A spiritual awakening is a rather slow and challenging process that is unique to each of us. This is not a discussion about religion, it is one of Spirituality. These are two very different and sometimes overlapping topics.
You get stuck on this path, lost, scared, confused, and overwhelmed. There is not a road map! Many times, you may try an alternate route, attempt to hit pause or end up repeating scenarios and are tested. You may reach your limit and return to your reality and walk away. That is your choice. If you move forward, you are choosing to detach from the ego and the importance of self. You will, in time, feel more connected to “we are one” and “anything is possible.” Ultimately. we lift the veil revealing the mirage that you are separate from oneness. We are one with the Universe - always have and always will be. We are going beyond our perceived limitations and taking the next evolutionary step. We are innately asked questions like. “Will we clean up our life and planet?” or “Will we try to ignore our lies to self, pain and denial?”
You start experiencing new things, listed in random order, such as:
• Feel I’m all alone in this.
• Crave purpose and meaning.
• See through the B.S. and drama in people.
• Become more sensitive to authenticity.
• Develop a heightened sense of empathy.
• Can’t tolerate meaningless conversations anymore.
• Prefer alone time, more space to reflect and grow.
• Talk about compassion, life, and helping others achieve their highest and best.
• Have a burning desire inside to do something significant in your life.
• Rise above, make an impact; make it better in both large and small ways.
• More curious and receptive of new information and opportunities.
• Understand unconditional love better.
• Trust your intuition.
• No longer hold yourself back, speak your truth, and act.
• Experience vivid dreams.
• Feel lighter in mind, body and spirit.
• Have a lower sex drive.
• Feel more active and physically vital.
• Value your body and overcome body image limitations.
• Improved impulse control.
"When there is a spiritual awakening, you awaken into the fullness, the aliveness, and also the sacredness of now. You were absent, asleep, and now you are present, awake.” –– Eckhart Tolle
5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening
A very useful tool for explaining the stages of spiritual awakening is that of vision. One way to see it, is as five different qualities of sight representing unique steps on each of our spiritual journeys.
Behold: The call for new quests and experiences.
Closer investigation: Pick a direction.
Pursue: Take the path.
Loss of vision: Lose the path.
Insight: Re-join with the path.
A hero’s journey is an epic and changing experience of growth and expansion. This call to adventure is very different from everyday life and leads you in a new direction. This often activates the Spiritual Awakening process. Anything can set this off: loss of a job, illness, a challenge, travel to a distant country, death of a loved one, or a powerful spiritual experience. Regardless of the situation, this gets your attention and wakes you up. You now see the world with fresh eyes. You will find yourself at a crossroads and need to make a choice, to either accept or refuse the call to explore. If you deny this, if will show up again, you are not done. Because, after you feel the pull to action, it does not stop. Once you agree to it, your world forever expands, larger than you ever imagined it could.
The key word moving forward is responsibility. You will be in the driver’s seat of life, for what feels like the first time in your life. Responsibility becomes the operative word as you begin to navigate your life toward opportunities that further expand your awareness. An ingenious shift in perception has taken place and everything feels the same and strangely different all at the same time.
2. Closer Investigation
This time is often full of excitement but can all feel unfamiliar and at times upsetting. You may start out seeking a new philosophy or method to recreate your perspective. Often this is met with intense times of information gathering and self-study. According to Vedanta, one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy, there are four routes or yogas back to the harmony you desire.
- Bhakti Yoga: The path of love and devotion
- Jnana Yoga: The path of science and the intellect
- Karma Yoga: The path of action and selfless service
- Raja Yoga: The path of meditation and all its related disciplines
Each path offers a distinctive opportunity for self-discovery and realization. Some may choose multiple paths at the same time. No one can choose for you or tell you which path to choose. There are no rules or protocols. This is unique and specific for you. Choose what feels best to you, on the inside. Ask yourself, does this fit? Does it feel right?
Rely on the wisdom of your heart and intuition. Consider the wisdom of the Hindu proverb: There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.
3. Pursue: Take the Path
During this step, you are called to be a spiritual seeker with study and regular practices that submerge you deeper into your passion. The Sanskrit term for this spiritual practice is sadhana. Sadhana is the spiritual routine that takes your practice from an isolated exercise to a way of life. This time is identified by the start of a process where you shift from external references to the internal reference of stillness, intuition, and higher guidance. You know yourself as a spirit living a human life.
There are two things that indicate spiritual progress has begun:
- Increasing sense of lightness about you. With consistent spiritual practice, happiness becomes your natural state. You are more at ease in life.
- The ease in which your desires are met. Regular spiritual practice removes mental, physical, and energetic resistance to manifestation. Life becomes easier as you step into the flow of life.
4. Loss of Vision and Losing the Path
This experience of Spiritual Awakening comes with its challenges. This path confronts you with everything you’ve got. Growth can be a very uncomfortable process at times. Yes, you may feel as if you are being tested with recurring challenges and setbacks including a return to your earlier life. Your resolve will be tested, and you will doubt yourself. During this dark night of the soul, your ego is kicking and screaming because it does not want to lose control of your human body.
You may also have external influences to stop this altogether. This requires courage to stay the path. “The only way out is through,” said poet Robert Frost. Fortunately, it is from this darkness that you can emerge fully into the light, like a beautiful butterfly emerging from its cocoon and continue your development into awakened.
5. Re-Join the Path
You break through to a new stage of Visionary. YOU have bypassed sadhana: you have become the process. You exist in a state of Unity. A permanent shift has taken place and you awaken fully to your true essence, the ever-present sense of unity. You are coming back to you. This has been a process of Letting Go.
Consider keeping a written journal (that calls to you), to document these experiences. It can be used as your field guide as you navigate this challenging path and get lost in the woods without your compass. It will help you review your notes, timing and patterns as well as seeing the wisdom and reflect upon all of this for insight and wisdom along this life changing expedition.
The day to day living of your Spiritual Awakening will be exhilarating and magical, but at the same time confusing and overwhelming. Just know that your journey is very unique to you and this will be the grandest adventure you can ever pursue.