explore deeply

the art of living your life purpose

Moving Beyond Emotional Pain

Learning to Love Yourself, Life LessonsChloë Rain
Getting Rid of Emotional Pain

Sober and emotionless, I hiked to the top of the mountain and sat on the edge of the cliff with the intention of jumping off of it. The ache of emptiness, was too much to bear, and tearless I arrived at the place of contemplation.

"I am dead."

"I am dead on the inside."

Sitting at the precipice, all I could determine was that I didn't want to be dead, not truly dead.

Methodically, I began to take stock of my life, if I didn't want to be walking around dead on the inside, then I must want to be truly living. And if the life I was living made me feel like I wanted to end it all, then I had to make some changes that could make me feel like my life was worth living.

I became resolute to change the feeling of my life. I must start feeling alive, truly alive.

And more so I want to feel like my life has meaning.

Maybe I would go to Paris and fall in love and things would be different.


And so I went... to Paris, to fall in love... then to Peru, to find myself... then to Ireland, to find my why.... then home, to find my roots...

I discovered where I'd lost myself in the first place...

I will tell you, these things that seem random at the time, change us forever.  

The places we go, the places we live, the connections we make, the bonds that are created, they may seem completely random at the time. Yet in an instant or a phone call or a night spent in a bar drinking whisky in the arctic circle, your whole life is changes forever.

I didn't find a husband, but I did fall in love, a couple of times.

I fell in love with storytelling and writing, I fell in love with photography, I fell in love with my family, I fell in love with my friends and connections, all over the globe, I fell in love with myself.

As it turns out, I was inextricably changed forever by my experiences and there was no going back to sizing myself into that confining box that made me feel empty to the core.

Not every instance, not every phone call, and certainly not every night I've ever spent in a bar has changed me in this way..... then again maybe they have, maybe they do.

It's true that when you turn inward and fall in love with the truth of who you really are, you become whole, despite the brokenness. 

By this time next year, I will have changed again. Things will be different. I will be telling the stories of what I'm going through right now, they will be beautiful stories of some of the most amazing moments of my life.

The moments of darkness will also have been weathered with time into a beautiful patina of memories, backlit by firelight, digested on a full belly, with a nourished soul. By next year, they too will become beautiful stories.

May you have the courage to follow your heart,

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

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, 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!

What Your Higher Self Would Like You to Know

Be who you want, Life LessonsGuest WriterComment
Higher Self Communication

#1: Your mission is to become your truest essence, to know your own divinity

Your Higher Self has it's own goal for you. The purpose of all Higher Selves is to bring their "lower selves" (those in physical bodies on Earth like you) home to our Godly Sevles.

The primary means that your Higher Self has for accomplishing this goal is to keep you attached to the path of growth you have agreed to undertake in this lifetime. All of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual issues you experience in this life are designed to help you meet your life's contract and keep you on your path.

The truth is that you have agreed to all your life's lessons before you came here. Know that you can transcend them - if you choose to. As always, the choice is yours. Your Higher Self can help you to make the best choices - now forward.

#2: You are deeply loved and everything in the Universe wants you to know joy

The ultimate goal of all the experiences that your Higher Self is giving you is meant to bring you to a state of total joy. Joyful people are dreaming their life into being. That is the well spring of their peace and contentment.

Step back for a moment and recognize that a truly loving God would show that love for you by wanting you to be joyful all the time. Before you arrive at your final destination of joy, the journey can be (but does not have to be) quite painful at times. Remember you can learn from pleasure as well as pain and there is as much challenge in joy as in sorrow. As always, the choice is yours.

#3: Your higher self would like you to “hear your words” for yourself

Like all good healers, I am in the business of unemploying myself. That means instead of you coming to someone like me to connect with your Higher Self, my mission is to empower you to do that for yourself. Your Higher Self is the greatest use to you when you can "hear your own best wisdom" for yourself all time on every topic. Once you are open to the wisdom within you, the possibilities of what your Higher Self can do for you are even more limitless than your imagination.

#4: We’d like you to master creating and recreating life

Your Higher Self is the ultimate coach. Your Higher Self is able to see all who you have been, all who you are now, and all who you can be. Due to this expanded perspective, your Higher Self knows you more intimately than you know yourself.

With such expanded awareness, there are limitless possibilities of what your Higher Self can do to assist you in resolving your issues. Almost everything your Higher Self says is driven by their desire to show you how to master creating your life. Among other things, you are here on Earth to master your skills in creation.

#5: You are here to experience your own power & live in abundance

The true goal of all healing is to empower others to fully enjoy their birthright as Divine Beings. Over and over again, I hear Higher Selves tell people they must be open to "all possibilities" that are available in the Universe for them. Yet people cut themselves off from the infinity of all creation for three reasons.

First, because our common, "deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" (Nelson Mandela/Marianne Williamson) - for if we claimed our power, we would fear how our life would change.
Second, because we do not believe we deserve it for "we are not worthy" (Wayne's World) - for if we were worthy, we would deserve to share in the abundance of the universe.
Third, we resist claiming abundance because it is so deeply ingrained in us that "the love of money is the root of all evil" - for if we could have money, it would allows you to be more of who you are and claim your power.

#6: You highest self would like you to achieve your highest potential

Consider these words of Cherie Huber's: "that which you are seeking is causing you to seek". This is an ancient principle of Buddhism that is as modern as it gets.

Huber explains in her book of the same name: "If we didn't already know the experience of what we're looking for, we would never (think to) look" for it. When "we begin to seek - where, what is that which we long for, our essence, our true nature, that which we really are? - and slowly, painstakingly, we begin to follow it home" to God. "Haltingly, fearfully, sometimes excitedly, joyfully, we begin to follow it back to itself, back to who we really are. What we are looking for is causing us to look" and that cause is our Higher Self.

"That's why we need not go anywhere, do anything, learn more, figure anything out, or worry about going wrong. We need only to stop, sit down, be still, and pay attention" to our Higher Self. For it is your Higher Self that will help you achieve your highest and greatest potential - right now.

#7: Love yourself more & forgive others more

When your body is filled with love, it will stay healthier, last longer, and be better able to provide you with quality of life. When your mind is filled with love, it able to attract better opportunities for relationships, work, and education that bring you joy and contentment. When your spirit is filled with love, you make all around you happy, including yourself. All this is what God and the universe intend for you. All you need to do is "forgive - love - live happy".

#8: You are never alone and you are never separate from your highest self

So often when people reach greater levels of spiritual advancement, they get so beaten up. Often they do not know how wonderful they are. Or they cannot see the things they are doing that, if done differently, could transform their lives.

Your Higher Self has been with you since the beginning and through the end of time. Your Higher Self knows you far better than you can know yourself - simply because it is the totality of all your selves: past, present, and future

Your Higher Self knows all, sees all, and has the greatest possible compassion for your personal situation right now. It is always with you: a few words from your Higher Self can get you seeing things in a new way... that could improve your life.

#9: It is safe to trust your inner guidance, ie your highest self is speaking to you all the time

Your Higher Self wants to you to feel good about the information you receive when you listen to your inner guidance. This way you will grow more comfortable over time with your own guidance as your trust level grows. The best way for your Higher Self to build trust with you is to establish a "track record" of success which flows from you following your own internal guidance.

It has been said that "God "writes straight with crooked lines". It is when you follow those crooked lines over an extended period of time and see that they were, in fact, for the best - that is when you truly learn to trust. Never forget that trust must always be earned: your Higher Self really is here to help you.

#10: Know the truth from a higher perspective

Your Higher Self sees your issues at deeper levels than you do. Many times you are unable to see the forest for the trees. Your Higher Self is much like a helicopter flying over the forest watching you make your way through the maze of trees below. It can see a better way for you to walk. It can even tell you why your forest was arranged the way it was: to better guide you on your life's journey.

There is one thing you always need to remember. You are the one on the ground: dodging the wild animals all around you, staying one step ahead of forest fires. You are the one feeling hunger when there is no food, cold when there is no shelter, and pain when you fall into a deep hole. Your Higher Self does not and cannot feel these types of pain: it does not even remember it. And sometimes there is no choice but to let you fall into the hole and get hurt.


Edited and reposted with Permission:  Top Ten Things Your Higher Self Wants You to Know | Ellen A. Mogensen, Past & Now Forward Holistic Counseling


Walking the Path of Purpose

Walking the Path Of Purpose

5 Month Mentorship Program: Learn to Embody Your Unique Source of Power, Uncover Your Strengths, Break Free of Limiting Patterns, Learn to Heal Yourself and Be in Greater Service to the World

Now accepting applications for Mentorship, beginning November 2018, spaces are limited

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

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, 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!

No Make Up

Poetry, Be who you want, Learning to Love YourselfGuest WriterComment
Poetry about being a woman

Maybe one reason I do not wear makeup is to scare people.
If they’re close enough, they can see something is different with me,
something unnerving, as if I have no features,
I am embryonic, pre-eyebrows, pre-eyelids, pre-mouth,
I am like a water-bear talking to them,
or an amniotic traveller,
a vitreous floater on their own eyeball,
human ectoplasm risen on its hind legs to discourse with them.
And such a white white girl, such a sickly toadstool,
so pale, a visage of fog, a phiz of
mist above a graveyard, no magenta roses,
no floral tribute, no goddess, no grownup
woman, no acknowledgment
of the drama of secondary sexual characteristics, just the
gray matter of spirit talking,
the thin features of a gray girl in a gray graveyard—
granite, ash, chalk, dust.
I tried the paint, but I could feel it on my skin, I could
hardly move under the mask of my
desire to be seen as attractive in the female
way of 1957,
and I could not speak. And when the makeup came off I felt
actual as a small mammal in the woods
with a speaking countenance, or a basic
primate, having all the expressions
that evolved in us, to communicate.
If my teen-age acne had left scars,
if my skin were rough, instead of soft,
I probably couldn’t afford to hate makeup,
or to fear so much the beauty salon or the
very idea of beautyship.
And my mother was beautiful—did I say this?
In my small eyes, and my smooth withered skin,
you can see my heart, you can read my naked lips.

— Sharon Olds

She is the author of the poetry collection “Stag’s Leap,” which was recently produced as a staged reading by the Salt Lake City Acting Company.

 

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/09/10/no-makeup

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

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, 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!

The Spiritual Significance of Autumn Equinox in Our Modern Lives

Ceremony, Nature, Rituals, Spiritual SignificanceChloë Rain2 Comments
Fall Equinox Spiritual Significance
We are the only true experts on our journey to enlightenment. Filter all information through your own heart.

As the midday sun begins to sink lower in the sky and the night becomes chilly and darker, before we even notice the changing of colors with our eyes, our senses tell us that the reign of summer has come to an end in the northern half of the world. 

The autumn equinox arrives at 9:54 PM on Saturday, September 22, 2018, officially marking the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

The word “equinox” comes from Latin and means “equal night,” referring to the roughly 12-hour day and 12-hour night that occurs only on the two equinox days of the year.

The Autumn Equinox is a meaningful time of year to honor the harvest. Whether that be a "real" harvest of the things planted in your garden or the harvest of efforts and intentions for your life path that you set earlier in the year.

The changing seasons are key points in the cycle of life in nature, and within this cycle many ancient cultures perceived a powerful deeper message for humanity.

Indigenous cultures recognized earth-based wisdom and understood that the four focal points of the year: the Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, and Autumn Equinox; illuminated stages of an inner spiritual journey – a spiritual cycle that the individual takes within themselves.

As we consciously link our awareness to nature's cycles, our understanding of our own cycles begin to deepen.

A favorite ritual of mine is to take the 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the precise moment of the equinox to sit quietly on the ground in thoughtfulness and meditation and open my mind and my senses to the intelligence of nature all around. In this time spent in thoughtfulness around the moment of equal light and equal dark, I acknowledge my personal growth cycle and ask for harmony and balance to be the fertilizer in the soil of my life's garden.

Spiritually speaking, fall represents the Harvest time of year, a time to acknowledge abundance as our natural state of being. Our lives go through cycles of growth, harvest, death, and rebirth just as we see in nature.

Fall Equinox Meaning : Spiritual Significance of Autumn Equinox

On the Fall Equinox you may want to honor abundance and shift your consciousness from one of lack to one of abundance in some way through a small ritual or ceremony. Such as lighting a candle, giving thanks, and speaking your gratitude for all that you are and all that you have.

Fall is the time of year that we set up our internal space and make room for what’s to come in the next year. We create fertile soil for our greater visions to grow but not by doing. 

By becoming quiet and listening to what is trying to emerge from within us.

When we take the time this time of year to go within and empty out space we are creating fertile soil for our creativity and greater visions. When we clear our internal ground in the fall, we go into dormancy and then rest in the cold and darkness of Winter.

Winter is the time of year of healing, when the cold and freezing becomes the healing that sets the soil for Spring and our rebirth.

The significance of the Autumnal Equinox for the person walking the spiritual path is the time of year where we activate our new growth cycle. As we become silent and rest we are allowing space for our greater vision to emerge.

As the days get shorter and the nights grow longer, we descend into the darkness of the night and face our own inner darkness—the darkness within, i.e. the ego and the subconscious—to prepare for the birth of the Light within, celebrated at the winter solstice.

