Have you been feeling lost, exhausted, and even completely disconnected from your life lately? As if you were outside of your body, watching yourself on autopilot but weren’t actually connected to the world around you anymore? Or perhaps you’ve been fantasizing a lot about leaving everything behind and starting a new life? If that’s the case, you could very well be experiencing a spiritual sign of awakening.
And, the reality is that you’re not alone.
Indeed, the last couple of years have seen a rise in spiritual awakenings fueled by unprecedented traumatic events. Besides, as fast-paced lifestyles and stressful self-imposed daily routines are becoming the norm, the world is slowly turning to spirituality in order to cope.
So, to help you better understand what is happening to you, we’ve put together this guide:
We’ll first define what a spiritual awakening is
We'll highlight five common signs you might be going through one.
We’ll also deep dive into the seven stages that characterize the phenomenon.
Finally, we’ll provide you with four powerful tips to help you cope with the anxiety and changes that come with a spiritual awakening.
What is Spiritual Awakening?
Spiritual awakening is a slow, gradual process. It occurs when a person becomes aware that their existence transcends the confines of the “I” (or the ego). As you experience spiritual awakening, you’ll begin to understand that nothing external can bring you true happiness.
You’ll start questioning the way you live, your habits, your beliefs and wonder what the purpose of your life is and why you’re on Earth. You’ll feel compelled to take a deeper look at the fundamental nature of life. Your consciousness and perception of reality will begin to shift.
Many of us go through life pursuing money, power, success, or fame, burdening our souls with the relentless quest for more in an attempt to find happiness.
As a result, we trap our souls in a conditioned reality, living our lives by a system of beliefs and opinions created by others. A spiritual awakening can, therefore, be interpreted as a cry for freedom from our souls. When it happens, your mental framework will start to shift.
And as such, a spiritual awakening marks the beginning of your initiation on the spiritual path. Going through the process will allow you, eventually, to live a happier, more meaningful, and fulfilling life.
Why Does Spiritual Awakening Happen?
A spiritual awakening is a natural way for your soul to evolve and mature. So, it is a necessary part of your expansion. The more you connect to your soul, whether by accident or on purpose, the more you’ll shift your mental framework and experience fundamental changes and transformations.
There’s no way to plan spiritual awakenings. They simply lurch into your life, shaking up everything you believe in and perceive as reality. However, they can also be triggered by traumatic events.
Indeed, a number of things both external (triggers) and internal can activate the spiritual awakening process, including:
Death of a loved one
Meeting a special person, reading a special book, or hearing a certain expression that particularly resonates with your inner self during a difficult time of your life.
Yet, spiritual awakenings aren’t always triggered and can also be spontaneously initiated by your consciousness when you’re ready to let go of what no longer serves you anymore.
5 Signs That You Are Going Through A Spiritual Awakening
Even though there is no exhaustive guideline or list when it comes to spiritual signs of awakening, many people go through similar experiences. For instance, they start asking themselves similar questions. And two of the most fundamental ones include: why am I living my life this way, and what is the purpose of my life?
In addition to questioning life and reality as you know it, here are five signs that you’re going through the awakening process:
1. You’re Less Interested in Small Talk
Not only are you less and less interested in superficial talk and are looking for more meaningful conversations and deeper connections, but your tolerance to petty arguments is also decreasing. You want your time to be spent on positively charged exchanges with others. You’re also becoming more understanding and less judgemental of others making gossip unbearable. You understand that everyone is on their own journey and you’re developing a strong feeling of love towards all things in life.
2. You Want to Help Others
Another sign you could be experiencing a spiritual awakening is that you feel the need to be of service to others and create a harmonious community. You’re also increasingly feeling compelled to defend and fight for specific causes such as human rights, fairness in the workplace, the protection of the environment, or animal wellbeing.
3. You Feel Disconnected from Your Life
Because your consciousness and perspective are shifting during spiritual awakenings, you’re starting to feel disconnected from reality as you know it. And the feeling of separation or detachment is becoming unbearable. As a result, you’re struggling to find happiness and pleasure in your experiences, relationships, and lifestyle as you feel trapped in a dual reality.
