A storm alive and brewing inside
Waiting in silence to ignite
A kettle in perpetual simmer
Desperate to pour the perfect cup of tea
Seeing red and tasting blood
A slow kill each time
Dreaming of a land completely foreign to the current field
I walked in
And so, the wait for the day to finally exhale
Often, these eyes shut on their own
And through them the reveal of a light emitting blinding radiance
A warm and inviting glow
Only this light was never meant for me
It dimmed until darkness remained
And emptiness soon engulfed the skies
The weight of the pain to keep the air warm
Mirrors soon betrayed me
Everyone looking through the same piece of glass
Hearts became tattered and old
Broken down and beaten
But one day it was different
The light did not leave
Through the mist, an inner world slowly began to reveal itself
And it’s here, time began to deepen
The sky quickly filled with glorious balls of energy
Growing, changing, and feeding
Bouncing, repelling, and attracting through the cosmos
Beautiful spheres of chaos
Big orbs of colour all around
Floating between the planes
Each with its own language, a wisdom to behold
I penetrated through and heard the music in those words
Holding tightly to the hues
To paint the life waiting inside
A dreamscape of my very own
The path of sorrow closing in
And a new road ahead
With the storm finally drying the lands
The weight of the water was no more
A new world opened to me
New yet familiar
The one I carried within all along
Tethered to me, always and forever
I entered the workforce at a relatively young age, and what I observed almost immediately was the correlation between a happy work environment and a good leader. I spent my adolescence behind ice cream counters and restocking bakery aisles but no matter my task or role, whether I was going to have a good or bad day at work rested entirely on the leader.
During those early years, juggling both school and work, I encountered a colourful set of supervisors, managers, directors, and owners but not one was ever respected by us employees. They either ruled by fear or were completely disingenuous which filtered down and spread throughout the work environment.
I hoped, one day, when I did start my career, I’d meet my ideal leader. Someone who was not only fair but empathetic, mature, compassionate, understanding, decisive, and above all else, a non-conformist. A person who was able to separate themselves from the pack. A style that is underappreciated but a necessity in order to keep an objective stance on the bigger picture.
It’s Not About Making Friends
After university, I landed my first real job, and for ten years I would wither away in corporations that presented me with a string of managers who were more interested in making friends than hard decisions. Their convictions are easily swayed by any opposing opinion. I slowly lost respect for their word and even more so, the system that encouraged such rhetoric.
Their common Jekyll And Hyde persona became unbearable to watch. Their obvious desire to be liked by everyone made me coil at their lack of constitution. Their words conjured feelings of mistrust and their performance only jaded my hope of ever finding a great leader; a true leader. I felt like I was walking in a land mine; tip-toeing every step. A fear that slowly messed with my psyche.
Over the years, I saw countless missed opportunities to instill positive change at our office. There were numerous chances to shine a light on real issues, but they always moved to the sidelines.
The organization modeled a modern-day Salem, with regular witch hunts in place for those that sparked a more progressive conversation. A mob would wage, and alliances formed carrying their pitchforks and torch lights. And just like in the colonial Massachusetts town, we saw our own version of mass hysteria.
I often wondered if it was possible to stand up against the mob and fight for issues that questioned the office’s conventions. But time and again, I saw leaders slither and cower at the swarm of angry employees, and there, just like that, the moment to inspire real change vanished into the ether.
I do admit, it’s not an easy feat to stand alone in your convictions. So, I would ask myself, “Is it possible to garner respect as a leader while still moving against the grain?” I believe so, and I want to see more of it.
Balancing Convention While Fostering Change
Groupthink is a powerful tool; one that wields a tremendous amount of influence but is it doing more harm than good? Can cohesive collaboration exist while still questioning the status quo? Adam Grant, the notable psychologist and author, tackles the ideal model of groupthink in his book, Originals. It’s definitely worth the read.
Now it’s important to state that encouraging a positive workplace environment, one filled with collaboration and consensus is vital when nurturing a productive team. But a leader, in tune with the bigger picture, can also foster a safe space that encourages employees to question what’s been done before. They can cultivate an office free from bullying tactics and possible ostracization when an employee drives forward concepts that think outside the box.
This is how we push forward influential and innovative change. This is how leaders provoke unconventional thought and move new rhetoric in order to instill impactful differences. Leaders who take out the shovel and pass them to their employees to carve out a new path.
There are both positive and negative aspects to groupthink and it takes a leader who can think objectively to make the final call. One who isn’t apprehensive about offending frail and egocentric insecurities but stands behind their team.
Does such a leader even exist? Who is strong enough to stand against a group? Maybe they just don’t exist in the corporate world.
