The path to spiritual awakening opens as soon as we start holding ourselves responsible for our own lives.
Spiritual awakening defines certain qualities like happiness, positivity, and tranquility. It lets you feel your spiritual side and enlightens you to rise above your limits humanely. It also helps you to understand your existence and open yourself to a truthful lifestyle.
Living a life of happiness rooted in yourself is highly attainable. And to help, we have compiled all the necessary information for your journey toward spiritual awakening.
What Is Spiritual Awakening?
According to Ekhart Yoga, spiritual awakening or enlightenment is not a goal or destination. It is a constant invitation to accept yourself exactly as you are in all your glorious imperfections is a constant invitation.
Moreover, Deepak Chopra explained that spiritual awakening occurs when you no longer live in your dream world, where everything is filtered through your ego and focus on the past and the future.
Instead, you now have an almost simultaneous consciousness of yourself and reality.
Take, for instance, the metaphor of the ocean and the wave. You know that you’re the wave; and the ocean. Your ability to maintain separation and connection about yourself indicates a different level of spiritual evolution.
This awareness happens when you cease to be the observer; instead, you question who is observing. You enter a world of new perspectives and possibilities by realizing your truest essence.
Stages of Spiritual Awakening
While spiritual awakening is considered a journey, it’s not necessarily a journey of physical pilgrimage or adventures; it’s a process that pushes you to go beyond your boundaries and take the next evolutionary step.
Undergoing a spiritual awakening is different for people. Some may experience it quickly, while for others, it could take years. There are six stages of spiritual awakening, according to Adam Brady.
- The call to adventure
The primary push-off point in this journey is the call to adventure, which leads to a break from your life lived so far. It’s a signal that emits from your subconscious.
You recognize the signal that changes your life’s course as you enter a moment of transformation.
Life begins to change from this point on. You begin to look at life differently with a new perception.
Several reasons that can trigger this stage are the loss of a job, a near-death experience, the death of a close someone, a challenge, illness, or any other shocking event.
No matter what your experience is, your worldview shifts. You perceive the world with a new vision and begin to live ordinary life extraordinarily.
- Choosing your path
In this stage, you realize the limitations of the worldview you held earlier. This stage could be exciting and unsettling at the same time.
You may have already begun questioning what you had taken for granted for so long. These can include worldviews, the nature of reality, ideologies, time, the nature of the self, relationships, and everything else.
You are also trying at the same time to re-anchor your belief system. You are looking for a new philosophy, belief system, practice, or tradition to help you contextualize. You have begun your spiritual exploration in earnest now.
The second stage is self-study, information gathering, and exploration. You are looking for traditions or practices that might answer your queries.
You might also feel overwhelmed about the transition but fear not. The Hindu tradition believes there are hundreds of paths leading to the soal. Regardless, you are well on the path to success through stages of spiritual awakening.
- Following the path
Once you have discovered your path, you begin practicing and studying. You are almost drawn to regular practice and study that brings you a greater vision and expanded awareness.
You may encounter twists and turns, ups and downs, passing through the stages of spiritual awakening. However, you remain steadfast as you have begun to gain more knowledge about yourself.
The identity begins to shift from external to self-referral or internal reference. You recognize your spiritual dimension while fostering the evolution of your consciousness.
This stage has two clues to determine your growth. The first is a sense of upliftment. You begin to get grounded in joy and happiness. You are uninfluenced by melodrama and hysteria, while you feel more at ease with life.
The second marker is the ease with which you find your desires fulfilled. It is probably the result of spiritual practices that remove physical, mental, and energy blocks to manifesting desires. You let go of your life with the flow of life.
- Losing the path
In the fourth stage, you may encounter struggles, resistance to change, cognitive biases, self-deceptions, and other personal shortcomings.
It is not uncommon to struggle when your thoughts, behavior, speech, and emotions transform and lead you toward kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.
The struggle is less with the self than with the external world. External influences might irritate and even infuriate you. You may even be tempted to get back into your old skin.
Challenges may hurt you, knock you down, lead you to question your chosen path, and test your resolve. You may want to give up the quest, succumbing to spiritual blindness or becoming spiritually asleep.
As you realize this, these dark forces become your spiritual teacher in your journey through the stages of spiritual awakening. This stage tests your courage and fortitude; you can only emerge into light through this darkness.
- Uniting with the path
This is the transcendent and visionary stage. You have completed your spiritual practice and entered into the stage of resplendence and light. You have likely attained the stage of unity that mystics speak of.
Your paradigm shift has taken place completely, and you exist in this state without fear. You are now your true identity. Your awakening has taken place.
The world and the universe have taken a new and highly meaningful dimension untouched by the illusions you have been subjected to. You discover the immortal, infinite, and unshackled Divine force everywhere eternally.
You discover you were always the same; the only difference now is the deep insight you have gained.
