I’ve been writing spiritualawakeningprocess.com for years. While this website is, in and of itself, a spiritual awakening help and tips guide, I felt it was time to create a comprehensive guide to help you navigate some of the immense amount of information that I’ve posted here.
This will be a long post, but it’ll be split into different sections for important junctures that can arise after a spiritual awakening. I’ll start by explaining awakening as well as the importance of the conscious path, and I’ll offer a number of different links to guide you deeper into this work and hopefully in the correct direction to help you progress.
Obviously, I can’t cover every topic, and I do recommend using the “Search” tool on this site to find specific blog posts. I’ve covered A LOT of topics!
If you want personalized support to go deeper on the path, I offer one-on-one spiritual sessions via video chat.
However, at this time, I ask people to come to my classes first to get to know me and so I can get to know you. I recommend reading this link to learn about my online classes:
Jim’s Online Spirituality Classes
You can learn more about sessions on this link: Learn About One-on-one Sessions
Without further ado, let’s dive into this topic and help you go where you need to go.
What Is a Spiritual Awakening?
Spiritual awakening is a term being used by many people to describe many things. Some of the experiences that people label as a spiritual awakening include:
- A profound sense of love for everyone
- The loss of a sense of individuality and a feeling of oneness with all of life
- The ability to see spirits or auras
- An explosion of understanding about reality and spiritual truths
- A deep experience of peace and loss of desire
- Surges of energy/other sensations moving through their bodies
- Realizations about how lost people are in the world
- Experiences of bliss through psychedelics
- And many more kinds of experiences
However, these experiences all come and go. How I define awakening on this blog is that there is a sustained and intelligent inner movement towards spiritual freedom. If someone has a process that arises that is outside their control and they find themselves facing issues and opening up more to the truth, this is an awakening. Plus, awakening is not a few days or a couple of months sort of event. It lasts for years, although I can’t give you a specific timeline (I’ll explain why later in this post).
I use this specific definition of awakening because it’s practical. Different kinds of spiritual shifts warrant different kinds of approaches, and if we just call everything a spiritual awakening, then it obscures what is going on with someone. It’s like using the term “plants” for all plants. How do you know how to handle one plant (let’s say it’s a cactus, but you don’t have the word for that) versus another plant (an apple tree). The specifics are important. Otherwise you can take some very confusing and inappropriate actions as you would if you tried to treat a cactus and an apple tree the same way.
Here’s some more information to help you understand what I define as a spiritual awakening is:
What Is a Spiritual Awakening?
Am I Having a Spiritual Awakening?
What Do I Do if I Had a Non-awakening Spiritual Experience?
If you had a spiritual experience that doesn’t fit my definition of awakening, that’s very normal. Spiritual awakening is very rare, but these other spiritual experiences are quite common and beautiful. There are all kinds of heart openings, mind openings, body openings, energy openings, and psychic openings that people have. What they all can be are inspirations to start/go deeper on the spiritual path and to go within.
One of the central tools of going within is learning to do self-inquiry. Focusing our attention on ourselves in this way helps us to discover and question ego assumptions and beliefs that keep us trapped. As we become more aware of different beliefs as well as other issues, certain types of work become possible, and then we can find specific spiritual tools to do that work.
Conversely, the common mistake people make after one of the above experiences is to try to make these pleasurable experiences come back (although not all openings nor awakening are inherently pleasurable). This grasping is a road to nowhere. All experiences are transitory. We can’t keep any of them.
Instead, I hope to inspire you towards the path to spiritual freedom. This path leads a person to embrace ALL of life’s experiences from a space of unconditional openness. This is a powerful path, and it requires the person to truly dedicate themselves to it. In dedication, the person can overcome their ego tendency to stay stuck in certain beliefs and other patterns. As the person’s ego dissolves, they too become more conscious just like the person who had awakened, and sometimes, they manage to go further through dedication than the person who got thrown into the awakened river.
Here are more posts to help you:
Choosing the Conscious Spiritual Path
What Do I Do if I Did Awaken?
