If you are reading these lines, that probably means that you have at least some of these signs of spiritual awakening. Now, I don’t profess to be an expert in the field but having gone through the process myself and having worked with people who are on this awakening path, I will share my experience pertaining to social, emotional and physical aspects of awakening. I am happy to hear about your experience, so be free to comment to this post and add your own awakening symptoms if you don’t find them included here.
Social aspects of awakening
– You are losing interest in spending time with friends who are on the negative, complaining, superficial, talkative side. You might also be afraid of being lonely and keep those friends around you for some time, even though deep down you know that your time together is over. Your next step is simply to trust your instincts, be brave and honest. Let those people go, and new ones who are more appropriate for you will appear for sure. Also, you have to deal with your fear of loneliness – as there is only One and only an ego can feel lonely.
– You might lose interest in large (familial) gatherings. You find yourself in opposition to tradition and traditional beliefs that simply do not resonate with you any longer, and thus you refuse to participate in them. As a result you might face judgement from your environment for not fitting in, and here your task is simply to persist in your authenticity. Sooner or later, people adapt and accept you for who you are.
– You notice that you talk less when in company of others as few topics seem important and worthy of spending time and energy on. You focus on what is essential. Additionally, the more you clear your internal ego clutter – the lesser the need to talk of yourself as you recognize that most of your former identification is simply not true.
– Arguments for the sake of arguing lose attraction for you. You really want to get down to the deeper reasons for being in conflict with somebody, and realize your own unconscious mental patterns that contribute to it. You start taking responsibility for your emotions and the relationships you have with people.
– You are more aware of what you engage with when it comes to the news, TV, books, and the Internet. You may even stop watching TV altogether because the content that is being offered there does not appeal anymore to you.
– Together with some old and unfit friendships your marriage may also break (or not – depending on its foundation). The point is that anything that is no longer authentic or honest for you will sooner or later dissolve – peacefully or in turmoil. One way or another, you are being steered toward a more genuine living – without an ego mask.
– Maybe you will quit your job or get fired, especially if you are holding onto that job out of fear. This often leads to deep introspection and may force you to face your existential fear. Again, your task is simply to witness all the commotion within and try to find your own authentic voice – What is it that you really want to do in life? How can you contribute to society out of your authentic Self?
Emotional aspects of awakening
– Things may get much worse before getting better emotionally. Oftentimes, on this awakening journey, those bottled up feelings that we were afraid to show because we were defending an image of who we are, come to the surface for us to process them. So you might have to deal with some explosive energy. Try to see this simply as a reminder that a) life is out of your control and b) you are not better than those ‘unspiritual’ others. This has a humbling effect which is good for that arrogant spiritual ego that tends to build up once you start on this path.
– On the positive side, as you are clearing your conditioned mental patterns and emotional reactions, you will experience a surge of an innate, causeless joy bubbling up inside you and making you smile just for being alive in this world. Increasingly, you live your life with trust feeling more peaceful and serene. Also, somewhere along the path you may start experiencing deep connection with the world around you. You realize that you are an integral part of reality and that everything you send out – comes back to you in some way.
– Last but not least, fear is probably the biggest challenge that you will have to deal with on your spiritual path for as long as fear lives somewhere in your body – there will be a sense of separation and manipulation. Once life challenges you and exposes this fear, it can be processed and dissolved into the light of awareness.
Physical aspects of awakening
Now, I’ve heard of cases where people started spontaneously convulsing and making some yoga postures and mudras – that wasn’t the case here. My awakening symptoms when it comes to body were of the milder nature, and yet there is a significant difference in how I experience my body now versus let’s say 15 years ago.
– When you start meditating or practicing presence (or even yoga?) you will notice that your body radiates a kind of energy that you probably hadn’t noticed before. You realize that the body is not just solid matter – but energy too and this is your first step toward the bodily experience of Oneness.
– Also, fear is heavy and dense and once it is dissolved from your system, your body will feel much lighter. After I did my first Byron Katie School for The Work in 2013, I went out feeling ‘airy’ as if my body was pure energy/space merging with the surroundings. So, you really feel one with everything and it is not just a mental concept that you believe in.
– Another thing you might experience is a great boost in energy – you become much more efficient as you clear up the internal resistance to life in general because ego = resistance = shield (from life). However, the opposite might happen too. As you lose interest in many of the worldly things, you start feeling unmotivated, lazy, sluggish, sleepy – like nothing matters and nothing is meaningful. That is simply a natural process of letting go of the former attachments. Life is preparing you for your next stage where you will be relating to the world out of connection rather than separation.
– You might also lose weight and change your dietary style. As fear is dissolved, there is less need for protection – so the body layers might drop too. (Weight is often an emotional shield that is supposed to protect us from life pain). I had been vegetarian for 17 years when I started eating chicken again actually. I noticed that there was a strong identification with the ‘I am a vegetarian’ image so life shattered that one too. No image to protect, awake life is imageless.
I don’t know who I am – phase
– And finally, something that I cannot put in any of the previously mentioned categories, and yet it is quite common on this awakening journey, is the overwhelming confusion about your identity. When every ego structure and identification has been recognized as false or at least unstable, you may start feeling totally lost about who you really are. Notice, that this confusion takes place in the realm of thoughts, and if you are in this phase now, the invitation is to simply observe these thoughts. You are already beyond the confusion. You are the consciousness that is aware of it.
So these would be some major awakening symptoms and signs that I have encountered on my spiritual path (even though I don’t like this term ‘spiritual’ as all life simply is that) – and there are probably many that I have missed to write about here, so be free to share your own. I am curious to hear about it. Do some of these match your experience? Or was it totally different for you?