What is a spiritual awakening, how do you know the signs, and how do you embrace this newfound shift in how you see the world? We answer your top questions about spiritual awakenings (and how you can find support in your journey)
Spirituality can have different meanings to different people. Generally speaking, it involves recognising a feeling, sense, or belief in something greater than yourself. This could mean that you feel there is something more to being human than what you experience physically through your senses, and/or that you feel like we are all a part of some greater whole which is cosmic or divine in nature.
Unlike religion where there is often a specific, organised set of beliefs and practices typically shared by a community or group, spirituality may be more of an individual practice, focusing on a sense of purpose and peace.
What is a spiritual awakening (and what does ‘having a spiritual awakening’ mean)?
For many, a spiritual awakening is a call to a higher consciousness and state of deeper mental awareness. This process typically shifts your worldview, transforming you on a personal level and shifting your mindset.
It can be called by different names (enlightenment, bliss, or discovering nirvana). It can create feelings of both being unnerved or uncertain at first, as well as wonder and excitement. Our modern idea of a spiritual awakening in the western world was first made popular by psychiatrist Carl Jung, who described it as coming back to the original self.
What triggers a spiritual awakening?
A spiritual awakening can be caused by many different things. Big, life-changing events such as the death of a loved one, serious illness, or divorce can trigger a spiritual awakening, as can traumatic or near-death experiences, or an existential crisis. Other common triggers can include mental health crises and midlife (or quarter-life) crises.
For others, there may be a more subtle, gradual shift without a clear catalyst. Practising activities that promote a greater sense of self-awareness are thought to help activate a deeper conscious awareness. These can include:
- caring for and connecting with plants or animals
But how do you know if you are having a spiritual awakening?
What are the signs of a spiritual awakening?
There can be many different signs and symptoms of a spiritual awakening. You may experience a few or more of these. There is no set number you ‘should’ experience; these can just be signs that you have begun, or are about to begin, a spiritual awakening.
- Encountering more feelings of loneliness, deja vu or experiencing synchronicities (e.g. when you randomly think of someone from your past, then run into them shortly afterwards).
- Feeling disconnected or detached from things you normally enjoy doing, or people you usually like to spend time with.
- Having a heightened sense of intuition, feeling able to sense manipulation or inauthenticity.
- Developing an increased or newfound curiosity in the world around you.
- Experiencing more vivid dreams. Some experts believe that dreams give us insight into our unconscious thoughts, feelings and desires.
- Chancing your habits or routine to prioritise your time in nature, meditating, or practising mindfulness.
- Feeling like spirituality is becoming more important within your life, or a bigger focus for you.
- Experiencing a need or urge to reevaluate your beliefs. This could mean reconsidering existing spiritual beliefs or taking on significant new ones. It could also mean giving up your job to pursue a different passion, or reprioritising your life.
- Developing the desire to want to give back or be of service to others (this could be giving back environmentally, to animals, to your local community, or to people in general).
- Feeling a deeper connection to nature or increased empathy with the world around you.
- Having heightened senses, more awareness of body sensations, or other physical symptoms like fatigue.
What is the goal of spiritual awakening and how does it help you?
Going through a spiritual awakening can lead you to feelings of increased joy, wisdom, grace, and relief. You may feel like you better understand yourself, your connection to others, or to the universe as a whole. Some people believe that the increased awareness brought about by a spiritual awakening can help to bring about a sense of acceptance, or to encourage the manifestation of good things in their life.
How can I have a spiritual awakening?
Spiritual awakening can happen at any time. Most commonly triggered by major life events, they can also happen spontaneously. While you can open yourself up to the possibility and introduce helpful practices such as mindfulness and meditation, you cannot force an awakening to happen.
Some people believe that decluttering your life (physically and mentally), actively examining your beliefs, doing your best to expand your mind through seeking out knowledge and learning, as well as practising self-care and getting back to nature can help set you on the path to spirituality.
Can other people help you to become more spiritual?
Many people believe that at its core, spirituality is about being here for a reason, and that it is through uncovering this reason and doing our best to live with this purpose in mind, that we can truly feel a sense of happiness and wellbeing. Working with a mentor, a teacher, or a spiritual coach can be one way to try and focus your goals and desires, while getting support as you make your journey.
What is spiritual coaching?
A spiritual coach can help provide guidance and accountability when you feel unsure, demotivated, or lost. Helping you to create a plan to achieve your goals and desires, a spiritual coach can offer support on your journey of self-discovery.
Spirituality coaching can offer many different approaches and methods. Some take a holistic approach, while others look more to religion. It’s important to remember that coaches focus more on your present situation, to help you craft a better future. If you are worried about your past, and how previous experiences may be affecting you today, it could be a sign that you may benefit from working with a counsellor.
Do I need a counsellor or a coach? Discover more about the different approaches and how they can help you.
To find out more about spiritual coaching, what a spiritual coach can help with, and how to find the right coach for you, visit Life Coach Directory to find an experienced online or in person coach near you.