The heart of spiritual practice is internal, and is usually invisible and unnoticed by everyone else. By enacting the spiritual with a physical ritual, we can both recognize and make concrete our spiritual process that is part of our reality as a person on the spiritual path.

I encourage you to take some time September 22 this year to acknowledge your life cycle and spiritual path. In doing so, you are honoring, not only your own growth and light within, but the ancient wisdom that has served our health and wellness for thousands of years.

I honor the light in you that is the love of all things, without your existence the light of the Universe would dim and all of existence would miss you.
Mentorship for Life Purpose

Walking the Path Of Purpose

5 Month Mentorship Program: Learn to Embody Your Unique Source of Power, Uncover Your Strengths, Break Free of Limiting Patterns, Learn to Heal Yourself and Be in Greater Service to the World

Now accepting applications beginning November 2018, spaces are limited

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

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, 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!

Autumn Equinox Sound Healing Meditation

Video, MeditationChloë RainComment

[PUT YOUR EARBUDS IN] and listen to this phenomenal Sound Healing session —offered by my beautiful friend and colleague Connie Magee —directly from under the Walnut tree at our Autumn Equinox gathering at Skywater Hollow!

IN-JOY!

When you click the video, make sure you have about 10 minutes and a pair of headphones or earbuds! You must listen to the video with headphones on to get the effect of the sound healing and the sounds of nature. What you can't hear is the sound of an owl calling in harmony to the healing sounds. AMAZING.

This sound healing meditation is about 9 minutes long! Remember to put your headphones on! 

                                                                                    XOXOXO,

 
Healing Sound Meditations : Spiritual Healing Retreats
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Chloë Rain is a Spiritual Guide & Visionary. She is the the Founder of Explore Deeply and the Explore Deeply Movement.

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, 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!

Walking Your Path — One Step at a Time

Learning to Love Yourself, Life LessonsChloë RainComment
Walking Your Path In Life
When there is nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire....
— Stars

Some years ago, I went in to ten days of silence. We sat in 12 hours of meditation a day for 10 full days. We ate only 2 meals a day, breakfast was at 6am, lunch was at noon, and there was no dinner and we went to bed at 9pm. I was in complete silence for 10 full days, and on the eleventh day silence was broken.  

Just before I had entered complete silence.... I resigned from my career. 15 years of hard work and trying to fit myself into a successful mold, and I had found myself on the brink of a mental, emotional, and physical break down.

On the outside my life wasn't that bad, but on the inside I felt completely dead.

I was compelled to go to the top of a mountain and determine whether or not I wanted to end my life or my life to go on. I didn't arrive at this place sobbing and clutching my heart, I arrived at this place soberly, with a dull ache and emptiness in my heart. I could see no way out.

On top of that mountain, I reached the conclusion that I didn't want to be dead. That was the only thing I was sure of, I didn’t want to be dead, and so I determined that must mean I wanted to be alive! I could only think of one thing to do about it. Start living my life. And if the life I was living made me want to end it all, then I had to make some changes in my life. And so I began by taking that huge nextstep, off of the path that had lead me to feeling like I wanted to die, and on to a path I'd never walked before, one that was only revealed to me one step at a time.

I have joked ever since, that the best thing you could do for yourself after you make one of the wildest decisions of your life, is to go sit in silence with yourself and listen to your thoughts for ten days.

On the other side of that silence, I was more clear than I'd ever been that somehow I'd made the right decision, even though I had no idea what my next step was.

In going within I was able to discover the insight of the answer that I already knew within my heart and soul.

But no one can make you act on that awareness.

Only you can know the truth for you and only you can act on that truth.

And there is no secret cure all pill, there is no magic 8 ball with all the answers. Happiness is a constant choice and state of being regardless of your external circumstances. This may be difficult to grasp at first, but once you understand that you are your own source of wisdom, life challenges take on new meaning.

Learning our own wisdom is the greatest gift and most effective tool to heal, experience fulfillment, and create and recreate our lives. As we have new awarenesses, new experiences come to us. As we have new awarenesses we realize new opportunities to make different choices and so then life shows up differently.

Everyone arrives at this threshold in their own timing, and the only person who can walk through that door and into a new way of being is you. You hold the keys and you hold the answers to all the questions you are asking. This is the secret to enlightenment.

In following that voice that was guiding me toward more life and being alive, I found a love for storytelling and writing, I found a love for art, and for photography, I found a new love for my family, I found a new love for my friendships and connections, and most importantly, I found a love for myself.

The things that seem random at the time, change us forever. The places we go, the places we live, the connections we make, the bonds that are created, may seem completely random, and yet in an instant or a phone call or a night spent in a bar drinking whisky in the arctic circle, your whole existence is changed forever.

I know that by this time next year, I will have changed. Things will be different because I keep listening and keep acting on new awareness. By next year, I will be telling the stories of what I'm going through right now, and they will be beautiful stories of some of the toughest moments of my life and I know that the moments of darkness experienced right now, can be transformed into beautiful pieces of gold. 

Soon, they will all be beautiful stories.

As you turn inward and fall in love with the truth of who you really are, you become whole, despite the brokenness.

One step at a time.


Reclaim Your Unique Vision

A vision is not a glimpse of what will be in the future — it’s an awareness of what is already true within you, here and now.

The vision is not something you make up, it is who you were born to be. It’s your true power, your essence, your genius, and the source of your abundance.

When you are cut off from the truth of your essence, you don’t just fail to fulfill your potential, you experience many other side-effects. The challenges you face in the other areas — health, work, relationships, prosperity — are often symptoms of a disconnection from this divine pattern in you. That’s why many attempts to solve those other problems don’t work — because they’re symptoms, not the cause.

When you rediscover your vision and begin to align with the forces of nature, you activate the latent power within you and begin to dissolve many of your problems.

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

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, 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!

40 Ways to Live a Happier Life

Be who you want, Inspiring, LaughChloë Rain1 Comment

In honor of life, adventure, the pursuit of happiness, and in celebration of turning 41 this year....... I am sharing 40 things that have changed my life at depth.

  1. Do something that you were supposed to do when you were a child or a teenager, but never did because you weren't cool enough, or you didn't want to make a fool of yourself. You're cool enough now. And even if you're not, who fucking cares? You're an adult, you can do whatever you want, even the uncool stuff.

  2. Climb a mountain, even a small one. Get up to a place where you can see life from a different perspective... take a breath, look around, enjoy the view.

  3. Pause, take a moment to remind yourself how far you've come. Think about how un-clever you once were, think about some of the silly things you used to think and believe about yourself and realize how you don't think that way anymore... Give yourself some kudos for being a ever evolving human being.

  4. Get caught in the rain. Purposely get wet when it's raining, because you want to. Don't run from the rain, embrace it, in your own present way. Notice how you feel.

  5. Go to your local used bookstore or library that sells used books for a $1 and pick up a book that catches your attention. Buy the book and know you've just contributed to the health of the planet by recycling that book.  Flip through the pages like shuffling cards, open it to a page, read what it has to say. Maybe its meaningful, maybe its not. It doesn't matter, you paid a dollar for it. Play like you're asking the magic 8 ball for a message every time you shuffle the pages.

  6. Ponder, does all life having meaning? No matter how difficult life gets, is it worth it?

  7. Pick flowers for your home or your beside table. I used to buy a dozen roses for myself every week at Whole Foods, when the blossoms started to wilt, I would go to the beach or go on a hike and I would say a prayer on every single rose petal and toss them one by one into the water. I would imagine the thousands of prayers I have spoken and released over the years all floating around.  Watch a video about this ceremony. When money was tight and flowers were not part of my budget, I would go to my local park at sunset and pick flowers, or steal a blossom from a blooming tree on one of my neighborhood walks. {Be considerate of your neighbors gardens, always be mindful, don't take too much and always send gratitude to your source. Tread lightly on the earth... I have picked flowers on the side of the road, or flowers sticking out of sidewalks in the city...}

  8. Lay in bed for a few minutes longer in the morning. Enjoy the comfort of your bed, and the beauty of rest and sleep, notice that today is indeed a completely new day. You will never live this day again, you have never lived this day before. What good things may come?

  9. Listen to the bird songs. Become curious. Why do they sing? Who do they sing for?

  10. Treat yourself regularly to small simple treats. Like a root beer float or orange tic tacs at the grocery store checkout line. Or stop off at the road side produce stand and buy a ripe peach, just because you can.

  11. Give gifts regularly, they could be small anonymous gifts, like paying for someone's expiring parking meter or an extra generous tip at your favorite coffee shop. Or even things like shells or stones that made you stop and pick them up. Whatever the sentiment, it's nice to know you can always give from the heart, and that's what will be received.

  12. Look people in the eye while you're checking out, no matter if you're at the gas station, the sandwich shoppe, or the dentist. See what they're saying with their eyes.

  13. Write note cards to people who pop into your mind and send them, just thinking of you.

  14. Go on regular picnics.  Even when my budget went from expensive bottles of Sancerre and exotic cheeses to 2 Buck Chuck and $2 end samples from the cheese bin at Whole Foods, regular picnics have always been a rich treat for sky gazing, contemplation, grounding and centering.

  15. Have a soundtrack to your life— make a playlist of your favorite songs, or songs that inspire you, make you feel better, or lift your spirits.  Give your sound track a name like "Almost Famous"  or "Magical Mystery Tour" or "Superfly" or "Pretty in Pink" or whatever character you imagine or fantasize yourself playing in this great play called life.

  16. Roll the windows down sometimes. When you're in the passenger side, hang your head out the window (safely), or your feet, or just do that thing with your arm and your fingers like you're making a wave as the wind gushes underneath your wing.

  17. Save a picture to your screen saver, either on your phone or computer that symbolizes something you want for yourself.  For several months I had a picture of a couple kissing in front of the pyramid at the Louvre, for some reason this symbolized true romance to me at the time.... I didn't know it yet, but within less than 6 months I would be having my own love affair in Paris. I realized later that I had programmed myself for that potential reality in my life.

  18. Take baths regularly. Like real baths, in the tub style. This goes for you men, too.

  19. Downsize your life.

  20. Think about how relatively big your current house is compared to the majority of people who live on this planet. Consider living in a smaller house, and yet feeling like you have more space in your life, more freedom, more expansiveness.

  21. Think about a teacher in school who made an impact on your life and realize what they were up against in their personal life to make the decision to be a school teacher, perhaps feel grateful they listened to their calling and were there to help you, despite their own personal sacrifices.

  22. Don't take yourself too seriously.

  23. You didn't fail that bad, it wasn't as fatal as you thought.

  24. People already forgot.

  25. Don't keep putting your happiness off into the future. Even if you hate your life right now, try to find one thing that is hilarious enough for you to laugh at yourself, so that you can find the good of still being alive.

  26. Make something to share with others, bake bread or cookies, or make beer, something you want to eat, later, eventually. See what happens when you put effort into making something you will invite someone to eat or drink with you.

  27. Build a fire, in a fireplace, a fire pit, a campfire, or on the beach. Learn what it takes to make a good fire.

  28. Realize your connectedness to everything around you, then expand your realization to how connected you are to the people in your life. Just by thinking of them you are connected to them.
  29. Re-connect to something that you put aside a long time a go, be it a childhood passion or a teenage obsession. Think about what you loved to do as a kid and then go and do that... See how you feel. Is there anything you’ve been wanting to do for a while but you haven’t made time for it? NOW IS THE TIME.
  30. Make time to be by yourself. Even just a few minutes during the day can help you connect to yourself rather than being caught up in outside forces.

  31. Write down the things that you truly value. Go back to this list regularly… update the list. Check on this list to see if the things you are doing and spending your time on are in alignment with the things you say you truly value.

  32. Answer the phone when your friend calls, they may be holding the vision for you of your greatness, when you can't see the forest for the trees.

  33. Go on mundane adventures, at least once weekly. Often times we think we have to plan something big, or an adventure takes money and time we don't have. But when you set a goal to explore somewhere once a week, be it in your neighborhood, or a short drive from your home, or even a walk in a different direction outside your house, you do not know what is waiting for your on the other side of intentional awareness. A whole new world.

  34. Fantasize regularly about an amazing sexual encounter you once had or dream of having. Let yourself feel completely satisfied in the end.

  35. When you wake up in the morning drink one beautiful, cool but not cold glass of clean water. Before you drink the water look into the glass and imagine that you are filling the glass with pure love, and that the water is pure and loving energy. Drink the glass of water like you are drinking a glass full of love potion.

  36. Introduce yourself to new music, regularly, especially go and see live music in small venues. Listen to the lyrics, let the music make your body move... allow yourself to "look silly" dancing, just so you remember how it feels to dance. There are no rules here, no directions needed.
  37. Make something just because. Create something, or do something just for the sake of self-expression. Write, draw, create, paint, cook, make love, make love to yourself. Allow it all to be ok.

  38. Remind yourself how important YOUR LIFE IS.  Make sticky notes that remind you of the importance of being you and that let you know that you are special and unique.  Set reminders on your phone with your values, or things that you intend to be, or to experience in your life.

