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Life Lessons

The Spiritual Significance of the Winter Solstice

Ceremony, Rituals, Rites of Passage, Spiritual Significance, Life LessonsChloë RainComment
meaning of winter solstice

The light of the Sun begins a new solar cycle at Winter Solstice. The rays shine into the dark, and nurture the newborn life there to be cultivated. And this is mirrored in nature, as the seeds are buried in the darkness of the Earth, to emerge once again with the life-giving rays of the Sun.

In the Northern Hemisphere at this time we are experiencing the longest and darkest nights of the year and the shortest days with the least amount of daylight. The dark triumphs over the light, but this signifies a turning point!

In winter everything lies dormant in the silent earth, it is a sacred time of rest and reflection before the awakening and the slow build toward brighter days.

The energy of winter is that of going within. It's the fruitful darkness and silence out of which our soul's yearnings and new inspirations can eventually emerge.  As we consciously link our awareness to nature's cycles, our understanding of our own personal growth cycles begin to deepen.

Why do we spend so much time suppressing and hiding our darkness? When negative emotions come up and we feel them, they're inconvenient, uncomfortable, or worse, we make ourselves wrong for feeling them.

When we fear our own darkness, we cut ourselves off from an essential source of our own personal power. The key is not in letting darkness overwhelm our lives and our thoughts but in understanding that darkness can be one of the greatest catalysts for personal growth and transformation.

Maybe even our way to enlightenment.

By allowing ourselves to feel our emotions and experience our own darkness, the darkness itself can become the spiritual cradle into which our inner light and new life is born.

Allow your feelings to guide you because your feelings are your truth.

Winter Solstice is the great stillness before the Sun's strength builds, and days grow longer. It can be a time to rest and reflect.

In Latin, solstice is made of two words: sol– meaning “the sun” and sistere meaning “to make stand.” Winter Solstice (Friday, December 21, 2018 at 5:23 pm EST) is one the most powerful points of the year as the axis of the Earth pauses, shifts and moves in the opposite direction. For three days around the solstice points we experience the power of the standstill point and the shift of direction. The sun standing still is a powerful metaphor for the energy available to us at the Winter Solstice to change the direction of our lives with intention and build on this energy as we enter into the new year. After experiencing the longest night and darkest day, the nights grow shorter and the days grow brighter until the Summer Solstice.

For today let yourself rest in the peace of darkness, knowing the changing of the season, and the return of brighter days is ahead, be reminded you are always connected to Source, and your inner light never dims.

Don’t pressure yourself to make changes right now or be in action in world … let the energies of new life and inspiration build slowly within you and by spring you’ll be bursting with new energy and ideas. This is the nature of things… the cycles and rhythms of personal growth and change, as you consistently nurture yourself with compassion, allowing for rest and reflection, great joy will be your harvest in 2019.

You may want to take time to honor and acknowledge the endings & new beginnings in your life in a ceremony or personal ritual that both honors your past and clears space to make room for what you wish for the coming year. I share some ideas for personal rituals below ↓.

Whatever you choose to do to mark the end of the year, the coming of the new, and the rebirth of the light— whether pausing in quiet reflection, or celebrating with community, know that all over our planet, there are many fires burning brightly!

Abundant blessings to you in the coming year! 

In love and service,

 
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Meaning of Winter Solstice 2018

Ritual Acts Give Life Meaning

The longest night of the year is honored by many traditions as a sacred and rich time. Regardless of your holiday traditions, this time of year can be honored by reflecting on the past year and participating in your own personal ritual of light or Ending & Beginnings. When we make time to acknowledge the gifts of Spirit we cultivate a greater capacity to receive our own inner light. By enacting a personal ritual you can celebrate the dark and the light and invite balance and harmony into your life!

Ritual acts give life meaning. They also honor and acknowledge the unseen web of Life that connects us all. When we honor our personal cycles and the seasons of the year— we are reminded of the ever-changing flow of life that we are connected to.

It is suggested to take time 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the precise moment of the Solstice to open to the intelligence of nature all around you and to acknowledge your personal growth cycle. A simple ritual act done with intention in your heart is enough. 

Since this time of year is associated with light — celebrate with string lights, sparklers and candles. Join in the Jewish tradition of the Festival of Lights, with 8 days of ritual illumination or participate in a community bonfire and burn your own Yule log, a tradition with roots in Northern European pre-Christian times.

Light celebrations can be reminders of our inner light, and the Divine Light that guides our way in times of darkness. 

Fire Ceremony for Winter Solstice 2017

Fire Ceremony for Release & Rebirth

You may want to take time to honor and acknowledge the endings & new beginnings in your life in a ceremony or personal ritual that both honors your past and clears space to make room for what you wish for the coming year.

Make an offering that represents the past and give it to the Spirit of Fire as a completion. Then spend a bit of time dreaming and visioning to bring into focus what you would like to experience and bring into being in the coming year.

This can be done as a personal ceremony or with a group. Begin by giving out small pieces of paper and pencils so each can write down what they want to release.

When all have written down what they wish to release, all can gather around a fire, and each can in turn come to the fire and throw their paper in.

After all have gone, you may want to end the ritual by going around the circle and each person sharing something they are grateful for, or you may want to make some celebratory noise by banging on drums, shaking noise makers, and using your voice to send your prayers off into the Universe with a celebratory song!

 

Red Dress Winter Snow.jpeg

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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!

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

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5 Month Apprenticeship 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

The greatest journey you will ever take is from your head to your heart.

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!

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: many are motivated 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!

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!

