The Ultimate Relationship & the Earth Collective

Discovering what you really want

Thinking back over the decades, I have spent a lot of time discovering what I don’t want. Few people know from the get-go what they truly want. Once we are clear about what we don’t want, we can cast our net further afield to look outside our box of our experience, and allow one thing to lead to another until we converge with what we do want. The contrast helps us to recognise it.

Lusitano stallion with Portuguese rider in traditional dress, riding on a river bank
A Lusitano stallion at Ponte De Lima

And it was like this, in scouting the countryside in Northern Portugal to look for regions that might suit the Earth Collective Project. Before each trip, I spent several hours viewing online maps from different perspectives eg. roads, terrain and street view, to plan the route. The first few trips were interesting (everything is interesting because it’s new) but didn’t inspire. I then hit a few areas that piqued my interest.

The countryside close to towns and the main road routes is very pretty and rustic, full of vineyards and old Portuguese farm houses, but it is what I call 'intensive rural'. Every square inch is accounted for. Houses have their own small plot of land which is cultivated for food and home produced wine and, sometimes, there are also a few sheep, goats or cows. It looks magical and is peaceful due to the absence of machinery noise (except for strimmers, which the Portuguese love), as cultivation is mostly by hand, or hoe, on these small pieces of land.

The Quinta where I am staying. My rental apartment is in a converted out-building

I love this oldy-worldly feel, especially compared to the UK and Ireland, where the countryside is noisier than you think. But there are issues for me, in being so close to neighbours. For instance, the spraying of toxic pesticides on vines (and concern over the wind direction), barking dogs, cockadoodling roosters and church bells every half an hour, amplified by speakers. On Sunday, you can hear a whole church service from the comfort of your home! Charming in a way, except there are churches everywhere in rural Portugal and whilst organised religion works for many, the bells are a constant reminder to me of the entrainment of the masses towards religious indoctrination, which disempowers them from developing a direct connection with their divinity and with source - or whatever you want to call it. Anyway, my idea of a rural idyll does not include watching my back for potential hazards. This made me realise that I need to be further away and higher in the hills which is my preferred habitat – more remote, less people, bigger pieces of land, and still within half an hour of a town.

Vegetable garden at the Quinta

In viewing a few such locations, I gained more clarity. I like less dense forestry (which is also a lower fire risk), undulations rather than steep valleys, and some clearings. Driving around also helps to notice the micro-climates, ie. areas that are more or less exposed to prevailing winds, the direction of the sun, water sources, and so on.

After moving to a new rental last weekend in different town, unpacking my boxes and getting my bearings, I drove three hours south to central Portugal for a few days, to attend a residency meeting, which took place yesterday. The centre is more arid and Mediterranean and, whilst very beautiful, it helped confirm my choice to base the Earth Collective in the north, which is wet (very wet, in fact) and extremely green which is why it is considered to be the garden of Portugal. I would rather have too much rain with plenty of sunshine, than not enough water. The weather has been lovely this week, 80 degrees and more (in the north and the centre) and I was pleased to be able to get my swim suit out of mothballs, and do a spot of sunbathing whilst I was there. My legs, which haven't seen the light of day for years, are now off-white!

Fish in a water fountain

On a more general note, synchronicity appears to be on the increase, and I feel it is an indication that my manifestation skills are quickening too. Recent examples include the new apartment, which I found within 24 hours of looking; locating a naturopathic therapist to sort my back which was uncomfortable after moving 20 boxes numerous times in between selling the ‘mothership’ (my home on wheels) and moving to the recent new place, discovering a marvellous and unusual eco-architect who is aligned with my project, finding an organic food co-operative in the new town, locating a bike shop within cycling distance to fix a slow puncture, and making a number of excellent new contacts, one of whom I met in the queue in the Post Office! Synchronicity requires you to pay attention, notice the clues and go with the flow.

It is also related to my concept of taking things one step at a time, which I have talked about previously. For me, this began with ‘a room at a time’ (when I was packing up to sell my farm). It became ‘a day at a time’ during three years of living on the road. Since moving country, it morphed into ‘a challenge at at time.’ In the light of my Portuguese experience so far, I would like to add a post script which is ‘one small victory at a time’, as it’s important to celebrate progress especially when it comes to red tape - the most recent example being the residency meeting. This marked the end of a process which was challenging in the extreme, to move my life to a different country and start over.

All this is about being in the moment and making it your default state, as best you can. It has helped me take some very big steps into the unknown in the last few years. I tried (and failed) to get my head around the enormity of the challenges and find a strategy to navigate uncharted territories, which had been my modus-operandi in the past. But it was different this time and the approach created a lot of stress. I realised that when I am present in the moment, I are here - and everywhere - in that I am connected to all that there is and to divine guidance which creates the synchronicity that leads to manifestation. When I am not ‘here’, I am nowhere, except in my head, cut off from everything and alone. The trick is learning to notice where you are, so you can re-adjust and reconnect as quickly as possible in order to minimise the pain. It’s subtle but the bottom line is, it’s a skill like any other. Practice makes perfect!


1. You can also find me on Substack, and I have published a number of Notes on my Substack since the last blog, which are observations and insights into my new life in Portugal, plus the odd epiphany. As there is usually a gap of several weeks in between blogs, I fill in the gaps with short Notes. (You can get notifications, if you are registered on Substack.)

2. If you enjoy my content, please could I ask you to recommend it to your contacts. I don’t use social media, so I rely on word of mouth. As a gesture of appreciation, I am offering some rewards on Substack. When you use the referral link, or the share button on my posts there, you will get a credit for any new subscribers I receive. For 15 subscriber referrals, I will send you a PDF of my book, The Ultimate Relationship…the one with yourself’. For 25, I will do a personal video chat with you, or mentoring session, and the same again for 40. Thank you.

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