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Permission to be a Fully Authentic, Vulnerable and Conscious Human Being

So in the journal I kept during my time at Awakened Life Project on the two month Transformation Intensive the first words I wrote were “Emotionally, physically and mentally screwed. Feeling the effects of many months of pain, drain and outright wane. Feeling like lots of suppressed emotions throughout my body” and I go on to list the body parts and what I was feeling...

Before arriving I had been feeling a huge sense of frustration as well as a strong desire to let go of unhealthy attachments that were no longer serving me, but I was not sure how. For many years I had been putting a lot of my energy and passion into pursing a spiritual and environmentally conscious life but I was at a point where I felt completely empty and ready to turn my back on this and return to a ‘normal’ life (whatever that is?). However, deep down I knew that this was not going to fulfil me so before giving up I decided to take the plunge and completely throw myself into life at the Awakened Life Project.

On a practical level I was also at a cross roads as I was at the end of a three year contract running a community regeneration initiative supporting groups to develop food growing projects. The Community Foodie Initiative had felt like the culmination of many years of work in the community/sustainability sector and I felt a strong desire to move on, but was finding it hard to let go. 

My intention at the start of the course was to live in my true authentic self, whatever that may be.  This brought with it a charge and a feeling that touched many emotions within me.

The experience at ALP brought with it an amazing sense of relief that I was somewhere where I could fully surrender into the deepest part of myself. Tapping into that place where I am free to explore what it is to be a man, a human being, a part of nature and non-dual or at one with everything. In doing so shedding the layers of imposed conditioning and attachment to self and giving permission to be a fully authentic, vulnerable and conscious human being.


A practical example

During my time at ALP the topic of relationships was explored and discussed at length and it was amazing for me to explore what I was consciously and unconsciously attached to as a man and the separation that this can create. For example, I had just arrived into an environment where I was living in close proximity to men and women. If attraction arose for a woman then I instantly felt the need to separate from them and also create separation from men that I perceived could be a threat to this potential connection. This also created a pressure or need to think about potential experiences from my past or potential future that stopped me from ever really being present in the moment.

By bringing the awareness of non-separation into this situation, as well as the deep level of consciousness brought about by the meditation practice, I was free to experience a deep sense of love and oneness for all human beings whether men or women. This brought about a level of openness and freedom that I have never felt before, and a chance to feel what it was like to experience connections born out of love and free from attachment or projection.

Taking this out of the context of connections with a single women or man and it has given me a real sense of where relationships with all living beings whether it be human, animal, nature or the infinite consciousness can thrive as one. This not only feels like it has given me a huge amount of freedom but also a clear powerful place to act from where possibilities are infinite.

Another important awareness of non-separation that arouse during my time at the Awakened Life Project was just how interconnected the acts of giving and receiving are. Whether it be by meditating, group work/conversations, working on the land or simply just enjoying free time with others it became more apparent how any action to give also resulted in an action to receive and vice versa therefore setting off a spiral of unified consciousness.  


So on returning home from my two month experience I wrote these words in my diary “Well after two amazing months at the Awakened Life Project in Portugal I truly feel awakened. I also feel so grateful for the way all the beautiful people who live there and also my fellow Intensive brothers and sisters held the space allowing deep transformation to happen. It felt like a big leap of faith to leave the securities of home behind but the effect has given me the belief that I can launch into life and its infinite possibilities like never before”

Since finishing the two month Intensive and returning home to Wales I have been experiencing what it is like to continue to put this feeling into action. For me this has meant following the impulses that have come into focus from my time on the Transformation Intensive. The impulses that have probably been stored inside for months or even years and been halted or side tracked due to the egoic voice inside saying “ooh what will other people think of you” or “You really should be settling down by now”.

Currently I am in the process of moving into a community where I have the opportunity to put into practice the experiences I had in Portugal. Living in a shared environment with others and coming together to hold events that have the potential to support evolutionary consciousness. I will also be focusing on working on the land and supporting ways that work with the cycle’s of nature.

As a result of the practical exercises and hands on work carried out at the Awakened Life Project I plan to go on a traditional timber framing course to develop my skills further.

Another impulse that I am following is to set up a men’s group. The men’s and women’s group in Portugal has really shown me the great work that can be achieved when we come together to explore our gender based conditioning and focus on relationships from a place of oneness or non-duality.

So all in all I can only but give my greatest respect and gratitude for the amazing transformative work that the Awakened Life Project is doing. I am very much look forward to seeing them on my return visit in the summer.

Big love to Pete, Cyntia and the rest of the ALP family.

Rob McGhee, Wales

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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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