A Dying Breed
There was always one name that came to mind, who I felt held the qualities of a non-conformist, and unfortunately for me, I would never get to meet him.
I was first introduced to Major Richard “Dick” Winters when I watched the HBO series, Band of Brothers, which was based on a book by Stephen E. Ambrose which I also read. It follows the real events of a parachute infantry in World War II, called Easy Company which Winters commanded.
The Major was quiet, reflective, fair, compassionate, and strategic. But it was his innate introspection that made him an outsider and gave him an objective perspective on missions, the war, and his team.
During the war, Winters was fiercely respected by his men, but he never crossed the line into comradery. It is a dangerous territory to flirt with because the consequences can muddle your judgments. I believe this is true in any leadership role, not just the ones found in combat. And what made Winters a great leader: he was comfortable with, and almost preferred skirting the edges of a group.
Question the Convention
The outsider is often seen as the anti-social weirdo who avoids parties and carries an aloof air that is often misunderstood. But history has shown us a different narrative. One where the outsider made difficult and unpopular decisions to drive forward equality, and sought out revelatory change in science, religion, and technology that have shaped our world and steered our species to new heights.
Questioning may get you on the dean’s list, but it can also promote healthy conversation in hopes we can have a workplace with more diversity, equality, fewer burnouts, and brain drains.
A Plea to All the Black Sheep
So, I’m calling on all you misfits and loners, the eccentrics that see the world differently and question the norm – not for cheap thrills and to stir up pandemonium, but for authentic growth.
To create systems that are genuine and creative. Where people’s curated personas fade, and we see our colleagues as the beautiful individuals they truly are. With their own opinions and life perspective that shape and colour everything they do.
We need leaders who see these differences as an asset, not a threat. We need leaders with kaleidoscope eyes, seeing the black, the white, and the shades of grey in between, but also the beautiful spectrum available in all of us.
Last week, we tackled the topic “Can You Experience More Than One Spiritual Awakening?”, revealing you can in fact experience multiple spiritual awakenings in a lifetime. But the most important takeaway from the post was highlighting the peak stage to a spiritual awakening.
This stage is the most euphoric and unworldly part of the process, providing a heightened connection to the spiritual realm. Because of its strength and power, this force cannot remain stagnant in human form for long. Eventually, this peak stage will dissipate, leaving many people feeling depressed and bewildered.
But not to worry. Your spiritual awakening is not lost.
This is all part of the spiritual awakening process: to allow you to come into your awakening by choice, commitment, and consistent dedication to your spiritual practice.
The 9 steps below will help you understand a new form of a spiritual awakening: a gradual awakening. An awakening that you control and an awakening that transforms into a way of life. Read further on how to sustain a spiritual awakening.
1. Commit to the Work
It first starts with a choice.
Make a commitment to the work needed to understand your soul and choose yourself. This is not the selfish choice but the most pragmatic and ultimately in service to others because you cannot be the best parent, friend, or colleague if you are constantly stressed, angry or rot with anxiety.
Because this commitment needs your time, your love, and your dedication, and it needs you to be consistent.
Honestly, my path to inner peace was a tremendous amount of hard work. But I’m here, sustaining my spiritual awakening every day. And don’t get me wrong, I still have dark moments from time to time, but only now, I’m able to come out of them quicker and with more kindness. The path of spirituality is not a quick fix. This is a life’s commitment. The long game. So, get ready to run this marathon.
2. Deepen Your Spiritual Practice Through Meditation
I meditated on and off for years but once I made the commitment to my soul, I then deepened into my spiritual practice and finally settled into a daily habit.
Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, that’s ok. That’s how we all start anything new. Take it slow and at first, simply begin a habit of sitting alone and in quiet. Feel through your body and listen deeply to your thoughts.
The philosophy of letting go of all attachment – to one’s thoughts, material possessions, to time – and living in the present moment was and is my saving grace. I write about this practice more in the post, How to Practice Detachment and Unlock Your Power. Please, continue your meditation practice and it will bring you closer to understanding and living in the here and now because the only reality we have is the present moment. Learn to let go of anything else. Release any hold you have on your thoughts, a past remark, or future outcome. It simply does not exist. Slowly you will realize this to be true. You will gain freedom through inner peace and live a sustained path of self-worth and self-love. You will live an awakened path.
4. Journal Every Day
Begin the habit of writing in a journal every day, either in the morning or before bed, or even better, try both. It’s a proven method to witness your thoughts as they arrive and be mindful of what’s present for you. Discover new insights about your feelings and why certain modes of thinking transform into an emotion or behaviour. It’s a wonderful inventory as well to look back on past goals and see the growth that’s been developed within yourself. Use journaling to exercise the practice of detachment by writing and releasing any attachment to your thoughts and feelings. Write and let it go.