Why Engaging In Work You Love Could Save Your Life

Be who you want, Healing, Health Mind Happy Soul, Life LessonsLissa Rankin
You are a badass motherfucking sorcerer of divine light.jpg

You probably know that having a toxic job that stresses you out and sucks the soul out of you isn’t exactly good for you. As a physician who has experienced work stress myself, as well as witnessing it in my patients, it’s obvious to me that work stress is poisonous and can translate into physical symptoms. You know this already. Anyone who has ever gotten a migraine after a deal went bad or stiff shoulders after the boss criticized him can attest to that.

But did you realize that work stress can actually kill you?

In Japan, they even have a word for it – karoshi – which is defined as “death by overwork.” Karoshi usually happens to relatively young, otherwise healthy people who are burning the candle at both ends in a less-than-dreamy work environment.

The first case of karoshi was reported in 1969, when a worker died of a stroke at the age of 29. But it wasn’t until 1987 that the Japan Ministry of Labor began collecting statistics on karoshi. Since that time, Japanese officials estimate that approximately 10,000 cases of karoshi occur each year.

This should be big news! Some lawyers and scholars even claim that the number of karoshi deaths in Japan equals or exceeds the number of traffic accident fatalities each year. But when was the last time your doctor added “Alleviate work stress” to your preventive maintenance or treatment plan?

What Happens Physiologically When People Die of Karoshi?

Karoshi is not a single disease. It’s a constellation of what are believed to be stress-induced physiological changes that usually lead to either sudden cardiac death or stroke, most likely caused by repetitive triggering of the “fight-or-flight” stress response that activates the sympathetic nervous system, raises blood pressure and heart rate, and overstresses the cardiovascular system.

Just before dying, most karoshi victims complain of varying combinations of dizziness, nausea, severe headache and stomach ache. In 95% of karoshi cases, death occurs within 24 hours of the onset of severe symptoms, though milder symptoms sometimes precede the severe ones. (If you’re stressed at work, do any of these symptoms sound familiar to you? If so, listen up. That’s your body telling you your work could be harming your health.)

Death by Overwork in the United States

It’s not just the Japanese who are working themselves to death. Although most of the data on karoshi comes from Japan, the International Labor Office released statistics showing that the United States far exceeds the Japanese when it comes to overwork. Our doctors and our government have yet to recognize karoshi as a distinct disease or award workman’s compensation benefits the way the Japanese do, and because we don’t track it, it’s hard to say how frequently work stress manifests as death in the United States. But you can bet it affects the health of many.

One study found that one in five Americans came to work, whether they were ill, injured, or seeing a doctor that day. The same sort of work obsession keeps about a third of employed Americans failing to use accrued vacation time. This failure to use accrued vacation time has actually been proven to predispose to early death. One study, published in Psychosomatic Medicine in 2000, looked at 12,000 men over nine years and found that those who failed to take annual vacations had a 21% higher risk of death from all causes, and they were 32% more likely to die of a heart attack. Yikes!

It’s not just early death that work stress can cause. Another recent study found that disenchanted, burned out employees developed heart disease at a 79% higher rate than those who liked their job.

And there are financial costs to all this burn out! The New York Times reports that health issues related to job stress costs the American economy $200 billion annually – roughly the economic cost of Hurricane Katrina. It is an epidemic that just might be affecting… you.

How Your Toxic Job Can Harm Your Body

You probably know that work stress isn’t good for you, and you probably know that if you hate your job, stress reduction would be a plus. But do you understand how work stress harms the body?

Here’s how it goes. Your boss yells at you when you did nothing wrong, and you get pissed. Or you’re on the floor of the stock market – or in front of a jury – screaming until you’re red in the face. Or you’re up all night, faced with the repetitive stress of performing a perfect surgery when you’re exhausted, like I did for over a decade. Or someone steals your idea and doesn’t give you credit. Or your job requires you to try to sell cigarettes – and when you do, you also sell out your integrity.

You keep quiet when you want to speak up. You lack the power to make the change you know needs to happen. You’re trying to please an office full of narcissists. Or whatever.

Sound The Alarm

It doesn’t matter what the stressor is. All that matters is that the amygdala in your lizard brain reads “THREAT!” and signals the alarm that lets your brain know you are in danger, probably because a tiger is chasing you. Your amygdala isn’t very smart. It doesn’t really listen to your intelligent forebrain and fails to realize that your boss isn’t actually a man-eating tiger. (Or maybe she is…)

Either way, your amygdala sounds the alarm and the “fight-or-flight” physiological stress response is triggered, flipping on your sympathetic nervous system, exposing every cell to harmful stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine, elevating your heart rate and blood pressure, and worst of all – deactivating the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms, the ones that kill cancer cells, fight infections, repair broken proteins, slow aging, and help you live to be a hundred.

The Relaxation Response

Fortunately, your body has a natural counterbalance to the potentially poisonous stress response, which Dr. Herbert Benson famously named the relaxation response, which is also the title of his bestselling book from the 1970’s. The relaxation response shuts off the stress response, turns on the parasympathetic nervous system, and flips on the body’s self-repair mechanisms so the body can do what it does best – heal itself.

Follow Your Visionary Dreams

So if you think work stress might be putting your health at risk, what can you do?

As it turns out, the most effective way to optimize the health of your body is to reduce stress responses. The average American has over 50 stress responses per day, often caused by work stress.

But what if you were doing work you really loved? When you love your work like I do and you’re feeling a sense of mission and purpose, helping other people with the work you do, staying in alignment with your integrity, feeling a sense of personal power in an entrepreneurial business, working with people you admire, and expressing your creative gifts, you naturally experience fewer stress responses – and the body’s self-repair mechanisms have a chance to do their business.

