Pick the one path that represents how you feel at this point in your spiritual awakening.
Below, I’ll give you an intuitive message for the stage of your spiritual awakening based on where I was in the walk and what I was thinking at the time.
When a Hike Becomes a Spiritual Journey
After consulting Yelp for a fairly easy place nearby to hike, I decided to venture out on a hike at Panorama Nature Preserve in Brea, California. Mind you, hiking is new to me. I moved to California from the Midwestern state of Iowa where the land is flat and the cornfields are plenty. This wasn’t a challenging hike for avid hikers, but for this plus-sized mama nearing 50, it was a stretch. No matter. I forged on with a new Spotify playlist full of songs I’ve never heard in my ear and a smile on my face.
It wasn’t long into the hike that it occurred to me that this journey was a metaphor for a spiritual awakening. I had no idea where I was headed, yet I kept walking. I was solo and determined to finish the entire hike. There were many others on the same journey. All were friendly, yet in their own process. One man literally looped me three times on his bike. Most people on the trail were older and more active than me. I didn’t worry about my “competition” though, Instead, I stayed focused on the road ahead and continued to put one foot in front of the other.
More than halfway through the hike, I realized I was receiving messages from the music. Before then, I was honestly so stuck in my own head that I had no idea I wasn’t really alone. Yes, I was independent, but the Universe was sending me support through synchronicities. I just had to get out of my head long enough to notice it. That’s definitely true of the spiritual awakening process too!
Following are the 10 Stages of a Spiritual Awakening based on my hike. Rather than jumping to your photo, I encourage you to read them in order for the full effect. You’ll find out where your path is in the process.
My Thoughts: I’m ready to get started. I have NO IDEA where this path is headed, but I’m showing up and I’m ready for it! I’m full of hope and inspiration. I’m doing something brand new and I trust the process.
(This is the path out of the parking lot before I even got to the trail.)
Spiritual Awakening Reality: It’s sweet that we’re so hopeful and excited. Not knowing exactly what’s ahead makes it much easier continue, considering the reality we will eventually face. Also, being at the beginning of a spiritual awakening in no way equals being a beginner. It’s simply the beginning of a new loop as described below.
My Thoughts: Ok. That first hill wasn’t too bad. I can do this. Now, should I go the scenic route and take photos or get right to it? The end destination is exactly the same—except one has a few more steps, takes a bit longer, and provides cool stories and photos. (I chose the scenic route.)
Spiritual Awakening Reality: There’s no wrong answer. No matter what choice you make or path you choose, everything is always working out for you. As Abraham Hicks would say, “You can’t get it wrong and you never get done.”
My Thoughts: Oh damn! This hike isn’t at all what I thought it was. It’s one big fucking LOOP. This is NOT what I signed up for. Now would be a good opportunity to jump off and call an Uber. The security of what’s known (a paved city road) is comforting.
The other hikes I’ve been on were ones where you reached a summit and turned around. I was not expecting a loop. And for some reason, this threw me for a loop.
Spiritual Awakening Reality: Loops are very indicative of spiritual awakenings. It’s not a once and done. It’s an opportunity to come full circle. Also, as soon as we start to forge a new path into the unknown, the known (comfort level) reaches out to pull us back to safety. It’s important to keep going.
My Thoughts: Ok. That wasn’t so bad. I’m starting to see the fruits of my labor. There’s beauty all around, and I’m pretty sure the end is near. In the present moment, ignorance of the unknown is BLISS.
Spiritual Awakening Reality: This is the point I called the false end of the awakening loop. There’s appreciation, hope, and excitement about being “complete.” The reality of this hike is that I wasn’t even one-third of the way to the end. And, there were so many more twists, turns, and challenges ahead. It’s probably a good thing I thought the end was near. Otherwise, I might have turned around to catch an Uber.
