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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 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!

8 Ways to Ensure Failure

Be who you want, Receive More Thursdays, InspiringChloë RainComment
  1. Give up. Sometimes your breakthroughs will look and feel a lot like breakdowns. This is a great news! Have you ever exercised so hard you felt like you were going to throw up? Have you ever exercised for a long enough period of time to see and feel the results of your efforts in your body? If you feel like you're getting squeezed through the eye of a needle, or like your life has just gone through the human version of a trash compactor, good news! You've just been rid of all that was blocking you from your breakthrough!

  2. Garbage in, garbage out. You are what you eat, you are what you consume. What are you telling yourself? What kinds of thoughts do you allow to take up space in your daily routine? What are you nourishing your soul with these days? What kinds of things are you feeding your mind? What are you doing to nourish your body? How much time do you spend making yourself wrong?

  3. Don't take a bath.

  4. Don't sleep on it.

  5. Vow that you must figure it out for yourself by yourself. Don't show your face or tell anyone about what's ailing you until you've solved the problem or recovered from the heartbreak all by yourself.

  6. Refuse to make time to receive help, even when you've got a built in support system wanting to help you.

  7. Don't do anything you've ever done that has worked before, because you've "been there done that" and you must find an absolutely new way to solve every problem so that you can declare your genius, with proof. Sometimes doing the simple tried and true thing to make you feel better can instantly and dramatically shift the potential outcome of the situation. I know you don't want to, but just give it a try.

  8. Be critical of yourself. Beat yourself up like you would take a hammer to a puppy who just messed on the floor. Don't allow yourself any self compassion like you would tell your son who was shunned by his friends in kindergarten because he did something that wasn't normal to "suck it up, there must be something wrong with you!" "You should try harder to fit in and be like everyone else!" And how you would tell your daughter who just lost her allowance when she invested in a friends candy bar scheme that didn't pan out "You're so stupid. You're never going to have money again in your life!" "You must have attracted that loss into your life because you're not open to receiving!"

Sound at all familiar?   Here's what I recommend instead:

  1. Take giving up off your list of options. You can't unlearn the things you know or undo the desires you've claimed. You can only always go forward. Trust there is a breakthrough and a miracle waiting for you on the other side of the breakdown. Giving up isn't an option any longer, the only way forward is through.

  2. Pay attention to your focus and attention. What you focus on expands. Don't spend any time making yourself wrong for well anything. Not one second. Not one more second.

  3. Take a bath, preferably, or at least a shower. You always feel different, if not better after taking a bath and letting the water seep in. Do you know how many clients tell me they had a brilliant breakthrough in the bathtub!??! Or came up with a brilliant solution while scrubbing in the shower?! If you're stuck, go get your behind in the shower, right now. Seriously.

  4. Take naps. If you're stressed out, go to bed. If you're sad, sleep the day away. If you can't figure out the answer or the solution, sleep on it. Science has proven that "sleeping on it" actually helps our brains solve problems more quickly and our bodies heal faster.

  5. Do not isolate. Ask for help, care, love, support, or just some company from someone you know has always got your back, no matter what. Make sure its someone you can trust with your tender heart, someone who thinks you're great despite all the flaws.

  6. Do not stuff your emotions. Take time to tap your resources, telling yourself you do not have time to figure out a solution or you do not have time to make yourself feel better, will not make the problem go away. You will not feel better by shelving your emotions until a more convenient time.

  7. Try something that has worked for you in the past. Can you think of a time when you had a breakthrough? What were you doing just before it happened? What helped you to usher in that insight? Maybe you just need to listen to a good song that always lifts your mood. You'll be surprised what even a tiny shift in emotion can do for your clarity.

  8. Learn self compassion. Build your self compassion muscle like you were training for the Iron Man and pulling 4 ton dump trucks for show. Flex your self compassion muscle all day long, like you are training to climb Mount Everest. Then when thing edgy painful things come up you will have a well of self compassion to cleansing and nurture your wounds.

Right on the other side of the breakdown is the breakthrough. In the meantime, take a nap, eat your candy bar stash, while floating in the bath tub, listening to your favorite guilty pleasure song.  

Don't take yourself too seriously and don't cheat yourself out of too much life experience because you're afraid you're gonna do it wrong, or get hurt in the end.

Chloe Rain Explore Deeply
 

With love,

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Feeling the heartbreak and misery of failure is something I do not take lightly. Feeling like a failure and being miserable, is something I will absolutely not stand for! Take a stand for yourself. Take a stand for life and your wellness.

Do you feel a deep longing to be on purpose and in service to the world?

Walking the Path of Purpose Apprenticeship may be for you...

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!