The 7 Stages Of Spiritual Awakening And 23 Signs You’re Experiencing An Awakening

The idea of “spiritual awakenings” has been around since Homo erectus discovered fire.

But over the years, it’s come to mean different things to different people.

So today, we’re doing a deep dive into the spiritual awakening process. 

Can anyone, regardless of religion, political persuasion — or lack thereof — have a spiritual awakening?

What are the steps?

What does it feel like?

Get comfortable, grab your favorite beverage, and let’s do a deep dive.

What Does “Spiritual Awakening” Mean?

Generally speaking, a spiritual awakening is a subjective experience wherein an individual’s ego transcends their ordinary sense of self to encompass a broader, more connected, infinite sense of reality or truth.

Individually speaking, spiritual awakenings mean different things to different people, and you can experience them on secular or spiritual levels. 

Arguably, Carl Jung is the father of modern, secular spiritualism. In analyzing his psychological research, he reasoned that everyone has a purpose beyond material goals. 

He took his theory one step further and rationalized that people would not feel fulfilled unless they did the emotional work to uncover their true urges and spiritual drive.

What Triggers a Spiritual Awakening?

Each life unravels uniquely, and every spiritual awakening has its own flavor and pace. However, there are a handful of common triggers that frequently lead people down the path of self-discovery.

  • Death: When someone close to us passes on, it can profoundly impact those who remain behind. Often, it’s the beginning of a spiritual awakening.
  • Major Life Change or Conflict: Life has a way of shaking things up, throwing conflicts in our paths, and breaking us open.
  • Karma: For some folks, spiritual awakenings feel like they come out of the blue. But it could be karmic energy from a previous life that triggers the transformation.
  • Trauma Acknowledgment: The mind can bury painful and powerful thoughts. But once you recognize a catalyst memory, it may launch you into a spiritual awakening trajectory.
  • Meeting a Soulmate: Meeting a soulmate — which can be a romantic or platonic connection — may be the catalyst for a spiritual awakening. This person may stay in your life forever, or they may come in and out in a flash.

The 7 Spiritual Awakening Stages You May Experience

For most people, spiritual awakening takes time — and some would argue that longer transitional periods bear juicer fruits. 

The actual “awakening” part may only be a flash that kicks off the spiritual awakening process. Debate persists about the exact number of stages. Some people only acknowledge six, and others do eight. Today, we’re discussing the seven-step process.

Stage One: The Awakening

The first of these spiritual journey stages is the spark that ignites the quest — aka, “the awakening.” During this phase, most people feel a strong urge to clear their lives of useless habits, ways of thinking, and routines.

It’s a period of extreme change, so your energy may be off. It’s not uncommon to feel downtrodden or awkward during this phase.

Stage Two: Dark Night of the Soul

When it comes to the levels of a spiritual awakening, the “dark night of the soul” is when you reach rock bottom or have an existential crisis of some kind.

Your spirit and aura are shifting and repairing. It’s like getting soul surgery without any anesthesia. And the more work you need, the longer you’ll feel rough.

hand trying to reach the sun spiritual awakening stages

During this phase, remind yourself that great things come from hard work.

Stage Three: Sponge Stage

After you clear the soul-shifting stage, it’s time to soak up some new knowledge. The sponge stage is fun! Use it to try out many different things — from rituals to religions. Discover what works best for you.

This is the exploration stage. It’s OK to try something and decide that it’s not for you. Just get out there!

Stage Four: Emergence of the Self

Once you’ve sampled what the Universe offers and settled on things that work for you, your true nature will begin to show up on the scene. 

You’ll enjoy an easy, humble confidence and begin to feel comfortable in your own skin.

Some people call this the “Satoru self” stage. It comes from the Japanese Buddhist term for “comprehension” or “satori.”

In addition to better understanding yourself, you’ll also begin to honor your gifts, talents, and skills.

Stage Five: Soul Work

The soul work stage is usually the longest. For some, it may take decades. For others, this may be the last stage they reach in this lifetime.

The soul work stage is when you build a structure for your existence that nurtures your body, mind, and soul. It’s also the period where your true self can thrive and shine. Throughout this time, you continue to grow, heal, and learn.

Stage Six: Surrender

The second to last step in the spiritual awakening process is fully letting go of what you no longer need. Sometimes it’s material possessions; other times, it’s habits and people. 

Think of this stage as the final shedding. You’re dropping the last of your old, insecure self and stepping into who you truly are.

Stage Seven: Service and Awareness

The last stage of a spiritual awakening is when you live in a state of connected awareness. You see the Universe as a single entity and yourself as a vital part of the matrix. 

Reaching this stage doesn’t mean you’ll never have hurdles or hurts again, but they don’t impact you as they did in the past.

23 Signs and Symptoms of a Spiritual Awakening

Review these signs, symptoms and feelings to discern where you may be on your journey.

1. You Have Doubts About What You’ve Been Taught

Many people question the beliefs and faiths they were raised on when going through a spiritual awakening. Some folks go in a new direction, while others circle back around to their original religion.

2. You Feel Disconnected or Detached

Spiritual awakenings are a big change, and your soul goes through a significant transformation.

As a result, you may feel awkward, disconnected, or detached from what was your “normal.” Don’t worry; this feeling doesn’t last forever.

3. Déjà Vu Becomes Common

Many people report frequently experiencing déjà vu when going through the spiritual awakening process.

man meditate by the sea spiritual awakening stages

It’s a sign that you’re on the right path. So enjoy it! At the same time, don’t worry if you don’t deal with déjà vu. Not everyone does.

4. You Experience Synchronicities

Have you ever thought of someone you haven’t seen in a long time and then bumped into said person the following day? That’s synchronicity — and they’re common when going through a spiritual awakening.

