Having been born, baptized and confirmed Catholic, I have been around organized religion long enough to know that my own worship, beliefs, spirituality, are mine. My ideals are created by and subscribed to because they are right for me. As I have been talking more and more about my journey, people have often asked me if I still attend mass on a regular basis. “Weddings and funerals,” is my go to answer. Some people, having fallen away from Faith for one reason or another understand, while others are taken aback and assure me of my eternal damnation (or at least having to “step aside” at the Pearly Gates. What none of these folks have truly been able to understand is that it is no fault of The Church or my own sinful doings that I no longer attend. My spirituality has been awakening slowly; emerging from deep inside me.
I recently read an article by Laura Marie on 21 Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening. I expected to find an article full of fluff ‘n’ stuff on angels and fairies. What I found was an article full of, “YES! That IS what I’m feeling!” I thought I’d write a whole article, point by point. I took notes on every point, nodding in wonderful amazement that these things were absolutely happening to me! I have been trying to find the time to sit and read and write draft after draft, until finally I decided to give you my notes along with Laura Marie’s points.
1) The feeling that something has changed inside of you
You can’t explain it but you feel different. You even have the sensation to have become a new person, which has nothing to do with the one you were before. You may even have already been different persons, but it continues. Each time you have the feeling that you are getting closer to your truth. This feeling fills you with deep happiness, as you get closer and closer to who you want to be (or should I say, who you really are). At the same time, it scares you, as you have escaped from your comfort zone, and escaped the cage in which society had put on, and sometimes you even think it was easier before, in the “known”. But now that you have escape the “illusion”, that you have dropped the “mask”, and that your blinders are gone forever, you feel you can see everything much clearer. You even wonder how you could live “like this” for so long. The world has now a new color and a new taste, simply because you now look at it with new eyes…
IMMEDIATELY YES! I have been doing a great deal of reading in my preparation for yoga instructor training, as well as much meditation. In the beginning, I noticed a change simply in my level of joy. I knew I was transforming and slowly breaking free from the shell that had encased me, but had let in just enough “outside light,” that I was able to find my way. I always had a feeling that I was “supposed to be” someone else, not this person who was masquerading as me. I’ve had thoughts, inklings, things that I dismissed as ridiculous and impossible. On the afternoon of April 23, 2017, while taking a beautiful meditation bath and listening to a Spotify Playlist created by my own guru, I found myself overcome with emotion and tears of joy. I could not contain myself in the feelings washing over me in this moment of rebirth and discovering
who I had been, who I AM.
After I passed through this beautiful euphoria, I had a moment or two of sadness for who I left behind or, perhaps it was a moment of being afraid of not knowing what was next, but it passed. I was once again filled with a lightness, knowing that I could stop trying to see through the haze and could truly be myself, letting go the veil, the blinds, the heavy sheer curtains – the shell letting in the “outside light.” It was like that scened in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy steps out of the black and white of her house and into the glorious Technicolor world of Munchkinland.
2) Awareness of your old negative habits
You become aware of everything that was not right in your “old life”, in your old you. You realize all the things you used to do and don’t want to do anymore, and all the thinking patterns you don’t wish to keep. You are ready for a big change and you never want to go back, being so happy about what you have discovered. You feel a feeling of deep fulfillment and happiness, from getting closer to your truth, and deep joy to feel this new momentum and feeling of hope.
Holy Cats! I recognized this other consciousness of mine, we shall call her She, who took over when Mr. Wine and Mrs. Vodka would come to call. I recognized what She was doing to me physically and mentally. I recognized that my need to conform and to be what society, or at least my niche of it, dictated, was causing me to hold many negative habits: drinking too much, letting my own image of myself drop, cranking up my negative energy to meet or exceed that of those around me, a desire to have what the next guy has, worrying what others thought of me while also becoming the Queen of Snarkdom and judging others. When Grief let himself into my house, all of the above turned up to Eleven!
None of that brought me any closer to happiness. I didn’t want to do any of that any more. Those negative habits stared me right in the eyes. They still do every day. They tempt and tease me. They try to sneak through my thoughts or escape my lips on a regular basis, but my mind has become much more aware of them and catches them more often than not. I’m happy to say that I have been successfully staring down Mr. Wine and Mrs. Vodka for 282 days, and She has not shown her face.
