Spiritual awakening is the journey of a lifetime to come to know who we are our core. To get in touch with our true self, beyond cultural norms/rules/structures.
Particularly in societies where the physical is prioritized or considered the ultimate reality, spiritual awakenings present a existential crisis of identity.
This awakening can be equally petrifying as it is exciting. We come to know deeper levels of pain and heartache, but also experience a higher level of joy and bliss.
In this post I want to go over 18 key signs you are going through an awakening, why it happens and how to navigate it.
What Is a Spiritual Awakening?
A spiritual awakening is quite simply the journey back to spirit. A remembrance of who and what we are, beyond the physical.
This has a specific context in the modern age where a lot of us are living lives completely alienated from spirit. We have come to know the physical and spiritual as two distinct spaces of being, or only take the physical to be important.
We are not separate from our spirit but can become distanced from it, through the different layers of ego. Rather than finding our spirit, an awakening is about getting to know our spirit again. Not to know something we didn’t already know, but to remember.
Spiritual awakening can be so disorienting because our this huge contrast between these two aspects of our being. We come to this major realization and have to cultivate balance.
What Causes a Spiritual Awakening?
When we use the term spiritual awakening we are usually referring to a major shift in the trajectory of our lives – something that feels like a big event. We might call this an initial awakening or a big awakening.
This type of awakening is usually prompted by a corresponding life disruption, such as a breakup, loss of a loved one, a change in career. Other times spiritual awakenings are caused by a subtler domino effect of consciousness.
We notice something small in our daily lives that seems out of place, or experience a synchronicity and write it off as coincidence or wishful thinking. These small occurrences gradually snowballing into something we can no longer ignore or downplay.
18 Spiritual Awakening Symptoms
A spiritual awakening is characterized by a group of symptoms that signal the development of a higher awareness. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but you will find many of these relatable to your path.
1. You feel out of place
The first sign that you are experiencing a spiritual awakening is the general sense of being out of place. You might not be able to put your finger on why, but you just know deeper down that you’re not fitting in the way you used to.
2. You feel lonely & lost
Naturally after noticing this out of place feeling, it’s common to feel especially isolated or alienated. The conversations people around you are having no longer interest you the way they did, what you do day to day doesn’t inspire as much motivation.
3. You are questioning your identity
This is where you begin to ask the big questions: Who am I? What am I? Why am I here?
Spiritual awakening highlights the contrast between our ego self and our higher self, and how much of our identity has been formed around the ego.
4. You’re re-evaluating your beliefs
To take the spiritual path requires a lot of reflection on our belief systems. Whether we were raised religious and have conflict there, or were more so in an atheist mindset, where anything that wasn’t backed by science or physical evidence isn’t worth exploring.
5. You have different priorities
Naturally upon questioning your identity, belief systems and daily activities your priorities start to shift. The old patterns that you were comfortable with before, no longer feel as important or have as much of a grip over you.
6. Experiencing synchroncities
Synchroncities are events that at first seem unrelated but later appear to have some interconnected meaning. For example, thinking of someone you haven’t seen in years and suddenly receiving a phone call from them out of the blue.
Synchronicities are a practical demonstration of how thought/energy corresponds with our environment. We naturally start to pick up on the synchroncities we were missing before, and begin experiencing more synchronicity as a result of this deeper interconnection.
7. You feel more connected to your body
A common sign of awakening that is often missed is that you feel more connected to your body. You begin to feel energy flowing through the body, or notice that your body is not performing the way you want it to/it used to.
When we become more aware of our spirit we also become more aware of our physical body, as this is the anchoring point for our consciousness here on Earth. We have to bring both the physical and spiritual into alignment for true balance.
8. Your feel more intuitive
In tuning into our body, our intuition also increases. During a spiritual awakening we become more aware of our habitual thought patterns and start to go beyond them.
In observing how our thoughts tend to play our unconsciously, we can identify when our ‘thoughts’ have a finer quality to them; the voice of our higher self. In turning inwards we have clearer access to our internal guidance rather than being primarily led by outside influences.
9. You feel more sensitive or triggered
During an awakening it’s common to experience a period where you are constantly triggered, you become much more sensitive to everything all at once. This can be overwhelming at first and you might think you are doing something wrong.
However this is just a sign that your awareness is increasing, by being more aware of our triggers (disproportionate emotional responses) we can better work with and integrate them.
10. You feel deeper joy & peace
Spiritual awakening also brings about a much deeper sense of joy and peace. We experience lower lows but also higher highs!
Often during a spiritual awakening we experience deep joy because that is an emotion we have been repressing for so long. We might not feel worthy of joy or feel guilty if we express it. An awakening peels back all of these layers of pretence, and makes us aware of both the deep dark and bright light that is already within us.
11. You practice more acceptance
Acceptance is one of the key virtues on the spiritual path. To accept where you are, what you’ve done, and where you are going.