What If You Can’t Quit Your Soul-Sucking Job?

Still mired in the cubicle or married to the golden handcuffs? Don’t worry. In Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, I walk you through the 6 Steps To Healing Yourself that include not only how to reduce stress responses, but very specific actions you can take to activate more relaxation responses – things like meditation, laughter, playing with animals, hanging out with friends, getting a massage, doing yoga, attending services as part of a spiritual community, giving to others, or hugging someone.

Ultimately, it’s all about the ratio between stress responses and relaxation responses in the body, so if you can’t reduce stress responses, you can still add relaxation responses – and my book will teach you how to do that.

Is Your Work Killing You? Or Do You Love What You Do?

 

Reposted with permission from LissaRankin.com


Lissa Rankin

LISSA RANKIN | PHYSICIAN & MYSTIC

Lissa Rankin, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling is a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Passionate about what makes people optimally healthy and what predisposes them to illness, she is on a mission to merge science and spirituality in a way that not only facilitates the health of the individual, but also uplifts the health of the collective.

Bridging between seemingly disparate worlds, Lissa is a connector, collaborator, curator, and amplifier, broadcasting not only her unique visionary ideas, but also those of cutting edge visionaries she discerns and trusts, especially in the field of her latest research into "Sacred Medicine."

Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials and also leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers like Esalen and Kripalu. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her daughter. She blogs at LissaRankin.com and posts regularly 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!

How to Find Your Calling: Navigating Your Own Hero’s Journey

Guest Writer, Life LessonsLissa Rankin
How to Find Your Calling: Navigating Your Own Hero’s Journey

Life is hard, and to live it fully and express your soul authentically requires the courage of a warrior and the softness, gentleness, and yielding flexibility of a goddess.

Of course, everyone’s path is unique, but there are well-traveled paths that all heroes before you have worn smooth through experience. So why not model your journey after Luke Skywalker, Mother Teresa, or Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Navigating your own hero’s journey is one of the cornerstones of living a meaningful, rich, authentic, wholly healthy life. So what does it mean to be on a hero’s journey? What is the arc?

Joseph Campbell described it best, first in his book A Hero with a Thousand Faces  and then in The Power of Myth, a famous interview with Bill Moyer that aired on PBS. Luke Skywalker follows the epic hero’s journey classically. But so do you, every time you say yes to your calling.

Some of us are driven towards our purpose by passion, but many others take a journey to hell and back, and only when we’ve survived something traumatic do we realize we have been in training to serve others who are still in hell. Sometimes we only discover we are heroes when we get disillusioned enough with the dysfunction of our present circumstances. When we feel sad enough and lost enough and hopeless enough, something deep within us has the opportunity to emerge, something stronger and wiser than we may ever have known existed within us. We all have this heroic spark that never dies, even when we’re in our darkest moments.

This spark within you is fueled by a pressing sense that there is adventure out there, that your life has purpose, that you’re on a quest you may not understand yet, that your small little existence on this very big planet could mean something, that there is more to life than the ordinary, dysfunctional world, and that perhaps all it takes is a cape and a mask and some really cool boots in order to save the world.

Let me break it down for you because it can be helpful to know what lies ahead.

The Ordinary World

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Most of us don’t realize how truly heroic we are until we’re called to step up to the plate and do something we would never have believed we’d be capable of doing before we were called to get out of our comfort zone and demonstrate our potential. We don’t know we are heroes because we assume heroes are supposed to fight battles and overcome obstacles and rescue damsels in distress and still looking dashing while they’re saving the world.  But heroes start out like everybody else, living our ordinary lives in our Ordinary Worlds, doing our ordinary things, slogging through life, reacting to life’s tragedies and feeling like victims of our circumstances, treading water in our lives until we realize we are drowning and the only way to survive is to quit fighting so hard and just trust that we will be thrown life preservers. Because we will. But maybe not the way you expect.

The Call to Adventure

Right when you might start to question your inner superhero and feel tempted to lose hope that your little blip of existence in this great big world could really make a world-changing difference, you’re likely to hear the phone ring. It usually rings very softly at first, perhaps so softly that, like your cell phone with the ringer off, you miss it altogether. But when you fail to pick up, the phone is likely to ring louder. Some Divine force turns the ringer on.

Refusal of the Call

Because heroes are inherently curious, you won’t be able to resist picking up the jangling phone, yet when you hear what you’re meant to do on your hero’s journey, if you’re like the rest of us, you’re likely to respond with a rousing, “HELL NO.” What you are being called to do is too scary. The dangers are too risky. Your comfort zone is too secure. It would be so much easier to stay in the Ordinary World, even though the Ordinary World is so . . . well, ordinary. Fear wrecks you. There are so many really, really good reasons to hang up the phone and refuse the call. Nobody would blame you. You’re only human. It would be natural to turn your back on something so terrifying. So like all the other heroes who have ever walked a hero’s path, you refuse the call. It’s how we heroes play hard to get.

Yet no matter how much you pretend you’re not available for that last minute Friday night date with destiny, I guarantee you that, when it’s your true calling, the call will keep pestering you. You can resist the call, but you don’t get to choose your calling. Your calling chooses you.

Meeting of the Magical Mentor

Because it’s so scary to say YES to your calling, a magical mentor will arrive, either as an inner mentor or an outer one, someone who will guide the hero, offer protection and reassurance, and share wisdom intended to help the hero navigate what is sure to be a challenging journey ahead. This mentor will encourage you to say yes, gifting you with boons and uplifting your confidence.