3) To not feel good with your old entourage anymore and to feel the need to be alone or with new people, more alignment with who you have become
Evolving spiritually can be a painful process, as not everyone around you will evolve at the same speed. Very often, we grow ourselves following a certain event or certain encounters, but it is not necessarily the case for our family and friends, that stay the same. We start, little by little, to feel “weird” to think all those things we think, and even guilty for not wanting to spend as much time with them as before. We certainly wish we could, but the “gap” we feel, between them and us, has become too big. Our vibration became higher, and as result, when we see them, we feel a feeling of discomfort, and the need to recharge our batteries after seeing them (we feel drained). Therefore, we then prefer solitude than being drained by negative people. We look for new people, more in alignment with who we really are and our new energy. Naturally, we are attracted to these new people, who make us feel good and energized. We connect with them directly, even virtually, as we are on the same “wave-length”. We often feel better with them than our own family or friends that we have known for 10 years. That’s because this time the connexion is from soul to soul. You “see” each other, and you are of the same vibration. It’s a heart and soul connexion which is less likely to be ruled by the ego.
I love you all so truly. People often start their journeys from different places, intersect through each others’ paths, continue on and either come back together or find their own separate destinations. I am finding that this is a difficult part of my journey of awakening. I know that the people have come through my life are all there for specific purposes. Our energies were all once complementary, or we never would have been drawn together in the first place. As our “wave-length” arced and descended together, we may have then diverged into new, separate waves (not to be confused with that awesome driving song by Journey), now following two new ascensions. Our souls connected, and we are still connected now; we are just traveling in different directions.
Sometimes this means I don’t feel like hanging out, sometimes my energy needs to plug back into the charger if I’ve used a large chunk of my supply trying to buffer negative energy from others, and sometimes I just need to chill and do “my thing.” I have met some amazing people on this particularly journey who are all connecting on this new wave length, our vibes are in sync, even if we haven’t necessarily had the opportunity to connect personally yet. We are surrounded with an amazing energy and it has bound us all together to keep the vibe going.
4) To not stand superficiality and everything that is not authentic
Lots of places or people that you were used to go or see before will not interest you anymore, or even make you feel depressed. You have become allergic to anything superficial and not “real”, not authentic: people, places, activities, TV shows (if you even keep watching it). You are on a quest to authenticity, simplicity, real things, that would make your heart sing. You may think you have become antisocial, or “too difficult”, but “it is no sign of health to be well adjusted to a sick society”, always remember this. Always follow your heart. If your mind and your ego can dupe you and make you sink, your heart can never lie to you. The more you will grow spiritually, vibrationally, the more you will be attracted to authenticity and the less you will be attracted to lie, illusion, hypocrisy and sham.
I turn off the news. I don’t bother with reality TV. I like real PEOPLE. I like simplicity in living. We were driving home from a weekend trip the other day discussing how, much was we love our big city, but the hurry-up-and-go mentality that has become our every day existence is no longer serving us. We talked about how wonderful a small quiet town would be: not quite off the grid, but far enough removed that perhaps a laptop required an ethernet cable, and small Mom and Pop stores replaced the Big Boxes and the strip malls. Where you can park your car without fear of being in a bus stop, tow zone, loading zone, no parking ever zone. Where the lights off in the distance are not the glow of Downtown, but the brilliance of the hundreds of millions of stars in the night sky. Where I can ride my bike on the street without having to dodge traffic or worry about someone opening their car door into me. The simplicity of just Being and not of being required to Be.
5) Deep sadness / compassion about the suffering in the world
A spiritual awakening is not always the best feeling in the world. It can often be accompanied by strong feelings of despair and sadness when becoming more and more aware of all the suffering in the world, even depression for some people. Like I said in my previous article “How to be Happy When we are Aware of all the Suffering in the World?“, once we know, we can’t go back, and we suddenly feel responsible. What you feel is completely normal. You have to go through it. Don’t think you have a problem or that you are too weak. Once we suddenly “see” and “understand” things, it can sometimes be a shock. For example, when I discovered the horror of animal cruelty in the food industry and slaughterhouses and when I then decided to really investigate it for weeks and now months, I went through a depression for a few weeks, not wanting to see anybody and do anything, just cry all the tears of my heart. I let it pass, and as I explain it in the article, I then decided to act about it. Today, I don’t regret to know what I know, it makes me a stronger and an even more responsible person.
