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

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

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

By Elizabeth Gilbert


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A spiritual journey bears no resemblance to a spa vacation. 

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

Doing something for yourself isn't by definition selfish. 

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

Going on a spiritual journey can be a public service. 

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

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

Reposted from O Magazine

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Spiritual Journey to the Andes

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Abundance Beyond Measure : Peru, The Richest Country in the World

Ceremony, RetreatsChloë RainComment
 Dancers in the Plaza de Armas, Cusco Peru

Dancers in the Plaza de Armas, Cusco Peru

Trekking to Templo de La Luna, Cusco

Peru is one, of 10 mega-diverse countries in the world. A country blessed with a unique heritage, where riches are measured in well-being and harmony with nature.

70% of the planet's biological diversity is concentrated within its borders.

According to the Holdridge classification, it has 84 of the 117 life zones that exist on Earth. *

This amazing country has more birds than North American and Europe put together, and it records the largest number of endemic species in the world, more than 120.

Its location in the central-west part of South America, the two ocean currents that feed its coasts, and the Andes Mountain Range, create the ideal conditions for this kind of biodiversity and physical abundance.

Spending time in this country one could make the argument that being rich is not about having lots of material things – it is about the abundance of color, nature, beauty, nourishment, diversity, experiences, and for me— personal fulfillment.

It is home to a piece of my heart and soul.

Peru is a land blessed with the most precious riches of all, the kinds of treasure you discover when going within.

The Stones of Sacsayhuaman

I don't know how this happened, or how I even found myself here years ago, only that I met a woman in California, who told me she lead spiritual journeys to the Andes, and three months later I was in Peru on my own spiritual journey. She is now a cherished friend and trusted colleague.

Peru is a land blessed with the most precious riches of all, the kinds of treasure you discover when going within.

These days I return regularly to Peru to lead my own spiritual journeys for people seeking a deep understanding of themselves and their higher purpose. 

I return to this land for my own well-being and strength and the lessons I receive about true abundance and wealth, that seem only to be found in Peru, a second home for my hear. And I return for continued training and teachings with my Elders & Teachers of the Inca Q'ero and Amazonian Shipibo healing traditions. Here nothing is conceptual, relationships to the mountains, the animals, the water, and the Spirits are real and tangible.

The word Apu is an ancient word, of the Quechua language, the language of the Inca descendants, the Q'ero people of the high Andes. We speak the word Apu to refer to the sacred mountains themselves; each mountain has its own spirit, with the spirit going by the name of its mountain peak i.e. Apu Ausangate, or Apu Machu Picchu.

Spiritual Healing retreats

2018 Spiritual Pilgrimage to Peru

March 2018 & October 2018

The Apu Mountain Spirits serve as protectors, watching over our relationships, families, homes, and lives. They may be called upon through offerings or asked to become personal guardians in initiations like my own pictured below.

Making pilgrimage to Apu Ausangate, the most auspicious of the Mountain Spirits in the Cusco region, and asking for protection with an offering I am establishing a relationship with this Spirit, and I may call upon Apu Ausangate as guardian or protector for wisdom and guidance on my personal spiritual path or help with my work with others as Spiritual Guide and Healer.

 Initiation at the base of Apu Ausangate, with my Teacher Maestro Lorenzo, of the Inka Q'ero lineage, and my friend and colleague Q'orianka Gallegos, Inka High Priestess.

Initiation at the base of Apu Ausangate, with my Teacher Maestro Lorenzo, of the Inka Q'ero lineage, and my friend and colleague Q'orianka Gallegos, Inka High Priestess.

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 Apu Ausangate from the view point.

Apu Ausangate from the view point.

Apu Ausangate Spiritual Pilgrimage
Apu Ausangate Spiritual Pilgrimage

*Source: PROMPERÚ : Peru began its "Richest Country In the World" Marketing Campaign in 2017 — "it offers a new perception that being rich is based on experiences rather than material possessions." ‘Peru, the richest country in the world’ embraces a new concept for the term ‘wealth’, and reimagines what ‘being rich’ is really about.

Though this slogan resonates with much of what I feel and experience about the land of Peru, I wonder what this has in store for the future of tourism and pure experience while visiting this beautiful country. That being said, I continue to plan to lead spiritual journeys to Peru throughout the year for those seeking a greater connection to their higher self and understanding of their life path. Our time spent in Peru, honors the sacredness of the land, its ancient and present day heritage, and all the riches, spiritual and material, that this country has to offer.

2017 Journey Participants, Temple of the Monkeys, Cusco Peru

 Llama bomb, Machu Picchu

Llama bomb, Machu Picchu

To see more pictures of past Pilgrimages connect with me on → facebook.

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

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

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

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

Fall Rejuvenation Retreat → Join Us!

Healing, Learning to Love Yourself, Nature, Retreats, WorkshopChloë Rain
Fall Healing Retreat

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.

Sometimes we need to "get away from our daily life" and experience ourselves from another perspective, in order to feel inspired again, this retreat will help you to reconnect with that deeper longing inside of yourself.

The most important exploration of all is the journey to self-love and the discovery of our true divine being. To be fulfilled in life we must come to know our true essence and what guides us to our unique happiness. It’s this internal happiness and learning to cultivate the truth of who we really are that’s revealed to us when we spend time going within during retreat.

  • Come home rested with a new perspective and with enthusiasm for living
  • Gain clarity, open your heart & stimulate your creativity
  • Free yourself from the mental limitations that prevent the expression of your true self and purpose
  • Make heart-felt connections with new friends
  • Connect deeply with your heart's longing in nature

Join an intimate group of like minded souls and experience a spacious retreat that allows time to rejuvenate in nature, receive support for your dreams, connect with others, and follow the spontaneous callings of your spirit.

You’ll be transformed and you’ll take home tools to continue to maintain and deepen your transformation.

If you have questions you can email me at chloe@exploredeeply.com

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

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

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

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