My Thoughts: What the actual fuck!! Just when I thought I’d made progress and could see the fruits of my labor, there’s a huge challenge ahead. (I know it doesn’t look like a huge and challenging hill to most, but it was big to me in that moment and time. Also, there were SO MANY more hills!)
At this point, I realized the playlist of new tunes was speaking to me. Lyrics supporting this portion of journey sing “Helpless, I surrender.”
Spiritual Awakening Reality: At the point you think you can’t go on, you tune into the Universal support that’s available, feel the unseen support, and surrender to an outcome that’s bigger than you. Even though there’s a long road ahead, you are not alone.
My Thoughts: Oh fuck!!! Fuckity, fuck, fuck. I’m now oriented. I know where I am. I’m awake and I’m terrified. Now, I’m intimately aware of how much farther I have to go. I have ZERO appreciation for how far I’ve come. My only focus is on how I will survive what’s ahead. Lyrics lead the way, “We’re going through changes, changes, changes, yeah. With hard times I’m sure ahead. We’ll make it through, I’m sure of it.”
Spiritual Awakening Reality: The most representative part of this stage of the awakening is when you realize how much your trauma, ego, shadow, and inner child are controlling the show. Even though you’ve come so far, you definitely don’t want to be where you are and you have no idea how you’re going to deal with the new reality you’ve suddenly been presented with.
My Thoughts: I’m alone and I have no idea what’s around this corner. Also, I thought this trail was only 2.67 miles. This hike should’ve been over a long time ago. Call me Karen, I need to speak to management!
Spiritual Awakening Reality: As challenging and even unfair as things may seem, there are no restarts, refunds, or chargebacks on the spiritual awakening journey. As much as we want to shame and deny the trauma, ego, shadow, and inner child work, this stage is about accepting every part of who we are, accepting responsibility, and finding guides and partners to help us get where we want to go. The lyrics playing remind me, “It’s okay to be a little broken and beat.”
My Thoughts: These “elders” passed me at least a mile back with a vigor and energy I didn’t even have when I started my hike. Now, they’re coming out of the adjacent country club. They must’ve stopped to pee, or have a drink…or lunch. They must know something I don’t. I’ll follow them.
(They left me in the dust—literally.)
Spiritual Awakening Reality: While it can be hard when you see others who seem to be ahead of you or appear to be doing “better,” this is no time for comparison. Everyone is on their own journey. Knowing someone else has walked the path ahead with ease and joy is a blessing. It’s an invitation to embrace your journey and follow in the footsteps of someone who’s been there and done that. The lyrics playing at this point really hit home, “It’s a blessing that we made it here so far. If you lay here in these arms tonight I promise, I promise to take you, take you as you are.”
My Thoughts: I’ve come such a long way. Much further than I planned. The path is narrowing. This must be what the path to the winner’s circle feels like. I’m tired, but lyrics lead the way and cheer me on: ”I’m coming out of my shell.”
Spiritual Awakening Reality: Finally!! There’s gratitude for the journey, appreciation for the steps that brought you to this stage, excitement about what’s to come, and the desire to express and share your gifts.
My Thoughts: Well, that was an interesting journey. I’m not sure where the end is or how to get there, but I’m 100% certain this hike will be over soon. Wait! I’m right back where I started. The end is the beginning. The beginning is the end. WTF?!!! Lyrics remind me that it ain’t over until it’s OVER. “I’m feeling like my journey ends at kingdom come.”
The thing about spiritual awakenings, is that just like the hike, they happen in a loop. They are never once and done. Even when one level is achieved, there’s always more to learn. Every end is a new beginning and there’s always a new level. Even when life is over, there’s a continuance into the next life and more opportunities to awaken.
I had no idea what I was in for when I left the house on Saturday, April 10, 2021. I had so much fun on my hike and relating the stages of spiritual awakening. This was me afterward, feeling a huge sense of pride and enjoying some recuperation.
I’m excited to hear what you think of the stages of spiritual awakening, the path you chose, and how it relates to your spiritual awakening! Let me know in the comments!