Spiritual awakening begins when you realize that reality is not one-dimensional.
You are somehow aware that the reality that most people operate in is not the whole story.
This awareness can come as a a sense of alienation from your current culture, as a strong experience, a health crisis, a loss, a curiosity, or a deep inner knowing. It can come in glimpses or as a totality.
You experience friction — either physically, mentally, emotionally or socially — and you start seeking to understand life under different rules.
Your awakening is a heartfelt process.
Awakening incorporates the intellect, but it occurs beyond intellectual understanding. You realize the limitations of the mind, and to move toward heartfelt knowing of the unknown.
Here, you do not need to be discouraged if you find that your reality is not exactly how you would have chosen it to be. Through the friction, through the dissatisfaction, life is squeezing you, trying to show move you into a new perception of reality. Here, you cam choose to hold on to your old reality, or you can start questioning, searching, experimenting with new ideas and new ways of being.
Here, you may seek answers in the form of knowledge, relationships and new routines (e.g. spiritual practices, dietary changes). You may also seek the assistance of teachers, guides and community, which help to support and stabilize your seeking.
New habits are always a test of the endurance of your self-love and commitment. To sustain any habit over time, you need your heart, you need self-love, you need your forgiveness, you need to be willing to put your convictions into your material reality (your body).
Awakening naturally draws your energy inward.
You start to perceive that your inner world is somehow generating your outer reality.
This new awareness comes as a breath of fresh air, as you realize, with great relief, that the one-dimensional reality is no longer your playing field.
At the same time, this strong inward energy also makes you more keenly aware of all of your personal hang-ups limit you: your mental conversations, your fear, your insecurities, your resentments, your self-judgments, your frustration, your coping strategies and your isolation.
Being able to see these internal conversations without self-judgment is a difficult passage for many. Here, many will choose to externalize their seeking, or to stay at the surface of lighter levels of spiritual understanding.
You can only really move forward spiritually by acknowledging, over and over again and without self-judgment, that you hold both the light and the darkness within you.
True personal transformation happens when, in the midst of your challenges and discomforts, you are willing to relax exactly as you are.
You are not trying to be better, to be happier or to fix yourself. You are not trying to be more perfect. You are not blaming others or expecting them to be different.
You are just what you are.
In a society bent on fixing up or throwing away what we don’t like, this state of surrender to what you are actually sounds quite crazy, as well as threateningly non-productive. Thankfully, the laws of the soul are different than our economy.
When you learn to relax as you are, your mind quiets and your heart naturally comes forward. You gradually open to a broader field of awareness, acceptance and creativity. Slowly, you start to see possibilities, interactions, opportunities, grace all around you.