- Liberation from ignorance
Adam Brady further explained that our mundane, everyday life of material existence is known as ‘Avidya’ in Sanskrit. It is also known as ignorance. An incorrect understanding that keeps us at a lower level of consciousness.
We become ignorant because of excessive tamas, one of the primary qualities of the universe that embody inactivity, sloth, dullness, and darkness.
The process of spiritual awakening dissipates tamas in the first place. It begins with a pull towards transformative growth, gradually limiting the impact of avidya.
Deepak Chopra explained that awakening is your destiny. It is a birthright mapped into your consciousness. As your destiny, there must be clues indicating that you’re moving in the right direction.
Causes of Spiritual Awakening
- In her article on Mind Body Green, Sarah Regan explained that anything could trigger a spiritual awakening— from the completely mundane to the life-changing.
- On the other hand, spiritual author Shannon Kaiser expounds that life events such as moving away from home, traumas, losing your job, a car accident, and meeting people who will open a spiritual door (a soul mate or twin flame) can lead to spiritual awakening.
- Furthermore, Tanya Carroll Richardson, a professional intuitive and author, said that anything that forces you to perceive your life from a more spiritual perspective could set you on spiritual enlightenment.
Signs of Spiritual Awakening
Now, you know spiritual awakening, its stages, and its causes. Here are some signs that you’re undergoing a spiritual awakening, according to Tamara Lechner.
You’re starting to observe.
The first step in awakening is when you start noticing changes in yourself. Earlier, you might not have thought about what you want, who you are, or your purpose in this world.
If you suddenly have such questions in your mind, it could be a sign of spiritual awakening. Once this awareness steps in your mind, you start asking questions like why you need all these luxuries.
Or you will ask why it is necessary to view others as competitors rather than fellows whom you can learn from.
Your awakening starts with the feeling of realization and awareness. After attaining spirituality, you get a big impulse to change certain things.
You develop a sense of connection.
This happens when you stop viewing others as separate beings and begin to feel a sense of connection with everyone. This feeling can happen to you for many reasons:
- There is a sudden interest in helping others and giving back to the community. Examples of this are helping an old neighborhood lady or volunteering at an animal rescue shelter.
- A heightened sense of awareness about the wrongs you have been doing. You suddenly realize wasting food and money or excessively using harmful plastics is bad for the environment.
- You are worried or concerned about animals and might stop killing small insects and eating meat.
- The cloud of judgment is lifted from your eyes, and you start viewing people differently, trying to understand their perspectives and reasons.
You broke free from attachments.
Different attachments tie down everyone in this world. We may identify with the clothes we wear, the car we drive, the money we have, and how we spend it.
In this process, you end up forgetting yourself. You are being fed with certain attitudes, values, and beliefs by people around you.
The awareness that these beliefs and mundane attachments stop you from attaining personal growth is a sign of spiritual awakening. You can now see right through the material aspects of life.
You find inner peace.
In today’s stressful and fast-paced life, it seems impossible to achieve inner calm. However, the people on the path of awakening and spirituality usually have achieved that sense of Zen. If you find yourself having fewer anger bursts, general frustrations, and emotional outbursts in your day-to-day life, you are experiencing a spiritual awakening.
This doesn’t mean that things won’t go wrong in your life— the difference is you might have a less volatile and short-lived emotional reaction. A sense of peace can help battle negative thoughts and encourage positive emotions.
You develop compassion.
You’re empathetic when you put yourself in others’ shoes and try to view things from their perspectives.
Empathy and compassion go hand in hand. A major sign of spiritual awakening is the heightened feelings of empathy, kindness, and compassion towards those suffering.
For people aware of the actual spiritual reality, such feelings come naturally and are normal and fulfilling to them. This is why a sudden desire to suffer with others and partake in their suffering is a sure sign of awakening in life.
You no longer fear death.
Most of our fears in life stem from the fear of our death. A person on the path to spirituality finds himself letting go of such fears.
The more you are awakened, the more your fear decreases because of the loss of attachment to the source of your suffering.
You stopped focusing on the past and the future. Instead, you live in the present and accept death as a natural fate we all have.
You develop a sense of authenticity.
Spiritual awakening comes with confidence and a deep sense of self-worth. You no longer need to conform to cultural norms and conceal aspects of yourself. You now feel completely satisfied with who you are and your choices.
How to be Spiritually Awake
There is no one-way path to reaching spiritual enlightenment. Each journey will be unique for different people. But to give you a head start, here are some ways to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
Stay honest with yourself.
Being honest with yourself is one of the most vital aspects of attaining spiritual enlightenment. It’s easy to be honest with some aspects of your life, but how often do you practice honesty with yourself?
Being true to yourself may be a painful process. You may feel scared, but you must understand that once you see the changes in your life, you will learn to accept them.
Create small steps to experience the changes in your perspective. Experience the fulfillment you feel by being honest with yourself, and you can complete your journey easily.
Take care of yourself.
Being enlightened is the acceptance of higher consciousness. Expanding your consciousness depends on your physical, mental, and emotional health.
