In my previous blog, we had a look at what a spiritual awakening is as well as some signs that you are experiencing one. Today I would like to have a look at the different stages of a spiritual awakening.
Once you have been propelled onto this path, there is no going back. The veil of ignorance has been lifted and it will be impossible to go back to life as you once knew it.
The result of a Full Awakening is complete freedom from personal suffering, clarity of mind, boundless joy, inner peace and the ability to live an incredibly fulfilling life serving a greater purpose.
Ultimately, we are all unique and experience the whole process differently. A model that describes my own journey the most accurate can be found on chopra.com, which I have adapted to describe my own experiences and knowledge.
1. Getting the call
This is your call to a higher purpose. The trigger can be spontaneous or a life-changing event that compels you to start looking at life differently. At this moment you are standing at a crossroad to either accept the call or refuse. However, in my experience – refusing isn’t really an option because your soul is inviting you to accept the transformation. As with everything else in life, patterns of experiences will keep on repeating themselves until you make the shift – or accept the call. No matter how much you would like to deny it, once your eyes have been opened you can’t unsee the vision of a higher reality.
Once you have accepted the call your journey of spiritual enlightenment and transformation starts and you become a conscious participant in your growth and expansion.
2. Accepting the call
This is a very exciting time where you are in search of answers. It can also be difficult because everything you once accepted as true – ideologies, worldviews, sense of self and others – now comes into question. You are searching for something that will make your new reality make sense. Often marked by a period of information gathering, self-study and looking closer at different religions and spiritual practices, you are drawn to that which aligns with you personally.
There are four paths according to Verdanta, that you can follow:
– Bhakti Yoga: The path of love and devotion
– Jnana Yoga: The path of science and the intellect
– Karma Yoga: The path of action and selfless service
– Raja Yoga: The path of meditation and all its related disciplines
Each presents its own method of self-discovery and realization. It is important to remember that everyone’s journey is different, and so will the way be in which they discover their path. Working with someone specializing in Transformational Therapy can help immensely to shed old beliefs, understand experiences and discover your authentic self while giving you the support you need in this unsettling time. Now is the time to follow your heart.
3. Healing, Growth and Transformation
Having found your path, you now become a spiritual seeker. You become dedicated to the path you have chosen so that through practise, study and discipline of your spiritual routine it now becomes a way of life. You search for opportunities that will take you deeper toward the greater vision of expanded awareness. As you move deeper, you become more knowledgeable of the tradition or practice, but also of yourself and the illusion of the self.
This stage is marked by the process in which your identity begins to shift from external references to internal references. For example, you no longer need acceptance, validation or approval from other people, you have found it within yourself.
In this stage there are two markers to hint that spiritual progress is underway:
- Happiness and joy become your ground state. You feel more at ease in life.
- Life becomes easier, you flow and your desires manifest with ease.
4. Losing inspiration
Growth can be uncomfortable as your path challenges you to make changes to your thoughts, emotions, speech or behaviour to become more expansive, compassionate or kind. External influences make it difficult to stay on the path with temptations to return to a more conventional life.
The biggest challenges come in the form of Threshold Guardians (Joseph Campbell). These are the barriers that stand in the way of turning points and continually knock you down and test your resolve. They can come in the form of enemies, circumstances, limiting beliefs, setbacks etc. You feel lost or helpless and can even experience a stage of being in victim mentality. Rest assured this is just the ego-self that is manifesting the doubts within you. I found the realization reassuring – and it even helped to lift me out of this state – when it dawned on me that I ASKED FOR CHANGE, I asked for expansion and that within that I will be presented with challenges. My task, my transformation, was to rather search for the opportunities it presented and to stop focussing on what isn’t.
Many people refer to this time as the dark night of the soul. Ram Dass calls these spiritual challenges ‘grist for the mill of enlightenment’. This stage requires fortitude and courage to stay on course. It is from this stage that you can emerge fully into the light to continue your spiritual development.
5. Full Awakening
Finally, you merge with the path. You have now become the practice. A permanent shift has taken place and you awaken fully to your true identity. Instead of gaining more knowledge or experience, this is a process of letting go of that which no longer serves you, leaving only pure being-ness.
Where do you find yourself on the spectrum? Embracing the journey is nothing less than fulfilling your life purpose and destiny should you accept this wonderful awakening.
Next, we will be looking at the best ways to navigate through your spiritual awakening.
The Healing Enterprise
Healing | Coaching | Hypnotherapy
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– Crystal Energy Healer, Psychologist Life Coach and Hypnotherapist in Cape Town, Western Cape. Contact me for Chakra balancing, Solution Focused Life Coaching and Clinical Hypnosis.
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