explore deeply

the art of living your life purpose

No, It's Not Selfish to Want to Go on a Spiritual Journey

Be who you want, Inspiring, Life Lessons, Learning to Love Yourself, Retreats, Rites of Passage, TravelGuest WriterComment
Why go on a spiritual journey

Is it greedy—or irresponsible—to go on a quest to discover who you are? Not even a little bit.

By Elizabeth Gilbert


The other day, a desperate-looking woman approached me on the street and grabbed my arm. I assumed she was about to ask for money—but she looked me in the eye and demanded, "Is it selfish that I want to go on a spiritual journey?" 

Now, this might seem like a bizarre question to be asked by a stranger, but I'm used to it. In the decade since I wrote Eat, Pray, Lovewhich is all about my own spiritual journey, I've been asked a variation of this question by thousands of women. (And I've certainly been accused of selfishness for having taken that journey.) 

Women constantly tell me they long to do what I did. Even if it's not possible for them to travel the world for a year, they want to create their own quest. They tell me they want to deepen their relationship with God and with themselves—but they don't want to seem entitled, irresponsible, frivolous. Aren't the demands of reality more important than their esoteric questions? And what if their spiritual journey leads them far from their cultural or religious origins, or disrupts their marriage? And what makes them think they're so special, anyhow, to deserve a spiritual quest? 

A lot of these anxieties stem from one problem: Often women believe they're not supposed to desire anything beyond home and family. But the craving they feel isn't wrong; it's human. Every spiritual journey in history has begun with a sense of dissatisfaction—with somebody saying, "This is not enough for me." 

Does it make you selfish, then, to go searching for something more? I say no—and here's why: 

You have the right to try to figure out who you are. 

This is not a simple task; you are a unique event in the history of the universe. There has never been a you—not your particular soul, living at this particular moment, faced with your particular challenges. Your existence is a mystery, a miracle, and an experiment of creation, and you are allowed to examine that mystery to the fullest. 

A spiritual journey bears no resemblance to a spa vacation. 

True spiritual investigation is rarely relaxing; expect your search to expose painful and challenging truths. We don't generally take on the fundamental questions because they're fun. Usually, we're brought to them on our knees. Staying with those questions, despite the discomfort, is a path for the brave.

Doing something for yourself isn't by definition selfish. 

In Mandarin, there are two words that translate to selfish in English. One means "doing something that benefits yourself." The other means "doing something greedy." In English, we don't have this distinction. In our puritanical culture, we tend to believe that anything benefiting us is probably greedy. But guess what? You can do great things for yourself without taking a thing away from anyone else. 

Going on a spiritual journey can be a public service. 

Spiritual journeys are attempts to alleviate self-suffering. And until you can alleviate your own suffering, you will continue to inflict suffering—not only on yourself, but also on those around you. Happy people are much better at caring for others than those who are in pain. (Haven't you witnessed the way misery and depression make you unable to think of anyone but yourself?) Once you've found peace, you will be able to serve humanity. 

All this is what I told that desperate-looking woman, and it's what I'm telling you now. If you long for a journey, embark on one—for yourself, for the people around you, for all of us. We learn from one another's paths. In fact, I guarantee you this: You will not be the only person you liberate along your private road to freedom.

Reposted from O Magazine

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Spiritual Journey to the Andes

Aya Vision Ceremony, Spiritual Immersions, and pilgrimages to the Mountains of Peru offered throughout the year...


Thank you, Liz Gilbert for this spot on piece on why taking a Spiritual Journey is not only in service to your Soul, but to the rest of the World! AHO. Ari.

This morning we sat down at Jack's Cafe, one of our favorite places to eat in our favorite neighborhood of San Blas (Cusco Peru). A dog followed us in from the street and put his head in my lap under our breakfast table, then laid down with his rump resting on my foot for the entirety of the meal and conversation.

In the window, next to the humongous bouquet of gladiolus that touch the ceiling with their blossoms, was an old copy of O Magazine, something about Oprah's outfit, wearing knee high muck boots and a ground grazing pink sequin skirt in her garden, caught my attention. The theme was "How to Show Up for Life"... so I was compelled to take a look at what Oprah had to say about this topic.

This spurred the most enthusiastic conversation about life, finding your own magic, creating right livelihood, Liz Gilbert, and a few other famous people and their messages— not to be mentioned here (because we don't agree with their message no matter how famous they are).

By the end of breakfast we were feeling most inspired about the day ahead, the work we had on our plates, and the very meaningful purpose for being alive.

