A spiritual week at Jardín Colibrí

Tue 28th Jan to Sat 1st Feb 2014
Living to Be Happy 

Spending a week volunteering for Mao, Nicky and family in the countryside near Guasca was a truly wonderful experience. From the moment I arrived, both Nicky and Mao made me feel completely at home as if I had always belonged there, and very quickly I felt just like one of the family.

Nicky offered a holiday cabaña for me to stay in, and if you are coming to Bogota and want to spend some time surrounded by beautiful Colombian countryside, they would be the perfect place to relax in nature.

But I wanted to have the experience of camping again after my amazing few days camping in Tulum in Mexico, and it was the right choice for me; it is a spiritual experience all in itself to be so directly connected to nature and camping is a wonderful way to enhance that.

It was even more wonderful to experience the country lifestyle with people who embrace the beauty of it so wholeheartedly. I strongly recommend spending a few days deep in the countryside with this family!

Let your intuitive spirit guide your decisions! Every single day this week I found some spiritual learning taking place!

On Tuesday I started my first ever volunteering experience. When volunteering, you automatically go into work mode. You find yourself constantly trying to to help - you offer to wash the dishes after eating instead of sitting at the table and just chatting, you make sure you offer everyone else a drink when you make a quick cuppa for yourself, and when out in the field and someone is carrying a heavy stone, you straight away go over and help with the lifting without even asking.

You are constantly trying to help the people around you because your job for this period of time is volunterering, and you are offering your services in exchange for shelter, food and water - the most basic necessary natural requirements.

What I came to realise that first day is that this is what we should be like all the time! We should all be volunteering all the time with each other – with everybody. That is how we all connect instead of being separated.

One really good way to get into a new habit of sharing the love more often with everyone around us is to see your Self as 'a spiritual volunteer'.

Imagine that whenever you meet anyone, whenever you interact with anyone, whenever you deal with anyone, you are interacting with that person in exchange for something just as important as shelter, food and water.

And then you just have to remind yourself that giving to others, connecting with others and connecting to this world - this life, this place - is just as important as shelter, food and water.

We should all be spiritually volunteering with everyone all the time. and our currency of exchange is love.

On Wednesday I experienced a very real and moving example of altruistic behaviour and sharing the love when Mao and I helped the neighbour, Pastor, rebuild his home.

Pastor is obviously a lot poorer than you and I and, although it was very impressive to see how he had built a home out of completely natural materials, it made me sad to see him, his wife and two children living in a mud-house without complete windows and roof because he doesn't have the money to finish them.

Pastor is friends with Mao and Nicky, and he helps them every day by working on their land, but he also gets paid as their employee. The fact that Mao decided that my second day volunteering should be spent helping Pastor rather than on their own farm was a real example of sharing the love with others.

The family were giving me shelter, food and water and in exchange I was helping someone else, not them. This was a truly altruistic action from Mao as he could not expect to benefit from Pastor or me in return.

On Thursday I went to the lagoon in Guatavita. First I experienced how going with the flow and letting things happen can bring your whole universe into synchronisation - everythng that day worked like clockwork.

Second, my guide at the lagoon was a lady from the indigenous Muisca community. She explained the spiritual side of the lagoon and how the Muiscas would hold ceremonies at the lagoon to bless mother nature.

She explained how we hug a tree so that we can absorb the positive energy directly from nature and allow the tree to absorb any negative energy we may be harbouring. She also pointed out medicinal plants around the reserve, and when I explained my spiritual journey to her, she was delighted and invited me to visit her Muisca community some time in the future (which I plan to do).

I also had a very real reminder that day of why we should share love and not be selfish and not take action to seperate and disconnect from others: whilst waiting to enter the park, I saw some cars drive past to park and thought to myself that if I go with the guide now, I will have the guide all to myself and I won't have to go around the park with these people who are arriving now.

Thankfully, the lady at the main desk said that we should wait for the others to join. The consequence was that I met Santi from Colombia, his two Colombian friends, and his friend from Russia who was visiting. Not only did they offer to drive me all the way back down to the village from the lagoon, and invite me to join them for lunch, but Santi also took us all to his favourite lake which had special spiritual meaning for him.

On Friday, I experienced the importance of staying in tune with your intuitive spirit. I didn't have to help much at the farm in the end so Nicky suggested that I go for a hike up to the nature reserve above their farm. There was a part of me that felt that I should go to see if Pastor was okay with the rebuilding of his house, but I also knew that the government had said that 7 workmen would be coming that day to help him and so I decided against my intuition and went on the hike.

After spending a lovely but somehow restless day up in the mountains, I hiked back down to the house in the evening only to find Pastor on the road. He said that the 7 guys that the government had said they would send to help him never turned up so there was no one there that day. I thought about his family living in a house full of rubble and I felt bad that I had not listened to my intuitive spirit and gone to help him.

I knew somehow inside that I should have gone to see if he was okay that day, but I didn't listen to my intuition - it really does connect us to the things around us and we must listen to it in order to stay in harmony with our surroundings!

On Saturday I left the farm and, after one last lovely hike high up in the mountains of a Colombian National Park, said good bye to this wonderful family in order to spend Saturday night at a spiritual ceremony from the indigenous peoples of the Upper Amazon.

Be inspired ♥

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