What does awakening look like? Would you know if it happened to you? If you are feeling a little loopy and are not sure what’s going on, you could be in the midst of an awakening. Here are fourteen signs to let you know for sure.
Feeling Not Yourself
Remember what it felt like to fall in love for the first time? Things were awakening in you that you didn’t know existed? You had all these feelings? This confusion? That’s a bit like what this “not yourself” feeling feels like. Maybe you feel bits of your old self popping up mixed with something that you aren’t really sure what it is because it’s so new. This is the feeling of becoming. Things are stirred up. When they settle, you won’t be who you were. This might be painful. The key to getting to the other side is to become an observer. Be it. Feel it. Don’t act until the dust has settled.
Your Junk Becomes Painfully Obvious
A light is shined on all the junk that isn’t working for you. You can’t escape it. If you try, it becomes really painful. This could be about all the past hurts you hold onto. It could be about how you view yourself, others, or the world. Lots of people go through life blissfully blind. This is an opportunity to wake up and make changes. It’s a chance to redo your life in a way that is functional, beautiful, and rejuvenating. Nobody gets a “get out of jail free” card. Seeing your junk is just the first step. You have to purge it to be free of it. You can’t give it to someone else. No cheating allowed.
People Don’t Fit Anymore
People are attracted to each other because of resonance or energy. We attract what we need. As we change, our needs change so naturally we won’t feel as comfortable with the same people. Even if your friends are on a spiritual journey, they may not evolve at the same speed or in the same way. So, you’re going to lose some folks. It’s normal. It’s natural. It’s healthy. If you resist this and hold on, you will find yourself feeling drained by these people. These relationships will become a burden instead of something that enriches you. It will slow your growth down. Let go of the people who no longer inspire you or fit in your life. It creates space for those who do. If you have to hold on to people (like family), change the way you view or relate to them so that the relationship is as least neutral if not healthy.
When you know what it feels like to be uniquely and truly you, it gets harder and harder to do anything else. It’s actually painful. The more separate you are from your authentic self, the more depressed you become. You may stop doing things you used to do with people you used to like because they no longer fit. It’s cool. This isn’t you anymore. Maybe it never was. Honor it. (This is easier if you have something that is you to replace it with so that the loss doesn’t leave a hole).
Your Awareness of The Outer World Increases
What awakens is the soul. This deepens your spirituality. Spirituality is about connection – not just to your own center, but to the universe. This means that your awareness of your outer world increases too. You may see injustice that you didn’t notice before. You may feel more moved by racism, animal cruelty, child abuse, inequality, or the rape of the environment. This probably will make you a better steward of your fellow man and the planet. It doesn’t necessarily mean you turn into an activist. It could just mean you spend your time and money differently. The individual expression of this varies from person to person.
You Begin to Value Freedom More Than Stuff
Once you have this feeling of authenticity and connection, everything else pales in comparison. You want this for others. You demand it for yourself. You are more willing to give up titles, possessions, and even people to have it. You are more accepting when others do this for themselves. You “get” it. You get that life is not about possessions or holding on. It’s about living fully in this moment in the most authentic, alive way that you can. A light load makes that easier.
Feeling Deep Sadness
Mourning losses is normal. As you awaken, you begin to lose your sleeping self, your old habits, old desires, people, blocks, old ways of thinking, maybe your old body, and so much more. If you coped by ignoring things, all the things you didn’t feel will come up too. They are making space for what’s coming. Let yourself feel it. It’s a cleansing. Sometimes you will know exactly what you are feeling and why. Other times it will be a mystery. This is not a time for analyzing. Don’t worry about figuring it all out. Knowing won’t really matter. Just feel. It will end when it’s done.
You Need to Be the Best, Most Authentic Version of Yourself
Playing second fiddle, hiding, being unhealthy, and feeling stuck are no longer tolerable options. You get a “do or die” feeling that is unstoppable. You begin to value yourself and honor your body as a temple. You eat better, exercise, and perhaps groom yourself with more care. You want your work to be meaningful. You live within your values. You invest in continuous growth and self exploration because you value yourself. You know you have a purpose and you want to be the best that you can be to fulfill that purpose.
Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her leaf’s a flower
But only so an hour
… so said Robert Frost in “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” As you awaken, you start to get this. You understand that nothing stays the same. Not bliss, not pain. Life is like the weather. Hang out a moment and it will change. So you start to roll with the punches. This can give you unimaginable flexibility. It can release the need to control. So many of us fight to keep things stable and the same. Growth only happens when we’re challenged. Life only happens in motion. When you’re awake, you accept the cyclical flow of nature.
You Care More
Since you know you are connected to everything, you care more. You want to leave the world a better place than how you found it. Again, it doesn’t mean that you have to become an advocate or save lives. If you are a carpenter, that could mean that you make your work finer so that those who use it can enjoy it more. Or it could have nothing to do with your work. Maybe you just decide to grow your own organic food so that your body and the environment are cleaner. You could decide to support only companies that share your philosophies. You could support campaigns that champion your values. You feel more compassionate towards animals and your fellow man. You understand your duty to protect the earth, air, and water and do your part.
You Care Less
The things that used to matter – family obligations, societal norms, religious guidelines, security, acknowledgement – are no longer as important as your inner compass. You don’t value outside expectations anymore. You don’t care for security as much because your priorities switch. If being you means you have to downsize your life, you’re willing. If being you means you have to step into the limelight and live large, you’re willing. You no longer want to be held to a false standard.
This caring less also extends to the outside world. You care less about judging others. You don’t get involved in gossip. You aren’t offended anymore. You stop worrying and controlling things. You just realize that those things aren’t important anymore.
You Become a Better Giver and Receiver
As your heart energy becomes healthier, you are able to give with an open hand. You have no expectation of the receiver. You just give to give. This makes you a better receiver too. Instead of saying, “Oh, you shouldn’t have” or feeling like you have to do something of equal value in return, you can just say, “Thank you.” This results in the universe sending more blessings your way. You can’t receive what you don’t feel you deserve. You can’t receive what you deny others. Being a better giver and receiver makes life flow with the generosity that you feel and express.
You Lose Your Fear
Most of our limitations come from fear. To live authentically, we have to give up our fear. We can take chances because we trust that the universe provides us with all we need. When we see adversity, we know that it is there to teach us and make us stronger. When we feel peace, we trust that it is real so we can relax into it. If we live small, simple lives, we see the beauty in it rather than seeing it as a function that we haven’t done enough or achieved enough. We know that we always have enough.
Many of these things sound painful or hard. If there were no reward, it would be. Fortunately awakening is blissful. When you are “in the zone,” you feel more alive and more yourself than ever before. You’re happier, more connected, inspired, productive, and creative. You flow. It is as it is meant to be. This is why we push through the painful birthing stage – so that we can become.
If you are reading this and thinking, “Jeez, that’s what awakening looks like? I am not very awake!” don’t worry. We’re all works in progress. Awakening often starts as a burst. Something acts as a catalyst to move us to extreme discomfort. To get out of that, we have to do something different. Or maybe something so good happens that we want to hold on to it, so we start to make changes to make that more possible.
However it starts, the act of becoming is never instantaneous. We’re only ever awake for a moment at a time. Since all things are in motion, we are ever changing. What we look like as a parent, lover, teacher, or artist is not the same from season to season. So just enjoy this season. Let loose the baggage and limitations so that you can be here now. It is enough.