  39. You are a DIVINE HUMAN BEING. There is no other speck of stardust in the Universe just like you. No one else thinks your thoughts, feels your feelings, or has your desires, or is capable of doing the things you want to do, in the way that you and only you can do them.

  40. You are an individual expression of multiverse life force creation energy. Never forget the source of your power. There is NO ONE else in all the Universes like you.

The way to find out who you are is not by comparing yourself with others, but by looking to see whether you are fulfilling your own potential in the best way you know how.
— Osho
Life your Purpose
You’ll never look back, but you’ll never be the same. In a good way... but its wild to realize that you don’t stay the same, everything you thought you were goes away, then the real you shows up, and you don’t even know her... but you like her
— Chloë Rain
 # 26 Bake something! I have made many a friend over home cookies and pies, and guess what? I actually enjoying making them for people. Figure out what you enjoy and share it, just because.

# 26 Bake something! I have made many a friend over home cookies and pies, and guess what? I actually enjoying making them for people. Figure out what you enjoy and share it, just because.

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up, again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a great adventure, go play outside. Quinault Rainforest, Olympic Peninsula ©ChloëRain

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

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, 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!

Reconnecting with Your Inherent Divinity and Worthiness

Healing, Learning to Love YourselfGuest WriterComment
How to Reconnect with Your Inherent Divinity & Worthiness

The most powerful learning I ever received in my life was the answer to the following question:

What makes a person worthy to be loved?

When this question was put to a group of highly intelligent individuals, their answers fell into two categories:

  1. "To Do-ers" feel that worthiness is a result of what a person is willing TO DO to get love (as in "I am a good husband because I bring home a good paycheck, mow the lawn, etc").

  2.  "To Be-ers" feel that worthiness is a result of what a person is willing TO BE to get love (as in "I am a good wife because I am obedient, helpful, and what everyone else expects me to be").

It might astound you to know that BOTH these answers are WRONG.

What makes a person worthy to be loved is NOT what they are willing to DO or to BE. What makes a person worthy to be loved is simply because they EXIST, a person is worthy to be loved because they are, no matter what it is that they are doing or being.

Most societies in the world today fall into the "To Do" (the West) or "To Be" (the East) philosophy. Since everyone has a common need to be loved, the world is full of "To Do-ers" and "To Be-ers". The problem is that at the core of your being is your inner child who needs to be loved because it "IS".

Your inner child is an "I am-er" meaning it is worthy to be loved simply because it exists.

Love is the only medicine that can cure deep wounds.

Until your inner child is at peace, it will throw the most mature adult into chaos if it is not recognized, nurtured, and loved. By loving the child inside, you help the adult outside to reconnect with your inherent divinity ("I am-ness") as God intended.


How to Reconnect with your Inherent Divinity and Worthiness Exercise

Careful preparation is the key to making this exercise successful for you.

Before you attempt to do this exercise, you must decide whether you are a "ToDo-er" or a "ToBe-er" or whether you are both.

If you have aspects of both inside you, then you must do this exercise twice. First handle the "ToDo-er" aspect of yourself one week, REST, and then handle to the "ToBe-er" aspect at least one week later (3 weeks rest is preferable).

Preparation:

Do this exercise at night after you have taken a bath but before you have gone to bed. It is best you do it when you will be able to sleep the next day (do it Friday night if you can rest on the weekend). Being comfortable is the key. You need to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. You will also need to do this in a room that has a mirror. Bathrooms work well for this because:

  • there is usually a large mirror,

  • there is always a door so you can be alone, and
  • it is very symbolic of the internal cleansing and healing that you are intending to do.

Do this exercise in a peaceful place where you will be completely quiet and undisturbed for the entire session. This session should last for as long as your inner child needs. Since children (even inner ones) have short attention spans, this exercise usually takes less than 30 minutes.

ALWAYS ACT with absolute conviction that what you are imagining is REAL. To your inner child, there is NO difference between what is real and what is imagined. This is why a healing IMAGINED can have a REAL result (like the cancer patients who healed themselves by imagining away their disease).

Be patient with yourself in the time to come. Healing your inner child can be quite disorienting until the changes are fully integrated. It is VERY powerful and it takes time for the work that you have done on the inner bodies to be reflected in your outer body ("as above, so below").

  1. Look at yourself in the mirror and think back to when you were a child (in this lifetime). Give your Inner Child permission to bring the pain you endured when you were either trying "TO DO" or "TO BE" something as a child to get the love that you so desperately wanted.
  2. Acknowledge your Inner Child's pain by saying the phrases below with as much passion and emotion as you can while staring deeply into your own eyes:

"I know you are not happy. I respect your feelings."

"I love you. I want to heal you so that you can feel better."

"Please allow me to heal the hurt you hold inside you."

If you are a "ToDo-er" continue below, if a "ToBe-er" scroll to the bottom.

"ToDo-er" Exercise includes the following additional steps:

Acknowledge to yourself that if you have "TO DO" something to get love, then

  • What you believe is that ACTION is required to produce a RESULT of love and
  • What you fear is ACTIONS are not enough and you fear BECOMING your true self.

Fill your memory with incidents where you were made to feel that you were NOT DOING enough. Listen to the voices of others who said you were not doing enough and pay attention to how you feel at your core: where your inner child is.

If you cannot hear the voices clearly, imagine the phrases below being spoken by those who have told you that you were NOT DOING enough.

"No one REALLY likes you for who you are."
"You are a big disappointment: you should have done..."
"People can only like you or notice you for what you do."
"People only like you for what you have / can give them."

The only medicine to cure a bad case of "ToDo-ism" is good healthy dose of self acceptance. Most often a "ToDo-er" cannot accept themselves as they are due to a painful rejection by a loved one(s). To heal this pain, the "ToDo-er" will first need to TAKE ACTION to heal the core issue(s). If there is no core incident, then a shorter version of this process needs to be applied:

While looking in the mirror, visualize yourself as both your guardian angel (responsible for raising your self acceptance) and your inner child (who has difficulty with self acceptance).

Imagine an incident where you as "guardian angel" come to the rescue of you as "inner child". Do everything you can to inflate your inner child's self esteem. As guardian, take the actions or speak the words needed to resolve feelings about the person trying to harm your inner child.

Imagine a happy ending to this situation. Be careful not to make people the inner child fears act unrealistically. Act, as the guardian angel, the way an adult can act in the situation to protect the inner child (but in ways the helpless child cannot act to protect themselves).

Example of "ToDo-er" Exercise: At the end of this exercise, your inner child should feel empowered enough to reclaim the "chunks of him/herself" that others have taken from him/her by convincing him/her that she/he must always do more.

This is because you as guardian angel have told him/her things like:

"You are a wonderful person: I support all that you do."
"It's not what you do that matters, it's who you are."
"Encourage your own natural abilities: be yourself."
"God does not reject you but accepts you as you are."

"ToBe-er" Exercise includes the following additional steps:

Acknowledge to yourself that if you have "TO BE" something to get love, then:

  • What you believe is that CHARACTER is required to produce a RESULT of love and
  • What you fear is your CHARACTER is not enough and you fear DOING for yourself.

Fill your memory with incidents where you were made to feel that you were NOT BEING enough. Listen to the voices of others who said you were not good enough and pay attention to how you feel at your core: where your inner child is.

If you cannot hear the voices clearly, imagine the phrases below being spoken by those who have told you that you were NOT BEING enough

"You are not good enough to be with, to have, to get..."
"If you were good enough, this would/not have happened."
"You better never let that happen again: you must..."
"You better accept less so that you cannot fail again."

The only medicine to cure a bad case of "ToBe-ism" is good healthy dose of self esteem. Most often a "ToBe-er" cannot value themselves as they are due to the barrage of criticism they have received over the years from those around them. To heal this pain, the "ToBe-er" will first need to BECOME MORE OF WHO THEY REALLY ARE to heal such deeply inflicted wounds:

While looking in the mirror, visualize yourself as both your guardian angel (responsible for raising your self esteem) and your inner child (who is having difficulty with self esteem).

Imagine that you as "guardian angel" is taking off an old dirty, torn coat that your "inner child" is wearing. As guardian angel, ask the child who gave it this horrible thing. Assure the child that it will not be punished for telling the truth. Ask the child to list everyone who ever contributed to making it dirty and torn. Get your inner child to tell you absolutely everything that is burdening their troubled heart.

Imagine that you as guardian angel set the old, dirty, torn coat of shame and misery on fire. Ask your inner child to throw sticks on the coat so the flame burns hotter and higher. Tell the child that they are special, loved, and wonderful. Tell the child they deserve the best and they will become their own dreams. Since such wounds are deep, there may be many layers of dirty coats (which are negative beliefs about yourself) to be removed. Make sure you burn them all.

Example of "ToBe-er" Exercise: At the end of this exercise, your inner child should feel empowered enough to believe that his/her dreams can come true by convincing him/her that she/he is perfect just the way he/she is.

This is because you as guardian angel have told him/her things like:

"You are perfect, loved, and valued just as you are."
"You have, are, will be enough to live your dreams."
"God accepts you and values you as you are."
"God wishes to support you in every way."

When all the layers of "ToDo-ism" and "ToBe-ism" have been removed, you will be ready to embrace the "I am-ness" of yourself as a spiritual being in human form.


Reposted with Permission:  Inner Child Work- Resolving the "To Do"/"To Be" Dilemma | Adapted from an exercise developed by Ellen Mogensen and Sandra Skelly


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

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, 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!

Is Shamanic Healing Right for You?

Ceremony, Retreats, ShamanismGuest WriterComment
Is Shamanic Healing Right for You

How Does One Find The Right Healer?

Healers, Shamans, and Medicine People, are people. For that, just like anyone else, they come in all shapes, sizes, attitudes, personalities, and colors. In order for one to find the right shaman, it is advised to follow these guidelines:

Methods and Specialties

Just as all shamans have their own unique preference and style of healing, every person who seeks healing has their own preferences, as well. For that, there is a lot of beauty to be found in the vast variety of shamans and their various methods of healing — one shaman may be perfect for one person but not-so-great for another.

Some shamans work a lot with stones and crystals, while others focus on rhythm and chanting. Some shamans personally train clients to embark on their own shamanic journeys, and others journey alone. Some work one-on-one, while others work in a group setting. There are also shamans who specialize in specific fields such as addictions, PTSD, soul-retrieval, and energy balance.

In order to get the most out of shamanic healing, the right client must be matched to the right shaman.

Qualities

It is of great importance to note that although someone has the title of “shaman,” this does not automatically make them a patron saint of ethics or a supernatural, God/Goddess-like being. Someone can claim that they are a shaman but that does not always mean they have had proper training or are working in integrity. Below are some positive shamanistic qualities to look out for:

  • They are humble — a real shaman does not walk around as if they are a rock star;
  • They are trustworthy;
  • They do not push personal boundaries;
  • They let you come to them, they will not pursue you to sit in Ceremony with them (it is common in South America for “shamans” to approach tourists on the streets and offer them Ceremony; this, typically, is not coming from a genuine Healer or Medicine person);
  • They accept you as you are, without even the slightest hint of judgment;
  • They possess a playful, peaceful demeanor;
  • They are of pure spirit.

However, it is primarily about whether or not one feels good and comfortable around the shaman.

Qualifications and Training

As there are no formal standards to becoming a shamanic healer, it is important that the shaman can provide positive feedback from her/his other clients. As well, they should be able to tell a genuine story of how they became a shaman and be willing to discuss how they learn from the spirit realm.

For example, if a shaman wishes to do a soul-retrieval, but has no prior history of training or can’t explain how they learned soul-retrieval from the spirit realm, they perhaps have not been fully trained to perform this higher-level task.

Personal Intuition

Above all else, it is advised to listen to your intuition. If something feels off with a shaman, it probably is — listen to that. If in the depth of your being everything feels right, you have found your shaman.

Let the journeying — and most profoundly, the healing — commence.


Below are characteristics of someone who may find it  appropriate to explore shamanic healing:

  • Possesses a strong desire to create more meaningful relationships with oneself, others, nature, and the spirit world;
  • Is ready to move forward beyond old thought patterns, limiting belief systems, and unhealthy habits that no longer serve them;
  • Is ready to dig deep down and willing to seek genuine self-inquiry into order to move into a greater self;
  • Wants to create real, positive, and lasting change within themselves but feels somehow “blocked” and wishes for guidance on how to move forward;
  • If one chooses the plant medicine route, they are willing and able to fully surrender to the experience and trust that they will be guided to exactly where they need to be;
  • Is willing to put forth the effort needed to fully integrate new wisdom and healing;
  • Is patient and willing to take the time that may be needed to heal.

If you believe that shamanic healing may be the answer you’ve been searching for, then you may want to consider experiencing sacred Ceremony in Cusco Peru with our Ceremonial Team.

Shamanic Healing Experience

The Seven Sacred Ceremonies

Ceremonial Immersion for Life Healing in Cusco Peru

 

 
Spiritual Journey to Machu Picchu

Spiritual Journey to Machu Picchu & Aya Vision Ceremony


Natasha Wanderly | Writer

Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying ancient hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Her mission is to connect with many hearts, walk in many shoes, and help people to understand their value. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1.) Be here 2.) Be love.

