About Us

Welcome to Evolve Soulful Quest (ESQ), a platform dedicated to igniting your self-discovery and empowering you on your journeys of personal growth and transformation. At ESQ, we unwaveringly believe in the inherent potential within each of us to create positive and enduring transformations in our lives.

Our mission is to fuel this transformation through transformative experiences and practical tools. We aim to inspire you to actively sculpt your life, embracing your unique paths and cultivating a profound sense of fulfillment and purpose. Drawing upon ancient and modern wisdom, we unveil the keys to a joyful existence, paving the way for crafting our best, most joyful selves.

At ESQ, we are a growing community united by the pursuit of hacking the Happiness Code and unlocking the Ancient & Modern Keys to a Joyful Life. Our goal is to empower you to integrate these keys, crafting your best, most joyful, and authentic self.

We wholeheartedly encourage an awakening to the dynamic process of self-creation, guiding and enabling individuals to become conscious architects of their destinies through the practice of ‘Care of the Self’ alongside insights from both ancient and modern wisdom.

Join us on this profound journey of self-discovery.

Let’s explore the true essence of who we are and build meaningful, purpose-driven lives – together.

Hack the Happiness Code—Unveil Ancient & Modern Keys to a Joyful Life

Our Vision

We envision a world where true transformation begins from within, where individuals recognize and embrace their innate capacity to shape their destinies with purpose and authenticity.

Our vision at ESQ is to empower individuals to lead authentic and joyful lives through the transformative power of ‘Care of Self,‘ liberating themselves from unreasonable external constraints that hinder personal growth and self-discovery.

We aim to cultivate a supportive community that creates a safe and nurturing space for individuals to explore their inner worlds, challenge limiting beliefs, and craft their best, most joyful selves.

Through our transformative programs and empowering practices, we aim to instigate a profound shift in how people perceive themselves and the world, paving the way for a more fulfilling and purpose-driven existence.

Our Approach

At ESQ, we kindle the flame of self-discovery, sparking your personal transformation. We empower individuals to embark on a transformative odyssey guided by the timeless art of ‘Care of the Self.’ This profound practice, enriched by ancient wisdom and modern insights, illuminates your path to self-knowledge and joyful living.

On our website, ourbestjoyfulselves.com, we offer curated experiences — from online courses and transformative workshops to intimate Soulful Dinners — that facilitate our journey together. Collaborative exploration and shared wisdom will help you unlock the secrets to cracking your ‘Happiness Code.’ Embracing self-awareness, we guide you toward becoming your most authentic and joyful self, at ease with yourself and the world.

Drawing from diverse sources like ancient and modern philosophies, insights from psychology, and timeless literature, our platform becomes your treasure chest of tools. We assist you in smoothly unlocking and integrating these insights into your lives, empowering you to craft the life you were meant to live — a vibrant tapestry woven with purpose and joy.

But this journey isn’t a solitary trek. At ESQ, we endeavour to cultivate a thriving community of like-minded hearts. Here, collaboration ignites, connections bloom, and synergy fuels your path.

Together, we practice the art of ‘Care of the Self,’ cultivating unwavering self-awareness and resilience, and discovering the joy of authentic connection to yourself and others.

These practices will become the cornerstone of your transformation, fuelling your growth and enriching your life, helping you become your best, most joyful self.

Our approach at ESQ celebrates the unique journey of each individual towards self-transformation, emphasizing the profound art of ‘self-care.’ It revolves around customization and personalization, tailoring transformative offerings to meet the specific needs of every person.

To achieve this, we curate a diverse selection of experts—renowned academics, psychologists, practitioners, and thought leaders—who provide a wealth of perspectives and transformative practices. Their contributions enrich our programs, offering a comprehensive and multifaceted experience.

Our range of transformative experiences, from weekend retreats to seminars, workshops, and online courses, Soulful Dinners ensures accessibility and flexibility. This accommodates diverse lifestyles and commitments, prioritizing a journey that nurtures self-care and cultivates your true potential, aligning with individual aspirations.

At ESQ, we believe in the inherent potential of every individual to create positive and lasting change. Our mission is to provide transformative experiences and practical tools, inspiring active engagement in shaping lives, embracing uniqueness, and fostering fulfillment and purpose.