Like it or not, the world is not in the happiest of states, nor has it really ever been always in a state of evolution or revolution. I have been trying to stay focused on the Now, of not missing out on the beauty of Now by using up all of my energy stressing out about what may or may not happen next. If I spent all my time worrying about if my life were to end tomorrow, I would lose out on the wonderfulness and joy that is in my life right now. So many bad things happen every day and I feel so much compassion, but I also deeply feel the sadness and pain it brings. Acknowledging these feelings make me better able to be grateful for what I have and grateful for the opportunity to practice compassion.
6) Feeling the need to make this world a better place
Taking care of your own well-being is not enough for you. You want to also help others and have a positive impact on the world. You don’t understand the people that do nothing and that are selfish. You don’t understand how it is possible to hurt somebody or an animal. You feel more and more compassion and empathy for others and for animals. Your life only has a meaning when you do something for others. Even if you have impacted only one person or one animal, it makes you incredibly happy and makes you feel as if you didn’t come on earth for nothing. You can’t imagine yourself dying without having impacted this world positively. The only thought of it would make you sick. You feel “called” to make something bigger. You can’t go back, and if you sometimes find it hard to be “awaken”, you would never want to be “asleep” again.
This was resonant with me long before this journey began. I can’t watch the ASPCA commercials or hear Sarah Mclachlan’s voice without wanting to go and adopt every animal everywhere. My dream is to have a vast tract of land in a beautiful place where I can save every horse, dog, cat, you name it and have them run free and be loved. I want to bring all of my food, and being poor, that is very little, and give it to every hungry child in countries where people are starving. I want to heal everyone’s grief and sadness. I want to help every victim of any kind of trauma to get back to the business of living. Now, this need is even more vibrant in me (as the hubs says from the other room, “We are not getting any more cats! Two is enough!”).
7) A deep yearning for meaning in your life
A lot of things that you used to do before, are of no interest to you anymore. Old places or friends that you used to go or see, have not the same taste. You need meaning in your life now, otherwise you get bored, and that affects you psychologically (you can even get depressed). Like I explained in previous points, you simply can not find any interest anymore in doing anything that is not authentic and that doesn’t match your current values. You need to have a purpose, a goal when you wake up. You also need to do a job that is meaningful. You can’t imagine yourself doing a job that wouldn’t contribute to the well being of the world.
Friday night meant the end of the work week, making it to payday by the skin of my teeth, and getting out for a night of “normalcy” (read: hitting the cheapest bar and letting loose). Not so much on my Friday night list anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I need to get my karaoke on from time to time, but I don’t hear the barstool calling my name. I loved going out and hanging with large groups of people, all out having a good time, chatting, drinking, enjoying, celebrating, sharing stories. I have not become a hermit, I still like to hang out, but not as often, not as long, and I feel comfortable now excusing myself if I’ve had enough time visiting. I have always known that I was supposed to DO something in my life, but I never really knew what it was. When my children were small, I was doing the raising and educating and loving. As an adult, I find myself in healthcare, administering to those who are in pain. Through my journey here, I am beginning yoga instructor training. That is what I am called to do. Yoga is my purpose and vice versa.
In addition to your 5 physical senses (Sight, Hearing, Taste, Touch, and Smell) that become more and more developed, your spiritual senses also increase (intuition, emotions, imagination, conscience and inspiration) to a high speed. Your intuitions guide you more and more and you learn to listen to them. You understand more and more that your emotions are the “compass” your soul uses to guide you and indicate you the direction to take (negative emotion: wrong direction / wrong way of thinking; positive emotion: good direction / good way of thinking). To know more about hypersensitivity, please read my full article on the subject here.
I do find myself listening more, paying attention to what my spiritual senses are saying. Emotions are checked better, and my intuition has been spot on. It has guided me right to this place where I am meant to be. The needle on the compass pointed this direction, and I just kept walking. I’m certain I may make some missteps or veer off the path, but I know that these spiritual senses will keep me on the right path.
