I was a little hesitant to enroll in Awaken the Species by Neale Donald Walsch. My apprehension came from my expectations of what a personal development journey should be.
After completing the quest, I don’t regret it one bit. It was the most poetic and refreshing program I ever took on Mindvalley.
Awaken the Species is about embracing the process of your evolution. It’s about surrendering to the human inevitability of change—but gaining control through creating the greatest vision you have of yourself.
Here’s my experience taking Awaken the Species by Neale Donald Walsch and whether or not I think it’s for you, too.
Neale Donald Walsch is best known for writing the “Conversation with God” series of books.
His first book, Conversations with God, stayed in the New York Times Bestseller list for two and a half years and has been translated into 37 languages.
The book series was inspired by Walsch’s life which hit the rock bottom in the early 1990s. His home was destroyed by a fire, burning all his belongings. He had several failed marriages under his belt. He was jobless and living on the streets. And worst of all, he had a car accident that left him with a broken neck. Instead of allowing these circumstances to beat him, he started writing as a way to make sense of his suffering and strengthen his faith.
Walsch has appeared in countless talk shows and documentaries. He is a prominent contributor at TheGlobalConversation.com and has his own Youtube channel.
Yes and no.
Awaken the Species carries many of the principles of Conversations with God, especially the last book of the series.
After all, it is Neale Donald Walsch.
But there is a lot of “fresh” material introduced in this quest that even veteran fans of Walsh will learn a lot.
This is more like an intensive and immersive spiritual journey.
If you’re not religious or into the whole idea of “heightened awareness,” this Mindvalley quest isn’t for you.
That being said, I found this program more “digestible” than my experience reading the Conversations with God series. I’m not really the kind of person who blindingly looks at silver linings or embraces toxic positivity. Despite my openness to new-age beliefs, I’m still a sensible and logical person.
And despite my strong Catholic upbringing, my relationship with God, even though strong, is modern and unconventional. So you can imagine my doubts going into this quest.
However, as I continued with Awaken the Species, I realized this journey was more about personal growth than making sense of external forces.
Don’t get me wrong. Walsch dives deeply into our societal concepts and understanding why we are programmed the way we are. He talks about God in a way that would make an atheist uncomfortable. But he does so only to open our eyes to other, perhaps more conscious alternatives.
You won’t find yourself completely agreeing with him. But that’s exactly the point.
This is about you. Recreating a new version of yourself that is completely aligned to your inner authentic being.
So let’s unpack what the heart of this quest is about in Neale Donald Walsch’s own words:
“The purpose of life is to recreate yourself anew in the next golden moment of now, in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about who you are.”
Neale Donald Walsch
It’s quite a mouthful, right? I tell you, at the beginning of this program I had zero comprehension of this quote. What does that even mean?
And slowly as I walked through this quest it finally hit:
It’s about evolution.
The openness to change, the willingness to embrace it, and the surrender to whatever version of yourself you arrive at.
And it all starts with a whole lot of unpacking. Unpacking your childhood, your belief system, your current mindset, and questioning: Is this it? Can I be better?
The answer: There’s always a greater version of you out there. Because you are not meant to stay stagnant. Your beauty is your capacity for achieving greater heghts.
So my advice: try to leave all your expectations behind. Be open and receptive to new ideas. If you’re ready, then Awaken the Species will absolutely blow your mind.
Digital access to Awaken the Species is currently at the discounted price of $349
Here’s what you’ll get:
You also have the option to buy the Digital Access + Certificate bundle for only $399
($1049). I personally always skip this. It’s a certificate that simply states your participation in this (albeit exclusive) quest. Still, I know some people who love to collect certificates and were delighted with their Awaken the Species one. So it might be something for you.
I was also a bit disappointed that there weren’t any bonus materials given on this quest. I’ve always received a bunch of guides/meditation materials from the previous Mandvalley quests I took. But Awaken the Species is actually cheaper than a lot of the other programs and the idea of participating in the only exclusive training Neale Donald Walsch offers is more than my money’s worth.
Before I share my insights on the quest in full, I’m going to walk you through the program curriculum first.
Awaken the Species is a 36-day quest designed in the Mindvalley “bite-sized learning” format. This means you’ll have to unlock the lessons per week and go through them daily. The lessons shouldn’t take more than an hour unless you really immerse yourself in the growth work/journalling.
Here’s what you can expect:
As a writer, I couldn’t help but fall in love to the poeticism of this quest. Neale Donald Walsch’s words were beautiful. Even from the start, at the intro piece called, A Reminder Of Who You Really Are, I found myself deeply touched by the truth in his words.
Here’s a particularly stunning quote:
“There’s a mechanism in place, there’s a process being undertaken in life by life itself. And that process is a process by which we, as the livers of this life, as those who are living into the experience, create the experience we are living into as a means of experiencing and expressing who we really are. That life exists in all of its forms, the beauty of the night sky, the wonder of a garden of flowers, the incredible expression of humanity itself, the feeling of love, and the glory of a great idea which has just come to someone and exploding within them, an awareness of something they can’t even name but they can feel.”
Neale Donald Walsch
This theme continues with the video lessons. It’s not all dreamy, mind you. But he has a way of imparting wisdom that just… You’ll feel at peace listening to him. He doesn’t say things simply to convince you but to touch you. And I quite liked that.
The video lessons are typically around 10 minutes long. Subtitles in English are available and you can speed up the video up to 2x.
The production isn’t as “fancy” as other Mindvalley quests. But I appreciated the no-nonsense approach. It made me focus more on the words and the feeling of the program.
