explore deeply

the art of living your life purpose

Inspiring Stories

Finding Myself In Ireland

Inspiring StoriesChloë RainComment
Ireland : Finding Purpose in Travel & Exploration inspiring stories

This much I want to remember: The feeling of the sun on my back as I leaned over the stones on the Quiet Man's bridge on my first car ride out into the wilderness of Ireland.

There was a small brown sign that said "Quiet Man Bridge" and so I turned around and went back to see what it was. It was just a small stone bridge over a waterway but there was a picture of John Wayne standing on the bridge and I figured I'd have to watch this movie when I returned home.  The birds were singing so loudly and lovely. I noticed the song with new ears, as if I had never heard birds sing before.  

Back home perhaps I would have thought them slightly endearing or mostly annoying but these birds and their song were so lovely as the sun warmed my back and I could hear Mumford and Sons playing from the car radio with the right hand door open to the drivers side.

I was asking myself if I was happy?
And I decided that I must be, because, I wasn't looking forward to anything, and also that I had better be because nothing much more wonderful was likely to happen. Both were unfamiliar feelings for someone who had spent much of her life suspended in the present and longing for the future- for the evening, the weekend, the holiday, the letter in the post- that would make all the good things come true.  
"Another Life Again" - Viney

This much I want to remember: driving down the dirt lane with the sparrows racing out in front of me, gliding, fluttering up and down in smooth wide motions, making my heart sing. In Ireland there is a penetrating smell of grass or hay or flowers, I'm not sure what it is, but I don't have words for the sweetness of the experience of being consumed by this smell.

The wild yellow irises are abundant and ubiquitous in the green fields, and they make me want to write poetry.

I see a million images I want to capture, but there's nowhere to pull off to the side of the road on these crazy dangerous roads. I think how amazing it is to experience what life was like not so long ago in the Unites States, before our roads became so wide and long. Now all roads lead to ambition in the United States. 

Perhaps this has become the plight of the American dream, that nothing is ever good enough? We must always leave in seek of something better, only to find that we've outdone even ourselves, time and time again, and now that we've got everything, we feel nothing inside?

Sitting at a pub, recommended by the girl at the gas station that pumped my gas, because I couldn't figure out how to open the gas tank… The lady that came out of the kitchen that I bumped into upon entering the pub, that I asked if I could take a seat in the corner, she said yes,  sit anywhere you like and I piled my belongings on a tiny corner table next to a family speaking in dialect eating salmon and mash.  

I don't know what I was expecting, but this place was not what I was expecting. Small and family cozy dining with the tiny bar that had gents sitting with beers and talking again in a way that I wasn't sure what language they were speaking.

I looked up at the walls surrounding me, covered with old newspaper articles, postcards, and yellowed older things, there she was, the older plump lady that I bumped into and who served me my Jameson on the rocks, there she was laminated on the wall.  

The article described her as the 4th generation owner of the pub, she'd been in nursing school when the family and the local town had hit hard times and the family was going to sell the pub, she returned home to take over, not wanting the family to sell. She was quoted in the newspaper as saying she'd learned latin and "other nonsense" at school, but returning home and saving the family business was the best education she'd received.

An hour later I noticed another piece of framed paper above the laminated article.

It read:

This is to certify Miss Adrienne hereby climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

There she was, the plump older lady, whom I had bumped into and who had served me my Jameson on the rocks and seafood chowder, at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.  Woah. What a lady.  

I'm reminded of the millions of possibilities of this life time, of existence, of the true essence of being alive and what's possible for us. This is to certify that:  small town does not equate a small mind, nor does it equal small impact on the world.  

On my journey through Ireland, I love noticing that a certain song can inspire me to write… all I have to hear is a few notes and  thoughts pop up like a math equation, play these notes, inspiration comes to write. What is that? and why can't I reproduce it? I ponder, is that pure inspiration?

I secretly admit to myself that my all weather hiking pants and orange Northface fleece have become my favorite outfit of all time because they symbolize a major turning point in my life and represent the time that I decided to listen to my heart's calling and I followed through on a crazy idea that changed the course of my life forever and I am now eternally grateful for all the healing and happiness I have experienced because I listened.  

At the time, the investment in outdoor gear to go to the arctic circle in Norway felt out of character for me and I would never have guessed that I would wear this outfit time and time again in many different countries and it would become one of my favorite outfits of all time, surpassing any of my beloved high heels and fancy dresses.

Driving on the left side of the road through mountainous country on tiny winding roads, next to sea cliffs and wiping sea foam from the windshield, sitting next to a cow patty in a 3000 year old stone circle, climbing to the top of the mountain behind the stone bothy on the sheep farm, lighting a fire in the fireplace while enjoying some fresh Irish cheese and soda bread for dinner... 

I was asking myself if I was happy?

And I figured I must be, because I wasn't longing for anything or mulling over the past.  

I am ok. I am full. I am whole. and Yes, I am happy.

What is for you will not pass you by.  If you pause long enough to listen to your heart, you may realize that you've always known who you are.

I had to go out into the world to seek myself, to find myself, and only in that search did I realize that the person, the experience, the thing I was seeking all along, was me.