When we think of a spiritual being or ‘spiritual person’, the image we have in mind is someone who is wise and all-knowing. However a large part of the spiritual path is accepting just how little we know, and with this acceptance of our ignorance comes deeper levels of peace and trust.
12. Your psychic senses are activating
You’ll likely experience an activation of your psychic senses, alongside heightened physical senses.
If you are a visual person you’ll likely experience an increase in clairvoyance, if you are a music-oriented person you’ll likely experience a heightened sense of hearing.
13. Your dreams are particularly vivid
The more we increase our spiritual awareness in waking life the more vivid and surreal our dreams at night become. For me, dreams were what prompted my spiritual awakening.
Within dreams we have access to a level of consciousness which isn’t available in normal everyday life or during deep sleep. It’s not uncommon for spontaneous lucid dreams or out of body experiences to encourage a spiritual awakening that encompasses both our awake and sleep states.
We might experience precognitive dreams, experience a dream that has an otherworldly or transcendental quality to it, we might seem to come into contact with some other intelligence within a dream like spirit guides, angels or ascended masters.
14. You’re becoming aware of your shadow
As we’ve explored spiritual awakenings aren’t all butterflies and rainbows. They aren’t always blissful and joyous, sometimes (but not always) a spiritual awakening is brought on by reaching the lowest low we’ve ever experienced, and having to resource strength we didn’t know we had access to.
We will be drawn to inner exploration and getting to know ourselves on a deeper level. Old wounds might come up to the surface; there is a purge of sorts that goes on. We might become interested in shadow or inner child work.
15. Your relationships are shifting
Our relationships naturally shift as we go through an awakening, we crave deeper meaning in all faucets of our life. We might realize that our current relationships aren’t as meaningful as we thought, we will be drawn towards people with more awareness and varied interests.
16. Your feel compelled to shift your lifestyle & diet
With an increase in awareness we naturally start to become more conscious of what we are putting into our bodies and how it affects us. We’ll certainty want to adopt a healthier lifestyle, move more, get interested in nutrition; we might consider a raw food or vegan diet.
There is a lot of debate about what constitutes the perfect spiritual diet, while there are many differing viewpoints, we definitely want to take more care with our diet and lifestyle.
Eating less meat, moving more, and consuming less unhealthy substances all come as a natural result of this increased awareness, whether or not this eventually aligns with a specific type of diet/lifestyle.
17. You feel deeply connected to everything
A key tenet of an awakening is experiencing oneness – this sense that we are not entirely separate from other people, living beings, even inanimate objects. Everything has an undercurrent of energy, that came from one source, that we can tune into and viscerally experience.
18. You want to be of service to others
One of the key phases after a spiritual awakening is that you want to be of service to others, in a larger way than before. Often this means wanting to spread spiritual knowledge/wisdom or help others in some other spiritual context.
It’s easy to get caught up at this phase because it can seem like the only way to help would be to completely change our day to day lives around. To acquire more income and have more time to devote to spiritual studies.
However we can be of service to others wherever we are. As parents, friends, as a worker in a store, as strangers. Spirit doesn’t limit how deeply we can impact others based on our location, occupation or setting. Anything we do, however mundane, can be imbued with spiritual energy.
The 3 Phases of Spiritual Transformation
There are many distinct phases in the spiritual awakening process however I think each awakening can be roughly broken up into three parts.
A spark of awareness
The first major phase of an awakening is receiving a spark of awareness.
The second major phase is to integrate what you have learned.
This phase can encompass a lot of other smaller phases, however the general theme is of coming to unite the conflicting forces that arise after an awakening: our physical and spiritual awareness, our body and soul, our mind and heart.
We can experience many awakenings over the course of our lifetime, usually prompted by a major life shift such as a heartbreak, grief or loss of a job. We can experience awakenings even after our initial spiritual awakening.
“The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral. You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.”Barry H. Gillespie
In these ‘subsequent awakenings’ we might be working with subtler dynamics or a specific conflict, to deepen our spiritual awareness and embody deeper peace & acceptance.
The final stage is reaching deeper & embodied alignment. This is where your inner being and outward actions begin to match up, who you say you are and what you know lead your actions.
Alignment is not a destination but a journey, because there are always new opportunities for us to come out of alignment with our higher self.
Further reading: 7 Stages of An Awakening
What Happens After a Spiritual Awakening?
The interesting thing about discussing spiritual awakenings with human language and through human concepts is that we try to put a timeline on something that doesn’t really flow linearly.
So the phrase after an awakening is really a period after this initial spark of awareness and integration. At the beginning we might feel lost, alienated, confused, afraid etc. On the other hand we might experience heightened joy, bliss and peace.
Eventually we have to come back to Earth. This could mean readjusting after a dark night of the soul (intense period of shadow work), or realizing that we cannot remain as high vibe and elevated as we once did.
We have to consciously integrate our new spiritual awareness into day to day activities. If we have a job to go to, children to parent or some other activity. Each and every thing we do can come from this space of deep connection, peace, surrender.
Share your experience in the comment!