I always imagined a spiritual awakening as a glorious moment of sudden realization of your true potential. So, I divided people into two categories: dreamers and those who are awakened (enlightened). Of course, I prefer hanging out with the ladder.
As I started digging deeper into this matter, I realized that I was partially right. Spiritual enlightenment definition includes connecting with your higher self, but most of the time, this doesn’t happen suddenly.
Rather, it’s a challenging process of ups and downs, coincidences, finding your inner peace, questioning your beliefs, etc.
The process of spiritual awakening is the most powerful transformation you can experience during your lifetime. It’s about discovering the essence of your being, your life purpose, a deep sense of self-worth, and learning to trust the universe.
If you’re not sure whether you’re experiencing enlightenment at the moment, below you’ll find all you need to know about spiritual awakening, its symptoms, signs, causes, and stages. Of course, we’ll wrap it all up with some powerful quotes about spiritual enlightenment at the end, so stay tuned!
What Is A Spiritual Awakening?
Spiritual awakening is the process that begins the moment a person “wakes up” to life with a new sense of being and purpose in this world. Some people call it “nirvana,” while others call it “bliss” or “enlightenment.” Regardless of what you call it, one thing is for sure:
The spiritual awakening meaning revolves around the idea of rising to a higher state of consciousness, aka a higher sense of self. It is deeply connected with the most powerful love and form of devotion in the universe: agape love.
Spiritual journeys can be quite distressing because all of a sudden, your mind becomes occupied with questions like: What is my purpose? Who am I? Who am I supposed to become?
Excitement and the feeling of being alive are also present. So, we could say that a spiritual journey is an intense process of getting in touch with your higher self.
Spiritual awakening was popularized in the western world by psychiatrist Carl Jung. He described this process as coming back to the original self.
Causes Of Spiritual Awakening
There aren’t certain causes of spiritual awakening because it can be triggered by anything. Basically, anything that encourages you to think outside the box and question things in life can trigger spiritual awakening.
Spiritual awakenings can be completely spontaneous.
By this, I don’t mean waking up one day and experiencing a strong sense of higher purpose while looking at yourself in the mirror. I’m not saying this is impossible, but the focus is more on your mindset.
What are the things you usually think about? What are your interests? What are you doing for a living?
All these things can greatly affect how you perceive the world in general, and they can either enlighten your mindset or block it from connecting with your higher self.
“We become what we think about all day long.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you’re thinking only about basic things and never question anything in a spiritual sense, chances are you aren’t going to experience enlightenment anytime soon. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to think about spirituality all day long to experience it.
It’s about rewiring your brain to look at things from a deeper perspective. Once you jump into that mode, your overall perception of the world will alter, and your consciousness will be ready to evolve.
Spiritual awakenings can also be triggered by major life changes or traumas.
You know how when something bad happens to you or your loved ones, and you immediately start thinking about the transience of life?
You can’t stop thinking about how you could’ve given them more attention or how you could’ve behaved differently towards yourself and others.
Near-death experiences, losing your job, a car accident, pandemics, dealing with heartbreaks, divorces, mental health crises (anxiety, depression), and other life-changing events can trigger us to question our behavior and the world we live in.
Mostly, it motivates us to question our lifestyle, purpose, and future. That is when the click happens in our head, and we enter the world of spiritual enlightenment.
Sometimes, people open a spiritual door for you.
Meeting your twin flame or soulmate can lead you to the spiritual path. These are the people who challenge our beliefs, help us get rid of toxic habits, and help us get in touch with our true selves.
Twin flames and soulmates are people who help us level up in the game called life. Once you meet them, you enter a zone of ups and downs that are all connected with spiritual growth.
They teach you what unconditional love really is and introduce you to transformative life changes. They are your personal spiritual teachers.
20 Signs Of Spiritual Awakening
Experiencing signs of spiritual awakening often isn’t joyous. Confusion, constant questioning of things,intriguing signs from the universe, and feeling detached from your loved ones are some of the challenging experiences that come with enlightenment.
However, not everything is black and white. Some positive things come with enlightenment, such as stronger intuition and connection with nature, improved mindset, etc. Below, you’ll find every sign described in detail.
1. You feel disconnected and confused
The spiritual awakening process starts with shaking your whole being and making you feel disconnected from both yourself and those closest to you. Confusion is also an inevitable part of experiencing enlightenment.
You literally feel like everything you were taught so far is no longer valid. Everything you thought to be true has somehow become a lie. Or has it?
