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The Alchemy of Love


It was a joy to spend two weeks recently in Central Portugal in Quinta da Mizarela’s beautiful terraced valley that rests between mountain ridges and where the stars and sunshine gently encourage one’s relationship with the Elements to be familiar and to deepen. I felt a big hearted welcome from Pete and Cynthia and the small community of people and plants, animals, and bees of The Awakened Life Project and quickly discovered a feeling of being “at home,” in the sense of being allowed to be at ease, and to simply be oneself. It was very easy to feel the heart of each person and I found it natural to meet in the recognition that we are truly here together and that what we do with the precious gift of Life really matters right now.


The recognition of union, of love, of creative expression and creative expansion, of a sense of belongingness and care were for me very palpable and I found myself re-discovering them each and every day in any number of ways. In the morning walking through the gardens to meditation I felt genuinely and happily curious as to all the ways it was going to manifest that day.


This way of being is joyful and it pulls out a kind of giving that the heart longs to know and live. Whether gardening, stacking wood, cleaning, gathering food or cooking, sharing a meal or conversation, collecting donkey poo, sitting in meditation, joking about the local branch of the Bank of Mizarela, dipping naked in the very refreshing waterfall pool, confronting tension and unraveling it sooner rather than later, in all, this feeling of union was present.

dip pool

With this as a foundation, I noticed I was able to be present in my experience in an unusually kind of un-ashamed way – with whatever it was – and this discovery came time and again right in the middle of things, as they say. Interactions, moments, walking up or down the steps, meetings, uncertainties, discoveries . . . . with life  “just as it is” I found a new quality  beginning to emerge that felt so welcome. I noticed that this quality, this consciousness is something that is being lived here at the Quinta and that it is valued, cultivated and definitely celebrated! Because whilst a serious commitment is being expressed, lightness of being and fun are near and never far away!



During these two autumn weeks we also had the priviledge of working with Ria Panen Godesberg an original spiritual master and clairvoyant healer who had come from Ibiza to spend time with us.  This was my first meeting with Ria and I’d been eagerly anticipating it, but I had no idea what kind of transformation I was to experience through this meeting. It’s not easy to describe the rich encounters that could easily each take a page to detail, so I will simply say that it was like finding or receiving a very vivid invitation to wake up – to wake up in each moment one finds oneself – as one finds oneself  – which is always now and here – so, if the moment has any kind of tension in it, that is not the totality of one’s experience nor does it have to sculpt the future.  Brilliantly capable of spotting and deciphering patterns of imprinting that restrict the expression of True Nature, Ria relentlessly offers an alternative to the constricting energy of fear and that is Love and taking full-bodied empowered responsibility for It;  when this occurs Love is undeniably seen as the only way to Live.

And that was my experience of being at the Quinta. . . a strong alchemy from the many elements, influences that engendered a deep recognition of Love and of one’s responsibility for living It, for sharing It and most definitely for celebrating It!

So a big heartfelt Thank you to Cynthia, Pete, Ria, Helmut, Laura, Mim, Adam, Glenn, Nina the sunbeam and the amazing Sam, to all the kitties especially to the Great Gran Kuma who has sadly just passed to heaven, to the donkeys and chickens and to Jerome for sharing this particular 2 week journey of joy.

With Love,


One Comment

  1. Laura says:

    Dear Deanne,

    Thank you so much for your post. It made my heart swell with joy to hear how much you appreciated everything about staying here from the smallest creatures to the biggest encounters. When I read your words I remembered the joy and appreciation you brought to the quinta during your stay and I feel a renewed gratitude that this is my home.

    Thank you for spending time with us and hurry back soon!

    Love Laura xx

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