We encourage the awakening to the dynamic process of self-discovery and self-transformation, empowering individuals to consciously shape their lives through the practice of ‘Care of the Self.’

Join us on this profound journey of self-discovery, as we uncover the true essence of who we are and craft meaningful, purpose-driven existences.

The Evolution Within: Embracing Self-Discovery, Self-Transformation, and 'Care of the Self’

At ESQ, we embark on a transformative odyssey, tapping into the boundless potential within our minds and souls. I’m En, your guide and the founder of this community, extending a warm invitation to join our journey of self-discovery and growth.

The evolution of ESQ has been deeply personal. As I near the completion of this iteration, I find increasing contentment with its trajectory. While some refinements may still be on the horizon, the path to a formal launch draws nearer.

While the concepts of self-discovery, transformation, and ‘Care of the Self’ have been woven throughout the site, in this space, I intend to delve deeper into the core reasons why I believe these are essential tools for crafting our best, most joyful selves.

To accomplish this, I’ll provide a comprehensive description with extensive writing. While I understand a wall of text could be daunting, I believe this section holds inherent value for those who resonate with its purpose. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to invest your time in exploring the arguments presented here.

I consider these discussions important and have dedicated a significant amount of time to them. Moreover, writing itself is one of the methods of self-care, but that would be jumping ahead too much.

In a world brimming with distractions and fleeting moments, discerning what truly matters becomes paramount. I am persuaded that cultivating deep relationships with ourselves and others, nurtured through the practices explored here and beyond, is essential.

This is why this section holds such weight – it weaves a tapestry of my relationship with myself and others, tracing the transformative changes that occurred throughout my journey.

It highlights how the practices of self-discovery, transformation, and ‘Care of the Self,’ woven into the very fabric of my being, became the compass that guided me towards becoming a joyful, authentic self.

As I contemplated articulating the inception of this section of the website, my thoughts meandered to an ancient sage who esteemed spoken communication over writing: Socrates.

This sage, leaving behind no written records, firmly believed that writing couldn’t fully convey genuine knowledge or capture the essence of wisdom. Moreover, written words, he argued, were susceptible to misinterpretation without the author’s presence for clarification or debate.

My personal journey has been a profound exploration, guiding me towards self-discovery and transformation. Along this path, I’ve confronted and overcome adversities, discovering inner strength and resilience while cultivating a profound sense of tranquillity through the intentional construction and nurturing of an ‘Inner Citadel.’

I derive joy from both the lighter and deeper aspects of life, cherishing conversations with diverse individuals. In these interactions, I’ve observed how misunderstandings can sometimes arise, especially when delving into profound concepts and challenging established notions.

As the saying goes, ‘We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are,’ underscoring the necessity for a transformative shift in perspective, often best achieved through direct, face-to-face conversations.

Thus, while I appreciate Socrates’ unique approach to engaging with others and understand his reasons for avoiding the written word, this decision presents significant challenges. One primary challenge lies in distinguishing his original ideas from those attributed to him by Plato, who serves as the primary source of information about Socrates.

Consequently, scholars engage in an ongoing debate about whether the portrayal of Socrates in the early, middle, and late dialogues suggests a potential shift from Socrates’ ideas to those of Plato.

In the early dialogues, Socrates engages in a vibrant exploration of truth and subjectivity through elenchus – the art of questioning and answering to guide his interlocutors towards deeper self-understanding and a clearer view of their world.

In contrast, the later dialogues, particularly Phaedo, showcase a shift in focus. Socrates delves into the pursuit of objective, eternal truths, exploring concepts like the soul, immortality, and the Forms. This seems at odds with his earlier disavowals of such knowledge, as seen in Apology and Crito.

While these later dialogues ignite scholarly debate and hold some tangential relevance here, they won’t be our central focus. Instead, we’ll delve deeper into the Socrates who resonates most with our website’s goals: the explorer of subjectivity, self-knowledge, and understanding others.

This focus perfectly aligns with contemporary interests and closely resonates with our core objectives of Self-Discovery, Self-Transformation, and “Care of the Self.” It stands in stark contrast to metaphysical explorations.