Well, the main goal of spiritual awakening is thinking, re-thinking, and evaluating everything you’ve learned so far.
In addition, keep in mind that feeling tense and anxious is also one of the signs you’re on someone’s mind. Hmm…
2. You’ve reevaluated your spiritual beliefs and priorities
Old belief systems are reevaluated, which means your priorities are in the process of changing (or have already changed by now).
Perhaps you decided to quit your job because you’ve realized that it doesn’t fulfill you, or you connected with a new religion.
Maybe you found a new hobby and focused on pursuing the passions you’ve neglected so long because of other “more important” things. Reevaluating your beliefs is all about discovering yourself and finding your true purpose.
3. You experience more synchronicities and déjà vu moments
Do you keep seeing angel numbers 1010, 333, 888, or other? Do you keep randomly bumping into someone you just thought about a few seconds, hours, or days ago? Do you often feel like you’re reliving certain moments of your life?
Well, know that none of these things are a coincidence. If you keep experiencing synchronicities, déjà vu moments, and other things that make you question the reality we live in, it means you’re on your spiritual path.
One of the most frequent synchronicities I’ve experienced lately is thinking of my friend or attempting to text them a second before they text me. Scary, I know.
4. Vivid dreams
Dreams are a reflection of our inner state. This means that they represent our subconsciousness, and there are often hidden meanings behind them.
For example, dreams about falling are connected with a lack of control. Pregnancy dreams represent change and growth.
Pay attention to your dreams because they reflect your mindset and life changes happening to you at the moment, which is all linked to the spiritual enlightenment process.
5. Feeling disconnected from those close to you
What does it mean to have a spiritual awakening? Well, it also means feeling a sense of separation from your loved ones.
Given that spiritual awakening is a form of transformation, you might feel like those close to you no longer understand ‘the new you.’ This can lead to a sense of disconnection from them.
Remind them that you’re going through stages of the spiritual journey and ask them to respect the situation you’re in.
6. The strong desire to find meaning with your spirituality
If you’re experiencing a spiritual awakening, one of your biggest priorities will be focusing on your inner work. This includes the desire to find the meaning of life, your purpose, and to connect the dots.
Basically, your primary occupation will become connecting with your true self. Other people might not understand this sudden change in your behavior, but remind them to be patient just as you are.
7. Your intuitive abilities have leveled up
As you’re going through the process of awakening, your intuition becomes stronger. It was always there with you, but you didn’t have “full access” to it until you started your transformation.
The more you evolve as a human being, the more in tune you are with yourself. That is why your intuitive abilities heighten, and you learn to trust that little voice inside your head without questioning it.
8. You keep questioning everything
You might not question your intuition, but you certainly will question EVERYTHING else. That state of mind is known as an existential crisis.
The spiritual awakening process is essentially about questioning whether you’re on the right path, why everything functions the way it does, and learning how you can improve things.
The more you question things, the more you become in tune with your new beliefs.
9. You can easily sense toxic behavior patterns
You know you’re on a spiritual journey if you’re sensitive to the toxic behaviors of others. You can easily sense any manipulative behavior like lies, deceit, cheating, and similar.
This is closely connected with your heightened intuition. You feel things intensely, and you can spot any inauthentic behaviors, sometimes even before talking to the person.
Your intuition and body language detecting skills are the main tools that help you recognize when something feels off.
10. You want to feel purposeful and be of service
You see the world in a completely different light, and you worship every living thing equally. You feel like it’s your holy duty to improve things and help others.
Finding your life purposeful and establishing balance in life are your new main goals. This can be connected with your job, hobby, or something you’re already doing.
Whatever it is, you will approach it with a deeper sense of service because that’s the only right way for you to do things.
11. You understand that everyone has their own spiritual path
You don’t judge others for not understanding what you’re going through. Instead, you understand that every single one of us has our own spiritual path and life pace.
Some people need more time to reach the enlightenment phase, while others are already in the process of it. Well, some people never spiritually awaken, and you understand that too.
You’re more focused on how you can help everyone around you become the best version of themselves than on judging them for who they are at the moment. That’s the sign of ultimate spirituality.
12. You realize that spiritual teachers are everywhere around you
You realize that you can learn from everyone and everything around you. Your spiritual teachers are people you meet in a store, strangers, new friends, colleagues, family, and romantic partners.
You find life inspiration in observing the sky, going hiking, or just spending time in nature.