You’ll get a new workbook as you unlock each week. Unlike other Mindvalley quests, I don’t think using the workbooks are optional. You will have to use them and rely on them throughout the whole program. They’re full of exercises that will enable you to quickly apply what you’ve learned in the video lessons.
I personally printed the workbooks and threw myself into the various exercises and self-reflection prompts. I can only say that they deepened my learning immeasurably.
You might find it a bit awkward at first, especially if you’re new to writing your thoughts. But remember, no one will see it but you. At the end of the quest, you could even look back to your notes and see for yourself how much growth and progress you’ve gained.
There are also “tasks” for you to do. Sometimes they’re the same tasks for the rest of the week, other times there are different ones per day. I guess these tasks can be optional. You can choose to not “contact one person today and reveal what you have withheld and why,” for example.
But keep in mind, these tasks are designed to put your discoveries to the test and elevate your growth work. Walsch is all about “guidance.” So I highly suggest doing them. Some of them are extremely hard. Some might be silly.
But as I said, you have to be completely open to the process if you decide to take on this quest.
One of my favorite things about taking Mindvalley quests is The Tribe. Each program has its own exclusive community in the form of a private Facebook group. You can access it using a secret paraphrase you can only get if you enroll.
Mindvalley’s tribes are all lively and filled with passionate students who are not shy to share to express their thoughts or share their learnings. Awaken the Species’ tribe is just as vibrant.
I’m not really much of a participant. I’m usually content with simply observing. But I pushed myself to be more “out there” than usual, thanks to my recent experience taking Lisa Nichol’s Speak and Inspire quest. But anyway, I absolutely loved my experience with the Tribe.
Although the main focus of Awaken the Species is on your own evolutionary journey, Neale Donald Walsch’s ultimate goal is to create a chain reaction where “awakened souls” can inspire others to experience heightened awareness, too. And people in this tribe really took that at heart.
It’s really cool to share thoughts with like-minded people. Especially since not a lot of my friends can relate to my passion for personal development. Suffice it to say, I’m sure you’ll find this part of the quest incredibly fun and socially satisfying!
“This is actually an individual personal challenge. The program doesn’t include data in the form of lessons as you might expect in a formal study course. Rather it offers data in the form of guidance. Bits of information that can guide you on your way, placed before you to provide you with an opportunity to move closer and closer to the completion of your life’s purpose, which is to express your true identity in fullness and to know your divinity. Not as a concept, but as an experience.”
Awaken the Species won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
I think above all you’ll need to have a belief system around a higher being. Second, you need to be open to an “alternative” route to self-development. And third, you have to be very, very brave.
This is a holistic journey. And a lot of times, you’ll feel really bad about yourself. You’ll feel shame, guilt, regret—but it’s all part of your journey toward heightened awareness. Before you can even begin to envision your greatest potential, you need to let go of old, debilitating beliefs and habits that were holding you back. And that part will hurt. It always takes an insane amount of courage to face your mistakes. That’s why it’s called growing pains.
But is it worth it to go through all that?
If you’re already one step inside the door, a lot of what Neale Donald Walsch shares won’t be too shocking. I’ve been writing a lot about spiritual growth and higher awareness for years now. I know you don’t achieve consciousness without going through the darkest part of your life. Walsch himself had to hit rock bottom before he had an honest conversation with God.
I don’t think taking this quest will bring you from zero awareness to a complete 100%. But if, say, you’re at a 25%—you’ve lived enough that you’ve started to realize some harsh realities—then Awaken the Species will help catapult your awakening.
The exercises and the gentle “push” Walsch offers is worth your money. But only if you’ve already allowed the seeds of divinity to grow within you.
As Walsch unnervingly says at the beginning of this quest:
“I believe this material was placed before you by your soul. I don’t think it’s serendipity. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Nor do I think it’s a sheer stroke of luck that this bery unusual program came to your attention and that you decided to sign up for it. I believe it’s your soul’s intention that you will awaken your mind to who you truly are. That will produce behaviors which will awaken possibilities in others, to know and experience who they truly are.”
It’s always a good thing to do some research and determine your best options before you do a major purchase. If you’re looking at similar programs/masterclasses to Awaken the Species, here are a few alternatives to consider.
“We are all wild by nature. We are as wild as the nature around us and every creature on this planet. Although we have created civilization with all its social rules, we have developed so much of our intellect. We keep being wild on our core. Our ferocity is essential not only for our survival but for feeling alive, for being in touch with our soul, with what makes us really powerful, passionate—what makes us feel alive.”
If you’re not really the religious type, Rudá Iandê’s teachings might be the perfect alternative for you. I was first introduced to Rudá when I started working for Ideapod and helped with an article on authenticity. (You can read it here. It’s brilliant.)
Since then, I’ve taken a lot of his masterclasses and have had a very intuitive journey towards consciousness.
A lot of Rudá’s teachings are centered on embracing ourselves in our most natural state. That means embracing the purest elements of us—emotions, thoughts, needs, desires—and learn to give them space in our daily lives.
Embrace Your Inner Beast is a great introduction to Rudá’s teachings because it encapsulates our inner need for expression through anger, one of the most misunderstood human emotions ever.
Duality by Jeffrey Allen is similar to Awaken the Species in the sense that it’s about being aligned with your ideal vision of yourself. It’s more energy-centric so it’s also a great option if you’d rather not go the religious route.
Duality is a very slow-paced course and the idea of energy work might be something new to you. But I found it incredibly helpful when it came to increasing my productivity and creating better relationships with others and the world around me.
If you’re reserving judgment for Awaken the Species, Duality could be a good choice to soften you up before the intensity of Neale Donald Walsch’s quest. I took it before this one and I realized it was actually quite a nice contrast. Both, together, gave me a lot to think about and learn.
Read my review of Duality here.