If you did have an awakening, you are in for quite a ride. You do not call the shots, and you will need to learn how to surrender and support what awakening wants to do in transforming you. This kind of surrender is profound, and it will send your life into upheaval.
I want to be clear that just having some kind of breakdown is NOT awakening. The changes someone makes in their external life are also not the point of this transformation. We’re not trying to create a more perfect or better life; those are ego goals. We are learning to how to be free of ego.
To learn that and many other important spiritual lessons, we learn to listen to our awakened energy and sense how it directs us towards certain issues and changes that we need to make space for a radical spiritual transformation. In this way, it is revealed to us what we are transforming into.
For more thoughts on making space for awakened energy to transform you, you can read these posts:
What Should I Do After Awakening?
7 Common Spiritual Awakening Experiences
5 Practical Spiritual Awakening Strategies
Moving Past the Initial Shock of Awakening
Awakening can feel like a dam has burst. Many people feel deluged under a whole variety of thoughts, emotions, and sensations. However, it is important to move past this shock into acceptance. As a person accepts what is coming up within him/her, then the person can engage with it.
That said, a lot of initial inner work seems to get done for us. It’s almost like the Divine is showing us how inner work should go. As such, surrender is another one of our first lessons to help move past the shock of awakened energy. Choosing and actively engaging with ego issues is vital to doing inner work, but initially, surrender must come first.
With that said, surrender is not passivity. When you surrender to the river, you let it pull in the direction it wants to go. As you feel how it is moving you, you also swim. If you don’t learn to swim, you’re going to get smashed into a lot of stuff!
Surrender, Surrender, and Keep Surrendering
Neutralizing the Fight-or-flight Response
Surrender is also critical in neutralizing the fight-or-flight response that we all have and which can get triggered by awakening. This tension and fear adds a layer of resistance on top of the other layers of resistance people are bound up in. Actually, the realization that a person is completely caught up in all kinds of resistance and tension can be shocking in and of itself. Human beings are amazing at deluding themselves, and many people don’t think they have any issues. As a result many people are shocked when awakening shows that a desire to be attractive, fears of not having enough money, the need to prove yourself, and many other ideas are wounds. They ARE major issues. These realizations are some of the many shocks people have after awakening, and this is just beginning–just beginning–to perceiving one’s self clearly.
To assist in that perception–and you have to choose to want to see clearly and give up your illusions which many people don’t want to do–you have to relax your body. Conscious breathing and meditation are two important tools that can help in neutralizing the fight-or-flight response that comes up with all these shocks to your system. As they’re neutralized, things can start to flow a little easier, but it’s still probably not easy yet. During the initial months and even years, a person is going to confront a lot of issues, stuck energy, and attachments.
Adding Breathwork to Your Spiritual Toolkit
Spiritual Awakening Anxiety and 6 Reasons for it
Learning to Do Awakened Inner Work
As you relax and surrender, your energy will TELL you what you are going to work on, and then you have to work on it. In this way, a person is constantly pulled in the present moment to not just listen to what is coming up, but then to respond to what the awakened energy wants to do in that moment. For those who thought they were in control of themselves, this is a tough pill to swallow. But it needs to be swallowed.
Furthermore, the awakened energy is an amazing support in helping you to move through issues. It really does accelerate your healing and spiritual growth. While that can feel as subtle as being thrown through a brick wall, it is remarkably effective and intelligent. Again and again, you have to surrender to that intelligence, and then you can find spiritual tools that allow you to actively engage with whatever it is you are being pushed towards.
Most of those tools are about learning how to let go and process a lot of old pain that has gotten stuck inside of you. Eventually, we can talk about engaging with spiritual growth, but that’s later on in the spiritual transformation process.
Identify, Accept, Embrace, and Let Go
Paying Attention to Your Energy and Issue Cycles
As someone surrenders, calms down, and learns to do inner work, they can begin to perceive different cycles and eventually stages of working through issues and expanding into new states of conscious awareness. These expansions into new states of awareness and understanding are key distinctions from someone who is just having a breakdown.
In embracing these new understandings and realizations, the work can go deeper. You can perceive how different issues take a certain amount of time–a cycle–and you get better at interpreting what your energy is doing.