Your spiritual teachers are everywhere around you, and you realize that you can learn a lot from both a 2-year old child or a 70-year old man or woman.
13. You feel isolated from everything
“Life gets very quiet before all the doors open.” – J. Lynn
There are times when you feel completely alone and isolated from others, yourself, and life in general. You can’t help yourself but keep questioning whether something is wrong with you or the times we live in.
When hanging out with others, you feel like you’re not fully present because your mind keeps wandering in other directions; spiritual directions.
Don’t worry because all these feelings are actually the influence of spiritual awakening. You’re in the process of learning how to let go of everything and experience the ultimate freedom.
14. You have a strong connection with the natural world
Nature is basically your natural habitat. It’s the place where you feel at peace with yourself, and your thoughts can rest for a while. Nature inspires you and gives you a sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself.
You feel connected to plants, animals, trees, and other elements of the natural world. You’re thinking of ways you can contribute to nature or help wounded or abandoned animals.
My cat was abandoned, and now he’s the happiest creature alive because he has a hooman family; people who love him and take care of him.He also helps me a lot in my spiritual path. In particular, he teaches me the importance of patience. 💁♀️
15. You are more tuned in to living in the present moment
You have heightened senses, meaning you’re more sensitive to emotional, physical, and energetic stimuli. This also means that you’re more focused on living in the present moment.
You observe every single thing around you (including the trivial things you haven’t paid attention to before).
Your curiosity about life is what makes you question everything around you and motivates you to see things from a different perspective. Observing everything from a spiritual point of view helps you grow as a person.
16. Sleep disturbances are frequent
People experience a spiritual awakening in multiple ways, and some of them also experience sleep disturbances. I’m one of those people, and I figured out that the main reason why I can’t fall asleep at night is due to my restless mind (and sometimes because I’m dreaming of my crush).
There are some things that we can’t stop thinking about, some past or present moments we can’t detach from, and they interfere with our sleeping patterns.
Sleep disturbances are a sign that your soul is going through a spiritual transformation. Everything that bothered you before (or is bothering you now) will start to make sense to you in a while.
17. Your habits and routines have changed
Chasing fake ideals is not your thing. Instead, you’re more focused on establishing spiritual balance, connecting with your true self, implementing spiritual practices and spiritual lessons into your daily life.
One of those things is powerful daily affirmations. Once I started practicing positive affirmations, I suddenly felt more energetic and stronger to deal with life challenges.
Also, I’ve drastically changed my routine and started following the rules of a holistic lifestyle. And the truth is, I’ve never been happier. If the same thing is happening to you right now, then you know you’re going through a powerful transformation and you’re exactly where you need to be right now.
18. Your mindset has changed as well
When your mindset changes, your whole life changes as well.
You start looking at the bigger picture, and you no longer worry about what others think of you because what matters is what YOU think of yourself. You realize that in lifeyou attract what you are, not what you want.
19. You feel more empathetic and compassionate toward others
You’re more sensitive to injustice and other types of cruel behaviors around you. You can’t watch bad things happen without having a strong reaction to them.
You feel more empathetic and compassionate because you’re more connected to the world around you. You’re not self-oriented, but you think about how your actions and other people’s actions influence the happiness and well-being of other individuals.
You want to be purposeful and of service because thinking only about your needs is not something that fulfills you (or no longer fulfills you).
That’s the recipe for making the world a better place. If every (or every second) human being were wired this way, we would have less toxicity in the world we live in.
20. You have childlike wonder and curiosity for the world you live in
If you ask me, being a child at heart is the biggest accomplishment. Why? Because we live in a world where everyone wants to alter their mindset according to their preferences (referring especially to the media).
As we grow up, we naturally start losing our childlike wonder and turn into legit robots who fall into a job-sleep-eat routine. Maintaining wonder and curiosity for the world you live in requires lots of internal struggle.
That’s where spiritual enlightenment comes into the story. As you’re more spiritually oriented, your perception of the world alters. You start expressing admiration for the things regular people don’t pay much attention to.
You discover the power of real values and become aware of the media toxicity. And you have this incredible desire to tell other people that it’s time to wake up and see the mesmerizing beauty of the real world instead of replacing it with the virtual one.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Spiritual Awakening?
Spiritual awakening symptoms can be mentally or physically based. Most people experience the symptoms of enlightenment in both variations. So, we’re talking about a mix of mental-physical symptoms that can influence the way you function on a daily basis.