Below are some pictures from the recent 2018 Spiritual Journeys in March and April, join me for the upcoming Spiritual Journey in October of this year! Check out more pictures of the sacred journey on → Facebook.


Chloë Rain is the Founder of Explore Deeply™ and the Explore Deeply Movement. She is a Spiritual Guide & Healer.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment by answering their calling, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and JOY in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and joy in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!

Drumming Is More Effective than Antidepressants, Study Suggests

Shamanic Drum Journey, Health Mind Happy SoulGuest Writer

As our scientific and cultural understanding of mental health continues to progress, finding solutions for people struggling with depression become increasingly important. Long gone are the days when people who were struggling with mental health issues were locked up in prison-like asylums. However, modern drugs can often have a similarly oppressive effect on sufferers, as people’s emotional responses are numbed and they become unable to experience highs as well as lows.

These drugs are often thrown around without caution, and they fail to acknowledge the circumstances behind the individual’s depressive state. They attempt to treat the symptoms rather than the root cause. A group of UK-based researchers seems to have found an unlikely cure – group drumming.

The study, which was conducted earlier this year, worked with a group of 30 adults who were already being treated for depression but had refused the use of antidepressants. The participants were split into two groups, one being assigned a 90-minute group drumming session once a week and the control group enrolling in quiz nights and other social activities. All drumming sessions were conducted on traditional African djembe drums, with the group sat together in a circle.

The ten-week study involved participants who were matched exactly regarding their ethnicity, gender, age and employment status. Over the course of the ten weekly observations, the groups were monitored psychologically and physically for signs of depression. The results were overwhelming!

After ten weeks the drumming group had significantly improved their mental health. There was a clear reduction in depression and anxiety, as well as a vast improvement in the social resilience of each individual involved. Physically, every member of the drumming group shifted from a pro-inflammatory immune profile to anti-inflammatory. The study proved both the benefits of communal drumming and the link between mental health and underlying inflammatory immune responses.

The control group saw very minimal improvements and in the follow-up tests three months later; the drumming group had maintained their improved state of mental health. One theory as to why the drumming circle works is that the activity of producing music, alongside the sense of community that the circle gave the participants, led to an increased feeling of fulfillment and gave them something to look forward to each week.

The reason for the vast improvement is open for debate. However, the results are indisputable. The ancient art of group drumming helps people with depression and boosts your health. These findings and other associated research could continue to alter the way we view and treat mental health issues.

It is a move towards a future where doctors recommend drug-free solutions that treat us all as individuals rather than treating mental health sufferers as broken cogs in the machine.  A future set to the rhythmic sound of drums.

Study link

*Article originally appeared at The Hearty Soul.


The drum, sometimes called the shaman’s horse, provides a simple and effective way to induce ecstatic trance states. When a drum is played at an even tempo of three to four beats per second for at least fifteen minutes, most novices report that they can journey successfully even on their first attempt.

Shamanic journeying may be undertaken for purposes of divination and for personal healing. Its a way of communicating with your inner guidance and spirit self and receiving information.

Your inner self is in constant communication with all aspects of your environment, seen and unseen. You need only journey within to find answers to your questions.

If you are curious about the healing art of shamanic journeying and shamanic practices, you might be interested in exploring The Four Directions Apprenticeship.

Chloë Rain is the Founder of Explore Deeply™ and the Explore Deeply Movement. She is a Spiritual Guide & Healer.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment by answering their calling, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and JOY in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and joy in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!

Shake off this sadness, and recover your spirit

Poetry, InspiringChloë RainComment
Shake off this sadness, and recover your spirit

Throw Yourself Like Seed

Shake off this sadness, and recover your spirit;
sluggish you will never see the wheel of fate
that brushes your heel as it turns going by,
the man who wants to live is the man in whom life is abundant.

Now you are only giving food to that final pain
which is slowly winding you in the nets of death,
but to live is to work, and the only thing which lasts
is the work; start then, turn to the work.

Throw yourself like seed as you walk, and into your own field,
don’t turn your face for that would be to turn it to death,
and do not let the past weigh down your motion.

Leave what’s alive in the furrow, what’s dead in yourself,
for life does not move in the same way as a group of clouds;
from your work you will be able one day to gather yourself. 

— Miguel de Unamuno

Chloë Rain is the Founder of Explore Deeply™ and the Explore Deeply Movement. She is a Spiritual Guide & Healer.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment by answering their calling, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and JOY in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and joy in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!