The Story of Luke Maguire Armstrong (Alekosh), Co-Founder of The Integral Heart Education Center

Luke is a native of Bismarck, North Dakota and the author of “The Nomad’s Nomad”, “How we are Human”. and “iPoems for the Dolphins to Click Home About.” He’s an award-winning travel writer who’s spent time in 36 countries and worked on development projects in Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia, Guatemala, and in the Bronx, NY. His work to combat infant malnutrition attracted the attention of Christiane Amanpour and he was featured on the ABC News 20/20 Global Health Special.

His current focus is on financially enabling The Integral Heart Family Education Center that he co-founded with Mick Quinn & Débora Prieto in Antigua, Guatemala back in 2016. Here he teaches yoga, meditation, and philosophy to kids breaking free from the cycles of poverty they were born into.

Searching for an exit from debilitating neck pain that altered his course in 2015, Luke spent time living in Thai monasteries and studying yoga and meditation in Thailand, Cambodia, Mexico, Guatemala, and the US.

For the last five years a companion on his journeying has been an imaginary hamster named Jerry. His novel “The Release of Jerry the Hamster,” is on the final lap of finishing and he will be shopping it to publishers soon.

He currently resides in San Marcos, Guatemala on the coast of Lake Atitlán. If you go here and ask for someone by the name of Luke Maguire Armstrong, you will not find him. While in Guatemala the local Mayan people know him simply as “Alekosh.”

How Manifestation and Helping Others Landed Me My Dream House in Paradise

It all began while I was trimming weed in Northern California last fall. When you’re at a table for 10-12 hours a day armed with nothing more than scissors and a pile of pot you have plenty of time to discuss your future dreams with your fellow trimmers. Lucky for me, I was teamed up with two of the most incredibly giving and talented manifestors I’ve ever come across in my life. The greatest gift I took away from my time with these two was not the money earned, but rather the life BLESSons that I’ve integrated as a result of spending almost every waking moment with them for three months.

MANIFESTATION

If daydreaming were a paid profession, I could probably start an empire that would make the Rockefeller family look like peasants. I’m always in my head thinking about the endless possibilities of life. When I learned to pivot my thought process from fantasy into reality, that’s when the magic finally started to happen.

Around the trimming table, the three of us would discuss what our next moves would be when we parted ways. Mine was to head back to New York for a bit to visit my family and friends, go to Puerto Rico to visit the girl I fell in love with that past summer and then fly into Cancun and backpack my way back to Puerto Escondido. There I would find a beautiful house with a balcony above the palm trees so they wouldn’t block my view of the ocean. Just like my mantra back in Tulum, I made sure to “Dream Big”.

On several occasions the three of us would have nighttime ceremonies to give our manifestations a helping hand. In the coming months, this would prove to be a cornerstone in achieving everything I was aiming for and so much more!

HELPING OTHERS

If you’ve been to Puerto Escondido in the past year, primarily the “La Punta” area, you’ve probably had the pleasure of ingesting some of the best fish tacos you’ve ever had. The man behind these delicious taste creations is my good friend Pepe Morgan. I met him as I was walking down Alejandro Cardenas Peralta street on my way to get a cup of coffee at my favorite cafe in Puerto, Cafe Ole.

Immediately before popping in to the cafe, there was this loud mouthed Mexican shouting at me from across the street. He said that I should come and try his fish tacos as he assured me they’d be the best I’ve ever tasted. This man of course was Pepe.

Pepe-Morgan-Fish-Tacos

After hearing several rave reviews from friends and co-workers, I decided to give them a try one day after my coffee. So I sat down, ordered a couple to start and yeah… they were even more delicious than everyone said they were. I ended up having some beer and staying for a few hours that day as I wanted to get some writing done. Needless to say I ordered several more in my time there. My personal favorite are the coconut shrimp tacos with lime, cabbage, guacamole, pineapple pico de gallo, chipotle and Pepe’s Mom’s special sauce. I made sure to return at least once a week to get my fix during the remainder of my 2016 stay in Puerto.

