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Spiritual awakening is a transformative process that can lead us to a more fulfilling life, but it does come with its challenges.
Based on my experience and research, there are eight distinct stages of spiritual awakening, each with its own unique gifts and lessons for us.
In this blog post, we will explore these different stages in detail and discuss how best to navigate them.
For each stage of spiritual awakening, I will be sharing my personal experience and providing a list of common signs which can help you identify the stage you are currently in.
Please note that not all stages may apply to you, and the order in which you experience them is not always linear. It is also possible to experience two or more stages simultaneously. The length of time for each stage can vary too, but I will provide a rough guide for you.
So let’s dive in!
Stage 1: The Unconscious
All of us are on a spiritual awakening journey, whether we realize it or not. Our spirits create situations in our lives that can trigger awakening and gently nudge us toward awakening.
However, not everyone will be awakened, as it depends on how open we are to follow the path laid out by our spirits.
It is important to note that we may occasionally regress to this unconscious stage even after achieving spiritual awareness. Fortunately, this regression is usually short-lived. After experiencing the joy and inner peace of the spiritual path, we typically snap out of the unconscious stage very quickly.
My Personal Experience:
I had low self-esteem before I had my spiritual awakening. To improve myself, I enrolled in numerous personal development courses. With growing confidence, I started following my passion, hoping it would add happiness to my life. But my primary focus was on finding a fulfilling job.
Although I enjoy reading self-help books on topics ranging from business to personal development, I tend to avoid delving into the spiritual section at the library. My friends have recommended spiritual teachers like Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer, but I have always been hesitant and somewhat skeptical about exploring spirituality.
- You tend to prioritize certain aspects of your life, such as money, work, and relationships while neglecting others.
- You are not aware of the spiritual dimension or have doubts about it.
- You react to external factors rather than taking control.
- You follow the expectations of society and others instead of pursuing your true desires.
- You view yourself as your mind and body alone, without recognizing a distinction between the ego and the spirit.
- For some people, they remain unconscious until they pass away.
- If you have spiritually awakened and you become unconscious of the spiritual dimension, you typically regain awareness within hours or days.
Stage 2: The Trigger
Spiritual awakening can be triggered by various events such as losing a job, a relationship, a loved one, or suffering from a health issue or accident. These experiences can cause significant pain and lead you to let go of your old life, resulting in ego death.
Although experiencing a painful trigger can lead to spiritual awakening for some, it is important to note that not everyone will have this experience. Some individuals may remain unconscious and unable to recognize the valuable lesson behind the triggering event.
Spiritual awakening can also occur spontaneously. This can happen through reading a thought-provoking book, gaining insights from videos, or even having a profound dream. Sometimes, the triggering event may be unclear, and awakening simply happens. It can also occur through a sequence of events that gradually open you up to the path of spiritual awareness.
Spiritual awakening can be triggered by two main causes. Read this article to find out more.
My Personal Experience:
I switched my career from accountant to animator to pursue my passion, but soon realized it wasn’t for me and left the animation industry. I had previously written a book about my career change and felt ashamed to return to my old accounting job when I was unemployed.
You can watch my video below where I share how I overcame feeling like an imposter and fraud.
- You experience an unexpected and distressing event that deviates from your usual routine.
- This event causes you to lose a significant aspect of your life, which in turn, affects your self-identity.
- You find yourself gravitating toward spiritual or religious teachings.
- You feel unfulfilled and restless and question the meaning and purpose of life.
- You feel there is something more to life and try to seek fulfillment beyond material possessions.
- It is difficult to define. While the trigger may feel immediate, it is typically preceded by a sequence of events.
- For example, it took me three months to realize animation wasn’t the career path I wanted to pursue (first trigger). It took me another ten months before I realized I had no clear career direction (second trigger).
Stage 3: The Dark Night of the Soul
The Dark Night of the Soul is a time when we start shifting our perspective from our ego to our spirit. During this stage, individuals start to question their existing beliefs and viewpoints. We understand that the ego’s perspective does not work for us anymore, but we have not yet connected with our spirit. This transition leaves us in a state of uncertainty where we have no clear sense of identity or a stable home to stay in.
It is a period of intense self-reflection and inner struggles, where we are confronted with unresolved emotions and past traumas. This may lead to feelings of confusion, despair, or a sense of loss.
During our spiritual journey, it’s common to go through this phase multiple times, even after awakening. However, some individuals who experienced a spontaneous awakening may not go through this phase at all or experience it to the same extent.
To understand what a Dark Night of the Soul is, please read my article on its 9 key symtomps.
My Personal Experience:
After quitting my animation and accounting jobs, I started feeling lost and depressed. I was unsure of what to do with my life. My career had become my identity and without it, I was nothing. I realized I had used my career as a way to hide my low self-esteem.