Crossing the Threshold

Finally, with the aid of this mentor, you either muster up the moxy to rally to the task, picking up the phone with a smile, or you get so worn down by the incessant ringing that you pick up with a sigh and a roll of the eyes.  The hero leaves the known world and leaps into the unknown, which signals the hero’s final separation from the Ordinary World and marks the hero’s willingness to undergo metamorphosis. There’s often a rupture of some sort, an unraveling, as the hero goes from caterpillar into cellular debris inside the cocoon.

The minute you say YES to your calling and cross the threshold from the Ordinary World into the Special World, life tends to get very interesting and synchronicities tend to pop up to affirm that you made the right decision.

The Road of Trials (Test, Enemies, Allies)

Because magical things start happening the minute you say YES to your calling, you may be seduced into thinking the whole journey will be a cakewalk. But the honeymoon period of your entry into the Special World is just a phase. It’s almost like your reward for having the courage to accept the call. But this hero’s journey is an initiation, which means it won’t always be roses and violets. That’s when you’ll realize you’re on the Road of Trials. The Road of Trials consists of a series of tests and obstacles the hero must overcome, and along the way, the hero meets allies and enemies and begins to learn the rules of a world far different than the Ordinary World.

This can be a challenging time. When you find yourself struggling to get through an obstacle-ridden forest, it can be hard to tell whether your commitment is just being tested, as every heroes is, or whether you’ve veered off course. Obstacles can be part of the growth process, the cultivation of your inner hero, a necessary part of your hero’s journey. But they can also be Signs that you’ve made a wrong turn.

Approaching the Innermost Cave

As the Road of Trials intensifies, the hero comes to the edge of a dangerous place—the headquarters of the enemy or the dark cave of the new world, or a scary inner place where the reckoning must happen as part of a Dark Night of the Soul.

The Ordeal

The ordeal usually follows, a fight to the death with the forces of darkness, when the hero is at risk of losing it all. Surviving the ordeal is a right of passage, an initiation into the new world that graduates the hero into a wiser, more enlightened state of being. There are death and rebirth during the ordeal. As the former Cat Stevens—Yusuf Islam—sings, “To be what you must, you must give up what you are.”

Reward/The Holy Grail

Having survived the ordeal, the hero is rewarded. The holy grail is found. Life-changing wisdom is earned. An elixir that will serve as the balm for a wounded culture is won. But the hero isn’t out of the woods yet.

The Road Back

Once the hero finds the holy grail that promises to change the Ordinary World into the new bliss, it’s tempting to hold that knowledge dear, to protect it close to the heart, where nobody can threaten it or challenge it or take it away. But that’s not what heroes do. Heroes always find the courage to bring the holy grail back home to the Ordinary World so others can benefit too.

Resurrection

Before the grail comes home, the hero undergoes one last final exam, a last-ditch effort on the part of the forces of fear and darkness to derail the hero from bringing the hard-won reward back to the Ordinary World so that it may become the promised land. This last ordeal nearly brings the hero down—again. Another near-death ensues. But once again—phew—the hero is resurrected.

The Resurrection happens once the hero leaves the Special World and reenters the Ordinary World. Without this death and rebirth witnessed by the people of the Ordinary World, those the hero left behind might have trouble recognizing that Joe Schmoe, who was once just like them, has now transformed into a butterfly. Because this resurrection tends to be witnessed, people in the Ordinary World wake up and realize the hero has a precious gift to bring back home, something that could turn everyone at home into butterflies.

Return with the Holy Grail

That’s when the hero can finally bring the grail home once and for all. Dorothy makes it back to Kansas with the knowledge that there’s no place like home. Luke Skywalker learns to ally himself with The Force. Nelson Mandela becomes President and dismantles apartheid, bringing to chaos the peace he discovered during his imprisonment. Once you find the holy grail, you see the light and can use it to illuminate others.


The Heroine’s Journey

Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey aligns with the dominant masculine paradigm, but depth psychologist Anne Davin reinvents the journey into a heroine’s journey. Anne describes the heroine’s journey as a series of phases a woman moves through as she infuses her divinity into the surprises, disappointments, and ruptures that life can bring, a journey that happens in five phases. Anne describes the difference between the hero and the heroine:

“Although the hero in modern times is a rugged individualist, the heroine is interdependent on others for her survival. The hero views humans and the divine as separate. For the heroine, there is no separation between spirit and matter. All are One. The hero is self-sacrificing; the heroine receives from others. The hero survives against all odds; the heroine’s ego dies to the perfection of whatever is happening, coming into agreement with what is, rather than forcing her will. The hero dominates; the heroine surrenders. The hero competes; the heroine collaborates. The hero revels in his victory, filled with pride; the heroine wears her humility as a jeweled crown. The hero never questions his value or direction; the heroine lives her life as an open question. The hero fights death, living in perpetual fight or flight; the heroine dies willingly into the still point of Beingness. The hero asks, “What can I get for myself?” The heroine asks, “How can I serve the dream?”

Phase One: The Everyday Woman

The woman is the everyday woman, living her everyday life. She doesn’t realize she is about to encounter an experience that will create chaos and deep internal change, perhaps dreamed up by her soul to facilitate her evolution as a divine spark of the feminine.

Phase Two: The Rupture

The second phase is the “rupture,” wherein the heroine experiences an activating event—a divorce, the loss of a loved one, a cancer journey, getting fired from her job, being a victim of violent crime—that creates the perception of loss or disappointment. This rupture leads her to descend into a swamp of what can almost be described as delicious grief. During the rupture, she refuses to play the victim, instead, embracing the tragedy with grace and sensual surrender.

