An Unexpected, Spontaneous Spiritual Awakening

The Sacred Spiral of the Spiritual Path
Originally posted in 2012, this blog post isn't necessarily up-to-date with how I talk about spiritual awakening, although some things never change.

Be sure to check out these posts that are more current:

What Is a Spiritual Awakening?

Spiritual Awakening Help and Tips Guide

Spiritual awakening, in its way, is always unexpected. It's not something that the mind can control through predictions and forecasts. It comes when it comes. And after it's arrived, you know what is real. Not in a mental way. You know what's real in a whole body, mind, heart, and soul way that transcends any words that I can put on a page, and for some of you, you've been waiting for this your whole lives in a way that you can't describe. When that door of light opens inside of you, you're already out the door, and while the rigors of fully embodying this beautiful awakening light--embodying the depth of you--may challenge you, you're already prepared for it.

For some others, you've had a big shift, a big spiritual opening. In this space, you get a glimpse of the truth, and then that glimpse is soon gone. I think the following blog post will be especially helpful to you:

Shifts in Consciousness and Spiritual Openings

But for those who awaken and are not prepared even though your soul is ready, you suddenly feel like you've been thrown completely out of your world without a compass or map. You feel lost even though you are finally being found by your true self. To you, I'm writing today.

Being Prepared Versus Being Ready for Awakening
I want to offer an important distinction as I delve into this topic. There's a big difference between being prepared for an awakening and being ready. I'm defining readiness as something that only your soul can decide. Your soul knows if it is ready or not. If it does not feel ready to awaken into this world, then it won't matter how much preparation for such a shift you do. Your soul will continue to sleep like a seedling waiting for the right conditions before it decides to sprout. If it does feel ready, then it sprouts, but some of you may not be prepared for this sprouting.

Some of you may remember my metaphor for the spiritual path as a garden, and in that garden, we do a lot of work to make space for spirituality to grow in our lives. So we clear away rocks and debris. We fertilize the land. We water it. We keep it clear of animals and people who would trample it or abuse it any way. And all of this preparation is in hopes that sun of God(dess) will shine on the land and work that amazing magic that sprouts something. When all of this preparation and readiness come together, a lot of beautiful magic happens all at once, and it can still feel incredibly overwhelming. Growth can keep you extremely busy watering things with love, plucking out fears, and driving away abusers of this sacredness until it is firmly rooted and can grow unaided.

But others of you have not been uprooting fears and digging out core stories filled with pain. Those rocks and weeds threaten to overwhelm your garden, and yet, the soul is so amazing that it may sprout for you. With no spiritual practice or tools, you feel like you did not call this awakening to you. You may feel completely lost in a messy life, and here you are being offered this most precious gift.

The Unconscious Preparation for Spiritual Shifting
Of course, I'm always a little skeptical about the people who say they haven't asked for awakening and that it just happened. This is possible, but after I get to know someone, there can sometimes be an interesting list of activities and things that they've been up to. The explanation I get can go like this:

"I totally never expected to have an awakening. I mean I've been meditating for the last five years, doing yoga for 7 years, and going to chant circles from time to time. I've read the Bible and listened to different spiritual teachers. You know, I try to live my life intentionally, but really, that's it. Sure, my mom was really spiritual, and dad took the family to church every Sunday growing up. But I didn't really like church, and well, I have my Tarot cards. I've done readings for myself all my life, but only myself."

The list may be longer or shorter depending on the conversation, and none of the lengths of time really matter. But a lot of people have very consciously been preparing to wake up even though they didn't know they were doing this. With so many of these spiritual tools far more available today, it's like a bunch of children playing with fire, and then something sparks. They all freak out and run around, yelling, "What's going on!" (It's really not a question though; it's just a lot of fear and a desire to stop the fire). But with awakening, the fire will not stop, and to try and slow it down brings enormous pain. It's time to let this fire burn.

