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Lotte Kauffman


‘When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.’

For 28 years my safe harbor was the town of The Hague in Holland. A town that I still love very much and that includes many of the things I like; a beautiful beach, great cultural venues and events, great place to ride my bike, lots of friends and a part of my family, an alternative movement towards a more sustainable and transitional lifestyle, lots of organic shops and I had a nice apartment close to the beach. My work was also situated around this town. I worked for education in a theatre and I created lots of projects around a sustainable coast for my work at an environmental organization. I went to theatre and writing classes and love to be creative in many ways.

So although my life was rich in many ways, looking back I believe there was always some underlying tension, an idea that something was not quit right, something was missing. An idea that ‘I am not good enough’ and I have to search for happiness and good experiences to make myself a ‘good person’. By good I don’t mean ‘honest’ but someone that is self-assured about what she is doing, that has a ‘great’ life and does things that people can look up to. I have always tried to get my happiness from ‘the experience of happiness’ and when I was not experiencing it, that there was something wrong that had to be fixed. There was a problem. I think the search for happiness is not wrong at all, in fact it drives us all, but I found out I was looking for it in the wrong places. I found out a lot of my actions where not genuine to the person I really want to be. I think that my heart was yearning for a deeper ‘spiritual’ life. I have always contracted with this word and this kind of life because I had an idea that spiritual people where just seekers, where not really in this world, where superior and only bizzy with themselves. This idea kept me from going deeper into spirituality.

In 2015 my boyfriend and me went on a journey with an old VW campervan. We did not really have a plan, but we did know we wanted to sail from our safe harbor and see how people where living a different lifes more close to nature. We went to several places to volunteer but soon ended up at The Awakened Life Project, doing a retreat and then staying for a couple of months. My experience was that everything that I learned here was spot-on in my heart. I could drop all my ideas about spirituality and I went with my hearts true longing. A lot has happened since then, including the most profound and empowering experience in my life: giving birth in a natural way at home to my daughter Isa Robin.

My life since then has been all about letting go of ideas about how I think my life should be and follow the flow and see where life is taking us. We wanted to come back to Portugal to this project and we met Ricardo and Teresa who share the same views, have children and a piece of land and wanting to start a family community. It all fitted together and we decided to experience living with them and seeing if we want to build up something together.

So this is where I am now, discovering day to day what we want and through the project what this life is all about. I hope I can encourage other people to also sail out of there comfort zone, because being safe has really nothing to do with staying where we are because I learned we actually have no control over our lives, in a way we are never ‘safe’. And then, in another way we are always safe if we are grounded in ourselves and the belief that everything is inevitably already good.

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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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