4. You’re Increasingly Curious
You want to become a sponge, soaking in the knowledge of your teachers as much as possible, and absorbing all the information you’re reading in spiritual and self-care books. You’re also opening up to new ideas and perspectives. You want to try new hobbies, practices, and rituals, and explore new relationships to quench your thirst for more.
5. You Need to Find Meaning in Life
You’re questioning the way you’re living your life and are wondering what your deeper purpose is. You might also find that others are not on the same wavelength, leaving you upset and frustrated at first. But as time goes, you’re finding that you don’t need their acceptance or approval anymore and are perfectly happy to live in line with your spiritual beliefs.
The 7 Stages of Spiritual Awakening
As mentioned before, a spiritual awakening is a process or journey consisting of a few different stages or milestones. Therefore, as your mind and body embark on this journey, you’ll go through a specific process on the path of spiritual evolution.
1. The Wake-Up or Spiritual Awakening
Stage one marks your beginnings on the spiritual path.
During this stage, you’re feeling alienated, lost, unhappy, and completely hopeless. You also feel empty inside and are searching for something without knowing what it is. You start examining your habits and cleansing your life by letting go of toxic relationships or old beliefs and opening up to new perspectives.
As mentioned before, this stage can occur spontaneously or be caused by a triggering event.
2. Chaos or the Dark Night of the Soul
As the title might suggest, this is a difficult stage of your awakening process. In fact, many refer to it as being the most challenging part. Your mental framework is starting to shift and you’re beginning to perceive reality in a totally different way.
During this stage, you’re feeling like you’ve hit rock bottom. You’re low, depressed, and feel completely disconnected from yourself, others, and your life in general. You also feel hopeless about the suffering in the world, which in turn, causes spiritual suffering.
This phase can be a painful process as you’re shedding your ego. The ego refers to everything you think matters in life such as ambition, money, a great career, or goals. We all develop one. After a while, the ego becomes so inflated that we start consistently acting in our own interests and only seeing things from our own perspective. We get offended when others don’t agree with us and feel the need to be accepted. However, the ego-mind is not your true self. It’s a conditioned self.
During the dark night of the soul stage, your mind recalibrates and your ego is starting to dissolve to allow your soul to evolve as you reconnect with your true self. This is the second step to the path of living a more meaningful life, inviting changes, and embracing all perspectives, experiences, and opportunities.
3. Looking for Answers and Seeking Meaning
You’ve made it through the dark night of the soul. Now, you want to find your life purpose and understand your spiritual destiny. You’re craving the truth. As a result, you’re ready to explore esoteric fields including metaphysics to help answer the deep questions you have. You’re also open to exploring new hobbies, practices, relationships, and absorb as much information as you can from your teachers to better understand what resonates with your inner self.
4. Experiencing Breakthroughs
During this stage, you might experience a few moments of “Satori” or enlightenment where your true self manifests and you start to see the fundamental nature of reality.
You’re beginning to recognize, embrace and embody your true self. That’s because you’ve gone through a lot of soul-searching and have finally found new belief systems or practices that have helped you alleviate your spiritual suffering. Your old habits and beliefs are dissolving and you feel like you’re expanding. Your soul begins to emerge, free from your old conditioned self.
During the ‘’breakthrough” phase, you’re feeling happy, full of hope, and more in tune with yourself.
Unfortunately, you haven’t quite reached enlightenment yet. In fact, this can take years of trial and error. During this phase, you’re growing tired of your practices and feel like you’re not learning from your teachers anymore. The breakthroughs you once experienced seem superficial and you’re craving something deeper and more authentic.
As you try different strategies to help your spirit thrive, you might feel upset when some don’t work out the way you had hoped and you feel like you're stagnating. Yet, as you’re looking for more, this stage allows your soul to grow and helps you uncover the rituals and practices that resonate with your true self.
Once you’ve reached this stage, you’ve found your true self, you know exactly what feeds and replenishes your soul, and what habits and practices work for you. Yet, you might not have let go of all the old habits or people that are holding you back.
Therefore, this stage is all about releasing them and stepping into your purpose.
7. Service and Awareness
You’ve integrated your spiritual lessons into your daily life and might be experiencing mystical experiences. Your perspectives are expanding, you’re finding clarity and you’re seeing things from the big picture. Besides, you’re feeling deeply connected with yourself and aligned with life. This allows you to feel profound peace and joy as you’re walking your purpose.
