My regular readers are probably already wise to where this spiritual awakening topic is going. They already know that you can’t MAKE a spiritual awakening happen. You can no more make an awakening happen than you can make a seed sprout regardless of how much fertilizer you use.
Yet there are a growing number of people who seem to want to “make” an awakening happen. In this blog post, I am actually more interested in helping you to uncover your motives around this because those will show you where your greatest growth lies as well as what is actually standing in the way of awakening.
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Preparation and Readiness for Awakening
In a post I wrote called “An Unexpected, Spontaneous Awakening,” I differentiated between being prepared for awakening and being ready for awakening. Preparation is what we do in this world. It involves clearing out issues and fears through whatever tools you feel drawn to choose. This may be going to a psychologist, doing yoga, having a meditation practice, following your heart, and other things. However, readiness is a soul decision. Your soul knows if it is ready to burst forth in this world into full awakening.
Now I won’t say that a lot of tools like shaktipat and kundalini yoga don’t do a lot to move internal energy. They do. And I’m a little concerned for those people who are using some of these tools and who don’t fully understand them or have teachers that fully understand the process. Many people just like the feelings they get from the practices, or they want to get somewhere by using them. These are corrupted reasons for pursuing a spiritual awakening. Awakening is not about good feelings or achieving goals. It’s about embracing all of life as perfect as is, and that starts with you.
There are so many spiritual tools now available that were heretofore circulated within small circles of spiritual devotees and initiates, and usually, there was a spiritual teacher who understood the process in its entirety who could help assist people when things really erupted. Now, you can get a kundalini yoga practice online and try to figure it out for yourself. It’s not that this is bad, per se, but we’ve entered a new era of spirituality because of the Internet. Along with that, many people have brought a lot of juvenile notions about what spirituality and what awakening are, and that causes interesting challenges to arise like unexpected awakenings.
Because every now and then, someone’s soul is ready to awaken using tools like these. But without the right mindset, they are not prepared. The reality of awakening can really overwhelm the unprepared individual, and they can try to fight it, run from it, hide from it, and pull every avoidance trick in the book. Sometimes someone who’d been seeking awakening then awakens and tells me, “I never thought it would be like this.”
Preparing For an Awakening Without Expectations
There are several false beliefs that people have in regards to spiritual awakening. I mentioned a couple above about feeling good and trying to get somewhere. But how does your unconscious ego self know where to go? The ego is like a prison cell inmate who has never been anywhere else who decides to tell people that he knows the way to Fiji. But he has never been there!
That’s why any goals with the spiritual path have to be held onto loosely.
Other false beliefs that you may need to face to develop the right mindset for a spiritual awakening include beliefs that awakening:
- Fixes all your physical issues (Awakening can sometimes be thought as a way to get rid of body ailments–it generally only gets rid of ailments caused by the ego)
- Gets everyone to love you, respect you, or some variant of validation
- Makes you better than everyone else, i.e more conscious
- Gives them purpose or meaning
- Offers a pain-free life
There are others beyond this, so do your inner work. Go within and see why you really want to awaken your energy.
Freedom from Suffering
Awakening does push people down the path to freedom from suffering, but this concept can be badly misunderstood. People hear things like “being free from suffering,” and they confuse that with never having difficulty again in life. That’s just not how it is. Look at the amount of pain and difficulty that goes on for people just trying to eat on a regular basis. That’s not going to go away with awakening. Maybe if the whole world awakens, we’ll do a better job of distributing wealth and resources, but there will still be famines, floods, droughts, disease, solar flares, asteroids, and crop-failures. That’s part of the universe we live in.
When we are free of suffering, we don’t turn these events into stories about ourselves, saying: “Oh poor me, this is just my lot in life.” Instead we accept them completely and take appropriate action to take care of ourselves and our communities.
So you will still feel pain if you have an awakening.
“Losing” Your Way to Awakening
As you pay attention to the ego that wants to get an awakening, you’ll notice that it thinks in terms of getting things in general. “Get” is a keyword here for a lot of people. Western society has been taught to get and accumulate things. But awakening is not a getting. It’s a being, and it generally causes people to get rid of things, emotions, issues, and attachments. This is a huge reversal for most people’s egos, and many newly awakened people fixate on all the stuff they’ve lost rather than the spaciousness of consciousness that is being revealed.
Additionally, if you have an awakening, no one gives you a trophy. You probably won’t get much adulation. Any praise I get on this blog is beautiful, but that’s not why I do it. I do it because I’m called to do it. I do because I want to clear out the half of a dozen blogs that are downloaded regularly into my head so I can sleep at night. I do it because it’s what simply arises for me. It’s that natural arising of action and rest that awakening moves people towards–not any specific life goal, meaning, or anything else.
So in truth, the best way to prepare for an awakening is to lose expectations. Lose beliefs. You don’t necessarily have to get rid of things, but cleaning out the closet and old files can be a nice starting point for getting used to the process of letting go. Letting go makes space for the love that is already here, and that love can lead you down the path to awakening. However, awakened love may use sharp knives and heavy hammers to help you break free. That true love radically change your ideas of what love even is. Many people whom you thought you loved and whom you thought loved you will show their true faces. You’ll see a lot of lies, and suddenly, you may feel quite alone on the spiritual path. The lessons from the awakened space are much more challenging than any ideal you may have about living in a constant state of bliss where the whole world loves you.
Be prepared to see the fullness of love for the first time ever after a spiritual awakening. And there’s even more.
Working With Me and the Preparation I Offer
I titled my ebook: Everyday Spirituality: Cultivating an Awakening. I did not title it: Everyday Spirituality: Creating an Awakening. You can’t do that exactly. Only the soul and that intuitive awareness know how to create all the right circumstances. Awakening energy is not a mental game, nor should it be. This is a sacred space that is created for the right moment, which ironically enough is always this moment.