9) Creativity and increased inspiration, need to realize your dreams
You are bombarded with ideas all the time. You are receiving images, ideas, music, and other creative inspirations at an often overwhelming rate. A fire burns in your stomach when you think about doing some things that you want to accomplish, and your enthusiasm is on fire when you think about creating. You like to be inspired by people you admire. In your head, it’s like a computer with 30 open tabs at the same time. Life takes another meaning when you create, you feel alive. You feel called to realize your dreams and your mission on earth. It’s simply because your soul can finally express through your physical body, what she came here to do.
YES! YES! YES! YES! Oh if you could see my list of things to write on! The Notes section in my phone is full because I am constantly inspired and finding things I want to write about, but just don’t have the time at the moment. I am inspired by all of the books I am reading right now. I am practicing more meditation and more yoga because I am on the move to become an instructor and excited to bring this wondrous way that I feel to so many others! My life is moving so fast that I could compare it to a stream traveling through a beautiful forest: continuing to pass beauty, but reflecting it within itself and showing it back to those there to embrace it and grow from it.
10) Willingness to know who you truly are and to be finally be yourself
You don’t want to be defined by society or others anymore. You are tired of wearing this mask you have been wearing for too long, in order to be what others expect from you. You finally want to know who you really are. You ask yourself questions about yourself, life’s purpose, the universe, and why not even other planets and civilizations. You don’t want to see through the filter of the illusion of society anymore, but through the filter of the heart and of the soul. You want to finally be who you really are, be happy, free, light in your heart and never again live for others’ expectations of you.
I could go on, but it all goes back to just Being. I am this. I am that. No. I am Me. I do not wish to be labeled as whatever society deems I should be, or whatever it believes is “appropriate.” In high school and college we are almost pre-programmed to let others define who we are. We change the way we dress, the color of our hair, our friends to fit in to what “they” expect. This often carries with us all the way through our adult lives. I’m done with that. I’m Me, guys. Take it or leave it.
11) Increased intuitions and desire to reconnect with yourself
Like we just talked about, your desire to reconnect with who you really are is stronger and stronger. You have understood that you and only you can know your answers. Even if you can ask for help and be inspired by others, only you and your higher self, your higher consciousness, who you really are, can give you the answers you are waiting for. You need to spend more time with yourself, and strongly desire to always trust your intuitions.
I’ve often not trusted my instincts, thinking that they were way off base, due to worry, or just not worth any weight. I would often ask the opinion of others, hem and haw, and then ultimately wonder if the decision I made was the right one. Beginning with the decision to start changing my life and awakening my soul, every decision I have made since has been to follow my intuition. Sure, I’ve often asked for the opinion of others, but it hasn’t always made or broken my decision. I’ve also tried to not override my own intuition. When I was deciding whether or not to begin instructor training, I did a lot of research, soul searching, question asking, self-evaluating. The truth was that i knew deep down that this was something I needed to pursue at this juncture in my life. I had already begun this amazing change in myself and I knew that I needed to do something to share this feeling with others, be it the physical part, the spiritual part or the entire kit and caboodle. Instead of being swayed by all of the answers I came across, both for and against starting this early, while they were tremendously helpful, I used combined that with my need to honor what I needed to make myself whole, and THAT gave me the answer.
12) Increase in “coincidences” and in “synchronicities” in your life
The more you grow spiritually, the more your energy increases, and the more you will understand how perfectly everything is orchestrated. You meet “by chance” the right people, you find yourself “by coincidence” at the right place at the right time, you desire something and this thing happens. What’s happening? Your energy, your vibrational state is higher. The more positive your energy is (high vibration), the more you will attract positive circumstances in your life. Also, the more you are connected with your higher consciousness, the more you will receive messages from your spirit guides, through repetitive numbers (1111, 2222 etc), and through signs and increased inspiration in your everyday life that will definitely catch your attention.
Again with the bizarre coincidences! I have been catching my birthday as hour:minute on the clock for several years. We have a very peculiar line karma, be it at the grocery store, the toll booth, the restaurant. We can get into a line, short or long, but within the blink of an eye, that line has doubled in size. I have absolutely been coming across the right people at the right times in my life and since I have had people telling me that they can see a visible difference in me, I’m being asked all the time what my secret is. Well, this is it! I’ve also got this connection to my brother-in-law who died almost two years ago. Sometimes this connection is triggered by something, sometimes not. I’ve always had this connection since his death, but since I have begun my journey, the coincidences and spiritual signs and inspirations have definitely increased.