During this last stage, you might also be compelled to pass your insights onto others by becoming a spiritual mentor. Life is no longer about ‘’you’’ but about ‘’we’’ and you feel a strong desire to be of service to others.
Note that although we’ve broken down the spiritual awakening process in a linear way to make it easier, you might be experiencing these stages in a different order or even two of them at once. And that’s totally fine.
Remember that we’re not all wired the same way and we’re all on a journey of our own.
4 Ways to Deal with a Spiritual Awakening
Often, people who have been through a spiritual awakening will explain that before their awakening, they felt like they were living a dream, going through the motions, and essentially sleepwalking through life on autopilot, unaware of who they were or how they fitted in the bigger picture of life. They also describe pain as they “woke up”.
Therefore, as you start feeling and seeing things you were blind to before, you might experience emotional pain as your belief systems, your constructed self-image, and reality as you know it are being challenged. During the process, you’ll be fully facing yourself and there is no enemy more insidious and challenging than you. As explained before, spiritual awakening will also require you to free yourself from your ego which can be extremely painful even though it is worth it.
So, if you’re going through this experience, here are four tips on what to do to better navigate this defining time in your life and ease your mind:
1. Do Grounding Exercises
Intentionally grounding your body in your senses allows you to activate the calming and restoring part of your nervous system (called the parasympathetic nervous system).
One way to achieve this is to pay attention to the present moment, observe your surroundings and notice your feelings and sensations through your body. Accept what you feel, see or hear without judgment.
Here are some more practical exercises to ground your body in your senses:
Notice three things around you and describe them in your mind.
Identify three sources of sound around you and describe these sounds.
Touch three things and describe them in your mind.
2. Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is a great way to keep you grounded and help you manage the symptoms of your spiritual awakening such as anxiety, frustration, or a sense of hopelessness. Write down your thoughts, what happened to you during the day and how it made you feel. Talk about your experiences and the potential triggers you’ve identified. As you read over these pages later, they might help you recognize a pattern and implement a routine to better manage your symptoms.
Besides, a journal is cathartic. By writing down your emotions, thoughts and feelings, it helps you express and release negative emotions, better connect with your true self and to the present moment.
3. Spend Time in Nature
Have you ever been lulled to sleep by the sound of the rain against your window? Or felt incredibly relaxed when hearing the waves gently rolling onto the beach?
Nature has incredible healing power. Some simple things such as going for a walk in the forest or in a park can significantly help improve your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, allowing you to unwind and calm your mind. So, if you’re finding it hard to cope with your spiritual awakening, simply take a walk in nature, and observe the trees, the flowers, and the birds around you. Listen to the relaxing sound of the rustling leaves in the trees or the gentle sound of the water flowing down the stream.
You can also remove your shoes and plant your toes in the sand on the beach or in the soil in a park or forest to absorb negative electrons from the Earth and relieve stress and anxiety.
And if removing your shoes is not possible, touch a tree. Trees are grounded in Earth and have the same healing energy as soil, sand, mud, or grass.
4. Do Breathwork
Deep breathing is another powerful way to deal with spiritual awakenings. In fact, deep breathing is critical in helping you calm your mind. It activates your vagus nerve, which plays a vital role in relaxing your system and alleviating stress and anxiety.
You could for instance try the Wim Hof Breathing technique. Indeed, the Wim Hof method is a deep breathing technique that can be very effective in overcoming anxiety linked to a spiritual awakening.
Inhale deeply through the nose and mouth and exhale. Then inhale again through the belly and chest and let go without forcing. Repeat this 30 times in short bursts. You can do this exercise twice a day (morning and evening) or as often as you feel necessary.
We also offer Breathwork events. To be notified of them, make sure to sign up to our newsletter.
You’ll find more helpful grounding techniques in our article called 10 Grounding Exercises to Calm Your Body and Mind.
While going through spiritual awakening can be a challenging, and quite frankly daunting experience, you can find comfort in knowing that this process will ultimately transform your life for the better. It will give you a sense of inner peace, turn you into a more compassionate and empathetic being, provide you with a deeper sense of purpose, and allow you to live life to its fullest.