And some people awaken without any preparation. Their soul is just ready and sprouts forth in untilled land with rocks and thorns and no water to feed it. This is a harrowing time for people who are unprepared. Many were never even spiritual to begin with, so the whole experience of awakening is entirely foreign to them.
That’s another reason that I do the work that I do with students. I help them to cultivate the land, hopefully before everything erupts (although I certainly work with plenty of people after the dam has burst). Just in cultivating the land, there are a lot of benefits. You are removing false beliefs and creating space for things to grow naturally in your life. You are becoming more conscious. If awakening doesn’t happen, that’s fine. Just keep working the land–working with yourself–with love. There are plenty of wonderful things that you can enjoy and ways of being to embrace without having an awakening.
Just learning the tools to heal issues and open up internal space is a profound practice. It creates that much more space for an awakening. It dissolves resistance and helps people live from a place of clarity and love in everyday life. Ultimately, our resistance is what causes so much pain and difficulty in an awakening as well as in life in general. Take away a lot of resistance, and a lot of life is much easier to bear and more of it is enjoyable.
Ways to Enhance and Move Your Energy
For those of you who really, really, REALLY feel called to awaken, pretty much everything in my ebook is aimed at helping you to do so. You can also look at the blogs in the starting out section. If you sincerely practice a lot of these tools and tips, energy can move in your life. You may be surprised.
Embracing the fullness of the spiritual path is embracing the fullness of you. Anywhere you’ve played small in your life or have not lived in your integrity are places where you are going to have to make changes. Hopefully, you’ll begin to see the cost of following this path before any big bang hits because then there’s no turning back. I want you to build a solid spiritual practice and learn about letting go of attachments, dissolving false ego beliefs, and maybe radically changing parts of your daily life first. If you can do that, then you have a taste of what may be asked of you if you have a spiritual awakening. Then, it is easier to mentally choose to let go of everything after awakening because you want to and not because you feel like you have to.
Some other tools that are great to get moving are many of the usual suspects. The spiritual path isn’t necessarily about some new fancy technique. It’s about purity of heart and intention. This isn’t the quick and easy path for most of you. This is the path that requires patience and diligence, and God help you if something comes quickly (Of course, you know where to find me if such a thing happens :). With that said, here are some tools:
- Regular meditation. Doing a 30 or 45 minute meditation is a great way to start paying attention to yourself and understanding your mind.
- Sexual practice. Claiming your sexual energy and your sexual space is profound. Sexuality creates life; it can also be channeled to ignite an awakening. This is one of the thousand-pound hammers on the spiritual path. Use it sparingly. Also notice that I said claiming your space. Spiritual sexuality starts with you and expanding your awareness of energy before including a partner.
- Journaling and Psychology. As I am writing today, these feel like they go hand-in-hand. The idea is to look at the workings of your mind. Sometimes an external party is helpful for doing that. Sometimes the journal is enough by itself. Sometimes you need both.
- Working with a Spiritual Teacher. Not all spiritual teachers are the same, as I’ve discussed in “What Is a Spiritual Teacher.” However, if you find the right one for you (I’m not always the right one for everyone, btw), a lot of healing and opening can be facilitated. It’s a sacred relationship and one that I don’t recommend you take too lightly or cavalierly.
- Energy Transmissions. Some lineages work in energy transmissions, which is what shaktipat is (I referenced this earlier). This can be a lot of energy to internalize, which is why the other suggestions I’ve listed are also important. If you flood a field that is unready to receive water, it runs off and doesn’t soak in. I’ve seen it happen in awakening. So this is a tool that really needs the support of a broader practice so you don’t just have lots of movement that you can’t integrate.
- Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini yoga is designed to awaken energy. Do this one later in your spiritual practice so that you are prepared for if you respond to this sacred set of techniques.
Listening to Your Intuitive Guidance
One of the most powerful and most individual ways to awaken energy is to listen to your intuition. It tends to take people out of their comfort zones to get things moving. It is also extremely unique. For one person, working on healing old trauma gets their energy moving. Another person can start moving their energy by finally starting a dream job or setting up their dream business. From time to time, a soulmate connection arises that ignites people’s energies. Since soulmates are powerful, some people may even be frightened by the relationship. Yet intuition may guide them into it because your soul knows what is there even if your ego is scared.
This intuitive guidance is so different for each person, and in some cases, it’ll know that you are not supposed to awaken. It may take you some place entirely.
Finally, intuition doesn’t need something to look “spiritual” for it to be a path to awakening. You simply have to learn to listen to your intuition and trust where it takes you.
Proceeding Gently in Your Preparations for a Spiritual Awakening
Above all else, I encourage you to proceed gently. Give yourself space, rest, lots of clean water, and time to integrate the work you do. Don’t rush to the next issue, spiritual teacher, spiritual technique, or something else. Let the process unfold before you and have patience with it. You need to find your intuitive rhythm, and if things start to get a little uncertain, trust your intuitive guidance more. Don’t run away just when things are getting a little shaky and unsettled. Stirring things up is part of moving energy. A stagnant swamp gets muddier when things start to flow again.
Know that your inner knowing will help you to go through “muddiness”–the lessons you are being shown–and help you to dissolve the issues and energy blockages that need to be released. And during all this, there’s no real telling what will happen.
But as I said earlier, doing this work brings you towards greater levels of consciousness. You learn to see things more clearly, and if you do awaken, then you are now stepping into a whole new realm of spiritual transformation.
For more thoughts on awakening your energy, you may enjoy this video: