What is an Awakening?

The mysterious grand shifts that send us in the right direction. 

Have you experienced an awakening? Many times when we feel heavy resistance or when we’re at a loss for abundance or purpose, there is a transformation waiting. An intense feeling of emptiness or misalignment is often an awakening waiting to surface. These grand realizations and shifts are the most powerful periods of our lives that redirect our focus, purpose, experience, and impacts on the world. In this article, I will shed some light on how to identify, embrace, and experience these profound periods of transformation.

 

Is it an awakening or a realization?

People often say, “I realized that…” or “It occurred to me that…” These are like mini-awakening moments and behavioral shifts. Realizations are constructive. A realization may be about shifting to a better habit like going to bed earlier. A realization may shift the way in which you do something, like talking to someone in a different tone. Realizations are micro shifts in beliefs or approach that transform or redirect our actions.

While a realization is a small shift, an awakening is a grand realization, usually about a deeply ingrained mindset or behavior that needs to change in order for you to move forward. An awakening warrants a full-on lifestyle shift or a personal transformation that happens over time. Awakenings often revolve around your purpose and intentions for your life. An awakening is followed by transformation in how you approach work or life. Though realizations are not as grand as full-on awakenings, realizations can lead to awakenings. Realizations and awakening are often related. A collection of small realizations over time can result in a full-on awakening transformation.

An awakening warrants a full-on lifestyle shift or a personal transformation that happens over time. Awakenings often revolve around your purpose and intentions for your life.

In our lives, awakenings take the form of lifestyle shifts like needing to move on from a relationship with a deep habit, a significant person, or a long-held belief. Professionally, we often hold beliefs about people, beliefs about success, and approaches that no longer serve. An awakening for a leader, whether in work or life, is a grand realization that you need to change a belief or approach in order to move forward with more possibility, success, and connection. An awakening is, at its core, a better solution. It is life serving us a better solution. As we evolve, awakenings organically unfold. As society and business evolves, awakenings must be able to surface and unfold in each of us in order to move forward, individually and collectively.

An awakening for a leader, whether in work or life, is a grand realization that you need to change a belief or approach in order to move forward with more possibility, success, and connection. An awakening is, at its core, a better solution.

 

What does an awakening feel like?

An awakening unlocks new potential that feels more authentic. Experiencing an awakening is like removing an obstacle that was in the way of your own trajectory and evolutionary experience. At first, it feels as though there is pain or doubt. Then, the crucial phase: in order to fully experience and resolve the awakening, you must listen for and seek out the solution. When an awakening is resolved, it feels like a grand realization; a realization that opens up new possibility and freedom.

How long it takes to realize the resolution depends on the situation and the person. Sometimes, the shift in perception happens in an instant when an influential teacher, leader, or guide says something that triggers a shift in perception. You see a sign that offers the solution. Sometimes, an awakening takes weeks or months to resolve as a new profound truth in your life versus the former that no longer serves. It happens through many smaller realizations and changes over a long period of time. The beginning, middle, and end of an awakening look like: first, the itch: resistance, pain, or doubt, then seeking: listen and search process, and finally a resolution: newfound purpose, transformation, and freedom.

Experiencing an awakening is like removing an obstacle that was in the way of your own trajectory and evolutionary experience. When an awakening is resolved, it feels like a grand realization; a realization that opens up new possibility and freedom.

 

What gets in the way of an awakening?

Many things often get in the way of awakenings. First and most importantly, our own mindset about what life is about and what we’re capable of gets in the way of making shifts that bring us more into authentic alignment. Those of us that experience these grand awakenings come to these profound realizations in so many different ways and have different obstacles. The other obstacles that often get in the way of awakenings are the limitations and versions of success we see on the news, society, social media, or ads. These aspects of conditioning limit our view of what true alignment can be and what it looks like for each of us. When we continue to practice routines that do not serve, we can’t explore and experiment what may work better for us. When we continue to stuff our minds with information and stimuli, we create layers and prevent inner awakenings from surfacing.

 

How to Embrace and Experience an Awakening

So many people resist awakenings. When they feel pain or doubt they numb it with something – with validation from someone or something else, with food or drinks, or self-loathing. However, when you hold back an awakening from surfacing it’s harming you as well as others. Awakenings are meant to be listened to and resolved whether they result in a profound shift in action or a shift in perspective. Instead of ignoring resistance or pain, try listening. Here are four ways to embrace and experience an awakening.

Make space for awakenings to evolve.

Awakenings need space. Awakenings require alone time as they are a fundamental step in your personal growth journey. By removing yourself from people and devices and websites injecting your mind with thoughts, your mind can settle and awakenings can emerge. You can be free to think for yourself instead of having someone else tell you what to think. It takes discipline to spend time alone but it’s worth it. Awakenings are energy moving through. They are communications themselves. They need space to surface and manifest.

Find practices that make space and cultivate inward focus.

Space also means not focusing on a results-oriented task or achievement. Give yourself space by allowing thoughts to surface and allow them to pass, or write them down. Practices like yoga, meditation, walks alone, writing, or drawing often feel as though you are doing nothing but they are designed for awakenings to emerge. It’s pretty scientific, actually. Depending on how much time you dedicate to reflection or mindfulness on a daily basis, it can take hours, days, or years for awakenings to surface. Awakenings and alignment happen through consistent practice over a long period of time. The more you practice, the more effortlessly and seamlessly awakenings surface and life moves forward in healthy alignment.

Surround yourself with healthy environments and people.

If you are feeling pain, doubt, or resistance in your life, it may be time for a grand shift. But, what grand shift? Besides the practices that make space for awakenings, surrounding yourself with supportive community and healthy environments is also key. Spend time with people that cultivate happiness and energy. Spend time with people also on this transformational or spiritual path. Don’t hang out with people that drain your energy or make you feel more misaligned. Find teachers of yoga or meditation that resonate with you. Find communities that align with your values and make you happy.

Awaken to your lane and make the shift.

Awakenings are powerful because they bring us into better alignment as a person. When you feel the why of the transition, it lasts because you can constantly remind yourself why you made the transition, without too much analysis or validation. It feels right and you know it’s right over time from the present feeling and the after effects. People often ask, “How did you decide to make the big life change?” The awake person answers, “I just knew it was the right thing to do. There was no other option.” Awakenings bring us closer to our center and into a state of being that is Awake: living fully in the present moment and living in alignment with our purpose.

 

Have you experienced and embraced an awakening? What profound shift in perspective and possibility did you find?

 

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What’s Next?

For more guidance, prompts, and exercises that can help you awaken to purpose and lead your own life with more ease and enthusiasm, check out the Awake Leadership Solutions guidebooks. These books are for leaders seeking balance and to lead more ethically, mindfully and creatively. Each book has both individual and team exercises, so they can be used as integrated guides for leadership and personal growth. Read reviews from readers on Amazon.

Awake Leadership: a system for leading with clarity and creativity. Learn exercises for achieving your objectives, find your sources of support and inspiration, align and motivate your team.

Awake Ethics: a system for aligning your actions and your core intentions. Learn the ten principles of ethics and exercises for putting the principles into action. Cultivate peace and progress in your work, career, and life.

 

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