This all makes it easier to sort of plan your life. Sort of.
Spiritual Revelations and Realizations Roll Through You
Completing Cycles and Crossing Thresholds
Expanding Into New Levels of Consciousness
Stepping Into New Inner Worlds
As issues really break down, a person can end up into totally new spaces inside of themselves as well as in their everyday life. This can be overwhelming in a different way. The fear of the unknown is a powerful core issue that rears its head again and again. Once again, using the breath and other tools to relax into the present moment is an important aspect of neutralizing this unconscious fear. It helps to be with the newness and to see what arises in this space.
And it may be awhile at times before something arises. Awakening bulldozes out a lot of weeds and junk, and so the garden that has been cleared may not sprout anything for some time. In this situation, it’s important to practice patience and allow time for some of the seeds that have been buried–possibly your whole life–to gradually sprout.
The Newness and Uncertainty After Releasing an Issue
What About All these Spiritual Awakening Signs and Symptoms?
Since awakening impacts all of us, any experience a person can have can be related to a spiritual awakening. You may have read some of these extensive lists of spiritual awakening signs and symptoms, and the longer they get, the more confusing they become.
The way I approach signs and symptoms has to do with whether there is an inner intelligence moving a person towards greater conscious awareness on its own. When that’s there, then it’s a greater possibility that what someone is feeling is related to awakening.
Someone has trouble with their digestion. But they’re not eating well to begin with nor sleeping well, and those are key issues that impact digestion. In general, there are lots of things that can disturb the GI tract, but in this scenario, someone has also had an awakening. So what is going on?
Start by addressing the sleep and diet issues before deciding that this digestion issue is spiritually related and trying to address it with spiritual tools. It’s possible that some old energetic and emotional stuff is stuck in the gut, but we don’t want to jump to that conclusion too soon.
In general, you should always consult trained health practitioners about body stuff.
With that said, the main sign of a true spiritual awakening is this sustained inner energy movement. Typically, that is followed by these types of experiences that come separately or together at different times:
- Becoming clearer about what is real
- Discovering deeper aspects of love
- Becoming more peaceful
- Loss of desire (because you no longer need life to be a certain way for you to be at peace/happy)
While things can get upsetting for a time when a person is healing and growing, the above examples are pretty reliable. Most other experiences/symptoms are much more questionable, and things like the GI tract example–if it is a spiritual thing–go away when you address the core issue that is being brought up.
5 Signs of a Spiritual Awakening
Below are a couple of blog posts about some very common experiences that people label as “spiritual awakening symptoms.” As I’ve said, I have blog full of posts about all kinds of experiences. Just use the “Search” tool to find some of them.
Chronic Fatigue and Spiritual Awakening
5 Types of Spiritual Awakening Sleep Problems and Insomnia
Awakened and Being at a Loss for Words
How Long Does Awakening Last?
This question is a real problem. There are a number of hidden assumptions, so I’ll do my best to lay out the reality of awakening.
Everyone is in an intensely unique situation. They each come with different issues and different trajectories in life. If you think of one person as a dandelion seed and another as sequoia tree seed, how long does it take for them to grow to maturity? What are their trajectories through growth to maturity? One needs a few weeks, if that. The other needs hundreds of years! And what kind of nutrition and support do they need from their environment? They’re very different, but both go through a sprouting (awakening) before developing in their own unique ways. People are like this; we’re all seeds of different plants.
Then there’s the issue of how much resistance someone puts up against that “sprouting,” and that slows everything down.
There’s also the idea of a certain outcome or goal here. So when someone asks, “How long does a spiritual awakening go for?” there’s an implied goal. Does the person mean until they are totally free? Does the person mean when certain emotions or body sensations go away? Does the person mean until they’ve changed their life to something perceived to be better? There are a lot of assumptions here, and if you are wondering about how long an awakening will take for you, it’s important to understand what you want in that “ending.”
