Donegal woman, cancer and the Isha System

A DONEGAL woman who has overcome cancer and transformed her life through following a system of a South American spiritual teacher has spoken to the Donegal News this week about the events of recent years which led her to make a permanent move to Uruguay.

Mary Howick.

Mary Howick, a native of Inver, had called Letterkenny home for close to 20 years and she worked for one of the town’s major international employers as a human resources manager. She is someone who had been on a spiritual quest for years and trained in several disciplines. However, in 2015 she came across a book by Isha Judd, the creator of a system for self-knowledge and expansion of consciousness.
Exploring further, Mary went on to become the second person in Europe trained in the Isha System and introduced the principles to a number of people in Donegal through workshops here. It wasn’t until a cancer diagnosis in 2017 that she realised how life-changing and life-saving her discovery of the system would be. 

Yoga in Uruguay.

Speaking to the Donegal News from Uruguay this week, Ms Howick explained: “Around April 2017 I went for a routine health screening through my health insurance and was diagnosed with bowel cancer. I was feeling great at the time so it was a big surprise to me. They said the tumor was large and had been there for years. They decided to start by operating.”
Ms Howick said that all her life she had a huge fear of cancer, having lost both parents and all but one of their siblings to this disease. 
“I never saw anyone recover. I also saw both my parents-in-law die of bowel cancer. So I always dreaded hearing those words.”
She continued: “The funny thing is, I received the diagnosis with peace and acceptance and without fear. It seemed like another adventure, another life experience and I was completely fearless and relaxed most of the time while waiting to move ahead and deal with it. This has been for one reason only, because the Isha System has brought me such a level of inner peace that nothing, even my worst fear seems able to shake it. 

Mary and her sister pictured during a visit to Montevideo.

“Of course at times I started to worry but I used the tools of the system and the available support to let it go and return to peace.” 
She waited three months for the operation without significant fear or worry and walked down to the operation happily talking to the nurse.
“My wonderful consultant operated and told me that it was removed successfully but was a very difficult operation as my bowel was attached to my muscle causing complications that I needed to recover from. He said they would analyze the tissue and decide on further treatment.”
Ms Howick was also told that had the tumour not been found when it was, she would soon have begun to experience symptoms at which stage it may have been too late to treat.

Mary and other teachers of the Isha System pictured with Isha Judd.

“A few days after the operation my results were returned. The cancer hadn’t spread and was tiny within the tumor. My consultant was amazed and told me a few times I must have some kind of protection!” 
However, complications from the operation left her critical for a few days. “I couldn’t eat and my family were worried. One night I thought I was going to die. I was so weak and I didn’t think I’d survive another emergency procedure planned for the next morning. I contacted the Isha Center for support. Isha told me to surrender completely to everything including death. She made me laugh, relax and sink into the love within me. I let go all fear and totally surrendered and fell into a peaceful sleep.
“The following morning the consultant said everything had turned around over night and he had never seen such a quick recovery. He said I had a very strong immune system once it kicked in. He cancelled the procedure and I recovered quickly.”
Once her health began to improve, Ms Howick said she wanted to spend her time more closely involved with the “system”, helping others as she had been helped. It sparked a decision to make a dramtic transformation in her life.
“I went back to work but I didn’t want to be there. I felt strongly that I’d get sick again if I didn’t follow the call of my heart to go to Uruguay and work and learn with Isha. I had often joked in work about doing that without really being serious, but now I was serious and I needed to go. 
She then sold or gave away everything she owned and moved to Uruguay in March last year.
“It’s been incredible. I have grown and learned so much. I feel so free and happy and much younger. We have run many week long programmes with Isha but the most amazing for me were the six weeks in Mexico in 2018 and the six months in Uruguay in 2019. These programmes really transform people and their lives. They are there long enough to really get to know them and their lives. 
“It was such a joy to support and watch people completely transform their perception, take responsibility for their lives in a new way and find inner peace, joy and wellbeing and bring that home with them into their lives. Then to hear how their lives changed as a result. 
Shortly after her move to Uruguay Ms Howick also featured in a documentary on the Isha System which will be avilable on Netflix in the near future. She is also working on a cartoon of Isha’s children’s book and other projects.
“My life has so much variety, helping in the kitchen, supporting students, editing videos, translating programs from Spanish and much more. Every day is fun and exciting.   
She is planning to come back to Donegal next month and hopes to hold a workshop for anyone interested in learning the Isha System.
“They can send their information to me at and if there is enough interest I will do a seminar on May 4 from 10.30am to 5.00pm. After that they will have my support online and by WhatsApp and the support of a group of English speaking facilitators across the world,” concluded Ms Howick.

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