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The stages of Spiritual Awakening

If you are experiencing a spiritual awakening, you may be wondering: What's next? How long is it going to last?

stages of Spiritual Awakening

When I experienced my own initial awakening, I was lost. I didn't know what was happening to me, for the simple reason that I had no idea what spiritual awakening was. So I knew even less that I had just taken my first steps on the path to this awakening. It was a time of immense confusion and uncertainty. I was completely lost, depressed and worried. I even thought that I was completely losing my mind. I had almost convinced myself that I needed help, maybe even get myself locked up in a mental hospital. To tell you how bad it was and how confused I was!

However, after becoming aware of the new transformation path I was on, I “calmed down” a bit. From that moment on, I kept researching to find out what was in store for me. I then realized the importance of being prepared and having a roadmap to begin this journey without getting completely lost. When we are alerted to what we might experience, we can move forward with greater clarity and resilience.

In this article, we will therefore fly step by step on the way to spiritual awakening, and make a stopover at each stage to understand the hazards and assimilate the trials. Welcome aboard, fasten your seatbelts! I am here to accompany you throughout this sacred journey.

Not an A to Z process

The spiritual awakening process is a very complex and highly individual journey. The stages of awakening are not linear, they are multifaceted and multilayered. It can be very different for each of us, and everyone’s path can have unique variations and timing. Thus, the phases of awakening cannot be arranged in very distinct categories, each person can go through these stages in a different order or even experience them simultaneously.

That being said, even though the stages I have identified are general, it will help you to have a sort of "sketch" of where you are now and to anticipate all the phases you will go through. What I've listed below just describes the staging of the spiritual awakening process, because remember you can't just go from A to B to C.

Spiritual Awakening Stages

Stage 1 – Discontent, sadness and a sense of loss… the Dark Night of the Soul

The beginning of a spiritual journey is usually completely unexpected. It can start spontaneously, but most of the time it appears following a crisis or drama such as a breakup, death, trauma, illness or a major life change. The experience is rough and brutal. This first step can, without a doubt, be the hardest of all.

It is a time of great confusion, disconnection, alienation, depression and sadness. You begin to question everything you have learned, everything you have been taught… all the values instilled and beliefs inherited. You feel like you're looking for something, but you're not sure what. You feel like you're missing something, but you don't know what it is yet. You feel like a great emptiness inside you. It is a period of chaos and descent into hell.

So yes, it's very difficult, but after you hit rock bottom, there's no other way but to come back to the surface, while forcing yourself to make a real change.

Stage 2 – Change of perspective: a time to let go

You begin to perceive reality in a totally different way. At this point, the veil is gradually lifted on the lies and illusions propagated by society. You feel unhappy with life, disturbed by the suffering you see, and hopeless about the unhappiness in the world. You no longer see life as you once did when you were in your state of self-satisfied unconsciousness.

This is when your soul readjusts, eliminating all aspects of ego, erasing certain things from your life (habits, relationships, old belief systems).

This stage is one of letting go of control and releasing attachments, allowing the transformation of old patterns and beliefs.

Stage 3 – Searching for answers and meaning in life

There must be a reason for all this, right? At this point, you are asking deep, existential questions. You are in search of who you really are, your spiritual destiny and the meaning of life itself. You discover new interests such as quantum physics, holistic therapies. You are drawn to different metaphysical or esoteric realms. You can even attend several spiritual groups in order to broaden your horizons, learn and understand. You multiply your research in search of answers and truth. Your only objective is your spiritual search.

Step 4 – After the answers, the moments of revelations and hope

After much introspection, you are ready to build your new, “awakened” life, and to integrate all that you have discovered into your daily life. In this phase, it is all about trying and a lot about scale and explorations. You start to branch out and try different hobbies. You are interested in different religions. You are finding yourself starting new relationships. It is a period of trial and error to discover what corresponds to this "me" that you are now pinning down.

This may be the time when you find your mentors, the practice or the belief system that succeeds in alleviating your existential suffering. (Warning: many spiritual bypassings can occur at this point.)

You will then begin to feel a sense of expansion as old patterns dissolve and your True Nature begins to emerge. You may have a number of mystical experiences or brief moments of Satori (spiritual enlightenment) that give you insight into the ultimate nature of reality. It is a time of joy, hope, connection and awe.

Stage 5 – Disillusionment and feeling lost again

Life is in constant motion. Spiritual awakening is no exception, it is punctuated by ebb and flow. At this point, you are bored and tired of your spiritual teachers or practices. You may become frustrated when you realize that a lot of gurus or other manipulators take advantage of everything to exercise harmful influence over the weakest or spread their unhealthy ideas. You want something deeper. You may even have experienced moments of revelation and connection with the Divine, only to become apparently separated again. Suddenly you feel your old self again. It's normal and natural to be disturbed and deeply upset by this turnaround. If you have experienced many mental/emotional/spiritual breakthroughs, they may still seem too superficial. Now more than ever, you crave authenticity and deep spirituality. You want to see them permeate your life and transform every part of you. This step that you feel as a “setback” or stagnation will, in fact, motivate you to continue your research deeper.

Discovery Call

Stage 6 – Inner Integration: Deeper Inner Work and Soul Work

At this point, you are no longer interested in superficial spiritual philosophies or practices. The lingering pain you feel inside motivates you to do deep inner work, soul work. You can become a serious follower of meditation, mindfulness, inner child work, shadow work, or various other transpersonal philosophies.

In this phase, you begin to not only recognize, but honor and embody your true nature through your gifts, skills, and talents.

Do you think you have achieved enlightenment? Not yet ! This stage is called the "soul sessions" during which you will go through trial, error and many different strategies. During this period, which may take years or even decades, you are building the real structure of your life through which your true spirit can flourish. Your soul grows and heals as you discover the routines and rituals that work for you.

Stage 7 - The transcendence of the ego… the time of surrender.

At this point, you have come to know your soul, found and integrated a lifestyle that works for you, but there may still be people or habits that hold you back. It is therefore in this stage that you break down and release the last remaining belief structures or facets of the ego. That is when you classify all these structures that still prevent you from accessing your truth. This is the time of letting go and gradually dissolving ego dominance, the ultimate transformation that will lead you to greater identification with the true self or higher consciousness.

Stage 8 - Consciousness, service and oneness

The penultimate step in the awakening process is about becoming fully aware of your own divinity as you move through life with grace and clarity. You live in service to others, which brings you much happiness and contentment. This is the stage characterized by a deep sense of oneness and interconnectedness with all of creation, experiencing the divine within and without.

Stage 9 - Integration, expansion, joy

And finally…we come to integration which means applying to your daily life all that you have learned in your inner work. Integration occurs both naturally and consciously as a habit in deep spiritual practice. At this point you will experience the deepest and most lasting changes deep within yourself. Many people have prolonged mystical experiences and periods of oneness with the Divine in the integration phase. Remember though that enlightenment is never guaranteed: we can strive for it, but it is ultimately a gift of Life. Nevertheless, peace, love and deep joy emerge and are felt at this stage. You may feel ready to be a spiritual helper of some kind and to pass on your vision to others. Life will no longer be so focused on the Me, but more on the We. You will feel connected, at peace with yourself and in perfect alignment with Life. In this last phase, you begin to not only recognize, but also honor and embody your true nature through your gifts, skills, and talents.


A spiritual awakening is complicated, profound, and nothing less than a total life change. Despite the difficult passages, sometimes even painful, with patience, trials and a few mistakes along the way, life improves. It takes on a whole new dimension.

If you are currently in the middle of any of the stages I have outlined, the only thing you need to do is trust the process, hold on, and prepare for a newly awakened life.

Note: It is common to go back and forth between these stages of spiritual awakening. Remember this isn't a linear process - you can't just go from A to B to C. It's a complex and messy path, so don't worry if your journey differs from the one I've described. Your spiritual awakening process is unique to you. However, I hope that this analysis has helped you (in some way) to "get your bearings".

If you want personalized advice and support, I'm here to help. Together we will unravel the mysteries and navigate the stages of spiritual awakening with grace, confidence and understanding.


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