Please connect with her at www.lucidadventures.com

This article was originally published on the MindValley blog : Shamanic Healing: What Is Shamanism And How Can It Heal You? and was edited and republished with the Author's permission.

More in this series on Shamanic Healing:

The Causes of Depression & Illness | A Shamanic Perspective

The Basics of Ayahuasca | Plant Medicine Ceremony

Shamanic Healing | Methods & Practices

Plant Medicine Can Alleviate Depression, Anxiety, & Addiction

Why People Don't Heal and How They Can

 

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

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, 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!

After the Fire — How will I choose to live my life?

Chloë Rain
Burning the Boats
Growth is the willingness to let reality be new every moment, surrender is being alert to exactly what is happening now, we find our path not by thinking, feeling, or doing, but through surrender, surrender reveals the impulses of spirit beneath the mask of ego, any desire to grow is following the flow of love, if we block our desires we block our natural avenue of growth.
— Deepak Chopra

There is an experience I've heard of when people experience a complete loss, due to a fire. When they lose their home and all of their belongings, many people recover quickly, and many people never recover. There is a distinct difference in the way these "two sets of people" experience in their loss, before the fire and after the fire, the only difference between their similar experience is how they deal with the emotionality of the aftermath.

The balance of their life and existence become determined by a choice— how will they live their life after the fire? What remains is a choice of how to respond.  

How will I live my life? How will I choose to experience this loss of everything I once was, in order to go on?

Burning the Boats (A Spiritual Practice)

A particular irreversible action can be a point of no return, but the point of no return can also be a calculated point during a continuous action.

To Burn one's boats alludes to certain famous incidents where a commander, having landed in a hostile country, ordered his men to destroy their ships, so that they would have to conquer the country or be killed. 

"Break the kettles and sink the boats" This is an ancient Chinese saying, which refers to Xiang Yu's order at the Battle of Julu (207 BC); by fording a river and destroying all means of re-crossing it, he committed his army to a struggle to the end with the Qin and eventually achieved victory. Wikipedia references to the Point of No Return.

Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached. The point of no return is the point beyond which one must continue on his or her current course of action because turning back is physically impossible.

So often, along my own personal journey I felt empty. I felt lost. I experienced a lot of fear, and this caused me great pain. I pondered the people who give it all up, relinquish all personal possessions, find themselves on some spiritual journey in a foreign land, and dedicated their daily life and energies to the search within themselves. What happens to "these people"?

Something inside of me was broken, broken open, broke to the point of not being able to put it back together again.

Now I understand how one finds them selves contemplating this existence, because at the core of life, there is death, no one escapes this end, and if we are not to escape death, and do not know when it comes for us, then how shall we spend our lives? The breath in your lungs, the blood in your veins, all this energy expended on doing and gathering and saving up for the end?

I simply realized that no matter what I thought and what I had proclaimed about myself, I had to let go of everything I once was in order to move on.

Everything I had always identified myself to be, the stories I told myself about my entire adult life, the person, the things, the qualities of my personality, my relationships to others, my relationship to myself, all died and ceased to exist, and now are completely transformed

The pain and the grieving, and the clutching, clinging, and posturing to hold on to a particular self image was painful. But who was causing this pain? I was. And why?

I decided to let go.

It appears, that a fundamental problem of life is resistance to experience. Logically the solution to this problem is to become willing to experience what we experience, and that tiny little thing is so incredibly simple yet so difficult that most people are content to live in the world of non-experience, of drama, of shadow.

When we experience what we are experiencing, we line ourselves up with what actually is. We stop pretending that it isn’t. This is the source of much power in our lives. Masters are people who allow themselves and others to be the way they are. Accepting what is real is also the source of creativity. When we line ourselves up with what is true within ourselves, it seems to open us up to more truth. And what better thing could life be about than opening up ourselves to more power, clarity, truth, and love?

"You must let go, in order to go on."

A personal note from me: There is something about sitting in nature that is truly healing. In the beginning of my personal journey, I would go regularly to the beach near my house and sit on the ground, even in the cold of the Pacific Northwest winter, until I felt whole, secure, grounded, and at peace with the state of my life and my existence in the world. I wondered if I could go and sit for a year under a tree like Siddhārtha Gautama and grow a long beard and perhaps then I would be happy and find enlightenment. In my case I sat by a large body of water, melted into the sand, and didn't wear mascara for a year, my hair became long again, and happiness became real.

It is difficult, but not impossible.

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

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, 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!

Opening to a New Possibility

InspiringChloë RainComment
Opening to the New

Imagine you have internal tides just like the sea.

Most of us, live our lives so disconnected from our internal guidance that when the pull of our hearts becomes so strong, and the voice inside has been muffled for so long, the feeling that arises within us feels more like a life crisis than an emergence into something more beautiful. 

Its difficult to trust that you will be provided for, that in fact the Universe does have a master plan and included you in this plan and you in fact do play an important role in the Universe.

We do live on Earth after all and are made up of 75% water, so imagine that you are influenced by all the amazing forces at work here in our Universe, even the ones we have yet to understand or have the awareness to see. You experience cycles just like the Earth and the moon, though most of us do not realize how our internal states of being are influenced by the energies at hand. Often we feel confused, restless, stuck, or even powerless to change our mindset and state of being.

The Full Moon tonight provides us with an opportunity to take the time to release our fears and surrender into new intentions for ourselves. This past weekend we experienced the Summer Solstice (June 20-21), physically we are experiencing more *light*  right now and since the beginning of time, our ancestors have marked this period with ritual and celebration. As you know, there are thousands of ancient sites created around solstices and equinoxes that were built to honor our connection to the Sun as the source of our light and life force.

Now is a time of celebrating the fullness of life and of taking the time to raise our energy to regenerate abundance and manifest our dreams, because in the visions of our dreams is the guidance of our Master plan.

Connecting with our deeper desires, does not involve knowing the answers to all of our questions, because it's only in not knowing that we can be truly receptive and it's only in being receptive that we can truly discover, learn, and evolve.

When we shift into wonder and curiosity, there is an opening to a deeper wisdom. Our feminine power, is a shift from the masculine energy, where not knowing could be seen as weakness or being powerless, to our feminine way of being, where wonder and curiosity are the ultimate source of power and strength. 

In sharing our vulnerability, and learning the practice of unknowing and non-attachment to the outcome we are allowing a new possibility of feminine energy and natural flow into our lives.

I would invite you to do something symbolic to honor your life in the next few days, perhaps, light a candle and say a blessing for your life and the life force living in your body.  Make a commitment to go within and be silent each day to let your internal guidance know that you are listening and intend to have open lines of communication from here on out. Let your Inner Voice know that she in fact has a very important role in your life and you're going to be listening a lot more and intend to be IN-joy.  

Do something fun, be playful. Invite in your own Divine Spirit to come a play for a while. Its summer time after all.....

Knowing yourself is the the beginning of all wisdom.

You may find yourself asking "Where do I start? How do I begin?" Begin with answering the call within, listening to the voice of your Inner Guidance.

Fear of change is normal, but there are ways to learn to overcome your fears and start acting on the guidance within that will lead you to your happiest life and natural way of being in the world.

This is the time you do something amazing.

Move from mundane to extraordinary. 

 
Authentic Ayahuasca Retreats

The Seven Sacred Ceremonies

Advanced Ceremonial Immersions for Life Healing

 
Rather than be confronted with an overwhelming proof of the limitations of our understanding, we accuse our dreams of not making sense.
— Erich Fromm
Chloë Rain is a Spiritual Guide & Visionary. She is the the Founder of Explore Deeply and the Explore Deeply Movement.

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, 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!

The Basics of Ayahuasca | Plant Medicine Ceremony

Ceremony, Healing, Rituals, ShamanismChloë RainComment
jeremy-bishop-556948-unsplash.jpg

One must feel called — not pressured — to participate in a plant medicine ceremony. They must be ready to make a change in their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual lives by applying what they have learned during their ceremony, meaning that these plant medicines are to be taken seriously, with great intention, and not dosed recreationally. One must also be ready to completely surrender to the plant and let it take them where they need to go; the plant spirit always knows exactly what one most needs to see, feel, hear, experience, and thus, learn.

Since these plants are so powerful, they are oftentimes looked at by shamanic cultures as Spiritual beings. Many common shamanic plant medicines include, but are certainly not limited to: Ayahuasca, Iboga, San Pedro cactus, psychedelic mushrooms (though not exactly a plant), Salvia, and Peyote cactus.

To give a brief overview and an example of what a plant medicine ceremony is, we will discuss the most currently popular of these plant medicines, Ayahuasca.

Ayahuasca

Unlike any other sacred plant medicine, Ayahuasca is comprised of two separate plants: the chacruna leaf (Psychotria viridis) and the Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi). Alone, neither of these plants produce medicinal nor entheogenic properties. However, when combined, they work together and become a very powerful and sacred medicine.

Both of these plants are found in the Amazon rainforest in South America. Astonishingly, in this particular rainforest, there are over 80,000 cataloged leafy plant species. Yet, somehow, the psychopharmacologists of the Amazon (the shamanic healers) knew exactly which two unsuspecting plant species would create such a magical and psychoactive medicine when combined.

The history of Ayahuasca use dates so far back that anthropologists and researchers have yet been able to trace its origins; however, the shamans claim that the plants, themselves, told them during a Middle World shamanic journey.

The plants are collected from the jungle and brewed into a sacred tea. The tea, when taken ceremonially, throws open the gates to the spirit realm and reveals mystical, non-ordinary worlds that are unperceivable in ordinary consciousness.

Currently, the use of this brew has positively evolved to reach more and more people; now, any interested person can experience the extraordinary healing power of Ayahuasca.

Unfortunately, many Western cultures have yet been able to fully understand the healing and medicinal properties of this unique plant substance. For that, it is illegal in many countries. Yet, it is not only legal but highly praised in it’s birthplace: the Amazonian countries of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Brazil. In these countries, foreigners have the opportunity to partake in an Ayahuasca ceremony with a trained shaman.

It is during these ceremonies that participants are able to face the root causes of their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual illnesses head-on and delve deep into the healing process by allowing the spirit of Ayahuasca to take them on a journey to these realms of non-ordinary consciousness. Within these realms, deep-seeded issues that have long been hidden within one’s subconscious mind are revealed to them.

Mother Ayahuasca, as the plant spirit is often referred to (due to it’s feminine and mother-like qualities), will always teach the participant precisely what they most need to learn in order to fully, truly heal themselves.

An Ayahuasca Ceremony

As specific traditions within Ayahuasca ceremonies will vary from shaman to shaman, these following customs generally remain the same:

Preparation — Ayahuasca diet

Ayahuasca is a total spirit, mind, and body cleanse; for that, a special diet (or dieta, as it is commonly referred to in South America), is required.

Usually, during the first half of a ceremony, there is a fair amount of purging; from either or both ends. This is because Ayahuasca is purifying the physical body of heavy energy before it moves on to mental, emotional, and spiritual body purification.

A great way to lesson, or, in some cases, completely avoid, the purging process is to begin the purification process the week before the ceremony. Specific dietas vary, but usually require one to abstain from sex, drugs, alcohol, pork, coffee, and chocolate. In some cases, dietas even require the absence of salt, meat, spice, and sugar.

If the diet is followed properly, one is sure to reap the benefits soon after the tea is ingested. Plus, it is considered respectful to follow a dieta prior to sitting in Ayahuasca Ceremony.

The Ceremony

Each shaman has their own personal way of setting up the ceremonial area. However, ceremonies are typically held just after sunset in a safe, relaxing, and comfortable environment, most notably within high energy places on the land.

Authentic and safe ceremonies, are small groups of participants, 2 to 7, and one shaman and their apprentices sit during a ceremony, all of whom ingest the brew. The shaman creates a very open and safe space by setting up an altar, and playing soothing music. He or she will also clear and protect the energy of the space by filling the room of, and blowing onto the crown each participant, a form of sacred tobacco called “Mapacho,” as pictured above.

Then, the shaman suggests that each person set an intention for their journey, whether that be to surface past wounds or to learn self-love. The group then prays together and gives thanks to Mother Ayahuasca.

Finally, one by one, each participant drinks the brew and begins to journey. . .

Once the medicine kicks in, the shaman will begin to sing icaros, or shaman songs, which help to intensify the medicine and further protect the energy of the room.

The Return

Ayahuasca typically lasts around 5 hours. As everyone in the ceremony begins to return to waking, conscious reality, the shaman will again use Mapacho to clear the energy of the space and ground each individual.

The floor will then be open for sharing and heartfelt communion.

Afterward, each participant can personally discuss their experience with the shaman, who will then help to integrate their experience to this physical reality and provide advice on how to incorporate their newly discovered wisdom into their lives for optimal healing.


Natasha Wanderly | Writer

Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying ancient hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Her mission is to connect with many hearts, walk in many shoes, and help people to understand their value. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1.) Be here 2.) Be love.

Please connect with her at www.lucidadventures.com

This article was originally published on the MindValley blog : Shamanic Healing: What Is Shamanism And How Can It Heal You? and was edited and republished with the Author's permission.