5. You Take More Notice of Your Dreams

Your dreams may become more vivid and memorable when going through the soul transformation process. To make the most of them, keep a dream journal. They can prove very helpful.

6. Spirituality Becomes More Important

You may not become a zealot, but spirituality becomes a higher priority in whatever form you prefer. Whether you want to share the change with people or keep it to yourself is up to you.

7. Your Relationships Shift

Relationships don’t stay the same forever. People come in and out of our lives at certain times for specific reasons.

When going through the spiritual awakening process, you may notice shifts in your personal and professional friendships and connections.

8. You’re Sensitive to Phoniness

Few things are more irritating to someone growing into themselves than disingenuousness. It grates on your nerves like nails on a chalkboard.

At times, you may feel like you’re in an inescapable prison of phoniness. The sensation will lessen once you learn how to exist in our showy world authentically.

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9. You Feel More Intuitive

Intuition is a big part of the spiritual awakening process. You’ll learn to trust yours more and more the further down the road you travel. It may be scary at first, but you’ll soon learn to “trust your gut.”

10. You’re More Compassionate

Opening ourselves up to spiritual and soulful change makes us more aware of our own faults. This, in turn, makes us more compassionate to other peoples’ hardships and obstacles.

11. You’re More Forgiving

Forgiveness — of yourself and others — is a significant component of spiritual work. If you stick to the path, you’ll be more aligned with grace and be able to let go of grudges with ease.

12. Teachers Find You

The Universe conspires to serve people who are committed to knowing their true selves. What you need will show up when you need it — including teachers. So keep your eye out, and think of everything as a potential lesson.

13. You Have an Overwhelming Need To Serve

The spiritual awakening process involves shedding the ego. You’ll slither out of it little by little, and the more you do, the more you’ll want to serve other people.

How you fulfill this urge is up to you. Try to pick something you’re passionate about.

14. You Feel More Connected to Nature

Before, you may have seen a wildflower and thought nothing of it. Now, you may notice every tiny phenomenon that nature has on display.

You’ll be more detail-oriented and want to spend more time outside.

15. You’re More Comfortable Being Alone

When walking the path of spiritual growth, you’ll feel more comfortable alone. Before the transformation, you may have felt pressure to “fit in” and “be popular.”

But those false feelings tend to fade when going through the process.

16. Your Body Aches

Some people may experience body aches and illness. It’s usually nothing to worry about — and it’s nothing a bit of rest and relaxation can’t cure.

17. Your Sensations Are Heightened

Is the sun a little brighter? Do you catch colds and experience hot flashes more frequently? Is your sense of smell turned up? It’s all par for the course when navigating soul growth.

18. Your Worldview Shifts

Do you see the world a bit differently than before? Again, this is perfectly normal when going through the spiritual awakening process. In fact, you may cycle through several different viewpoints before it’s all over.

19. You Find it Easier To Change Your Habits

Have you been trying to cut back on alcohol for a while to no avail? Or maybe you want to start exercising but can’t fall into a routine.

Once you start down the path of soulful awakening, you’ll find that changing your habits is a lot easier because you’re fighting against fewer obstacles.

20. You’re More Curious

At some point during the process, you’ll start to replace defensiveness and stubborn certainty with curiosity.

As a result, you’ll soak up more knowledge and intuitive information, making you a more well-rounded person.

21. You May Feel Energy

The Universe is an enormous energy field. When experiencing a spiritual awakening, it’s common for people to become more in touch with their own force field.

joining group mindful activities spiritual awakening stages

At times you may feel rushes of energy pass through you, or you may be able to shift your personal energy through meditation and mindfulness practices.

22. Your Purpose May Become Clear

Have you been coasting along in life, unsure of your passions and goals? A spiritual awakening will most likely change this. You’ll be able to dust off your interests and plot a path that fulfills you.

23. You’ll Have Fewer Insecurities About Being You

It probably won’t happen right away, but confidence is a welcome side effect of spiritual growth. You won’t feel as much pressure to go along with the crowd. Plus, people with whom you fit naturally will begin to show up in your life.

Have you ever wondered whether you are someone who is spiritually aware? In this post, you will not just learn the signs and stages of spiritual awakening, but also how to start this spiritual journey.

How to Start Your Spiritual Awakening

Sometimes, spiritual awakenings hit when you least expect them. Other times, you must prepare and ask for them. It all depends on what lessons you’re meant to learn this life.

If you want to kick-start soul growth, try doing the following:

  • Ask for One: The Universe grants requests if it’s the right time. So, go ahead and ask it to begin the process.
  • Prepare Yourself for Change: If you know you want to change, start pointing your life toward it. You won’t get everything perfect, but it’s a signal that you’re ready to start the work.
  • Faith in the Process: Having faith in the process is a big part of a successful spiritual journey. Show the Universe you’re ready to do the work.
  • Break Off From Things That Don’t Serve You: One of the most powerful ways to prepare for energetic growth is breaking off from things that don’t serve you. Maybe it’s toxic relationships or habits.
  • Make Room for New Energy: If you want new energy in your life, make room for it! Clear out what you no longer need, and get rid of unnecessary clutter.

Sidebar: ​We have expanded my content on Mindfulness with an actionable book that will help you learn more about mindfulness with my Declutter Your Mind book.

Going through a spiritual awakening is an exciting, challenging, but ultimately rewarding experience. Enjoy the ride, and understand that nothing is forever. 

So when you’re navigating a rough patch — because there will be some — remind yourself that there is a bright, positive, productive light at the end of the tunnel. It’s worth the work!            

What is spiritual awakening? Read this post and find out the 7 spiritual awakening stages and signs that you are having one.

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