Phase Three: Transparency

In the third phase of “transparency,” the heroine uses the action and power of transparency to embody her wholeness in every moment. She courageously embraces all of the many faces of her feminine self, including what may be judged by the culture as repulsive or frightening.

Phase Four: Receiving

The fourth phase is about “receiving,” during which the heroine remains open, exposed, and vulnerable while she receives the soothing contact and assistance from others who tend her. She recognizes this as essential, and compassionately allows herself to be nurtured through her crisis.

Phase Five: Action

This love and support she receives in Phase Four lead her to Phase Five—“action,” during which she experiences a profound emotional and spiritual restoration that energizes new attitudes, perspectives, and action in her life.

Reposted with permission from LissaRankin.com


How to Find YOur Calling

LISSA RANKIN | PHYSICIAN & MYSTIC

Lissa Rankin, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over MedicineThe Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling is a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Passionate about what makes people optimally healthy and what predisposes them to illness, she is on a mission to merge science and spirituality in a way that not only facilitates the health of the individual, but also uplifts the health of the collective. 

Bridging between seemingly disparate worlds, Lissa is a connector, collaborator, curator, and amplifier, broadcasting not only her unique visionary ideas, but also those of cutting edge visionaries she discerns and trusts, especially in the field of her latest research into "Sacred Medicine." 

Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials and also leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers like Esalen and Kripalu. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her daughter. She blogs at LissaRankin.com and posts regularly on Facebook.

Blessings on Your Journey

All I know after a long, winding journey is that we are here to love and to be loved, to open our hearts all the way and to let the impulse of love spawn a revolution that helps us remember Why We Are Really Here.

Each of us will participate in this revolution of love in our own unique way as we navigate our own heroic journey. As we journey together, we will all wake up to the truth of what is real and why our souls chose to incarnate at this special time on Planet Earth. This is why you are here, so we can co-create a more beautiful world together, one little miracle at a time.

If the phone is ringing for you, trust your heart if it tells you to take the call. Your instructions await you. The time is now. Blessings on your journey.


 
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 can failure teach us?

Be who you want, Inspiring, Life Lessons, Learning to Love YourselfChloë RainComment
I have learned to give, not because I have much, but because I know exactly how it feels to have nothing.

When things go wrong all at once, it's hard to see the bright side. But what if losing out can teach us to be more appreciative for what we truly have?

Even if it's not the easiest way to learn to savor the small moments, sometimes failure or loss can be the biggest reminders of what is really important in life.


Many successful people tell us that we should keep a Gratitude Journal, that this is a key activity of every successful and happy person. Many thought leaders have suggested that when we understand how to practice gratitude in our daily lives we will become more prosperous and happy people ourselves.

I had read this, maybe even tried keeping a gratitude journal once or twice, but I really didn't know what gratitude was all about or how to practice gratitude. Not because I was unthankful, I just didn't understand what it meant to feel grateful for the things in my life, when it seemed that most everyone I knew, including myself, was hell bent on accomplishing more, getting more things, and climbing the Mount Everest of Achievements, faster than everyone else. When I took stock of my life, it felt like time was running out. How could I possibly do, get, and achieve everything I thought I needed to in this lifetime?

I tried to grasp the concept of gratitude, for my current life circumstances, because I knew it would be a good thing if I did. And even in that thought process, I had missed the boat entirely.

Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants.

Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so.

In addition, gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.
— Psychology Today

Gratitude wasn't something I learned through appreciation or journaling, or taking stock in my life and my relationships.

No, gratitude, was something I learned through failure and defeat.

Strangely, the process of defeat became the teacher of one of the most important and immutable life lessons one can learn in this lifetime. Becoming grateful for my life and everything I had (and then didn't have) was the ROI I received when I invested everything I had in an ideal and lost it all.

What I learned was that my ability to dream, implement, follow through, lose it all, recover against all odds, and optimistically work toward an ideal with hope beyond hope, helped me to see the value of what it means to be alive. 

Learning gratitude for life, creativity, resourcefulness, and becoming grateful for life force still coursing within me, was the immeasurable bounty of going broke.

There are times when our world feels like it is breaking down and dissolving right in front of our eyes and we might feel like it is totally out of our control.

At the same time, something strange begins to happen inside ourselves... We begin to become more resourceful than we have ever been before. We begin to think creatively. We begin to know our own self-worth in a way that we've never contemplated or experienced before.

As we are stripped of things we once thought were important, we begin to understand that at the core of our being we are worthy of existence, not because of what we do or what we have, but because of who we are.

Your life and the value you bring to the world through your own self expression and creativity are the most priceless possessions that no one and NO thing can ever take from you. There is no other speck of stardust in the Universe just like you. No one else thinks your thoughts, feels your feelings, has your desires, or is capable of doing the things you do, in the way that you and only you do them.

The essence of Gratitude, is appreciation for life in and of itself. Your life matters, because you are You, and no one else can do what you are here to do. Since you are still alive, your life has a reason and a purpose and if there is breath in your lungs, you haven't fulfilled your mission on Earth. Time to figure out what you are still doing here, and go for it.


Now I am Truly Free : Finding Purpose in Life : Chloe Rain

There is a story of a great guru, who had only one material object: A bowl which he used to beg for food. He stopped at a well to drink and accidentally dropped the bowl into the well. His response?

"Now I am truly free".


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!

Soul Questions to Help You Find Your Life Purpose

Be who you want, Life LessonsGuest Writer
Soul Questions to Help You Find Your Life Purpose

Maybe you want to make a bigger contribution to the world than you feel you are, but you aren't sure how. 

Or perhaps you just want to figure out how to make a good living doing something you love, but you don't know where to start.