 
Plant Medicine Ceremonies Ayahuasca Retreats

The Seven Sacred Ceremonies

Advanced Plant Medicine Ceremonial Immersions

 
Authentic Ayahuasca Retreat Peru

Aya Vision Ceremony & Spiritual Journey to Machu Picchu

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

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, 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!

Shamanic Healing | Methods & Practices

Healing, Shamanism, Shamanic Drum JourneyGuest WriterComment
Shamanic Healing Techniques

Albeit an ancient practice, an increasing number of people are currently turning to shamanic practices to support their well-being. As Healers or Medicine people exist in nearly all cultures, their exact customs vary, but the essence of what they do remains the same. They act as a sort of conduit or an intermediary, by merging with the spirit realm and connecting with helping spirits to channel energies and wisdom in order to aid in healing individuals in the physical plane.

The helping spirits of the healer are able to diagnose the cause (since they are spirit, they can easily see all that is happening on the spiritual level) of an illness, give insight, and then help to facilitate the required treatment for healing. For that, during a shamanic healing ceremony, the shaman may go on a shamanic journey to retrieve this energy and information — journeying in the Spirit realm is at the core of a shamanic healing session. Many shamans may also use energy medicines or energy work in order to integrate the healing offered in the journey, and to locate and release blockages, and increase the body’s ability to heal.

What typically happens in a shamanic healing session?

Please keep in mind that, as this is a cross cultural practice, specific customs vary. Every Healer is unique, but there are a few elements that generally remain the same.

Setting

A typical healing session can take place inside or outdoors, it is of the client’s preference; whichever way, the area must be quiet, safe, and relaxing. A “sacred space” is created. This space is dedicated to opening, releasing, and healing. Effects such as a candle display, incense or palo santo (holy wood) burning, an altar with crystals or special stones, soothing music, and a comfortable place to lie down on are usually included.

Open Conversation with Shaman

The first thing that will happen is an open discussion between the client and the shaman; for this, the shaman will hold a respectable, non-judgmental space. They may discuss the client’s history, and/or how their soul is feeling at the present moment. The shaman will inspire and encourage the client to dig deeper into their story and really open up as they both hunt for truth and healing potential.

These conversations are usually effortless and productive, as the shaman is trained in fostering and nurturing that safe space, and the client is willing to be transparent in order to heal.

Energetic Work

Next, they move into the ceremonial work. At this time, the client can lie on their back, wearing loose and comfortable clothing. The shaman will then assess their various energy centers (usually found along the 7 chakras of the body). At this point, the shaman can sense where unnecessary energy is being stored, where stagnant energy can be released, and where empowering energy can be placed.

The Shamanic Journey

When the energy work is complete, the shaman will then describe to the client what they may experience during the following part of the session: tingling and warming sensations, meditative-like states of consciousness, an emotional release, and/or the energy of the spiritual communion itself.

The shaman is then ready to access non-ordinary reality, and proceeds to induce a trance (theta brainwave state) via rhythmic percussion (generally using a drum and/or rattle).

Then, there are the shamanic journeys…

Within a shamanic journey, the shaman connects with his or her spirit helpers/guides and travels through the 3 different worlds (as mentioned previously) in search of wisdom and healing for the client.

While in this non-physical trance, the shaman may also do either hands-on or hands-off energy work, by channeling energy from the spirit world and moving it throughout the client’s body accordingly.

This portion of the ceremony typically lasts about an hour.

The Return

Once the shaman has returned from their journey, they are again ready to hold space for discussion. Here, they will discuss with the client what was experienced (on both ends), what wisdom and advice was gifted to them from the spirit realm, and what the client can then begin implementing differently in their lives in order to heal.

Integration: an Essential Step

Following a shamanic healing session, many deeply rooted energies have been shifted. Therefore, for the days, weeks, and even months following the session, it is advised that clients take special note of how they are feeling — they can do this by keeping a journal to keep track of progress for future insight and guidance.

The client will normally feel changes and shifts in their energy, and need not fret, for this is all part of the healing process — toxins that have long been stored in one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual body have been released, as well as unhealthy habitual thinking. It is the shaman’s greatest advice to listen to and accept the energetic changes one may feel following a session; any discomfort will pass and new, vibrant, life energy will take its place.

For the following months after a session, the shaman may check in with the client to see how everything is enfolding for them and to offer any comfort and/or additional guidance that may be needed.

 

Healing With Sacred Plants in Ceremony

Although the healing is still done from the very core of one’s being (the spirit), this second healing practice differs quite greatly from a typical healing session as the client goes on a spiritual journey.

With much relaxation and deep meditative techniques, non-ordinary realms can be accessed organically using the same trance-inducing methods as shamans.

However, there is another route one can take to achieve this healing and access these non-ordinary states: plant medicines. The difference is that the plant serves as a conduit into the Spirit realm, and each plant has it’s own unique way of touring these worlds.

In recent years, the curiosity of many people in the Western world about indigenous cultures and their plant medicines have peaked. This recent attention, however, has been accompanied by the misperception of the medicine, the experience provided, and its immense healing properties.

In shamanic culture, these plants, although entheogenic, are not considered a drug; rather, they are considered highly respected and sacred medicines. Shamans believe that these plant medicines are deeply connected to the Spirit, or Source, and can easily show us to these non-ordinary realms where great knowledge can be attained, growth can be accelerated, and true healing can take place.

That being so, these plant medicines are to be ingested and experienced in a ceremonial context, and with a trained shaman. The shaman’s job during one of these ceremonies is to join the client in his or her journey, hold a safe space, guide, protect, and intervene if needed. The Shaman also helps the client to later interpret, understand, and integrate their experience.

One must feel called — not pressured — to participate in a plant medicine ceremony. They must be ready to make a change in their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual lives by applying what they have learned during their ceremony, meaning that these plant medicines are to be taken seriously, with great intention, and not dosed recreationally. One must also be ready to completely surrender to the plant and let it take them where they need to go; the plant spirit always knows exactly what one most needs to see, feel, hear, experience, and thus, learn.

Since these plants are so powerful, they are oftentimes looked at by shamanic cultures as Spiritual beings. Many common shamanic plant medicines include, but are certainly not limited to: Ayahuasca, Iboga, San Pedro cactus, psychedelic mushrooms (though not exactly a plant), Salvia, and Peyote cactus.

Read more about Plant Medicine Ceremony:

The Basics of Ayahuasca | Plant Medicine Ceremony


Natasha Wanderly | Writer

Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying ancient hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Her mission is to connect with many hearts, walk in many shoes, and help people to understand their value. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1.) Be here 2.) Be love.

Please connect with her at www.lucidadventures.com

This article was originally published on the MindValley blog : Shamanic Healing: What Is Shamanism And How Can It Heal You? and was edited and republished with the Author's permission.


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

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, 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!

The Causes of Depression & Illness | A Shamanic Perspective

ShamanismGuest WriterComment
The Causes of Depression | Shamanic Perspective

How Do Shamans Perceive Illness?

With life, there is suffering in the form of illness. We believe that is it microbes, viruses, bacteria, and injuries that cause our physical bodies illness. In the same respect, we believe that it is primarily an imbalance of brain chemistry that causes mental and emotional illness, such as depression, addiction, and so on.

Shamans, on the other hand, perceive these as the effects. They believe that, for true healing, one cannot simply mask and suppress these effects, or symptoms, with medication — they believe that we must address the root cause. The root cause is something far beyond viruses, bacteria, and brain chemistry; the root cause comes from the internal, non-physical realm: the spirit.

The 3 Causes of Illness

From a shamanistic perspective, there are 3 classic causes of mental, emotional, and physical illness:

DISHARMONY (OR LOSS OF POWER)

Disharmony, or the loss of personal power loss, oftentimes occurs when someone has lost an important connection to life, or when life seems to lose it’s meaning. This can happen either subtly or catastrophically; either way, we experience a loss of livelihood and meaning, and experience disempowerment in the process. This loss of will, or life power, strongly and directly affects our energetic matrix, and can cause us to become quite vulnerable to illness.

A common, yet tragic, example of this is when there is an elderly couple who have spent most of their lives together and one of them dies. The survivor oftentimes goes into a life crisis upon the loss and, shortly after, incurs an illness (such as cancer) and dies — that’s disharmony.

FEAR

Fear is the most common cause of illness. Fear is responsible for emotions such as anxiety, stress, anger, jealousy, etc. Scientists and researchers also heavily agree that when these stress-producing hormones are present, they quickly begin to disintegrate the protective mantle of the body’s immune system, as well as it’s overall energetic matrix. Illness, as a result, is inevitable.

Half a century ago, the Renaissance physician, Paracelsus, honorably noted that “the fear of disease is more dangerous than the disease itself.” Shaman’s would surely agree with Paracelsus’ findings.

SOUL LOSS

Soul loss is the most extreme — yet, sadly, still common — cause of illness; in fact, it is the most serious diagnosis and a major cause of severe illness and even premature death.

Soul loss is most often experienced after a traumatic experience takes place, such as fighting in a war (an all-too-common trigger of PTSD), a bitter divorce, or intense bullying. In some cases, these experiences can be so shattering that one’s soul can begin to fragment and dissociate. In the most extreme and overwhelming cases, these soul parts get too far lost and fail to return.

We have heard people say things like, “I have not been the same since the incident,” or “a part of me died that day.” These remarks are red flags for soul loss. As well, the following symptoms are also commonly present:

  • Feeling “not all here,” or fragmented
  • Blocked memory
  • Emotional distance, or complete apathy
  • A lack of joy, motivation, or enthusiasm
  • Addiction
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Chronic depression and negativity

This all may seem a bit heavy, that’s okay. The point of all this talk about suffering is to enlighten about possible healing methods — not the traditional pill-form “healing” methods that only mask the symptoms, but real healing methods that nurture and mend the root of the problem: the wounded spirit. Learn more about soul loss and soul retrieval → here.

What Is Shamanic Healing?

In the shamanic perspective, true healing — spiritual healing — cannot be done on a physical level. Healing means to return to wholeness, and returning to wholeness is purely an inside job. Spiritual healing addresses the root — the spiritual — problems that cause dis-ease.

It is important to note that shamans believe that despite their great accessibility to the spirit realm, all healing is self-healing. A shamanic healer knows how to move and manipulate the energy of another’s body and can pass wisdom through from the spirit realm, but true healing must take place inside the spirit of the individual.

In other words, a person must be willing and ready to take full responsibility for his or her own healing—  there is no magic pill that lies outside of one’s spiritual body. A shaman can be an outstanding tutor, but will not give all of the answers. It is also important to note that shamanic healing is not to be a substitute for conventional medical or psychological services, but is to instead be worked with adjunct to.


Natasha Wanderly | Writer

Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying ancient hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Her mission is to connect with many hearts, walk in many shoes, and help people to understand their value. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1.) Be here 2.) Be love.

Please connect with her at www.lucidadventures.com

This article was originally published on the MindValley blog : Shamanic Healing: What Is Shamanism And How Can It Heal You? and was edited and republished with the Author's permission.



wilson-ye-128679-unsplash.jpg

The Seven Sacred Ceremonies

Advanced Ceremonial Immersions for Life Healing & Vision

 

Learn More about Soul Loss and Soul Retrieval here:

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

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, 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!

Five Beautiful Rituals to Celebrate Summer Solstice

Ceremony, Rituals, Spiritual SignificanceGuest Writer

Summer solstice 2018 in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 6:07 AM EST on Thursday June 21, 2018.

Summer Solstice Rituals

The Solstice signifies the time when Mother Earth is at the fullness of her strength, fertility, and abundance, so we too can celebrate the strength in joining together, pollinate our spiritual consciousness through sharing, and becoming ceremonies of thanksgiving for the abundance that which we experience daily.

Creating a ceremony or celebration is a way for humans to give back to Creation some of the energy and blessings that we are always receiving. Mother Earth constantly provides for all of us with her incredible bounty, and the Sun’s warmth provides the light necessary for all living beings to thrive and prosper.

The Summer Solstice is a time to reflect on the growth of the season. Seeds are planted in the Earth as well as the seeds of our souls. It’s a time of cleansing and renewal, a time of Love and growth. This is the moment of our year when there is the most LIGHT available to us. In terms of consciousness, it is when we are the most present to ourselves and who we know ourselves to be --- the Sun represents the “I am” consciousness.

The word “Solstice” is derived from the Latin words Sol+systere, meaning “Sun”+ “standing still.”  The Summer Solstice is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Following this Solstice, the days get shorter, the nights longer.

Fire is used symbolically throughout summer solstice celebrations in praise of the sun, to bring luck and to ward off the darkness.  And the spiral is also a symbol associated with the Solstices. Ancient dances would follow the Sun’s movement like a spiral, people joined hands weaving through the streets, winding into a decreasing spiral into the middle then unwinding back out again. The Sun moving from contraction at the center of the spiral at winter solstice to expansion at Summer Solstice and back again. Festivals in North still continue to dance and play, holding hands in formation of a spiral.