Specifically, the Delphic directive “Know Thyself,” often associated with Socrates, intertwines with these goals. Foucault reminds us that “Know Thyself” falls under the umbrella of “Care of the Self”—knowing ourselves to care for ourselves effectively.

Here, Epimeleia Heautou, or the concern with oneself, the occupation with oneself, which we refer to on this platform as “Care of the Self,” despite having an ancient origin similar to “Know Thyself,” appears to have diminished. Meanwhile, the similarly ancient ‘know thyself,’ or Gnōthi Sauton, has persisted and thrived.

Foucault, in a series of lectures, highlighted this disparity, attributing the fading relevance of Epimeleia Heautou to combined factors, including the paradox within Christian ethics. Here, self-renunciation and asceticism became intertwined with caring for oneself—an inversion of the original concept.

Over time, the technologies of self-care were absorbed by societal systems like education, medicine, and psychology, eroding its independence. Additionally, human sciences shifted their focus to knowledge acquisition, neglecting the core of self-care. These forces conspired to dim Epimeleia Heautou’s light, while Gnōthi Sauton continued to shine.

The prevailing belief that the self is a hidden reality to be excavated, liberated, and freed has contributed to this diminishing of Epimeleia Heautou. Instead, the self should be seen as a product of evolving technologies woven into our histories.

The essence lies not in liberating the self but in fostering new, meaningful relationships with ourselves and others, paving the way for new forms of subjectivity and relationships to self and others.

In any case, Epimeleia Heautou or “Care of the Self” and Gnōthi Sauton, or Know Thyself, notions are inextricably linked; one must know oneself to care for oneself. While the focus is on “Care of the Self,” like Socrates, our aim here is to inspire and persuade others to embrace this timeless directive, updated for our era while preserving its essence.

However, despite their apparent simplicity, Epimeleia Heautou or “Care of the Self” and Gnōthi Sauton, or Know Thyself, these pursuits can be intricate. Various factors contribute to this complexity, including the elusive and ever-evolving nature of the


"The path to self-discovery is rarely paved with roses. It is often a treacherous journey, fraught with thorns and thistles, but the beauty that blooms at the end is worth every tear and every stumble." - Rumi

As Heraclitus famously stated, ‘Everything flows, nothing abides; everything gives way, and nothing stays fixed.’ In this context, the idea of a stable and unchanging self becomes questionable.

We exist in a constant state of change, both physically and mentally. Our thoughts, feelings, and experiences intricately shape our identities, and these elements are in a continual state of flux. Consequently, attempting to achieve a complete understanding of ourselves at any given moment will prove an almost insurmountable task, much like trying to capture a wave.

Some, including the late French philosopher Michel Foucault, argue that instead of striving to grasp a non-existent, fixed, and static self, our focus should be on actively and continuously shaping ourselves. This approach allows us to consistently grow and evolve into the best versions of ourselves.

Foucault’s exploration of the intricate interplay between the competing practices of the ‘care of the self’ and ‘Know Thyself’ aimed to understand their significance in shaping subjectivity, both in ancient and contemporary contexts.

Specifically, the diverse techniques encompassed in Foucault’s ‘technologies of the self’ represent some of the tools we could employ to achieve Self-Discovery, Self-Transformation, and ‘Care of the Self’ within a communal setting of like-minded individuals, as envisioned within the framework of this website.

Transformation thrives in the fertile ground of community. While personal drive and resilience pave the way, true growth blossoms through shared support and guidance. We stand alongside each other, navigating pathways towards our best, most joyful selves.

Anchoring this journey is the transformative concept of “Care of the Self,” a tapestry woven from ancient wisdom (Greek Epimeleia Heautou, the “culture of the self”) and modern insights. The ancient Delphic maxim, “Know thyself,” echoes through Foucault’s vision of self-care, encompassing our relationship to truth, obligations, and connection – both within and with others.

This philosophy forms the beating heart of our platform. Through diverse offerings, seminars, and courses, we explore these facets, nurturing a holistic self-care approach. We champion a positive understanding of ourselves, our responsibilities, and the profound connections that weave through our lives, both intimately and outward.