The truth is, it can feel like a daunting task to connect your prosperity to your purpose . . . especially if it's not clear to you what your purpose is.

It has been said by many "gurus" that when you're clear about WHY you want more abundance in your life and how it will support you in living your highest truth, your financial goals will become connected in astonishingly powerful ways to your greater purpose.

And that once you do that important work of connecting your prosperity to your purpose, abundance will flow to you naturally and with ease.

According to Deepak Chopra, living in abundance consciousness requires looking deep into your heart and asking, "Why am I here?"

Because it's only when a person creatively contributes to the world and serves others by sharing their unique talents and gifts that true abundance results. 

This is the nature of "karma," that every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind . . . what we sow is what we reap. 

When we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success. The key is to understand what brings you happiness and fulfillment. 

To begin that journey to understanding, start by asking yourself this key question:

If you had no concerns about accumulating things and had the financial freedom to do exactly what you wanted, what would you being doing now? 

Next, try this 8-minute "Q&A"

Soul Questions to Help You Find Your Life Purpose:

Begin by quieting your mind and bringing your attention into your heart. Ask yourself these questions. Then listen for the answers that come from the depths of your being. Don't judge the answers that come. Just allow and take notice of them.

What comes easily for me?
What God-given talent do I have?
What unique qualities characterize me?
What do I feel passionate about?
What do I do that gives rather than depletes me of life energy?
What brings me joy and enthusiasm?
What do I do that brings joy or value to others?
What do I engage in so that time loses its hold on me?

If you want to experience more abundance in your life, shift your focus from what you want to possess to how you can express your energy and creativity in the world. 

Commit to a life overflowing with abundance of love, passion, creativity, and meaning . . . and the financial rewards will follow.

Article Originally appeared on Chopra.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!

The Spiritual Significance of Imbolc | Finding Purpose & Inspiration in the In Between Times

Life Lessons, Nature, Rituals, Spiritual SignificanceChloë RainComment

Imbolc, the seeds of life are planted....

The Spiritual Significance of Imbolc
May the stirring of life underground, stir new dreams into life within you.

May the flames of inspiration and new growth be ignited within your Being.
— Imbolc Blessing

February 1st has been celebrated for time millenia as Imbolc, today in our western culture it is symbolically celebrated as Groundhog Day, and also known as Saint Brigid's Day in Christian religions.

Imbolc is one of the four major fire festivals that mark the spaces in between the Equinoxes and the Solstices. The other three festivals on the Celtic calendar are Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain. The word Imbolc means literally "in the belly" in the old Irish Neolithic language, referring to the pregnancy of ewes. 

In the Northern Hemisphere we are about to transition into Spring. I know it might seem that we are in the midst of winter, and on the surface things seem dormant and dead, but under the ground the energy of the earth is stirring, the life force is awakening. 

Wherever you may find yourself, today can be a good day of reflection engaging with nature and the cycles of life. By acknowledging this transition we are symbolically honoring the space between the seasons.

In this way, we may honor the experiences within our own lives and timelines, the spaces in between. Where things seem dead and dormant on the surface; they may actually be the times when underneath things are stirring and the life force of new things are awakening within us.

The great writer Andrew Solomon famously said, "the opposite of depression is not happiness. The opposite of depression is vitality."

In the spaces of in between, there may feel an emptiness or loneliness, because what once was, is now gone, but what will be has yet to fully manifest or arrive.

This is a beautiful and necessary space for growth. In the spaces in between, all possibilities exist, and none have been chosen.

There’s a power that lives in the space ‘between,’ that subtle instant when something ends, and what follows next hasn’t yet begun.

The energies of the the Super Moon, meaning the moon is closest to the Earth and measurably bigger and brighter, on January 31st and a full Lunar Eclipse will be amplified! Which represents another period of completion where we may lay down the old and empty ourselves for the new that is coming.

In order to make room in ourselves for the miraculous to take root, most of us need to uncover, examine and ultimately leave behind a deeply rooted fundamental insistence on a life of limitation. May you know your worthiness at the deepest level, today and every day, and feel your connection to the greater cycles of life that we are a part of.

I hope you are able to embrace this time of new beginnings and of change, because this is how your spirit grows and evolves, even when we feel uncomfortable or alone.

And in the beautiful, divine brilliance of nature, the growing energy of the season is supporting you in that powerful work.

If you have any questions about engaging the cycles of nature, the moon cycles and how you can harness their influence, or anything about the work that I do, please write me at chloe@exploredeeply.com or learn more about earth-based practices for wellness in the Walking the Path Of Purpose Mentorship Program.


Brighid was an Irish-Celtic goddess and later a Christian Saint. The Saint and the Goddess continue to intermingle into the present day.  Read more about Imbolc and the prayer of St Brigid.

O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?
— Percy Bysshe Shelley
Falling in Love on Valentines

A Guided Journey to greater LOVE

Our heart’s desires are divine impulses meant to motivate us, guide us and inspire us to become the greatest expressions of who we can be.

The 21 Days to Love Program is an easy to follow journey to experience greater love and greater abundance.

Help with falling in Love

We are made of Love and it is said that our desires are the keys to unlock our unique destiny.

This program will help open you up, gently, to all that you are - love, joy, harmony, and you will experience so much more in these powerful transmissions!

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!

Beannacht — May the clarity of light be yours

Life Lessons, PoetryChloë RainComment
Blessing Poem by John O'Donohue

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

— John O'Donohue

Beannacht means blessing in Gaelic

 
 
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!

Winter Solstice : Making Peace with the Darkness

Ceremony, Rituals, Rites of Passage, Spiritual Significance, Life LessonsChloë RainComment
releasing negative emotions

Why do we spend so much time suppressing and hiding our darkness? When negative emotions come up and we feel them, they're inconvenient, uncomfortable, or worse, we make ourselves wrong for feeling them.

When we fear our own darkness or make ourselves wrong for having negative feelings, we cut ourselves off from an essential source of our own personal power. The key is not in letting darkness overwhelm our lives and our thoughts but in understanding that negativity can be one of the greatest catalysts for personal growth and transformation. Maybe even our way to enlightenment.

By allowing ourselves to feel our negative emotions and experience our own darkness, the darkness itself can become the spiritual cradle into which our inner light and new life is born.

Allow your feelings to guide you because your feelings are your truth.

In the Northern Hemisphere at this time we are experiencing the longest and darkest nights of the year and the shortest days with the least amount of daylight. The dark triumphs over the light, but this signifies a turning point!

In winter everything lies dormant in the silent earth, it is a sacred time of rest and reflection before the awakening and the slow build toward brighter days. As we consciously link our awareness to nature's cycles, our understanding of our own personal growth cycles begin to deepen.

The energy of winter is that of going within. It's the fruitful darkness and silence out of which our soul's yearnings and new inspirations can eventually emerge.

Winter Solstice (Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 11:28 am EST) is one of the most powerful points of the year as the axis of the Earth pauses, shifts and moves in the opposite direction. For three days around the solstice points we experience the power of the standstill point and the shift of direction. After experiencing the longest and darkest day, the nights grow shorter and the days grow brighter until the Summer Solstice.

For today let yourself rest in the peace of darkness, knowing the changing of the season, and the return of brighter days is ahead, be reminded you are always connected to Source, and your inner light never dims. 

Don’t pressure yourself to make changes right now or be in action in world … let the energies of new life and inspiration build slowly within you and by spring you’ll be bursting with new energy and ideas. This is the nature of things… the cycles and rhythms of personal growth and change, as you consistently nurture yourself with compassion, allowing for rest and reflection, great joy will be your harvest in 2018.

You may want to take time to honor and acknowledge the endings & new beginnings in your life in a ceremony or personal ritual that both honors your past and clears space to make room for what you wish for the coming year. I share some ideas for personal rituals below ↓.

Whatever you choose to do to mark the end of the year, the coming of the new, and the rebirth of the light— whether pausing in quiet reflection, or celebrating with community, know that all over our planet, there are many fires burning brightly!

Abundant blessings to you in the coming year! 

With love,

 
Copy of Print
Festive Candle Lights for Winter Solstice 2017

Ritual Acts Give Life Meaning

The longest night of the year is honored by many traditions as a sacred and rich time. Regardless of your holiday traditions, this time of year can be honored by reflecting on the past year and participating in your own personal ritual of light or Ending & Beginnings. When we make time to acknowledge the gifts of Spirit we cultivate a greater capacity to receive our own inner light. By enacting a personal ritual you can celebrate the dark and the light and invite balance and harmony into your life!

Ritual acts give life meaning. They also honor and acknowledge the unseen web of Life that connects us all. When we honor our personal cycles and the seasons of the year— we are reminded of the ever-changing flow of life that we are connected to.

It is suggested to take time 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the precise moment of the Solstice to open to the intelligence of nature all around you and to acknowledge your personal growth cycle. A simple ritual act done with intention in your heart is enough. 

Since this time of year is associated with light — celebrate with string lights, sparklers and of course, candles. Join in the Jewish tradition of the Festival of Lights, with 8 days of ritual illumination or participate in a community bonfire and burn your own Yule log, a tradition with roots in Northern European pre-Christian times.

Light celebrations can be reminders of our inner light, and the Divine Light that guides our way in times of darkness. 

Fire Ceremony for Release & Rebirth 

Fire Ceremony for Winter Solstice 2017

You may want to take time to honor and acknowledge the endings & new beginnings in your life in a ceremony or personal ritual that both honors your past and clears space to make room for what you wish for the coming year.

Make an offering that represents the past and give it to the Spirit of Fire as a completion. Then spend a bit of time dreaming and visioning to bring into focus what you would like to experience and bring into being in the coming year.

This can be done as a personal ceremony or with a group. Begin by giving out small pieces of paper and pencils so each can write down what they want to release.

When all have written down what they wish to release, all can gather around a fire, and each can in turn come to the fire and throw their paper in.

After all have gone, you end the ritual by banging on drums, or shaking noise makers, and your voice to send it off into the Universe with a celebratory song!


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!

Sometimes Life is Difficult

Inspiring, Life Lessons, Learning to Love YourselfGuest Writer1 Comment
Sometimes Life is Difficult

Resistance tends to strengthen the energies it attempts to oppose by giving them power and energy to work against.

We all know the feeling of being repeatedly haunted by the same issue, no matter how we try to ignore it, avoid it, or run away from it. Sometimes it seems that we can get rid of something we don't want by simply pushing it away. Most of the time, the more we push away, the more we get pushed back. There are laws of physics and metaphysics that explain this phenomenon, which is often summed up in this pithy phrase: That which you resist persists. 

Resistance tends to strengthen the energies it attempts to oppose by giving them power and energy to work against. Additionally, resistance keeps us from learning more about what we resist. In order to fully understand something, we must open to it enough to receive its energy; otherwise, we remain ignorant of its lessons.

There is a Tibetan story of a monk who retreats to meditate in a cave only to be plagued by demons. He tries everything chasing, fighting, hiding to get the demons out of his cave, but the thing that finally works is surrender. He simply lets them have their way with him and only then do they disappear. 