13) More awareness and attention to the food you eat
You notice that you are more attracted towards certain food and naturally reject others. You want to take care of your body, more than ever, and for the good reasons. The industrial cookies you used to love won’t be appealing to you anymore. Same for the steak that you liked “rare”. Each type of food has its own energy and when we raise our vibration, we are then attracted to different types of food, more aligned with our current vibration. That is the reason why many spiritual people can’t eat animals and animal products anymore, specially when they are the result of cruelty and suffering like it is the case today (and very toxic for consumption now). Some people don’t resonate anymore with products that include gluten neither, as well as aspartame, chemicals and refined flours. We naturally don’t want to eat it anymore, and if we do, our body reacts strongly to it (may even develop new allergies and food intolerances). We are drawn to high energy food, such as a vegan diet with a good proportion of raw fruits and vegetables.
I gained about 40 lbs over the last two years between stress, work, losing my brother-in-law and alcohol. I followed many different diets and different exercise programs. I’d lose 5 lbs here and there and be satisfied that I was on the right track. I’d resume “normal” eating, with my wine and/or vodka next to me while I sat on the couch watching television after work. I am also over 45 and with that comes slowed metabolism, or so they say. Put all those things in a basket and you have a recipe for unhealthy weight and nutrition. We’ve always eaten healthy, splurging when we allowed it, felt better about ourselves if we had salad for dinner or if we cut way back on carbs.
Since I began practicing yoga and meditation, my desire for many foods and things in foods has dropped. I no longer desire many things, I steer clear of excess sugars while allowing myself an occasional indulgence rather than total deprivation. I load up for my work day, which involves being on my feet and in motion for 90% of my work day, with several small things that I eat over the course of the day to keep me full, with the height of it being a gorgeous salad for lunch, followed by protein and veg for dinner. I read labels now more than ever. I do not want any Yuck going into my body. My husband has been so amazing with my changing diet “needs,” and has been very supportive as my attraction towards and rejection of certain foods continues to change. I’m sure there are things that I will continue to move beyond and no longer want or require, while at the same time, grill me up a zucchini with a little salt and pepper and I’ll melt into a puddle of happiness.
14) Changing sleep patterns
You need more sleep than before, you feel tired when waking up. Periods of lethargy and fatigue. This is a time of integration, so give into it. You can also wake up many times during the night, or experience panic attacks when you wake up. At other times, you can also on the contrary experience episodes of intense energy which make you want to leap out of bed and into action.
Sleep and I have often had a tumultuous relationship. I would avoid going to bed at night, even when I needed to be up for an early shift, because i wasn’t ready to wind down this day and then rinse and repeat tomorrow. When I would finally give in and go to bed after falling asleep on the world’s most uncomfortable couch, I would lie awake stressing about money or work or the kids or the sky falling or if it was going to rain or you name it. This would then lead to exhaustion the next day and around and around. With the exception of right now while I try to get this post done, I honor my body’s request for sleep. I go to bed when I’m tired. I rise much earlier than usual to enjoy my morning before it has been interrupted by the rest of life. I do find days when I wake with large amounts of energy, and I do have days that cause me to drag, but Sleep and I have worked out an arrangement now: if my sleep pattern changes, I honor it.
15) Loss of interest in worrying – Actions based on Love and not Fear
You now understand your emotions’ purpose: to indicate you which vibration you hold. A negative emotion is the indicator of a negative vibration. You have understood that living in fear, in worry, is the worst thing to do as we create our reality based on our thoughts and we attract that which we give our attention to. You now want to make your decisions based on love and trust, and to be in gratitude and joy.
Ask anyone I know and they will tell you that I was a continual ball of worry, stress, and if something went awry, I would prep for the worst and act out of fear – so that if the worst happened I was ready and if it didn’t, then I’d be pleasantly surprised. I have stopped worrying. I’m learning to love and trust that the universe will hold the answers and provide them to me in due time. I have stopped expending energy worrying about the things over which I have no control. I love. I trust. I choose to be happy.