Mental symptoms of spiritual awakening
Here are the most common mental symptoms of spiritual awakening (some of them are already mentioned above):
• Feelings of isolation and confusion
• Heightened sensitivity
• Existential depression
• Sleep disturbances
Note that some people might not experience mood swings or any of the other things on the list because every single awakening is individual.
Physical symptoms of spiritual awakening
Some of the following symptoms can also be a sign of a medical condition, so be cautious when interpreting them as spiritual awakening symptoms:
• A tingling sensation in and around your head and scalp
• Changes in the body, eating habits, and lifestyle
• Heart palpitations
• Left-brain fogginess
• Skin eruptions
• Food intolerances and allergies you didn’t have before
• Having accidents, falling
To me, the most interesting physical symptom of spiritual enlightenment is the last one, having accidents and falling, so I’m going to explain it in detail.
This is connected with your body’s center of gravity that is under the influence of physical-mental transformation.
It is also linked to a person’s constant overthinking and questioning of things, which can result in sudden accidents. Who would say that going through a spiritual awakening could be that challenging? I know, right.
7 Stages Of The Spiritual Awakening Process
The process of spiritual enlightenment consists of many spiritual awakening stages that you need to go through to finally connect with your true self:
STAGE 1: The spiritual awakening
Yes, indeed, the spiritual awakening is only the beginning of your soul journey. At this stage, you’re slowly waking up and have more questions going through your mind than ever. You begin to work on improving your relationships, habits, and beliefs.
You’re open to inviting new perspectives that will enrich your life and help you become the person you ought to be. At this stage, you’ll feel isolated and like something is missing in your life, but you can’t figure out exactly what.
Feeling confused and lost is totally normal because it’s a part of the initial stage. After that, everything will start to make sense.
STAGE 2: The dark night of the soul
As the name implies, this stage is all about the transformation of your body and soul. We’re talking about a challenging phase where your soul is getting rid of any toxic patterns.
At this stage, you’ll literally hit rock bottom but for a valid reason. To rise up higher than ever, you need to first fall down.
This reminds me of Fight Club, which is one of the most powerful movies about spiritual awakening. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly recommend it.
That’s exactly what this stage is all about. It’s about rewiring your mindset, improving your lifestyle, trusting the timing of your life, and reevaluating your relationships with other people. It’s about preparing yourself to make tremendous changes and connect with the essence of your being.
STAGE 3: The sponge stage
Once you’ve survived the previous stage, you’re ready to start implementing changes in your life. In other words, you’re ready to start improving every aspect of your new “awake” life.
At this stage, you’re focused on trying new things like new relationships, hobbies, jobs, etc. Basically, you’re trying to revive your passions and spend time doing things that add value to your existence.
The new you is no longer only focused on doing things that you ought to, but you’re determined to experiment and do things that bring you immense joy. You’re determined to nourish your genuineness and revive your curious spirit.
STAGE 4: The satoru self
Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term that means awakening or comprehension. It is derived from the Japanese verb satoru.
Basically, it is connected with the idea of seeing into your true nature. So, this stage is about recognizing and appreciating the new you through your new mindset, talents, and skills.
You become aware of your true potential, and you’re still in the process of discovering your essence and appreciating every single challenge you have overcome so far.
STAGE 5: The soul sessions
Congratulations, you’ve successfully reached enlightenment! Well, not really. This stage can last for years and sometimes even decades. I don’t want to scare you but just inform you about its length and seriousness.
This stage resembles the process of structuring your life in a way that benefits your mind, body, and soul. As you might assume, this can’t happen overnight or without some errors.
You’ll make mistakes and experiment with different strategies during this stage, which is why it will take some time until you establish a firm structure in your new life.
Your soul will grow and heal as you discover the things that bring the best out of you and make your life valuable and purposeful.
STAGE 6: The surrender
This stage is all about surrendering yourself completely to your new life and mindset. This includes getting rid of any remaining beliefs or structures that prevent you from growing and connecting with your higher self.
At this point, you’ve found your purpose, and now you’re about to start living a fulfilled life full of blessing and harmony. Still, there may be some things or people in your life that hold you back.
It’s essential that you recognize them and detach from them. Only then will you be ready for the next (the last stage).
STAGE 7: Awareness and service
Finally, you live your life blessed with full awareness and service to others. You’re no longer the same person you used to be before going through all these stages.
