The term spiritual awakening can feel confusing, especially if spirituality is completely new to you. Don’t worry, I’m here to answer the question “what is a spiritual awakening”, AND give you advice on how to make the awakening process less overwhelming.
First, the quick answer to this question:
A spiritual awakening is when an individual begins to perceive the nonphysical world. It is a call to personal empowerment, self love, and higher consciousness.
Many modern cultures are heavily focused on the physical, material world, and often completely deny the existence of anything outside of what we can see, feel, taste, smell, and hear.
Due to this denial of the nonphysical world, the spiritual awakening process can feel pretty overwhelming in the early stages. (Trust me, I’ve been there. When my awakening began I was a strict atheist with a firmly materialist worldview. To say things got confusing would be the understatement of the year!)
Recognizing the Spiritual Awakening Process
It’s very common for a life-changing event to trigger the awakening process. The death of a loved one, life-altering illnesses, and psychedelic drug experiences are all events that may give rise to a spiritual awakening.
Many people are currently experiencing spiritual awakenings after the life-changing events of 2020.
The awakening process is usually subtle at first. You may begin prioritizing experiences over possessions, searching for meaning in life, questioning cultural norms, etc. Many times these shifts in priorities begin before the individual even realizes they are in an awakening process.
The spiritual awakening often becomes more obvious once you experience something that cannot be explained by a materialist world view. These metaphysical experiences are often so profound that they cannot be ignored.
Examples of metaphysical awakening experiences include: prophetic dreams, out of body experiences, UFO encounters, etc. Keep in mind, these are only examples. A variety of metaphysical experiences can signal the beginning of a spiritual awakening.
As an individual awakens to the nonphysical world around them they also begin to awaken to the indescribable beauty of existence, and the truth that there is so much more going on in life than we can see in the physical, material world.
Eventually the awakening process leads to a deeper understanding of reality, the Universe, and our place in it all.
It’s important to note that the initial spiritual awakening process takes years, and that the initial awakening begins a lifelong process. This is why it is absolutely essential for awakened individuals to learn to flow with the awakening, rather than resist it.
I Think I’m Experiencing a Spiritual Awakening, What Now?
If you’ve read this far, and you feel you may be experiencing an awakening don’t worry- I’ve got you covered!
The stages of a spiritual awakening are similar for most people, although they may not occur in the same order for everyone.
The stages of a spiritual awakening:
- The Catalyst
- Deep discontent
- The Dark Night of the Soul
It’s important to keep in mind that spiritual awakening is a lifelong process, because consciousness is constantly expanding. Many of these stages will repeat several times after your initial awakening, but over time it will become easier to navigate each stage, I promise <3
What can I do Right Now to Make my Spiritual Awakening Easier?
Meditation as a Tool
Meditation is a vital tool for anyone and everyone experiencing an awakening. Meditation is often misrepresented in mainstream culture, so give me a moment to explain how quick and easy meditation can be.
Meditation is simply the practice of being fully present in this moment, right now. When you are fully present in the current moment your mind naturally quiets itself. A quiet mind allows you to sense the nonphysical part of the world, which will help make your awakening a more comfortable process.
Essentially, meditation is a way to lean into your awakening, rather than fighting and resisting it.
The most basic and straightforward meditation method is simple, and can be practiced in just one minute segments of time.
- Sit or lay down in a comfortable position.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose and count to four.
- Hold the breath for a count of two.
- Exhale the breath through your mouth while counting to six.
- Continue repeating this breathing pattern, and while you breathe focus all of your attention on the way the air feels entering your nose, your lungs, and then how the air feels releasing through your mouth.
- As you breathe you can also focus on how your body feels physically. Scan your body and notice how every body part feels, inside and out.
- If you notice your thoughts wandering away from your breathing or your body that’s okay! Gently, and without judgement, simply bring your attention back to your breath and your body.
The first time you try meditating it’s a good idea to set a timer for 3 minutes. This is a manageable amount of time even for a total beginner.
If you have some experience meditating try 5, 10, or even 20 minutes. Just don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to meditate too long too soon.
You should meditate daily in order to reap the benefits of the practice. For more information on methods and benefits of a daily meditation practice, read this article on meditation methods.
Eliminate Numbing Habits
When you first begin to wake up it can feel very lonely. It certainly was for me. As I began to see the world in a VERY new and different way, I could no longer relate to my friends or my husband (read about the changes I’ve made here). I felt drawn to a completely new way of life, but I was still living the life I’d built from a materialist, non-spiritual viewpoint.