After I left PE for California, we kept in touch as I traveled over the next five months. Not too long ago, when I was in Palenque this past February, he reached out to me and asked me for a favor. Due to issues with the owners of the property, he was in a bind financially and needed some funds to get started at a new location for his restaurant. So I went to the nearest OXXO and transferred him some money in order to get things sorted out so he could open up his new location. This was by no means a large business loan, but it made all the difference to him in helping him start anew. 

He was so grateful that he wanted to do something for me to show his gratitude, so he said “Bruddah, whatever I can do for you, please just let me know! OK, thank you I love you bruddah!” So I let him know that I was on the lookout for a 2-3 bedroom house or apartment in Puerto Escondido to move into when I return. As divine timing would have it, his friend Luis had just finished building a house that he was looking to rent out starting April 2nd. And now, a little over a month after returning to the city that I’ve decided to make my new home, I have found the perfect place to nest thanks to my good friend Pepe.

THE BIRDHOUSE

As mentioned earlier, I wanted to manifest a beautiful house near the beach with a balcony above the palm trees so they wouldn’t block my view of the ocean…. and that is exactly what I would receive.

I just had no idea it would be as magnificent as this!

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At the date of this post, it has been one year, eight months and thirteen days since I left my NYC apartment for the open road with the intention of settling in Mexico with my girlfriend at the time. Things didn’t go as I planned, but as I have said before, time and time again situations have proven to work out so much better that way… at least in the end.

Living this new reality of trusting in the Universe, God, Great Spirit or whatever you want to call it has instilled within me a new sense of trust that everything is going to work out as long as my intentions are pure. I can only wonder what else the future has in store for me. For now, I’ll take some time to enjoy my new home in the city that has captured both my heart and spirit.

Now that I’m finally here and settled, I’ll be opening my home to other travelers from all over the world through AirBnB, continue writing and working on other passion projects I’ve been lining up over the past few months.

On weekends over the past two weeks, I’ve been working behind the bar and waiting tables at Pepe’s Fish Tacos in La Punta in order to help him out and get a first-hand perspective on what changes he needs to succeed and help improve his business.

After all, what better way to protect my investment than actually working at the place I put money into? Just the other day he was so pleased with how smoothly the restaurant was running since I started working there that he offered to make me his partner. Time will tell if I take him up on the offer. I’ve got a lot of great things in the works and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to give him the time he needs. For the time being, I will be there every Friday and Saturday from noon til close making margaritas and slinging out the best fucking fish tacos your taste buds will ever have the pleasure of salivating on.

In my free time, I’ll be working on my surfing game, enjoying the natural wonders of Puerto Escondido, beautifying my new home and assisting the Integral Heart Foundation in their fund raising efforts for their school in Guatemala.

The future has endless possibilities and I am ready for whatever it has in store for me. I’ll be sure to stay true to myself, follow my intuition, live my life in my heart’s highest truth and of course never forget to

DREAM BIG

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Isla Mujeres (The Island of Women), Getting “Happy” & Cancún

After my break-up, Cancún and The Island of Women were the logical next stops in my journey.

ISLA MUJERES

The day after the end of my relationship, I hopped on a plane from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Cancún to begin my month-long backpacking trip through Mexico that I had been planning for months. As you would imagine, I was by no means in the mood to travel… not yet at least. Luckily I had my spirits lifted by many other travelers along the way, but it all started with the two women that I met shortly after arriving back in Mexico.

Here are brief summaries of our interactions.

Wendy:

Immediately after touching down in Cancún, I hopped on a van to take me to the water taxi to Isla Mujeres. The moment I sat down in the last available seat on the van, I was greeted with a smile from a lovely woman also headed to the same destination. Her name was Wendy and she is a grandmother from Wisconsin. We talked the entire way to the island about life, traveling, relationships and of course… politics.

During my two day stay on the island, we coincidentally ran into each other twice at the same breakfast place. There we talked some more as she showed off pictures of her daughter, her son-in-law and grandchild, you know… grandma stuff.

Throughout our talks, we kept coming back to the same topic regarding how so many people on this planet have such an obscure view on the rest of the world and live in their own little personal bubbles or alternative realities.

