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The story of my experience in the Awakened Life Project could be told through various moments. The mornings barefoot running, the meditation, the practice of yoga, the weekend fasting, the beekeeping work, the dips in the waterfall, the final mountain hiking made in silence and group, on the last Friday, till the top of Serra do Açor...
If my experience would be only this, I would consider it already worth it, but to live as part of The Awakened Life Project at Quinta da Mizarela is much more than experiencing these genuinely magical moments. It is, above all, about the possibility of true freedom, to follow our inner impulse that was always here, inside us, telling us that we can be a better person, to be deeply open for being constantly challenged for the higher success of our interpersonal relations and society. It is really to believe that we cannot give up on the dream that we can make the world a better place.
It was this kind of impulse that made me chose to live for 2 months at the Quinta and to be part of the Awakened Life Transformative Intensive. Remembering myself as a child and a teenager, I remember the constant feeling and motivation for evolution, of wanting to live for a much bigger cause than myself. Finding myself at 27 years old after gaining some sense of maturity I started to recognize that I was living in deep duality, between the will to be a genuine individual and another personality driven by ego, that was being fed from my education and post-modern experience.
I was starting to realize that the freedom of choice that our generation had reached was creating in fact a huge mass of narcissistic people, and I was, no doubt, one of them. When I discovered that I was living in this sort of fog, with all kinds of desires clouding my mind, I knew that I could choose to let go of all these exterior stimulations and choose to be the João I used to be as a child, a real integral, noble, spontaneous and fully enthusiastic human being. This is the acknowledgment that we are already free, but in the contemporary context, with so many distractions, I found that we need discipline and responsibility to clarify our authentic intention.
To overcome this narcissistic, self-absorbed condition, it was very important to appreciate that God, meaning the spiritual Mystery at the core of Life, comes in first place. This means that a much higher cause, which brings us back together, is more important than ourselves, and when this comes, we are not anymore the centre of our world, we become a vehicle for building the evolutionary project. This is mostly a lesson about Humility and Vulnerability, of recognition of not only the universality of our experience but also the identification of the creative potential that inhabits each one of us.
This is the story of rediscovering an ease of being: when we have nothing, know nothing, are no-one, but we give everything.