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Living for the Whole!

How do you word an experience that seems beyond words? My time at the Awakened Life Project seems like such an event. I tried several times to write about what I did there and what I have learned in a practical way (which is a lot), but I always come back to how the place has inspired me to go beyond my limitations for a bigger whole. So I will share a bit about this…

I came for a Permaculture Internship in March and to experience community living in a holistic way. Not only did I learn about Permaculture but also a new way of being. Full of inspiration, less concerned with myself, striving to create a new culture and believing that it is actually possible. And even more, witnessing that the new culture is already happening at the Awakened Life Project. In the end I stayed for 4 months and also participated in the Transformation Intensive and then, because I felt completely a part of the ALP family I became a non residential co- creator.

When I arrived at the project I was immediately part of the family and felt very at ease and at home. A new experience, as I used to be shy around people (and especially groups) I didn’t know. This being part of the family did not only happen to me but to everyone who came or comes to this place. It is one of the main unique qualities of the spiritual field here: We are all already together and there is no need to create a space of something like trust, togetherness etc, because that would deny the truth that we are already One. Our small self that is concerned with the drama of life (e.g. “I can’t do this because I have to pay the bills, what would the others think if I would express myself freely, Oh my God I am so miserable and nobody understands me…” I think you get the point :-)) will always see itself separated from its surrounding and therefore needs to build a web of trust, but if we dive into the experience of what we truly are, the veils will fall away giving space to the real Me, You and We.

If we are only one consciousness that is expressing itself through this manifested world, hence through us too, each one of us is responsible for the evolution of consciousness. Therefore, if you spend some time at the Awakened Life Project, and if you want to free yourself from your limitations, then only the best part will be supported in you. That means only the part in you that is already Free and not your ego (the part that insists on limitation and separation). It is very rare in the world to find people who actually fully support you in an authentic way. Because that means that people will tell you things that you might not want to hear. And it takes so much courage to do that! The love to see somebody else grow must be bigger than your own desire to be liked or the fear to get it wrong. This to me is unconditional love and this is what I have experienced during my stay. The biggest gift I could receive!

This challenging, but nurturing container, provided the opportunity to grow beyond my own limitations and experience ever new layers of myself. The beautiful surroundings, without the usual distractions of modern life, provide the space to stop looking what is outside you but to go within you. What I experienced when a bunch of people who want to live beyond their ego come together, is pure magic! Something shifts in the consciousness of the whole group. And everybody could feel this. And so while everybody is working on themselves, we as a group go somewhere together as One. One Consciousness that is expressing itself through many people. When this happens a new culture is not only theoretical possible but is happening for real! I only write this because this is what I really experienced! After 4 months I left Quinta da Mizarela deeply inspired to be a permanent part of creating a new culture. What else is there to do?

So now my next step as a co-creator is living as part of the small community of Casa da Ervas Silvestres near Coimbra, which is part of the Awakened Life Project movement here in Portugal, where we offer meditation and detox retreats and other events.

I am not satisfied anymore, just living for the sake of myself. Before I came to the Project I was already on a spiritual path. But I was very concerned to find enlightenment so that I am free and therefore could feel good and escape the wheel of reincarnation (what I believe in). The time there changed my consciousness so that now, I don’t want to evolve mainly for my own sake, but for the sake of evolution itself. That lead to the fact that I can now truly say that I love human beings and that I am excited to be alive right now to create a new culture where we can live aligned with our True Self. That means leaving behind actions based on the need for an specific outcome and rather a switch to the excitement of what is next? What does life want me to do next?

So if you read my post not sure whether to come to the Awakened Life Project or not, you could ask yourself the question what wants Life you to do next? (And by that I mean LIFE and not the personal or emotional motivation ;-) ).

With love,

Sandra Szostak

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About the project

The Awakened Life Project is situated in a beautiful and wild ecological reserve in the mountains Central Portugal. We offer volunteer programs, courses, events and retreats to support the liberation of the human spirit in a context of evolutionary emergence and communion with the ecological web of life.


Quinta da Mizarela
3305-031 Benfeita
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