5. Exercise and Move
This doesn’t necessarily mean an extreme HIIT or hot yoga class, but any movement to get the body active and the mind focused is part of the process. We need the body healthy and active so our soul can live in a habitat where it’s free to shine bright. You can go on daily walks, do light stretches in the morning, or tai chi is wonderful for the body to feel engaged and present. The key here is to simply move and be present in this experience so the mind can focus. This connection is integral to strengthening the soul.
6. Eat Cleanly and Balanced
To understand this from a more holistic lens, first, when we eat anything, we should be doing this mindfully. This means, taking the time to sit down with your meal, chew your food, and avoid any other activity. We are all so busy and never have time to enjoy our meals and be present for what we are eating. This brings me to my second point, eat a clean and balanced diet. When I don’t eat well, my ability to focus weakens and I became lethargic, and then my self-esteem suffers. Begin to change your relationship with food and start viewing it as medicine. Our body is interconnected like a machine, so we need to nourish it properly for all parts to operate at their optimal best. This includes our thoughts and our soul too.
7. Embrace Creativity Everyday
Creativity is often recognized as the soul, so creation should be the path to your soul. Use creative projects as a gateway to the other realm and to deepen your relationship with your soul. Hear and listen deeply to your soul language through creativity. Feed it. Nourish it. These projects also focus on the mind and allow the spirit to get lost in the flow state. Whether it is drawing, painting, dancing, writing poetry, or knitting, whatever your heart desires, create, and get into the zone. Feel your soul bloom and strengthen.
8. Develop a Relationship with Nature
Take advantage of the gifts found in nature and settle into its presence. Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the universe. Use nature to deepen further into your spiritual practice and strengthen your connection to your soul. Pay close attention to every hue in a leaf, the shades found in a single flower petal and even be present in something seemingly mundane and dull like the cracks along the sidewalk. Whatever it is, truly bring awareness to what you are observing and watching. Forget everything else because remember, it does not exist. The only reality is the present moment. So, soak in the world around you. Get curious!
9. Be Consistent. Be Patient.
I wrote this earlier in this post, this path is not a quick fix. I write humbly to help you sustain your awakening because I am proof it is possible. Be consistent and patient until these techniques become habits and are part of your daily routine. And remember, practice non-attachment through meditation, it is your ticket to freedom. It is your key to inner peace.
Commit to a spiritual practice and follow the steps above to sustain your spiritual awakening. It is possible but it needs to be a choice. Relying on the peak stage will not help you discover the endless gifts your soul can provide you.
And remember, it takes time.
It takes time and patience to see the benefits. The power felt during the peak stage is nothing compared to the strength, confidence, and unconditional self-love you will feel when you become in control of your spiritual awakening. It will be a force more manageable and sustainable for this world.
My first spiritual awakening was so catastrophic and monumental in my life that the idea this unworldly occurrence could happen more than once in a lifetime was unfathomable. And since it manifested after a devasting and life-changing catalyst, I believed it couldn’t happen any other way – that only through grief are you able to walk straddling the edges of reality.
But within a couple of months, my spiritual awakening was gone.
Without warning, the door that led me to see clearly and truthfully for the first time closed shut. My heightened awareness and the profound sense of peace I felt slipped away, and my soul relinquished all control. Soon, my anxiety crept back into my mind, and the demons that once infested my thoughts were beginning to say, “hello”.
After a few months, I was rot with confusion and despair. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t hold on to this gift, and for years later I felt like an addict trying to sustain my high.
Let’s Start with the Basics: What is a Spiritual Awakening?
A spiritual awakening, often accompanied by mystical experiences, is when a person becomes deeply attuned with their surroundings and transcends the ego to understand an infinite sense of truth or reality. It’s when your inner world becomes richer with universal consciousness, and you gain a deeper understanding that everything and everyone is interconnected and exists beyond time and space.
You begin to live in a more present state of awareness and attitude, and because of this, you now crave an existence with deeper meaning, more substance, and authentic beauty. And often, you wake up to the real you – your soul – which can evoke feelings of overwhelming joy, peace, bliss, ecstatic elation, and unconditional love.
In truth, a spiritual awakening isn’t a clear and defined experience. A lot of the awakening experience is based on feelings, sensations, and a deeper inner knowing but there are certain commonalities to watch out for. Read more about the signs in the post, 6 Signs You May Be Going Through a Spiritual Awakening.
How You Experience a Spiritual Awakening
Spiritual awakenings are known to be intensely euphoric in nature and can illicit prolonged and permanent life-changing perspective shifts on a person and the world around them.
