As the vibrant colors of summer slowly give way to the golden hues of autumn, we find ourselves reflecting on the incredible journey of the past year.

Looking back, I wonder how we managed to fit it all in, but we did. This year was the first time that we ran our Ashram inspired community retreat Yin & Yang. It was also the first time we ran the Wild Forest Awakening, Group Reiki Healing, Cacao Ceremony, Tai Chi & QiGong,Bio Dance, contemplative art, vocal activation and so much more.

Not to forget being selected to feature in the Greek documentary series Balkan Express. Researchers travelled the Balkans looking for a small handful of what they deem to be extraordinary people forging a new way of life through community style projects.

We also received the support of the local Municipality who voted for us to become the lease holders of the abandoned shop and cafe in the village allowing us to develop a community project, coworking space and our super cute Tea House.

But it hasn’t stopped there. After the guests headed off, we took a pause moment and a few days to re-energise but for the residents and volunteers remaining the work was not over yet. Dedicated to reducing our environmental impact and improving our facilities and guest experience.

We forged ahead with some big preworks for next season. Glamping platforms from foraged and locally sourced wood are underway along with the groundwork for our Forest Showers and Eco Bathrooms. We have installed a 1000 litre rain catcher so all of the water from the yoga barn and other roofs will now be saved and used for watering the gardens and bathrooms along with some essential fruit tree and grape vine maintenance. Ohh and the guest house kitchen has had a face lift! A massive thank you to all those who dug deep and kept going to help us achieve this we could not have done it without you. Your stamina and creative positive energy have been unshakable and the RisingSoul is forever grateful to you.

People I meet are often curious and surprised at what we are doing here, especially with the language barrier and in a less developed European country, with some potentially complex systems. Often, buying the property at such a young age shocks people and believe me my friends and family were just as shocked at the time. Yet even then something bigger than fear propelled me to make decisions and follow them through even knowing that it was potentially a massive risk. But somehow, I trusted it was the right thing to do.

I’m often asked how have you done it? I usually reply I don’t really know, with a lot of help from Volunteers. But the long answer is step by step, day by day, waking up and feeling excited about what we are doing. By believing completely in what and why we do what we do. My confidence and ability to take risks comes from knowing that if it doesn’t work out then that’s also ok and we will grow from it and do something else. I’m perhaps seen as someone who takes risks or makes rash decisions but in reality, I just think very quickly, and I go straight to the consequences. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Would this harm, upset or be detrimental to other people? What are the benefits? Is it realistic to achieve? If I can live with the worst scenario and the benefits outway the challenges without harming others, then it’s a green light.

Was it easy? Not always but I never expected setting up a yoga retreat and community in a rural area of Bulgaria with people who I had never met until they got here, to be a walk in the park! In truth it was not for the faint hearted, committing to a project is the first step. Living it every day takes stamina and an abundance of enthusiasm, energy and belief to keep manifesting everything we deserve.

In response it was busier than we could ever have expected in our first full season, and we are overwhelmed that so many of you travelled so far to share our wonderful space to grow, connect and heal in.Its been a pleasure to meet you all and we very much hope you will be back to see us next year. We are incredibly grateful to have shared such wonderful moments with you all and watch the RisingSoul grow and grow and grow.

None of it would have been possible without the creative and inspiring volunteers and guests who have joined us this season. Thank you to each and every one of you for contributing your heart and soul into the community and space.

Your feedback and reviews have been so important to us, and we appreciate your time and honestly in helping us to continue to improve the experience for guests.

It’s easy to forget these moments and the way you felt in nature, to stop your daily practice when you’re no longer surrounded by like-minded people and nature. Take moments and remember friends. Your actions do make a difference, nourish yourselves inside and out so you can shine bright.

Please support us and our work by spreading the word and living the life of the RisingSoul. Practising compassion over judgement, acceptance instead of frustration, think global but live local, waste less and give more.

But most of all inspire everyone you meet with your big smile, kind words and alternative lifestyle! I will sign off with some magical lyrics that we have all shared

I find my joy in the simple things coming from the earth

Let us never forget to give thanks and praise

Namaste Love & Abundance to you all

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