Actually, awakened energy doesn’t end if it is surrendered to. It just keeps flowing. That may be towards total freedom for some, and for someone else, the energy may have wanted to help them heal a trauma and be well-socially adjusted. In this last example, that person is still deeply enmeshed with a lot of social beliefs and ego attachments, but the awakened space only seemed to care to heal them of the trauma. That was enough. Then the person plateaued.
So I can’t answer this. I can only say that by surrendering to awakening, you can be transformed in the most intelligent way. And that will take the time that it takes, and it will flow for the rest of your life as much as you allow.
How Long Does a Spiritual Awakening Take?
The Calming of the Energetic Storm
At some point, the surge of energy calms, but it doesn’t stop unless someone puts on the breaks. Putting on the breaks can be done. People do succeed in not healing. They succeed in doing the bare minimum inner work asked of them by their awakening and then plateauing. Some even succeed in becoming more unconscious as they cling on to their ego attachments and fight with every last breath. These things happen.
But it is possible to come into a state of flow, and that flow can move someone, as I said, for the rest of their lives. Some few may even find their ways to total spiritual freedom.
However, before everything calms down too much, there are times when a person can choose to intensify the energy again. A person does this because they’ve realized how much freer they are, and they have come into greater humility about how much they still don’t know about themselves. They realize that this is a sacred time for transformation, and they’ve realized that now is a perfect opportunity to go further into deeper attachments and core issues. So they choose to intensify the awakening now that the initial surge is over.
When to Intensify a Spiritual Awakening (video)
5 Outcomes of a Spiritual Awakening (video)
Multiple Spiritual Awakenings
Every now and then, someone has more than one spiritual awakening. This is really rare.
Usually what happens is someone has multiple spiritual openings. Spiritual openings happen all the time, but they come and go. They don’t drive a person to profound spiritual transformation for years. Awakening does.
Since many people don’t get the spiritual awakening guidance they need the first time around, things can go awry. As I just mentioned, people can shutdown, regress, and plateau. Then for whatever reason, lightning strikes twice. If this is you, I hope this post and the next one below this paragraph can help you finally get the guidance you need.
A Second Spiritual Awakening and Finally Finding Guidance
The Path to Total Freedom
Eventually, an awakening turns to flow, and much like those people who didn’t have the initial surge of awakened energy (which is most people) choosing to continue becomes really important. While it’s possible for someone to achieve total freedom from the ego and animal body after awakening, it’s more likely that someone does not. They can be flowing and freed of much of the ego, but they still have the most basic core issues and physical drives in place. Awakened energy takes us only so far initially. Now, we have to choose to go further to fully dissolve our most basic and entrenched attachments. In so doing, we can achieve total freedom.
Not everyone wants this freedom, and that’s fine. Spiritual freedom doesn’t impose itself on us, and a spiritual awakening was just a beginning point. It helped a person to let go of an issue or 12 and pointed them in the direction of greater conscious awareness and freedom. Now, it’s up to you to choose to go further.
Spiritual Awakening Help to Go Further
As I said in this post, I’ve written about a lot of topics, but I can’t write about everything. Everyone is different, so if you would like spiritual teaching tailored to you, you can reach out to me to talk about your spiritual path. I meet people where they intellectually and emotionally are, and I take them further in the direction that they need to go. I’m always deeply listening to my students, and I help them to follow their own inner flow, which often goes in surprising directions. So just as I mentioned about the importance of surrender in an earlier paragraph, surrender is a central practice in working together.
If this is of interest to you, you can start down the path of working with me by coming to my classes:
Please share the link to this post with friends if it has been helpful.
Thank you for writing this. When I became awaken, I was very young, however I accepted what was happening.
You're welcome, Venesia.
Dear jim g
Thank you very much for your articles and the immense resource you have built over a period of time. I have been reading some of your articles and find that they are more experientially written than most other sites. Thank you very much. Shekhar Parthasarathy from India
You're welcome, Shekhar. Thanks for your kind words.
Thanks for this Jim, it's helpful to me to get an explanation and practical guidance from the 'outside' of what I seem to be going through.
Very well-written. Thank you for this article, so helpful.
You’re welcome, Camilla. I’m glad I could help!