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I can’t recall how I first found the Awakened Like Project online but I knew from the moment I learned about it that I wanted to visit. The beauty of the land, the clear positive vision and the indomitable determination of its people spoke to me in a language that I’m still learning but that made perfect sense, common sense. And from the moment I arrived and, guided by Pete, stared at the valley from above in the twilight, I knew I was standing somewhere special and very unique in its newness.
My month at the quinta flew by as time quickly filled up with meditation, chicken coup building, savouring wholesome food, grape juice making, lavada cleaning, standing in awe at the sun rise, vine pruning, trying to get the generator working, listening to the waterfalls and birds, translation, picking donkey poo, learning about permaculture, admiring some new and wonderful bug, washing up, watching Lola (the cat) terrorize her peers tirelessly, eating chestnuts (hmm), mind expanding conversation and etc. And yet, the month felt like one single indivisible experience in some sort of parallel universe where time stands still and even the smallest task carries the importance and attention it deserves.
But this experience comes at a cost. The cost of realizing that life can be meaningful, fulfilling and rich. The cost of letting go of the comfortable mediocrity. The cost of being challenged and pushed beyond our self imposed limits. And most of all, the cost of leaving and going back to the mundane, routine driven reality where superficiality is worshipped and depth has been forgotten. However, what first appears as a hefty cost, quickly turns into a precious jewel as it provides an anchor for what’s possible. A point of reference to return to when all seems lost and hopeless. The foot in the door of infinite possibility.
And as I stood there, by the waterfall bank, preparing to jump into the most crystalline water I had ever seen, although I hadn’t taken the plunge yet, I had already learned my most valuable lesson, as Pete shouted — don’t think… DO IT!