Reviewing Your Past Actions
If you feel like your awakening came completely out of the blue, the first thing I encourage you to do is to review your past actions. Review your family's spiritual heritage. Strong spiritual lineages will also help push you further along, and your soul most definitely choose the family you're in for that extra push. A lot of us are here specifically to wake up and embody this awakening energy. It's part of being a way-shower. We're showing people the way to live in integrity, and for many of you, that's your whole purpose. It doesn't mean you have to be a spiritual teacher or spiritual healer. You simply have to be and to be in that space of "I am." It's not even "I am." The "I" becomes less necessary. It really becomes the "Am"--the space of deep being and presence that we all possess, but it has been over-run by the noise of the mind and the unconscious actions going on in the world.

So look at your different practices. You may not even call things "spiritual." Labeling is irrelevant to spirituality anyway. You may have a practice of doing one kind thing a day. You may be naturally intuitive, but you're so used to it so that you think nothing of it. You may be doing a lot of things and have done them for awhile. And all of those spiritual practices have built up momentum to overcome the inertia and counter momentum that normally keeps us locked deep in unconsciousness. At some point, you probably hit a peak moment that broke through it beyond just having a spiritual opening. In that moment, the glass shattered. You saw what's real, and everything is now changing.

The New Momentum of Your Life: Your Soul Takes the Wheel
I am sure that you feel quite out of control. It's a normal feeling. Of course, you were actually out of control before when your ego was running things. That was when you thought you needed the 4-bedroom house with 3-car garage, 6-figure job, perfect spouse, 1 dog, 1 cat, and 2.5 kids. You have no idea why you wanted those things. You were doing those things because it was expected, and people told you that what's you wanted. That's how most everyone is. We're just following the momentum of what everyone else is telling us; we're lost in the currents of these unconscious waves. It's like wanting to be famous. Why in the world would you want that? Do you know? If that's something you've contemplated, maybe you should start to question it now.

So the awakening has handed you the reigns to your soul, who is quite adeptly taking over and steering you to where you really want to go. This usually means the current sandcastle of your life is getting blown up because it was fake and untrue to who you are. All your safety issues are going crazy because you thought you needed all those fake relationships, your miserable job that paid you lots of money, and the spouse who cheated on you. You still want the safety of your misery back because you still confuse familiarity with safety. Familiar things are not necessarily safe, and your soul knows this. Your true self knows so much more, and it's time to start trusting it.

The Truly Unprepared Awakening
However, life is an amazing thing, so some of you to have woken up with no preparation at all. You really were just living in the dream and woke up. To you, I encourage you to check out the Starting Out section to start building a framework for understanding, and you should also check out the Surviving the Awakening blogs on this link--all of them. Because you have to build scaffolding (a framework of understanding and practices) around the house that's also being demolished and re-built simultaneously (awakening to your true self). It doesn't have to be a difficult or strenuous path, but it will take a lot of your focus. Because you have no other choice. You can't go back to sleep. This isn't just a spiritual opening. In a spiritual opening, you glimpse the truth, but after the conditions that help set it up go away, the opening closes. You go back to your regular life with a warm feeling, but the change has no significant momentum. You're not past the point of no return. In awakening, you are passed that point, and you're going to need to accept that. Acceptance is going to be one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself on this path, and I encourage you to give it to yourself as soon as possible. After that, a good deal of letting go will be required as well.

Trusting the Unfolding of Awakening
Along with all of this, you're going to need to trust. Trust the process. Trust your soul's intelligence. Our souls are so smart. They know exactly what they're doing. Our minds have to play a lot of catch up and otherwise get out of the way. The old ego self will be demolished although parts of our personalities will continue. We don't lose who we are; we let go of who we're not and who we're trying to be. You're going to find that as you let go into this process there's a deep sense of relaxation in simply being you. You don't have to try to be any shape, size, personality, or anything else. You are just you. And that's perfect, and that's one of the many great gifts of spiritual awakening.