Ireland : Finding Purpose in Travel & Exploration inspiring stories
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!

I hid from my life for a while. This is what I learned.

Be who you want, Creative Feature, Healing, Inspiring Stories, TravelBecca Warner

What intentional, focused solitude can teach us about ourselves.

I hid from my life for a while.

This is what I learned.

I write this (the pen and paper version, anyway) from a tent on a hill, between a forest and a stream. It’s raining, and about -2 degrees. I’m grinning.

Six weeks ago, I left my home in London for a stint in the Scottish countryside. My intention on arriving was nothing more complicated than to, well… be. I didn’t know what that meant, I just knew it was probably a good idea.

Six weeks later, and before I brave the return journey to the city’s unique mania — one that is by turns awesome and awful, energising and exhausting — I feel compelled to record what happened in my head during these quiet, isolated weeks.

At the very least, I hope the act of sharing it will help me keep hold of it when thrust back into the city’s abyss of distraction and activity and fun. Should it encourage others to create their own hiding place for a while, then all the better.

Here’s a summary of what I learned from my quiet corner of the world.

It takes a lot to get bored.

I totally thought I’d get bored. Surely, I thought, I’ll feel under-stimulated, under-entertained, under-motivated — isn’t boredom the opposite of distraction? I anticipated a lot of napping. And Netflix.

But it turns out that, without the usual attention-sucking distractions of daily life, other stuff starts to peek its head above the parapet — as though newly confident that it won’t be kicked aside in favour of the next Twitter notification. Not new stuff, plucked from oblivion; but things that were already there, hiding because they were afraid of being ignored if they showed their face. Things like what I’m good at, what makes me tick, what I’m curious about. Things that, once I’d seen them, meant boredom wasn’t really in the cards.

Silence isn’t so bad.

With no TV, no office, no cafés or public transport, life has been very quiet. I can hear the chatter going on in my head, and it’s become ever more coherent as it’s had room to speak its voice. I realise now how determinedly I blocked out silence before — defaulting to turning on the TV or firing up Spotify rather than enjoy 10 short minutes of my mind’s own monologue.

And it turns out the internal chatter I’d avoided isn’t so bad. I’ve always worked hard to be the type of person that I would choose to be friends with; so perhaps it shouldn’t be as surprising as it is that I’ve enjoyed hearing a bit more from this ‘me’ character. And when it’s negative, critical, or otherwise challenging, the very fact of hearing it means that I can better acknowledge it and respond. The monologue starts to become a bit more of a dialogue.

I am capable of concentration.

Like so many people, I have a quite woeful inability to concentrate for more than three minutes at a time. When I want to sit down and start something, I’m oh-so easily interrupted by things ‘out-there’ (phone calls, appointments to run to, urgent emails) and — more often— by things ‘in-here’ (sudden overwhelming urge to make a cup of tea, put some washing on, quickly check Facebook).

Free of external distractions, I seem to have stopped creating those even trickier internal distractions too. Take away the big, real ones and the niggly little ones start to disappear too. (Well, nearly. I’ll always be partial to a goat gif).

It’s been no small relief to find that attention spans are at least partially based on habit — not wholly dependent on some kind of innate ninja mind-control skills.

Bodies talk.

I can hear what my body wants. Firmly removed from the norms of my daily life and its blind, unquestioned routine, I had something of a blank slate to work with. I could follow what my body asked for, instead of mindlessly throwing stuff at it.

For example, I found out that: caffeine makes me feel like crap; I like to exercise mid-afternoon; I need at least a pint of water before 10am; and there are certain foods that make me feel happier and focus more. Not rocket science, but good to know.

Feelings are big, and that’s good.

I’ve always considered myself pretty well in touch with my feelings. I am, for the most part, reassuringly self-aware. But humans are infinitely complex fellows: there is always more there than we can see.

For better or worse, my emotions are now far more in my face. No longer skidding through each day’s scenarios and their attached emotions, everything I feel has a bit more space to be what it is. Unable to turn my head the other way — after all, there’s nothing distracting there to look at — I can only sit with them, ride them, and try to respond in a way that seems fitting. In the process, I’ve started to learn what to do with myself when I feel bad, and how to make the most of feeling good.

So, what now?

The flashing lights, loud noises and incessant movement of the city await. I’ve always loved them, that’s why I made London my home; but now I feel somewhat reluctant to be the knackered, buzzing, whirling dervish of a woman that was my modus operandi.
I’ve learned that a little quiet goes a long way. I plan to carve out moments of distraction-less, mania-free time — big and small.

So, if ever you stumble across a small solitary hermit girl, hiding in a tent somewhere in the South East of England on a rainy Tuesday evening, then you’ll know why. I’m escaping back to myself for a bit.


Becca Warner: Finding Purpose in Life

Becca Warner | Writer | Traveler

Becca Warner is a writer, traveler, and change-maker. She leads a team of revolutionaries at Escape the City, and explores the power of food for the brain and food as medicine on her website ThinkFeelFood.

Check out her writing on Medium or Think Feel Food, London England


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!