In her spare time, Wendy enjoys drawing and bestowed upon me this masterpiece she created as a reminder for herself.


I am very grateful to have met her and to have run into her on several occasions on that crazy little island off the coast of Cancún.

Lee:

Before arriving in Isla Mujeres, a friend from back in Puerto Escondido said to reach out to a friend of his that lived on the island. So I did and we met for coffee and a walk on the beach with the dog she was babysitting for a friend.


After talking with her for a short period of time, I learned some things about our mutual friend that I never would have known had we not met. Apparently this friend of ours convinced her to follow through with a yoga teacher training that proved to be a life changing experience for her.

I learned a very deep lesson in our exchange. That lesson is this:

My judgement of others has usually been rooted in my limited personal experience with them and doesn’t take into account all the other factors that have shaped their character. After all, what are we but a makeup of all that we’ve experienced throughout our lives? Being quick to judge someone based on our bounded knowledge of any person is not just ignorant, but lazy.

I’ll be sure to make a better effort to try and understand more and judge less.

Movie star and internet meme sensation, Nicholas Cage, once said:

Understanding is deeper than knowledge. There are many people who know you, but very few who understand you.

So Lee, thanks for helping me stumble upon that lesson, even if done inadvertently.

She and I would meet later on in my backpacking journey for a plant medicine ceremony on the beach in Tulum, but that story that will have to wait for my next post.

Sunset @ Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres

GETTING “HAPPY”

Even after a good start in Isla Mujeres, I still felt like I needed an extra boost to help get myself back in the right mental space to really enjoy myself.

Luckily for me, not too long ago I was informed of a brand new start-up company called “Happy the App“.

It has a similar business model as Uber where you can access on demand emotional support with a few taps of your smartphone. Several months ago, I was interviewed to be a part-time “Happy Giver”, got the job and am currently part of their beta testing while their launch date is slated for March 2017. Through this testing phase, all Happy Givers are encouraged to log in to give or receive “happy” in order to practice our skills in holding space for others going through tough times. Needless to say, I was in need of receiving some happy so I decided to call in a couple of times. On one of those calls, I was lucky enough to be connected with a woman named Nancy who stayed on the call with me for nearly two hours as I unpacked all my newfound emotional baggage that I’ve been carrying around the past few days.

There are times in our life where we get stuck in the gutter of our emotions and just need to talk it out with someone who is gifted in the art of listening, compassion, empathy and understanding that can ask us the questions necessary to assist us in drawing out the feelings blocking the flow of love from our hearts.

For anyone adverse to seeking a therapist to remove emotional blockages and feel that all they need is someone to listen, hear their story and offer compassion, I highly recommend giving “Happy” a try. My two hour vent session with Nancy more than helped me jump-start what would prove to be my most life-changing backpacking adventure to date.

CANCÚN

As most of us know, Cancún is known for its beautiful beaches, wild nightlife and is synonymous with Spring Break. Due to recent circumstances, I still wasn’t exactly pumped to partake in any of the aforementioned activities.

Buuuuuut, when you are staying in a hostel full of interesting travelers from all corners of the Earth and a cute blonde Brazilian girl asks you if you’re going clubbing with the rest of the crew that night, well…..

How about that… I actually had a great time! Nothing like a night of clubbing at The City in Cancùn to shake things up a bit and give me a chance to let the beast out of its cage.

The next day, most of the hostel was in fairly bad shape primarily due to the copious amounts of rum and tequila imbibed the previous night. So we took it easy and stayed at the hostel bar for dinner.

Thanks to Nico, our Argentinian bartender at the Mezcal Hostel in Cancún, for helping us nurse ourselves back to life with the same poison from the night before.

Thanks Nico👍🏼


That was also the night I met two lovely ladies from Germany that were on holiday and doing a bit of traveling in Quintana Roo and the Yucatán as well.

Mary & Nina

The girls next stop was Holbox and then Tulum while I was heading directly to Tulum. So we exchanged info and made plans to meet once they arrived.

Tulum is where my journey started to get really interesting, but that story will have to wait for my next post.

Thanks for following!

✌🏼️😎