How to Embrace a Spiritual Awakening
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What does it mean to have a spiritual awakening?
A spiritual awakening is a subjective experience. Just Google the phrase (maybe that’s even how you landed here!) and you’ll find as many definitions as there are articles on the topic. At Umoya Institute, what it means is a moment or series of moments when you recognize fully that you are connected to everything around you. And you relate to the world in a completely new way. You literally wake up and recognize that you were dreaming before.
Some will choose intentionally to always seek out spiritual development and move towards spiritual awakening. There are many paths. For all of us at some point though, we will likely experience one or more spontaneous spiritual awakenings triggered by major life events. Sometimes they’re quiet but profound, like having an epiphany about the nature of God on a silent retreat alone in the forest, and realizing what your religion taught you doesn’t align with your soul’s knowing. Sometimes they’re violent, like when a loved one dies and everything you thought you could count on is ripped away. In either scenario, the world you knew before is gone, and you see everything with new eyes.
Why it’s important to not resist an awakening
Spiritual awakening is why we’re here on the planet – to remember who we truly are. So who are we to argue or resist that process? And why would we want to? While there’s limited research on the global “phenomenon” of spontaneous spiritual awakenings, what we see in almost all cases over the long term is an overall positive impact on well-being and compassion for self and others. But that doesn’t mean they’re easy to go through.
In Cognitive Behavioral Coaching, we often discuss the concept that our pain does not create suffering. It is our resistance to pain (or our relationship to it, or our thoughts about it) that creates suffering. So resistance to a spiritual awakening, even if it’s painful initially, will only make things harder and take longer to work through. And, as I always tell clients, the only way out is through.
You will have more than one spiritual awakening in your life
If we had just one epic mega-event spiritual awakening where everything was revealed at once, our human brains would probably explode. That’s why it’s a process that goes on through your whole life. Some moments will feel more profound and abrupt than others, while sometimes the awakening is a gentle shift over a longer period. The ones we notice are the big abrupt ones, but I bet you can also think of a habit that used to feel ingrained but didn’t serve you, and you eventually moved away from it without much fanfare. A micro version of that might be shifting away from social media – a trend in Millennials and Gen Z I’m hoping will continue to gain momentum. When you strip away what’s artificial, what do you notice that remains? That stripping away, even gradually, is an awakening process. You’ve given yourself space and energy to notice what’s real.
Some resources to support you in your spiritual awakening
I’ve read a lot of books on the topic (no surprise there!) but I have many more on my list. I’d recommend all of these, as a way to get started in ushering in or supporting an in-process spiritual awakening of your own:
1. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran – this is one of my favorite books of all time. I tend to earmark pages of books where there’s a quote I love, and I realized I was earmarking every single page as I read this. My favorite line I come back to again and again – especially on my IVF/fertility journey – is that “children don’t come from you, they come through you.”
2. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle – I bought this years ago and finally finally read it last year (after also listening to all of the Super Soul podcast episodes Oprah did with Eckhart back in the day) and it lives up to the hype. All we have is the moment we’re in – that’s all that ever actually exists on the physical plane.
3. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra – This was a bit more business-oriented (or maybe it just felt that way to me reading it as I was starting my business years ago), but a very quick and accessible read nonetheless.
4. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz – Words to live by, I love this book! Read the book, obviously, but also if you want to know right now what the four agreements are, here you go: Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best.
5. The Impersonal Life by Joseph Benner (published anonymously initially) – A very cool little book I learned about from Wayne Dyer, it felt like every page I had to take a break and really let it sink in.
Bonus books on my own reading list
On my very near-term reading list based on rave reviews from my friends and community. The full list is gigantic and unreasonable to list in a blog post. With that in mind, please feel free to send me any other recommendations! 🙂
We’re spiritual beings having a human experience
Remember that spiritual awakening is inevitable, and often painful. In addition to the resources above, it’s also really self-compassionate to explore supportive activities. That might look like meditation, art, journaling, spending time in nature and listening to music. Basically all the stuff you know you should do but don’t give yourself permission to do. You’ll feel a natural pull towards these things as your spiritual awakening unfolds, so try not to resist it. Be kind and compassionate with yourself. Just as you find yourself being being more kind and compassionate with others as you see them with new eyes.
Know that it can feel confusing and maybe alienating to have a spiritual awakening. Relationships may dissolve while new ones form, you might not recognize your material life and your old desires. Mindset coaching is the most hands-on approach to guiding you through these new experiences. I’m here to support you as you navigate uncharted waters!
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