Many traditions throughout time have celebrated the Solstices — Ancient Egypt, and Aztecs of Mexico, Chinese, Chumash Indians of California, Indigenous Europeans. And western civilizations have for centuries celebrated this first day of summer often called Midsummer (see Shakespeare), or St. John’s Day. The Chinese mark the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light. Throughout history, with so much light being showered upon the Earth on this day, it’s been known as one of the most powerful days of the year for spiritual growth and healing.

Summer Solstice Stone Hedge

To this day, revellers still gather at Stonehenge to see the sun rise. The Heel Stone and Slaughter Stone, set outside the main circle, align with the rising sun.  And many of the ancient traditions continue - Bonfires are still lit to celebrate the Sun at its height of power and to ask the Sun not to withdraw into winter darkness.

In North America, many Native American tribes held ritual dances to honor the sun. The Sioux were known to hold one of the most spectacular rituals- The Sun Dance. Usually performed during the June solstice, preparations for the Sun Dance included cutting and raising a tree that would be considered a visible connection between the heavens and Earth, and setting up teepees in a circle to represent the cosmos. Participants abstained from food and drink during the dance itself. Their bodies were decorated in the symbolic colors of red (sunset), blue (sky), yellow (lightning), white (light), and black (night).

 

Some rituals to celebrate Summer Solstice:

1)  As our ancestors did, celebrate by gathering of plants and healing herbs, its long been believed that they are at their most potent today. Five common Celtic sacred plants associated with Midsummer are St. John’s Wort, Vervain, Yarrow, Fern, and Mugwort.

2)  Gather with others to create a circle or spiral.  Exchange songs, stories, and poems with others.  Dance, drum and celebrate.

3) Create a Sun Wheel or mandala (a symbol of the circle of life and connectedness) made from flowers or things found in nature.

4) Keep a sacred fire burning. You can create a big fire like a bonfire to celebrate with friends, but even a small fire, in the form of a candle or Altar of Light can be just as potent.

5) Make a Prayer Stick or Prayer Tree and place specific prayers for those who need healing on it. Make a prayer for the return to peace where there is no peace, for abundance in areas of the world where there is now poverty and scarcity.

Do all or any of the above with an intention for something that you will do to improve life –  bring light and love into this world in your own creative way and begin to carry it out.

Wishing you abundance and ligh this Summer Solstice!


As the Sun spirals its longest Dance
Cleanse Us
As nature shows bounty and fertility
Bless Us
Let all things live with loving intent
And to fulfill their truest destiny
summer solstice 2016

Authentic Ayahuasca Retreats

The Seven Sacred Ceremonies

Advanced Ceremonional Immersions for Life Healing

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

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, 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!

Plant Medicine Can Alleviate Depression, Anxiety, & Addiction

Healing, Life LessonsGuest WriterComment
The New Science of Psychedelics- Plant Medicine Can Alleviate Depression
There is such a sense of authority that comes out of the primary mystical experience that it can be threatening to existing hierarchical structures. We ended up demonizing these compounds. Can you think of another area of science regarded as so dangerous and taboo that all research gets shut down for decades? It’s unprecedented in modern science.
— The Trip Treatment | Michael Pollan

Recent Studies are finding that drugs such as LSD and psilocybin can help to alleviate depression, anxiety, and addiction and may have profound things to teach us about how the mind works.

The studies of psilocybin describe a "complete mystical experience" and measured feelings of unity, sacredness, ineffability, peace and joy, as well as the impression of having transcended space and time and the “noetic sense” that the experience has disclosed some objective truth about reality. A “complete” mystical experience is one that exhibits all six characteristics. One scientist believes that the long-term effectiveness of psilocybin is due to its ability to occasion such a transformative experience, but not by changing the brain’s long-term chemistry, as a conventional psychiatric drug like Prozac does.

Michael Pollan On The 'New Science' Of Psychedelics

Michael Pollan, author of 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' and 'The Botany of Desire,' talks about his new book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. It covers the history of psychedelic drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms, and how they're now being used experimentally in therapeutic settings, to treat depression, addiction, and fear of death. Pollan also talks about his own experience experimenting with psychedelics.

They were saying things like ‘I understand love is the most powerful force on the planet,’ or ‘I had an encounter with my cancer, this black cloud of smoke.’

People who had been palpably scared of death—they lost their fear. The fact that a drug given once can have such an effect for so long is an unprecedented finding.

We have never had anything like it in the psychiatric field.

Interview Highlights

On how the psychedelic psilocybin is administered in therapy for depression

The way [psilocybin is] being used is in a very controlled or guided setting. ... They don't just give you a pill and send you home; you're in a room. You're with two guides, one male, one female. You're lying down on a comfortable couch. You're wearing headphones listening to a really carefully curated playlist of music — instrumental compositions for the most part — and you're wearing eyeshades, all of which is to encourage a very inward journey.

Someone is kind of looking out for you, and they prepare you very carefully in advance. They give you a set of "flight instructions," as they call them, which is what to do if you get really scared or you're beginning to have a bad trip. If you see a monster, for example, don't try to run away. Walk right up to it, plant your feet and say, "What do you have to teach me? What are you doing in my mind?" And if you do that, according to the flight instructions, your fear will morph into something much more positive very quickly.

On how psychedelics can help change the stories we tell about ourselves

The drugs foster new perspectives on old problems. One of the things our mind does is tell stories about ourselves. If you're depressed, you're being told a story perhaps that you're worthless, that no one could possibly love you, you're not worthy of love, that life will not get better. And these stories — which are enforced by our egos really — trap us in these ruminative loops that are very hard to get out of. They're very destructive patterns of thought.

What the drugs appear to do is disable for a period of time the part of the brain where the self talks to itself. It's called the default mode network, and it's a group of structures that connect parts of the cortex — the evolutionarily most recent part of the brain — to deeper levels where emotion and memory reside. And it's a very important hub in the brain and lots of important things happen there: self-reflection and rumination, time travel. It's where we go to think about the future or the past, and theory of mind, the ability to imagine the mental states of other beings and, I think, most importantly, the autobiographical self. It's the part of the brain, it appears, where we incorporate things that happen to us, new information, with a sense of who we are, who we were and who we want to be. And that's where these stories get generated. And these stories can be really destructive, they trap us. ...

This network is downregulated [with psychedelics], it sort of goes offline for a period of time. And that's why you experience this dissolution of self or ego, which can be a terrifying or liberating thing, depending on your mindset. This is what allows people, I think, to have those new perspectives on themselves, to realize that they needn't be trapped in those stories and they might actually be able to write some new stories about themselves. That's what's liberating, I think, about the experience when it works.

A follow-up study found that the psilocybin experience also had a positive and lasting effect on the personality of most participants. 

This is a striking result, since the conventional wisdom in psychology holds that personality is usually fixed by age thirty and thereafter is unlikely to substantially change. But more than a year after their psilocybin sessions volunteers who had had the most complete mystical experiences showed significant increases in their “openness,” one of the five domains that psychologists look at in assessing personality traits. (The others are conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.) 

Openness, which encompasses aesthetic appreciation, imagination, and tolerance of others’ viewpoints, is a good predictor of creativity.

The Trip Treatment | Michael Pollan

On how psychedelics can help dying people face their deaths

Prozac doesn't help when you're confronting your mortality. But here we have something that occasions an experience in people — a mystical experience — that somehow makes it easier to let go. And I think some of it has to do with the fact that you do experience the "extinction" of yourself and it's kind of a rehearsal for death. And I think that may be part of what helps people, that they expand their sense of what is your self-interest and your self-interest is something larger than what is contained by your skin. And when you have that recognition, I think dying becomes a little easier.

There's no way to prove this, obviously, and it's a question that really troubled me as an old-fashioned materialist skeptical journalist. It's like, "What if these drugs are inducing an illusion in people?" I got a variety of answers to that question from the researchers. One was, "Who cares if it helps them?" And I can see the point of that. The other was, "Hey, this is beyond my pay grade; none of us know what happens after we die." And others say, "Well, this is an open frontier." ...

The experiences that people have are very real to them — they're psychological facts. And one of the really interesting qualities of psychedelic experience is that the insights you have on them have a durability ... This isn't just an opinion, this is revealed truth, so the confidence people have is hard to shake, actually.

On a Johns Hopkins study on the use of psilocybin to help people quit smoking

Smoking is a very hard addiction to break. It's one of the hardest addictions to break. [I wanted to understand] how, after a single psilocybin trip, they could decide "I'm never going to smoke again" based on the perspective they had achieved. And they would say things like, "Well, I had this amazing experience. I died three times. I sprouted wings. I flew through European histories. I beheld all these wonders. I saw my body on a funeral pyre on the Ganges. And I realized, the universe is so amazing and there's so much to do in it that killing myself seemed really stupid." And that was the insight. Yes, killing yourself is really stupid — but it had an authority it had never had. And that, I think, is the gift of these psychedelics.

The success rate is striking. Twelve subjects, all of whom had tried to quit multiple times, using various methods, were verified as abstinent six months after treatment, a success rate of eighty per cent. 

(Currently, the leading cessation treatment is nicotine-replacement therapy; a recent review article in the BMJ—formerly the _British Medical Journal—_reported that the treatment helped smokers remain abstinent for six months in less than seven per cent of cases.) 

In the Hopkins study, subjects underwent two or three psilocybin sessions and a course of cognitive-behavioral therapy to help them deal with cravings. 

The psychedelic experience seems to allow many subjects to reframe, and then break, a lifelong habit. 

“Smoking seemed irrelevant, so I stopped,” one subject told me.

The Trip Treatment | Michael Pollan

On his own experience tripping on mushrooms

I had an experience that was by turns frightening and ecstatic and weird. ... I found myself in this place where I could no longer control my perceptions at all, and I felt my sense of self scatter to the wind — almost as if a pile of post-its had been released to the wind — but I was fine with it. I didn't feel any desire to pile the papers back together into my customary self ...

Then I looked out and saw myself spread over the landscape like a coat of paint or butter. I was outside myself, beside myself, literally, and the consciousness that beheld this ... was not my normal consciousness, it was completely unperturbed. It was dispassionate. It was content, as I watched myself dissolve over the landscape.

What I brought back from that experience was that I'm not identical to my ego, that there is another ground on which to plant our feet and that our ego is kind of this character that is chattering neurotically in our minds. And it's good for lots of things. I mean, the ego got the book written, but it also can be very harsh, and it's liberating to have some distance on it. And that was a great gift, I think.

I felt my sense of self scatter to the wind — almost as if a pile of post-its had been released to the wind — but I was fine with it. I didn’t feel any desire to pile the papers back together into my customary self...
— Michael Pollan
 

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

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, 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!

Why People Don't Heal and How They Can

Healing, Life LessonsGuest WriterComment
Why People Dont Heal and How They Can

By CAROLINE MYSS, PH.D.
Harmony Books | Excerpt first appeared in the NY Times Books


WOUNDOLOGY AND THE HEALING FIRE

In the late spring of 1988, I arrived at the Findhorn Community in northeastern Scotland to teach a healing workshop. At that point in my career the people who came to my workshops had tended to be searching for a personal healing. They expected me, as a medical intuitive, to facilitate their healing directly by giving them an individual reading and setting up a treatment regimen for them. (These days my workshops are largely filled with self-reliant people who want to learn how to become more intuitive by learning to "speak chakras" and so heal themselves and their lives, or professionals looking to learn how to help others heal.)

Though I myself am not a healer, I was happy to help them, of course, to the best of my abilities. Often in my readings I was simply validating the suspicions, insights, or intuitions that they already had about themselves and the changes they needed to make in their lives. Sometimes these readings ignited an inner physical and spiritual healing process. Even so, at that time, my workshop participants and I all felt that we were on the right track. After all, healing and health had become the main focus of the holistic or consciousness culture as well as the center of my life. Almost everyone I met, professionally and personally, spoke about either wanting to become a healer or needing a healer, being on their way to visit a new healer, or believing that they were meant to be a healer as soon as they had completed their own healing.

I enjoyed traveling around the world and meeting spiritually committed people who needed me as much as I needed them, and I had especially come to love Findhorn, a community of about three hundred people sharing an organic, cooperative life and a respect for all spiritual paths. Some of the community members reside in an enchanting, converted turn-of-the-century hotel; others have made their home quarters in a beautiful park area alongside the Findhorn Bay. The rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands, combined with the spiritual focus of the community, make Findhorn a most attractive place to be. Whenever I go there, I seem to receive a special energetic charge that results in some important insight, and this visit in 1988 was no exception. This time, however, the insight came in a rather unlikely way.

Prior to beginning the weeklong workshop, I had arranged to have lunch with my dear friend Mary. Having arrived early in the dining room, I joined two gentlemen for tea. Mary entered a while later, and when she walked over to our table, I introduced her to my companions. She had just extended her hand to greet them when another member of the Findhorn community, Wayne, came up to her and asked, "Mary, are you busy on June eighth? We're looking for someone to escort a guest coming to Findhorn for the day."

The tone of Mary's response was as revealing as its length. She snapped, "June eighth? Did you say June eighth?" Suffused with anger and resentment, she continued, "Absolutely not! June eighth is my incest support group meeting, and I would never, ever miss that meeting! We count on each other, after all. We incest victims have to be there for one another. I mean, who else do we have?"