My self-exploration has been a long and winding path. For years, I’ve been collecting insights and practices, seeking ways to build a more resilient, wise, and serene self. While my explorations into “Care of the Self” have unfolded over time, the urge to share them blossomed quite recently. Sparked by witnessing others grapple with similar challenges, and realizing the value of the ideas that had illuminated my own path, I felt compelled to create a space for shared growth.

Seeking a framework to weave together my experiences and insights, I gravitated towards thinkers like Foucault and Hadot. Hadot’s “Philosophy as a Way of Life” resonated deeply, echoing principles I’d already encountered but presented in a fresh, inspiring way. Similarly, Foucault, influenced by Hadot and instrumental in reclaiming philosophy from its academic ivory tower and returning it to everyday life, felt like a kindred spirit.

Specifically, Foucault’s concept of “Care of the Self” serves as a unifying theme for the platform, perfectly harmonizing with my vision. This accessible framework, advocating for actively shaping one’s being into a resilient self anchored in wisdom, compassion, and love, effectively encapsulates the essence of the platform I envisioned.

“Enlightenment is the culmination of self-knowledge, pure unadulterated knowledge. Not knowledge you can get from reading a book, it comes from perfecting your awareness, your mind.”

Beyond the “culture of the self,” or “Care of the Self,” Foucault’s “Technologies of the Self” offered even more. His ideas recognized that self-transformation can’t be a solitary affair; collaboration and community are the vital forces propelling us forward. This conviction lies at the heart of our platform – a vibrant community where we embark on this transformative journey together.

I dissect life’s intricate knots in vibrant debates with people from all walks of life, often weaving in philosophical threads, psychological insights, and literary echoes to illuminate paths and uncover deeper meaning. One question that pops up frequently is, “Do you have a background in philosophy or psychology?” My answer usually surprises them – no formal training! My journey began at a very young age, sparked by chance encounters with profound minds like Emerson and Dostoyevsky.

These early encounters ignited a passion for knowledge, self-discovery, and understanding. This path has deepened through extensive reading and consistent reflection, becoming an ever-evolving tapestry. While some find wisdom through life’s twists and turns, these insights have always been with me, like embers waiting to be fanned into flames by life’s experiences, both joyous and challenging. Still, I believe every soul carries a philosophy, absorbed from our surroundings and shaping our perspective – an informal yet potent force that deserves ongoing examination and refinement.

This platform is your invitation to explore. I share insights gleaned from my own journey, examining diverse philosophical perspectives from a practical standpoint. My aim is to help you embrace the best, shed the rest, and embark on your own transformative path. Here, everyone is welcome, regardless of background. All you need is a curious mind and an open heart, ready to embrace the transformative power of self-care and the wisdom of humanity’s greatest thinkers, ancient and modern.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to
what lies within us.”

Undoubtedly, self-exploration is a necessary and powerful tool for unlocking a more fulfilling life. Still, of information, each peak adorned with intricate theories and vast oceans of knowledge. Even seasoned explorers may find themselves paralysed by the sheer scale, especially when faced with the challenge of navigating this formidable terrain within the constraints of limited time and a general background.

A valuable strategy is to distinguish academic philosophy, often highly abstract and seemingly distant from everyday life, from practical wisdom—a compass guiding us through the complexities of daily living. Practical wisdom focuses on actionable tools, enabling us to liberate ourselves from stress, anxiety, and other burdens that cloud our minds and hinder our joy.

However, even within the realm of practical wisdom, a wealth of information exists—a vast library of texts and teachings from thinkers spanning ages and cultures. This is where our platform steps in, extending a helping hand to those seeking to navigate this labyrinth. We curate the most essential aspects, presenting them in an accessible and engaging manner tailored for individuals with limited time and background.

Envision vibrant community discussions, skilfully led by experienced facilitators, where everyday topics are explored through the lens of practical wisdom. Share your lived experiences, learn from others, and witness the transformative power of collaborative exploration.

Whatever your background, these discussions offer fertile ground for personal growth. They’re spaces to pose soul-stirring questions, share unique perspectives, and soak in the wisdom of diverse voices. Delve deeper by exploring topics that ignite your spirit. Or, take the reins and suggest discussion themes that resonate with you—we aim to let your voice shape this community.


