, drawing pottery and much more. We wanted to build a place where people could hangout and create and collaborate and there had to be this place for the arts. Its been so amazing seeing what happens here.
We exit the building and meander through the beautiful gardens to the next building, which is octagonal in shape and once inside you can feel the sound energy of the space. The centre of the building is cone shaped.
KU: This is our healing, meditation, yoga hut as well as the space can be used for teaching group classes. The walls are sliding panels so it could be open or closed dependent on the need or weather. As you can see the inside of the ceiling it was designed this way for sound. If you stand in the middle and speak or sing it multiplies the sound in a very interesting way. I got this idea from the Chinois Pavillon in Potsdam, Germany. Sancoussi Palace and Park! It is this tiny octagonal castle on massive grounds that is surrounded by gold Asian figures in traditional dress. The inside is very elaborate but the most interesting aspect is the ceiling. My sister and I were taking in the beauty and as we were about to leave the guard invited us to stand in the middle and say something. I did and got goosebumps from head to foot. My sister said sing…and I did. It was one of those incredible life altering moments that is burned in my memory forever. The sound was reverberating everywhere including me. When I got to the crescendo in the song, I set the alarm off and the guard from outside came in, wondering what happened. We were all stunned by the sound. Come lets move on.
A:The rest of the buildings look like yurts?
KU: They are. This way we can move them, expand them and be creative with this as well. These are the houses that our guests stay in. Come in and have a look.
Beautiful plush bed and seating area with a chinese screen separating the room for a little privacy. Fresh flowers, open windows and a skylight. Outside the door is a cozy deck for people to lounge and read and have real quiet time. Each yurt has a hammock as well.
A: Makes me want to stay and hang out here for a long while.
KU: Everyone feels that way. After a few days everyone wants to pitch in and help around the place. Play in the gardens. Pull weeds. You know participate. It’s a family kind of feel and a real place of rejuvenating the heart and soul. Why don’t you stay here and have a relax for awhile. Its been a long journey. We can continue this tomorrow.