Finding a new job was difficult as I lacked motivation some days. On other days, I experienced panic attacks with uncontrolled crying.
- You feel a sense of confusion, questioning beliefs and assumptions you’ve held in the past.
- Everything feels like it’s falling apart, leaving you feeling lost, empty, and lonely.
- Activities that usually bring you happiness no longer satisfy you and life feels meaningless.
- You lack the motivation to do anything and may experience depression, anxiety, and intense emotions.
- Memories from the past may also resurface during this time and lead to guilt and shame.
- It usually takes months to years to overcome the dark night.
- How long this phase lasts depends on how quickly and thoroughly you can let go of your old attachment. The longer you hold onto your old self, the longer it will take to move out of this stage.
- My first dark night of the soul lasted for two months; the second one lasted for years, but it was less intense.
Stage 4: The Awakening
The awakening is a phase where we gain a deeper understanding of the spiritual world. We have moments of realization or epiphany. During this phase, we encounter some form of ego death and a shift in perspective. In contrast to Stage 3, we adopt a more spiritual perspective and our egos have less control over us.
At this stage, we have a deeper understanding of reality, and many of us feel a sense of peace, love, and connection to all things. We start to understand the interconnectivity of all life and the divine presence in everything. We may also experience an expansion of consciousness; a feeling of being connected to something greater than ourselves.
Explore 7 easy ways you can start a spiritual awakening.
My Personal Experience:
After feeling depressed for two months, I was feeling restless one day and decided to take a walk in my neighborhood. While walking, I heard a voice telling me to jump into the river. This scared me, so I sat down on a nearby bench. As I sat there, I felt a strong connection to nature. The flowers, trees, and sky all seemed so vivid and vibrant. Suddenly, I felt a sense of peace and my depression dissipated.
You can watch this video where I share my spiritual awakening experience.
- You experience a significant change in your perception of reality, leading you to see things differently than before.
- It seems as though you have emerged from darkness into the light as if someone has just switched on the light in your room.
- This shift brings about a sense of peace, love, and connection to all things.
- You start to receive spiritual insights and have moments of realization or epiphany.
- You become more intuitive and feel guided by spirit.
Read this article for more signs of spiritual awakening.
- The stage of bliss usually lasts for a few days or weeks.
- Events in our lives can disrupt this state of consciousness causing us to revert to Stage 1 or Stage 3. It depends on the significance of the event.
- If we forget about the spiritual realm or if the event is not as important, we may temporarily return to Stage 1.
- If it’s a deeply rooted issue like past trauma that requires extensive healing and emotional release, we may regress to Stage 3 and take a longer time to return to this stage.
Stage 5: The Exploration
During this stage, we enjoy trying out different spiritual paths and practices to determine which ones suit us best. Some of us may be drawn to activities like meditation, yoga, or nature walks, while others might be intrigued by practices associated with new-age spirituality such as tarot card reading, lucid dreaming, or astral projection. We also begin reading more spiritual books and texts to expand our understanding of spirituality.
It is common for some individuals to start with the exploration process. They may become interested in spirituality after reading a thought-provoking book on the subject. As they seek out more information, they may experience a spiritual awakening.
On the other hand, many people begin their spiritual exploration after awakening to the spiritual realm.
Read my article on the 7 different types of spirituality.
My Personal Experience:
After my spiritual awakening, I began reading a lot of spiritual books and could understand and resonate with what they were talking about. I started practicing meditation and mindfulness daily.
Then, three years later, I started exploring energy healing. Recently, I became interested in new-age spirituality such as lucid dreaming, feng shui, and past-life regression.
- You may explore the teachings of spiritual teachers and their writings to expand your understanding of spirituality.
- You may also read about the spiritual experiences of others to validate your insights and seek connection.
- You are curious to try different spiritual paths and practices, such as meditation and mindfulness.
- Some of you may be interested in new-age spirituality practices such as tarot card reading, lucid dreaming, or astral projection.
- You become more open to the spiritual world and things that you were previously skeptical about.
- The stage tends to last for months and years.
- It comes and goes too. For example, I was interested in energy healing for months. But as I begin to integrate what I learn into my life, my interests decrease.
- But recently I started becoming interested in energy healing again because I wanted to improve my gut health.
Stage 6: The Isolation
In this stage, you have the desire to be alone. There are various reasons for this, but one common reason is that your inner self requires more attention. Even though you are aware of your spiritual being, you are still in the process of expansion and not yet grounded. External factors such as people and circumstances may disrupt your inner peace, so you might prefer to retreat from society and avoid large social events.
You may also find that when you share your spiritual insights with those around you, they do not understand you. Your family and friends may not have the same spiritual experiences as you, and they may view you as strange. As a result, you may choose to keep your thoughts to yourself.