To be able to feel the connection between yourself and the higher power, you must take care of yourself. Do not allow your internal system, emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health to be clogged by lethargy or other unnatural substance.
Do not block the opportunity to be awakened. Keep your body healthy, clean, and ready for spiritual enlightenment.
Don’t let your ego control your life.
There is no place for ego if you want to experience a spiritual awakening. Spiritually enlightened people are caring, kind, and down-to-earth.
They may not have been like this their entire life, but they practiced letting go of their ego to attain enlightenment. It is not difficult to let go of the ego, which is just a product of your thoughts.
Learn to let go.
Can spiritual awakening be forced? Can you command or demand the higher power to enlighten you?
Being attached to experiencing a spiritual awakening may not let you experience it. You must learn to let go.
The journey is long, and there are a lot of opportunities to grab, paths to follow, and responsibilities to fulfill. If you believe you have chosen the right path, you will experience spiritual enlightenment.
In life, you may experience a lot of pain caused by others and some caused by you. At times you may feel it is impossible to forgive someone for the hurt you have experienced.
You will not attain enlightenment unless you free your mind from hatred toward someone.
Forgive others and yourself for the things of the past and accept the peace it offers in the present and the future.
Embrace your fears.
One of the major differences between common people and spiritually enlightened people is that they do not let fear control their life. You must learn to accept risks and failures and embrace the dread you feel.
Do not allow fear to take control of your life. Do not let it stop you from fulfilling your dreams.
Practice meditation and yoga.
Meditation is one of the oldest practices and widely accepted ways to be enlightened. Meditation and yoga have been practiced for ages to help eliminate the negativity that builds up within us.
The practice helps to eliminate the external noises that control our lives and allows us to concentrate on being real. The goal of practicing meditation is to clear the mind, and yoga is to clear the body of all ailments that hold us down in pursuit of serenity.
The practice is medicine to the mind and the body, which helps you connect with your spiritual self and feel less connected with the earthly things.
Detach yourself from worldly things.
Do not live your life in pursuit of worldly things; instead, learn to detach yourself from worldly possessions.
You live one life, and once life is over, you leave everything behind. Instead of chasing things you do not need, learn to live a minimal life. Let go of things you do not need.
Love has the power to enlighten you. To be able to reap the benefits of love, you must not only love those around you but yourself as well.
Love yourself, the people around you, animals, nature, life, and everything that can receive your love. Love is an emotion that strengthens the positive energy you feel within you and, in turn, creates a path to enlightenment.
FAQs About Spiritual Awakening
How long does spiritual awakening last?
According to Your Tango, the duration of a spiritual awakening depends on the person. Others will experience it for days, while some may take a lifetime.
The person’s unique experience can dictate how long it takes to become ‘spiritually awake.’ Breaking old toxic habits and replacing them with new enlightened ones can be challenging. It takes time to make sense of and apply your new learnings in life.
It’s important to remember that your spiritual awakening will not always be smooth sailing and could feel like a roller coaster ride for you. So the key here is to trust the process and never lose faith.
Does spiritual awakening happen to everyone?
Emily Dyson explained that spiritual awakening could occur to anyone, but not everyone will experience it.
The truth is only some are open to the idea of spirituality. Some people find it hard to let go of their old beliefs, which is sometimes the primary stage of spiritual awakening.
Spiritual awakening will only occur to people ready for change and open-minded enough to let go of their ideologies and embrace new learnings.
Can spiritual awakening make you feel tired?
Experiencing fatigue during spiritual awakening is common. This is because you are opening up to new levels of consciousness when you spiritually awake.
The process can be exhausting to your body and mind. When you experience this, it’s crucial to rest and give yourself time to adjust.
Can spiritual awakening make you feel depressed?
A spiritual awakening can result in different emotions, including depression. This is because you open yourself to new spiritual insights that are not aligned with your highest good. You might experience feelings of sadness, regret, and even depression.
However, it’s important to note that spiritual awakening is a period of major transitions and growth. As you work through your emotions and challenges, you will become stronger and more whole.
If you need support, do not hesitate to seek assistance from your trusted loved ones, friends, or doctor.
What is the dark night of the soul?
According to Anna Yusim, the dark night of the soul is any time when your darkness comes to the forefront.
It’s the time when you’re doing everything to stay afloat, and it feels like the universe is conspiring against you. This experience will often involve suffering, obstacles, and confusion.
The dark night of the soul is an important part of growth and spiritual journey. Always remember that you’ll overcome your adversities and shine through the darkness.
Undergoing spiritual awakening is one of life’s loneliest, most confusing, yet most beautiful moments. It marks the beginning of your initiation on your spiritual journey.
In your spiritual awakening, you’ll experience the magical process of metamorphosis. You’ll lose yourself, spiritually die, and undergo a rebirth to manifest the highest version of yourself.
Your spiritual journey will be peaceful and stormy, but no matter what, never lose faith in your destiny.
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