Unexpected Awakening Video
For some more thoughts on this topic, please enjoy this video.

Today's picture is another gift from a friend.


  1. Thank you for this, Jim. I have had a sort of third type of experience, which began when I was a very young child. I just naturally practiced meditation, though I wouldn't have called it that, because to me it wasn't something I was doing at all; it was just being, and I wouldn't have called it that either. In any case, I had the most glorious experiences of complete formlessness and awareness of the physical world being a projection. I tried to talk to my parents about what I knew, but they really did not want to hear about it.... So, I consciously took on the role they wanted me to have. Isn't that bizarre? I knew it was absurd, but I did it anyway, because it really didn't matter, as in it was of no real import, not that I was apathetic- the opposite really. I loved them and wanted them to be happy, and since it was of no real consequence to me (I am safe), I did it for them at their implied request.

    Anyway, I identified with that role over time, then I became lost in it, and so, it is like you wrote above, that I was prepared in a way for my later experience of sudden (re)awakening, but I was not expecting it. I spent two months in complete bliss. Then I resumed my normal activities and again, became lost in role-identification. But this time, the energy that was coursing through me was so much stronger and I suppressed it (with great effort and suffering). I ended up chronically ill, but worse than as a child, when I had low-level issues with my physical body that I now know are also energy-suppression-related.

    I went to see a cranial-sacral therapist last year, and she and I together blew the door wide open again, and this time, there has been no turning back. I have come to that point of no return. I know also that this is my path, and that it is the right one for this experience, that I can only be ready when I'm ready, and of course, the whole description of me, "I" and my responses and reactions is absurd in a more wholistic understanding if it can be called that. I am right now having such difficulty expressing thoughts because for the most part, they have fallen away and I am just experiencing being.

    I enjoy reading your blog. And I literally have nobody to discuss this with, like the butterfly in your story (which I love- thank you :), and I'm happy with that. It's an amazing "process"- traveling the globe to find out that you've been home the whole time, and that's where all the stuff you hoped to see/learn/experience was all along.


    1. Thank you for sharing, Imogen. Welcome to the awakened world. I look forward to seeing and hearing about what you birth into it from this space of profound being. Be well, dear one!

  2. Interesting observations about awakening. I think it's like the sun, always there, but sometimes we can see it. When we are able to remove the blocks, or when the blocks "unexpectedly" break away, there is the sun of awakening, where it always was and always will be.

    1. Thanks for reading. Yes, awakening is always there. It's in the little openings we have from time to time, but we have to make a deeper commitment to open the blinds to let more sun in. It's beautiful when the soul and the ego-consciousness that we have combine to say "Yes!" to awakening. But most often, that's not how it happens, and if the soul isn't ready, then there's no amount of saying "Yes" that will ignite the process. This isn't a bad or tragic thing. It simply how we learn to be part of much vaster and bigger plan than we can see. I have a new picture of me on Facebook, and I'm quite small compared to the sand, ocean, and sky around me. I'm also looking through a camera. For me, this symbolizes the absolute smallness of our perspective on life in general. Such is it with awakening. We can't see the whole picture, but we do the best we can with what we have. :)

  3. Stumbled upon your blog doing a search about feeling lost on my path today. I feel like day to day routines of "living" are small in comparison to the reality of my mind, body, and soul on this beautiful Earth. I'm just having a hard time balancing the world I've known all these years and the newfound perception of all things from a deeper perspective. It is tough, but I do not believe coincidences are by chance, and I'm hoping your words may help me in this process of relearning.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Ashton. Let me know if I can help in away. In truth, we can't really balance both worlds. One must go away so we fully embrace the new perception. However, once fully grounded in that new space of being, you can "be in this world, but not of it"--to quote an old saying. Take good care of yourself on your path; you are precious.

  4. It's nice to know that I'm not alone!


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