This can be a challenging time as you may feel isolated from others, but some of us enjoy the solitude and tranquility that comes from being alone.
My Personal Experience:
Before my spiritual awakening, I used to enjoy being alone, but my reasons were different back then. I used to seek deep connections and meaningful conversations, but I often felt like I didn’t belong and even felt lonely around people like my friends. I am an introvert and being with others often left me feeling drained, so I preferred to spend time by myself.
Now, I find solitude refreshing and use it for introspection and writing. I feel comfortable being alone and don’t feel an intense need for close relationships because I already feel a strong sense of connection with the world.
- You experience a strong urge for solitude to connect with your spiritual self.
- It can be tough to relate to family and friends who may not understand your change.
- This may result in losing some friends and feeling disconnected from the world.
- Some people have a positive experience during this phase while others have a negative experience. It may be difficult for some to end old friendships, whereas others may feel satisfied with being alone.
- You stay away from individuals who tend to have a lot of drama going on in their life to protect your energy.
- The stage lasts for months to years.
- Some people remain in this stage for a considerable amount of time, possibly even their entire life.
Stage 7: The Integration
The seventh stage of spiritual awakening is integration. At this point in the process, we no longer experience intense emotions or explore spiritual paths. We follow the spiritual path that feels right to us, and we focus on applying all that we have learned during our spiritual journey in our everyday lives.
Isolating from the world is no longer our main priority. Instead, we feel compelled to engage with the world with a more grounded energy. We recognize that spirituality is interconnected with every aspect of life, such as finances, careers, and personal relationships, and thus, we integrate our spiritual understanding into all parts of our lives, including the practical ones.
At this stage, life feels more stable and balanced. Our purpose in life becomes clearer. We start to live in a more mindful and compassionate way.
However, integrating new beliefs and patterns can be challenging since old ones may resurface. So we may revisit Stages 3 and 6 from time to time. To cope with this, having a support system of spiritual teachers, mentors, and guides is essential.
My Personal Experience:
Before I was spiritually awakened, my sole focus was on pursuing my passion. However, after undergoing a spiritual awakening, I have come to value the importance of both financial success and spiritual growth. It became clear to me that these two aspects are interconnected. As a result, I decided to work as a tutor to earn a living while still pursuing my passion for writing.
Previously, I isolated myself because I wanted to shield myself from negative energy from others with low vibrations. Now, I feel comfortable venturing out into the world because I don’t seem to attract as much negative energy, which means I don’t need as much protection.
- You integrate and apply spiritual insights into your daily life.
- You are more grounded in your own energy, and other people don’t affect you as much. As a result, you don’t feel a need to run away or hide from people with negative energy.
- You feel less judgmental and have more compassion for the people around you.
- You embrace all areas of life and can see how spirituality is interconnected with everything.
- You easily attract and manifest good things into your life.
- The stage can last for many years.
- Although challenges in life can cause you to revert to previous stages, each time you return, you will become more grounded and stable in your alignment.
Stage 8: The Calling
When you reach the final stage of spiritual awakening, you feel compelled to pursue something that goes beyond your individual self. Perhaps you want to create a positive influence on the world. Alternatively, you may wish to impart your knowledge and help others on their spiritual path.
At this point, you are aligned with your purpose and mission. Your purpose doesn’t need to be grandiose, though. Perhaps you’d like to assist a small community that you have influenced. Maybe there is someone in your family who has a chronic disease, and you are motivated to take care of them – that can be your purpose too. Alternatively, you might be an athlete, performer, or artist who demonstrates what it feels like to be aligned with the soul and be in flow.
What defines this stage is the inspiration and energy you receive to do something. Your soul is constantly calling you toward your life purpose. You have a clear sense of direction and your purpose on Earth, and you feel fulfilled.
My Personal Experience:
Previously, I had been hesitant to pursue writing as a career due to my fears. However, after undergoing a spiritual awakening, I was so inspired to write my second book and share my experience with others that my fears seemed inconsequential. Years later, I had written a series of books on self-compassion and spirituality.
Recently, I received a new calling to create YouTube videos where I can share my spiritual insights.
- You have a clear sense of your purpose and mission and are committed to them.
- You share your wisdom and support others on their journeys.
- You have a desire to be of service to others and make a positive impact on the world.
- You are inspired to follow where your spirit leads.
- You feel so inspired that your fear seems insignificant.
- Once you are aligned with your purpose, it can last for several years or until the end of your physical life.
Spiritual awakening is a journey, not a destination. Even though the stages are presented in a particular order here, it does not suggest that the final stage is the ultimate or concluding phase. Our spirits direct us toward where we most need to be in the present moment.
If you are interested in learning more about the subject, I suggest taking a look at my list of 10 recommended books on spiritual awakening.