You may be interested in this post if you are:
- Feeling restless but don’t know why
- Feeling a stirring or longing for something more
- Wanting to change something but don’t know what that is
- Thinking about your greater purpose for being
- Not sure if you are having a spiritual awakening
Something Feels Off
Have you been feeling a little restless or uncertain about where your life’s path is leading you? Or are you feeling some level of dissatisfaction with your life but can’t seem to pinpoint what is causing it? Or have things gotten so stressful that you’ve contemplated walking away from it all and starting over?
These feelings of restlessness, uncertainty, or exasperation can often be signs that your soul, intuitive self, or higher consciousness (or whatever name you prefer) is trying to get your attention.
In the best-case scenario, these feelings and thoughts are not disruptive to your daily life. Unfortunately, in some cases, when the thoughts and feelings are willfully ignored, the messages from your soul begin to manifest themselves physically. You may find yourself getting sick more often or unable to shake a cough you caught a couple of weeks ago. You may start to have digestive problems, migraines or body aches, and you can’t seem to figure out why.
Here are some other indications:
- You are losing interest in spending time with the people you usually surround yourself with
- The things you used to spend hours/days/weeks enjoying are starting to become less and less interesting
- You feel the need to contribute or give back to the world
- You are seeking a deeper or larger purpose for your life
Seek New Perspectives
At this stage of recognition, you may be confused at these feelings of uncertainty or unwellness. At the other end of the spectrum, you may have reached extreme frustration or anger at your predicament. In either case, this may be the point where you begin to look for answers and solutions in earnest.
What’s causing your restlessness?
Why are you all of a sudden unhappy with things that used to make you happy?
Why are you getting sick when you typically have such good health?
Why are you suddenly seeking purpose when you were perfectly satisfied with your life before?
With these questions in mind, we set off in search of answers and people tend to try and solve problems the same way they’ve successfully solved problems in the past. If you often look for answers in books, you’ll probably start looking for something to read. If talking to other people usually gives you clarity, you may start calling our friends and loved ones to hash things out. And then there are those who have become experts at ignoring problems until they magically disappear (i.e., get stockpiled away for future unpacking). This last “solution” is merely a delay and will require your attention at some point down the line. And that’s fine; timing plays a factor in all of our journies. You will address it when you are ready.
Whichever way you choose to begin exploring, do so with an intent to gain new perspectives. As Albert Einstein famously said:
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
To solve a problem, we must learn new ways of seeing it and thinking about it. I’m especially fond of learning new things through anecdotes and examples, and so I tend to gravitate towards books (see my blog post about how the Mindset book helped me get unstuck). But these days ideas are being shared in so many different ways: podcasts, TED talks, workshops, conferences, online classes, and (of course) blog posts.
Listen to Yourself
But with so many options available to you, how do you know where to start or which path to go down?
I recently learned that I usually know the answer to my question but am not always willing to acknowledge it.
Do you ever have that feeling like there is this nagging thought or idea milling about in the back of your mind, but you consciously or subconsciously decide to ignore it and keep searching? It’s almost like when you’re looking for your sunglasses only to find that they’re perched on top of your head. They were there the whole time, it just took you a while to realize it, or someone else had to point it out to you. The latter happens to me (in the figurative sense) all the time; a friend will remind me of something I had previously said and all of a sudden I hear the answer in my own words repeated back to me.
Listening Through Meditation
One great way to find the answers within ourselves is through the practice of mindfulness meditation (learn more about mindfulness at mindful.org). Mindfulness meditation asks us to pay attention to the present moment without judgment. In other words, the goal is not to clear the mind of thoughts but rather to notice thoughts as they arise and acknowledge them without classifying them as good, bad, or otherwise. Just observe what is showing up.
To use meditation in this way, begin with the question in mind and then let it go. Follow that by turning your attention to your breathing (learn about different breathing techniques at malaprayer.com) and then pay attention to the thoughts that arise. You’ll be surprised to find that the answer will almost certainly appear once you become still enough and quiet enough to hear it.
Listening Through Observation
If meditation doesn’t feel like the right approach for you, not to worry, there are other ways of tapping into the answers. Another option is to ask for a sign.
Now before I continue any further, this only works if you believe that the Universe (or Source Energy or God) is listening and wants to help you (more on that in a future post). Assuming you’re on board with this, you can ask the Universe for a sign. I personally like to specify that I need a really obvious sign because I’m not always great at picking up on subtleties. The trick though is that once you ask, you actually have to pay attention and keep an eye out for the signs.
I once asked the Universe to send me a sign that a big change was coming and within minutes, a butterfly descended out of nowhere and landed on a bush in front of me. I associate butterflies with transformation and change so at first, I thought I’d received my sign. But of course doubt crept in so I went along with my day and sure enough, I started seeing butterflies everywhere: artfully painted on the sign of a store, in a bus stop advertisement, even as a tattoo on the shoulder of a girl in my yoga class.
Were butterflies the sign that I had been seeking? In this case no, but luckily I caught on. Once I believed that change was indeed coming, it did.
In other cases, I’ve asked for signs on where I should go on vacation (not a serious spiritual question but hey, this works regardless). Each time I’ve done this, the Universe repeatedly put the perfect destination in front of my eyes multiple times until I got the message (see my post about my silent meditation retreat when the Universe told me to go to Bali).
While the above steps may seem straightforward enough, this is not a linear process. Once you begin down this path, you may find that a change to your external circumstances (e.g., getting a new hobby or moving to a new city) will solve your problem of restlessness or unhappiness, but this is almost always a temporary fix. If you choose not to address the issue by changing how you approach life from a mindset and daily practice perspective, you may find that the same problem or feeling will continue to present itself until you address it from within. The call to awaken will keep showing up until it is truly heard.
On the flip side, it’s also likely that, once you embark on this self-discovery journey and go within you will start to awaken to new ways of thinking that will completely shift how you see your world. This is the beginning of your spiritual awakening.
A spiritual awakening can mean so many different things to so many different people. The way I like to think of it is a coming home to one’s true self, a realization of greater truths, and a recognition that we are part of something far greater than just this personality in this life. This search for purpose and deeper connection is just the beginning of our journies.
At this stage you have two choices: 1) Forget what you’ve learned and return to your old way of doing things, or 2) Continue your spiritual awakening, continue learning new perspectives, and continue asking more questions.
This can be a difficult space to exist in for so many reasons. For one, the people around you may not understand what you’re going through. They may be suspect of your sudden disinterest in things you used to care about, they may be uncomfortable talking with you about the new ideas you’re learning, or they may be relying on you staying exactly as you are.
Another reason this can be difficult may be your own resistance to change. Maybe your life is 80% great, and you’re not willing to put the good things at risk by changing who you are. I think this is maybe the hardest part. We get so comfortable with our current state that even imagining something different causes us to dive into a well of self-doubt which can easily cloud our ability to see beyond what we think is possible.
But keep going. Trust yourself.
If any of the above resonates with you (even if it seems a little scary) then I encourage you to do the following:
- Don’t make any major changes in your life without first understanding why you want to change them.
- Learn to listen to your inner guidance and explore new ideas and practices as they enter your consciousness.
- Be patient with yourself and remember that spiritual awakenings are not binary; you are not just asleep or awake, it’s a journey.
- Trust that the people you need to help you through this time will show up; you only need to ask that they do.
- Consider seeking support from a coach or therapist who can help you navigate this part of your journey.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope that the post has benefitted you in some way.