The term "spiritual awakening" is thrown around a lot these days—but few people have a true understanding of what it really means. Likewise, the terms "spiritual awakening" and "spiritual enlightenment" are often used interchangeably, when they actually have very different meanings and positioning along a person's spiritual journey.
So, what exactly is a spiritual awakening—and how does an awakening fit into the ultimate goal of achieving enlightenment? Likewise, what are some of the "signs" of a spiritual awakening that you should be on the lookout for if you're looking to elevate your spiritual well being? We'll cover all of this, as well as some tips for embracing your spiritual journey, in the post that follows.
Spiritual Awakening vs. Spiritual Enlightenment
First, it's important to understand the difference between a spiritual awakening and spiritual enlightenment.
What is a spiritual awakening? In simplest terms, the awakening is generally seen as the first step towards enlightenment. During an awakening, you're taking the first steps of stepping back and looking at your life with a renewed sense of purpose. Rather than focusing on the future and the past, a person who is spiritually "woke" is able to live in the present.
Beginning a spiritual awakening can be unnerving at first—especially when you consider that awakenings are often not deliberate but begin as a result of a major life event. However, by embracing the signs of an awakening, you can gradually move through the process towards spiritual enlightenment.
What does enlightenment mean? This is what many people view to be the ultimate spiritual goal. When a person has reached spiritual enlightenment (something many people work for years to achieve), they're able to perpetuate their awakening into a permanent state of consciousness.
Signs of Spiritual Awakening
As we mentioned above, spiritual awakenings are not often deliberate. In fact, some might argue that you cannot force a spiritual awakening, but that's debatable.
Often times, a major life event forces a person to reevaluate their lives and come to a moment of awakening. Some common examples of these life-altering events can include:
- Traumas (emotional or physical)
- Divorces or other major relationship changes
- Midlife crises
- Life-threatening illnesses or injuries
- Near-death experiences
- Major world events (like wars and pandemics)
Everybody will experience a spiritual awakening differently, but there are some potential "signs" to watch out for that could indicate you're going through an awakening—especially if you've recently experienced any of the above life-altering events.
1. Questioning Yourself
Often, people who are just "waking up" spiritually will find themselves suddenly questioning past decisions, current habits, and other aspects of their lives that they never thought much about before. You might start asking yourself why you have trouble waking up when you alarm goes off in the morning, or why you feel unfulfilled in your relationships and/or career. Things that you barely gave a passing thought before might begin to nag at you.
As you can imagine, this can be an unsettling thing to experience. However, this sign of spiritual awakening isn't necessarily a bad thing; it means that you're working towards the awareness you need to make positive changes in your life.
2. A Sudden Disconnection
Another common sign of a spiritual awakening is a sudden sense of disconnection or detachment. This disconnect can be from people or even from hobbies or other things you used to enjoy. Again, this is another "sign" of an awakening that can be unnerving when it first occurs. However, the reason this is happening is that you're subconsciously realizing that there is more to your existence—and that your spirit is craving a connection to a higher purpose.
3. Your Intuition Feels Stronger
Many people who are going through a spiritual awakening also report that their sense of intuition simply feels stronger and more focused. If this applies to you, you might notice that you experience a lot more "gut feelings" (whether good or bad) than you used to, and that these feelings are becoming hard to ignore. This is a good thing, as it means your spirit is pulling you in the right direction. The key is learning to embrace it, which we'll cover in greater detail later on.
4. You Experience Deja Vu
Feelings of deja vu or similar experiences, such as thinking about somebody you haven't seen in ages and then running into them the very next day, are also early signs of spiritual awakening. If you've been experiencing more deja vu (where you have a strange feeling that you've experienced something before), this could be a sign that your spirit is awakening.
5. You Feel a Stronger Sense of Purpose
Another sign that you could be going through the beginning phases of a spiritual awakening is experiencing a sense of greater purpose. Perhaps you suddenly feel a compulsion to volunteer at a local pet shelter or find other ways to make a difference in your community. Causes that were once not as important to you may now be at the forefront of your mind. This is a good sign, as it means your spirit is guiding you towards finding a higher purpose in the way you live your life.
6. You Experience Vivid Dreams
Some people going through a spiritual awakening may experience more dreams or even more vivid dreams. You may find yourself waking up in the mornings and having a hard time differentiating between something that happened in a dream and something that happened in real life. Often times, dreams become more vivid during a spiritual awakening as your spirit continues on its journey towards enlightenment.
Embracing Signs of an Awakening
Because some of the signs of a spiritual awakening can seem jarring or unnerving at first, your natural inclination may be to ignore (or try to ignore) them. However, once you understand that these "signs" are actually guiding you towards a heightened spiritual awareness, you can actually go out of your way to embrace them and embark on an incredible journey.
With this in mind, there are actually plenty of things you can do to embrace your awakening and get the most out of it.
The act of meditation can be a great way to honor your spirit's journey while also taking the time to slow down and focus on simply being. If you've never tried meditation before, don't be intimidated. And if you don't have a lot of time to dedicate to meditating, that's okay. There are plenty of short, guided meditations that can help you get started. We recommend setting aside 5-10 minutes either first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed to get the most out of the experience.
Finding ways to be more grateful for your life and what you have can go a long way in enabling your spiritual journey to continue. And of course, practicing gratitude comes with a number of other health and wellness benefits. There are all kinds of ways to practice gratitude, but one way that many people find practical and sustainable is to actually keep a gratitude journey. This can be done either on paper or digitally, offering a great opportunity for you to reflect on the things you're grateful for regularly.
Serve Your Community
If one of your "signs" of a spiritual awakening was a sudden desire to serve or a higher sense of purpose, why not embrace this and make the world a better place? Whether it's something as simple as donating a few hours of your time a local soup kitchen or something as involved as starting your own donation drive, scratching that itch to serve a higher purpose can help you expedite your journey towards enlightenment.
Spend Time Outdoors
Last but not least, don't forget to embrace nature and spend some time outdoors. Not only is spending time in nature good for your mental and physical health, but it can benefit your spiritual health as well. Whether it's a quick walk around the block to start your day or committing to a nature hike this weekend, a little time in nature can work wonders for your spirit.
Working Towards the Ultimate Goal of Enlightenment
At the end of the day, a spiritual awakening isn't really something that you can force. Yes, you can take steps to make your body, mind, and spirit more open to an awakening. However, in general, you simply have to trust that your spirit will alert you with the signs of readiness when the right time comes. And when that time does come, you'll be prepared to recognize the signs of an awakening and to embrace them fully.
The journey from spiritual awakening to enlightenment can take many years, but it's a beautiful journey if you're willing to appreciate and embrace it for what it is. Matcha Bloom will be here for you every step of the way so you can live life in full bloom.
Posted on April 18, 2022