Your mind has been rewired, and you now understand your life purpose and who you truly are. Fake ideals, toxicity, and other negative things are no longer a part of your being.
You’ve learned how to protect yourself and help others improve their lives as well. This divine service is what brings you contentment and immense happiness.
You finally realize how everything is interconnected, and the act of getting in touch with your true self is the best thing that happened to you.
How Long Does A Spiritual Awakening Last?
It can last a few years or even a lifetime. Usually, going through spiritual awakening stages lasts a few years, and every person experiences it in their own unique way.
It’s true that every individual is bound to go through these spiritual awakening stages, but the challenges won’t be the same for every single one of us.
It all depends on their lifestyle, mindset, and the pace at which changes occur. In a nutshell, spiritual enlightenment is not something that starts and ends.
It is rather a process that lasts as long as you live (unless you somehow manage to disbalance your life to a great extent). It’s a never-ending journey.
Focusing solely on its length is not recommended, but focusing on the quality of your journey is desirable. Living your life in accordance with your newly established beliefs, values, and purpose should be your main spiritual goal.
27 Spiritual Awakening Quotes
Making the shift to a higher level of consciousness can be a challenging but uplifting experience. The following quotes summarize the essence of spiritual enlightenment and how it transforms your life:
1. “Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung
2. “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” – Louis L’Amour
3. “As you awaken to your divine nature, you’ll begin to appreciate beauty in everything you see, touch and experience.” – Wayne Dyer
4. “Awakening is not changing who you are but discarding who you are not.” – Deepak Chopra
5. “When we awaken to our truth, we realize we are free.” – Kristi Bowman
6. “Spiritual awakening is awakening from the dream of thought.” – Eckhart Tolle
7. “Awakening is about liberating yourself from the prison that is the world of the mind and daring to be here as all that you are.” – Leonard Jacobson
8. “Even loss and betrayal can bring us awakening.” – Buddha
9. “I experienced by the grace of God a spiritual awakening, which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life.” – John Coltrane
10. “You learn who you are by unlearning who they taught you to be.” – Nikki Rowe
11. “Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.” – Eckhart Tolle
12. “Enlightenment means waking up to what you truly are and then being that.” – Adyashanti
13. “Awakening means you’ve come home to yourself, that consciousness has shifted back to its original nature.” – Unknown
14. “Your greatest awakening comes when you are aware of your infinite nature.” – Amit Ray
15. “The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and the acceptance of love.” – Marianne Williamson
16. “He who is free in the body but bound in the soul is a slave; but on the contrary, he who is bound in the body but free in the soul is truly free.” – Epictetus
17. “Through spiritual maturity, you will see new ways to avoid unnecessary suffering; wiser ways to endure unavoidable hardships with grace, and opportunities to turn your pain into lessons of service and healing for others. Your hard journey has had a great purpose! Your pain was always a part of a plan to open your heart to love. Have faith. A miracle is happening in your life; the miracle of pain is transforming you to your highest self.” – Bryant H. McGill
18. “We are ready to awaken when we don’t have any more doubts or any more questions about who we are.” – Roxana Jones
19. “The essence of spirituality is to be constantly aware of the oneness of all; at the same time to celebrate the uniqueness of the individual.” – Jaggi Vasudev
20. “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton
21. “Awakening your spiritual side is really what artists do. When you hit a groove, it’s not you; it’s the spirit world.” – Tommy Chong
22. “It is possible to experience an awakening in this life through realizing just how precious each moment, each mental process, and each breath truly is.” – Christy Turlington
23. “To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something.” – Lao Tzu
24. “It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” – Eckhart Tolle
25. “Awakening begins when a man realizes that he is going nowhere and does not know where to go.” – G. I. Gurdjieff
26. “Spirituality does not lie in meditating the body of an ex-master. Spirituality exists in mediating on your own inner body.” – Amit Ray
27. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Experiencing a spiritual awakening may not be an enjoyable journey, but it’s necessary if you want to discover your real self, your purpose, and get rid of the things that prevent you from reaching true happiness.
So, it won’t be easy, but in the end, it will be TOTALLY worth it. As with everything in life, remember that the best things don’t happen overnight. Be determined, persistent, and believe in yourself.
Embrace changes and your new self. In the meantime (and if you want more information on spiritual awakening), I suggest reading one of the spiritual awakening books: The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle.
And if you’re interested in knowing how spiritually enlightened you are, I recommend taking the spiritual awakening test. Best of luck, and remember to enjoy your spiritual journey!