Now, how you experience a spiritual awakening can happen in three ways:
Gradual spiritual awakenings
Through spiritual practices like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, spiritual awakenings can slowly begin to emerge in your consciousness through the consistent development of your mind and body.
Sudden or spontaneous spiritual awakenings
These occur without warning and are usually out of your control. A near-death experience is a traumatic event that is out of your control and may trigger a spiritual awakening.
Intentionally induced spiritual awakenings
Mind-altering substances such as psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) are known to remove any consciousness to your ego, thus freeing up the mind to feel and think without judgment, worry, or attachment.
When Do Sudden or Spontaneous Awakenings Occur?
Life can throw us many challenges that can be both unexpected and traumatic and alter our inner core forever. These moments in our lives can propel us to see more than we knew and feel more than we thought capable.
And it’s these unwarned, cataclysmic life experiences that ignite the flame for sudden or spontaneous spiritual awakenings.
Here is a list of a few life situations that can trigger a spiritual awakening:
Psychological trauma, including loss, grief, and addiction
Signs from the afterlife
A profound experience with nature
The Peak State of Spiritual Awakening
From a scientific standpoint, when spiritual awakenings occur, we are experiencing an intense psychological change in consciousness. At its peak state, the force is so powerful it cannot sustain in human form for a long period of time. And due to the very nature of an awakening – transcending time and space – the length of time for the peak state is hard to determine but typically lasts minutes to weeks, with residual effects lingering for months even.
And this is when it’s important to note, if you feel your connection to the spiritual realm slipping, remember, it is too strong and powerful to sustain.
Now looking back, I can say it was the best thing I discovered, and perhaps it is this part of the awakening process where we learn how to deepen and awaken on our own.
So, Can You Experience More Than One Spiritual Awakening?
The answer to that question is, yes.
Through different life experiences, we can be thrust into a spiritual awakening through sudden or spontaneous spiritual awakenings, as we now know. But it can also be something we evolve and grow into with time like through gradual spiritual awakenings. In fact, if we wish, we can also intentionally induce an awakening through certain psychedelics.
But this is only the beginning. The peak state is not meant to live long in our consciousness. Its purpose is to inspire us to find more attainable avenues so we can feel that oneness with the universe once more. In fact, we can live our lives through it.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any extensive research on this subject. All the findings are based on a plethora of similar anecdotal evidence, which only concludes this unworldly phenomenon is indeed occurring to many people around the globe, and for generations on end.
Whether it’s through sudden, gradual, or intentional spiritual awakenings, whatever your path, there is only one way to keep hold of your spiritual awakening. There is only one way to make it more attainable and sustainable than this elusive force coming and going.
And, if you are currently experiencing an awakening, remember it will disappear on you. You will lose your spiritual awakening and all the glory that comes along with it, but only for a time. It is not lost forever because you are now awakened to your soul.
It is your soul that is forever and always. And it is your soul you need to strengthen now. Let’s get to work.
**Tune in next week for part two: How to Sustain a Spiritual Awakening.**
I remember my demons too well
Their power; their force
Their reach stretched beyond what I could ever imagine
And bolted past what I could feel
With my lack of discipline, they overpowered my world
And prevented the sun’s rising each day
For they thrived in the darkness
And embodied a space where no light survived
And every night, they dragged me by the feet
Claw marks along the wall
We traveled down a narrow tunnel
Where I heard all the voices, magnified and clear
Their venom echoed through the hallow chamber
And pierced straight through my chest
They bounced off the walls
An echo trailed with each hit
Louder and louder
Until I was surrounded
A whirl of thundering chaos blocked my path back home
It’s there, deep in the abyss
They got to work
Evolving into multiple appendages to stay alive
As they grew stronger, I grew weaker
And poison infested my insides
Tormented by constant struggle
My thoughts abandoned me
And I eventually relinquished all control
Year after year, night after night
I sulked and mumbled behind in the shadows
I hid and forgot about time
But when all hope was lost
And I was drowning in my storm
A peculiar thing occurred
I called upon a powerful source
One found only deep within
And in my time of need, I woke my soul from its long slumber
My soul, now leading the way
I gained back control
I saw the weakness and sorrow in their eyes
I heard their lies and felt their destruction full on
And slowly, with time,
The damage began to heal.
Every memory of abandonment and rejection eased
And began to wash away
But little did I know
My demons would soon return, time and time again
Only they wilted with every new visit
Weaker and quieter they arrived each time
“Are you still here?” we might say,
“After all this time?”
I believe in creating community and connection through authentic and honest stories. Wildsoul Bloom is intended to be a haven for fellow tender hearts and sensitive souls. Together, let's create a life with more spiritual & mental freedom.
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