I think it’s pretty common for newly awakened people to try to manage the confusion of their spiritual awakening with alcohol, because alcohol is a nervous system depressant, so it “takes the edge off”.
The problem is that alcohol actually numbs your connection to the part of you that is waking up (the part of you that is connected to the Universe), so it will stop you from exploring your new feelings and experiences, which stops you from understanding what’s really going on with you.
Trust me, I get it. When things are stressful the phrase “I need a drink” is incredibly common in our culture. Overuse of alcohol is a cultural norm, and is even glorified in movies and tv shows.
In the early years of my spiritual awakening I was a 1 or 2 drinks per day drinker, and I’d been drinking that way for my entire adult life. I didn’t feel like I had a problem, but the truth is, I was definitely using alcohol as a way of avoiding pain, sadness, and, ultimately, truth.
How to Quit Alcohol
Quitting alcohol is a very personal process. Below I share my own experience with quitting. This method may or may not work for you. If it resonates with you, awesome! However, if you feel like you need more ongoing assistance with quitting alcohol and/or drugs I recommend seeking a local (or online) AA group, or seeking a counselor who specializes in addiction.
Start with a Manageable Goal
I was well into my spiritual awakening process when one day, while sitting in meditation, I heard the words: “Brittany, you should take a break from alcohol for a week.”
I was surprised to receive this message, since I didn’t see a problem with my drinking. However, I was far enough along in my awakening process to know that when I receive a message I should listen.
One week sounded manageable. How hard could it be?
Hard, as it turns out. The first few days of my sober week were shockingly uncomfortable as waves of repressed painful feelings washed over me.
I had enough spiritual training to know that I needed to allow myself to feel these difficult emotions, to let them move through me. So I spent almost two solid days crying, and allowing myself to feel years of repressed emotions.
But then, on the fourth day I woke up and felt lighter, more peaceful than I’ve ever felt. It was like an enormous weight had been lifted off of me, and suddenly I could feel joy, true joy, the kind of joy I’d only ever read about up until that point!
Keep Extending the Goal!
At the end of my sober week I decided to extend it to a sober month, because I was feeling so good!
I made enormous leaps forward in my spiritual understanding that month, and I had my first successful experiences with conscious manifestation! Basically, that sober month was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between me and the Universe.
As you can probably guess, I never went back to drinking again.
Now, that is not to say that I have never had a single alcoholic beverage since that month. On a few special occasions I’ve had a beer, or a glass of wine, but I am extremely conscious on these occasions.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from my sobriety is how to feel my painful emotions. Before I went sober I used to resist challenging emotions, I was afraid of them.
Now I understand that when a painful emotion arises, fully feeling that emotion will allow it to quickly move through me so I can release it and move on with my life! This has been the key to allowing my spiritual awakening to progress naturally. Before I was sober I was resisting my awakening without even realizing it!
Move your Body More!
Moving your body more often is one of the easiest ways to make your spiritual awakening process easier.
I use the term “move your body” because “exercise” tends to be associated with weight loss and physical appearance. Moving your body is about feeling good.
Movement feels good because it helps release pent-up energy that accumulates throughout the day. When you are awakening you are sensitive to the feeling of “stuck” energy, and movement will give you a quick mood boost!
Simple ways to incorporate more movement into your day include: going for walks around your neighborhood, dancing (just throw on some music you love and go for it), and yoga (go to youtube for thousands of free yoga videos).
Get More Sleep
Sleep is SO important in the awakening process. While you sleep your subconscious is able to integrate all of the new experiences you’ve been having.
When you feel tired, honor your body by taking a nap or going to bed earlier. The extra sleep will make a huge difference in your mood, and in your ability to go with the flow of your awakening experiences.
Next Steps you Should Take to Continue Accepting your Awakening
Now that you have a basic understanding of what an awakening is, and how to make the awakening process easier, you can take the next steps towards a deeper understanding of yourself, the Universe, and your place in all of it!
- Follow your Intuition
- If you feel drawn to a certain place, go there.
- If you feel drawn to a certain branch of spirituality, explore it, learn more about it.
- If you feel drawn to a certain teacher, listen to what they have to say.
You get the point. Excitement and interest is how the Universe guides you to the next step on your path. When something interest you or excites you trust that feeling!
Above all, have FUN with this! Enjoy the new skills and abilities you begin uncovering in yourself. Enjoy this new perspective on life!
And remember that you are not alone in this experience. There are so many people waking up every single day, and the Universe is always with you.
Check out my Instagram to connect with a whole community of amazing people who are on a variety of spiritual paths.
Thank you so much for being here, and congratulations on your awakening! You are setting forth on the journey of a lifetime.