Mary went on for a while longer, but this is as much as I can accurately remember. I was captivated by the instantaneous dramatics triggered by a simple question about her schedule. Wayne hardly took notice of her response, thanked her, and left, but I was astonished. Later, as Mary and I were having lunch, I asked her about her behavior:

"Mary, why, when you were answering Wayne's question about your schedule, did you have to let all three men know that you had suffered incest as a young girl, that you were still angry about it, that you were angry with men in general, and that you intended to control the atmosphere of the conversation with your anger? All Wayne asked you was, `Are you busy June eighth?' and in response you gave these three men a miniature therapy class. A simple yes or no would have done fine."

Mary looked at me as if I had betrayed her. Her body stiffened, and she emphasized her words in an ice-cold, defensive tone: "I answered that way because I am a victim of incest." She drew back from the table, stopped eating, and threw her napkin over her plate, indicating that our lunch together had come to a close. Although I didn't realize it at that moment, so had our friendship.

"Mary, honey," I replied, softening my own tone somewhat, "I know you're a victim of incest, but what I'm trying to figure out is why you found it necessary to tell two strangers and Wayne your history when all he wanted to know was whether you could help out on June eighth. Did you want these men to treat you a certain way or talk to you in a certain way? What made you lay your wounds out on the table within seven seconds of meeting two new people?"

Mary told me that I simply did not understand because I had not endured what she and numerous other incest victims had gone through, but that she had expected me as a friend to be more compassionate. I replied that lack of compassion had nothing to do with what I was asking her. I could feel the separation of energy between us as I realized that in order for our friendship to continue, I needed to "speak wounds" to Mary, to follow some very specific rules of how a supportive friend was to behave, and to bear always in mind that she defined herself by a negative experience.

In addition to her painful childhood history, Mary also had a history of chronic ailments. She was always in pain--some days emotional, some days physical. Though she was kind and always ready to support her friends, she much preferred the company of people who had also had abusive childhoods. That day at our lunch, I realized that Mary needed to be with people who spoke the same language and shared the same mindset and behaviors. I immediately began to think of this attitude as "woundology." I have since become convinced that when we define ourselves by our wounds, we burden and lose our physical and spiritual energy and open ourselves to the risk of illness.

That day I felt as if I had been catapulted out of the surrounding healing culture of Findhorn and the general consciousness movement and was viewing it as an outsider. Although I had not previously noticed this pattern of thought and behavior in Mary or in anyone else, the very next day, curiously, a miniature version of the Mary incident took place in my workshop.

I had arrived twenty minutes early to get ready for my presentation and noticed a woman sitting alone. I sat down next to her and asked, "What's your name?" That's all I asked. Yet without even looking at me, she responded:

"I'm a victim of incest, but I'm fifty-six years old now and I'm over that trauma. I have a wonderful support group, and several of us get together at least once a week, which I believe is essential to healing."

She still had not told me her name, so I asked again, "And what's your name?" But she still didn't answer me directly. She seemed to be in a daze. It felt to me as if she had been preparing for a long time to say something publicly, and now, given the opportunity, she couldn't hear any questions that didn't relate to her agenda. Instead of telling me her name, she said how much she enjoyed coming to workshops like mine because a person was free to speak openly about his or her past, and she hoped that I would allow time for people to share their personal histories. I thanked her and left the room, needing a few moments to gather my thoughts.

Meeting this woman the day after the incident with Mary was not a coincidence. I believe I was being directed to pay attention to the ways we expect to heal our lives--through therapy and support groups. So many people in the midst of a "process" of healing, I saw, are at the same time feeling stuck. They are striving to confront their wounds, valiantly working to bring meaning to terrible past experiences and traumas, and exercising compassionate understanding of others who share their wounds. But they are not healing. They have redefined their lives around their wounds and the process of accepting them. They are not working to get beyond their wounds. In fact, they are stuck in their wounds. Now primed to hear people speak woundology, I believe I was meant to challenge the assumptions that I and many others then held dear--especially the assumption that everyone who is wounded or ill wants the full recovery of their health.

I felt as if I had been given a pair of magical glasses with which to see beneath the behavior of my workshop students. I soon found that the language of woundology was also spoken outside Findhorn. People around the world are confusing the therapeutic value of self-expression with permission to manipulate others with their wounds. Instead of viewing the uncovering of their wounds as an early stage of the healing process, they are using their wounds as a flag and their groups as families and nations.

How did we come to such a pass? A little more than a generation ago, our society was one in which people had difficulty expressing even their most innocent psychological and emotional needs. Today people wear their deepest wounds on their sleeve like a red badge of courage. How did we get to this point? To explain, I have to go back a little further into the past.

 

OPENING UP

I had begun my work as a medical intuitive in 1983, when I became able to sense illness in other people. At that time I had lacked any training as a health professional, but I had co-founded a publishing company that was dedicated to producing books about consciousness, health, and alternative or complementary medicine. The company published first-person accounts of healings as well as books by more scientifically oriented authors reporting research and discoveries in medical treatments then considered alternative. Those years as both a publisher and a medical intuitive educated me in such complementary ways that I now feel that this personal edification must have been directed by a higher force.

The countless manuscripts we received containing personal stories revealed the depth of fear people feel when facing a terminal illness. But many of the stories also revealed the power of the human spirit to catalyze a healing process that can reclaim the life-force, give meaning to illness, and heal seemingly chronic or terminal diseases. Occasionally I would come across a manuscript by a patient who had lost the battle for physical life but had won an inner tranquillity--a sense of completion of this life and an acceptance of the next stage: the death of the body.

Our culture in the early 1980s was hungry for healing and searching for the experience or state of mind that would ignite a healing fire. When I started to do workshops in 1984, the alternative healing field had established a new vocabulary for psychological and emotional healing. People spoke openly about their physical, mental, and spiritual health. Sharing the details of one's personal history became commonplace, as childhood experiences of incest, molestation, and abuse were openly discussed. The social boundaries that had previously limited acceptable social exchanges had dissolved into a new form of instant intimacy.

This new kind of intimacy grew out of the therapeutic culture of the 1960s. Prior to the 1960s, family secrets, financial information, political affiliations, occupational difficulties, and rumors about who was having an affair with whom were all considered "intimate" information, shared only with family members and very close friends. Even asking someone which presidential candidate he had voted for qualified as a highly intimate question. Nor were such topics discussed easily even among trusted, longstanding intimates: Before the 1960s we lacked the vocabulary for sharing with others the most intimate contents of our emotional lives. Personal emotional needs had not yet been introduced into our general culture. We had not yet become comfortable expressing inner psychological experiences, and our basic physical and emotional needs were generally considered to be met if we took care of our job and family responsibilities.

Moreover, before the 1960s society in general viewed those who sought the help of a psychiatrist as mentally ill. Even in 1972, the revelation that a vice-presidential candidate--George McGovern's running mate, Thomas Eagleton--had undergone psychotherapy was reason enough to have him removed from the ticket. The notion of working through a trauma therapeutically was still unfamiliar, so people viewed any and all mental stress as mental illness. They were afraid of the deeper recesses of the mind and the heart, and few explored them willingly. Those who did acquired reputations as rebels, eccentrics, mystics, hermits, or social outcasts. Most people did not tamper with their internal forces but lived safely within the assumption that if the external parts of their lives were stable, their minds and hearts would naturally attain a degree of contentment.

The therapeutic age gave birth to an entirely new dimension of thought: It opened up the inner world behind our eyes. With each step inward that we took, new perceptions about ourselves emerged and overran the long-guarded boundaries around our emotions and psyches. The concept that "we create our own reality" seemed to spring into popular usage almost out of nowhere. The electric idea that we have a kind of ultimate, personal spiritual power took hold of the popular imagination, and self-responsibility became a new power word. We applied these beliefs to every aspect of our lives. Most especially, we began to apply them to the healing process.

People became remarkably eager to "stand and proclaim" not only that they were ill but that they were responsible for their illness, as if this act of public purging in itself contained some kind of power that would guarantee a safe passage into health. In my own workshops and in others I attended, one person after another would describe a particular illness and then add, "I know I'm responsible for this." Where speaking about emotions publicly had once been taboo, it was now a requirement for healing.

Fueled by the notion that an emotional wound that they had previously experienced was at the root of their physical illness, people plunged into their inner lives determined to exorcise every negative memory, thought, and attitude. If they could only unlock that deeply secret emotional impulse, or release that negative childhood experience, they believed, their biological system would respond and reward them with complete health. Almost everyone I encountered during those years was convinced that complete recovery of health was just one psychological insight away. Amazingly enough, every workshop participant who went through this spontaneous public ritual of confession sparkled with enthusiasm and hope. Sometimes, if their story was exceedingly dramatic, applause would follow the confession.

I too believed, as the other workshop participants did, that the psyche held the key to physical healing. An inner power, I was convinced, contained the fuel we needed to reorder our biochemistry and rebuild our bodies. Occasionally someone who had managed to heal an illness--who had not just put the illness into remission but had actually achieved a complete healing--would attain a near-celebrity status at workshops. During the breaks everyone would gather around the self-healer and ask, "What did you do to heal yourself?" I listened, too, eager to learn of some extraordinary treatment, nutritional program, or psychotherapy that would assure a cure.

The self-healers would credit a vast array of factors, including changes in nutrition, vitamin therapy, mud baths, hypnosis, past-life recall, exercise, bodywork, and colon cleansing. Most often, however, they detailed treatments that helped body, mind, and soul together. Regardless of the treatment or the nutritional program that they described, however, the self-healers' greatest gift was the hope they brought to the rest of the group. Those who had made it back to health were considered living proof that individual efforts at self-discovery and healing--that attending workshops, reading books, and learning to express oneself--were bound to pay off.

 

THE TURNING POINT

For reasons I may never understand, 1988 was the year when views and beliefs about healing shifted, at least within the network in which I was teaching. By this time, I was giving workshops in several different countries, yet that year I encountered the same reaction around the world: Workshop participants were no longer interested solely in how to heal. They wanted to know why they were not healing. They had tried the many healing alternatives available, but they still were not healing. Their focus had shifted from enthusiasm about their individual quest for the right regimen, for the unique combination of mind-body treatments, to a terrible frustration and a ceaseless asking of "What's going on here? Why isn't anything working?"

The desperation they felt was phenomenal. I cannot even begin to recall the number of times I was asked, "Do you think I'm being punished for something?" At that time I had no adequate answer, only the old favorite: "Hold on to your faith, and keep focused on your healing. You can't afford to become negative." This was probably as helpful as saying, "Don't think about a blue monkey." It might even have added to the person's guilt about his or her illness.

To be sure, faith and optimism are important factors in healing any life crisis, including illness, then and now. Back in 1988, however, I could see that people were retreating from the hopefulness of holistic health and self-responsibility and returning to the superstitions of what I call the Tribal mind. They suspected that they were being punished for something awful they had done; they saw the disease or suffering as a judgment of the heavens upon them. Privately, I was becoming as mystified as they were. As I watched them struggle so valiantly with their healing, I too began to wonder if maybe they were doing something wrong, or if maybe they weren't supposed to heal, or if maybe the right treatment hadn't yet been discovered....

 

THE SEDUCTIVE POWER OF WOUNDS

Then came my fateful luncheon meeting with Mary at Findhorn, followed by my encounter with the incest survivor in my healing workshop, and I began to get an inkling of where the problem lay. For the next few years, woundology became my primary focus. I learned to listen between the lines of what my workshop participants were saying. I began to discern when a person was genuinely going through the specific stage of healing that requires a witness and when someone had discovered the "street" value or social currency of their wound--that is, the manipulative value of the wound.

"Whenever you learn a new word, you should listen carefully," my favorite aunt had taught me as a child, "because you'll hear everyone using it." She was right, and once I tuned in to woundology, the majority of the people in my workshops were conversing in this new language, openly sharing their personal histories with other workshop participants. At times, their sharing even took on a competitive feeling in which one person seemed to attempt to eclipse the painful experiences of another.

The sharing of wounds had become the new language of intimacy, a shortcut to developing trust and understanding. The exchange of intimate revelations, which had been originally developed and intended as appropriate dialogue between therapists and patients, had become the bonding ritual for people just getting to know one another. I met one woman, for instance, who stated upon our introduction that the "rules" of being a friend to her began with agreeing to "honor her wounds." When I asked her to tell me what that meant in practical terms, she said that she was only now beginning to process all of the violations that had happened to her as a child and that in the course of healing these wounds, she would frequently have mood swings and bouts of depression. "Honoring her wounds" meant respecting these moods, not challenging them. She claimed the right to set the tone of any social event of which she was a part. If she was in a "low space," she expected her support system not to introduce humor into the atmosphere but to adjust their mood and conversation to hers. I asked her how long she anticipated needing this intense level of support. "It may take years," she replied, "and if it does, I expect my support system to give me that amount of time."

This type of social authority can become very powerful, even addicting--health never commands such clout. When I asked my new acquaintance what motivation she would have for healing, given her "comfort with her discomfort," so to speak, she was insulted by my question and by my inability to "honor her wounds." Even though I attempted to explain that I was genuinely trying to understand her healing process, she never answered my question.