“I was in darkness but I took three steps and found myself in paradise. The first step was good thought, the second a good word, the third, a good deed.”

While we explore the ideas of various thinkers and philosophers in our dialogues, their wisdom serves as a springboard, not a gatekeeper. We embrace diverse opinions and personal tastes. Some ideas might echo within you, others whisper faintly; it’s an exploration, not an exam. If one sage’s approach doesn’t resonate, another’s might kindle a bonfire. Setting aside these considerations for a moment, let’s address the central question: why embark on the quest for self-discovery and transformation?

Having navigated life’s labyrinth and nurtured yourself and your loved ones all by yourself, you might wonder why do you need to join a community like ours now and what do you hope to glean by it, is there anything to gain? I think the preceding, what I have already said, forms part of the answer, I am reaching the end of my introduction, but I had a few elements that might answer your question directly and indirectly.

Here, my vision for this platform has continuously evolved through multiple drafts, refining the concept of “care of the self” and addressing questions such as why one should actively engage in such practices. While this care isn’t a new idea, it follows a lineage from the self-examination of Socrates to the practical wisdom of Cynics, Epicureans, and Stoics like Seneca, Musonius Rufus, and Marcus Aurelius. Even Christian practices bear echoes of this tradition.

At its core, this “care of the self” involves three crucial relationships: with truth, with our obligations, and with ourselves and others. It’s a journey of gaining progressively better insight, shedding false beliefs, and cultivating new knowledge and understanding. Some describe it as a path to the divine, as by caring for ourselves, we become like the gods who have nothing but to take care of themselves.

However, it’s important to clarify that this isn’t narcissism or egoism. True care of the self spills over, often leading to a deep concern for others, as exemplified by Socrates’ tireless dedication to enabling others to take better care of themselves, fostering a profound understanding of the most important things, including a deeper knowledge of themselves.

“We must consider both the ultimate end and all clear sensory evidence, to which we refer our opinions - for otherwise everything will be full of uncertainty and confusion.”

I have practiced and continue to pursue progressively better ‘Care of the Self,’ as outlined in this and earlier drafts of the website where my personal narratives intertwine with the content. These narratives offer both hope and caution to those facing similar situations. While sharing struggles can empower others, dwelling on negativity risks perpetuating pain.

My aim is to explore these experiences authentically, both in these texts and in face-to-face interactions, emphasizing the lessons learned and the growth achieved rather than simply reliving the darkness.

Witnessing so many times the damage inflicted by stress, anxiety, and even narcissists and sociopaths on some friends, acquaintances, strangers, and even myself has deepened my conviction: we all need to practice self-care, and self-awareness is our shield. Understanding our vulnerabilities prevents exploitation, empowering us to distance ourselves from negativity and negative

Specifically, for those hurt by manipulators, like narcissists, understanding “love bombing” and other tactics is crucial. We’re conditioned to see things a certain way, and they exploit it. Victims often realize the damage only after significant losses.

While not everyone encounters such extremes, life sometimes throws curveballs. We must prepare for both sunshine and storms. Deepening self-understanding, investing in Self-Discovery and Self-Transformation, and practicing ongoing “Care of the Self” are our most valuable tools.

“Nearly all mankind is more or less unhappy because nearly all do not know the true Self. Real happiness abides in Self-knowledge alone. All else is fleeting. To know one's Self is to be blissful always.”

Self-Discovery, Self-Transformation, and ‘Care of the Self’ aren’t just remedies for those going through  internal struggles like persistent boredom, anxiety, or depression. They’re tools for everyone, regardless of their current state – happy, sad, young, old, healthy, or struggling. Why? Because before achieving anything meaningful, we need to know ourselves, be at peace with and actively shape who we are becoming, and manage our inner chaos. Otherwise, our outward actions will simply mirror that internal turmoil.

Seeking external fixes like wealth or accumulating possessions for internal struggles like persistent boredom, anxiety, or depression rarely, if ever, solves these issues. They offer fleeting comfort at best, leaving you trapped in unproductive cycles and increasing unhappiness. While trusting ourselves is crucial, sometimes seeking external feedback can help us break free from unhelpful patterns if we find ourselves caught in them.