Now, this wisdom must be applied practically. We are not meant to get ourselves physically injured. Instead, this story speaks of how, in essence, our demons are inside of us. What plagues and pursues us on an inner level has a way of manifesting itself in our environment in the form of people, events, and issues that appear to be beyond our control. But all these external expressions are reflections of our insides, and it is inside ourselves that we can safely experiment with surrendering to what we fear and dislike.

It may feel scary, and we may find ourselves in the company of a lot of resistance as we begin the process of opening to what we fear. But the more we learn to surrender, and the more the demons that plague us disappear in the process, the more courageous we will become.

Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.
— M. Scott Peck

Article BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Reposted with permission from DailyOM – Inspirational thoughts for a happy, healthy and fulfilling day.

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 Season of Rebirth Online Summit

Life Lessons, Telesummit, VideoChloë RainComment
Online Summit Interview Series

This Holiday Season, Live Your Truth and Be in Joy

Opt out of the Craziness, Connect with the True Spirit of Winter & the Holidays, and Reclaim your Soulful Life!

The holidays can be a time of joyful celebration, yet they can also be a time of huge stress — physically, mentally AND emotionally.

Often times, we find our biggest buttons being pushed this time of year and finances, relationship patterns, career changes, weight gain, judgment, and family stresses all begin to take their toll.

I have collaborated with Catherine Jimenez-Spencer and 21 other wise, caring, and dedicated guest speakers to help you experience a powerful Season of Rebirth this December!

This is your opportunity to join in a free online event meant to support you in releasing any craziness happening in your life, connect deeply with the true essence of winter & spirit of the Holiday you celebrate, and to reclaim your soulful life.  

Tune in and let us support you to: 
    •    Experience the true joy of the season!
    •    Be more present, grounded, peaceful
    •    Feel more connected with your family
    •    Deepen your Faith
    •    Start your new year with MORE clarity, energy, peace, love and passion!  

The Season of Rebirth Summit will help you learn how to heal, reclaim your power, and receive, and share the true gifts this season hold for you! 

Please give yourself, your family, and the world at large an incredible gift, and register for this free online event now!

This beautiful, heartfelt, and powerful event is completely free to you, and all of the interviews can be joined from the comfort of your own home (or on any mobile device while you are out and about, wrapping, cooking ), at whatever time is most convenient for you. Sign up now and you will get a free gift from each of the guest speakers!

The interviews will air daily throughout the month of December to support you to release any craziness happening in your life, connect with the true essence of winter and reclaim your soulful life!

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!

Sit. Feast on your Life.

Life Lessons, Poetry, Learning to Love YourselfChloë RainComment
Compassion - Darkness

LOVE AFTER LOVE

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome, 

and say, sit here. Eat. 
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart. 
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, 

the photographs, the desperate notes, 
peel your own image from the mirror. 
Sit. Feast on your life. 

— Derek Walcott

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 Law of the Twinkie: Spiritual Enlightenment & Personal Freedom

Health Mind Happy Soul, Learning to Love Yourself, Life LessonsChloë RainComment

You eat Twinkies and you know they're not good for you, deep down inside you know.....

But you like eating twinkies and so you stay for a while in a state of confusion. You eat twinkies all the time. You think you love twinkies, twinkies make you feel satiated.

But deep down inside you know, something's not right.

One day you're feeling particularly bad about your eating of the Twinkies and so you start to get curious.

You educate yourself on nutrition and you are aware that the combination of flour and sugar has no nutritional value and is high in calories, but you still eat the twinkies.

Then doing more research you become aware that in fact there are worse ingredients in the Twinkies and that you like to numb yourself by eating the twinkies and you feel addicted to the twinkies. But you still eat the Twinkies.

Then you become aware that you numb yourself with food and you feel out of control of your craving because there is an emotional response trigger to not feeling comfortable in your body, so you eat to numb yourself and feel shame around your eating.

But you still eat the twinkies. Then you become aware that you started eating to numb yourself because you were violated as a child and it wasn't safe or comfortable to be in your body, so over eating protects you from being seen, protects you from being violated, numbs you from feeling the emotions in your body.  

Now every time you go to eat the twinkie you have a new insight about the choice you are making and you start to realize that it's really not about the twinkie, it's about how you feel inside your body and what emotions are attached to eating.

From this awareness, you can realize that the twinkie does not have power over you, the twinkie is not smarter than you, and you know that really what is occurring is an emotional trigger that you don't feel safe, you don't want to be seen, and you want to numb out in your body.  

From this place of awareness, you may still eat the twinkie.... the more you do the work the more clearing of the emotional trigger, the less and less the twinkie has power over your choices.

Then one day, it hits you. You no longer want the twinkie. You want to like yourself and feel good in your body. You start making different choices. You start to see the benefits of eating things that make you feel good about your choices instead of the twinkies, one day you even realize you enjoy eating things that make you feel good more than you have ever enjoyed eating twinkies.

Twinkies don’t totally disappear from your life, and every time you come up against the Twinkie you have to make the choice.
— The Law of the Twinkie

You start to feel better in your body. One choice at at time, you start to feel better. If one day you eat the twinkie, ok, no big deal, next time you have the opportunity to make an entirely new and fresh choice.

The key is that the twinkie no longer rules your life and your every decision. You are in control of your choices.

You start to trust yourself. 

Then One Day you realize many days have passed since you even thought of Twinkies, and you laugh at how silly and insignificant the Twinkie really is, and how powerful you have become.

In love and service,-logo-black (2).png
 
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Awareness is the key to making a different choice. Having awareness is 90% of what is needed to make changes. It is what you do with the awareness is what makes the difference.
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!