16) Loss of interest in all forms of conflict
Your inner peace has become sacred. All types of conflicts make you feel terribly uncomfortable as you now feel every energy change in your body. Your friends’s dramas or TV dramas don’t interest you. You want inner peace and deep serenity. You may even have, for this purpose, lost any interest in “being right” at all cost, in order to avoid conflict.
Wow, yeah. This is SO me! I have never enjoyed conflict. As a matter of fact, it was the only “negative” on my yearly review – “Sometimes hesitant to conflict with authority,” (even if I’m right). Whatever the conflict, whether I am involved or not, if it is something much bigger than me, all the drama in Social Media Land, it drains me. I find that keeping my own peace and not reacting to the drama and conflict serves me so much better.
17) Loss of interest towards any type of judgment towards others or yourself
As you feel more and more that we are all connected and all more than our physical appearance, you have lost interest in judging others, and also want to apply it on yourself. You want to be lighter with yourself and others, as well as bringing more peace, love, compassion for others and in your life.
Refer back to my former title as the Queen of Snarkdom. Judging always seemed so easy and so comfortable because it made me feel better about myself. I watch other people judge because they worry about how others will judge them. I no longer have any interest in saying anything about anyone. Everyone is who they are and we should all be more loving and understanding. It would go a long way.
18) Increased willingness to love and give without expectations
Your heart and your soul only feel fulfilled when you are of service to the world. You don’t look for gratification for what you do or getting anything back, you just want to give and love for free.
To this point, I say Amen. Loving is free. I can love him, her, this, that, whatever or whomever without expecting anything in return except a full heart and soul.
19) Feeling of being connected to everything and everyone (humans, animals, nature, planet, universe)
This connexion gets stronger and stronger. You feel you are one with all living beings and nature. You understand the impact of each and every one of your words, thoughts, and actions, on the rest of the world, and you feel deeply responsible for it. You now want to use your impact to the most positive way, having understood that you are part of this “oneness”.
This is so powerful in my life right now. I have really begun to be mindful of so much more which is making me feel a more intense connection to everything around me. I am in awe of the splendors of Mother Nature, and it is my responsibility to do what I can, in my time here, to take care of Her and all those who live here.
20) Strong connexion to animals and nature*
You don’t see animals as non-sensitive and non-intelligent beings. You have understood that they have feelings and consciousness, just as plants too. You feel a strong connexion to them and for some of you, you can even communicate with them (animals, trees, plants). Like I said in point N°13, it will become more and more difficult for you to keep eating animals. You will no longer be willing to participate in their massacre and torture by billions like it is the case today in our industrial countries. You now even want to raise the awareness about animals and the benefits of being vegan.
I was vegan/vegetarian for 5 years and it was amazing. After coming back to the carnivorous side, I still find myself eating less and less meat, especially as my love for animals … and fresh veggies grows by leaps and bounds. *I kept the author’s original picture from the article as it so clearly illustrates Beauty.
21) Feeling of Bliss
All of this, makes you feel a deep feeling of bliss. You feel a burn in your chest, of love towards life, of gratitude, of joy, of enthusiasm for no reason. You feel like you couldn’t be happier than you are now, knowing what you now know. You get delighted by “nothing” (in the eyes of most people) but to you, it is extraordinary (the perfection of an animal fur, its colors, traits, the perfection of the human body, of plants, flowers, the sun, the ocean…).
You have awaken(ed) and it is the start of your new life.
Some days I feel like I will have a heartsplosion because of all the love building up inside. This change inside of me has made me so happy, brought so much joy. My energy level is higher, I find joy in tiny things and in great significant things. I appreciate the everyday and find gratitude in even the most challenging things.
So no, I don’t find myself attracted back to organized religion or a specific faith. I find my worship on my mat and on my meditation cushion. I find God or the Creator or The Great One or The Universe at work in everything. My mind is my church and it is there that I sing thanks and praise for all that I am. I find my spirituality rising and bringing me joy and bringing me peace.
Let me know in the comments, please, if you have found that any of this struck a chord with you or resonated. The light in me is a direct reflection of the light in you. Namaste.