Exceptions exist, though. While most benefit from self-discovery and self-improvement, individuals like extreme narcissists and sociopaths are unlikely to change for the better. Their ill-will extends to themselves, making self-improvement incompatible with their core nature. They are predators, seeking to harm others rather than embark on a journey to joyfulness.

This call isn’t for them but for the good-hearted souls who can enrich their lives through these practices. Through self-discovery, they find deeper fulfillment and a greater presence not only for themselves but also for those around them. In all this, the self, in its complexity and constructs – from the fictional to the phenomenological – lies at the heart of it all.

Here, exploring perspectives on the self by thinkers like Foucault, Nietzsche, and Klossowski would have been fascinating, but those details are a bit involved and better suited for forums or face-to-face meetings. They offer valuable insights into transformation and how we shape change, and I hope you’ll join us for those future discussions!

A word on Nietzsche: Some misinterpretations about him persist, particularly labelling him a racist or Nazi. While he held problematic views, especially towards women, it’s vital to engage critically with his work rather than rely on inaccurate narratives. While I may not fully endorse all his notions, I find his work incredibly valuable.

“To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one's self.... And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one's self.”

Despite Nietzsche’s misogynistic views, influenced by Schopenhauer and personal details, notable female scholars like Sarah Kofman, Judith Norman, and Rochelle Wright have made significant contributions to interpreting and extending his work. Nietzsche’s ideas, including their potential for advancing feminism and strengthening democracy, might seem paradoxical but become more sensible upon closer examination. A deeper exploration of these aspects awaits our discussions in forums or face-to-face meetings.

I would be thrilled to meet you all and embark on this journey of exploration together! But a quick word about my role: I’m not here to be the oracle with all the answers. Instead, think of me as your friendly guide on the path of self-discovery, connecting you with diverse voices from philosophy, psychology, literature, and beyond.

We’ll be sparking conversations and thought-provoking explorations on topics like self-discovery, self-transformation, and “Care of the Self.” These engaging dialogues are for everyone, regardless of your background or knowledge level. Bring your lived experiences, your questions, and your open mind. This is a space for mutual learning and growth, where every voice is welcome and everyone has something valuable to contribute.

Whether you’re an expert or a curious soul exploring new ideas, or perhaps just seeking to understand what we’re all about, you’re welcome here. Engage with us, share your experiences, ask questions, and learn collaboratively in an inclusive environment. We strongly believe that everyone brings value. This platform is dedicated to mutual learning, where each person has something meaningful to offer.

Your feedback and participation are essential in shaping this community. I’m also exploring the possibility of hosting casual dinner gatherings for smaller groups with shared interests, offering an opportunity for deeper conversations in a relaxed setting.   These gatherings are specifically for Australians, particularly Melbournians, and details will be available on this website and ChatsandChefs.com.

Together, let’s embark on a journey of exploration, open minds, and meaningful connections.

“If you not going to be better tomorrow than you were today, then what need have you for tomorrow?”

In the context of this website, thus far, this initiative has been a personal endeavour. However, my vision extends to a future where others, equipped with the necessary resources and a shared affinity for the core concept, step forward to drive the continuous development and eventual realization of these ideas through the platform. My confidence in these ideas is firmly grounded in their proven benefits, not only for myself but also for others.

With my own limited resources, I initiated and developed this endeavour, sharing the concept through the website—a reflection of my commitment to self-care. As I move forward, I am in search of collaborators who possess the necessary resources and are willing to support this endeavour, propelling it to the next stage. This collaborative effort is not only an investment in the ideas but also a nurturing of their own self-care and holistic well-being.

While the focus of our work targets Australians, envisioning face-to-face events and functions, I am committed to ensuring that the online version is universally accessible, transcending geographical boundaries. To make this vision a reality, I warmly welcome any support you may offer, whether it’s through donations, volunteering, or any other means.

The joint efforts of a community driven by the pursuit of knowledge and self-transformation hold immense promise. Let’s work together to create a platform that empowers individuals, fostering personal growth and self-discovery. Your participation in this journey is an invaluable contribution to shaping a more enlightened and promising future.

With warmth and gratitude,

En Lemma, PhD

Founder, Evolve Soulful Quest