People also use woundology to make powerful romantic connections. Many people have admitted to me that they come to workshops more for the social contacts than for any actual need to heal. Because loneliness has become so rampant in our culture, when two single, available individuals meet in a workshop, the intimacy of the information they so commonly exchange is often mistaken for romance. There are even "thirteen-steppers"--people who use a twelve-step support group to "hit on" potential romantic partners in vulnerable states of mind.

Many people describe their "soul mate" as the person they have finally found who understands the emotional pain they had experienced as children. Such a bond can certainly feel romantic in the early stages of a relationship, but its foundation is actually injury, pain, and fear. In this paradigm, pain becomes a prerequisite for remaining close to and needing one another, and healing can be seen as a positive threat to the bond. The partnership is inevitably threatened when one of them decides the time has come to release the past and move on.

Don't get me wrong--support groups of all kinds, from AA and other twelve-step programs to those that help people who have lost a parent during childhood, can provide vital assistance and insight. The sharing of wounds has obviously provided a climate that frees people--sometimes for the first time in their lives--to recall their painful memories and explore their feelings and fears with sympathetic, nonjudgmental companions dedicated to supporting them.

The warm and understanding atmosphere that is an almost automatic by-product of this level of sharing also offers group members a social life that may have been missing from their lives prior to joining the group. Another acquaintance of mine, Jane, told me, "The people in my support group, as far as I am concerned, have become my new family. I don't feel judged by them as I do with my biological family. Now I don't feel the need to see my family at all." Certainly the healing intention behind these many support groups is honorable and deserves to be acknowledged; numerous people have benefited and continue to benefit from participating in them.

In addition to all the healing support that they provide, however, another dynamic has made me begin to question their healing value. Those for whom the support group has become an important part of their social life naturally wish to continue indefinitely as members. But because the underlying criterion for remaining a member is a continuing need for support, one must accept the group message "Remain unhealed." That is, to stay a part of the group, you have to "remain apart" from other friends and family.

This dynamic calls to mind a famous saying of the Buddha. "My teachings are a raft," he said, "meant to help you cross over the river. Once you get to the other shore, set them down and go on with your life." "The other shore" was the Buddha's way of describing enlightenment, the goal of his teachings. Once enlightened, continue to live your life, he was saying--just don't carry the raft around with you!

We are not meant to stay wounded. We are supposed to move through our tragedies and challenges and to help each other move through the many painful episodes of our lives. By remaining stuck in the power of our wounds, we block our own transformation. We overlook the greater gifts inherent in our wounds--the strength to overcome them and the lessons that we are meant to receive through them. Wounds are the means through which we enter the hearts of other people. They are meant to teach us to become compassionate and wise.

What would happen, for example, if Jane's support group were to tell her that their role is to give her the strength to heal her unfinished business with her family rather than to become her substitute family? Suppose they told her that as long as she avoided her family with such anger, she was actually running away and not healing, and that she had only a limited amount of time during which the group would help her develop coping skills with her family. At the end of that time, she would be expected to reenter her biological family, to evaluate her own stamina and strength, to see if she could now interact with them without expecting or needing their approval. If she could do that, she would have healed her major wound.

I actually suggested this to Jane, but she immediately became defensive. To her, leaving her newfound family would be like entering an emotional black hole. So intensely had she bonded with her support group that she could not imagine herself able to cope in her world without them. As far as she was concerned, her group was more than a weekly meeting; it was the center of her social life. She could not think of reaching closure with them, even though they required her to remain "actively wounded" and in need of healing.

 
 

(C) 1997 Caroline Myss All rights reserved. ISBN: 0-609-60090-7

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

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, 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!

Before you can heal the world, you must heal your anger

Healing, Life LessonsGuest WriterComment
Sarah Gray Anger Healing.jpeg

There are so many different social movements coming into the media spotlight every year, each of them working towards a different agenda, and each of them working against other social movements. It is chaos. But in this chaos there is one commonality they all share: they are motivated first and foremost by anger.

While it is certainly noble to wish to change the world for the better, the vast majority of would-be-change-makers are acting out of anger. And while it can be argued that anger is a natural response to the dire conditions of the day, it is important to understand that acting out of anger is most often highly counter-productive to the aim of improving one’s condition and position in life.

The best fighter is never angry.
— Lao Tzu

The great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu understood this, and he knew that actions born of anger lead to further muddling of circumstances. He also understood that a truly effective warrior comes from a place of radical acceptance of what is, for this is the central message of Taoism.

In chapter 68 of the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu notes:

A good soldier is not violent.
A good fighter is not angry.
A good winner is not vengeful.
A good employer is humble.
This is known as the Virtue of not striving.
This is known as ability to deal with others.
This since ancient times has been known
as the ultimate unity with heaven.

From the Taoist perspective anger is seen as an expression of a conflict between the ego’s perception of the way things are and reality. It is resistance to embracing all things in whatever state they may appear to be in, which is a trap of self-absorption. It is the result of a failure to accept what is.

The following passage from Lao Tzu’s Hua Hu Ching explains this ‘departure’ from the way.

“Those who wish to embody the Tao should embrace all things. To embrace all things means first that one holds no anger or resistance toward any idea or thing, living or dead, formed or formless. Acceptance is the very essence of the Tao. To embrace all things means also that one rids oneself of any concept of separation; male and female, self and other, life and death. Division is contrary to the nature of the Tao. Foregoing antagonism and separation, one enters in the harmonious oneness of all things.

Every departure from the Tao contaminates one’s spirit. Anger is a departure, resistance a departure, self- absorption a departure.” — Lao Tzu in the Hua Hu Ching

Speaking to journalist Bill Moyers in the following passage, the great American mythologist and author Joseph Campbell tells a story about a Samurai warrior and anger:

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: I will participate in the game. It’s a wonderful, wonderful opera, except that it hurts. And that wonderful Irish saying, you know, “Is this a private fight, or can anybody get into it?” This is the way life is, and the hero is the one who can participate in it decently, in the way of nature, not in the way of personal rancor, revenge or anything of the kind.

Let me tell you one story here, of a samurai warrior, a Japanese warrior, who had the duty to avenge the murder of his overlord. And he actually, after some time, found and cornered the man who had murdered his overlord. And he was about to deal with him with his samurai sword, when this man in the corner, in the passion of terror, spat in his face. And the samurai sheathed the sword and walked away. Why did he do that?

BILL MOYERS: Why?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Because he was made angry, and if he had killed that man then, it would have been a personal act, of another kind of act, that’s not what he had come to do.” [Source]

You see, the world is an impersonal place inhabited by persons. None of us see eye-to-eye on everything, but all of us have the capacity to influence and shape our shared reality. When people, divided by ideas and propaganda, join forces in anger and lash out against the world, it only stokes chaos and resentment, pushing things further out of balance.

Therefore, it is essential to resolve the anger within yourself before attempting to resolve some external circumstance which brings out the angry version of you, which is the version of you least capable of improving anything, as psychologist and scholar Jordan Peterson describes:

“There’s the angry you, and you know, you all come in contact with the angry you. It’s rather rigid. That’s the first thing you might say about it. It’s impulsive and short-term. It doesn’t think much about the past, unless it’s bad things about whoever you’re angry at, in which case it thinks about them a lot. It’s not too concerned with long-term future consequences, and mostly it wants to be right.” — Jordan Peterson

The simple but powerful notion of overcoming your anger in order to be a true change-make is also elucidated by the Dalai Lama in a short quote:

“The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.” — The Dalai Lama


Dylan Charles is the editor of Waking Times and co-host of Redesigning Reality, both dedicated to ideas of personal transformation, societal awakening, and planetary renewal. His personal journey is deeply inspired by shamanic plant medicines and the arts of Kung Fu, Qi Gong and Yoga. After seven years of living in Costa Rica, he now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and enjoys spending time with family. He has written hundreds of articles, reaching and inspiring millions of people around the world.

This article (Lao Tzu and Others on Why You Must Fix Your Anger Before Trying to Fix the World) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to DylanCharles and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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

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, 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!

The Price We Pay for Negative Emotions

Life Lessons, Spiritual SignificanceGuest Writer

Most the time we think that emotions sweep over us and overwhelm us, and they do. But we also often live in lingering states: a constant state of fear, or of emotional flatness, or anger, or resentment, or grieving, or cynicism. At that point we have crossed over from being overtaken by a wave of emotion and into agreeing to live in a state of emotion. That's when we enter into an agreement to pay the cost. 

When I live in the ongoing state of fear or anger or cynicism, I am agreeing to pay a price in energy. The shamanic term for energy is power. In order to live inside the power of fear, I give up another kind of power as payment.

The price of fear is intimacy. 
The price of certainty is wonder. 
The price of greed is patience, and since beauty relies on patience, the price of greed is beauty.
The price of arrogance is surprise.
The price of cynicism is open-armed love. Since open-armed love includes grieving, because grief is a form of love, the price of cynicism is stifled grief, and since grief is one of the main lubricants on the hinges of the doors to Spirit, the price of cynicism is connection to Spirit. 

On it goes. 

Shamanic thinking tells us good news: That equation can be reversed by replacing the word "price" with the word "medicine." 

The medicine for fear is intimacy. 
The medicine for certainty is wonder. 
The medicine for greed is patience, and since beauty relies on patience, the medicine for greed is beauty.
The medicine for arrogance is surprise.
The medicine for cynicism is open-armed love, and since open armed love includes proper grieving, prayers that summon tears are medicine for cynicism.

We are in a time period in which more and more people are taking a hard look at the price we pay for the "normal" that has been programmed into us. More and more people are understanding that the price is too high for living a life, as archetypal psychologist James Hillman said, "happily in “the system of rip-off economics [that] promotes its communal senselessness by substituting "more" for "beyond.” 

The energies of fear, arrogance, greed and cynicism are programmed into us so deeply that it takes great commitment to let go of them. These old energies rise up with great ferocity when we turn our attention toward authentic spiritual power, and we hear these old energies as voices of self-doubt, embarrassment, self-deprecation, and sometimes outright shame. It's helpful to hear these negative voices as a parasite in you screaming for you NOT to bring the medicine. The medicine is perceived as discomfort by the parasite, who wants you to stay in a state of disempowerment, so it can continue to feed on you. 

The surrealist painter Salvador Dali said, "The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad." What he meant (I hope) is that by working honestly with his artistic energies (which is the same work in many ways as working your spiritual power) he learned to trade the negative price for the Medicine.

Another way to say this is, "The difference between a mental breakdown and an opening of the spiritual path is discipline and courage."

Well, that's how I see it. 

A note from Jaime Meyer: I am indebted to Jose Luis Stevens for stimulating many of the ideas in this piece.  

Reposted with permission, go here to read the original article "The Price For Gaining Spiritual Power".


Jamie shares a prayer with us he hopes we'll find useful:

Great Spirit,
I have lived smaller than I want to live.
I have listened to those voices that shrink me.
I am ready
to trade the price I have been paying
to stay disempowered and disconnected from Spirit.
I am ready
to trade for the Medicine.
The light grows across the face of the moon.
The sun rises stronger each day from the south.
The ice releases its grip on the shore. 
The land awakens and revives.
Bring this medicine to me
So that I may stand strong in this world.

I have something to accomplish in this life
And I am so grateful that you are here always to help me.


Jamie Meyer

Jaime Meyer | Shamanic Practitioner | Author | Teacher

Jamie's popular book Drumming The Soul Awake is an account of his journey to become an urban shamanic healer. His varied background includes earning a Masters Degree in Theology and the Arts and cross cultural studies with a variety of shamanic teachers since 1983.

Jamie continues to study with the Shipibo people of the Upper Amazon in Peru - an extension of his studies with Jose and Lena Stevens of The Power Path School of Shamanism. He completed a two-year Celtic Shamanism training with Tom Cowan. He has also studied with Ailo Gaup, Martin Prechtel, and Sandra Ingerman, among others. He is the president and board of directors of the international Society of Shamanic Practitioners.

He co-founded the first theatre in the world for the Hmong community (a refugee population from Laos and Vietnam) and managed it for ten years, mentoring dozens of writers and scores of actors, and playing to 200,000 Hmong and non-Hmong people in various cities, including in refugee camps in Thailand.

Find out more about Jamie and his teachings here: www.drummingthesoulawake.com.


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

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, 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!

Be infinitesimal under that sky

Be who you want, PoetryGuest WriterComment
Mameen David Whyte Poem

Mameen

Be infinitesimal under that sky, a creature
even the sailing hawk misses, a wraith
among the rocks where the mist parts slowly.

Recall the way mere mortals are overwhelmed
by circumstance, how great reputations
dissolve with infirmity and how you,
in particular, live a hairsbreadth from losing
everyone you hold dear.

Then, look back down the path as if seeing
your past and then south over the hazy blue
coast as if present to a wide future.

Remember the way you are all possibilities
you can see and how you live best
as an appreciator of horizons,
whether you reach them or not.

Admit that once you have got up
from your chair and opened the door,
once you have walked out into the clean air
toward that edge and taken the path up high
beyond the ordinary, you have become
the privileged and the pilgrim,
the one who will tell the story
and the one, coming back
from the mountain,
who helped to make it.

 — David Whyte

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

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, 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!